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Clark County Team

Acelero Learning recruits the highest quality staff possible.

Our team is the best equipped to serve your children, your family, and your community. We are proud to say that all of our teachers have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or equivalent and our senior leadership team is comprised of experts in education, health, finance, and operations. Our board of directors is made up of respected community leaders, educators, attorneys, financial managers, and Head Start parents.

Senior Leadership Team

Dianna graduated from BCCC as a Practical Nurse in 1979.  She joined the Acelero team in August 2008 because of her belief in the effectiveness of Head Start.  In her role as Director of Health and Nutrition, Dianna monitors student health indicators and plans their progress.  Prior to moving to Las Vegas, she worked with children and families at the Pediatric and Orthopedic Unit of Butler Memorial Hospital.  Dianna moved to Las Vegas in 1997 and was hired by EOB Head Start in a nurse’s position until the agency lost the grant.  She returned to the Head Start Program under Acelero where was originally hired as a Health Coordinator.  Since then, she has had the opportunity to advance – first, to the Lead Health Coordinator role and into her present position as the Director of Health & Nutrition.

Thomas joins Acelero Learning with a varied background in finance and operational leadership in Hospitality, Development, and Park/Attraction management. He most recently spent four years as CFO of the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation, a $100M Native American-owned company where he was awarded CFO of the year in 2021 for Acquisition International magazine. He and the team distributed the most profit back to the Hualapai people in the history of the company in his first full year in 2019. Prior to this role, Thomas worked with Fairmont, Commune Hotels and Resorts and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in Regional Finance roles overseeing up to half a billion in assets. Thomas also was the Senior Vice President of Finance for the Hospitality division at Irvine Company, a Newport Beach, California based on privately held multi-billion dollar development
the company running a portfolio of golf courses, marinas, and hotels and was one of the first hires tasked to develop, build and open the Resort at Pelican Hill – a five-star resort on the pacific ocean in Southern California. Thomas enjoys sports of all kinds, writing, scuba diving, and everything to do with music.

Shatoyia Nelson (She/Her) is the Human Resources Business Partner for Acelero Clark County and a native of the Las Vegas Valley. A UNLV alum, Shatoyia received her Master’s in Human Relations, focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Strategies of Change, from the University of Oklahoma in December 2022. She comes to Acelero with eight years of Human Resources experience. Shatoyia is also a certified Professional in Human Resources. She is a passionate HR Leader who believes in building relationships to create positive work environments by coaching folks to the best of their abilities.

Rose Moten-Collins is the Director of Family Services for Acelero Learning Clark County.  In this role, she monitors enrollment, recruitment, selection and attendance and provides services to enrolled families.  Rose received her M.A. in Organizational Management and started with Acelero Learning in April 2008.  Prior to joining Acelero Learning, she worked in Head Start in various capacities since 1991.  Rose is passionate about Acelero Learning’s mission.

Board of Directors

Tameka Henry is the Executive Director of The Obodo Collective and a mother of four, whose experience with Head Start began as a parent at the Acelero Learning – Clark County program in 2007. Ms. Henry quickly became one of our most vocal advocates on the importance of Head Start, on continued funding, and on closing the achievement gap. She is a former Policy Committee chair as well. She has organized and led several advocacy events, including sending over 1,000 letters to Congress on behalf of Head Start families and speaking to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his staff on the benefits of the program. Her work in ECE advocacy earned her the Martin Luther King Diversity Award in Education presented by the College of Southern Nevada. Ms. Henry is also an Ascend Ambassador with The Aspen Institute whose nationwide focus is on working with dual generations to move families beyond poverty. She is also a proud board member of the Region IX and National Head Start Associations, the Southern Nevada Association for the Education of the Young Child, and the Children’s Advocacy Alliances Strong Start Committee. She completed her associate’s degree at the College of Southern Nevada with the majority of her coursework in early childhood education.

