top of page

Wed, May 29


Las Vegas

Reinvigorating Culture and Climate: The Impact on Student Outcomes & ALL Stakeholders - Held Live

LEAD INSTRUCTORS: Dr. Brenda Larsen-Mitchell and Dr. Jeffrey Geihs

Tickets are not on sale
See other events
Reinvigorating Culture and Climate:  The Impact on Student Outcomes & ALL Stakeholders - Held Live
Reinvigorating Culture and Climate:  The Impact on Student Outcomes & ALL Stakeholders - Held Live

Time & Location

May 29, 2024, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Las Vegas, 4500 W Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89103, USA


About the Event

Reinvigorating Culture and Climate: The Impact on Student Outcomes & ALL Stakeholders


8 License Renewal Hours for ALL Licensed Personnel

8 Salary Advancement Hours for CCSD Administrators

NOTE - CCSD Administrators DO NOT have to be outside work hours to earn administrative salary advancement hours!

2.67 CUs for CCSD Teachers/Other Licensed Education Personnel

(CUs are determined by the negotiated agreements, not NASA)

For this professional learning event you must register through NASA & ALSO through ELMS

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

(Breakfast begins at 7:30 AM as the event will begin promptly at 8:00 AM)


The Orleans Hotel and Casino

4500 West Tropicana Avenue

Las Vegas, Nevada 89103



Dr. Brenda Larsen-Mitchell

Interim Superintendent,

Clark County School District

Dr. Jeffrey Geihs

Executive Director, Nevada Association of School Administrators


CEO, The Silver State Education Foundation


AJ Adams

Principal, Sunrise Mountain High School


President, Nevada Association of School Administrators

Dr. Mike Barton

Chief of Staff, Equity, and Community Partnerships, Clark County School District

Callie Daleo

Teacher, Canyon Springs High School


UNR Adjunct Professor

Lou Markouzis

Principal, Canyon Springs High School

Chairman of the Board,

The Silver State Education Foundation

President, Secondary School Principals Association of Nevada

President-Elect, Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-technical Employees

Juan Plancarte Hernandez

Teacher, Canyon Springs High School


ELL Facilitator and Strategist

Maria Jose, "MJ" Norero

Chief of Staff, Innovations

Hazel Health


Dr. Greta Peay

CEO, Infinity Diversity Matters

Deputy Executive Director of The Nevada Association of School Administrators

Dr. Sam Scavella

Assistant Superintendent,

Clark County School District

Sarah Popek

Principal, Myrtle Tate Elementary School

Yahaira Vega

2nd/3rd grade RTI

Language Learner Specialist

ELL Student Success Advocate

Myrtle Tate Elementary School

Workshop Description

There are many aspects to consider when taking steps to create trust, build realationships and facilitate changes to any organization's culture. First, it is essential to understand the differences and nuances between culture and climate. It is also imperative to understand the role of perspective in culture. There are many variables in a school-district and each school within acknowledging the various perspectives of students, teachers, administrators, and parents. All must be considered if an organization is is going to facilitate positive change.

A positive culture creates a supportive atmosphere where staff and students feel safe to take intellectual risks and express their thoughts. A positive culture will also improve staff's ability to share their voice and be creative and a student’s ability to learn by creating an environment that builds relationships. This healthy environment fosters a sense of belonging and encourages collaboration among peers with staff and students alike. There is an overall ownership of success where educators, together as a team, assume responsibility for the success of the organization, particularly student learning and achievement. This type of culture impacts students’ and staffs':

  • sense of belonging
  • well-being
  • level of being recognized for their efforts

While school-district and school culture greatly affects students, it also affects teachers, and other all other personnel. It starts at the top with the Superintendent, central office whose positions exist to serve schools, and each school principal. Everyone wants to be part of something special and have a community around them. This could not be truer of educators, especially teachers. This can be accomplished! Research proves repeatedly that teachers have the greatest effect on student achievement, and school culture greatly affects teachers’:

  • well- being
  • sense of belonging
  • teacher retention
  • morale
  • sense of fulfillment
  • willingness to attend and participate in professional learning sessions
  • sense of being supported

This workshop will address the importance of District and school culture and climate and why it is critical in the 21st Century. Participants will hear the latest CCSD climate and culture survey results from Dr. Larsen-Mitchell, CCSD Interim Superintendent, and her focus on action steps to further improve climate and culture within CCSD, the nation's 5th largest school district. Participants will learn from an elementary and secondary principal and teachers that collaboratively built strong climate and cultures within their schools and District and NASA personnel that will teach strategies to further ensure a positive climate and culture within your organization. Participants will be asked to provide professional feedback to all District personnel and engage in a self-reflection process that will allow them to examine how they can participate in making a difference within the District and their school or department.

