Nevada State Board of Education Members


Felicia Ortiz, President
Elected District 3

Felicia Ortiz was born and raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico. She attended New Mexico Highlands University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School. Felicia moved to Nevada to pursue a career and worked in the private sector for several years before opening a small business. Felicia’s passion is to help others and give back to the community; she does this through her involvement in non-profit organizations. She currently serves as past-president of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America, is a member of the Latino Network of Southern Nevada, the Latin Chamber of Commerce, and is active in organizations. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and other community organizations. Felicia hopes to continue to be a role model and inspiration for the younger generation and help the community to thrive by growing her business and giving back.


Mark Newburn, Vice President
Governor Appointment

Mark Newburn grew up in Las Vegas, graduating from Rancho High School and UNLV, where he was one of the first students in Computer Science. Founder of Vizics Inc., Mark has over 30 years of experience in the computer field and has worked with some of the top technology companies in America. A longtime STEM education advocate, Mr. Newburn has served on several STEM related educational boards including the Northwest Career and Technical Academy Engineering Advisory Board and the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering Advisory Board. Mark currently volunteers as chair of the UNLV Computer Science Department Industry Advisory Board.


Dr. René Cantú
Elected District 4

Dr. René Cantú has dedicated his career to helping students of promise graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary opportunities. He is the founding Executive Director of Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates since 2014 (J4NG). Under his leadership, J4NG has concentrated on helping over 18,000 students across Nevada find pathways to opportunity through education, mentoring, training and skills attainment. Dr. Cantú has also worked in higher education as Vice President of Multicultural Affairs for Nevada State College. He received his BFA, MFA and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. As a so-called at risk student in his youth who was tracked into a non-college path, he firmly believes that students and their parents (not administrators or arbitrary test scores) should determine how far they can go in life. Dr. Cantú resides in Summerlin North with his wife and two sons, and has lived in Nevada since 2001.



Katie Coombs
Elected District 2

Katie Coombs is a resident of Reno, Nevada, working in the financial services industry for decades and passionate about the state of education in Nevada. She entered the Washoe County School District in 1977 as a student and all of her children have received (or are receiving) their education through the district. Over the years she has paired her financial knowledge with her observations as a parent to write parenting and lifestyle columns found in the Reno Gazette-Journal, This Is Reno, Bliss Babe Magazine, and Reno Moms Blog, and has hosted a radio show, Uncommon Sense with Katie Coombs, for several years. She has also lent knowledge, promotional power, and fundraising efforts to raise money for Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, the Reno Rodeo Foundation, and other nonprofits. She is presently the owner of Total Home Experience, a home concierge service, works part time in financial services consulting, and is a past member of the Zoning Advisory Committee for Washoe County School District.


Tim Hughes
Elected District 1

Tim Hughes is a proud third-generation Nevadan, Las Vegas native, and Clark County School District graduate. Inspired by his belief in the potential of every child, Tim has dedicated his career to education -- serving as a middle school science teacher, instructional coach, principal, and non-profit leader.

Tim currently serves as a regional vice president at a national education non-profit that focuses on supporting schools and districts to achieve equitable outcomes for students. Through this work he has developed an in-depth understanding of important topics in education, including: recruiting and developing teachers and leaders, improving instructional practices at the school and district level, early childhood education, and supporting school improvement efforts. Tim has also worked to give back to his community by serving on various local boards and committees. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and master’s degrees in science education and school leadership from Johns Hopkins University and Cal State East Bay.


Tamara Hudson
Assembly Appointment

Tamara Hudson, National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), is currently a Special Education elementary teacher in Clark County School District who received a bachelor's in Education from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, and a graduate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis of Special Education from Nevada State College in 2008. She has fourteen years of experience in education – both general education and special education – in the Clark County School District. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Tamara has been a liaison for various district committees and facilitated various National Board Certification Teaching programs. She continues to advocate for education, students, teachers, and families while improving her school community through before- and after-school activities for students and parents.


