NASB Awards 2021

CHS Counselor and School Board Trustees Honored with NASB Awards
Posted on 12/29/2021
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The Carson City School District is pleased to announce the most recent Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB) Award winners. Carson High School Counselor Bridget Gordon was honored as the state’s School District Employee Making a Difference; Trustee Mike Walker was honored as the state’s Director of the Year; and school board Trustee Joe Cacioppo was honored as the Individual School Board Member of the Year.

Once a year, NASB recognizes the achievements and contributions of school boards, school trustees, teachers, administrators, educational advocates and others from across the state of Nevada.

The School District Employee Making a Difference award recognizes the invaluable service provided to Nevada’s children by an employee who often works behind the scenes to impact learning and achievement.

As the Lead Counselor for the district, Bridget Gordon has worked tirelessly to build a professional network and foster positive school relationships with students, their families and employees at Carson High. She maintains rapport with people of all ages, especially the “at-promise” students she primarily works with. Mrs. Gordon specifically has a special talent working with children who need more guidance and support than those typically found in a traditional school setting including LGBTQ+ students. She is sensitive to student needs and makes appropriate referrals to ensure they receive the wraparound service they require to help them be successful in the educational environment. Her ability to personally connect with students and her talent at mentoring them on how to be successful in the educational environment is truly inspirational.

This past year, due to COVID restrictions, Mrs. Gordon was instrumental in the creation of a virtual Open House for Carson High School. She solicited the support of her fellow counselors and administration to create a virtual environment for families and students to visit individual teacher classrooms; student support services on the school campus such as the library, CTE, counseling, ESL and Special Education. The event was well attended, surpassing in-person attendance from the previous school year. Throughout the year, Mrs. Gordon continually challenged her team to find new ways to connect with students and families in nontraditional ways to ensure they remained engaged in the educational environment. The curriculum was thorough, and the content presented was engaging, creative and easy to navigate. She also collaborated with counselors in the district to create virtual offices during the pandemic. These office hours ensured all students had access to a school counselor during the pandemic regardless of their grade level or school of attendance. This ensured Social and Emotional Learning for all grade levels across the school district.  

The Director of the Year Award recognizes the consistent, effective communication skills demonstrated during meetings of the NASB Board of Directors as well as promotion of leadership skills and strategies for recognizing and rewarding student, administrator, educational staff, school, and district achievement.

Mike Walker was elected to the board in 2016. During his first four-year term, he served as a board member, clerk, vice president and president. He earned an Ed. S. in school administration, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education from University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), and an associate’s degree from Truckee Meadows Community College.

He taught third grade at Seeliger Elementary for 7 years and worked as a school administrator at Carson Middle School and Fritsch Elementary for 5 years. He then served as an Education Programs Professional in the Nevada Department of Education as the State Coordinator of Education for Homeless Children and Youth and a Title I program manager for 2 years.

He currently represents NASB in the State Board of Education, is the principal of Sutro Elementary School in Dayton and is the president of the Board of Directors of Food for Thought, a local non-profit organization that provides meals for impoverished students in Carson City through a backpack and summer foods program. While teaching at Seeliger, he was also voted Carson City's Favorite Teacher in the Nevada Appeal Reader's Poll.

The Individual School Board Member of the Year award recognizes the consistent use and development of effective boardsmanship skills and acknowledges productive involvement in raising the level of community support for schools and the promotion of leadership and successful practices, which improve student achievement while advancing the course of public education in the community, the district or the state.

After serving for more than a dozen years as a volunteer and consultant for the school district, Joe Cacioppo was elected to his first term as a school board member in 2012. During his first four-year term, he held the positions of member, clerk and vice-president. In 2016, during the first year of his second term, he was elected school board president.

Cacioppo is a veteran of the United States Army and a licensed civil engineer in Nevada and California. He is a principal civil engineer with the multidisciplinary consultant firm Resource Concepts Inc., where he helps oversee all engineering, environmental, survey and natural resource disciplines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Chico and has more than twenty-eight years of experience in public infrastructure, commercial, industrial and residential planning, permitting, design and construction management projects. Cacioppo is married with three children, all whom are alumni of the Carson City school system.

He has also served as the Nevada Section president for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 2009-2010, and as the Capital Branch president for ASCE, 2000-2001. Other volunteer service includes C&D Committee Member, 2015-2021, for the Northern Nevada Development Authority and commissioner, 2012-present, for the Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission. He was also honored as the 2008 Friend in Education recipient for the Ormsby County Education Association.