1st Grade Team
Hello Vassiliadis students and families! My name is Beth Prior. It has been an exciting, inaugural year at Vassiliadis working with our families and staff! I have been teaching 26 years now, 21 of those here in the Clark County School District since 1997, when I moved to Las Vegas from Dayton, Ohio (Go Buckeyes!). I have taught primarily first grade but have also taught second grade and middle school English. I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education and my Masters of Science degree in Literacy from the University of Dayton. Additionally, I became Nationally Board certified in 2007 and completed my Renewal in 2016.
My husband Sean and I have been married for 21 years, and we have an 11 year old daughter Olivia who will be in 6th grade at Sig Rogich this coming year. We also have a four-legged family member, Avena, a cute little Shorkie that we just adore. We love to travel, hike, camp, and spend time together as a family. Soccer keeps us busy! I enjoy online scrapbooking, exercising, reading, and Pinterest. I have always had a passion for reading and have an expansive literacy collection that I love to share with my students.
I enjoy nurturing children’s love of learning by providing a safe, positive, productive learning environment that meets the needs of every student, and look forward to our adventures together this coming year and making lasting memories.
“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” – Marlan Wright Edelman
Hello, my name is Sandy Ohnstad. I can’t wait to begin another exciting year as a member of Team Vassiliadis! I am originally from Texas, but grew up living in both the southern and northern part of New Mexico. That’s right…I am a lover of green chile and all things spicy!! My kitchen is full of decorative chile items and spices. I went back to Texas where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas Tech University and a Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Phoenix. This will be my 21st year teaching for the Clark County School District and I have taught grades pre-k through 2nd grade. My husband Corey is a Minnesota boy and definitely had to adjust to my spicy cooking. I have 2 beautiful daughters named Kyra (7th grade) and Khloe (4th grade). I love spending time on the beach and my family and I are often seen traveling and taking vacations!
I have a passion for reading and am obsessed with children’s books. I am always collecting them, so I can provide a wide range of books for my students within our classroom. My favorite children’s author is Chris Van Allsburg. It is my pleasure to be teaching first grade and to inspire young minds to love learning!
Hello! My name is Nancy Slater, and I am so excited to be part of the Vassiliadis First Grade Team! I was born in Vietnam, but came to the United States when I was just two months old. I grew up in Northern Nevada and went to school in Gardnerville, Carson City, and Reno. I attended the University of Nevada, Reno (Go Wolf Pack!), where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education. After college, I moved to Las Vegas and have taught for Clark County School District for 20 years in 1st and 2nd grades. I spent one year in Denver, Colorado teaching first grade in Cherry Creek School District while my husband was attending grad school. I also received a Master’s Degree in Literacy from Lesley University.
I am married to wonderful man, Craig, and have three of the most adorable kids that keep us very busy. My oldest, Emma attends middle school at Rogich, Kennedy will be in fifth grade, and my youngest, Brady, will be in second grade this upcoming year. Our “Party of Five” likes to ski, go to the beach, travel, and spend time with our family and friends. When I’m not running my kids to activities, I enjoy shopping, decorating, and photography.
Teaching first grade is my favorite, and I’m looking forward to a busy and productive year, filled with exciting learning activities, and much more! I hope to provide a positive and nurturing environment for your child in order to enhance his/ her learning throughout the year! I am so thrilled to be part of Vassiliadis Elementary School, and I can’t wait to start another year with this awesome team!
Hello to the community of Vassiliadis Elementary School. My name is Greg Gusmerotti and I am excited and honored to join such a special community and team
I grew up in New York and moved to Las Vegas in 1999. I suppose that is where I developed my passion for pizza and the NY Jets. Luckily pizza doesn’t let me down as much as my NY Jets, but I still love them. I enjoy the outdoor weather and being so close to Utah, as I still get the opportunity to do a little snow skiing. My hobbies include mountain bike riding, disc golf, all sports, and escape rooms.
In 1996 I received a B.A. in Business and worked as manager of a financial institution back in New York. In 1999 my brother recruited me to help him buy a restaurant here in Vegas. In 2001 I made the best decision of my life, I followed my heart and went back to school to earn my Masters in Education. I have been living my dream for the last 15 years. After the first week of teaching first grade, I came home and said to my wife, WOW, I could do this for the next 30 years. I have been fortunate to work in the first grade classroom with some amazing teachers and incredible students for all of those 15 years. Every day in the classroom with first graders is truly a gift.
