Monday, May 9, 2016

The Heart Of Education Awards At The Smith Center Honors Educators

Clint Holmes Performing 
On Saturday, May 7, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts honored educators from the Las Vegas valley as it hosted The Heart of Education Awards.  The special event powered by The Rogers Foundation recognized hundreds of Clark County School District (CCSD) teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and have greatly contributed to their education, livelihood and betterment.
 Capathia Jenkins
In its inaugural year, The Heart of Education Awards recognized more than 800 finalists for their outstanding contributions. Of those 800 plus finalists, 21 teachers received special recognition and were awarded a commemorative Heart of Education trophy, a cash prize of $5,000 sponsored by Wynn Las Vegas and a $1,000 check to benefit a program of their choice at their school. These recipients are: 

Allison Halpin, Arbor View High School
Amanda Jones, C. P. Squires Elementary School
Beatriz Romero, Western High School
Brittany Boyle, Vegas Verdes Elementary School
Christa Fialkiewicz, Green Valley High School
Donald Bernard, West Preparatory Academy
Elizabeth Mulvey, Whitney Elementary School
Eric Stensrud, Cimarron-Memorial High School
Heather Houchens, Barbara & Hank Junior High School
Jessica Banales, J. E. Manch Elementary School
Justin Brecht, John F. Mendoza Elementary School
Linda Coleman, John W. Bonner Elementary School
Lynne Gronert, Selma F. Bartlett Elementary School
Marc Rogers, Cimarron-Memorial High School
Melissa Gillespie, Global Community High School
Michele Kamleiter, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
Paul Beuning, Chaparral High School
Robin Fulmer, Moapa Valley High School
Samantha Jiminez-Hooks, Jack & Terry Mannion Middle School
Sheburra Moore, Roy W. Martin Middle School
Shirley Cunningham, Charles Silvestri Junior High School
An additional award was presented by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “R-J’s People’s Choice Award,” to Martin Vece from Canyon Springs High School, who received a $10,000 cash prize after taking in more than 10,000 votes. Five principals were also honored for their exceptional efforts, each receiving a $5,000 check presented by The Public Education Foundation. These recipients are:

Debbie Brockett
Dr. Dustin Mancl
Dr. Reece Oswalt
John Haynal
Lisa Burkhead

The show produced by The Smith Center president and CEO, Myron Martin featured Las Vegas headliner Frankie Moreno, renowned singer Clint Holmes, Broadway singing sensation Capathia Jenkins and famous poet, writer and performer Shane Koyczan – all who delivered extraordinary performances in honor of the special event. The evening was emceed by stage, film and TV star Erich Bergen, who currently appears in Madam Secretary. The invitation-only affair also featured an appearance by Pat Skorkowsky, CCSD Superintendent, Rogers Foundation representatives Beverly Rogers and Rory Reid as well as Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who came out to support this honorary initiative. Also presenting was Las Vegas Review-Journal Publisher Craig Moon, President and CEO of The Public Education Foundation Judi Steele, Chairman of the Board for The Smith Center, Don Snyder, Vice Chairman Dr. Keith Boman and Roger Thomas, Designer.

Inspired by a program created by the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The Heart of Education Awards celebrates outstanding teachers from various Clark County schools, inviting nominated applicants to share personal accounts of how they positively impacted the needs and education of a student or classroom. In addition to The Rogers Foundation and Wynn Las Vegas, major supporters included AEG Live, Cirque du Soleil®, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Switch, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and NV Energy.

For more information about The Heart of Education Awards, please visit

Credit: Erik Kabik and Geri Kodey

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