Joanna Kaiser named Carson schools’ educator of the year

Joanna Kaiser, third grade teacher at Bordewich Bray Elementary School, was honored Tuesday night as the Carson City School District’s Educator of the Year, and Franceska Quintana, para professional IV at Carson Middle School, was recognized as Classified Employee of the Year.

During the school board meeting and annual event, the Carson City School District also introduced two new awards. Gail Carothers, a school nurse at Bordewich Bray, was honored as Health Professional of the Year, and Michele Lewis, vice principal at Carson High School, was named Administrator of the Year.

Kaiser and Quintana were selected from 25 site winners including 11 teachers and 14 classified employees who were selected from peers and administrators from various sites and schools within the district. Health Professionals and Administrators of the year were selected from 4 nominations from 11 health professionals and 4 nominations from 26 school administrators.

Other classified employees and educators of the year winners recognized by their site include Aracely Mejia Alverez, para professional ESL at Eagle Valley Middle School; Shannon Archer, distance education assistant at Pioneer High School; Magdalena “Janet” Ayala, para professional ESL-Pre-K at Empire Elementary School; Brandon Berry, senior groundskeeper for Operations; Michele “Shelly” Conger, kindergarten teacher at Empire Elementary School;

Grace Greener, senior office specialists II at Carson High School; Jacqueline Gavuzzi, office manager at Fremont Elementary School; Andrew Hagen, sixth grade science teacher at Eagle Valley Middle School; Denise Hettrick, office manager at Seeliger Elementary School; Gina Hoppe, fifth grade teacher at Fritsch Elementary School; Alyssa Jensen, third grade teacher at Mark Twain Elementary School;

Cary Jordan, counselor at Pioneer High School; Kirstin Lloyd, analyst for Human Resources; David Lowe, CLS/special education teacher at Seeliger Elementary School; John Martin, ceramics teacher at Carson High School; Lori McDonald, para professional IV for Student Support Services; Hilary Mendeguia, eighth grade English teacher at Carson Middle School; Amie Oden, first grade teacher at Fremont Elementary School; Fabricia Quirarte, para professional ESL at Mark Twain Elementary School;

Maria Rangel, office manager at Bordewich Bray; Eva Reynolds, bus driver for disable students for transportation; Natalie Tadjiveva, psychologist for Student Support Services; and Vera Trout, para professional IV (1:1) at Fritsch Elementary School.

Kaiser earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Oregon State University and taught in Douglas County from 1990-2002. She later earned a master’s in Literacy Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno and began working for the Carson City School District in 2012 where she taught one year at Mark Twain before transferring to Bordewich Bray.

Kaiser currently teaches a third grade GATE immersion class and is the GATE coordinator at Bordewich Bray. She’s also pursuing her National Board Certification, which will be completed later this year.

Kaiser recently won the Rotary “Teacher of the Month” award this past October, and the Ormsby County Education Association has recognized her on two occasions: the “Friend of Education” award in 2012 as well as the “Light of Education” award in 2015. In addition to district Educator of the Year, Kaiser will have the opportunity to compete statewide for Nevada Teacher of the Year.

For more than five years, Quintana has worked as a para professional IV at Carson Middle School.

She graduated from Carson High School in 2000 and earned a bachelor’s in educational counseling from UNR in 2004. Before accepting her position at Carson City School District, she worked primarily with at-risk youth and elderly in lockdown facilities including the Jan Evans Juvenile Detention Center, West Hills and Willow Springs in Reno and the Carson City Juvenile Center and Carson Tahoe Hospital Medical Center geriatric unit.

Quintana works to support some of the most challenging students so they’re able to stay organized, focused and successful in their academic classes at Carson Middle School.

Lewis earned a bachelor’s in agriculture education from UNR in 1982 and taught agriculture science from 1983-90 at Eureka County High School. She worked as the tech prep coordinator for Western Nevada College from 1991-96 as well as the executive director for Nevada’s FFA Association Foundation from 1996-2000. She later earned her master’s in educational leadership from UNR in 2001 and went onto serve as the Workforce Development Manager from 2001-02 at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Later, she became the lead administrator for the Regional Technical Institute in the Washoe County School District from 2002-05 before she came to work for Carson High School as the dean of students and administrator on special assignment for CTE programs from 2005 to present.

Heavily involved in community and civic activities, Lewis is the former president of the Nevada Association for Career and Technical Education, 2015-2016, and served as a member of the Douglas County School District’s Board of Trustees from 1996-2001. She was also previously awarded the “Award of Service for Outstanding Achievement and Dedication to Nevada CTE Programs” in 2013, the “Bill Trabert Memorial Award for Excellence in Occupational Education in Nevada” in 1997 and was recognized as Nevada’s “Outstanding Vocational Educator” in 1993.

Joining Bordewich Bray in 2012, Carothers has more than 27 years in healthcare. She earned her nursing degree from Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California, in 2003 and worked in San Jose for Kaiser Permanente. She also supervised 7-10 nurses as charge nurse on a telemetry unit. For the past two years, Carothers has worked at multiple school sites including Bordewich Bray, Empire Elementary and the Early Childhood Center at the School-Based Health Center.


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