Live at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas
"Engagement, Empowerment, and Empathy: Leading the Way in a Post-Pandemic World"


Attendees earn 1 license renewal credit (that's 15 hours) AND ALSO in CCSD 5 CUs for non-administrators or 2 salary advancement hours for CCSD administrators, & salary advancement in Washoe and most NV school districts!
$150 teacher/non-administrators
$200 NASA Members
$250 Non-NASA Members
Friday, November 5
CONFERENCE BEGINS AT 4:30 PM Outside contract hours:

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM: OPTIONAL TIME - Registration, visit exhibits, pre-conference & session that will be recorded and shared with participants.

4:30 PM - 7:00 PM: Conference Keynote Session begin

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM: Dinner/Reception with heavy appetizers, carving station & cocktails

Saturday, November 6

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM: Continental Breakfast, visit exhibits & NASA Business Meeting

8:00 AM - 6:45 PM: Conference resumes with lunch, snacks and pre-dinner champagne

6:45 PM - 9:00 PM: Honorary Dinner & Final Keynote Speaker



  • Richard Carranza, former Chancellor of New York City Public Schools
  • Eric Cross, Google Certified Innovator
  • Dr. Jesus Jara, CCSD Superintendent
  • Jhone Ebert, Nevada Superintendent of Instruction
  • Punam Mathur, Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation
  • Dr. Chandra Walker, NASSP's "Building Ranks, applicable to PreK-12 schools
  • Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor School of Education, University of Kansas & Professor in Educational Leadership, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
  • A litany of Outstanding Breakout Presenters


It is perfectly acceptable to utilize school or district funds, with the permission of your principal or supervisor, to attend NASA professional development events.
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
This time is OPTIONAL!
The Conference BEGINS at 4:30 PM

Visit Exhibits & Learn from NASA Partners
& attend Pre-Conference Informational Sessions

“Planning ahead for your PERS
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
This Pre-Conference OPTIONAL session will be recorded and the link given to all conference participants. If your schedule permits, it is best to attend this session in person for the question and answer period.
Walter Zeron
Director of Communications
Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada
Mr. Walter Zeron, Director of Communications for the Nevada Public Employee Retirement System (NVPERS), will provide a briefing on the current state of NVPERs and planning for your retirement.
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Welcome and Introductions of NASA
VIP and Diamond Sponsors
Richard Carranza
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
"So we Navigated a Pandemic:
Now what?"
Richard A. Carranza
Former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education (the nation's largest school system) from 2018 to 2021

Current Chief of Strategy and Global Development for IXL Learning
Mr Carranza's address will cover the difficulties school systems faced before, during and now after the pandemic. He will speak about the opportunities this difficult time has actually provided for us to lead education in a much more enlightened direction. 
Jhone Ebert
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
"Lessons in Resilience: Insights in Education in Nevada"
Jhone Ebert
Nevada State Superintendent of Instruction
The past two school years have been unlike any other time in our education system. While the pandemic brought unforeseen challenges, it also continues to provide lessons of resilience and important insights on how we must move ahead to ensure a more equitable future for each and every one of our students. Join Superintendent Ebert to learn about some of the key lessons from the pandemic, insights on where our students and education system currently stand, and reflections on how we can move forward to transform our education system so that every Nevada student has the tools to build a home, a life, and a future. Superintendent Ebert will also discuss how adults in the system and the community can support our students to success, as student outcomes don’t change until adult behavior changes.
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Cocktail Reception with
Heavy Appetizers and Carving Station Included
in Exhibit Hall
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Visit Exhibits & Learn from NASA Partners
Continental Breakfast Included in Exhibit Hall
NASA Business Meeting in the exhibit hall
Power Leaders of Powerhouse Schools: Supercharging with NASSP’s Building Ranks.”
General Session
for PreK-12 Educators
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Dr. Chandra Walker
Director of Leadership Development
Gwinnett County Public Schools
As a leader, your school's success begins and ends with you! NASSP’s Building Ranks focuses on the two essential domains of school leadership - building culture and leading learning. With its actionable framework, Building Ranks translates the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards into daily practice for current and aspiring school leaders. It provides a clear picture of the school leader’s complex and pivotal role in preparing each student and adult for success.

Grounded in the latest educational leadership research, this dynamic workshop introduces the Building Ranks framework in a highly interactive manner and fosters leadership growth with strategies and resources. Experience first-hand how you can bolster your leadership. With strategies, resources, and illustrations from the field, this session makes the PSEL and other national leadership standards practical. Explore the resources, build the networks, and leverage the framework of Building Ranks to support you in leading your school community to success.
Choose 1 of 7
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
"NASA Mentor Series: Accessing Your Leverage Curve to Produce Greater Outcomes"
AJ Adams
President, Nevada Association of School Administrators (NASA)
Principal, Sunrise Mountain High School
In this session, you will learn some of the most coveted productivity techniques used today by some of the most successful business leaders of our time.

