Michelle Kirk - GATE
Hello, my name is Mrs. Kirk and I LOVE being part of the Vassiliadis team as the gifted and talented education (GATE) specialist. I was born and raised in the small town of Sonora, California. I love to snow ski, water ski, traveling (especially to any beach), and photography. My husband and I met in college, moved to Newport Beach, and then eventually moved to Henderson to be closer to family. We have a 12-year-old son who is active in karate, football, and basketball & a 7-year-old daughter who loves soccer, dance, and cheer!
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. After the completion of my student teaching, I was awarded the distinguished intern award from UNR which helped land a job with the Newport-Mesa Unified School district where I taught for two years. This is my 16th year with CCSD and in addition to GATE, I have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. However, I truly feel that I found my niche working with gifted students! I have been a GATE teacher for the past 10 years and look forward to another exciting year at Vassiliadis Elementary School, filled with exploration, project-based learning, educational field trips, acceleration, challenge, and enrichment.
Teaching is my passion and making sure that students are being challenged is what keeps me motivated and driven! I am honored to work with some of the brightest students and strive to motivate them to become the next great leader, inventor, scientist, philanthropist, and much more!
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela
“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework” ~Lily Tomlin
Melissa Lovewell - MUSIC
Greetings Families! I am so excited to begin my fourth year as the music teacher at Vassiliadis ES! I grew up in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I moved to Las Vegas for my first teaching job in 2004. I have now lived in Las Vegas for 12 years, with a 4 year adventure to Georgetown, Texas in-between. I have been teaching Elementary Music for 15 years.
I received my Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Slippery Rock University, PA where I played the trumpet. I later received my Masters of Education from Lesley University in Las Vegas.
My husband and I have two beautiful children, ages 7 and 5, two dogs, a cat and two hamsters.
Aside from my love for music, I love the outdoors! My family and I hike and camp every chance we get!
All students, K-5, will have music! We have an exciting, active curriculum full of playing instruments, singing, dancing and creating! We will explore the elements of sound and music making at all age levels! I am also excited to offer many extracurricular performance programs to the students in the upcoming school year!
"Music training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul." ~ Plato
Hello, my name is Megan Pristash and I am thrilled to be a specialist teacher at Vassiliadis Elementary School. I am so excited to expose our students to the creative and exciting world of innovation. My goal is to provide our Cubs with an engaging learning experience where students can collaborate on creative, innovate, and imaginative activities that will allow them to explore and extend their learning through the use of problem solving.
I was born and raised in Michigan and moved to Las Vegas thirteen years ago after doing my student teaching in Colorado. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and my masters in Reading and Literacy from Walden University. I have been teaching for the past 13 years and have taught 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and served as a technology specialist.
Some fun facts about me include: I have been married for 13 years to my husband, Alex. I have a six year old daughter, Evie, and, a three year old son Cru. I have a 12 year old boxer whose named is Starbuck (named after the fighter pilot on Battlestar Galatica). I love to do yoga/Pilates/Spin at Inferno Hot Pilates, go on bike rides and jump on our trampoline. As a family, we love to go swimming as my husband swam in college and I was a collegiate level diver (10 meters is really high!) I love drinking Starbucks/Dunkin Donut coffee and having picnics/playing at the park. I am looking forward to creating a year of life-long memories while guiding your child to be the best that they can be both in and out of the iLab.
Achilles Musni - Physical Education
Hello, Vassiliadis parents and students! My name is Mr. Musni (pronounced moose-knee) and I can't wait to begin another year at Vassiliadis and meet all of our new incoming families. I was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Las Vegas in 1997. I earned my Undergraduate Degree as well as my Masters Degree in Literacy from UNLV and spent 14 years as the PE teacher at Booker Elementary followed by 3 years at Bonner Elementary. I’m married to an amazing CCSD teacher and we have 3 kids that keep us very busy. I'm also a lifelong Oakland Raider fan (soon to be the Las Vegas Raiders) and look forward to another amazing year filled with exciting activities for our students at Billy and Rosemary Vassiliadis Elementary School.
Brian Davis - Counselor
Hello Cubs! I am thrilled for another year at the best school in the world, Vassiliadis Elementary! My childhood was spent in Yuba City, CA and I moved to Pleasant Grove, UT when I was 11. I’ve been in Las Vegas for 16 years and am married to a pretty rad gal named Candice. Our two boys, Ryder and Levi, are the center of our world and keep us entertained! We love to spend time in the outdoors hiking, camping, and snowboarding. I love sports and am always down for a game of basketball, pickleball or tennis.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at Southern Utah University and taught 4th grade for 4 years. I received my Master’s Degree in School Counseling through the University of Phoenix and this is my 13th year as an elementary school counselor. I believe in educating the whole child and think Aristotle said it best, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Helping kids to build their character and grow into the best person and leader they can be is something I feel very privileged to be able to help do. You’ll see me in classes teaching lessons on character traits and life skills, all of which support children in their social, emotional, and academic development. I love picture books and use them often in lessons because they have so many valuable messages they can teach all of us. One of my favorite authors is Peter Reynolds and any book that relates to growth mindset is an instant favorite.
