Nominate a Great Teacher for the Heart of Education Awards

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The deadline to nominate a teacher for the Heart of Education Awards is fast approaching: Nomination forms can be submitted online at theheartofeducation.org with an extended nomination period until Friday, February 12, 2021.

Once a nomination has been submitted, each nominated teacher will receive an email notification to complete a separate online application. Teachers will be asked to write a 500-word-or-less essay describing how they have gone above and beyond to support their students.

Myron Martin, president of The Smith Center, told Channel 3’s Krystal Allan that this year’s awards are an opportunity to recognize the unbelievable ways in which CCSD teachers have gone above and beyond in a virtual school setting.

The Smith Center created The Heart of Education Awards in 2015, and the awards are made possible by a long-term commitment from The Rogers Foundation.

Vegas PBS Kids Writers Contest is Open Until March 26

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Elementary school teachers in the Clark County School District (CCSD) are encouraged to have their students submit entries in the Vegas PBS KIDS Writers Contest.

The contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. It is made possible by local financial support from Janice Allen, empowering children in grades K-5 to celebrate creativity and build literacy skills by writing and illustrating their very own stories.

Students can write about any topic according to PBS Ready To Learn Coordinator Jessica Russell. Students can write about fact, fiction, poetry or prose, but all submissions must be original works. The entries will be judged for originality, creative expression, storytelling technique, illustrations and overall impression.

“We are very excited to hold the writers contest again this year,” said Jessica Russell, Vegas PBS Ready To Learn Coordinator. “We are happy to create an educational environment where children can learn through engaging and unique experiences by using their creativity and letting their imaginations soar.”

Submissions to the VEGAS PBS KIDS Writers Contest must be received by Friday, March 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form signed by a parent/guardian.

Stories can be mailed to Vegas PBS at:

3050 E. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89121

Entries may also be emailed to jrussell@vegaspbs.org.

A panel of judges will select local winners in the spring of 2021. All local winners will be recognized by Vegas PBS and will receive trophies, a hardcover version of their story, autographed books, and a custom backpack filled with additional reading and writing resources.

Four CCSD Board of School Trustees Take Oath of Office

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LAS VEGAS – The Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of School Trustees welcomed three new members and one returning member during a special board meeting Monday, January 4, 2021. During the ceremony, each newly elected and re-elected Trustee individually took the oath of office.

“We are excited to welcome our newly elected Trustees to the CCSD family, and congratulations to President Brooks for being elected to another term in District E,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “Our future is strong, and we will conquer all obstacles, and triumph together. We have a truly dedicated staff of educators, support professionals and administrators who are committed to student success each and every day. Congratulations and welcome!”

Current Board of School Trustees President Lola Brooks took the oath of office after being elected to a second term. Newly elected Trustees Evelyn Garcia Morales, Lisa Guzmán and Katie Williams all took the oath for the first time.

Lola Brooks – Trustee District E

Lola Brooks first moved to Las Vegas in 2002 and was first elected to the School Board in 2016. She represents District E, which includes Summerlin and parts of northwest Las Vegas. Mrs. Brooks earned her B.A. in Psychology and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Trustee Brooks currently works as a Student Data Analyst at a local independently operated charter school. She reports student data to the state, manages various technology platforms, and performs other duties related to data collection and analysis. She previously worked as a nonprofit consultant, helping nonprofits improve their data, technology, and operational practices. She was also previously employed as a Project Coordinator at United Way of Southern Nevada, where she focused on education initiatives and data projects.

As the first member of her family to receive a traditional high school diploma and complete college, Trustee Brooks is passionate about reaching and serving at-risk students. She is also passionate about meaningful stakeholder engagement and amplifying the voices of teachers, parents, and students.

Trustee Brooks has been married to her husband, Steve, since 2002. They have one son attending school in CCSD.

Evelyn Garcia Morales – Trustee District C

Evelyn Garcia Morales was elected to the CCSD Board of Trustees on November 3, 2020 to represent the students, families, and educational community of District C. She is a first-generation American whose parents worked tirelessly and reinforced the long-term value of an education. “¡Échale ganas!” (translated, give it all you’ve got!)  were her mother’s daily reminder, to make the most out of every opportunity.

So she did. Evelyn is a proud graduate from Mojave High School, located in the north part of CCSD’s District C. After high school, she went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and later a Master’s degree in Organizational Development and Knowledge Management from George Mason University in Virginia. She holds certificates from the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy and the Dare to Lead program, based on the research of Dr. Brene Brown.

