All Posts By

Nicole Kaplan

June 29th Town Hall Teleconference: Reopening Our Schools

By | Board of School Trustees, CCSD Info, Community, Employee Info, In The News, Schools Info, Superintendent | No Comments

Please mark your calendars to join Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara for a virtual town hall teleconference, hosted by Board of School Trustees Vice President Linda P. Cavazos. Dr. Jara will answer questions regarding recommendations presented to the Board of School Trustees on June 25 for the reopening of CCSD schools this fall.

Monday, June 29, 2020, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Participants can submit questions in advance by emailing, or can ask questions during the call.

To join the conversation, dial 877-229-8493 (Pin: 119398) at the time of the event or stream it online at

An additional Town Hall is planned for Monday, July 13, 2020, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Replays of previous town hall teleconferences can be found at

Three CCSD School Leaders Receive Prestigious Recognition

By | Achievements, Community, Employee Info, Schools Info | No Comments

The Clark County School District (CCSD) is pleased to recognize three CCSD administrators who have received prestigious recognitions for their hard work in providing rich and rigorous education to our students.

The three CCSD administrators receiving the special distinctions are:

  • Dr. Cailin Ellis, principal of Victoria Fertitta Middle School, was named the 2019-2020 Secondary Principal of the Year by the Nevada Association of Secondary Schools (NASA) and Secondary School’s Principal’s Association of Nevada (SSPAN).

  • Ms. Rebecca Tschinkel, principal of Ruben P. Diaz Elementary School, was named the 2019-2020 Elementary Principal of the Year by the Nevada Elementary School Principals Association (NESPA).

  • Ms. Dina Meyer, assistant principal at E.W. Griffith Elementary School, was named the 2019-2020 Assistant Principal of the Year by NESPA.


“This is a wonderful achievement and I would like to thank our school leaders for their continued contributions,” said CCSD Board of School Trustees President Lola Brooks. “Our community is fortunate to have such great leaders focusing on the academic success and well being of our students. I congratulate them all for receiving this honor.”

“I would like to congratulate these phenomenal administrators for their accomplishments,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “I am proud of their work as they led their school communities through a very challenging academic year. Our school leaders, including Dr. Ellis, Ms. Tschinkel and Ms. Meyer, continued to focus on our students’ success and creatively addressed the challenges,” he added. “I thank them for their extraordinary work.”

Dr. Ellis is the National Distinguished Secondary Principal of the year for Nevada. She serves as principal at Fertitta Middle school and what stood out to the selection committee was Cailin’s positive attitude, innovative ideas, kid-friendly style and theacademic growth her students have shown over the course of her tenure at Fertitta Middle School.

Ms. Tschinkel is the National Distinguished Elementary Principal of the year for Nevada. She currently serves as the principal of Diaz Elementary School. She is a visionary leader who overhauled the school’s climate and culture. She sets high expectations for herself, the staff and the students. She bases all decisions on what is best for the students at Diaz. She is committed to ensuring all students achieve regardless of student group, background and socio-economic status.

Ms. Meyer is the National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year for Nevada. She currently serves as the assistant principal at Griffith Elementary School. Her commitment to excellence sets her apart from others. She creates a positive and motivating environment for others. She was essential in helping create and implement a plan to increase Griffith’s achievement. She is deserving of this honor and recognition because of her passion for building relationships, her energy and her leadership.

To learn more about CCSD, visit

#CCSDReads Summer Reading Photo Contest

By | Community, Schools Info | No Comments

CCSD is encouraging all students to take advantage of the summer break and enjoy a great book. Parents and students may share pictures on social media of them reading their favorite book using #CCSDReads and be eligible to win prizes donated by the community until July 31.

Students risk summer learning loss, which is often known as the “summer slide.” Students can continue building on their reading skills over the summer months. Remember, reading includes much more than just books. Here are a 100 ways to make reading more enjoyable.

Post photos, including student’s first name and CCSD school, on social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – settings must allow public view) using hashtag #CCSDReads and your photo might be selected to win a prize!

  • Post a picture of your child or family reading in an interesting place
  • Post a picture of your child reading something interesting, other than a book
  • Post a picture of your child reading to a sibling, pet, or other interesting buddy (consider social distancing as appropriate)

Any picture of your child reading could be a winner! If you don’t have social media, photos can also be submitted via email to for consideration.

