science teacher shows elementary students a model of a molecule
Five new Teach Nevada Scholarships are available in the Alternative Route to Licensing program for aspiring teachers.

New Teach Nevada Scholarships Offered

Sierra Nevada College has received five new Teach Nevada Scholarships for incoming students in the Master of Arts in Teaching – Alternative Route to Licensure (MAT-ARL) program. These generous scholarships from the Nevada Department of Education award up to $24,000 to eligible future teachers. SNC has been authorized to offer these scholarships each year since the program launched in 2016.

Recipients get 75% of the award funds ($18,000) toward tuition for the licensure phase of their degree program. (The six additional credits for the Master’s Degree do not qualify for scholarship funding). The DOE holds the remaining 25% in trust. After five years of eligible teaching in Nevada, teachers receive the remaining funds to use as they see fit.

The Teach Nevada Scholarships target the state’s ongoing teacher shortage. The Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) program gets students with a bachelor’s degree into the classroom in as little as one semester. They can then complete the licensing program while they teach.

Sierra Nevada College has been educating teachers in Nevada for over 25 years. They offer a combination of face-to-face and online instruction, after-school and weekend course schedules, and convenient locations in Reno and Las Vegas. Both bachelor’s and master’s degrees are offered.

For more information about your future in teaching, contact the department through www.sierranevada.edu/teach-in-nevada. Information about the Teach Nevada Scholarships is at www.sierranevada.edu/teachnevadascholarship or the Nevada DOE website. Interested applicants can also contact Katrina Midgley, Graduate Admissions Director, at kmidgley@sierranevada.edu, or 775-881-7517.

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Male teacher working in elementary school classroom
SNC's new Bachelor of Education programs in Reno and Las Vegas address Nevada’s ongoing teacher shortage.

New Bachelor’s Degree for Teachers in Reno, Las Vegas

Sierra Nevada College recently debuted a new bachelor’s degree program for aspiring teachers. The degree is offered at both the Reno and Las Vegas campuses. The program is a response to Nevada’s continuing shortage of qualified teachers in many areas.

“Nevada increasingly looks out of state, and even out of the country to solve the elementary education teacher shortage. We feel it is our responsibility to expand the options for teacher education right here at home,” noted Dr. Alan Walker, president of SNC.

Graduates receive their Bachelor of Arts in Education. Student teaching and all the current requirements for a Nevada Teaching License in Elementary Education (K-8) are included. The new English language learner courses, which will be required in Nevada in 2020, are also part of the program. All on-ground classes are scheduled outside school hours, so you can take classes while you substitute teach or keep a “day job”. Courses are scheduled year-round, and tuition is only $382 per credit, plus fees. SNC’s Reno campus is in the Reno Technology Center, 9480 Gateway Drive, Suite 150. The Las Vegas campus is at 4300 East Sunset Road, Ste. E-1, in Henderson.

SNC is a recognized leader in “educating the educators”. The college also offers multiple master’s degrees in teaching and education, special endorsement course series, and continuing education credits. Stand-alone courses which fill specific Nevada certification requirements are given several times each semester. The Dept. of Teacher Education offers a convenient, affordable path to your teaching career.

INFO SESSION: June 27 2018, 5:30 pm, at the Reno campus. Learn about the program, meet with faculty, and get admission information.

For more information, contact Katrina Midgley at kmidgley@sierranevada.edu or 775-881-7517, or REQUEST INFO ONLINE >.

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Judges and honorees of the 2018 Sierra Nevada College Teacher Education Graduate Symposium on March 19, 2018: (L - R) Jim Watson, Allison Mattick, Megan Dee, Diane Machen, Terin Kirk, Amy Barbera, Pilar Biller, McAvoy Layne
Outstanding graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program were recognized at the Education Graduate Symposium on March 19th.

Graduate Education Symposium 2018

The 2018 Department of Teacher Education Graduate Symposium on March 19th showcased outstanding graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. Four 2017 graduates received awards for their Professional Projects, the focus of the Master’s Degree (Phase II) part of the MAT program. The projects were chosen for their professional quality, creativity, use of current research, and educational best practices across a range of grade levels. SNC alumna Pilar Biller, the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year, was awarded the first annual Outstanding Educator Alumni Award.

