This year I begin my 27th year of teaching. Where has the time gone? This will be my third year of teaching kindergarten. I have taught 1st grade for twenty years, 2nd grade for two years, a combination 1st/2nd grade class for a year, and 4th grade for a year. My passion is definitely in the primary grades, but all children are great!
I am originally from North Dakota and moved to Henderson eight years ago in pursuit of perpetual sunshine! My adult son joined me two years ago and brought his two cats with him. They love my little dog Buddy-maybe a tiny bit!
I am thrilled to be teaching at Gibson Elementary, getting to know everyone, and am looking forward to working in the community where I live.
I am Julie Matanane and I will be your child's Kindergarten teacher this year. I am looking forward to our partnership in guiding your child through the new school year with excitement and growth. I am a mother of 3 adult children and have been a teacher in the Clark County School District for 36 years now. This is my 10th year at Gibson ES. My teaching career has been mainly in Kindergarten and First Grade. The young learners are my favorite! I whole-heartedly believe learning comes from doing and the doing part is not just paper pencil work. Children need opportunities and the freedom to work, make mistakes and work some more. I encourage students to speak to me as well as their classmates, often. Communication begins with listening, modeling, repeating, and participating. Once we can think about it and speak about it, then we can read and write about it. My classroom is not quiet, but purposefully noisy. When I am not teaching, my pastimes are reading, cooking, or just hanging out with friends and family. I can't wait to meet you all and get started on a great new year!
Hello, my name is Ms. Zuniga and I am very excited to join the Kindergarten Team at Gibson Elementary! I have been teaching for 23 years, in both first grade and kindergarten. I am fluent in English and Spanish and have even taught in dual language classrooms. This will be my first year at Gibson Elementary and I can not wait to meet all of you! I strive to have a positive and respectful classroom environment, where children feel safe and loved. I believe that every child can succeed with positive encouragement, patience and guidance. I am excited to teach your child a love for learning through fun and engaging experiences. My classroom highly encourages parent communication and participation. Together we can make the best team for your child's kindergarten experience!
Hello! I’m Darla Bennett, and I am incredibly excited to be teaching First grade at Gibson this coming school year! I have over 20 years of teaching experience which includes teaching both special education and general education students in elementary, middle school, and high school. I’m happy to be returning to an elementary classroom and look forward to investing in the lives of First grade students who are part of the community in which I live. My husband and I have two sons. My youngest son attended Gibson and will be a seventh grader this coming year. My oldest son will be entering his junior year of high school. We have a new kitten named Wendy and a dog we’ve had for many years named Jack. Our house is never boring with these pets running around. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy traveling, playing the piano, decorating my house, trying new recipes, and gardening. I look forward to a great year filled with learning adventures with my First grade Gibson Goldminers!
I am excited to be a part of the first grade team this year! I am looking forward to a year of learning, fun and adventure. I was born in upstate New York and moved to Las Vegas to attend UNLV. I graduated and taught first grade for 4 years at Cahlan Elementary and then transferred to Gibson 17 years ago. I live in Mountains Edge with my husband, daughter and dog. My daughter attended Gibson and is now in middle school. When I am not teaching, I enjoy being poolside, watching the Golden Knights play, dining out, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.
Hi, I am Mrs. Hyde and I am so excited to join the First Grade Team at Gibson Elementary! This will be my seventh year teaching. My goal is to foster a love of learning for every child in a fun and engaging environment. I am a strong believer in building relationships with students, families, and our community to help every child succeed! Outside of the classroom, I am a mom to two boys, a four year old, and a four month old. I love spending time with my family, and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. I am so excited to be a part of your child’s learning!
Hello! I’m Jackie Bisbal, and this will be my fourth year teaching first grade at Gibson Elementary School. I have taught elementary school in the Clark County School District for 17 years. I have a masters in education from UNLV and have recently become a National Board certified teacher. I consider teaching to be my passion. I feel so lucky that I get to work in a field that I love where I can impact children’s lives daily. I am originally from Buffalo, NY. I moved to Las Vegas in 2002. I currently live in Green Valley with my husband, 5 children, and 4 dogs. My children range in age from 18 years old to 11 years old. Between my home life and my school life, there is never a dull moment! I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with my family. I’m excited to start a new school year and get to know my new students and their families.