The workshop focus:

  1. Distinguishing the difference between culture and climate.
  2. The importance of school and District culture via current and relevant research.
  3. The effect of school and District culture on morale of staff.
  4. The effect of school and District culture on student learning.
  5. Enhancing school and District culture for an optimal teaching and learning environment.
  6. The role of educators and the impact of trusting relationships to advance school and District culture.
  7. The relationship between school and District culture; student success and staff success.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will have the opportunity to explore and enhance their knowledge about:

  • Understanding the importance of school and District culture and developing a positive and trusting teaching and learning environment.
  • Best practices to enhance school and District culture.
  • Effective Steps of Team Building and Community Relations to enhance culture and climate.
  • How culture impacts the ability to learn.
  • How school culture impacts students and their families.
  • How District culture impacts staff and parents.


7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast Served


8:00 - 8:15 AM

Welcome and Purpose

Introduction of Presenters and the Culture and Climate Panelists

(Breakfast is available during this time)

Dr. Brenda Larsen-Mitchell and Dr. Jeffrey Geihs

8:15 - 9:15 AM

Team Building Activity


We Are CCSD!

Where we are and where we want to go!

Dr. Brenda Larsen-Michell

9:15 AM - 9:45 AM

Quantifying the Impact of Hazel’s School-Based Healthcare Model

Hazel Health, the nation's largest school-based telehealth provider, released the results of a third-party analysis demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of its proprietary teletherapy program for K-12 students, H.E.A.R.T™ (Hazel Early Assessment Response Treatment). Conducted by the Clemson University Learning Institute's Center for Behavior Analysis, the analysis was performed on a sample of 3,500 middle and high school students from 11 states — making it one of the largest studies assessing the clinical efficacy of school-based teletherapy interventions to date.

Maria Jose, "MJ" Norero

9:45 - 10:45 AM

Culture and Climate: It Matters

Dr. Greta Peay

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:45 PM

The Important Steps in Establishing Trust to Enhance Culture

Callie Daleo, Canyon Springs High School Teacher

Juan Plancarte Hernandez, Canyon Springs High School Teacher

Lou Markouzis, Canyon High School Principal

Sarah Popek, Myrtle Tate Elementary School Principal

Yahaira Vega, Myrtle Tate Elementary School Teacher

12:45 PM - 2:15 PM

LUNCH and Panel Discussion

Facilitated by AJ Adams and Dr. Jeffrey Geihs


Dr. Mike Barton

Callie Daleo

Juan Plancarte Hernandez

Dr. Brenda Larsen- Mitchell

Lou Markouzis

Sarah Popek

Dr. Samuel Scavella

Yadira Vega

2:15 - 2:30 PM


2:30 - 3:30 PM

Equity Mindset: Critical for School Culture and School Climate

Dr. Mike Barton & Dr. Samuel Scavella

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Independent Self Reflection Activity

Participants will review research about climate and culture.

Participants will complete a self-assessment survey related to climate and culture.

Dr. Peay

4:15 PM - 4:45 PM

Group Share out Reading Activity and Q/A Conversation

Dr. Barton

4:45 - 5:00 PM

Final Comments and Adjourn

Dr. Brenda Larsen-Mitchell & Dr. Jeffrey Geihs


$120 Singular NASA Members

$125 Singular Non-NASA Members


Team of 2 - 4:

$110 per ticket

Team of 5 - 8:

$100 per ticket

Team of 9 - 12:

$90 per ticket


Registration covers costs for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks

For this professional learning event you must register through

NASA & ALSO through ELMS.


It is perfectly acceptable to utilize school funds to register for this or any NASA Professional Learning Event with your supervisor's approval. It is suggested that schools and/or departments/divisions bring teams; however, individuals are more than welcome and will be accommodated.