Pilar Biller, 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year, receiving the SNC Outstanding Educator Alumni Award at the 2018 Sierra Nevada College Teacher Education Graduate Symposium on March 19
Pilar Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch H.S. in Reno, completed her teacher certification through SNC’s MAT program in 1998. After teaching n northern Nevada and California for 18 years, she returned to SNC to finish her master’s degree. She is known for engaging lessons which push her students to think creatively and to problem solve. They share their art in the community and work with local service organizations. It was one of her students at Damonte Ranch who took the initiative to nominate her for the Nevada Teacher of the Year award.

“Pilar is a great example of a teacher who has devoted her career to finding better ways to create and provide engaging lessons for her students.”

– Steve Canavero, Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Professional Projects Awards

Each award includes a $250 cash prize.

Amy Barbera, honoree of the 2018 Sierra Nevada College Teacher Education Graduate Symposium on March 19Amy Barbera – The Mark Twain Award for Excellence in Writing, Communication, and Presentation
Professional Project on Reading Vocabulary and Comprehension
Teaching Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Through Read-Alouds: A Resource Guide for First-Grade Teachers Using Complex Texts

Megan Dee, honoree of the 2018 Sierra Nevada College Teacher Education Graduate Symposium on March 19Megan Dee – Eagle Award for Outstanding Professional Project
Professional Project in Environmental Education
A Connection to Nature for Every Student: A Resource Model Guide to Adapt High Quality and Accessible Outdoor Environmental Education for Elementary Educators

Terin Kirk, honoree of the 2018 Sierra Nevada College Teacher Education Graduate Symposium on March 19Terin Kirk – Dr. Maria Meyerson Award for Creativity and Innovation in Curriculum Design
Professional Project in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
The Citizen Science Project: An Instructional Guide for Middle School Citizen Science

Diane Machen, honoree of the 2018 Sierra Nevada College Teacher Education Graduate Symposium on March 19Diane Machen – Provost Award for Achievement of Excellence in Research and Impact on Teaching Practices –
Professional Project in Forensic Science
Seeing Science and Literacy Through a Different Lens: A Framework of Forensic Science Activities for 12th-Grade Science Educators

The awards were presented by a panel of judges who are respected educators in their own right. Jim Watson recently retired from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District in South Lake Tahoe as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Staff Development. Allison Mattick, an award winner of the 2016 Graduate Symposium and a 2015 Sierra Nevada College graduate, is a middle school teacher at Clayton Middle School in Reno.

McAvoy Layne, “an educator in a costume”, is a Mark Twain impressionist and writer. He has embodied the wit & wisdom of “The Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope” in over four thousand performances from Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City to Leningrad University in Russia. He played the ghost of Samuel Clemens in the Biography Channel’s episode on Mark Twain, and in the Discovery Channel’s Cronkite Award winning documentary Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. McAvoy is a winner of the Nevada Award for Excellence in School and Library Service and author of the forthcoming book The Secret Lives of Pine Nuts.

“McAvoy is an ambassador of the arts wherever he performs.”

– Judith Clark, Director, Nevada State Council on the Arts


photo: (L – R) Jim Watson, Allison Mattick, Megan Dee, Diane Machen, Terin Kirk, Amy Barbera, Pilar Biller, McAvoy Layne
photo credit: Eagle’s Eye reporter Celine Holland

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Pilar Biller, MAT '16, recipient of the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year Award
Pilar (Crooks) Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch High School, has received the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year award from the NV Dept. of Education.

Alum Wins 2018 NV Teacher of the Year

The Nevada Dept. of Education named Pilar (Crooks) Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch High School, as the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year.

“Pilar is an amazing art teacher who is so passionate and works just incredibly well with kids at all levels. Her classes are fun, her kids love being in her classes. I recently got to participate in one of her classes where the objective was to connect their art projects to businesses. This included developing a marketing plan and was a great example of how learning applies to the real world.”

Darvel Bell, Damonte Ranch H. S. Principal

“Even in art, classroom creativity must be deliberate.”

Biller is National Board Certified Teacher who has dedicated her 18 year teaching career to creating engaging lessons for her students. Her thoughtful approach to teaching is a major factor in her students’ success.

