2nd Grade Team

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Jaclyn Gambino

     Hi, my name is Jaclyn Gambino and I love being a part of the Vassiliadis Team! This year will be full of new experiences as we build our classroom community. I am originally from Michigan and moved to Nevada in 2013. I attended Purdue University and graduated with a degree in Psychology and Child Development. I received a Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan with a specialization in school counseling and child development. Before working in the Clark County School District, I was a school social work counselor in Michigan and Connecticut. I also received my Masters in Elementary Education from National University.

     In my free time, I enjoy yoga and staying active. I like to relax by going to the beach and spending time with my family and friends. I work to create a warm, respectful, and safe learning environment for my students. Being a teacher is more than teaching academic skills; teachers leave a lasting impression on a child’s inner voice and confidence. Some of my favorite class activities include working on growth mindset and developing leadership skills that can extend outside the classroom. This will be a positive year for your child as we build on past successes and learn new things in second grade!

Bridget Stevens

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     Hello and welcome to 2nd Grade!  I am thrilled to begin my 14th year of teaching at Vassiliadis Elementary School!  I have a passion for educating and hope to spread my love of learning to all students in our academic community.

      I am originally from Buffalo, NY (GO BILLS!!) where I spent a frigid 22 years.  I attended Canisius College for my undergraduate degree in early childhood education and mathematics.  I continued on at Canisius College for my masters degree in gifted and talented education and differentiated instruction. In college, not only did I discover my passion for educating others, I also learned that continuing my own education out of the classroom--through travel--was very important to me.   My wanderlust began with a trip to Australia, and I have been traveling and immersing myself in other cultures ever since.  In addition to travel, some of my hobbies include reading, baking, story-telling, coffee, shopping for a good bargain, laughing, listening to music, staying physically fit and (most importantly) spending time with my family and friends. My husband and I have 2 beautiful children who bring us more joy than I could have ever imagined. 

     I strive to make my classroom a challenging yet safe learning environment for your child.  I believe in teaching critical thinking and problems solving skills through different learning styles.  I actively engage students using technology, problem based learning and a lot of movement!  Most importantly, I believe that students need to enjoy their time in school to truly learn!  My classroom is an upbeat, positive atmosphere where students will feel secure to learn and grown into the best student they can be!

Amber Ponte

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     Hi! My name is Amber Ponte, and I am proud to be a 2nd grade teacher at Vassiliadis Elementary. I have been a licensed teacher with CCSD for 13 years, and have experience in teaching grades 1-4. Havingbeen born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, I obtained my teaching degree at UNLV. I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a child. When I was in elementary school, I used to play “teacher” at home in myroom with my stuffed animals posing as my students, so I am convinced it is my calling as a profession. However, this profession is more than just a career to me. It is something that I truly enjoy doing every day, and is a part of who I am.  Having the opportunity to work with children and making a difference in their lives is what it’s all about. I connect with kids on a very positive level, and we always seem to make every school day fun together. In my class, I use a variety of strategies to make sure kids are comfortable and engaged in their learning, such as having consistent daily routines, participating in collaboration and group projects, using critical thinking skills to solve problems, having optional flexible seating, engaging in hands-on science activities, having student incentives, and knowing they are safe and cared for while they are at school away from home.     

     I was born and raised in Las Vegas, and I have lived here for 37 years. I have been married to my incredible husband, Dave, for the last 12 years. We have a wonderful son, Jax, who also attends Vassiliadis. When I have any free time, I like to spend it with my family, go out into nature, listen to music, or play with my pets. I also love working out and staying active by either going to the gym, riding my road-bike, hiking, or lifting weights in my garage.     

     Overall, I am excited to be a part of an amazing team who shares the same passion as I do, and I am looking forward to starting another year here at Vassiliadis. Second grade is a special year that will create many fun memories, and I can’t wait to share them with you. Let’s go, Cubs!!!