Callie Daleo:

I am a 4th year teacher at Canyon Springs High School and I currently teach US History Honors, A.P. Comparative Government, and Dual Enrollment HIST 102 C with UNR. I also serve as an assistant advisor for the We the People team and a co-advisor for our Student Council. I have two masters degrees, one in Curriculum and Instruction and one in Educational Technology and Instructional Design.

Dr. Jeffrey Geihs began his career in 1995 within the Clark County School District (CCSD). During his tenure he served as an English teacher, department coordinator, dean of students, assistant principal, Administrative Assistant (tantamount to a Chief of Staff) to a Region Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer at The Public Education Foundation, a principal at two different comprehensive high school campuses, and as an Associate Superintendent over the Turnaround Zone and turnaround process. In each position, Dr. Geihs led efforts that increased achievement gains, closed achievement gaps, increased attendance and graduation rates, decreased disciplinary infractions, and increased enrollment in honors and Advanced Placement coursework. In 2009, Dr. Geihs was selected as Nevada's Secondary Principal of the Year by his peers.

During Dr. Geihs' service as an Associate Superintendent, he supported 25 schools, oversaw a $130,000,000.00 budget, and approximately 30,000 at-risk students - 92% of who were eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch. The process identified the lowest ranking schools with three (3) or more years of systemic low and/or decreasing performance. Dr. Geihsfacilitated the process for both an Internal and External audit of identified schools to determine which would most benefit from entering turnaround. The Zone placed 41 schools on Continuous Improvement Plans. Of these 41 schools, 36 improved significantly and never entered turnaround. In all, 29 PreK-12 schools entered the Zone for treatment, while 16 schools exited Turnaround Status because they improved significantly. Dr. Geihs was charged with instituting District Performance Agreements with the 12 CCSD schools on the 2018 Nevada State Underperforming List. By 2019, all improved significantly and were removed from the list.

Throughout his tenure, Dr. Geihs was elected by his peers to serve in various capacities and within numerous organizations. He represented the interests of educators in his advocacy efforts legislatively on the state and national stage.

In 2019 Dr. Geihs was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Nevada Association of School Administrators (NASA). Under his leadership membership has increased by over 1000 new members, an ongoing and eclectic blend of credit bearing workshops, conferences and high-level institutes are offered, relationships for NASA with elected officials, community activists and educational providers have been formed, and, in turn, partnerships increased exponentially. Additionally, Dr. Geihs formed, and serves as the CEO of, The Silver State Education Foundation to “grow our own teachers.” The Foundation supports high school students to become teachers in Nevada.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Mindy, his children, Madison and David, and hosting gatherings for friends and family at his home. As Dr. Geihs says, “There is always something, or someone, to celebrate!”

Juan Plancarte Hernandez is a 4th year teacher who has taught at the middle school and high school level. In his 4 years, he has coached soccer, taught focused language classes for ELLs, world history, and dual credit Sociology. He has earned an M.Ed. in English Language Learning through UNLV’s Project PUEBLO where he earned an award for Most Innovative Action Plan, and has recently been invited to teach both graduate and undergraduate classes part time under UNLV’s Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education Department. Moving forward, he will serve as Canyon Springs High School’s ELL Facilitator and Strategist, and hopes of increasing equity for this at-risk population.

Dr. Larsen-Mitchell moved to Las Vegas in 1994 to start her career as a special education teacher. During her 30 years with the Clark County School District, she has served as a school-based administrator, principal, principal supervisor, central office administrator, and deputy superintendent. As the deputy superintendent, she supervised the leaders of the Academic Unit; College, Career, Equity, and School Choice Unit; Health and Student Services Division; and four regional superintendents. She now serves the District as the Interim Superintendent.

Dr. Larsen-Mitchell exhibits a servant leadership approach with a focus on improving achievement for all students, while building positive relationships. She believes that supporting the growth and development of others is the most effective way to build capacity and promote organizational improvement to increase student achievement.

She leads with a selfless approach, knowing the needs of the students, employees, parents, and the community come first. She is willing to collaborate with stakeholders to explore solutions to challenges while having a positive attitude and a problem-solving approach. She leads each day with the relentless sense of urgency that our students deserve.

She earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in May 2001 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; her Master of Education in Educational Leadership in December 1997 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and her Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education and Special Education in May 1994 from the University of South Dakota.