Accessing your leverage curve will bring clarity and focus to your vital functions as a site-based leader, aspiring leader, or central office leader. This will not only increase your productivity, it will impact those that you lead and provide a much needed focus on your school or departmental goals to ultimately improve student outcomes. 
"Leveraging Digital Tools to Build Unstoppable Literacy Acceleration Through Engagement"
Kevin Baird
Achieve3000 Chief Academic Officer & Chairman at the Center of College and Career Readiness
Dr. Debi Crimmins
Achieve3000 Senior Vice President of Customer Advocacy
Patrick Staley
Achieve3000 Director of Customer Advocacy for Nevada
Can you accelerate literacy confidence that fuels reading proficiency for all students? Yes, you absolutely can! We can help create the right balance of trust, engagement, and digital tools to enhance the instructional strategies of our teachers. Join us for a fun, interactive discussion where we’ll grapple with the balance of technology and teaching, developing literacy acceleration for all subjects, and creating a plan to build tenacious college and career readiness for assessment, standards, and ultimately life mastery.
"Building our Cultural Competency by Recognizing Implicit Bias"
Dr. Ruben F. Cortez
Professional Development Specialist/ Instructional Leader
Cultural competence is the key to thriving in culturally diverse classrooms and schools - and it can be learned, practiced, and institutionalized to better serve diverse students, their families, and their communities. In school, our cultural competency is most affected by our underlying view of our students and their ability to be successful. Oftentimes our underlying views are shaped by biases we do not openly recognize. In this session, we will explore some of the implicit biases that may be affecting how teachers and staff view students of diverse backgrounds with the goal of building more meaningful, positive relationships with students and their families.
"How to Write Quicker, Clearer, Better IEPs"
Laurie McDanel
Susan Millones
It’s all about the impact! Learn how to connect the data in your evaluations to meaningful present levels, crystal clear goals, and purposeful accommodations. You will leave this session with guides to 5 special education cognitive challenges, which conditions and goals give them access to the general curriculum, and UDL aligned accommodations. Take back these handy tools and help your IEP teams connect the dots like never before.
"Reimagining Math Assessments to Engage and Empower ELL Students" 
Dr. Yesmi Rios
English Language Learner Coordinator, Clark County School District
Dr. Yun-En Liu
Director of Research, Enlearn
Zoran Popovic
Director of the Center for Game Science at University of Washington &
Founder of Enlearn
Dr. Imani Masters Goffney
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland, College Park
Grading and assessment reform has taken on great urgency due to the pandemic. We believe ELL students (all students) would benefit from a culture shift in their everyday classroom experiences. In this session, we will present several partial credit grading strategies we have designed for use in day-to-day mathematics instruction. These strategies are easy to teach and deploy, can be used in any curriculum, and give educators more information on their ELL students’ understanding than traditional grading practices. They also empower students to be engaged in their own learning by giving them the power to decide how they want to demonstrate their mathematical knowledge using their current level of English Language proficiency.
We will present the underlying logic and structure of some of these strategies, and invite participants to partner with us to receive and provide feedback on the implementation and refinement of these ELL strategies in their own classrooms.
"Real Talk: Reimagining A More Inclusive School Climate for African American Students"
Yvette Williams
President, Clark County Black Caucus
A discussion focused on strategies and opportunities to build a more inclusive school site environment from the perspective of community education activist and community organizer, Yvette Williams. Members and Advisors from the Black Student Union Network will add their voice to this discussion offering participants a rare opportunity to reimagine schools, while engaging in real talk. 
"The Power of Composure"
Reva Brandt 
8th Grade English & GradeTeam Co-Chair, Duane Keller Middle School
Alumni of The NASA Center for Educational Excellence Institute
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Learning
How can we do better? What is the north star of your system? What would be the ideal learning system to reach toward? Does your system include composure? Does this idea of composure include engagement, empowerment, and empathy? The ultimate goal of any improvement should be an education system that reliably serves every student. The presentation is a grassroots window into student-empowered learning.  This presentation will address the foundations of learning through the examination of composure in order to create a presence of mind in a post-pandemic world. 
Visit Exhibits & Learn from NASA Partners
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Choose 1 of 7
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
"You Can’t Teach Who and What You Don’t Know!"
This session will provide an overview of courses that will be offered via a partnership between the College of Southern Nevada and the Nevada Association of School Administrator for a "Multicultural Endorsement" in Nevada!
Brandon L. Moeller
NASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Team Secretary
Director Equity and Diversity Education Department
Clark County School District
Dr. Greta Peay 
NASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Team President 
CEO, Infinity: Diversity Matters, LLC
Tiffany Young 
NASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Team Member
Program Director for the High Sierra Starbase Program
Former Director of Equity and Diversity for the Washoe County School District (WCSD)
As educators, we must consciously work at transforming both ourselves and our professional practices so that the learning environment is a place where all students feel welcomed, and authentic relationships are cultivated. We must consistently explore our own assumptions about race, class, and culture; to model culturally responsive instructional and professional practices, and behaviors.

This session will provide an overview of the multicultural course that will be offered via a partnership between the College of Southern Nevada and the Nevada Association of School Administrators. The course was approved by the Nevada Department of Education to meet the requirements of Regulation 130-18 and NRS 391.0347 to:

• Increase awareness and understanding of race and ethnicity and the interconnectedness of race and ethnicity with other aspects of diversity, including, without limitation, geographic origin, residency status, language, socioeconomic status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, spirituality, age, physical appearance, and disability; and

• Assess the capacity of the licensee for cultural competency, facilitate the development of knowledge and skills for cultural competency and build the capacity of the licensee for cultural competency.
"Less Teacher Talk and More Student Play w/BrainPOP: an Inquiry-Based Approach to Learning"
Dr. Yvette Nishikawa
In this hands-on, interactive webinar, educators will learn more about why the central voices in the classroom should come from the learners instead of the teacher.  Inquiry is the key to harnessing student curiosity which has a tremendous impact on student motivation, engagement, and ultimately, achievement. Using BrainPOP's video resources and learning tools, participants will actively engage 'as learners" themselves, leading cycles of study, discussion, and application through use of BrainPOP's creative, project-based tools to showcase mastery of a concept. Non subscribers will leave with a 60 day temporary access pass to continue exploring BrainPOP's video library, quizzes and related materials, which cover STEM, SEL/ Health, Arts/Music, and the Humanities. Current BrainPOP customers will also gain access to any products not part of their subscriptions. 
"Strengthening School Culture: The Plan to Motivate Disengaged Students"
Joni Mason
Symptoms of student disengagement and disrespect are everywhere: increased tardiness, truancy & cell phone use, decreased homework compliance,...

Rather than address these symptoms, let’s fight the root cause by strengthening our culture so that more students try hard, and more students and parents respect their teachers and school. The need is urgent-- for teachers, for morale, and for the academic outcomes that we work so hard for each day. Education’s greatest adversary is student disengagement.
"Closing Achievement Gaps with IXL Learning"
Sarah Cranford
IXL District Partnership Specialist
In this session, you will walk away with actionable strategies on how to effectively close gaps while empowering students to take ownership of their learning.
"Using Digital Instruction to Build a Flipped Classroom and Increase Student Engagement"
Gerry Born
Principal, Odyssey Elementary School
Digital Instruction or Face-to-Face Learning? It doesn't have to be an either-or choice. The two modalities can work hand-in-hand to increase student engagement, maximize learning time, and give the lessons sticking power so the students will remember what they learned long after the bus ride home.