CCSD Summer Learning Resources

By | Community, In The News, Schools Info | No Comments

CCSD launches summer learning resources website and

CCSD Summer Connections will be the one-stop-shop website for parents and students to locate information on credit retrieval services, family guides for summer learning, virtual learning opportunities with educational partners and more.

CCSD lanza el sitio web de recursos de aprendizaje de verano and

CCSD Summer Connections será el sitio web para padres y estudiantes para ubicar información sobre servicios de recuperación de crédito, guías familiares para el aprendizaje de verano, oportunidades de aprendizaje virtual con socios educativos y más.

CCSD Senior Named 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar

By | Achievements, Community, Graduation, In The News, Schools Info | No Comments

A Clark County School District (CCSD) student from Coronado High School was named a 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar as part of the 56th annual class of recipients. The Coronado High School senior, Dakyung Lee, is one of 161 high school seniors to be recognized nationally for accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

“Being honored as one of only 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars is a true testament to Ms. Lee’s dedication in and out of the classroom,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “Ms. Lee is an example of the culture of educational excellence that is fostered at Coronado High School,”

“I am so proud that CCSD continues to showcase unmatched educational opportunities in the state of Nevada and I applaud Ms. Lee for this well-deserved recognition as well as the staff and administration at Coronado High School for setting students up to be college and career ready,” Jara added.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 awards

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students with an annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. The 2020 ceremony will be held at a later time as public health circumstances permit. Each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

To learn more about the award click here.

To learn more about the Clark County School District click here.

Congratulations to this Year’s Finalists and Winners of the Heart of Education Awards

By | Community, Employee Info, In The News, Schools Info | No Comments

Congratulations to the approximately 800 Clark County School District teachers who were finalists and the 20 winners of this year’s Heart of Education Awards, presented by The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and made possible by The Rogers Foundation.

The awards program recognizes teachers who go above and beyond for their students. This year, the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the red-carpet ceremony that honors the educators. Instead, on May 20, the 20 winners received a surprise video chat call from their principals and the president and CEO of The Smith Center, Myron Martin.

Each of the 20 winners will receive a medallion, a $5,000 cash prize, and an additional $1,000 to use for a school program of their choice. There also will be full-page ads in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday and in El Tiempo, congratulating the educators.

The 2020 award winners include:

  • Claudia Ahumada, Kermit R. Booker Sr. Elementary School
  • Donato Avila, John C. Fremont Middle School
  • Kari Bastin, Dr. Beverly S. Mathis Elementary School
  • Bianca Bautista, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts
  • Belisa Brownlee, Rancho High School
  • Matthew Christian, Barbara and Hank Greenspun Junior High School
  • Robert Cuccurullo, Coronado High School
  • Tiffany Grant, Clifford J. Lawrence Junior High School
  • Elizabeth Harris, Lied STEM Academy
  • Elisa Marcheschi Hickey, Western High School
  • Pamela Honey, Martha P. King Elementary School
  • Carolyn Lara, Spring Valley High School
  • Kimberly Law, Mabel W. Hoggard Elementary School
  • William John Love, Liberty High School
  • Crystal Massengale, E.W. Griffith Elementary School
  • Mark Nekoba, Jack Lund Schofield Middle School
  • Richard Pokropski, Centennial High School
  • Tyler Swick, Robert and Sandy Ellis Elementary School
  • Michelle Taylor, Mabel W. Hoggard Elementary School
  • Kelly Wagner, Green Valley High School

Star Graduates 2020 – Bonanza High School

By | Achievements, Community, Graduation | No Comments

Maya Duckworth is our student body president. She was also the freshman, sophomore, and junior class president. She has played varsity soccer and takes the most rigorous courses we offer including both honors and AP courses. Maya balances everything life throws at her so well. She is extremely involved, loves Bonanza High School so much and is always such a positive person to be around.

Maya was accepted into Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and will major in Accounting. She plans to serve a mission for her church, and upon return hopes to complete her degree and be able to join an accounting firm or maybe even be an accountant for the Vegas Golden Knights!

To view more Class of 2020 CCSD Star Grads, click here.


