Superintendent of Public Instruction
Steve Canavero, Ph.D
Steve Canavero, Ph.D., is the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Nevada. Steve was appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval in February of 2016 to oversee the state’s education system serving nearly 450,000 students. Steve previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Student Achievement at the Nevada Department of Education where he played a major role in the development and passage of a comprehensive suite of educational investments and reforms successfully passed in the 2015 Legislature. Steve previously appointed to serve as the first director of Nevada’s newly created State Public Charter School Authority. His initial work there resulted in Nevada’s state charter school policy becoming one of the highest rated in the nation. Steve is serving his second term as a board member and treasurer at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. Steve has also been a Member of the Chiefs for Change since 2016. He earned a bachelor’s in Ecology and Systematic Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a PhD in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Deputy Superintendent for Student Achievement
Prior to joining the Nevada Department of Education, Brett served as a Vice President with StudentsFirst, a non-profit organization focused on organizing parents, teachers, and other concerned community members to advocate for great schools for all children. Through this work Brett supervised StudentsFirst's state teams across the county. He led his teams in the creation and implementation of strategic plans that utilized grassroots membership activities, traditional and social media engagement, electoral campaigns, and state and local advocacy efforts to pass high impact education legislation and regulation.
From 2010 to 2012 Brett worked as Director of Education Policy for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), a non-profit business organization representing the interests of more than 400 of Silicon Valley's largest and most influential tech companies. While at SVLG, Brett was instrumental in the passage of key pieces of legislation, the building of a high quality early childhood and parent resource center, and the creation of a clearinghouse for local education related volunteer opportunities.
Before his transition to education policy Brett worked at the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office on juvenile justice and gang related issues. Brett began his career with Teach For America as a fourth grade teacher in San Jose, California at a high need school where 100% of the students receive free or reduced-priced lunch and 70% are English-Language Learners.
Brett earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of San Diego. Brett comes from a family of public school educators. His mother was an elementary school teacher and literacy coach, his father was a school psychologist, his sister is a special education teacher, and his wife is an elementary school teacher.
Roger Rahming, MBA
Deputy Superintendent for Business and Support Services
Roger has executive experience spanning 30 years in both the public and private sectors. He has been providing strategic consulting to corporate executive staff, boards of directors, executive councils, tribal councils, among others, while coordinating the efforts of research, IT development, call center, and support staff, in performing financial, operations, marketing, strategic research, analytics, and advocacy. He has recently held the position of Chief Operations Officer for a national consulting group acting as a strategic advisor relating to direction, product development and acquisitions. Mr. Rahming has worked six years for the State of Nevada holding the positions of Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Public Employees' Benefits Program (PEBP) and Director of Finance for the Department of Education. While At PEBP, he researched, evaluated and recommended changes to employee benefit offerings to ensure the program's effectiveness and sustainability and also presented at a national conference on managing operations through the use of data. Previously, in three years at the Nevada Department of Education he worked continuously with diverse stakeholders ranging from school district superintendents and fiscal staff, the independent Charter School Authority, various lobbying groups, the Board of Education, and the Department of Administration. He worked extensively with the Budget Office and Legislative Council Bureau on the State of Nevada's largest single budget, the Distributive School Account.
Prior to his public sector service, Roger worked 17 years as a business consultant specializing in consumer research and strategy development. In this capacity he consulted for two of the nation's largest gaming companies, designing and implementing corporate wide customer satisfaction initiatives focusing on attracting and retaining customers in an increasingly competitive market. Further, he conducted numerous customized research projects, including but not limited to ad testing, feasibility studies to determine the efficacy of bringing a Major League Baseball team to Las Vegas, property expansion analyses and casino re-design studies additionally he has also completed projects for the Department of Defense and ESPN. Prior to his work as a strategic consultant, Mr. Rahming was the Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis for a major regional banking company and was involved in all strategic initiatives including bank mergers and acquisitions, and identifying product differentiation opportunities to optimize net income. While there he developed sophisticated product line and organizational profitability models to assist in product based delivery strategies and also developed a proprietary staffing model.
Deputy Superintendent for Educator Effectiveness & Family Engagement
Dena Durish has served as the Nevada Department of Education Deputy Superintendent of Educator Effectiveness and Family Engagement since December 2013. The goal of her Division, which includes the Offices of Educator Licensure, Educator Development and Support, and Parental Involvement and Family Engagement, is ensuring that all Nevada students are served by effective educators.
Durish is responsible for the statewide operations of the Department’s programs that support Nevada’s educator workforce of 25,000+ teachers, school/district leaders, and other licensed educational support personnel. Programs she oversees include licensure, traditional and alternative route to licensure educator preparation program approval and evaluation; the Nevada Educator Performance Framework; Teacher of the Year; Teach Nevada Scholarships; Great Teaching and Leading Grant Fund; New Teacher Incentives; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; and federal Title II-A and Professional Development funds. Her staff support the work of the Commission on Professional Standards, the Teachers and Leaders Council, the Statewide Coordinating Council for the Regional Professional Development Programs, and the Advisory Council on Parental Involvement and Family Engagement.
Durish began her educational career with Clark County School District in 1994, where she worked as a teacher and administrator, and most recently as a Coordinator of Employee Onboarding and Development. She has also worked in higher education as a Program Director and adjunct faculty member. A graduate of Indiana University, Durish earned her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from UNLV, and has completed doctoral coursework in Educator Preparation and Development at Claremont Graduate University in California.
Public Information Officer
Greg Bortolin was appointed as the Public Information Officer in February of 2016. He is the Department of Education’s communications contact for media relations, social media and public records requests.
Greg is a Trustee for Sierra Nevada Journeys, a nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship.
Greg spent the first 10 years of his career in journalism, principally as a sports writer at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In 2001, Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn appointed Greg as his Director of Communications and Press Secretary. Greg spent nearly 15 years in the Nevada System of Higher Education, first as the Manager of Media Relations at the University of Nevada, Reno and later as the Director of Communications and Government Affairs at the Desert Research Institute.
Greg is a product of the Carson City School District. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Director of Safe and Respectful Learning Environment
Christy McGill is the director of the Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Environment for the Department of Education in Nevada. Their mission is to train, empower, educate, collaborate, advocate, and intervene in order to ensure that every student in Nevada, regardless of any differing characteristic or interest feels fully protected physically, emotionally, and socially. McGill was the former director of Healthy Communities Coalition. During her role as the director she brought together people and agencies to build a school based health hub without walls in rural Nevada to serve the needs of the community and students. She believes that radical inclusion, love and acceptance are tools for sweeping social change, and that everyone should be part of creating work, school, and community spaces that bring out the best in people.
Management Analyst III
Sarah Nick joined the Department of Education after learning about their Fastest Improving State in the Nation vision and supports the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Strategic Planning and legislation. A longtime educator in Title I and English Language Learning classrooms, Sarah received a Golden Apple for Outstanding Instruction in South Florida before supporting a large school district with the underrepresentation of minority students in Gifted and Talented identifications, standards-based assessment, and consolidating their student information system among other intrapreneurial projects. Her time in classrooms included coaching teachers and student teachers to use data to inform instruction and manage classrooms. Sarah holds a BA in Economics from Wake Forest University and a MsEd in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.