Lou Markouzis is a highly respected educator and proud principal at Canyon Springs High School - The Leadership and Law Preparatory Academy. He aslo serves as the President of the Nevada Association of School Administrators. With over 26 years of experience in education, Lou is a passionate advocate for creating a positive and nurturing learning environment that helps students thrive.

In addition to his role as principal, Lou is currently serving as the President of NASA, the Nevada Association of School Administrators. In this capacity, he works tirelessly to improve the quality of education across the state and to provide support and resources to administrators and educators.

Lou has had a remarkable career in education, including the unique opportunity to be part of the creation of the Clark County School District's Turnaround Zone. As an Administrative Assistant for the Academic Manager, he helped to develop the leadership foundation and experience necessary to move and grow an organization. He also attended the University of Virginia School of Business at Darden and Harvard University, where he furthered his leadership skills and learned to approach education and leadership from a transformative fashion.

Lou's dedication to education has had a direct and significant impact on the underperforming schools he has led and the communities he serves. In his current role as an elementary school principal, he has had the opportunity to renovate and revive one of the lowest performing elementary schools in the State of Nevada. Within only two years, he helped inspire double digit growth in student proficiency across grade levels and academic areas, a testament to his visionary leadership.

Lou Markouzis is a true leader in education, inspiring excellence and providing students with the tools they need to succeed. His tireless commitment to excellence makes him a role model for educators and administrators alike.

Maria Jose, "MJ" Norero is a proud CCSD and UNLV graduate. With a background in community development, MJ has dedicated her career to increasing access and outcomes for underserved communities. During her time with Hazel Health, Maria Jose has supported school district partners throughout Nevada deploy student-well-being services through Hazel Health and led the strategy around community partnerships. Now as part of Hazel's innovation team, she ensures that Hazel is delivering high-quality whole-child services to district partners throughout the U.S. and ensures our partnership has the highest and best possible impact on student success as well as the entire healthcare ecosystem in the communities we serve.

Dr. Greta Peay

Greta Peay joined the Clark County School District (CCSD) in 1987, following eight awesome years of service within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System, Charlotte, North Carolina. She has dedicated thirty-nine years of service to the education profession. During her career, she served in several roles- elementary school level teacher and principal, middle school language arts teacher, literacy and English language learner specialist, Regional Professional Development trainer of Southern Nevada, Director of Human Resources Support Staff Recruitment, and Equity and Diversity Education Director. She retired from the Clark County School District as the Chief, Instructional Services Officer. Currently, Greta is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Infinity: Diversity Matters, LLC. She is also the Deputy Director- Nevada Association of School Administrators


  • The Marquis Who’s Who Publications Board, 2020-2021
  • The Public Education Foundation Educator Hero Award, 2020-2021
  • The Champion of Educational Equity- City of Las Vegas, 2022
  • Excellence in Education: Dr. Stella Parson, 2018
  • Parent Citywide Impactful Women Trailblazer in Education, 2018
  • District Level Administrator of the Year- National Association of School Boards, 2016
  • Public Education Executive Leadership Academy, 2015
  • Educator of the Year - Black Caucus, 2013
  • Clark County School District Chief of Police Outstanding Leader Award, 2011
  • Clark County School District Hall of Fame, 2000
  • Minority Affairs Excellence in Education Award, 1989
  • Who’s Who Among Educators, 1980
  • Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. A Public Service Sorority, 1975

Sarah Popek has been principal of Myrtle Tate Elementary School in the Clark County School District (CCSD) since August, 2013.  The large, high-poverty school, Myrtle Tate serves an increasingly divers urban population where 100% of students receive free or reduced-price meals and 28% have limited English language proficiency.  Understanding the importance of strong and stable leadership in confronting the challenges faced by students at Myrtle Tate, Popek leveraged her development skills to build school’s capacity to meet the academic and social needs of its students through teacher retention and innovative programs.  In 2014, she secured a $150,000 grant to expand academic programming through the after-school T.I.G.E.R. (Teamwork, Instruction, Growth, Enrichment, and Responsibility) Club.  A champion of family engagement, Popek implement WestEd’s Academic Parent-Teacher and led a coalition of schools to create partnerships with Boys Town Nevada and Communities in Schools to support student success by providing essential wraparound services service to parents and families.  In 2022, she partnered with Nevada Legal Services to implement the “Lawyer in Schools” program, offering Myrtle Tate families with free legal services.   Under Popek’s leadership, Myrtle Tate has become a model school for CCSD, being featured in local, regional, and national media.  She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Miami University, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Technology from Grand Canyon University, and two advanced degrees from Nova Southeastern University – an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, with an emphasis on Reading, and an Education Specialist credential in Education Leadership.  In 2017, she was named as Nevada’s Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year.  She is also a graduate of the Public Education Foundation Executive Leadership Academy and the National Institute for School Leadership program.  She has been married to Chris Popek, principal of Mario C. & Joanne Monaco Middle School, for 19 years, and has a son, Trystan, who is a freshman at Shadow Ridge High School.

