ECEC Staff - Nevada State College

ECEC Staff

Tara-Williams
TARA WILLIAMS

Director, Early Childhood Education Center

Ms. Williams is the Inaugural Director of the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) at Nevada State College as well as a part-time instructor for the School of Education (SOE) and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), Psychology Department. She began working at Nevada State in 2019, during the very beginning planning phases of the ECEC. She was delighted to be able to take on this amazing project and work closely with the architects and SOE faculty to ensure that the facility would be a very special early childhood program that would welcome all children and provide exceptional, high-quality programming for both young children as well as undergraduate and graduate students studying early childhood and early childhood special education, psychology, and speech and language pathology. The ECEC also provides opportunities for research in partnership with the other schools on campus. Ms. Williams has been a member of and presented both regionally and nationally at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conferences, led multiple early childhood programs though the initial and re-accreditation process and hopes to lead the Nevada State ECEC through the accreditation process during their second year in operation. Ms. Williams was nominated as the Nevada Association for the Education of Young Children, Director of the Year in 2011.

Treating children with respect and dignity is a priority for Ms. Williams. Infusing social justice, equity and inclusion into early childhood programming, in an age-appropriate manner, is essential for preparing children to be assertive advocates and use their voices to stand up for and to believe in themselves and their generation. Valuing children, their voices and thoughts is something that Ms. Williams’ feels is crucial in creating and maintaining a high-quality, thriving preschool. Placing emphasis on social and emotional learning infused with language, literacy and communication is our responsibility as early childhood educators. This is something Ms. Williams is very passionate about and has been a focus of her work for years.

Ms. Williams holds a Master’s Degree in Education, Educational Leadership, from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Child Development/Psychology from Central Michigan University. She has taught in public, private and independent schools, all in early childhood classrooms, infant-kindergarten. She has also taught college courses in education, early childhood education, educational psychology, psychology and child development since 2008. Ms. Williams spent seven years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in student services, academic advising and was awarded the Nevada System of Higher Education, Board of Regent’s Academic Advisor of the Year Award in 2006. Ms. Williams has been an administrator/principal for over 15 years in early childhood programs. In addition, she has also created and facilitated parent/infant-toddler classes and summer camp programs for children in Preschool-Grade 5. She has worked in and led programs in early childhood education in the states of California, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada. She is proud to be a Las Vegan for over twenty years and calls Henderson home with her husband and daughter.

Sophia-Kraus
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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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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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 in 2021. She is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree at Nevada State College and hopes to graduate in 2024. She has seven years of experience working as a Preschool Teacher, a Pre-K Teacher, and as an Assistant Director. Veronica has prepared her classrooms to meet high-quality childcare standards and has attended National Association for the Education of Young Children conferences here in Nevada. Along with her experience, she has worked with the Emerging Leaders Program, received a Certificate of recognition from the NAEYC, and a Commendation Award from Senator Harry Reid for her professionalism and for providing quality education to the children of Nevada.

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

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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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Lead Teacher, Early Childhood Education Center

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