Star Graduates 2020 – Sandy Valley High School

By | Achievements, Community, Graduation | No Comments

The story of Goodwin began seemingly with no future. Goodwin (“Goody”) was raised in a family with a mother suffering from mental illness and a father of many ailments that eventually took his life. In that life he was made to quit high school putting him 2 years behind peers. Forced to live a reclusive life of poverty, he withdrew from the world feeling hopeless and trapped with only his journal as his means to communicate.

In 2018 Goody and brother found a foster family and Goody began to believe in tomorrow.

For the first time in his life he began to explore and dream that all things were possible. With his new family he was shown the world. Of course the first thing was to re enroll him in high school. With an enthusiasm unmatched by many high school students, Goody embraced every opportunity to excel in his class work. It was soon apparent to his teachers, and counselors that Goody was a stellar student. He remains among the top academic high school scholars.

His new family learned of his dream to join the Navy, so they flew him to Annapolis, Maryland to interview and attend personal tour with the US Naval Academy. Now with eyes wide open he returned home to join the US Naval Sea Cadets. He dedicated weekends, starting at 4:30am in full uniform to attend training at Nellis AFB. During the summer he attended training in California on a Naval Base. His devotion paid off, Goody earned a Military promotion. When most recruits report to Basic Training they will be an E1, but Goody will begin as an E2.

To view more Class of 2020 CCSD Star Grads, click here.


Star Graduates 2020 – Morris Sunset East High School

By | Achievements, Community, Graduation | No Comments

Morris Sunset East H.S. is proud to have Brianna Billings as their 2020 Star Graduate. Brianna has overcome several obstacles throughout her life. Growing up she lived with her mother, who was undocumented, this proved to be extremely difficult for her and her younger brother. Moving from hotel to hotel every other month became an unbearable struggle for her mother. So, the family moved to Mexico to live with relatives. While in Mexico, Brianna missed several months of school before her older brother offered to move her and her brother to Las Vegas with him. She was happy to be in Las Vegas, but the move was short-lived. Brianna and her brother had to move back to Mexico. Upon her return to Mexico, she had to care for her ailing mother who suffered from two strokes, along with battling an addiction to alcohol. Brianna and her younger brother were able to move back to Las Vegas when a good friend of the family offered to take over as their guardian. Due to moving around and missing months of school, Brianna was off-track to graduate. However, since enrolling at Morris as a full-time student during the Fall of 2019, Brianna has recovered all of her missing credits and will graduate on-time with the Class of 2020. As a student at Morris, Brianna is a leader on campus. She is a key member in the B.I.O.N.I.C. Team and a phenomenal student who always has a smile on her face. Brianna will start classes at UNLV this Fall. She will begin taking classes to start on her career path in the Health Industry, with a goal of becoming a Nurse. She is ever so grateful to her teachers and the staff at Morris Sunset because of their guidance, support and the overall caring environment on campus that has made this year a success for her.

To view more Class of 2020 CCSD Star Grads, click here.

Star Graduates 2020 – Mojave High School

By | Achievements, Community, Graduation | No Comments

Samantha Fowler has several strengths to offer, as she is a hardworking student who is determined to achieve what she sets her mind to. Some of Samantha’s greatest assets are her ability to handle adversity and her willingness to push herself to meet the expectations that she has set for herself. Samantha’s commitment, motivation and desire to succeed is nothing short of outstanding. Samantha’s drive definitely sets her apart from her peer counterparts, especially given her personal circumstances; whereas these circumstances alone would cause many to give up and quit especially when you take into consideration that she is still a teenager. In addition to Samantha embodying the devotion and passion necessary to be successful, I feel compelled to add that her ability to be self-disciplined and maintain her grades, all the while keeping up with the rigor of AP and Honors classes, a full-time job, taking guardianship of her siblings and dealing with adversity, has truly been astounding and I personally admire her abilities to do so. Samantha values her education and realizes that her education can ultimately change the course of her life. She exhibits the perseverance to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness for herself, despite the circumstances that have been put before her. Samantha has challenged herself by taking Honors and Advanced Placement classes this school year and her GPA of 3.338 is proof of her commitment to academic excellence. Samantha is set to graduate in May with a College and Career Ready Diploma, despite the adversity that she is currently facing and the obstacles that she has overcome.

To view more Class of 2020 CCSD Star Grads, click here.