1st Grade Team

Beth Prior

     Hello Vassiliadis students and families! My name is Beth Prior. I am excited to
be a part of the Vassiliadis Elementary School Team! Go Cubs! I am beginning my
30 th year of teaching! I moved to Las Vegas in 1997 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 25 years, and we have a 15 year
old daughter Olivia who will be in 10th grade at Palo Verde High School. We also
have a dog named Avena. We love to travel, hike, and camp. Soccer keeps us busy
as a family. 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. I 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

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Sandy Ohnstad

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     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 28th 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 and Khloe.  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!

Nancy Slater

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     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  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 I have been teaching for 23 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 law school. I also received a Master’s Degree in Literacy from Lesley University. 

     I am married to a wonderful man, Craig, and have three kids that keep us very busy. My two girls, Emma and Kennedy, attend high school at Palo Verde, and my youngest, Brady, attends Rogich. 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 watching the Vegas Golden Knights.

     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 amazing team!

Chara Mariani

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     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 25 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 17 years old and will be a senior in high school this year and Ava is 15 years old and will be in 10th 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!

Kyrsten Lang

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     Hello Vassiliadis families and students! My name is Mrs. Lang and I have been teaching for nine years. I
have taught 2 nd grade and now in the fabulous 1 st grade! I am originally from Southern California and
moved to Las Vegas when I was in Elementary school. I earned my Bachelor of Administration and
Interior Design degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. Go Pack! Also, I have my master’s degree in
Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University.
     A bit about me, I am married to the man of my dreams, Patrick and have a soon to be one-year-old
daughter named Kinsley. I also have a mini goldendoodle named Liberty. In my spare time when I am
not teaching, I love spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy being active with playing golf,
going to the gym, and exploring the outdoors.
     I am excited to start another fabulous year at Vassiliadis Elementary school! My goal is to inspire my
students in a loving environment that feels like family with education as #1. My students will enjoy
coming to school every day with the mentality of growing with independence, leadership, and support
from others. Most of all, they will have smiles on their faces and shine with everything they do! As Dr.
Seuss says, “You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your
way!”

Alivia Granneman

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     Hello! My name is Alivia Granneman, and I am ecstatic to be joining the Vassiliadis Community.
I grew up in a small town in Ohio and moved to Las Vegas my freshman year of high school. I attended UNR (Go Pack!), where I earned my degree in Marketing and Digital Media and moved back to Vegas.
     All the jobs I had throughout high school and college (nannying, summer camps, Girls on the Run, Girls Who Code) involved working with children. Finally, I took the hint and decided that I would follow my heart and become a teacher! It's the best decision I have ever made.
     I am coming from second grade and am so excited for my first year in first! I love nothing more than watching students fall in love with learning. As W.B. Yeats once said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
     When I'm not teaching, I enjoy exploring new cities, playing board games, and reading a good book.
I am so excited for a fantastic year full of learning, growing, and making memories!

Erin Stafford

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Howdy Cubs! My name is Erin Stafford, and I'm so excited to be joining the Vassiliadis Team! This will be my 12th year teaching, and I have taught both 1st and 2nd grades throughout CCSD. I was born in Houston and graduated from Texas A&M University.  The core values that I learned growing up and throughout college are integrity, leadership, loyalty, and respect, and are all ones which I try to incorporate into my classroom. Also, my students usually end up saying things like "gig 'em" and "y'all" by the end of the year, so just a heads up! 

  I moved to Las Vegas in 2005 where I met my husband Derek and am now the proud mom of 4 energetic kids, two of which will be fellow Cubs! Shea will be in 6th grade this year, Joseph is in 3rd, Thomas is starting kindergarten, and KJ just turned 3. They keep me busy, and between sports and extracurricular activities, we are always on the go! I also try to make time to get outdoors as much as possible, whether it be running, swimming, or just catching a baseball game. 

The first grade classroom is truly one of the most exciting and impactful times in a child's life. It is filled with curiosity, learning, leading, and collaboration. I want my students to love coming to school, to be motivated to do their very best, and take part in a positive classroom community. They will also love getting to know our class pet, a leopard gecko named Chance, named after our favorite mascot (Go Knights Go!). We are going to have a fun, fabulous, first grade year!

Lauren Huseman

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     Hello Cubs!  My name is Lauren Huseman and I am so excited to be joining this amazing community as a 1st grade teacher!  I am born and raised in Las Vegas and a product of CCSD.  My Undergraduate and Master’s degrees are both from UNLV.  Go Rebels! This will be my 17th year teaching, all in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  My Master’s degree is in Library Science and I love literature and creating a love for reading.  First grade is so much fun because I really feel that I get to create a strong foundation to develop lifelong learners.

     I am married to an amazing man, Chris, and we have two awesome boys, Cash and Easton.  They will be here at Vassiliadis in 5th and 2nd grades.  My boys love playing all sports and we have just entered the club baseball world with Cash.  I have a Miniature Schnauzer named Wyatt, who is like my third child.  When I am not at school, I love running marathons, working out at Orange Theory, and hanging out with my friends and family.  I also love packing up and traveling in my motorhome.

     I believe that school should be a safe and fun experience.  I love to create an environment where all students feel supported and where it is truly their happy place.  I believe that when I build relationships with my students and capture their hearts, then I can go on to capture their minds.  I love to utilize cooperative learning strategies and have the kiddos moving around as much as possible, all while learning even when they don’t realize it!  I cannot wait to spend this year with you all and I know that it will be fabulous!!