Evelyn has dedicated her professional career to creating and leading educational opportunities for diverse communities. Early in her career at the YMCA of Southern Nevada, she led outreach programs that provided after school tutoring and drug prevention classes, and managed the Family Resource Center based in District C. Additionally, she spent 11 years managing award-winning national leadership programs for Latino students across the country.

Today, she has the privilege of serving as the Executive Director of the Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas (FFLV), a post-secondary access, and attainment non-profit organization located at Chaparral High School. FFLV’s vision is that all students, regardless of their circumstances, will one day have the opportunity to attend college, graduate, and actively participate in transforming their communities to create a better society. Evelyn has seen this evolution take place in her own life as a first-generation college student which propels her to give back.

Evelyn is an active member of Las Vegas and has continuously advocated for the education of children and adults. She is a founding member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority,

Inc., UNLV Chapter, an alumnus of the inaugural class of NEW Leadership Nevada, and was selected among 60 leaders to participate in Leadership Las Vegas, Class of 2020.

Evelyn proudly resides in District C with her husband Victor, their son Ezra, and their dog, Spot.

Lisa Guzmán – Trustee District A

As an educator and education advocate, I have supported public education issues since my father had me walk the strike line in Deer Park, New York. I grew up in Stony Brook, New York, went to high school in Gainesville, Georgia, and attended Arizona State University to get away from cold weather. I met my husband of 30 years in Arizona. We have two amazing boys that are now 26 and 20. Our eldest has a degree in political science and English from ASU. Our youngest is pursuing his degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on English as a Second Language at Arizona State University. We have Sun Devil Nation in our home.

My teaching career was in Arizona both in urban and rural districts. My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education with an English as a Second Language emphasis. I have a master’s degree in Educational Technology and Business Leadership. I started advocating for educational issues full time in 2007 when I joined the Arizona Education Association team. I trained educators across the United States in online education when I joined the NEA Member Benefits team in 2013. Now, I advocate for Nevada educators every day. I have been a Henderson resident since I joined the Nevada State Education Association’s team in 2015. I have enjoyed advocating for educators from around the state of Nevada and for the last two years, I worked with the Education Support Professionals in Clark County.

I have confidence that my experience with educators across the county, my education, and my advocacy skills will bring a different perspective to the board. I am certain this is why my community put their trust in me.  I understand the difference between urban and rural schools. As the representative for District A, I want to familiarize myself with all the needs of the students and communities that the Clark County District serves.

Katie Williams – Trustee District B

Katie Williams is a Combat Veteran and Current member of the Nevada Army National Guard. Katie was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1990 and moved to Illinois in 2003 where she graduated High School from Altamont Community High School in 2008.

She joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 where she was stationed with Alpha company 634th BSB out of the 33rd Infantry Brigade. Katie returned from Afghanistan and served various positions in the Illinois Army National Guard such as Administration, Joint Operations Center Team Member, and Recruiting and Retention where she first learned to love education.

In 2018, Katie was offered a Master Recruiting position in Las Vegas, Nevada with the Nevada Army National Guard and immediately jumped on this new adventure.

In 2020, Katie was elected to the Clark County School Board for District B in a landslide, bringing an outsider’s voice in education and bringing her military experience to the district.

It is Katie’s hope that we can better serve our students and parents by giving them more opportunities and setting up their path for success, whichever path they choose.

CCSD Board of School Trustees Elect Officers

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LAS VEGAS – The Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of School Trustees selected Trustee Linda P. Cavazos as Board President during their Work Session held Wednesday morning. Trustee Lola Brooks had held the position for the past two years.

Trustees also selected Trustee Irene A. Cepeda as Board Vice President and Trustee Evelyn Garcia Morales as Board Clerk during the meeting.

“I would like to congratulate our new Board officers made up of three Latinas, Trustee Linda Cavazos as President, Vice President Irene Cepeda and Evelyn Garcia Morales as Clerk. I look forward to working with the entire Board to focus on student achievement,” said Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “I would also like to thank outgoing President Trustee Lola Brooks for her two years of extraordinary service as President to our students and staff. Additionally, I would like to welcome our three new Trustees Evelyn Garcia Morales, Lisa Guzmán and Katie Williams to the CCSD family.”

To learn more about the Clark County School District, visit ccsd.net.

 

CCSD to Celebrate Peace Week January 18th-22nd

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CCSD is celebrating Peace Week Jan. 18 through 22, 2021. Students will take part in activities virtually that contribute to the creation of a more peaceful world. CCSD’s Peace Week theme is “Be Inclusive.”