I am lucky enough to be joining this community with my own family. My wife Jeanine will also be joining us as a first grade teacher. My daughter Isabella will be entering the 5th grade and my son Trevor will be entering the 3rd grade. My family is so special to me and I am ecstatic to have them along for the ride.
My goal is to create a fun environment and instill a passion for learning. I am looking forward to an incredible year!
Hello! My name is Jeanine Gusmerotti and I am so excited to join the first grade team at Vassiliadis and work with such an amazing staff and community where we inspire our children to learn and strive for their goals.
I grew up in New York where I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education at Saint Joseph's College. I moved to Las Vegas in 2000 where I earned my Master's Degree at Lesley University. I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was five years old, pretending my teddy bears and dolls were my students. I have been teaching for 21 years and have loved every moment. I originally started teaching in New York as a Full Day Kindergarten teacher. After three years, I married my wonderful husband Greg Gusmerotti (who will also be joining me as a first grade teacher at Vassiliadis) and moved to Las Vegas where I continued to follow my passion for teaching. After teaching kindergarten for eight years I finally decided to give first grade a try and absolutely loved it!
I enjoy going to the movies, reading, drawing, and bike rides, but most of all I love being a mom to my amazing children. My daughter Isabella is ten years old and will be entering fifth grade and my son Trevor is eight years old and will be entering third grade. I am so excited that we will all continue to be together on this new journey.
I am looking forward to a wonderful year at Vassiliadis. I feel children learn best by making learning fun while providing a safe and nurturing environment. One of the best things about first grade students is their love for learning and I can't wait to get started! I will make this year an exciting and memorable experience for all my students.
Hello! My name is Brandi LaGesse and I am so excited to be a part of the Vassiliadis team! I am originally from San Diego, California and have lived in Las Vegas since middle school. My first career was in the Human Resources industry, where I worked for 15 years before becoming a teacher. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from UNLV and I have a Master of Education Degree with an emphasis in Differentiated Instruction. This is my 12th year of teaching, and my 11th year in first grade, where my heart belongs! I enjoy working with young children because the elementary classroom provides a rare opportunity for continuous discovery. My goal is to support students and develop their natural love of learning. My greatest joy as a teacher is sharing my extensive classroom library with my students. We learn so much from books! I focus on character traits and life skills in the classroom, along with engaging learning activities, to promote success.
I have two awesome sons who will both be in high school this year. Conner is a senior and Evan is a freshman. They are both guitar majors at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. As you can guess, our family loves music! We are also passionate about baseball. Whether it’s Little League, Club Ball, or our family’s favorite MLB team, the Chicago Cubs, we are devoted to the game! I became a Cubs fan when I married my amazing husband, Jeff, 20 years ago. Having grown up near Chicago, Jeff has been cheering for the Cubs his entire life, but he says I’m arguably a bigger fan than he is now! In my free time, I love to play board games with my family, watch movies, do puzzles, or read a good book. I’m looking forward to an amazing year with our fabulous first grade family at Vassiliadis!
Hello! My name is Chara Mariani and I am thrilled to be a part of the Vassiliadis Community. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. I started my college career at UNLV where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Education. After that, I continued my education and received my Masters in Literacy. I have been teaching for 21 years ALL in FABULOUS first grade. First grade is the most gratifying and exciting grade to teach!!
I am married to my high school sweetheart, M.J. and we have two beautiful daughters. Madeline is 14 years old and will start her first year of high school! Yikes! Ava is 11 years old and will be in 7th grade. They both are very athletic. Madeline plays soccer and Ava plays softball. I also have two golden retrievers named Jacks and Bentley who keep me busy! When I am not attending games for my girls or playing with my dogs, you can usually find me on a beach or shopping!
I love reading to my “love bugs” and having them think about connections they may have with the text. My classroom library is plentiful and I can’t wait to share it with my new first graders. I believe amazing learning happens in a safe, encouraging, risk-free, and fun environment. We will sing songs together, become better thinkers, and motivate each other to do our very best. I feel like Dr. Seuss said it best, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” I am excited to see all the places we’ll go in first grade at Vassiliadis and looking forward to a phenomenal year!