Presenter Bios

Lacey Carey
Instructional Coach
Lacey Carey is a National Board Certified educator with over a decade of experience in grades K-6. She holds endorsements in both Teaching Gifted and Talented Students and English Language Learners. She earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada and is currently an Instructional Coach working with elementary school educators. She also teaches classes for endorsement in gifted and talented education through the Northwest Regional Professional Development Program.

Joanna Kaiser
GATE Implementation Specialist
Joanna Kaiser has been a teacher for 22 years including 18 years in the classroom and 4 years as the GATE Implementation Specialist for Carson City School District. Joanna is a life-long learner and has her master’s in literacy as well as her National Board Certification in “Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood”. She also was honored as “Teacher of the Year” for Carson City School District in 2019 and was a finalist for Nevada Teacher of the Year.

Rana Koran
NBCT ELA-EA, Facilitator Nevada National Board Professional Learning Institute, Video Production Teacher
Rana’s route to teaching took her through numerous jobs including costuming, stage management, editing, news writing, commercials, and tech management. When she finally settled on the idea of creating safe spaces for people to be creative, she went back to school to add on teaching to her Theatre Master’s and hasn’t looked back since. She became a NBCT in 2018 and just recently earned her Master’s in ELL. She supports candidates in the National Board process by facilitating for the Nevada National Board Learning Institute. She is currently researching Social Emotional Learning and Trauma Affected Classrooms.

Rita MacDonald
Rita MacDonald is a researcher at WIDA in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses on the equitable inclusion of multilingual learners in science, and she co-leads Making Science Multilingual. She serves on NSTA’s Committee on Multicultural/Equity in Science Education. Her NSF-funded research to develop and pilot inclusive STEM discourse supports to engage multilingual learners can be found at the project website:

Ursela Garvin
Robotics Teacher, Owner, STEMbotics Learning Center
Ursela Garvin is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Education: Information Technology (2006) and a Masters of Art & Teaching in Business Education (2008). She is a fifteen year veteran educator and currently teaches Robotics at Jim Bridger STEAM Academy in Las Vegas, NV. She currently serves as Past-President of the Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA) – Nevada Silver State. She is also the owner of STEMbotics Learning Center which is a K-8 agriculture & robotics summer camp. The goal of her STEAM program is to promote healthy living and community gardens through the use of robotics and agriculture. She is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and serves as mentor/facilitator for the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) NBCT program. Her goal is to lead middle school teacher leaders who are pursuing their NBCT Certification to certification success. She was awarded the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Educator Honorable Mention Award for the 2020-2021 school year for her contributions to women in technology at her school. In February 2022, she was appointed to the North Las Vegas Education Advisory Council.  The goal of the council is to provide additional supports to the 44 schools in North Las Vegas.

David T Crowther, PhD
Dr. David T Crowther is a Professor of Science Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Crowther is also Co-Lead on the Making Science Multilingual Program that is a collaboration with the WIDA Consortium and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Dr. Crowther is a past president of NSTA (2017- 18),), past president of the Nevada State Science Teachers Association (NSSTA)(2014-16), past president of the Council of Elementary Science International (CESI) (2001-03), served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Science Teacher Educators (ASTE)(2011-15) and former director of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education (2013 – 20).

Dr. Jeffrey A. Hinton
Dr. Jeffrey Allen Hinton has been teaching US history for over 20 years and in that time has amassed wide knowledge and experience in innovative teaching practices such as project-based learning. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Hinton has earned degrees in curriculum, and instruction, US history, and educational policy and leadership, additionally he also holds doctor of education degree in curriculum, instruction and assessment. Dr. Hinton has been recognized for his teaching excellence being named the National Council of the Social Studies Teacher of the Year and Nevada Teacher of the Year. Dr. Hinton is a speaker, blogger, and writer.

Ernie Rambo, NBCT, PhD
Programs Coordinator, NV National Board Professional Learning Institute
Ernie Rambo retired from the Clark County School District, Nevada after 29 years of elementary and middle school classroom teaching. Ernie holds National Board Certification (Early Adolescent Generalist) and a Ph.D. in Education, with an emphasis on professional learning. She serves as an education consultant for the Nevada National Board Professional Learning Institute. Ernie writes and assesses micro-credentials with the NEA and the Center for Teaching Quality and co-organized four ECET2SW Conferences in Nevada and California. Past presentation experiences include the National Network of State Teachers of the Year and the Association for Middle Level Education. Dr. Tonia Holmes-Sutton is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). She leads in education advocacy in Nevada in leadership service to teachers with Teach Plus Nevada and Nevada National Board Professional Learning Network. Holmes-Sutton previously served as a Governor-appointed member of the Nevada State Board of Education and presently serves on governance boards for WestEd, National Teachers Hall of Fame, Nevada State Public Charter School Authority Board, and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Additionally, she leads and serves as the principal founder and executive director for National Board NAME, a national affiliate of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Kathleen Hauser
Read By Grade Three Literacy Strategist
I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, minoring in English, from Buffalo State College. This means that in addition to teaching, I’m well-versed in snow, chicken wings, and football – Go Bills! My Master’s, a degree in Curriculum and Instruction, was earned at UNLV. After further professional development, I attained my Literacy Endorsement and later achieved National Board Certification. Presently, I work as a Read By Grade 3 Literacy Strategist in Summerlin, Las Vegas. In my current role, I offer instructional support to students, families, staff, and our community.

Kerry Treichel, MEd, NBCT
Kerry Treichel has a NBCT in Early/Middle Childhood Reading & Language Arts. She holds a Masters of Arts in Elementary Education and is an alumni of Public Education Foundation’s Teacher Leadership Academy. She created “CALM – Cultivating Awareness, Longevity, and Mindfulness in Education” a program that empowers teachers with tools to be able to work with job related stress while maintaining a balanced life. Her passion is teaching, whether 5th graders or adults. In addition to being a school teacher, she teaches meditation, yoga, and leads Yoga Teacher Trainings and retreats. She works with small businesses and corporations, sharing health and wellness techniques to enhance personal and professional lives for optimal productivity in all facets of life. Additionally she is a 500 Hour Educator for Yoga Alliance and a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.

Ben Nguyen
CTE Teacher
Ben is an 8th-year Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher in the Clark County School District at Sunrise Mountain High School. He is an active member of the robotics community in the State of Nevada and works diligently to expand access to equipment, training, and career pathways for youth. He loves his work as a teacher among other roles, and he loves to share his experiences to elevate the role of public education in shaping the future.

Nicole Witkowski
Elementary Music Educator
Nicole Witkowski is a Music Educator at Edith W. Fritsch Elementary School (Carson City School District), located in Carson City, Nevada. She currently teaches general music to kindergarten through fifth grade students. Nicole was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education at Duquesne University (2017). Upon graduation, Nicole moved to Carson City and has been teaching there since. Nicole continued her studies and earned her Master’s in Administration at Grand Canyon University (2020). During her time in the Carson City School District, Nicole was recognized as “Rookie of the Year” (2019), and the “Rotary Teacher of the Month” (2022). She enjoys working with elementary students in Carson City and hopes to pursue administration in the future.

Deanne Moyle-Hicks
2022 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Deanne Moyle-Hicks, the Nevada 2022 Nevada Teacher of the Year is a 29-year veteran with a National Board Certification in literacy. Deanne graduated from Eureka High, a rural school in central Nevada and then earned a teaching degree from the University Nevada Las Vegas. While teaching elementary school in Elko, NV she completed a Masters degree from Lesley University. Deanne has taught all grades K-6 and has spent the last 4 years on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation looping with her students. Moyle-Hicks advocates for education that provides relevant and rigorous learning experiences provided by empowered teachers.

Jen Loescher
Regional Math Trainer
Jen Loescher has been an educator for 22 years. In 2018, she joined the Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program as a regional math trainer and is currently a Senior Policy Fellow with Teach Plus Nevada and a Critical Process Friend with Nevada Succeeds’ InspirED 2.0 Global Fellowship. From 2009-2018, she served as a Learning Strategist and Data Coordinator for a middle school. Jen taught 6th grade math for 8 years and 2nd grade for one year. She is an alumnus of the Public Education Foundation’s Teacher Leadership Academy, the Tuva Fellowship, and the inaugural Teach Plus Nevada Fellowship.

Christin O’Keefe
Christin O’Keefe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies and earned a Master of Science degree in elementary education with an emphasis in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2014. Ms. O’Keefe has taught third- and sixth-grade STEM and currently serves as a Math Instructional Coach for Northwest Nevada Regional Professional Development Program. She is a board member Coral Academy of Science Charter School and serves as a member of Washoe County School District’s Math Content Leadership Team. She received Accord Education’s Teacher of the Year in 2011.

Aaron Grossman
5th Grade Teacher
Aaron Grossman is a 5th grade teacher in Washoe County School District. Aaron was his district’s 2017 Teacher of the Year and a Nevada 2018 Teacher of the Year Finalist. Aaron also earned a 2014 EdWeek Leader to Learn From award for bringing College, Career, and Civic Ready outcomes into classroom across the country. Aaron co-created the website where he posts free curricular supplements and classroom management tools.

Brittany Holmes-Sutton
Graduate Assistant, Office of Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education
Brittany Holmes-Sutton is a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Ms. Holmes-Sutton is a member of the Black Graduate Student Association (BSGA), a student therapist, and a mental health advocate. She is also a member of the Delta Kappa International Marriage and FamilyTherapy Honor Society. She serves as a Community Engagement and Outreach Coordinator, a UNLV orientation leader, and a graduate assistant for the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. She has been a member of the Southern Nevada community for over 25 years.

Dr. Carrie A. Buck
President, The Pinecrest Foundation; Senator, Nevada State Legislature
Serving 27 years in the field of education, Dr. Carrie Ann Buck served in the role of classroom teacher, English Language Learner Specialist, Assistant Principal, Executive Director, and President. She worked in the Clark County School District and Pinecrest Academy of Nevada. She holds a Masters’ degree in Administration and Supervision and a Doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership and has attended the Public Education Foundation Executive Leadership Academy, USC Urban Superintendent Academy, as well as earned a school finance certificate from Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy. As the Principal of C.T. Sewell from 2006 to 2014, Dr. Buck’s leadership efforts resulted in an increase in student achievement from 35% to 83% in reading and 36% to 90% in math. Sewell was designated a National Model School, High Achieving School, and a National Title I Distinguished School. In 2008, she won the prestigious Milken award for her work in education. In 2014, as Executive Director of Pinecrest Academy of Nevada, she increased enrollment and student achievement from one struggling school with 700 students and a 3-star state rating to 5 campuses with all 5-star ratings, serving nearly 6000 students, growing the system to one of the top charter schools in the state. In 2019, Dr. Buck became the President of the Pinecrest Foundation, creating innovative programs, building partnerships for dual enrollment and workforce development for students, observing and recruiting student teachers for Pinecrest classrooms, and mentoring new or struggling principals. She developed a four week financial literacy class for students across the nation, a hockey themed Teacher’s Knight Out incentive program, and a Master Teacher recognition program to highlight and retain teachers in classrooms culminating in a Master Teacher gala at the end of the school year. Dr. Buck also teaches in the Master’s and Doctoral program at Touro University and was elected as a Senator to the Nevada State Legislature in November of 2020.