In this session, we'll start by exploring the philosophies of digital learning and the flipped classroom that make this combination so powerful. Then, we'll look at specific examples of how these two tools working in tandem in a variety of subjects and grade levels from Primary to High School. We'll finish by brainstorming ways that you can implement this technique in your classroom or school.
"Brain Balance: Understand It, Own It"
Amanda Arceo
Nye County School District
K-12 Math & Science Learning Coordinator
Brittany Varao
GATE and ELL Coordinator
Nye County School District
Strengthening resilience, self-regulation, and decision-making skills results in an increased enthusiasm for learning which yields improved academic outcomes. In this session, we will define trauma and learn about how its impact on different parts of the brain affect learning. The lens we use in this session is focused on English Language Learners, however strategies apply to all students. Participants will leave armed with self-soothing strategies to use in their classrooms and share with colleagues as well as a list of additional resources to further practice.
"A reboot of math assessment technology designed to encourage students’ mathematical brilliance"
Dr. Yesmi Rios
English Language Learner Coordinator, Clark County School District
Dr. Yun-En Liu
Director of Research, Enlearn
Zoran Popovic
Director of the Center for Game Science at University of Washington &
Founder of Enlearn
Dr. Imani Masters Goffney
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland, College Park
A complete reboot of math assessments is necessary. We introduce a platform that is easy to deploy in classrooms, tutoring programs, small group interventions, and home environments and rapidly measures learning impacts.
Unlike most software, the platform allows students greater autonomy in how they solve problems and provides students credit for any mathematical skill they demonstrate correctly, regardless of their final answer. Via customized dashboards, students see their improvements after 5 minutes of practice and feel empowered when their learning gaps begin to disappear. Teachers are supported with suggestions on productive math concepts to focus on if they have 15 or more minutes of instructional time with students. The detailed data allow educators to rapidly measure learning impacts of implemented interventions.
Exciting results from pilot studies will be shared. Participants will have an opportunity to engage with the platform. We invite participants to partner and co-design with us to help lead math assessment technology into the equitable and empathetic future.
LUNCH, NASA Briefing & Keynote
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
"NASA Briefing on Future Professional Development Opportunities"
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
AJ Adams
NASA President
Dr. Jeffrey Geihs
NASA Executive Director
Dr. Greta Peay
NASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Team President
"The Power of Mentors"
12:30 - 1:30 PM
Eric Cross
7th grade STEM teacher & grade level lead
Digital Learning Innovator for Albert Einstein Academies,International Baccalaureate schools
Adjunct Professor of Learning and Technology at the University of San Diego
Google Certified Innovator
CUE Lead Learner
Your students will follow you anywhere; but do you know where you are leading them? Students in our classrooms are influenced by us, not our content areas. Children seeking a meaningful human connection will make you their mentor when they need an adult to believe in. Your belief in a student will withstand childhood experiences and support them as adults. So what are you going to do with this responsibility? You are going to cultivate it, invest in it, and celebrate it. Let’s lift up our roles as mentors, to speak life into our students, unlock a world of meaningful learning, and dig deep into our stories.
Visit Exhibits & Learn from NASA Partners
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Choose 1 of 7
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
"Restorative and Culturally Relevant- Moving Toward an Anti-Racist Restorative Justice Framework"
Dr. Zachary Robbins
Principal, Cheyenne High School
President Elect of the Secondary School Principals Association of Nevada
Author of: "Restorative Justice Tribunal and ways to Derail Jim Crow Discipline in Schools"
Race and ethnicity are assets that contribute to the marketplace of ideas in schools. Diversity makes learning environments rich with possibilities. Rebuffing diversity often strains relationships, damages school climate, and creates unnecessary power struggles between students and an overwhelmingly White and female teaching workforce. This power struggle too often results in out-of-school consequences for students of color. Suspensions and expulsions are poor solutions to this puzzle. Out-of-school behavior consequences leave students out of school, disconnected from academic and emotional supports, and gaps in their learning. Session participants will learn how to respond to misbehavior and establish expectations that embrace diversity as an asset. Participants will also learn how to teach students how to navigate situations that could result in out-of-school consequences. This session will also help teachers connect with diverse learners in culturally relevant ways.
"CERT Applications in the
High School Setting"
Greg Roush
CERT Consultant
This break out session will dive deep into the CERT/ACT prep program and its practical uses in the school setting. Come see how CERT is used on a daily basis for both instructional achievement and growth towards College Readiness. Learn the variety of uses and school reports teachers and students across the country are using daily to meet the needs of instructional achievement in our schools.   
"How to Grow a School"
Dr. John Anzalone
Assistant Superintendent
CCSD Educational Services Division
NASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Team Member
Lou Markouzis
Principal, Carroll Johnston Middle School
President-elect, Nevada Association of School Administrators (NASA)
This presentation will help educators discover the vision for their schools, focus on building an instructional system that will help their schools attain and sustain success, and stress the importance of instructional coaching. Participants will leave this session with a streamlined approach to building and growing successful schools.  
"HOPE Squad: Empowering the Eyes & Ears at Your School"
Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall
Founder of Hope4Utah
Tam Larnerd
Training Facilitator - HOPE Squad
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, students struggled with the isolation of distance education, and, sadly, too many students made the decision to end the emotional pain by attempting, or successfully committing, suicide. Even with students coming back to school for in-person learning, the emotional effects of the pandemic on our students continues. Unfortunately, school administrators, counselors, and teachers sometimes struggle identifying the students who are most in need of social/emotional/mental health support. HOPE Squad uses evidence-based curriculum to train HOPE Squad advisors on how they can create a Squad of students, who are nominated by their peers, to become the eyes and ears of the school. Once trained, advisors then use the differentiated, evidenced-based curriculum, provided by HOPE Squad, to train Squad members to know the signs of suicide and self-harm so that they can identify students who are struggling. In addition, Squad members learn what questions to ask, and what not to ask, what to say, and how to persuade or refer a potentially suicidal student to an adult to prevent a tragedy from happening. (Question, Persuade, Refer - QPS) Learn about HOPE Squad and how you can implement a Squad at your school.
"Organizing Site Based Professional Development to Increase Teacher Capacity and Active Student Engagement for Learning"
Dr. Theresa H. Corry
Assistant Principal
Long STEAM Academy
Miadora Nelson
Assistant Principal
Long STEAM Academy
Assist teachers in increasing their knowledge and skills with a tied-to-the-classroom professional learning system empowering them to direct their own learning. Using a researched based Active Student Engagement Rubric correlated to the NEPF, teachers delve into conversations about specific NEPF Standards and Indicators. During the next session, they create a lesson using information gleaned and a Lesson Planning Tool. Instructional rounds are then completed. In the final session, teachers review summarized feedback, continue conversations about the NEPF standard and indicator, and create a new lesson with refinements. Teachers can then opt to have the administrator complete a formal observation on the newly created lesson.
During our session, the why, what, and how will be discussed. This will include purposeful PD for teachers of all abilities, capitalizing on instructional rounds, creative scheduling for increased teacher professional learning time, and details on the Active Student Engagement Rubric Tool and Lesson Planning Tool. 
"A Conversation on Moving to Mastery-Based Learning"
Patrick Leonard
Chief Operating Officer
MIDAS Education
If we want to change the way that teachers teach, we need to change the way that teachers learn. Please join Laurel Ballard, State Supervisor of Student and Teacher Resources for the Wyoming Department of Education, Senator Derrin Owens, Economic Development Director of Snow College in Utah, and Daron Kennett, Professional Learning Supervisor, Davis School District (Utah) in a workshop facilitated by MIDAS Education Co-Founder and COO, Patrick Leonard.

You’ll hear how both Utah and Wyoming are using mastery-based microcredentials that go beyond a simple badging system to enhance professional development and learning for teachers and administrators in their states. You’ll also hear how they plan to expand upon this work to offer rigorous microcredentials for students, targeting coursework and credit recovery, acceleration, and alignment with workforce development needs.
"Protecting Student Data"
Greg Manzi
Assistant Superintendent of the Assessment, Accountability, Research, and School Improvement Division (AARSI) in the Clark County School District (CCSD)
Tracy Viscosi
Director of the Student Information System in the Technology and Information System Services Division (TISS) of the Clark County School District (CCSD)
This session is designed for district and school administrators and staff. As educators, we must be committed to protecting student data.  How comfortable are you with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)? Join us for this introduction to protecting student data and exploring the requirements for the protection of student records, addressing who may and may not access student records, when those records may be shared, and discussing several of the applicable exceptions to the FERPA requirement for consent, especially as schools and districts emerge from the pandemic with an increased use of instructional technology.
Visit Exhibits & Learn from NASA Partners
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Dr. Jesus Jara
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Dr. Jesus Jara
Clark County School District Superintendent
"Leading the 5th largest district in the nation and the 4th largest rural in Nevada as we adapt to a new world as we ensure all children have access to high quality instruction in every classroom."
Dr. Yong Zhao
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
"Build Back Better:
Education Post COVID"
Dr. Yong Zhao
Foundation Distinguished Professor
School of Education
University of Kansas
Professor in Educational Leadership
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
A dangerous trap exists for parents, educators, and education policy makers: the learning loss. This trap comes with a large amount of data and with sophisticated projection methods. It presents a stunningly grim picture for education and it invites educators and policy makers to make wrong decisions and invest in wrong things. In this presentation, Professor Yong Zhao discusses a number of undesirable outcomes that their concerns could lead to. More importantly, Professor Zhao suggests productive actions when the pandemic is controlled and schools reopen.
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Sponsored by Achieve3000
Honoring Nevada's Elementary & Secondary assistant principals, principals, and Central Office Administrators of the Year!
Punam Mathur
Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Punam Mathur
Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation
Culminating a 25+-year career as a senior executive in the gaming industry, Mathur currently serves as Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation and operates her own business as a speaker. Within a lengthy list of volunteer and service roles, Mathur has received appointments to statewide leadership positions by the last four Governors in her home state of Nevada. She is a champion and advocate for children and public education. Despite numerous awards and recognition, the role of which she is proudest is as Mom to her three remarkable sons and one spectacular daughter. 
Dr. Cailin Ellis
2020 Secondary Principal of the Year
Kevin Carroll
Principal, Sparks High School
2021 Secondary Principal of the Year
Todd Nelson
Assistant Principal, Bonanza High School
2021 Assistant Principal of the Year
Rebecca Tschinkel
Principal, Ruben Diaz Elementary School in Clark County
2020 NAESP Distinguished Principal for Nevada
Dina Meyer
Assistant Principal at E.W. Griffith Elementary School in Clark County
2020 NESPA Outstanding Assistant Principal for Nevada
David C. Hudzick
Principal, Clarence A Piggott Academy of International Studies
2021 NAESP Distinguished Principal for Nevada
Jamie Henderson
Assistant Principal at East Valley Elementary School in Fernley Nevada
2021 NESPA Outstanding Assistant Principal for Nevada
Rosanne Richards
2020 Central Office Licensed Administrator of the Year
Greg Manzi
Assistant Superintendent of the Assessment, Accountability, Research, and School Improvement Division (AARSI) in the Clark County School District (CCSD)
2020 Central Office Professional-Technical Administrator of the Year
Bob Weires
Director, Psychological Services, Student Services Division, CCSD
2021 Central Office Licensed Administrator of the Year
Tracy Viscosi
Director, Technology and Information Systems Services, CCSD
2021 Central Office Professional-Technical Administrator of the Year
To become a NASA Member go to:
To book a hotel room online and get the group rate:

  1. Please Visit:
  2. Enter the Group Code ANA0C11 into the Group Code box, and click submit
  3. Or, can also call into the reservation hotline 800-675-3267. Inform the agent you want to book using a group code: ANA0C11.

AJ Adams
For nearly 25 years, AJ Adams has dedicated his life to serving the nation’s 5th largest school district, the Clark County School District. Throughout his career, he has been afforded a multitude of opportunities including lobbying legislators, teaching special education, an Associate Superintendent, and holding principalships at all three levels.

As the current President of NASA, AJ has extensive experience working with the community, local government municipalities, and state legislators to develop meaningful partnerships in order to provide cutting edge leadership development integrated with his passion of coaching and mentoring leaders. AJ is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Public Education Leadership Program, an alumni of the PEF Executive Leadership Academy, an alumni of NASA’s CEEI, and most recently he obtained a Certificate in Educational Finance through Georgetown University and is a Certified Executive Mindpower Coach. Additionally, he is a Nationally Certified NAESP Principal Mentor and serves on the CCASAPE Board. Currently, he is the instructional leader of a large, urban high school in Las Vegas, and he has two children of his own who both attend schools in Clark County

Amanda Arceo has been serving as Nye County’s Learning Coordinator for Math and Science since December of 2019. With over fifteen years of K-12 experience, she has served as a teacher in Hawaii, Indiana, and Washington and an administrator, in both private and public schools, in those same states as well as Nevada. Since taking her position with Nye County School District, she has been a strong advocate for improving academic opportunities for underserved and underrepresented populations. She holds three masters degrees: a M.S. in biology from the University of Toledo, a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Chaminade University, and a M.S.Ed. in Education Administration from Purdue University. This year Amanda serves as a Digital Ambassador for the Nevada Digital Learning Consortium focusing on professional development for families and teachers.   

Kevin Baird (MBA, ALEP) serves as Chief Academic Officer for Achieve3000. Kevin is a noted leader in college and career readiness content, strategies, and standards. He has participated in educational research on every continent save for Antarctica, consulted with governments to create college & career readiness initiatives, and has served as trainer and consultant for states and districts across North America. Mr. Baird has served as Chairman and Senior Faculty at the non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness. He creates graduate-level programs in College & Career Readiness for school administrators, and is a sought-after speaker around the world. An expert in the use of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence in education, he has helped to create a variety of K-12 and higher ed technologies. Mr. Baird has collaborated with Achieve3000 for more than 15 years and also contributes as a member of our Educator Leadership Council.

Reva Brandt holds two Masters in Education and in 2021 awarded by GFEL a top 100 Visionaries in Education award for her founding non-profit Leaders Act. Brandt’s 9 year career in education spans from the private sector to the public. 

Gerry Born is the Principal of Odyssey Charter Elementary School: a 4-STAR, Title I school that has been practicing blended learning for over 10 years.

Mr. Born taught Theatre at the Las Vegas Academy, Biology and Biotechnology at West Career and Tech Academy, served as a Project Facilitator for School Improvement, and worked as a Dean of Students at Cheyenne High School.

Mr. Born often teaches and writes curriculum for The Digital Leadership Institute at The Leadership Institute of Nevada. He also writes and directs theatrical performances for The Nevada Thespian Society and several Las Vegas high schools.

