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The Nevada Collaboratory

Leadership Series


Girl Hiking in Mountains

Daniel O'Gara

Daniel O’Gara has been teaching for 27 years. He was inspired to enter teaching by his two older sisters, and he is very grateful for his time in the education field. The two and a half decades have flown by for Daniel. In these years, he has served as a teacher for grades 6-12. Specifically, he teaches Science and Social Studies, but he has taught nearly every class at every level in his years as a teacher. He has a teaching license in Biological Sciences and Social Sciences, and also has his administration endorsement. Daniel began his teaching at Brinley Middle School and has taught at Western High School, Canyon Springs High School, and Legacy High School. He currently serves in a position with Homebound Services. Homebound is a unique place to work. With six teachers who deliver the core curriculum to students in grades 6-12, they are responsible for teaching numerous classes through an online portal. Daniel is passionate about online teaching and learning, and he seeks to continue to develop a robust curriculum that is available to students. Daniel truly believes that he can create and run an online program that will benefit not only my Homebound students, but other students in the district as well. Education IS life. It has been Daniel’s life up until now. He is hoping to develop an online program that will continue his education going forward.

Girl Hiking in Mountains

Grace Angel

Grace Angel is an educator with over 20 years of teaching experience; 16 years of which have been with the Clark County School District (CCSD), Nevada. Angel has worked within the district to be recognized among her colleagues as a dedicated supporter of educators, students, and a bridge to the communities they serve. Her professional work experience and administrative endorsement have led to leadership roles both on a local and state level. Angel’s work continues to focus around prominent issues in the field of education; educator empowerment and practice that impacts student success, educational equity, and building the capacity of educators to become leaders within the profession. Her current role, Educational Technology Strategist, allows Angel to coach, model, and work alongside fellow educators to apply effective strategies for using technology to create authentic learning experiences for their students.

Girl Hiking in Mountains

Jay Fair

Jay Fair is starting her fifth year of teaching within the Clark County School District. She has spent her entire teaching career at Brinley Middle School as a physical education teacher. Jay began an active role as a member of CCEA during her second year of teaching. She was chosen to be a member of the Early Career Leadership Fellow (ECLF) cohort in 2015. During that year, Jay discovered the importance of being a leader in the classroom, as well as being a leader within my local association.

Girl Hiking in Mountains

Jeniffer Calimbahin

Jeniffer Calimbahin has been an educator for fourteen years. She worked for seven years in Guam and for seven years in Las Vegas. Jeniffer holds a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and English and a Master's degree in Administration and Supervision. She currently serves as a Peer Assistance & Review (PAR) Consulting Teacher for early career educators working in Title 1 schools in the turnaround zone; an Association Representative for CCEA; a Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) National Site Visitor; and a co-coordinator of the Learn to Lead program. Her advice to new teachers would be to "take care of your needs, advocate for yourself, and surround yourself with positive people who care about student success and professional growth."

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Lauren Totaro

Lauren Totaro has been an educator in Clark County School District for 13 years. She has taught in a variety of self-contained classrooms for students with Autism, Intellectual Disability, and Emotional Disturbance. Also, she has been a SEIF and Learning Strategist. Currently, Lauren teaches primary SEC at Vail Pittman ES. Lauren has a deep passion and love for children, learning, and sharing her knowledge with other educators.

Girl Hiking in Mountains

Maria Deweerdt

A highly motivated and hardworking individual who has worked in suburban areas at both affluent and title one schools as a second grade teacher. I have worked with student council and has been the schools equity and diversity liaison. I have a master degree in differentiated instruction and ELL certification. I am truly passionate about curriculum development and helping those students that struggle with reading. I am currently working on integrating social studies standards with ELA standards in order to help others to do the same and make sure that social studies is taught in elementary schools. I have taught a professional development class on integrate social studies with ELA.

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Tiffany Valencia

Tiffany Valencia has lived in Las Vegas for almost 30 years, graduating from Cimarron Memorial in 1998 and UNLV in 2003. She has earned two Master’s degrees in Education and recently achieved National Board Certification in Social Studies. Valencia found her niche in ESD (Education Services Division) having taught 13 years of social studies at Southwest Behavior Program and transitioned to Peterson Academic Center when SW closed. She has been married 14 years to her husband Carlos & will have a soon-to-be 12 year old daughter, Havanna. Valencia was given the wonderful and challenging opportunity to facilitate Learn 2 Lead as a state coach the past few years and looks forward to supporting growing leaders again this upcoming year.

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Wendi Lytle

Wendi Lytle is a mother of two amazing young men and devoted wife to her husband of 23 years. She is currently an Instructional Strategist serving the staff, students and community of Laughlin Middle and High School. She is in her 16th year of teaching from which she brings experience from her past assignments as a high school math teacher, Dean of Students, High School Administrator, Gifted and regular elementary teacher. She keeps active in her school and district by serving on her Schools Organizational Team, running the Laughlin K-12 PLC, providing professional development opportunities and assisting with association activities. She is a team player who wants to have a positive impact on all those she meets.

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