Meet some of our leaders

Joseph Rekrut

Where are you from?
I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island.  After high school, I attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and moved to Las Vegas to teach second grade right after graduating in 1991.

What is your current job?
I am currently the principal of Dr. Beverly S. Mathis Elementary School.

What do you love about CCSD?
My career in the district has allowed me to meet and work with hundreds of excellent educators over the years.  I love the relationships that I have built with staff, students and families over my 27 years with CCSD.

What’s a fun fact about you?
During my time as a principal in the CCSD, I have had the privilege of opening three new schools.

Describe your job
As principal, my job is to hire the finest staff available and give them the professional freedom to create the optimal learning environment for our students.

How does CCSD support your growth?
Even after 27 years, I can honestly say that I learn something new every day.  If you are passionate about teaching and learning, the CCSD provides opportunities for you to be your best.

Jennifer Varrato

Where are you from?
Southern California – La Mirada, CA

What is your current job?
Director II, Employee Onboarding and Development

What do you love about CCSD?
I love the amazing people with whom I work.  I am surrounded by talented individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of students.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I love snowboarding and was so pleased to know that I can snowboard locally at Mt. Charleston or just make a quick 2.5 hour drive to Brianhead, Utah!

Describe your job
I have the best job in CCSD!  My team and I onboard approximately 1800 new teachers hired every year.  We provide on-going professional learning opportunities for these teachers and ensure they have the support they need to be successful in the classroom.  In addition, we facilitate the Accelerated Licensure Teacher Academy for those who have bachelors degrees outside of education and are interested in becoming teachers, provide training for support staff employees, and assist with preservice placements.

How does CCSD support your growth?
CCSD has been a great career ladder for me.  In 1996, I came to CCSD as an ELL teacher.  Since then I’ve had the opportunity to work as a Teacher on Special Assignment for the English Language Learner Department and K-12 Literacy Department, Coordinator for K-12 Literacy, and now Director for Employee Onboarding and Development.

Dr. Celese Rayford

Where are you from?
Native of Las Vegas, Nevada

What is your current job?
I am the proud principal of Manuel J. Cortez Elementary School.

What do you love about CCSD?
The Clark County School District (CCSD) has afforded me many opportunities. As a teacher, school administrator, and central office administrator, I have been challenged by great mentors who care, provide guidance, and show support. CCSD has been a great place for me to grow professionally and thrive. I truly believe we have some of the most talented and passionate educators and support professionals in the field.

What’s a fun fact about you?
My parents worked for CCSD and are retired. With me still part of the CCSD family, we have a total of 80+ years of service to this community.

Describe your job
The mission of the Curriculum and Professional Development Division is to provide leadership and guidance to all stakeholders to increase student achievement through standards-based curricula, professional learning, and educational support.

How does CCSD support your growth?
I have been part of the CCSD family for 20 years. I began my CCSD career as a third grade teacher. During this time, I was encouraged to consider an administrative career path through a partnership between CCSD and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) educational leadership master’s program. I served as an assistant principal for two and a half years and as a principal for 10 years. As a principal, I was encouraged by my supervisor to seek my doctorate degree in the UNLV executive leadership program. Shortly after earning my doctorate, I was a participant in the inaugural cohort for the Public Education Foundation’s executive leadership program. Currently, I am a participant in the National Institute for School Leadership, the executive development program, sponsored by CCSD. I have been afforded so many more opportunities than I can name that have helped with my professional growth.