One of the goals I have each year is to know the name of every kid at the school. I am looking forward to an amazing year and learning about all of the awesome things that make you who you are!
STEAM - Jennifer Kelly
Hi Cubs! My name is Mrs. Kelly and I’m excited to be starting my 4th year as part of the Vassiliadis family! This is my second year teaching STEAM and it’s the perfect fit for me because I LOVE SCIENCE! It’s so wonderful to watch students discover new things about the world around them everyday and I love being a part of that.
I’ve been working in elementary schools for 7 years and before that I was a Corporate Training and Development Manager with HR companies. I grew up in Waterloo, Iowa and earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University. I’ve been married to my husband, Todd for 17 years and our son Brandon is a 7th grader at Sig Rogich. He was once a Vassiliadis Cub too for his 4th and 5th grade years! We also have an adorable Cavapoo puppy named Rex. I enjoy hiking, biking, skiing in the winter, reading and spending weekends in Utah. I’m looking forward to another great year in STEAM with all our Vassiliadis Cubs!
ART EXPRESSION - Jennifer Kephart-Davis & Mandy Pesich
Hello Cubs! My name is Mandy Pesich and I am excited to be teaching art this year at Vassiliadis Elementary. I was born and raised in a small ski town- Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After I graduated high school I went on to attend the University of Colorado. I worked in the business world for a few years and realized my true passion is working with children. I started working in education and never looked back. I am currently finishing up my master’s degree in education.
I have been married to my husband Dan for six years. He is a pilot in the US Air Force so we love all things aviation! We have lived all over the United States but we certainly enjoy all the activities that Las Vegas has to offer. We love getting outdoors and exploring all around the southwest.
I adore working with children and I look forward to exploring the elements of art with all of our students! I love working at Vassiliadis and getting to work amongst the best staff, students, and parents. Go Cubs!!
EXPLORATIONS - Jill Jacobson
Kristin Lilley - RBG3 Literacy Specialist
Hi! I am Mrs. Lilley and I love being the RBG3 Literacy Specialist and Learning Strategist at Vassiliadis Elementary School. I am passionate about helping teachers find the best resources and most engaging activities for their students and enjoy getting to help ALL the cubs at our school.
I started teaching in 2011 here in Las Vegas, NV. I have taught 3rd grade, 1st grade, 4th grade, and Elementary Science. I realized I had a passion for training teachers and helping to develop educators during my years teaching science because I was given the opportunity to present science curriculum at many education conferences throughout the state of Nevada. I love school so much that I earned two Master's Degrees: a M.Ed in Instructional Design and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction. Both help me in my endeavor toward helping teachers at our school. My goal is to provide all students with the learning they deserve through training their teachers and providing them with the best resources possible.
I have been married for 12 years to my husband, Taylor, and have two children. Gavin and Brooklyn are twins and will be starting 4th grade at Vassiliaids for the 2020-2021 school year. We have one dog, a German Short-haired Pointer named Boss. We used to have a Desert Tortoise named Chip, but two years ago he moved into the courtyard at Vassiliadis and is now a Cub! Stop by and say hi to him if he’s outside basking in the sun. I love spending time with my family and friends and throwing parties. If I weren’t a teacher, I would be a party planner, especially for children’s birthday parties and weddings. My hobbies also include cooking, trying new restaurants and watching the Vegas Golden Knights. Go, Knights, Go!
My favorite quote is also how I live my life. Never quit! “Life might have its failures, but this was not it. The only true failure can come if you quit.” -Andrea Beatty, author of Rosie Revere, Engineer.
I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon. I attended to the University of Portland in Oregon on a baseball scholarship and earned a degree in sociology. Following college, I played professional baseball in the Colorado Rockies organization for 9 years making it as high as AAA. I moved to Las Vegas in 2003 and soon after earned my Masters in Elementary Education as well as my CTE in Technology. I taught 3rd grade for 4 years at Frias Elementary, I was an Educational Computing Strategist (ECS) for 2 years split between four different CCSD schools, and I spent 4 years as a Learning Strategist specializing in technology at Bonner Elementary. I am so excited to begin another year at Vassiliadis Elementary School and love having the opportunity to help teachers and students integrate technology into their education.
I have two sons. My oldest is a 7th grader at Rogich MS and my youngest is a 5th grader here at Vassiliadis. Both boys play baseball so outside of school I spend a vast majority of my time coaching and watching Little League and club baseball games. In between baseball outings I like to golf and work around the house. I'm looking forward to another great school year at Vassiliadis!
Chandler Martin - STEAM & Technology Coordinator
Greg Gusmerotti - PE & Behavior Support
Hello to the community of Vassiliadis Elementary School. My name is Greg Gusmerotti and I am excited and honored to be a part of 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 17 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 the last 17 years. I am excited to embark on a new vision and adventure. I am fortunate to start a new position where I will be able to reach out and help more students in our community on a daily basis. Every day in school with such incredible students is truly a gift.
I am lucky enough to be joined in the Vassiliadis’ community with my own family. My wife Jeanine teaches first grade. My daughter Isabella is a Vassiliadis graduate. My son Trevor will be entering 5th grade in August. 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!