Richard A. Carranza is the Chief of Strategy and Global Development for IXL Learning. Having most recently served as the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation, where he was responsible for educating 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools.
During Carranza’s more than three decades in education, he has served in virtually every role. Prior to New York City, he was the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, and the seventh largest in the United States. Before that, he served the San Francisco Unified School District, first as deputy superintendent and then as superintendent. Before moving to San Francisco, Carranza was the Northwest Region Superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas. He began his career as a high school, bilingual social studies and music teacher, and then as a principal, both in Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. The son of a sheet metal worker and a hairdresser, Carranza credits his public school education for putting him on a path to college and a successful career. He believes that a great education not only changes lives, but also saves lives.
Carranza is the past chairman of the Board of Directors for the Council of the Great City Schools, where he served as a national spokesperson on significant issues facing urban school districts. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the American Association of School Administrators Executive Committee, and the K to College Advisory Board. Education Week profiled Carranza as a national “2015 Leader to Learn From.” He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education with distinction in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. He completed his doctoral coursework in educational leadership through Northern Arizona University and Nova Southeastern University. Carranza is a fluent Spanish-speaker and an accomplished mariachi musician.

Sarah Cranford brings a broad range of educational experience to her role as District Partnership Specialist. Sarah began her career in education as a high school teacher of leadership and AP U.S. History before serving as an assistant principal and principal at a large suburban high school in California. Prior to joining IXL, she was a district-level administrator for a county office of education, supporting schools that serve the most at-risk student populations. Sarah is passionate about building educational systems that are responsive to the needs of each learner. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Education from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Debi Crimmins - As a former Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida, Debi Crimmins has supervised and coordinated the district’s curriculum and instruction initiatives, secondary language arts department, intervention implementations, and professional development services for elementary, middle, and high schools.

Previously, she coordinated literacy and intervention design, language arts curriculum writing, and literacy leadership institutes as Orange County’s Secondary Language Arts Director. In addition to her administrative experience, Debi has taught graduate and undergraduate literacy education programs in colleges throughout Florida, where she has worked with beginning to veteran educators, pulling from her classroom experience as a language arts, literacy, and intervention reading teacher and administrator in the intermediate, middle, and high school setting.

Debi’s passion for literacy instruction and blended learning, coupled with a rigorous commitment to improving professional development for teachers, is modeled throughout her contemporary, research-based workshops, keynotes, seminars, and institutes around the country, as she utilizes best practice from her teaching experience as well as her Ph.D. in Literacy Intervention Instruction. Her research has been published in the English Journal, Phi Delta Kappa, ASCD, International Reading Association, and within literacy instruction books by Christopher Gordon Publishers.

Eric Cross is a full-time middle school STEM teacher, grade level lead, and Digital Learning Innovator for Albert Einstein Academies, International Baccalaureate schools. He is also Adjunct Professor in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, a Google Certified Innovator, CUE Lead Learner, and Keynote speaker. Eric earned a B.S. from Azusa Pacific University and M.Ed from the University of San Diego. Prior to teaching he spent 10 years in the private financial sector where he helped grow two startup companies. During this time he spent several years working with at-risk and underserved youth both nationally and internationally. By building relationships with students, colleagues, and the community, he has become an empowered leader in and out of the classroom. Through his meaningful learning experiences centered around student agency, STEM has become accessible and relevant to students through the thoughtful integration of digital tools into engaging culturally responsive teaching.

Dr. Theresa Corry has been in education for 29 years as a teacher, instructional coach, and administrator in multiple grade levels and two districts. Her passion for growth for teachers has been enhanced through facilitating preservice teachers at the university level, mentoring new teachers across the district, and guiding seasoned teachers to make additional gains in their craft or content knowledge. When she started getting students more involved in their learning through active student engagement, all students made two or more years of growth in nine months. Her teaching and training has been adjusted ever since!

Dr. Ruben F. Cortez is an educator with over 25 years of experience as a secondary teacher and administrator before transitioning to training, consulting, and coaching for Catapult Learning. As an administrator, Ruben worked with low-income minority students raising their achievement levels in reading and math. As an administrator in a school classified as failing, he doubled enrollment and restructured instructional practices to raise awareness and student achievement. As a Professional Development Specialist with Catapult Learning, Dr. Cortez presents nationally and internationally, trains secondary and elementary school administrators on managing organizational change and coaches teachers and instructional leaders as they implement instructional strategies and advance student achievement. Recognized for his work in ensuring school cultures that encourage continuous improvement and a desire for lifelong learning in both teachers and students, with a focus on students from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds. Dr. Cortez possesses a systematic and results-driven approach with an ability to foster meaningful relationship within the school community. Ruben has a reputation for being a passionate leader, mentor, and motivator for teachers, students and leaders. Dr. Ruben Cortez is native Los Angeleno and is married with three children and two grandchildren. Ruben recently earned his doctorate from USC in the area of Organizational Change and Management.

Specialized Training:
·       Equity Literacy
·       Recognizing implicit Bias and Striving for Cultural Competency
·       Understanding Structural Racism

·       How Teachers Respond to Bullying
·       Misrepresentation of Minorities in Special Education

Dr. Yun-En has been a researcher in machine learning and educational technology for over 10 years. He earned his B.A. in Computer Science from Princeton, and his M.A and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington. During the course of his career, he has designed or worked on algorithms, games, and software used by millions of students, and is particularly passionate about classroom and software instructional designs that give students the chance to engage with the beauty and creativity of doing math and science. In his spare time, he performs as a violinist and circus artist, while serving as executive chef of the food charity service TABLE.

Tam Larnerd, Director of Education - HOPE Squad
For 27 years, Mr. Tam Larnerd served as a Health Educator, varsity coach, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, and finally, Principal with the Clark County School District. His last assignment, before retiring in June 2021, was serving as the principal of Spring Valley High School, the only AVID National Demonstration School in Nevada. In his last six years as principal at Spring Valley, Mr. Larnerd guided the school through the authorization processes to become an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, Diploma Program, and Career-related Program world school. In his last year at Spring Valley, despite every student being at home, learning online, the school implemented a highly successful HOPE Squad with over 40 Squad members. In August 2021, Mr. Larnerd accepted the position of HOPE Squad's Director of Education. In this capacity, he serves as a Master Trainer, onboards new schools, presents at conferences, and supports HOPE Squads throughout the country.

Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall is a former high school principal and associate superintendent with the Provo City School District. He has been involved with suicide prevention for the past thirty years. He is nationally sought after for his expertise in postvention.

Dr. Hudnall is the founder of Hope4Utah, a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. The school-based program, Hope Squad, has been responsible for over 5,000 students referred for help and over 1,000 hospitalized. The Hope Squad program is now in over 950 schools around the world. For over fifteen years Dr. Hudnall has led a state-wide volunteer suicide crisis team that has responded to over fifty youth suicides.

