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The Vegas Golden Knights Game Changer Program presented by America First Credit Union will recognize and reward teachers in Clark County that are making a positive impact in their classroom and in the lives of their students. Outstanding teachers nominated will have the chance to receive a $1,000.00 grant to be used towards improving their classroom. Four recipients will be chosen and will be recognized at a Vegas Golden Knights home game.

Congrats to our first winner: 

Lisa Withrow is a hospitality, tourism, and marketing teacher at Valley High School. While her job title may read "teacher", it is evident that to her students, she is so much more. Those who have had the pleasure of being in a class of Ms. Withrow's describe her under various names such as leader, mentor, hero, mother figure, and friend. It is her kind spirit, and sincere commitment to the well-being of her students that sets her apart. She creates a positive impact on the lives of those she teaches by providing an "open and interactive" learning environment in which her students feel motivated to reach their full potential. In a consistent effort to give her students more than just textbook knowledge, she often goes the extra mile to educate them on life beyond high school. This kind of practical preparation is something they find invaluable, and in turn are extremely grateful for. Co-workers and students alike have sincere admiration for the high level of commitment and enthusiasm Ms. Withrow brings with her every day. Thanks to the recognition from over 20 of her current and past students Lisa Withrow was awarded a $1000.00 classroom grant from America First Credit Union to assist her in continuing to enhance her students classroom experience.

Congrats to our second winner: 

Aron Anderson is a AP Psychology teacher at Coronado High School. Past and present students had nothing but positive things to say when describing their favorite teacher. By the time students reach the high school level of their academic career, they've had quite a few educators. While most simply come and go, Mr. Anderson's students describe him as one they'll 'never forget.' It is his sincere belief in the ability of his students, along with his commitment to their success, that has left such a lasting impression on those he teaches. His students feel immense gratitude for his ability to challenge them in being open to new ways of thinking, and the passion he brings to his lessons each day. This, along with his creation of a comfortable and engaging learning environment through elements such as music, and open discussion, allows his students to leave every day feeling as though they've gained new knowledge. However, more than anything it is Mr. Anderson's unfailing effort to facilitate the growth of his students not only academically, but as members of the community, that those he's impacted are most thankful for.

Congrats to our third winner: 

Christopher Della Valle is a math and special education teacher at Shadow Ridge High School. Both his students and co-workers agree that his consistent hard work and positive spirit allow him to make a significant difference in the lives of those he teaches. Mr. Della Valle is described as one who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure his students receive the best education possible. These include things such as creating a cohesive learning environment, staying after hours to explain course material, and ensuring his students are cared for on both a personal, and academic level. He makes learning enjoyable through his ability to make his students laugh, while still conveying his material in a highly respected way. More than anything, those impacted most by Mr. Della Valle describe him as 'inspirational.' Both students and staff are grateful for the admirable amount of preparation and commitment he brings to his classroom. He is truly an example, and an aspiration of what it means to call oneself a teacher.

Congrats to our fourth winner: 

Catherine Callisto is a woman of many hats, as she is both a Biology teacher and the Athletic Director at Sierra Vista High School. While many instructors pride themselves on their ability to speak to students, it is Ms. Callisto's sincere desire to listen that sets her apart. Students and staff alike feel that she goes above and beyond to provide her students with not only the best education, but the best high school experience possible. One of the things her students appreciate most about Ms. Callisto is her understanding that being successful in school requires more than just being book smart, but to also feel as though you are supported mentally, emotionally, and physically. High school can be a stressful time for young adolescents, and she puts in the work both on and off the clock to aid students in reaching their full potential to become not only great in the classroom, but also the best version of themselves. Those who have the pleasure of knowing her describe her as "…not just a teacher…". Instead they use words such as mentor, coach, and cheerleader. Her unfailing dedication to both her school and those who walk its halls is truly something special, and there are many who express nothing but sincere gratitude for the countless ways Ms. Callisto has personally touched their lives for the better.