Biller said it’s important for students to think creatively and to problem solve. She encourages her students to share their art in the community and work with local service organizations. When her advanced art students mount a show, they select the venue and set up the exhibits with adult guidance.

She has presented her ideas at the Nevada Museum of Art, the National Art Education Assoc. Conference, the Art Educators of Nevada Conference, and at district in-service days. The Washoe Education Assoc. awarded her a Distinguished Performance Award.

“Pilar is a great example of a teacher who has devoted her career to finding better ways to create and provide engaging lessons for her students. Having great teachers such as Pilar who inspire their students is how Nevada will become the fastest improving state in the nation in education.”

Steve Canavero, Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction

Biller, a Fallon native, got her undergraduate degree in art from Gonzaga University. She completed the teacher certification portion of SNC’s MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) program in 1998. She has taught at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in the Churchill County (Fallon), Ukiah (CA), and Washoe County school districts. In 2016 she returned to SNC to finish her master’s degree.

Biller will now receive consideration for the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) program. This program of the Council of Chief State School Officers identifies exceptional teachers across the country. It recognizes their effective work in the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

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SNC's graduate program in Teacher Education has received new full-time Teach Nevada Scholarships for students beginning summer or fall 2017.

New Scholarships for Teachers

SNC’s graduate teacher education program has been allocated $312,000 for new Teach Nevada Scholarships. The funding will support approximately 13 full-time students who enroll this summer and fall at SNC’s Las Vegas campus. The Teach Nevada Scholarships (Senate Bill 511) program is a state effort to help alleviate the Nevada’s critical teacher shortage.

Students starting in SNC’s MA in Teaching program are eligible to apply for scholarship consideration. The teacher education programs offered at SNC’s Las Vegas campus offer flexible scheduling, enabling students to pursue their degree while they continue to work and transition into a classroom position.

Growth in the Silver State comes with a silver lining,” Said Katrina Midgley, SNC Tahoe’s Director of Graduate Admissions. “A robust economy continues to attract families to Nevada, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the demand for new teachers, and teachers to replace retiring educators. The state’s Teach Nevada Scholarship program continues to make a positive impact.

Similar funding last year for institutions throughout the state attracted dozens of new teacher prospects into the profession.

Questions: contact Katrina Midgley, director of graduate admission and recruiting, at graduateadmissions@sierranevada.edu or 775-881-7517

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Alexandra Matthews and Ruben Perta are honored as outstanding educators in the Clark County School District.

SNC Alumni Win Heart of Education Teaching Awards

Two Sierra Nevada College graduate education program alumni are among the 20 2017 winners of the Heart of Education awards for outstanding performance by teachers in the Clark County School District.

The awards “celebrate educators who go above and beyond, proving that teaching is an art, delivered from the heart.”


Alexandra Matthews (MAT 2016)
Technology, Barbara and Hank Greenspun Junior High School

Alexandra Matthews’ dedication in grant researching, writing, editing, and revising brought her school a $1,070,000 Nevada Ready 21 Technology Grant, which provided 1,500 students with Google Chromebooks for the 2016-2017 school year. She then developed a new elective course, “To Google & Beyond…!”, which in its first year introduced 180 students to digital citizenship, Google productivity tools, web-based ways to collaborate and share information, and even basic coding. “Students are empowered to explore their own passions, and instructional practices incorporate integration of interdisciplinary content area and 21st century skills.”

Ruben Perta (MAT 2009)
Early Childhood Development Special Education, Henderson Head Start

“There are very few male teachers in preschool and elementary school. . . Pair that with the fact that I work at a low-income school dominated by single-parent families, and this creates an opportunity for me, as a male teacher, to be a positive male role model in the lives of the children at my school. For most of them, I am the first male teacher they will ever see. . . An important goal in my career is to create fun and intriguing activities that engage students and make them excited about school and learning. Education is the key to a better life, and the earlier we can get started with students, the better.”


Winners receive a cash gift of $5,000 and a trophy. Each winner’s school receives an additional cash gift of $1,000, to be used for a program selected by the winning teacher. More than 40 alumni of SNC’s Teacher Education program were among the approximately 800 finalists.