Dr. Hudnall has presented at over 100 national and state conferences on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. He also presents on bullying, connectedness, community collaboration, and school safety. Dr. Hudnall was invited to testify before the United States Surgeon General on suicide in Utah. He has presented to the U.S. Department of Health and at the national conferences of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association of Suicidology. Dr. Hudnall was also invited to participate in a webinar on African American and suicide by the White House.
Under Greg’s direction, over 60,000 people nationwide have been
trained in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Hehas presented across the United States and to many countries around the world on suicide prevention, including to the Minister of Education for Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Hudnall is considered one of the leading experts in community and school-based suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. He lives by the mantra, “while it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire community to save one.”

Dr. Hudnall has been an adjunct professor for Brigham Young University for 15 years and was named as adjunct professor of the year in 2013. He has been recognized for his work with youth including receiving the “Silver Beaver” from the Boy Scouts of America for training over 750 scout leaders in suicide prevention. He also received the “Utah County” medal of honor for his work in making Utah
a better place to live. As a high school principal, Dr. Hudnall was named as “Educator of the Year” in Utah and recognized as one of the top administrators in the country.

Patrick Leonard is the Chief Operating Officer of MIDAS Education. He brings over three decades of experience in K-12 Education. He started his career as a high school English teacher and basketball coach before becoming an education technology executive. Patrick has as served as a VP of Curriculum Development, VP of Business Development, Regional Manager of Sales, and Director of US Sales. In every role, he has held one, very basic belief: kids are individuals, and teachers know them best. The goal is to provide the resources, training, and tools to help teachers help kids!

Joni Mason
After a 25-year career in sports marketing, Joni Mason joined the OnToCollege team seven years ago in order to use her sales and marketing skills to help spread the word about the OnToCollege mission, which is to help create more two- and four-year college graduates with minimal debt. Her passion for responsible personal finance -- and the fact that she had three children approaching college age -- made the “minimal debt” part of the mission her priority. Motivating students is the first step to achieving the OnToCollege mission by giving them a "Why to Try".

Punam Mathur
Currently, Punam serves as Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation, a private foundation that exists to advance fundamental change, primarily related to equity, civil rights and conservation. She also operates her own business as a speaker, trainer and writer.

From 2009-2012, she was an officer of NV Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NVE), a vertically-integrated statewide electric utility with 2,700 employees, serving as vice president of people resources and as vice president of employee and community engagement. 

She joined NV Energy following 13 years in the gaming industry, most recently serving as an officer and senior vice president, corporate diversity and community affairs, for MGM MIRAGE, now MGM Resorts Int’l (NYSE: MGM).

During her tenure, MGM MIRAGE received numerous awards in her areas of responsibility, including being ranked among the "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" by DiversityInc magazine, one of the "Top Corporations in the U.S." for multicultural businesses by and as one of the “Most Admired Companies in America” by Fortune magazine. Additionally, under her leadership the Company’s philanthropy program, including its centerpiece employee-directed foundation, set new standards for strategic philanthropy and employee engagement within the gaming industry.

Prior to joining the gaming industry in 1996, she had been with the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce for six years, holding a variety of management positions, the last of which was Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.

Mathur attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, studying elementary and special education, from 1979-1983. 

Community Involvement
Mathur has received appointments to statewide leadership positions by Nevada’s last four Governors:
  • Governor Brian Sandoval (R) appointed her to the Common Core Steering Committee in 2013 and to the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates in 2014. 
  • Governor Jim Gibbons (R) appointed her to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Education Reform in 2010.
  • Governor Kenny Guinn (R) appointed her to the Commission on Tourism in 2002.
  • Governor Bob Miller (D) appointed her to the Welfare Reform Task Force in 1994.

A champion and advocate for public education, she has a long history of involvement with the Clark County School District, the fifth largest district in the nation, having served on a lengthy list of committees and special task forces over the years, including the Superintendent’s Equity & Access Commission in 2019.

She also works closely with the NV Department on Education in a variety of roles to advance the ball on education reform in Nevada, including an appointment in 2019 to serve on the Commission to Reform Nevada’s 52-year-old K-12 Education Funding Formula.

In 2020, in response to the pandemic, Mathur co-founded Delivering with Dignity, an innovative emergency management solution, in which delicious meals made by independently-owned restaurants were delivered by volunteer Food Heroes to the most vulnerable members of the community. Her introduction to food insecurity occurred 12 years earlier, as the founding board chair for Three Square, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating hunger in southern Nevada. She has served on the Board of the United Way of Southern Nevada for over two decades and is active with Communities In Schools, serving as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors.

She is also active in a number of organizations to improve the effectiveness of the child welfare and foster care systems.

Awards and Recognition
She has received numerous awards including the inaugural Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson Yours in Service Award (2020) and the inaugural Athena Award from the Nevada Women’s Chamber of Commerce (2004), induction into the Nevada Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Hall of Fame (2005), “Humanitarian of the Year” by Junior League (2012), “Achievement Award” by Las Vegas India Chamber of Commerce (2013), as a Woman of Distinction by Nat’l Association of Women Business Owners (2006), a Platinum Achievement Award by the Cooperative Development Energy Program by Fort Valley State University (2011), A Lady of Distinction by Olive Crest, an organization advocating for needs of children in the foster care system (2009) and Woman of the Year by The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (2009).

She was named among “Top 100 Influential Women in Las Vegas” by MyVegas Magazine in 2014 and 2015.

Mathur resides in Las Vegas with her three amazing sons and one spectacular daughter. 

Dr. Imani Masters Goffney currently works as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland- College Park. She earned her PhD in Mathematics Education and Teaching and Teacher Education from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on mathematics instruction and on interventions designed to improve its quality and effectiveness, especially for Black and Latinx students. Her research expands our understanding of how issues of race, culture, and social class intersect with students’ opportunities for learning mathematics. She currently manages her own research projects with funding from NSF and private foundations. She is actively involved with EF+Math, as Co-PI on three projects, as the equity-in-action consultant for the EF+Math Leadership team and two additional applied research projects. She recently co-edited a book published by NCTM entitled, Re-humanizing Mathematics for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx Students (2018). 

Greg Manzi was recently appointed as the Assistant Superintendent of the Assessment, Accountability, Research, and School Improvement Division (AARSI) of the Clark County School District (CCSD). The AARSI Division provides service and support to schools, departments and divisions, the community, the Nevada Department of Education, and the federal government. The division ensures fidelity of assessments and accuracy in data reporting, as well as manages local, state, and federal accountability monitoring and compliance. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Manzi served as the Director of the Student Record Services Department in the CCSD. During the time with the department, he worked proactively to identify and implement efficiencies including the processes for creating, storing, and producing student records. Mr. Manzi is a strong administrative professional with a Master of Education (MEd) focused in Educational Leadership and Administration from Touro University, Nevada.

Laurie McDanel has an Ed.S in School Administration and a Masters in Special Educations. She has 20 years of special education classroom experience and 10 years of leadership experience at the district level.  Her innovative leadership led to significant closure of achievement gaps for students with disabilities in her district. Laurie is a co-founder and application designer for Dot It Software tools. She has served on multiple boards including ARC of Buncombe County, Family Support Network, and NC TASH.

