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The Board

Bart Patterson | President

Bart Patterson

Bart Patterson was appointed as the seventh president of Nevada State College (NSC), Nevada’s fastest growing college, in April 2012 after serving as interim president for six months. Bart has established the top priorities of NSC to continue building quality, affordable academic programs to boost the economy of southern Nevada, increase student success, and identify public-private partnerships to creatively build out NSC’s 509 acre site in the foothills of Henderson. These goals will be achieved through a deserving student population and the dedication of NSC’s talented faculty and staff, who are accomplished scholars, teachers and mentors.

Nationally, Bart serves on the Council of Representatives and the Grant Resource Center of the Association of State Colleges and Universities, as well as being a frequent speaker and panelist on higher education issues. Locally, Bart serves as a board member of various community organizations including the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, Dress for Success Southern Nevada, Workforce Connections and the Board of Trustees of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. As a community representative, Bart was awarded the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award of Excellence for Community Leadership & Higher Education.

Before being selected President, Bart previously served as the Nevada System of Higher Education’s (NSHE) Chief Counsel commencing in August 2006 and then as the Vice Chancellor of Administrative & Legal Affairs in September 2009. He also served the NSHE as the first general counsel for the Community College of Southern Nevada and NSC. Patterson is an adjunct instructor in public policy at NSC. Prior to joining NSHE, Patterson was in the private practice of law.

Patterson earned a bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) in political science from Utah State University in 1984, and a juris doctor (with honors) from Duke University School of Law in 1987. He is an avid hiker and is especially proud of his three children – Amanda, Laura and Kendal – all of whom graduated or are attending college in Nevada.

Theo Small | Vice President

Theo Small

Theo is in his 26th year as an educator serving as a special education paraprofessional, classroom teacher, English Language Learner Specialist, and Elementary Science Trainer.

Currently, Theo is the Vice President of Clark County Education Association (CCEA), the Union of Teaching Professionals, representing 18,000 licensed & teaching professionals in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is most proud of the work of coordinating organizations to collectively address the issues which impact the school system in Clark County School District (CCSD). This collective impact system approach has influenced how CCSD attracts, hires, and supports its teachers & licensed professionals. CCEA recently worked closely in a bi-partisan process to change the delivery system of CCSD to increase decision making at the sight level, where schools control up to 85% of their own budgets.

Theo’s collaborative leadership is to look at multiple perspectives, but ultimately believes that decisions from curriculum, instruction and policy should be clearly be led by the professionals doing the work in coordination with parents & community.

He lives in the LV Downtown Area and has actively worked with City of Las Vegas & community leaders to improve the schools and neighborhoods which have the highest need such as absenteeism, truancy, poverty, English Language Learners. Part of this work is to advocate for Nevada’s funding system to become more equitable to address the needs of our most vulnerable students & families.

Theo sits as a member of the NEA’s NBI-C Task Force looking at the teaching continuum. He also sits on Nevada’s Teacher and Leader Council, which is the governor-appointed body responsible for the creation of the state’s evaluation system. He was also a member of InTASC Model Core Teaching Standard Update/Learning Progressions Drafting Committees and Model Code of Educator Ethics Task Force.

Melissa Blynn | Secretary

Melissa Blynn

Melissa Blynn is the Executive Director of Create a Change Now.  With her background being in nutrition and physical fitness, she knows the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle and implementing a balance between fitness, nutrition, and stress relief behaviors. Over the years prior to her work in philanthropy she dedicated her time to coaching children and teenagers on nutrition and physical fitness. It was during those years she saw the NEED for more education in prevention on health and inspiring children and families to be more proactive around nutrition. At that point she felt her life mission and passion was to help on a larger scale. It was in volunteering for other non-profits in the health sector she developed a natural leadership role in implementing health programs to the CCSD here in Nevada. With her knowledge, leadership and passion she leads Create a Change Now to being a positive impact on the health of the next generation in Las Vegas Nevada. She quotes, “ I am living my passion and helping so many children live a healthier life!”

Adam Ganz | Treasurer

Adam Ganz

Adam has lived in Nevada his entire life. He graduated from Bonanza High School (’89) before receiving his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona (’93). He graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1998, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award in a class focusing on the United States Supreme Court.

Adam has always sought to be a voice in the courtroom for the little guy, so after law school he took a position in a Litigation firm, and has been involved in the successful resolution of thousands of personal injury settlements totaling in excess of one hundred million dollars. He has also participated in obtaining jury verdicts in excess of fifty million dollars. He, along with his law partner of many years, has been Certified as a Personal Injury Specialist by the State Bar of Nevada. This certification has only been given to 17 lawyers in the entire state of Nevada.

For his entire nearly 20 year-career, he has represented injured individuals and in pursuit of his passion for making his community – OUR COMMUNITY, safer.

Adam is licensed to practice in Nevada, New Mexico (Inactive), Arizona, the U.S. District Court of Nevada and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has argued cases in front of the Nevada Supreme Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals.

He and his wife Prudence have been married since 1998. They love to hang at a ballpark here in our community or San Diego, CA, with their twins, Adam, Jr. and Sydney, and four dogs. Adam is also passionate about Baseball. He was the President and/or Board Member of the Summerlin South Little League from 2007 – 2013.

Board Members:

Brent Husson ~ Nevada Succeeds
Liberty Leavitt ~ CCSD Partnership Office
Ben Jones ~ JWD
Jennifer Markewich-Jones ~ JWD
Nancy Brune ~ Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities
Matthew Cox ~ Never Give Up Foundation

Board Advisors:

Dennis Bonilla ~ University of Phoenix
Kendall Tenney ~ 10e Media
Eva White ~ CCSD
Erika Christensen ~ UNLV COE
Ada Casanova ~ Community Leader