Dr. Rutu Ezhuthachan is the Medical Directorat United HealthCare/Health Plan of Nevada. Prior to her role as Medical Director at United HealthCare/Health Plan, Rutu Ezhuthachan was Chief of Pediatrics from 2005 to 2013 at Southwest Medical Associates. In addition to her role on the Acelero Learning – Clark County board, Dr. Ezhuthachan is also a board member at Immunize Nevada, the Public Education Foundation, and Baby’s Bounty. Dr. Ezhuthachan holds a BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MD from the American University of the Caribbean. Additionally, she earned a master’s degree in medical management from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business in 2015. In 2014, she won the CDC immunization champion award for the state of Nevada.

Debbie Harpster is a Community Child Advocate. Ms. Harpster brings strong relationship-building, fund development, and program administration skills to the board, acquired over 15 years of working in the local nonprofit sector. Upon moving to Nevada in 2003, Ms. Harpster lead the Nevada chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA) for 5 years to promote awareness and prevention measures throughout the state. She has since worked at various Clark County nonprofit organizations providing violence prevention programs for youth; and serving those in need with homelessness prevention and food distribution programs. In her current role as Training Specialist with the Rape Crisis Center, she offers presentations to members of the community on child sexual abuse prevention, human trafficking recognition and response and provides child assault prevention programs to elementary aged children. Ms. Harpster also serves as the Chairperson of the Advisory board of PCA Nevada. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Long Beach.

Dr. Juanita (Jany) Ortiz-Robinson is the Project Facilitator in the Pre-K Title I program, Clark County School District. Dr. Jany Ortiz Robinson has over 20 years of experience in the early childhood education field and has presented at conferences across the country and internationally on education. She is currently a Project Facilitator in the Pre-K Title I program at the Clark County School District. Dr. Ortiz holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of San Francisco, a master’s degree in early childhood special education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a PhD in special education with a research emphasis in early childhood and cultural diversity from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Ortiz Robinson serves as the board’s Early Childhood Education expert.

Brian L. Pauling, CPA, CGMA, CCEP, DCP CFE, is Founder and CEO of Strategic Business Foundations, LLC. For over a decade, as Chief Executive Officer at Strategic Business Foundations, he has been a consultant, trainer, and keynote speaker for organizations across the country in the areas of diversity awareness, leadership development, and process improvement. Mr. Pauling also served in the gas and electric utility industry for over fifteen years in a variety of executive, management, and consulting capacities. Most recently he served as the Executive – Ethics and Corporate Compliance for NV Energy, Inc, where he was responsible for the company’s ethics and corporate compliance initiatives. Additionally, he spent six years performing assurance and advisory services at Ernst & Young, LLP. Mr. Pauling also serves on the board of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and 100 Black Men of Las Vegas; the United Way of Southern Nevada’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program; the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce; and Boardroom Bound, Inc. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hampton University.

Vivian Wright-Bolton is the Executive Director of Leverage Las Vegas. Vivian Wright-Bolton is a first generation Cuban-American, an activist, a local business owner, and a 19-year resident of Las Vegas. Ms. Wright-Bolton is community activist supporting and advancing issues affecting the Latino and LGBT communities on both local and national levels. She currently serves as the Executive Director for Leverage Las Vegas and is the Editor at Large of Proud to Be Out, a national LGBT online magazine. She is also a staunch supporter of HIV/AIDS advocacy and is an Executive Board member of ActionRED, a Las Vegas-based grassroots agency supporting people living with HIV/AIDS. She is also a founding member of the Las Vegas Steering Committee of the Human Rights Campaign. Wright became a foster parent in 2004, and is the mother of four biological and adopted children. She continues to champion efforts to improve the foster care system in Clark County and volunteers to help recruit prospective parents.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelfer is a Professor of Education at the University of Nevada. Dr. Jeff Gelfer is a professor and served as the coordinator of early childhood programs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 31 years. He teaches courses in early education programs, play theory development, curriculum development, strategies in early childhood education, program administration, child development, literacy, parent education and early childhood special education. He serves as the program editor for the Early Childhood Education Journal Teacher Education Division. He has been a school psychologist, learning disability specialist, kindergarten teacher, and administrator for the Easter Seal Society. He has also published over 70 articles, co-authored one textbook, and developed administrative program manuals for early childhood programs, and he is on the ACELERO Board of Directors, Nevada Teach Board of Directors and served 15 years on the Nevada Easter Seals Board of Directors.