Susan Millones has consulted with districts and trained thousands of teachers across the United States in MTSS and special education. She has presented at National Conferences including National Title 1 and has worked on federal grants for MTSS implementation. She is a graduate of the Learning Forward Academy for professional learning. She has worked with leaders in hundreds of schools to close achievement gaps, ensure authentic compliance, and improve the quality of educational experiences for students on the margins. Susan is a co-founder and systems developer for Dot it software tools. 

Brandon L. Moeller
Since 1998, Brandon L. Moeller has worked with children, families, community members, and Clark County School District staff throughout the Las Vegas valley. Mr. Moeller completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in Criminal Justice and Psychology and his master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Mr. Moeller started his career as a Juvenile Supervisor for the Clark County Department of Family Services for neglected and abused children at Child Haven. He has taught at Bracken and Tate Elementary Schools. He has served as a Literacy Specialist for the Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program. Also, he served as the Theme Coordinator for Jo Mackey Magnet Elementary School and Project Facilitator in recruitment for the District’s Human Resources Division, Support Staff Personnel Services. Currently, Brandon L. Moeller is the Clark County School District’s (CCSD), Equity and Diversity Education Department, Director. Mr. Moeller actively supports the District’s initiatives on equity, culturally responsive practices, and inclusive learning environments. The Equity and Diversity Education Department provides customized professional learning sessions districtwide to cultivate the attitudes, knowledge, and skills required for a culturally inclusive learning environment for all students, staff, and community members. Mr. Moeller’s commitment to education has led to multiple awards such as Teacher of the Year, CCSD Rave Reviews, and the Clark County School District Hall of Fame – Excellence in Education. Educational Background  Doctor of Education Student, with a focus in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in K12 Leadership (2020-2023)  National Certification, Intercultural Development Research Academy (2018)  Executive Certificate, Educational Leadership, and Management, Georgetown University (2017)  Certification, Cultural Competency, National Academic Education Partners (2016)  CCSD Administrative Leadership Program (2007)  Master’s in Educational Leadership, University of Nevada Las Vegas (2005)  Urban Teaching Partnership Program, University of Nevada Las Vegas (2000)  Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, University of Nevada Las Vegas (1994)  Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, University of Nevada Las Vegas (1994)

Miadora Nelson has served in public education for the past seventeen years serving Title 1 and at risk populations. During her experience in the Clark County School District, she has been a teacher, learning strategist, and school administrator. Through her leadership work, she co-created a research based rubric designed to coach and build teacher efficacy in student engagement aligned with the Nevada Educator Performance Framework.

Dr. Yvette Nishikawa is a former classroom ELL teacher and district level administrator who currently works for BrainPOP in partnership development. She began her teaching career in Southern California but migrated north to Bend, Oregon where she resides now. She is a parent to four teenagers and two canines.

Dr. Greta Peay joined the Clark County School District (CCSD) in 1987, following eight impressive years of service within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System, Charlotte, North Carolina. She has dedicated thirty-nine years of service to the education profession. Her career is best described as a change agent and an advocate for social justice, and equitable opportunities. Greta Peay is locally and nationally known for her professional development skills to educate others about best practices in the areas of literacy, language acquisition, differentiated instruction, cultural competency, diversity, equity, inclusion, and matters related to educational and organizational equity. She retired from the Clark County School District as the Chief, Instructional Services Officer, where she was responsible for divisions such as:
Assessment, Accountability, Research and School Improvement
Adult Education and Alternative Education
Athletics and Fine Arts
CCSD Charter Schools
College and Career Readiness
Curriculum and Professional Development
English Language Learner Programs
Equity and Diversity Education
Grants Department, Inclusive of Title I and Title II Federal Grants
Indian Education Opportunities Program
Magnet Schools
Student Services Division, Special Education

Throughout her career, Greta Peay has served as an elementary and a middle school teacher; a Title 1 Language Arts Learning Strategist, an English Language Learner Specialist, a Literacy Specialist, a Regional Professional Development Literacy Trainer for Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program, a special education middle school teacher, an elementary level school site principal, a CCSD Northeast Region Coordinator, a Director of Support Staff and Teacher Recruitment, Director of Equity and Diversity, Multicultural Adjunct Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a community advocate.

She is a licensed certified educator in two states, North Carolina, and Nevada. She completed 80-hours of curriculum earning a cultural diversity diploma from the Intercultural Research Development Academy and she is certified via the Cultural Intelligence Center on cultural competency and bias. Greta is an active board member on the following Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Boards- Discovery Children’s Museum, McGraw- Hill Publishing Company, and the Nevada Association of School Administrators. Currently, she is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of her own consulting business; Infinity: Diversity Matters, LLC.

Zoran Popovic is Director of the Center for Game Science at University of Washington and founder of Enlearn. Trained as a computer scientist, his research focus is on creating interactive engaging environments for learning and scientific discovery. His laboratory created Foldit, a biochemistry game that produced five Nature publications, and award-winning math learning games played by over five million learners worldwide. He focuses on engaging methods that can rapidly develop experts in arbitrary domains, especially K-12 mathematics. His Algebra Challenges conducted in Washington, Minnesota, and Norway, showed 96% children demonstrating mastery of key algebra concepts in 1.5 hours. He founded Enlearn to apply his generative adaptation work towards the goal of achieving full mastery by 95% of students. His contributions to the field of interactive computer graphics have been recognized by several awards including the NSF CAREER Award, Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award. 

Dr. Yesmi Rios has been a K–12 Coordinator of English Language Learner Services in the Clark County School District for the past 17 years, supporting  over 300 K-12 schools. She also serves as an educator council member and provides expertise in math curriculum and instruction as it pertains to working with Black, Latinx students and students living in poverty.  She has served as a high school administrator, a math department chair, a director of technology in construction management, a math lecturer, and a consultant to school districts. She has received awards from professional associations and school districts for her commitment and contributions to education. Dr. Rios has undergraduate degrees in Math and Spanish from the University of California, Davis, an MA in Education Administration from San Francisco State University, an MA in Education in Math from Harvard University and completed a Ph.D that focused on assessments and language proficiency.  

Dr. Zachary Robbins serves as principal at Cheyenne High School, where he has had a profound impact. In his first year of leadership, Cheyenne High School earned (and has maintained) the highest graduation rate in its history. More students participate in Advanced Placement classes and take dual enrollment classes than at any point in the school’s history.

Dr. Robbins is the author of the book "Restorative Justice Tribunal and ways to Derail Jim Crow Discipline in Schools," published by Routledge Education Press. Dr. Robbins and his Cheyenne team established the first restorative justice program in Nevada, successfully reducing suspension and expulsion rates.

