Heart of Education 2019

29 Apr Heart of Education Awards honors some of our best teachers

Congratulations to all the finalists in this year’s Heart of Education Awards, presented by The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and The Rogers Foundation.

Thousands of teachers received nominations from parents, students, alumni, PTA, administrators and the public.

Nominated teachers then completed applications that were judged by a group of community leaders who selected 721 finalists. Twenty of the finalists were named as this year’s Heart of Education award winners, and each received a $5,000 prize, a special award, plus $1,000 for a program of choice at their schools.

The 20 Heart of Education Award winners achieving this distinction are:  

  • Cassandra Arquette, Ed W. Clark High School
  • Ramiro Benavides, Mario C. and JoAnne Monaco Middle School
  • Jennifer Dantuono-Adams, Bob Miller Middle School
  • Jill DeStefano, C.C. Ronnow Elementary School
  • Jose Garcia, Ed Von Tobel Middle School
  • Jennifer Hampton, John A. Dooley Elementary School
  • Lori Hargrow, Duane D. Keller Middle School
  • Jennifer Hemme, Green Valley High School
  • December James, Jesse D. Scott Elementary School
  • Andrea Jydstrup-McKinney, West Career and Technical Academy
  • Richard Knoeppel, Advanced Technologies Academy
  • Rhonda Lamboo, Fay Herron Elementary School
  • Brian Lowery, Jack and Terry Mannion Middle School
  • Anna Mendez, Crestwood Elementary School
  • Gayle Miller, Global Community High School
  • Heather Rampton, K.O. Knudson Middle School
  • Lamont Russell, Liberty High School
  • Amy Sequeira, Mervin Iverson Elementary School
  • Lynn Slane, Robert L. Taylor Elementary School
  • Melanie Wilkerson, Spring Valley High School


The finalists were honored during a special evening at The Smith Center on April 26, with appearances/performances by former First Lady Laura Bush, Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara, Erich Bergen (emcee), George Wallace and Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz.

Special thanks to The Rogers Foundation and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts for creating this program to honor teachers in the Clark County School District!