NASB Awards 2022

NASB Recognizes Exceptional CCSD Employees, Community Partners
Posted on 12/14/2022
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The Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB) honored employees of Carson City School District (CCSD) and Carson City community partners with four prestigious awards at its annual conference and awards banquet Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12, 2022. District officials took time to recognize each individual winner and introduce them to trustees at Tuesday’s School Board meeting, Dec. 13, 2022.

Carson Middle School (CMS) Technology Teacher Rob Hostler was honored as the NASB 2022 Innovative Educator of the Year, Fremont Elementary School Principal Dr. Jennifer Ward was honored as the NASB 2022 Administrator of the Year, EagleMark Savings Bank – Harley Davidson was honored as the NASB 2022 Individual Friend of K-12 Education and Nevada Appeal Education Reporter Jessica Garcia was honored with the NASB 2022 Media Award for Outstanding Education Reporting.

Once a year, NASB recognizes the achievements and contributions of school boards, school trustees, teachers, administrators, educational advocates and others from across the state of Nevada. There are more than 20,000 educators who teach approximately 486,682 students from more than 763 schools in the state of Nevada. To be singled out and recognized among these ranks, truly is an honor.

The Innovative Educator of the Year award recognizes the invaluable service provided to Nevada’s children by those individuals who demonstrate their leadership by promoting and implementing innovative programs designed to improve student achievement. In addition to his duties as the Advanced Multi-Media teacher at CMS, Mr. Rob Hostler has developed a successful Intermediate Multi-Media feeder program and has worked to ensure that his classes are standards-based, rigorous and accessible to all students. Mr. Hostler also has worked closely with athletic coaches and teacher leaders to ensure that every home sporting event and every school assembly are broadcast live on the Youtube channel. In addition to CMNewz, Mr. Hostler has also taught English and Computers and has coached various sports. 

Mr. Hostler has successfully developed into a critical cultural hub at CMS. In addition to his media classes, he spends his lunches working with and supporting some of the school’s most challenging students by supervising lunch detention and the in-school suspension room. Mr. Hostler instills a culture of excellence and pride with his students. He has been known to paint walls, repair holes in the wall, repair wobbly guard rails, vacuum classrooms/hallways, often by himself on his own time and often supervising students as he teaches them how to problem solve and develop home repair skills.

Mr. Hostler also spends much of his own money to assist students in need to have warm jackets, sweatshirts or whatever else a student may need or may not have access to. He does this out of the kindness of his heart and doesn't ask for anything in return. Mr. Hostler has unwavering passion for and uncanny ability to build positive relationships with students. He goes "above and beyond" to ensure that all students have a safe place to learn at CMS.

The Administrator of the Year award recognizes the invaluable service provided to Nevada’s children by professional school administrators. Determinations are based on multiple factors including length of service, school improvement and student achievement, unique contributions, effective professional development strategies for educational staff and innovative and successful practices, which have resulted in increased student achievement in the school, district or state. Dr. Jennifer Ward has been a committed teacher, implementation specialist, assistant principal, and finally principal in the Carson City School District for 26 years.

Dr. Ward has served as the Principal of Fremont Elementary School since 2017. During her leadership and through her school improvement initiatives, Fremont moved on the Nevada School Performance Framework from a low two-star school to one point away from a high four-star school in just two years. She has worked to create and maintain a school vision and mission at Fremont, while also creating a collaborative, supportive environment of improvement. Her initiatives support collective efficacy and professional learning in NEPF, MAP and data analysis through understanding statistics, Thinking Maps, AVID, Marzano Proficiency Scales for reading and mathematics and Mastery Connect.

Dr. Ward created a Family and Community Engagement team that has served as a model for other Title One schools in the district. She implemented the concept of Power Hour within the elementary schedule so all students have equal access to learning acceleration while receiving specialized services. At her core, she believes in educating the whole child, which includes not only academic lessons, but also success in life skills such as self-advocacy, self-esteem and worth, as well as grit and perseverance. She strives for all her students at Fremont to not only demonstrate success in the tested areas of mathematics and reading, but also to develop a desire to maximize their potential so that they will have multiple choices available to them at the end of high school. Her experience as an administrator in middle schools and elementary schools has deepened her understanding of the connectedness between elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.

Notably, Dr. Ward is devoted to the Carson City School District. A lifelong resident of Carson City, Dr. Ward attended kindergarten through twelfth grade in the Carson City School District. She served on her first curriculum adoption at the age of thirteen when she was chosen as the student representative on the Family Life Committee. While attending the University of Nevada Reno, she was a homebound and substitute teacher in Carson City. She completed a nearly year-long, substitute position as an elementary special education teacher in Carson before her student teaching experience, also in Carson. Dr. Ward has been committed to the Carson City School District for more than 43 years.