With online options and campuses in Henderson, Incline Village and Reno, Sierra Nevada College is Nevada’s leader in teacher education.

“Teacher is not what you do, but what you are.”

Beverly Rogers, Chairman of the Board, The Rogers Foundation


Heart of Education Award Finalists from SNC
MAT

Justin Ayala
Paula Colello
Jessica Colston
Roxane Daniel
Jennifer Decker
Laura Denue
Ernest Domanico
Tara Geever
John Greer
Megan Krier
Candace Kruse-Makowski
Karl Lawson (Certificate of Completion prior to start of the MAT degree program)
Jennifer Marchant
Michael Monson
Paula Perkins
Alejandra Rossignoli
Dawn Schlink
Kathrina Schmidt
Lisa Teruya
Erin Varga
Rachelle Wasik (MAT & MEd)
Ryan Zaro

MED

Jamece Barcelon
Jennifer Benizio
Kimberly L. Butterfield
Janelle Dennis
Christina Fernandez
Emily Gillette (in progress)
SueAnn Hansen (in progress)
Tamara Hudson
Kristin Murray
Shannon Regin
Pamela Reid
Kahealani Roston
Janel Roth (in progress)
Christina Tully
Caroline Vacante
Janet Valdes
Rachelle Wasik (MAT & MEd)
Erica Wright
Dionne Zurich (in progress)

MAA
Maylin Lara (in progress)
Jill Jaeger


For more information about the Heart of Education awards, visit theheartofeducation.org/.

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State funding has been announced to fund 14 Teach Nevada Scholarships for students entering SNC's Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL) – MAT program this fall.

New Teach Nevada Scholarships for 16-17

The State of Nevada awards additional scholarship funding to teacher education, to help alleviate the state’s critical teacher shortage.

Nevada’s State Board of Education just approved $345,600 to fund new scholarships for SNC Tahoe graduate ARL teaching students through the Teach Nevada Scholarship (Senate Bill 511) program. The funding will support approximately 14 full-time students who enroll this fall at SNC’s Reno and Las Vegas campuses.

This round of funding follows 2015-2016 academic year grants that funded 22 scholarships. Those students will soon be classroom teachers, fully employed while they complete their coursework in SNC’s combined Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL) – Master’s Degree in Teaching program.

“Sierra Nevada College has a strong track record creating high-quality curriculum to develop classroom-ready teachers where we know there is urgent demand,” said Shannon Beets, SNC Tahoe provost and executive vice president. “The challenges of population growth and teacher attrition have intersected throughout Nevada, and we are pleased the state is partnering with us and others to meet that demand.”

All Nevada students who enroll in SNC’s ARL program for Fall 2016 are eligible to apply for scholarships. The program, offered at both the South Reno and Las Vegas campuses, offers flexible scheduling, so students can pursue their degree while working in the classroom.

For more information on the Teacher Education programs and the Nevada Teach scholarships at Sierra Nevada College, contact Katrina Midgley, director of graduate admission and recruiting, at 775-881-7517, or visit online at TeachInNevada.com.

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Two new scholarships are now available for students entering SNC Tahoe's Alternate Route to Licensing program.

More Teacher Scholarships Offered

Two additional scholarships have been funded for Nevada teachers who enroll in SNC Tahoe’s ARL graduate teacher’s education program in Reno and Las Vegas. The ARL program, offered at SNC’s Reno and Las Vegas campuses, offers flexible scheduling, allowing students to pursue their degree while working in the classroom. SNC Tahoe awarded 20 scholarships through the program earlier this year as part of statewide effort to resolve teacher shortages.

“Sierra Nevada College is proud to be able to work in partnership with the state of Nevada to help prepare qualified, classroom-ready teachers through the Teach Nevada Scholarship program. By this fall the positive impact of this program will be realized as new teachers enter classrooms in our public school districts.”

– Shannon Beets, Provost and Executive Vice President

The grants, awarded through the Nevada State Board of Education’s Teach Nevada Scholarship (Senate Bill 511), are in response to a severe shortage of qualified Pre K-12 teachers in the state. Nevada students who enroll in SNC’s combined Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL) – Master’s Degree in Teaching programs for spring or summer 2016 are eligible to apply for scholarship consideration.

