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ECEC Staff

In This Section

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Jayia Lewis

Director, Early Childhood Education Center

Jayia E. Lewis is a passionate leader with over 30 years experience as a Director of early childhood education programs. As the preschool director for Walnut Valley Unified School District for nearly 20 years, her greatest accomplishment was participating in the design and building of their beautiful new facility. Though it was difficult to leave the school district, Jayia branched out to becoming a business owner and director of a large childcare facility in San Bernardino, Ca. where she worked for over 14 years. During that time, she was dedicated to the education and welfare of the diverse families of that community.

Jayia is excited about her new role at Nevada State as the Director of the Early Childhood Education Center. She enjoys connecting with students and their parents to help young children succeed. She feels blessed to be working with an amazing team who is dedicated to the education and love of children. She looks forward to the collaborations with faculty and community to bring programming that enriches the lives of the families at NSU and promotes a love of learning.

Originally from West Covina, California, Jayia earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from University of La Verne and her master’s degree from Grand Canyon University. She continues to be a lifelong learner in the field of Early Childhood Education and plans to take courses here at Nevada State to better meet the needs of children, parents, students, and staff.

Jayia has been married to her husband for 33 years and have 3 beautiful daughters together. When she is not working with young children, she enjoys travelling to Hawaii with her family, boating at Lake Havasu, AZ and writing children’s stories about her relatives and small dog Cupcake.

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Sophia Kraus

Coordinator, Early Childhood Education Center

As a child who learned English as a second language and whose parents emigrated to this country, Mrs. Kraus values diversity, a strong work ethic, and has an appreciation for young children who may struggle to learn new information. Her early life experiences culminated in her pursuit of a MA degree at The University of Akron in Family and Child Development. She focused her studies on the developmental impact of childhood learning disabilities.

Mrs. Kraus has over 25 years of experience primarily in the areas of child/family development and early childhood education. She has worked in a variety of settings including elementary schools as well as private childcare centers. She was a co-owner of her own childcare program (1994- 2007) and a former administrator and Interim Center Director for The University of Akron Center for Child Development Lab School (2007-2017). Mrs. Kraus brings additional experience in NAEYC accreditation, clinical supervision of student field experience, and coordination of community intervention programming for children and families.

Furthermore, Mrs. Kraus comes to Nevada State with over 18 years of teaching in higher education. Her courses have ranged across multiple disciplines including coordination of the Resilient Child Certificate involving the study of trauma-informed care, play-based intervention techniques, and play theory and assessment.

Mrs. Kraus has recently moved to Nevada from Ohio with her husband and three young children and is enjoying life in the desert. She is excited about her role as Coordinator of the new ECEC program and the potential impact this center will have on future generations.

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Veronica Fox

Administrative Assistant, Early Childhood Education Center

Since she was three years old, Veronica has lived in Boulder City, NV. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. She received an Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education at the College of Southern Nevada. She is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education at Nevada State University and will graduate in the Fall of 2024. She has ten years of experience as a Preschool Teacher, a Pre-K Teacher, and an Assistant Director. Veronica has prepared her classrooms to meet high-quality childcare standards and has attended the National Association for the Education of Young Children conferences in Nevada. Along with her experience, she has worked with the Emerging Leaders Program, received a Certificate of Recognition from NAEYC, and a Commendation Award from Senator Harry Reid for her professionalism and for providing High-Quality Education to the children of Nevada. Veronica hopes to one day own her very own Early Childhood Center and aims to have the same High Quality and Inclusion as the Early Childhood Education Center. 

When Veronica is not working at the ECEC, she works at the small business she runs on the weekends, where she creates artistic statement pieces, jewelry, and paintings that her clients commission. She has been a painter for most of her life, and she thanks her grandmother, Gwen, for her creative ability. In addition, Veronica likes to spend time with her boyfriend of 10 years and play video games together whenever she has free time. Veronica is delighted to join the ECEC as the Administrative Assistant.

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Keysa Rogers

Early Childhood Education Center and SLP Clinic Business Manager

Mrs. Keysa Rogers is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana traveling throughout her childhood, living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Mayslanding, New Jersey.

Mrs. Rogers has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Masters in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Business Administration with the specialization of Entrepreneurship from Walden University. Mrs. Rogers has over 20 years of senior operational management, non-profit, and senior management expertise.

