Local NewsRaising The Bar


Meet the Raising The Bar Advisory Board

Posted at 12:58 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 16:13:10-04

Members of the Raising The Bar Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to advise 13 Action News on issues revolving around education in Southern Nevada. 

Bridget Bilbray-Phillips is the executive director of Doral Academy. Bilbray-Phillips has held multiple positions with CCSD including serving as director of the School-Community Partnership Program for CCSD, curriculum specialist, assistant principal, principal, director and teacher. She was a 2010 recipient of President Obama’s HOPE Award for Education. Bilbray-Phillips believes the biggest problems facing our educational system are insufficient per pupil funding and obstacles and limitations on special categorical funds.

Rebecca Colbert is a Las Vegas native and a product of CCSD. She currently has 2 children enrolled in the school system. She is employed as the Head of Collections and Bibliographic Services for the Las Vegas Clark County Library District and has over a decade of experience as an adjunct English instructor at UNLV. She earned her BA and MA in English from UNLV and an MLS from the University of North Texas. She believes in every child’s fundamental right to a quality public education from their local school. The biggest challenge facing our education system in the valley is a lack of public education funding from the state which has translated into record high class sizes and poor teacher retention. This summer, Rebecca and two other parents launched the CCSD Parents Facebook group, an online community that teaches parents how to advocate for increased funding and raises awareness of the problems facing CCSD.

Tony Fountain is a retired senior vice president, CFO and project business manager. His career includes more than 38 years with URS Corp., an international engineering, construction and management company. Fountain earned a B.A. from the University of Pittsburh and an MBA from Loyola University in Baltimore. He and his wife moved to Las Vegas in 2009. He is a founder of Support America's Teachers, a community member on the Fertitta Middle School Organization team, a member of CCSD's Professionals And Youth Building A Commitment, a hike leader for Las Vegas Inspiring Connections Outdoors, and a board member of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association.

Deborah French has held various positions with CCSD since 1980. She has been a teacher, administrative specialist, assistant principal and a principal. She was also a principal in Yonkers, New York. She is member of the Las Vegas chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and was the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for CASA. She has helped members of the community including the homeless, veterans and women who were in abusive relationships. She is a motivational speaker and has taught racial sensitivity classes for Las Vegas police department.

Rebecca Garcia is a mother of four, including three students of CCSD. Her involvement as a PTA President and School Organizational Team Chair has lead her to become an advocate for public education. A resident of east Las Vegas for the last 12 years, she has seen first hand the challenges that exist in our school system. A proud magnet parent, she has also seen the best CCSD has to offer and feels every child in every zip code deserves a quality education. Garcia believes that the state funding formula is inadequate and must be modernized to meet the needs of current students. She also feels the reorganization is a work in progress that needs refinement and significant training to ensure success.

Eric Nelson is a native of Las Vegas who attended Rancho High School and graduated from Southern Nevada Vocational Technical School. After high schoo, Nelso began working as a phone company staller. He moved to Chicago and returned 12 years later as the general manager of City Signal, the first local telephone company to compete with Centel. Nelson has also held the role of vice president with two other telecommunications companies and is currently a senior information security consultant for CynergisTek. He is published writer and speaker on the subject of privacy and information security and has served as an advisor to local and state governments. Eric has worked with law enforcement to contribute to federal identity theft legislation and developed privacy and information security student curriculum for the University of Illinois.

Andrew Sierra is the student body president for College of Southern Nevada. Sierra also holds several other leadership positions in the community. He is a graduate of the East CSNHS program and is working towards an associate degree in political science. His main focus is finding solutions to student issues at CSN.

Charles Spain is an assistant principal at Dr. William H. Bailey Middle School. He is a graduate of Virginia State University and did further study at McDaniel College. He has more than 20 years experience in education and has taught on both secondary and post-secondary levels. Previous positions held in public education include: Gifted and Talented mathematics teacher, Mathematics Coach, Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Director-Secondary Mathematics, and Director of Mathematics. At the Post-secondary level, I held positions as Assistant Professor- Mathematics and Dean of Education. He has been with CCSD since February 2017 and says the number one challenge facing our education system is lack of adequate per pupil funding.

Christopher Roys, UNLV student body president
Eddie Garcia, CCSD employee
Cathy Trahan, CCSD employee
Brent Husson, Nevada Succeeds

What is Raising The Bar?

Together with parents, educators, business and community leaders, 13 Action News will lead the discussion on improving education in Southern Nevada. We will connect families with solutions that empower our community to build a foundation for a successful future. If you have a story idea, email us at raisingthebar@ktnv.com.