For more information on the Teacher Education programs and the Nevada Teach scholarships at Sierra Nevada College, contact Katrina Midgley, director of graduate admission and recruiting, at 775-881-7517, or visit online at TeachInNevada.com.

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New scholarships are available for students entering the Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL) – MAT program, in response to a severe shortage of qualified K-12 teachers in Nevada.

New Scholarships for Teacher Education

Additional scholarships are now available for students entering SNC Tahoe’s master’s degree in teaching programs, thanks to a $360,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Education’s Teach Nevada Scholarship program in response to a severe shortage of qualified Pre K-12 teachers in the state.

The scholarships will be awarded to new students who enroll in SNC’s combined Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL) – Master’s Degree in Teaching programs for spring or summer 2015 at the College’s Las Vegas, Reno, Incline Village or online locations. SNC also offers additional scholarships for ARL students, and teacher education students are eligible for other types of financial aid, including the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program.

ARL programs attract college graduates from other backgrounds who are interested in the personal rewards, professional stability, and accessible educational requirements of teaching. Qualified students can be in a full-time, full-salaried teaching position after only one semester of courses plus testing requirements, and finish their MA in Teaching in a handful of additional semesters. With Nevada now ranking third highest in the nation for unemployment, the opportunity to train for positions in such high demand is particularly important.

The Department of Education has projected a nationwide gap of 1 million teaching vacancies over the next ten years, caused in part by the large numbers of retiring baby boomers. The shortage of new teachers in Nevada is particularly acute. If the Clark County School District (CCSD) had hired every new graduate from every teacher education program in Nevada this past May, they could not have filled all 2,600 vacancies for the current 2015-2016 school year.

Sierra Nevada College President Alan Walker said of the new grant: “Addressing the teacher shortage here in Nevada is a priority for SNC Tahoe, and we are thrilled to have the state of Nevada’s support to offer these additional scholarships to our graduate teacher education program.”


Resources:

Video of SNC Tahoe TED Alumnus and Teacher of the Month Award Winner Freeman Holbrook
Department of Teacher Education at Sierra Nevada College
Teach Nevada Program at the NV Department of Education

Upcoming Information Sessions about the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Sierra Nevada College:
(All sessions begin at 4 pm unless noted.)

Dates: December 9, January 6, February 10, March 9, April 13, May 4, June 8 (10am)

Location:
Sierra Nevada College Las Vegas
4300 East Sunset Road, Ste. E-1
Henderson, NV 89014-2267
702.43.TEACH (702.438.3224)

More Info:
Katrina Midgley
Director of Graduate Admission and Recruiting
775-881-7517.

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Kathryn Fitzpatrick (MAT '08), a middle school science teacher at Dilworth STEM Academy, has been named one of three WCSD Teachers of the Year.

Alumna Named Teacher of the Year

Washoe County teacher Kathryn Fitzpatrick (MAT ’08), a middle school science teacher at Dilworth STEM Academy, has been named one of three Washoe County School District Teachers of the Year.

Fitzpatrick earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University, Fullerton, and her master’s degree in education from Sierra Nevada College. She also received her administrative endorsement from SNC Tahoe in 2013 after completing the Administrative Leadership courses. She began her career with WCSD in 2007 at Procter Hug High School teaching biology, chemistry, and environmental science. She also taught at Galena High School before coming to Dilworth STEM Academy in 2013.

“Kati is a highly motivated, energetic and inspirational teacher,” wrote Justin Jones, a project assistant with Envirolution who works with Fitzpatrick at Dilworth STEM Academy. “I have seen how she takes her passion for her own learning and brings that to the classroom to instill content knowledge, a respect for education, and betterment of the community as a whole into her students. Her students will benefit from the experiences gained in her classroom for many years to come.”

“It is my honor to receive the Middle School Teacher of the Year Award and represent Dilworth STEM Academy,” Fitzpatrick said. “This award is not only a reflection of the hard work that I do every day, but also that of my students. I would like to thank my administration — Laura Petersen and Teresa Quintana — my students, and my husband Mario Fitzpatrick, for their ongoing support.”

Congratulations, Kathryn.

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