Dr. Robbins is the 2021 City of Las Vegas African-American Trailblazer in Education Award Recipient. He has served on the Governors’ School Safety Committee and serves on the state superintendent's principals advisory committee. Dr. Robbins is the President-Elect of the Secondary School Principals Association of Nevada.
Greg Roush is a retired high school principal with 28 years of educational experience. Mr. Roush has completed 6 years as a high school principal, 5 years as an elementary principal, and was a middle school director for two. He began his educational career as a middle school math teacher in 1992. His success and experience as an administrator led to a Distinguished high school award in 2016 and an elementary school title of Proficiency in 2009. He received his bachelors, and two masters degrees from Eastern Kentucky University. 

Patrick Staley - An expert in the field of online and blended learning, Patrick Staley has studied, published, and designed blended learning models that integrate instructional technology to accelerate student growth. He began his education career as a teacher, coach, and trainer in Chicago. There he helped launch one of the first school-wide adoptions of the “flex” blended learning model. Moving to a more national focus, he worked directly with districts across the country to create implementation models and teacher professional learning plans. His current mission is to support Achieve3000’s largest district partnerships, including Clark County School District in Nevada.

Brittany Varao currently serves as the GATE and ELL Coordinator for Nye County School District, and is an educational consultant that presents nationwide. She has taught gifted curriculum at the university level and is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in administration.

Tracy Viscosi is the current Director of the Student Information System in the Technology and Information System Services Division (TISS) of the Clark County School District (CCSD). In this role, she is responsible for assisting in guiding the state-wide implementation of Infinite Campus, including the protection of student data through business rules, product design, and user rights recommendations. Mrs. Viscosi first started in education after receiving a degree in Biological Science, deciding to change her path and become a teacher in Nevada. After falling in love with the classroom, she completed a professional degree in secondary science education and became a licensed teacher. Since then Mrs. Viscosi has spent more than 20 years working in the CCSD serving as a secondary science teacher and building level administrator. Mrs. Viscosi is a licensed administrator with a Master of Education (MEd) focused in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Technology.

Dr. Chandra Walker, Director of Leadership Development, for Gwinnett County Public Schools, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in 1997, Master’s Degree in Counseling from University of West Georgia in 2000, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University in 2006. 

With more than 23 years of experience in public education, Dr. Walker maintains a passion and commitment to improving student outcomes. Since joining Gwinnett County Public Schools in 2003, she has served in the roles of Executive Director of HR Staffing, Principal, Assistant Principal, and School Counselor. Key outcomes of her work include the design and implementation of comprehensive processes to identify, recruit, and retain school teachers and leaders that ensure educational equity and improve student learning. Her expertise in targeted leadership training, coaching, and mentoring is consistently leveraged to build the instructional capacity of school leaders and leadership teams to effectively map, monitor, and measure school improvement processes that lead to school success.

As a 2009 graduate of Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Quality-Plus Leader Academy - Aspiring Principal Program, Dr. Walker understands that leadership matters. During her tenure as an elementary principal, she created a high-performance culture that met the needs of students, staff, parents, and school community. As a result, her school was awarded a Distinguished Performance Level Score from Vanderbilt Assessment in Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) and the 2011 Platinum Award-CRCT Greatest Gains from the Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement. Dr. Walker currently serves as Director of Leadership Development in the Division of Human Resources and Talent Management, effectively supporting the district’s 180,000 students achieve college and career readiness.

Ms. Young is a mother of two beautiful children, KaPreace (25, UNR Graduate) and Anthony (20, UNR Sophomore).  She is an advocate for families, community, young women, and education.  As a resident of the Reno/Sparks community for over 25 years, she has been a spokesperson for the community, diversity and equitable practices, student achievement, and community and economic development.  She is a public speaker, trainer, business owner, workshop facilitator and community collaborator at heart.  

Ms. Tiffany Young has been named the new Program Director for the High Sierra Starbase program, and is the former Director of Equity and Diversity for the Washoe County School District (WCSD).  Her work is within systems to support and clarify the role of Equity and cultural competency interwoven into all schools, departments, and systems. Ms. Young leads work around programs and policies that must addressed through an equitable and culturally responsive lens, as well as creating and facilitating professional learning around Equity and Cultural Competency and owns her own consulting business, Tiffany Young Consulting LLC. Ms. Young is a Fulbright Specialist with U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Ms. Young holds a M. Ed. and B.A. from the University of Nevada Reno where she is also an Adjunct Professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Department. Ms. Young has served the WCSD Parent Involvement Committee as a member chair. Ms. Young has been a Commissioner for the Nevada Equal Rights (NERC) Commission since January 2006, and has participated as a Peer Mentor for the Department of Justice Community Capacity Development Office (formerly the Executive Office for Weed and Seed).  She has served as the M.C. for the Northern Nev. Human Resources Assoc. Conference in addition to facilitating workshops on Diversity, and Community Involvement.  She is the current past President of the N. Nv. Black Cultural Awareness Society (NNBCAS). She previously served as a Board Member for Join Together Northern Nevada (a drug prevention coalition), the Impartial Policing Advisory Committee, and the Human Services Network.  She was awarded the Education Service Award by the African American Clergy Council of Northern Nevada (AACCONN), and was appointed to the Commission on Minority Affairs from 2013 to 2014. Awarded a Community Service Award by the local chapter of the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, and served as the Keynote speaker for the National Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club conference held in Reno in 2012.

In 2019, Tiffany traveled to Zambia to co-facilitate a Training of Trainers model for girls under the age of 25 from peri-urban areas including Garden, Kamwala, Matero, Mutendere and Chawama. The Training of Trainers will guide volunteers of She Entrepreneur to integrate into trainings, lessons that address the social needs of young mothers, mostly adolescents who are part of She Entrepreneur program. Secondly, to incorporate lessons on diversity, inclusion and equity into the She Entrepreneur’s program.

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in Australia. He previously served as the Presidential Chair, Associate Dean, and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Prior to Oregon, Yong Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the International Academy of Education.
Yong Zhao has received numerous awards including the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research AssociationOutstanding Public Educator from Horace Mann League of USA, and Distinguished Achievement Award in Professional Development from the Association of Education Publishers. He has been recognized as one of the most influential education scholars.
His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books, including An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success (2019) What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education (2018), Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children (2018),  Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes(2016), Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job: Correcting Top 5 Ed Tech Mistakes (2015)Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World (2014), Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization (2009)and World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (2012).
Yong Zhao, Ph.D.
Foundation Distinguished Professor
School of Education
University of Kansas
Professor in Educational Leadership
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Recent Books:  
Teaching Students to Become Self-Determined Learners (ASCD, 2020),  An Education Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success (Teachers College Press, 2019), What Works Can Hurt: Side Effects in Education (Teachers College Press, 2018). Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children (Corwin, 2018), Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes (Solution Tree, 2016), Never Send a Human to Do a Machine's Job: Correcting Top 5 EdTech Mistakes (Corwin, 2015), Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and worst) Education in the World (Jossey-Bass, 2014), World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (Corwin, 2012).