Peace Week focuses on helping educators, students, and the community to promote a culture of peace in Nevada and around the world. Individuals work on understanding and managing conflict in their own lives.

The Clark County School District (CCSD) developed the online Canvas Peace Week 2020-2021 Guide in an effort to support schools in implementing activities that support a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning environment. The guide seeks to bolster the year-long effort by providing suggested resources, activities, and lesson plan ideas with a focus on enhancing a safe and respectful learning environment.

All CCSD schools are encouraged to post pictures on social media and share what they are doing as part of Peace Week, using hashtag #CCSDPeaceWeek.

Magnet School Applications Now Open

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Families in southern Nevada are invited to apply to any of the 40 Magnets and five Select Schools in the Clark County School District (CCSD) through January 5, 2021. The CCSD Magnet Schools and Career & Technical Academies Department will be hosting virtual Magnet 101 Parent Workshops and Fall and Winter Choice fairs over the coming months for families interested in learning about the various magnet programs throughout the District.

CCSD will continue to offer kindergarten as an option at 11 CCSD elementary Magnet Schools.

Information regarding application criteria is available online at magnet.ccsd.net.

A lottery will be conducted for any program when there are more qualifying students than available seats.

The following Magnet 101 Parent Workshops and Choice Fairs can be accessed at magnet.ccsd.net.

Magnet 101 Parent Workshops Dates and Times:

  • Thur. Nov. 12, 2020 10 – 11 a.m. & 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (Spanish Speaker)
  • Tues. Dec. 1, 2020 10 – 11 a.m. & 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Magnet Choice Fairs Dates and Times:

  • Sat. Oct. 24, 2020 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sat. Dec. 5, 2020 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

For more information about CCSD Magnet Schools, visit magnet.ccsd.net.

52 CCSD Students Named National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist

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A total of 52 Clark County School District (CCSD) high school students have been selected as semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. They represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and qualify to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million to be offered next spring.

These students were among the highest-scoring participants in Nevada, and out of more than 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools nationwide, who entered the program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which is the initial screening for program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To become a National Merit finalist, each semifinalist and his or her high school are required to complete a detailed application that provides information about the candidate’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors, and awards received. Merit Scholar designees will be selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.

“Being named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist is an outstanding accomplishment, and our students and staff should be proud,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “This demonstrates true dedication to academic achievement and I congratulate these students on this honor and wish them the best on their path to becoming National Merit finalists.”

CCSD congratulates the following National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists:

Advanced Technologies Academy

  • Garcia, Yanyel E.

  • Lewis, Colin J.

  • Perez-Herrera, Edward

  • Rice, Ty J.

  • Rose, Davis A.

  • Shadd, Isaiah E.

  • Wittwer, Colton

  • Zheng, Benet C.

 

Arbor View High School

  • Scow, Caleb B.

 

College of Southern Nevada

  • Shipley, Peverel D.

 

Coronado High School

  • Digiacomo, Nicolas G.

  • Dorrough, Patrick H.

  • Fakler, Wyatt P.

  • Gerardo, Raymond T.

  • Ghani, Moonis M.

  • Ha, Elizabeth

  • Hettinger, Joshua T.

  • Kyong, Daniel L.

  • Shankar, Sanjay C.

  • Sullivan, Zachary T.

  • Veyne, Maximilian T.

  • Vott, Steve S.

 

Ed W. Clark High School

  • Adams, Sophia

  • Birt, Charles P.

  • Chundu, Sahi

  • Chung, Kenneth J.

  • Coloma, Caitlyn Taylor H.

  • Hoffman, Malcolm T.

  • Lin, Sydney E.

  • Lok, Daniel A.

  • Patel, Dylan

  • Reddy, Jaiden S.

  • Shah, Isha K.

  • Spagnolo, Mathew

  • Tian, Melissa Y.

  • Wade, Subhan B.

  • Wang, Grace Y.

  • Wang, Kaitlyn K.

  • Wang, Yiting

  • Wrote, Evan R.

  • Zhan, Felix Y.

 

Green Valley High School

  • Nguyen, Henry J.

  • Remington, Lily E.

 

Las Vegas Academy of the Arts

  • Rohani, Kusha R.

 

Palo Verde High School

  • Carver, Clark A.

  • Nielson, Mya M.

  • Raju, Priya D.

  • Variar, Rahul G.

 

Rancho High School

  • Danser, Andrew M.

 

Virgin Valley High School

  • Tan, Jaden

 

West Career and Technical Academy

  • Jain, Vihaan

  • Kwon, Athina