Hello! I’m Jackie Jorjorian and I am so happy to be teaching 2nd grade this coming school year. My family moved to Las Vegas when I was just five years old, and I spent many hours of my childhood playing school with my little brother and my stuffed animals...I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. I love, love, love teaching math and reading and sharing great books with kids. Kate DiCamillo is one of my very favorite authors because she writes beautiful stories about interesting characters that make readers feel all kinds of emotions. I can’t wait to meet my 2nd graders and watch them grow and learn this year!
Hi Goldminers! I am excited to be on the second grade team again this year. I have taught first, second, and fifth grade. I also was a literacy coach, where I shared my passion for reading and writing with other teachers. I have been teaching for 20 years and this is my eighth year at Gibson. I love being a part of the magic in second grade, where students move from learning to read... to reading to learn. I take pride in creating science lessons, where students can explore their world through hands-on activities. My husband and I have one daughter, Hannah, who recently graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in communications. We like to watch movies, spend time outside and go to Disneyland. I love animals and once had two pot belly pigs, named Timon and Pumbaa of course! Currently, I have one very spoiled chihuahua, named Mama. She is mischievous and often the topic of my writing lessons. I can’t imagine doing anything other than teaching. I am looking forward to another year at Gibson, seeing little leaders do big things!
Hello! I am so excited to be teaching second grade at Gibson this year. I was born and raised in Henderson, and attended Gibson myself as a child. I always knew Gibson was a home that I wanted to come back to. I graduated from UNLV with a degree in Elementary Education. My classroom has always been a place of collaboration, joy, and creativity all mixed into our learning. I have one dog, a black lab/beagle mix, who loves food and taking naps. In my free time I enjoy going to Disneyland, reading, and being with my family. I am so excited to meet the coming second graders and watch them do big things!
Hi! My name is Mindy Doty. This is my sixth year at Gibson, previously teaching second grade and fifth grade. I am so excited for another year with our third grade team. One of my favorite memories of my third grade year was reading The Boxcar Children, which is still one of my favorite books. I would eagerly imagine myself as Jesse or Violet, traveling with my brothers, finding treasures, exploring, and discovering long lost family! Imagination is a great way to build and make connections to learning. I am passionate about education and absolutely love when my students teach me new things. I believe in teaching the whole child. This means each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in my classroom. This allows me to maximize every child’s learning opportunity. Parent communication is key to our success and you will be an integral part of our classroom environment. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking with my husband and children. We love to explore new places on vacations and appreciate learning about other cultures and traditions. If I had to choose only one activity to do for the rest of my life, it would be swimming! I love to swim. I am looking forward to a wonderful year with your child.
Hello! My name is Patrick Pfeiffer. I grew up half my life in Las Vegas & the other half in Texas, but I went to college in Utah at Southern Utah University where I got my B.A. in Elementary Education with a specialty for K-3. During my time in school, I have learned & adopted a variety of fun & effective teaching strategies that I use to this day. But as a teacher I know that learning never stops, & I am excited to continue to learn each day. This is my 1st year at Gibson Elementary, 1st year being a 3rd grade teacher, & 2nd year having my own classroom. Before Gibson, I taught Kindergarten & was a CTT where I would tutor students on Reading Literacy & Comprehension. I am ecstatic to be working with the Gibson Elementary teachers & students! No where else will you find a group of educators so dedicated to putting kids first. I believe every teacher has the duty of putting their students first & I strive to uphold this philosophy in my own classroom community. I feel that when students have the opportunity to be kids, they learn from each other as much as they learn from my teaching. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy playing & writing music, playing video games, & spending time with my fur family! I have no doubt in my mind that this will be a fantastic year! We got this!
I am thrilled to be teaching third grade at Gibson & to be part of such a warm & dynamic community. I strive to create a caring, safe, & engaging learning environment, which encourages students to believe in themselves & to do their personal best. I grew up in Michigan, attended Western Michigan University & received my B.A. in Business Administration. I moved to Las Vegas in 2005 & furthered my education at Sierra Nevada University & earned my Nevada Teaching License. I also obtained my master’s degree & have been teaching in Clark County for 14 years. I have taught Kindergarten, 2nd grade, & Computers K-5 . I have served as the coordinator of an Intervention Center, providing small group instruction in reading & math to students in grades K-5. The past two years I supported K-5 classroom teachers as a Learning Strategist & Data Coach. I miss the classroom & children, the #1 reason I became a teacher, so I am eager to return to the classroom this school year! I have been at Ronnow Elementary for the past 14 years & am very excited to be joining the Gibson 3rd Grade Team! Besides teaching I enjoy traveling, cooking, & spending time outdoors with my husband & lab dog, Maci. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email. Let’s work together to make this the best year ever!