Dr. Katherine Dockweiler
Senate Appointment
3/18/19 to 3/30/21

Dr. Katherine A. Dockweiler is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and policy researcher committed to the improvement of education systems. She is a practicing school psychologist and recently served on former Governor Sandoval’s Statewide School Safety Task Force. She also serves as Co-Chair of the National Association of School Psychologists Communications Committee and as the Director of Government and Professional Relations for the Nevada Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Dockweiler developed the Layers of Analysis Framework, a methodological tool for deconstructing policy text in education at the text, policy, and societal levels to determine micro- and macro- implications. As an educational leader and author, she serves as a Founder and Program Director for the Nevada National Board Professional Learning Institute; as a Founder of the school safety and student well-being model Healthy Minds, Safe Schools; and as an author of the educational textbooks for secondary and elementary levels Multi-Tiered Systems of Support: The Definitive Guide to Effective Implementation and Quality Control (Routledge, 2019, 2020). Dr. Dockweiler is also a former President of the UNLV College of Education Alumni Association and serves on the PTA Board at her children’s school.


Mike Walker
NASB Appointment
11/01/2020 to 10/31/2021

Mike Walker grew up in Reno, Nevada and graduated from Wooster High School in 1992. He earned his B.S. and M.Ed. degrees in elementary education and an Ed.S. degree in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno. In his career, he has taught 3rd grade, served as a dean of students and assistant principal in Carson City, Nevada, worked for the Nevada Department of Education as the State Coordinator of the Education of Homeless Children, and currently serves as principal at Sutro Elementary School in Dayton, Nevada. Mr. Walker is active in the community, serving as the president of Food for Thought, a non-profit providing nutritious meals to children experiencing food insecurity, and participating on the board of the Jordan Woodward Memorial Scholarship. Elected to the Carson City School Board in 2016, he has served as clerk, vice president, and president.

Russell Fecht
NASS Appointment

Russell Fecht was born and raised in the small rural town of Lovelock, NV. He attended Eastern Oregon University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies with minors in Elementary Education and Music in 1999. He later earned his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2004. His 22 year career in education includes 6 years as an Elementary teacher, 10 years as a High School Principal, and is currently starting his 7th year as Superintendent for Pershing County School District.

In addition to his time as a teacher and educational leader he has been married to his wife Jennifer for 22 years and are proud parents to two boys Timothy and Conner. Russell has been a Varsity Coach for 16 years, helped run the youth baseball program, 4-H Leader, NASS President, is the current Lovelock Lions Club President and served 16 years on the Pershing County Recreation Board.


Cathy McAdoo
Board of Regents Appointment

Regent Cathy McAdoo was elected to serve on the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education in the 2016 election as the representative for District 8.

Regent Cathy McAdoo was born in Oklahoma and reared in Kansas, eventually moving to Nevada with her husband Kent who had accepted a graduate research study with the University of Nevada, Reno. While living in the outback of rural Nevada for 13 months, trailing a band of sheep for Kent’s research project, the couple found rural Nevada irresistible and has called it home ever since. They have chosen to live in Elko where Regent McAdoo most recently served as the founding Executive Director of Pace Coalition, a nonprofit organization who mission included education students in Elko, Eureka and White Pine counties about healthy life choices. This position afforded her 14 years of board experience at PACE and the opportunity to serve on other boards.

Through her career pathway, volunteer activities, love for people and her commitment to healthy communities, education remains at the core of what she does and who she is.


Christina Nguyen
Student Representative Appointment
6/1/2021 to 5/31/2022

Christina Nguyen is a high school senior currently attending Valley High School. She is involved in numerous extracurricular activities at her school including volleyball, student council, and key club, and is enrolled in Valley High School’s International Baccalaureate program. In the fall, she will serve as Student Body President for the 2021-2022 school year. Christina is also involved in Valley's school organizational team, where she has served as student representative and chair. Christina is truly honored to represent not only her school but all students in Nevada. She believes that students should always be included in conversations regarding them, and being in this position and advocating for all students is her greatest honor.