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Hero Challenge

Lawrence JHS Students, Family Members and Staff Raise Funds for Cancer Train

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Lawrence Junior High held its annual “Dodgeball For Cancer” event on May 3, raising more than $1,200 for Cancer Train of Las Vegas. More than 370 students took part in the event, which attracted 200 spectators. The event also featured NFL player Frank Summers, who has played for the Steelers, the Chargers and the Bills. For more information, call Krystal Howell at (702) 799-2540.

Teacher Appreciation Week 2018

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The Clark County School District will honor its more than 18,000 dedicated educators through a variety of activities during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11. Teachers change the lives of children on a daily basis, and their impact extends far beyond the classroom. Teacher Appreciation Week is an opportunity to honor those who lend their skills and passion to educating the children of Southern Nevada.

On May 7, Hancock Elementary School teachers and educators from nine other CCSD schools were surprised with sweet treats from Freed’s Bakery Las Vegas. Cast members from the hit TV show “Vegas Cakes” personally delivered the pastries to educators in their classrooms.

Share your Teacher Appreciation Week events and activities via social media by using #TeacherAppreciationWeek.

Congratulations to the Heart of Education Awards Finalists

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Congratulations to all the finalists in this year’s Heart of Education Awards, presented by The Smith Center and the Rogers Foundation. Thousands of teachers received nominations from parents, students, alumni, PTA, administrators and the public. Nominated teachers then completed applications that were judged by a group of community leaders who selected 799 finalists. Twenty of the finalists were named as this year’s Heart of Education award winners, and each received a $5,000 prize, plus $1,000 for their schools. The finalists were honored during a fun-filled evening at The Smith Center on April 20.

North Las Vegas Fire Dept. Honors Athletic Trainer Who Saved a Student’s Life

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During a surprise ceremony, the North Las Vegas Fire Department presented an award to athletic trainer Chely Arias for performing CPR on a Cheyenne High School student athlete and saving her life. The incident took place Oct. 24 on the school’s baseball field during intramurals for the flag football team. The North Las Vegas Fire Department is lauding Arias for her heroic efforts. As reported by KTNV, Arias worked on the student for 11 minutes, performing CPR and using an AED. North Las Vegas Fire Chief Joseph Calhoun and Cheyenne High School Principal Dr. Zachary Robbins were among those on hand for the Dec. 6 ceremony.

CCSD Highlights Students and Staff During American Education Week

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The Clark County School District (CCSD) is celebrating American Education Week this week through events aimed at highlighting the hard work and accomplishments of students and staff. American Education Week is a nationally celebrated movement to honor public education and those who make a difference every day in the lives of young people.

On Monday, Green Valley High School hosted the National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist Reception, in which CCSD recognized its 62 National Merit Scholar semi-finalists. These students are among the less than one percent of high school seniors nationwide to be chosen for this prestigious honor. CCSD Trustees Deanna L. Wright, Linda Cavazos and Carolyn Edwards were on hand for the event.

On Tuesday, Spread the Word Nevada (STWN) presented free books to all students and their families who attended a special event that included CCSD Trustee Deanna L. Wright reading a book to those in attendance. The Breakfast with Books literacy program aims to increase the awareness and importance of reading as a family activity.

Also on Tuesday, there was an Advanced Placement (AP) Celebration at Cheyenne High School, recognizing the achievements of 200 AP students. AP classes provide students the academic skills they need to succeed in college and also provide students with more time to concentrate on the subjects that interest them. Among those in attendance for this event was CCSD Trustee Carolyn Edwards.

On Wednesday, seven outstanding support staff employees were honored for outstanding service during a surprise celebration at West Career and Technical Academy. CCSD Board of School Trustees member Linda Cavazos presented each honoree with a certificate from the Board of School Trustees. The honorees also received a customized portrait created by West Tech students Catelyn Kaufman, Ziad Abou-Nasr, Ben Abrea and Sierra Lowell under the direction of art teacher Mary Beth Heishman.

Thursday’s big event was the 4th Annual “Diced!” Culinary Competition (pictured) at Southwest Career and Technical Academy. Culinary Arts students from four CCSD high schools put their kitchen skills to the test during this friendly competition, as they battled to see which team had the best looking and tasting final dish. Chefs from local restaurants served as guest judges for the competition. The event coincided with the 25th anniversary of Magnet Schools in CCSD.

