top of page

1st Grade Team

Beth Prior

Prior, Beth.jpg

     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 32nd 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 27 years, and we have a 17-year-old daughter Olivia who will be in 12th grade at Nevada State High School.  We also have a dog named Stella.  We love to travel and hike. I enjoy making Shutterfly photo albums, taking classes at the gym, 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

Sandy Ohnstad

Ohnstad, Sandra.jpg

     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 30th 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.  Khloe will be a sophomore in high school at Doral Red Rock Academy and Kyra will be a freshman in college at CSN.  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!

Chara Mariani

Mariani, Chara.jpg

   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 28 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 a sophomore in college and Ava is in 12th grade.  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

Lang, Kyrsten.jpg

     Hello Vassiliadis families and students! My name is Kyrsten Lang. I am very excited to start another year
as a member of the VES team! I have taught 2 nd grade and love teaching 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 we have two beautiful young daughters. 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!”

Brianna Oberg

Oberg, Brianna.jpg

     Hello Vassiliadis Families. I'm excited for another amazing year at Vassiliadis. My name is Brianna Oberg and I have been teaching for 19 years. I have taught both 1st and 2nd grades throughout CCSD. I was born in Washington State and moved to Las Vegas for a teaching position. My undergraduate is from Eastern Washington University. Go Eags! Also, I have my Master’s Degree from Nova Southeastern University in reading. My passion is teaching students to love reading through sharing the joy, excitement and adventure you can find when reading a good book. 

     I am married to my college sweetheart Jason, and we have two amazing boys Jonah and Lincoln. Lincoln is here at Vassiliadis and going into 4th grade and Jonah will be in 7th grade. Both my boys play club soccer and flag football. Yes, I am a soccer mom! I also have a Mini GoldenDoodle named Bella, who is like my daughter. When I am not busy at soccer and flag football games I enjoy hiking, traveling and reading. 

First grade is such an incredible grade to teach, as I have the privilege to set the foundation for these young learners. Through a positive learning environment a child can achieve anything they set their mind to. This year your child will have the opportunity to learn through STEM activities and interactive learning centers. I love teaching through hands-on experiences as it is engaging and a fun way for students to learn. I look forward to getting to know each individual child and their family this year!

Erin Stafford

Stafford, Erin.jpg

     Howdy Cubs! My name is Erin Stafford, and I am living the dream of being a teacher here at VES! This will be my 14th year teaching, and I have taught both 1st and 2nd grades throughout CCSD. I grew up in College Station, Texas so there was no doubt where I would be going to college...Gig 'em Aggies! I also received my Masters in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern University. 

      When I moved to Las Vegas, I met my husband Derek and am now the proud mom of 4 energetic kids. 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 VGK Mascot! We are going to have a fun, fabulous, first grade year!

Alexis Wayne


     Hi, my name is Alexis Wayne, and I am so excited to be a part of the 1st grade team at Vassiliadis.  I was born and raised in Michigan, where I attended Michigan State University.  After graduating in 2006 with a bachelor’s in child development and a minor in Elementary Education, I moved to Las Vegas and began working for CCSD.  During my 16 years of teaching, I taught Kindergarten and 1st grade. In 2011, I received my Master of Education from UNLV in Curriculum and Instruction.  As a teacher for the school district, I was nominated for New Teacher of the Year in 2008 and the Heart of Education Award in 2016.

     I believe that children learn best through structured play and explicit instruction in a safe, supportive, and caring environment. I focus on creating a caring community within my classroom and encourage students to develop a love of learning. 

     Outside of the classroom, I love spending time with my family.  I have been married to my husband, Brandon, since 2014. We have two amazing children.  Our daughter Juliana is 6 years old, and Luke, our son, is 3.  My favorite hobby is yoga!  I have also been teaching yoga since 2010.  I am very excited to have an amazing year with a wonderful group of students and families!  

bottom of page