The Individual Friend of K-12 Education award recognizes the invaluable service provided to Nevada’s children by an individual or organization who advocates on behalf of K-12 public education. For many years, EagleMark Bank – Harley Davidson have made several substantial donations to the Carson City School District directed towards students in the McKinney-Vento Program who are lacking stable housing. These funds have always been put to great use for the students in this program. This year, EagleMark Bank asked for a meeting to address the current needs of students in our schools and community. Since the pandemic, the Carson City School District has had the highest number of unaccompanied youth as well as families in transition leaving the district, with all of them listing housing as their reason for leaving. EagleMark Bank surprised the Carson City School District with a $50,000 donation, which was five-times the amount in any previous years. This generous donation allowed the district to establish a partnership with Spirit of Hope, who purchased 13 homes in our community and has a shared housing agreement for those who are experiencing homelessness. This allowed the district to provide stable housing for many unaccompanied youths through graduation. Because of the generosity of EagleMark Bank, students’ lives were changed forever, allowing them to have stability and focus on graduation and their future.

Additionally, EagleMark Bank stepped up to assist the Carson City Schools Foundation in sponsoring 150 Carson City high school students for the Jumpstart program at Western Nevada College. Students in the Jumpstart program are able to earn a college associate’s degree and their high school diploma simultaneously while they are in their junior and senior years. The foundation had a need and financial goal, and EagleMark Bank took it upon themselves to fund the entirety of the program, sponsoring all the students who want to attend Jumpstart, surpassing the fund raising goals.

EagleMark Bank saw needs in our community and stepped up to the plate. Their generous donations have changed the lives of so many, and the impact their fiscal donations will have are endless.

The Media Award for Outstanding Education Reporting recognizes the role of media representatives in print, radio and television when consistently outstanding reporting occurs and the media representative demonstrates excellence in these areas:

  • Working to get to know the board president, superintendent and district communication director, as well as the district’s mission, goals and strategic plan.
  • Reporting school news in a fair, accurate and balanced manner.
  • Maintaining a policy of “no surprises” by always giving school officials the opportunity to comment on information to be aired or published.
  • Providing a high profile to positive news about school and district accomplishments.
  • Visiting schools.

Education Reporter Jessica Garcia has been a reporter with the Nevada Appeal since October 2018, covering education and other topics in Carson City. Although she is fairly new to reporting education here, Ms. Garcia has an illustrious career as a writer, working in the communications department for Washoe County School District as well as reporting at the Reno Gazette Journal and the Sparks Tribune. She also worked as a grant-writer and public relations professional for the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation where she helped obtain more than $200,000 in program support funding.

For many in our community, Ms. Garcia’s stories are the first place they turn after the “paper” has been delivered. Her coverage regularly helps students, families and community members remain apprised of important information and ongoing efforts within the Carson City School District. She particularly exhausts her efforts to feature student names, photographs, stories and activities, reported in an accurate and fun manner. She serves as the first point of contact for members of the public who call or visit the editorial department at the Nevada Appeal. She is also the First Place recipient for Explanatory Journalism, Intermediate, recognized by the Nevada Press Association (2019).

Ms. Garcia maintains a positive rapport with everyone in Carson City schools and has formed a genuine and healthy relationship with all the trustees. She is also accurate and comprehensive in her coverage. In particular, her ongoing reporting of the property on Snyder Avenue, which the district and school board has considered for purchase for a potential school site, has been clear and responsive, often generating additional inquiries and coverage from other news outlets. She clearly gives the community perspective on important and impactful issues.

Additionally, her coverage of lengthy school board meetings (sometimes ending as late as midnight) twice each month, where she was always present prior to COVID-19 where restrictions limited in-person group gathers, proves her commitment to telling the story. Ms. Garcia’s work with students is thoughtful, equitable and always uplifting. She looks for ways to include as many employees, students and parents as possible and by so doing provides representation for a large portion of Carson City’s population.

Additionally, the association elected four new officers for 2022-2023:

  • President — Nicole Bengochea, Humboldt County School District
  • President Elect — Wade Poulsen, Lincoln County School District
  • Vice President — Mike Walker, Carson City School District
  • Legislative Chair — Lola Books, Clark County School District

Established in 1963, the Nevada Association of School Boards is dedicated to strengthening public schools through local citizen control. All 17 school districts in Nevada are members of the association, giving a common voice for public education.

Photo Caption:

Front row: Superintendent Andrew Feuling, Nevada Appeal Reporter Jessica Garcia, Carson Middle School Technology Teacher Rob Hostler, Fremont Elementary School Principal Dr. Jennifer Ward, EagleMark Savings Bank – Harley Davidson Board Director Amber Kellner and EagleMark Savings Bank Community Reinvestment Committee Member Cassandra Pickles.

Back row: Carson City School Board Trustees Don Carine, Lupe Ramirez, Laurel Crossman, Richard Varner, Stacie Wilke-McCulloch, Joe Cacioppo and Mike Walker.