Our Leadership Team
Our seasoned leadership team is committed to ensuring the finest education possible for Nevada Virtual Academy students. Leadership team members include:
Head of School
Yolanda Hamilton has been an educator for over 20 years. Originally from Chicago, she attended DePaul University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. After moving to Las Vegas in 1996, Dr. Hamilton completed a Master's degree in Educational Supervision and Administration from the University of Phoenix and her Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Organizational Leadership. Her experience includes teaching at both the K–12 and post-secondary levels, mentoring new teachers, and leading schools in traditional and charter settings.
High School Principal
Janine Calhoun grew up in New York and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University. She started her career in education as a school counselor in 2002 after earning a master's degree in school counseling from Hofstra University. After pursuing a master's degree in elementary education at Nova Southeastern University, she spent the next eight years as a 5th and 6th grade teacher. She earned her Master of Arts in Education Administration and Supervision from University of Phoenix in 2009 and became a high school counselor for Nevada Virtual Academy in 2011. Calhoun is currently in her second year as the high school principal.
High School Vice Principal
Katie Kelly attended Boston University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education. She holds a Masters of Education degree in both Curriculum and Instruction and Teacher Leadership. She has served as an English and English Learner teacher, Learning Strategist, and Instructional Coach and worked at the middle and high school levels. This is her third year at Nevada Virtual Academy.
Dr. Andre Denson joins us as the K-8 principal. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the world of education. He began teaching mathematics and progressed as an administrator in the CCSD. He served as a middle school and high school principal, assistant and region superintendent, area superintendent and chief educational opportunities officer before retiring. Since then, he served as an administrator and principal at another charter school prior to joining Nevada Virtual Academy. He is an avid sports fan who coached basketball and officiated various sports (basketball, football and track and field). His passion is working with young people and their families to bring about success. He is a proud father and grandfather who appreciates what parents/guardians do for their children. Dr. Denson’s philosophy is that every student can be, and will be, successful with support and guidance. He is looking forward to working with all stakeholders at Nevada Virtual Academy.
K-5 Assistant Principal
April Koebcke has served many roles in her 19 years in education from, bus driving to assistant principal. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UNLV and began in 3rd and then 4th grade. Her love of science drove her to get a master’s degree in science education. This led to teaching science to students from Kindergarten to 6th grade, at CCSD and Somerset Academy for much of her career. She had a short stint in kindergarten before getting her administration degree and becoming the assistant principal of Doral Academy. She ran an RTI program for several years and believe it is vital to be able to pinpoint a student’s “holes”, no matter their level, and fill those holes for optimal growth! She also believes that relationships are the key to education on all levels. As is said, “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” She looks forward to connecting with the staff, students, and parents at Nevada Virtual. Mrs. Koebcke was born and raised in Las Vegas and feels, now more than ever, that this is her city. Her daughters, 11 and 14, love to go on new adventures throughout the city. When she is not adventuring with her kids, she loves hiking, football (watching not playing 😊), reading and anything Disney!
Middle School Administrator
Samuel E. Johnson began as a high school special education teacher in 1984 and progressed as an administrator in the CCSD. He served as a middle school dean and high school assistant principal at Coronado High School, before retiring in 2017. This year he has joined Nevada Virtual Academy. He has served as a high school cross country, basketball, football and track coach. In 2005, Mr. Johnson was assigned an athletic administrator and serviced as an NIAA member. He enjoys helping young individuals become successful and he likes working with students, teachers, parents and the communities. Mr. Johnson’s philosophy is that students can accomplish anything they want out of life, if they are willing to realizing that education is a process that takes patience, commitment and consistency. He is looking forward to working with the community, students, teachers and parents at Nevada Virtual Academy.
Special Programs Director
Lisa Dzierbicki has lived in Las Vegas, NV for over 30 years. She has been in the field of special education for 14 years which began as a teacher’s aide, then teacher, facilitator, and currently the Special Programs Director at Nevada Virtual Academy. Ms. Dzierbicki earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Special Education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She completed her Master of Science in Educational Leadership at Western Governors University. Ms. Dzierbicki is an advocate for best practice procedures in the field of special education. She is dedicated to work as a team and determine what is most appropriate for students with disabilities.
Family Resource Coordinator and FAST Lead
Kristina Weckesser has worked in the hospitality field for 10 years before attending University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Human Service Counseling and a Minor in Addictions. She started her career in Juvenile Justice advocating for victims of juvenile crimes and working with first time offenders. She has participated in several non-profit programs to support children at risk such as, Partnerships for Youth at Risk where she facilitated guidance lessons, risk assessments and crisis counseling to families and youth. After completing her Masters of Art in Schooling Counseling at University of Phoenix, she spent the next three years supporting children at a Treatment Foster Care agency where she was a case manager and later promoted to the Foster Parent Recruiter for Southern Nevada. She joined Nevada Virtual Academy in August of 2014 as a High School Counselor and is currently serving as the Family Academic Support Team Lead and Family Resource Coordinator. Kristina enjoys being outdoors and a part time instructor at Western Nevada College in her free time.
Patricia Daley-Blomstrom (Patti Blomstrom) has been an educator in Southern Nevada since 1980. She was granted a bachelor’s degree in History from Valdosta State College, an endorsement in Elementary Education, master’s degree in Elementary Education as well as her administrative endorsement from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Patti taught first grade, second grade and fourth grade and served as an assistant principal at a numerous school with diverse populations. An elementary school principal for twenty years, she is in her first year with the Nevada Virtual Academy.