Mrs. Rogers serves on many community boards and volunteers with local and national organizations in her spare time. Mrs. Rogers has received numerous awards such as Leadership Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Member of the Year Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Leadership Award from The Society Incorporated, Supporting the Arts, Regional Director’s Leadership Award, Sponsorship Award for Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority Celebration of Aging and is featured in Who’s Who in Black Las Vegas – 2nd Edition Mrs. Rogers joins the Early Childhood Education Center as the inaugural Business Manager.

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Katie Capps

Lead Teacher, Early Childhood Education Center

Katie has been a lover of learning all her life. She decided she was going to be a teacher at 10 years old, inspired by her literary heroes Anne Shirley and Jo March. Katie chose the field of early childhood specifically between her junior and senior years of high school, after she had volunteered with preschoolers during a summer camp. Katie went on to obtain a one-year certificate with a focus on children’s ministry and early childhood from Boise Bible College in 2005.

Following her relocation to Las Vegas, she obtained an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education from College of Southern Nevada in 2013, a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development from Southern Oregon University in 2016, and a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning: Early Childhood Education from Liberty University in 2018. Most recently, she obtained the Alternative Endorsement for Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed through coursework at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2019. Professionally, Katie has worked in the realms of childcare, preschool, and early intervention.

In her off time, Katie loves to reading, crafting, traveling, watching movies, playing video games, and spending time together with her husband Danny along with their dogs Lily Belle and Roxy Roo. Ms. Capps joins the ECEC as a Lead Teacher and an inaugural faculty member.

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Sarah Taylor

Lead Teacher, Early Childhood Education Center

Sarah Taylor is from Fort Myers, Florida and attended Florida State University for both her Bachelors and Masters degrees. After graduation, she began work as a social worker where she learned her passion for working with children in the school setting. After 4 years in social work, she made the leap into the classroom. She worked as a special education teacher in Florida for 4 years, and moved to Las Vegas last year with her family. She has a passion for education, art, music, and the outdoors. Ms. Taylor joins the ECEC as a Lead Teacher and an inaugural faculty member.

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Katherine Kirk

Lead Teacher, Early Childhood Education Center

Katherine always knew she was going to be a teacher. As a child, she held class in her bedroom with all her stuffed animals. Her career in early childhood, 10+ years ago, teaching in classrooms of all ages. Katherine has her Associate of Arts in Early Childhood and is currently working on finishing her bachelor’s degree. Katherine is passionate about teaching the whole child and believes each child is on their educational journey. 
 Outside of the ECEC, Katherine is an avid sports fan and can often be found at Vegas Golden Knights and Raider Games. She enjoys hiking around our beautiful valley, volunteering, reading books, and spending time with friends and family.

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Alexis Krause

Assistant Teacher, Early Childhood Education Center

Alexis Krause, a Las Vegas native born and raised, has always been deeply invested in nurturing young minds. With her own children now aged 10 and 13, she found herself inspired to delve into the field of Early Childhood Education. She has always enjoyed learning new concepts and activities to help children learn and grow. Having served as a long-term substitute and accumulating two years of experience in various educational settings, Alexis’s journey led her to her current role as an Assistant Teacher at the Early Childhood Education Center. She is dedicated to cultivating a safe and stimulating learning environment that prepares her students for the transition to kindergarten. While Alexis initially pursued a career in Business Management and holds an Associate’s Degree in Accounting, her true passion lies in shaping young minds. This has led her to transition her focus to Early Childhood Education, where she is currently pursuing furthering her Education at Nevada State University. Beyond her professional pursuits, Alexis finds joy in spending quality time with her family, exploring new destinations, indulging in activities like hiking and snowboarding, and appreciating the serenity of nature.

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Maria Lara

Assistant Teacher, Early Childhood Education Center

 Coming Soon!

Headshot of Claudia Ramos Martinez
Catherine Nunez

Assistant Teacher, Early Childhood Education Center

Originally from Henderson, Nevada, Catherine Nunez is currently pursuing her Speech Pathology degree at Nevada State University, with an expected graduation in 2026. Catherine’s passion for working with children led her to the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC), where she started as a student intern and later advanced to the role of assistant teacher. Her dedication and love for nurturing young minds are evident in her work. Beyond her professional endeavors, Catherine enjoys baking various goodies and spending quality time with her two beloved dogs and family.