5th Grade Team

Tina Stevens

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     Hello to all Vassiliadis students and families! I love being part of the fifth grade team and the wonderful school community here at Vassiliadis Elementary School.  I am originally from a rural town in Illinois.  There were only 35 students in my graduating class and 850 people in the entire town!   I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Western Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from BYU.  Throughout my teaching career (over 30 years) I have taught fourth grade, resource, and fifth grade. I also teach for UNLV in their Elementary Education department.   In 1999, I moved to Las Vegas with my husband and two children.  We now have 4 (3 boys and 1 girl) who have all attended CCSD schools.  My youngest attends Palo Verde HS. We love being involved in sports. Through the years, I have sat through hours and hours of baseball, basketball, football, and gymnastics meets cheering them on.  Now we spend our time attending and cheering on the Golden Knights!  

     In my spare time you can find me reading or shopping.  I have an extensive classroom library and love sharing my passion for reading with my class.  We enjoy visits to Newport Beach a couple times a year.  Reading on the beach is a luxury I look forward to after finishing a great school year!  I look forward to meeting the families of Vassiliadis ES and especially those fabulous fifth graders who will share my classroom with me!

Jennifer Guia

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     Hi! My name is Mrs. Guía, and I am thrilled to be a part of the fifth-grade team at Vassiliadis! I am originally from Columbus, Indiana, but have lived in Las Vegas for the past 22 years. I attended Purdue University for a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, then went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. While working at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, I met my, now, husband of 28 years. We have two wonderful adult children who, fortunately, live locally. When my kids were younger, I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom before returning to school to earn my teaching degree, followed by a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Additionally, I have a certification in Math Instruction from Stanford University. This is my 12th year teaching in the Clark County School District.

     I enjoy hiking and camping with my three dogs, knitting, and making cheese in my downtime. I love reading and science and I hope my 5th-grade students will develop a passion for both. My students can expect to engage in collaborative, hands-on activities where they can think critically and make connections. I am looking forward to making the journey towards middle school with my fifth graders!

 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Veronica Swenson

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     Hello Vassiliadis Cubs! My name is Veronica Swenson and I am beyond excited and grateful to be a Vassiliadis Cub, especially a member of our exceptional 5th grade team. Born and raised here in Las Vegas, I graduated from UNLV with a bachelors in Psychology. Our little family moved to Minnesota when our girls were younger and I earned my masters from St. Mary’s University in Curriculum and Instruction. We moved back home to Vegas, where I have been teaching ever since. I have taught second, third, and fifth grades, and have truly enjoyed each grade. I have my Gifted and Talented Education endorsement and enjoy implementing these qualities and strategies into our classroom with all learners. 

     When we aren’t at school, my family and I enjoy spending time together. My two girls, Sadie and Madi, will both be in high school this year, and we are looking forward to Madi’s lacrosse games and looking at colleges for Sadie! We love taking hikes at Red Rock and Mt. Charleston, and walking our three dogs, Sam, Baxter and our rescue, Stella. We can also be found taking quick trips to SoCal for much needed solar and beach recharging. If we aren’t out exploring some place, we are snuggled up at home watching movies and baking, or watching hockey! Go Knights Go!

     I truly feel that my purpose on this Earth is to advocate for and enrich the lives of children. My students mean so very much to me and ensuring they grow in all areas is the main goal of our classroom. As Antiope said to Diana in Wonder Woman, “You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know.” There are many reasons I love this movie, but the overall themes of compassion, selflessness, and morality are key. 

     5th grade, here we come! Let’s make your last year of elementary school a year full of learning and memories you’ll never forget! 

Jaime Borkholder

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     Hello! My name is Jaime Borkholder, and I'm super excited to be a part of the Vassiliadis family. I am originally from South Bend, Indiana, home of the South Bend Cubs (an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs).  While living in Indiana, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University with additional endorsements in both Life Science and Mathematics. These endorsements give me the ability to teach Science and Math up to ninth grade. I had the pleasure of teaching sixth grade students for five years. Every new class of students brought me joy and challenges. Each year, I marveled with wonder and amazement at the growth my students and I made together. 

     In my spare time you can find me walking my mischievous dog, Gypsy, and spending downtime with family and friends. I love to read various types of novels and explore investigative shows. Every year my mother and I take a girl’s vacation to the beach. This beach can be found in the United States or even the Carribean especially Jamaica. When I cannot go to the beach, I visit with my brother and his family in Colorado.

     I want all my new fifth grade students to know that they have me as their teacher for life. I enjoy watching my students grow in extracurricular activities as well as academics. As Vassiliadis events become available, I look forward to spending time with not only my students but their families. My hope is that my students and I are able to share our successes and challenges for years to come. I cannot wait to get to know all of my fifth grade students this school year! 

      One of my favorite quotes is, “Education is improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” - Marian Wright Edelman

Andrew Giacomino

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     Hello Vassiliadis students and families! My name is Andrew Giacomino (jocko-mee-no) and I am excited to be joining the fifth grade team and proud to be a Cub! I was born and raised in Butte, Montana and moved to Las Vegas seventeen years ago to begin my teaching career with the Clark County School District. My teaching experience includes eleven years at the elementary level and five years at the middle school level teaching my favorite subject, Math! In addition to my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Montana, I’ve most recently earned a Master’s degree in Administration from Sierra Nevada College.  

     My wife Noelle and I have two young children and two quirky rescue mutts. Our daughter Beatrice will be starting Kindergarten next year at Vassiliadis and our son Grover will become a Cub the following year. We enjoy being active outdoors and visiting family in Montana and Minnesota. We are also big sports fanatics, especially when it comes to our love for the Golden Knights. When I’m not spending time with my family, I am tirelessly working to improve my golf game or “hacking” it up on the course with friends.  

My classroom philosophy is work hard, play hard. I adhere to this idea by bringing energy and enthusiasm to my lessons. I’ve been known to participate in many games of four square and epic dodgeball battles with my kids during recess! My students will be encouraged to become strong leaders and great citizens while building a classroom community that is both challenging and supportive. My focus will be on helping my students become responsible, independent learners prepared to take the next steps in their educational journeys.  

 

 “If you do the work, you get rewarded.  There are no shortcuts in life” -MIchael Jordan

Davide Ghilarducci

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     Hello! I'm Mr. Ghilarducci and I am so excited to join the Vassiliadis family. I am originally from Sunnyvale, California which is located in the Bay Area. My family and I moved to Las Vegas roughly two years ago. I attended Fresno State for my BA in Liberal Arts and got my teaching credential at San Jose State. This will be my twelfth year teaching and third year teaching 5th grade. I taught 6th grade the previous nine years. When I moved to Las Vegas I made the transfer to 5th grade and have been enjoying the move down. 

     When I am not busy at work, I am blessed to have an amazing wife and two awesome kids. My wife Ali and I enjoy exploring what Las Vegas has to offer with our kids. Makena (6) and Myles (3) keep us busy with their crazy amount of energy and enthusiasm. If we are not checking out a new park, we are at home playing some crazy games. With any extra time I am not with my kids, I enjoy baking, playing football, building LEGO, and playing video games. I am so excited to meet all the amazing students and families at Vassiliadis.  "Tell me and I forget.

Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin