MV teachers and staff are back




A group of local teachers are happy to be back for a new school year as they attend the annual “Welcome Back Teachers” event last week. Pictured, left to right, are Esmie Serrano, Gary Watkins, Bryan Linford, Trina Linford, Sean Tyler and Lacey Tom. PHOTO BY LAURA ROBISON/Progress

Principals, teachers and support staff from the four Moapa Valley schools were warmly welcomed at an annual breakfast held on Wednesday morning August 3rd. The breakfast was held in the cafeteria at Moapa Valley High School.

As is tradition, a full pancake breakfast was prepared and served by members of the Moapa Valley Rotary Club.
“We’ve been doing this for about 15 years now,” said Rotary President Suzy Bennett. “We love our schools and staff and are happy to show them our support.”

MVHS Principal Hal Mortensen greeted the crowd at the start of the day.
He then introduced the new staff members of MVHS this year. These included Mandi Leavitt, teaching business; Sean Tyler, Chorus/Orchestra teacher; William Ragland, Music teacher; Allison Coble as Group Helper; new goalies Holly Chow and Jeannie Lawrimore; Outstanding Student Assistants Irene Hauver and Dallin Garlick; new school banker Alisha Cooper; and school staff Rondalene Brandon.

Kendall Frost and Mike Cook of the Moapa Valley Rotary Club help prepare breakfast at last Wednesday’s “Welcome Back Teachers” event. PHOTO BY LAURA ROBISON/Progress

Some new staff assignments have also been assigned this year, Mortensen noted. Shelie Jensen will be the secretary, and Heather Larsen the office manager.

A few of MVHS’ athletic trainers performed a comedy skit about sitting on invisible benches. They all fell to the ground when told that the invisible benches had been moved.

We caught up with new MVHS music teacher, William Ragland, who moved to the Mississippi Valley to take the job. “I’ve been here before because I like to travel and ride motorcycles,” Ragland said. “About 8 weeks ago I was in Moapa Valley and heard there was an opening in Clark County. I applied on a Friday, got the job on a Monday , packed in one day and was here 32 hours later.

At Ute V. Perkins Elementary, Mortensen featured Hailey Bromley as the new first-grade teacher, Stephanie Viers as the third-grade teacher, Monica Dominguez as the new library helper, Penny Harris as the new Helper Perk (transferring from SpEd position) and the new Special Education Instructional Facilitator is Edie Park.

Some Perkins staffers performed a skit in which everyone told a “secret” to the next person in line. The last person revealed that there was no skit prepared.

Jaydel Wilson, the new principal of Mack Lyon Middle School, introduces himself to the crowd. He also recognized some new teachers and assignments at the school. Melissa Evans is an English teacher. David Hardy will teach social studies. Vanessa Fullman will be the new librarian. Mitzi Bender will teach Band. Natalie Bennion will be the school banker and Marissa Moss the teachers’ assistant.

Wilson read a satirical poem he wrote and also said, “I am very happy to be here at Mack Lyon and in this valley. I look forward not only to working with the staff, but also to meeting all of the wonderful students.

Kelby Robison, Principal of Grant Bowler Elementary, then took the stage to introduce his newest staff members. These included kindergarten teacher Sherrie Kaylor; new second-grade teachers Crystal Houston, Wendy McElroy and Jennifer Rae; Scott King teaching third grade; two new fourth-grade teachers Christie Crisler and Lynda Murphy; music teacher Bradley Stucki; physical education teacher Paula Dehner; and Lisa Hahn teaching special education.

Robison humorously demonstrated the difference between school life with a mask on, not being able to speak and hear clearly, and without a mask, hearing better and seeing all the faces of staff and students.

Lisa Hahn, new special education teacher at Grant Bowler, moved to Moapa Valley from Flagstaff, AZ.
“I came here to be closer to my brother and his family,” she said. “I have experience in Autism SpEd and have been a teacher for 10 years. I am very happy to be part of this community.

When breakfast was over, Mortensen invited everyone to come to the stage filled with many boxes of school supplies donated by the Charles and Phyllis Frias Foundation, which supported all small rural schools in Nevada.

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