Dr. Samuel P. Scavella

Dr. Samuel P. Scavella is an experienced Educational Leader with a strong background in implementing effective organizational structures and processes within educational systems. With 30 years of school- based and district-level experience, Dr. Scavella has focused on promoting organizational effectiveness, high performance, equity, and accountability in schools.

Throughout his career, Dr. Scavella has worked extensively in urban schools, dedicating himself to serving children and youth in these environments. He started as a middle school teacher, teaching science, mathematics, and reading. Over the course of three decades, he progressed to the positions of assistant principal and high school principal and served in those roles for 20 years. His service and leadership have spanned across the nation's third, fifth, and sixth-largest school districts, reflecting a breadth of experience and exposure to diverse educational contexts.

Dr. Scavella's work has been recognized and featured in various publications. Additionally, he has contributed as a guest writer for educational books, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience.

Currently, Dr. Scavella serves as Assistant Superintendent in the Equity and Diversity Education Department in the Clark County School District. He leads efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion across the district. His focus remains on nurturing and challenging children and youth to unlock their potential and develop essential qualities such as kindness, honesty, productivity, and service.

With his extensive experience, commitment to student success, and emphasis on equity and diversity, Dr. Sam Scavella plays a critical role in driving positive change within the district and ensuring that every child has an opportunity to thrive and achieve in school environments that are conducive for learning.

Yahaira Vega has been in the Clark County School District (CCSD) since January 2014. She began as a substitute teacher at at-risk schools throughout Las Vegas before taking a long-term substitute position at Myrtle Tate Elementary School due to its positive school culture, dedicated staff and supportive leadership. After completing an Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) Program she became a second grade teacher. In 2017, she was selected as the Second Grade Lead Teacher and began developing her passion for leadership. Currently, Vega is a Language Learner Specialist (LLS) focusing on reading intervention. In 2018, Vega became a Site Leader for the school’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC), focusing on tutoring for English Language Learners (ELLs). Due to an increasing newcomer population, she began work specifically with newcomer students to help them become part of the Tate school community, allow them to view their assets as strong skills they can use in class, and provide support to teachers. Vega is a graduate of the Public Education Foundation (PEF) Teacher Leadership Academy where she pursued her passion for leadership and the importance of advocating for teachers, staff, parents, and students. Currently, she holds a B.S in Liberal Studies from California State University of Fullerton, a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from National University, and is currently working on a M.S. in Educational Leadership through Western Governors University. She has been married for 14 years and has four children; Naomi, a sixth grade student at Duane Keller Middle School, Valeria, a second grade student at Tate Elementary, Evelyn a Pre-K student at Tate Elementary, and a one-year-old boy, Jose.

ALL are welcome, including anyone in a non-administrative position! NASA IS NOT A UNION. NASA is Nevada's PreK-12 Professional Development Organization for ALL Nevada Educators!

CCSD Administrators:

Activity completion status for administrators will be confirmed with the signed Approval Form and Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) training record for Domain 3 accrual at the 1:1 activity time:advancement accrual rate. A NASA completion certificate is not needed/will not be accepted for this activity.

CCSD Teachers/Other Licensed Education Personnel:

Activity completion status for teachers/other licensed education personnel will be confirmed by the PGS Department with the CCSD PD in the ELMS training record at the 3:1 activity time:Contact Unit accrual rate, no action by the participating employee is needed for accrual. A NASA completion certificate is not needed/will not be accepted for this activity.

Share This Event

bottom of page