Winners of the “Diced!” competition were as follows:

1st place – ECTA Team 2
2nd place – NWCTA
3rd place – SWCTA Team 1

Las Vegas High School Students Volunteer at 14 Local Non-Profits

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Nearly 160 Las Vegas High School students took part in the 19th annual “Be a PAL Community Service Day” on Nov. 17, providing a day of community service at 14 local non-profit organizations. PAL is an acronym for Partnership at Las Vegas, and LVHS students have been volunteering in this capacity every year since 1999. According to Faculty Advisor Robert Bray, the PAL Program at LVHS is the oldest Career and Technical Education program of its type in Southern Nevada.

Title I Hope Provides Services to More Than 11,000 Students

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With the holiday season just around the corner, many people are looking for ways to contribute to help those in need. One way may be through supporting the Clark County School District’s Title I HOPE program.

Many are surprised to learn that the district is currently serving more than 11,000 students who are classified as homeless. The criteria for being homeless includes a variety of situations ranging from “couch surfers” to students whose families live in weekly or monthly rental facilities. However, the common thread is that all of these students need, and are eligible for support services through the district’s Title I HOPE department.

Although the department has Title I in its name, the services provided through Title I HOPE are available to homeless students at any of the 358 CCSD schools, not just those with an official Title I school designation.

“Unfortunately, we have one of the highest rates of youth homelessness in the entire nation,” said Coordinator Kelly-Jo Shebeck. “Our services of providing assistance are available to all 358 CCSD schools and the seven charter schools sponsored by the district.”

The services primarily consist of providing students with basic necessity items so they can be successful in school. To fulfill these needs, the department provide backpacks that contain a variety of personal hygiene items that students may not have access to on their own. Shebeck said assistance can also come in the form of providing school and physical education uniforms as well as clothing and shoes. They also work to remove transportation barriers for students and provide referrals to community service organizations.

“Each school has a contact person, usually a counselor, who will serve as an advocate for homeless students,” said Shebeck. “If a school has a need, they just need to contact us and we will see what we can do to provide assistance.”

While Title I HOPE focuses on helping students, they can use assistance themselves in the form of donations. Although they receive some Federal Title I funding, it is not nearly enough to accommodate the needs of 11,000 students.

Individuals, businesses and/or community organizations who would like to provide donations to support the department, can contact Coordinator Meg Pike or Shebeck via Interact.

“While our department is small, the need is great especially around the holidays, so we appreciate all the community support that we can receive,” said Shebeck.

Nominations Accepted for the 2017-18 LifeChanger of the Year Awards

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Nominations are being accepted for the LifeChanger of the Year 2017-18 awards program, which will honor an outstanding teacher or school employee. To be considered for LifeChanger of the Year, one must demonstrate:

A proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students
The ability to positively add to the development of the school’s atmosphere
Leadership within his/her school and/or district
A record of excellent performance at the professional level
Commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere
Adherence to high moral and ethical standards

For more information, click here.

Teacher Celebrates 42 Years of Educating Special Needs Students at Helen J. Stewart

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After 42 years of teaching at Helen J. Stewart School, Ritha Burroughs remains as enthused about her job as the day she started.

Stewart is a special school that focuses on a functional curriculum for students with special needs. Its students range in age from six to 22.

Burroughs, a Detroit native who joined the teaching staff in 1976, takes great delight in her students’ accomplishments, whether big or small. “I teach students how to tie their shoes, recognize their names, act appropriately in public and many more things. We cover it all,” explained Burroughs. “The other day, one of my students successfully used a broom and dustpan, and it made my day.”

A nationally board certified teacher, Burroughs presently works with middle school students but has taught students of all ages at Stewart. “I feel I’m making a difference, helping the students become more independent and making the parents’ lives easier. Our mission is to prepare these students for life.”

Burroughs and her colleagues are helping to shape behaviors and skills. The best thing, said Burroughs, is helping students accomplish something and gain self-confidence. “I’m always trying to come up with new ways of addressing their needs and helping them reach their goals.”

Burroughs’ love of teaching extends beyond the walls of her school. She also works with adults, teaching them English and how to read. “Many of my adult students are from other countries. Helping them is very rewarding.”

Principal Dr. Patti Schultz has nothing but praise for Burroughs. “She is an exceptional teacher who works closely with transition agencies, offers district-wide training on functional curriculum and works closely with families to help them access wraparound services. We are proud to have her on our staff.”

So, how does someone stay at the same school for 42 years? “This school provides me with everything I need to teach students and also assist their parents. I’m so happy here, which is why I have stayed all these years.”

Nonetheless, everything comes to an end, and Burroughs expects to retire at the end of this school year. “I say that every year, but it’s probably going to happen this time.” She plans to spend her retirement doing a lot of traveling. Burroughs has already been to such far-off places as Cuba, the Gobi Desert and the Amazon River.

Regardless of where her future travels take her, Stewart School will always have a special place in Burrough’s heart. “I love my job and feel blessed to be here.”