Hello. My name is Mrs. Fitzwater and I am happy to be on the 4th Grade team this year. I have been teaching at the elementary level for 11 years, mainly overseas. My family has recently returned to the States to settle here in Nevada. I am very impressed with our lovely Gibson Elementary. What a great community to learn and grow in! I have completed both Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in Education and enjoy engaging in life-long learning. During my free time, I enjoy going hiking with my family or playing piano. I look forward to sharing in your learning journey!
Hello! I am really excited to be teaching here at Gibson Elementary school this year! I have lived most of my life in Southern California, between San Diego and the Los Angeles area, but we recently relocated to Henderson in January. My husband and I have 4 children and our youngest will be a senior this year at Coronado High School. I am passionate about teaching and especially LOVE the 4th grade! I thrive on seeing my students excel, both in the classroom and in life. I encourage my students to find an enthusiasm for learning and personal growth. I love incorporating music, art, movement, and STEM activities in my classroom. My objective is to help influence my students to become passionate readers, hands-on learners, and have a desire for life-long learning and growth. I can’t wait to meet you!
Hi. My name is Mrs. Schlaffman. I am excited to be teaching 4th grade again this year. This is my 20th year teaching in the Clark County School District, and I have taught the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. I am a native Nevadan, having been born and raised in Las Vegas. I graduated with a degree in education from UNLV and also have my Master’s in Education degree. I live with my husband and two children--a twenty-one year old daughter and a twenty-three year old son. They are both alumni of Gibson, Greenspun and Green Valley. I spend a lot of time with my family, and we enjoy exploring the outdoors and going on trips together. I also enjoy reading (historical fiction is my favorite genre), photography and arts and crafts. I have always had cats (and 1 dog), but unfortunately, I do not currently have any pets right now. Some of my favorite books are Bud, Not Buddy, Summer of the Monkeys and Peter and the Star Catchers. I am looking forward to beginning the new year and getting to know each and everyone of you!!.
Hello! I’m Mrs. Bergquist and I am thrilled to be teaching 5th grade this school year! I have been a Goldminer for six years and I am blessed to be among such a caring community of learners and leaders. I grew up in Henderson, Nevada and attended Estes McDoniel ES, Lamping ES, Bob Miller MS, and Coronado HS. I continued my education and received my Bachelor’s Degree from UNLV and my Master of Arts in Teaching through Sierra Nevada. Aside from teaching, some things that I love to do are: boating on the lake, riding in the sand dunes, hiking, fishing, being outdoors with my family and laughing. I’ve been with my husband for 15 years and married for seven. We have one awesome son named Brody who is also a Goldminer. I cannot wait for an adventurous year ahead!
Hi, my name is Dakota Chaney and I am so excited to be teaching fifth grade for the 2021-2022 school year! This will be my sixth year teaching at Gibson Elementary School. I absolutely LOVE teaching fifth grade. I grew up in Henderson, Nevada and went to Lamping ES, Del Webb MS, Coronado HS, and received my degree in Elementary Education from UNLV. A few things about me are: I love to travel and go to the beach every summer. I grew up in a HUGE sports family. I love attending the Golden Knights hockey games, Angels baseball games, and football games with my family. I love reading and I am so excited to share all my favorite and new books with my students. I am looking forward to another great year as a Goldminer! :)
Hello! I’m Mrs. Rodrigues, a.k.a. Rodrigues 2.0. at Gibson, but no relation to Mrs. Rodrigues, our Assistant Principal. I’m wicked excited to teach 5th grade this school year. My intentional use of the word wicked as an adjective is meant to tip you off that I’m originally from Boston. After I graduated from high school, I moved west, graduated from UNLV and later received my teaching certification through iTeach Nevada. I’ve been teaching for over a decade but this is my 1st year as a Gibson Goldminer. I live in this community so I already feel at home here. My husband and I have been married for 26 years and have two children, a daughter in college and a son in high school. I love spending time with my family, watching shows, reading books and my favorite place to vacation is the beach. Teaching is my passion. My goal is to inspire students to love learning as much as I do. Together I promise we will have a year to remember!