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
Dr. 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.
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.
Middle School Principal
Dr. Andre Denson joins us as the middle school 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.
Middle School Assistant Principal
Tiauna Barrett is a life-long educator with sixteen years’ experience. She taught elementary school for the Clark County School District for 11 years before expanding her career into administration in the charter school network here in Las Vegas, Nevada and for a brief period in Denver, Colorado. In addition to her experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge from her formal education which includes a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction, and Master’s in Advanced Teaching & Leadership. As an educator and a mother of four children, she believes that family engagement is critical to a child’s success in school and has made it a professional and personal mission to partner with families and the community to enrich the educational experiences for all students. Ms. Barrett looks forward to another year at NVVA and is especially excited to continue her work with the Student Leadership Council and the Parent Advisory Council.
Student Persistence Facilitator
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
Tabitha Nettles joins Nevada Virtual Academy from Southern California where she has served as special education paraprofessional, special education teacher and an assistant principal. Tabitha has also spent time as a school coordinator where she facilitated the implementation of targeted population programs, including working with students and families who were English Language Learners. Tabitha’s core values are rooted in the potential of each student. She continues to advocate for the inclusion of students with disabilities, the growth and achievement of all student populations, and for sustained collaborative relationships with families.
Family Resource Coordinator and Student Support Administrator
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 Student Support Administrator and Family Resource Coordinator. Kristina enjoys being outdoors and a part time instructor at Western Nevada College in her free time.
Nestor Pineda was born and raised in Las Vegas and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education from UNLV in 2012. He started his career as an elementary school teacher and earned two Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Education Technology from Grand Canyon University.