Haley Jackson

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     Hi Cub families! My name is Haley Jackson and I am beyond thrilled to be part of the Second Grade team here at Vassiliadis!  I was originally born in Southern California but moved to Las Vegas when I was 9 years old. This is when I met the teacher that is my forever inspiration in third grade and I have known that I wanted to be a teacher ever since.  Throughout high school, I was eager to take on volunteer opportunities at a local elementary school, as often as I could.  I later attended UNLV to receive my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and cannot imagine a better career choice. I believe strongly in helping children feel welcome in our classroom and find enjoyment in becoming a lifelong learner.  Prior to teaching 2nd grade, I taught Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) and worked as a Literacy Intervention and Enrichment Specialist for students in grades Kindergarten – 5th.  My teaching style and approach includes a focus on hands on learning, collaborative structures, and Project Based Learning (PBL) to foster high levels of engagement and enjoyment during the learning process.  My goal is for my students to feel excited to come to school every morning and leave with a smile on their face. I am looking forward having a wonderful year.

Riley Lauria

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     Hello! My name is Riley Lauria and I am SO excited to be a part of the Vassiliadis team. I was born in California and at a young age moved to Las Vegas. I attended CCSD schools and graduated from Legacy High School. I went onto UNLV and received my Bachelors of Elementary Education. My favorite part about being a teacher is challenging my students and celebrating their successes. My goal is to create a safe, fun, and positive learning environment where students are thrilled to come to school.

     In my free time, I love spending time with my family. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two sons. We love going on family walks and hanging out at the baseball fields. We love everything Disney and go to the parks as often as we can. 

     It is my pleasure to be teaching second grade and encouraging young minds to think outside of the box. I look forward to a fantastic year at Vassiliadis!

Jeanine Gusmerotti

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     Hello Parents and Students! My name is Jeanine Gusmerotti and I am so excited to begin another incredible year at Vassiliadis working 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 25 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 is also a teacher at Vassiliadis) and moved to Las Vegas where I continued to follow my passion for teaching.

     I enjoy going to the movies, reading, drawing, playing board games, camping, and bike rides, but most of all I love being a mom to my amazing children. My daughter Isabella is fourteen years old and will be entering ninth grade and my son Trevor is twelve years old and will be entering seventh grade. 

     I am looking forward to another wonderful year at Vassiliadis.  I feel children learn best by making learning fun while providing a safe and nurturing environment. Through the use of educational games, songs, working with groups/partners, hands-on activities, and building relationships with my students I can capture each child’s heart. One of the best things about second 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.

Leah McCallum

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     Hello, my name is Leah McCallum and I love being a part of the Vassiliadis community. I am originally
from Minnesota and moved to Las Vegas in 2005. I graduated from St. Cloud State University with a
Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Minor in Special Education. I continued my education at UNLV
to earn my Masters in Curriculum Instruction with an emphasis in math. I also attended UNLV to earn a
reading endorsement and served as a reading specialist. I have taught in CCSD since 2005. During those
years I have taught first and second grade.
     In my free time, I love to spend time with husband and my two daughters. We like playing games, going to the park, and watching movies. My oldest daughter dances, so I spend a lot of time watching her do what she loves. I love reading picture books to my youngest daughter and watching her learn new
things. When I am not with my family, I enjoy shopping, crafting, and going to dinner with my friends.
My goal for my students is to build a love for learning through collaborating with others. My classroom
is a safe and nurturing environment. Students feel comfortable and know that it is okay to make
mistakes because they help us learn. I enjoy incorporating songs, dancing, and games while learning. I
am looking forward to making school a fun place to learn where every student looks forward to coming
each day. I am so excited to have a fabulous year!

Sydnee Cimini

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     Hi friends and families, my name is Sydnee Cimini and I am excited to be a part of the Vassiliadis family! Las Vegas has been my stomping grounds since birth. I am a third generation Las Vegas native and love living so close to my family. I received my undergrad from the University of Nevada, Reno and graduated with my Master's in Curriculum and Instruction from UNLV. During my 6 years of teaching I have worked with 2nd and 3rd graders. I have two daughters, Paige and Quinn, and a dog named Nugget. When I am not teaching I enjoy reading, spending time outdoors, and being with family. 

     My favorite part of being a teacher is seeing the look on a student's face when they overcome challenges and persevere. I want students to feel empowered to do anything they set their minds to and to never give up. 

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein