Early Educators of the Year September 2022

September 02, 2022

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Nevada Department of Education (NDE or Department) recognizes two Clark County educators as the recipients of the second annual Nevada Early Childhood Educator of the Year AwardCarl Esteban a Pre-Kindergarten teacher, and Bonnie Toth, an infant-toddler teacher, have been selected as recipients of this honor.

"I am thrilled to join our community partners and NDE's Office of Early Learning and Development in congratulating our two Nevada Early Educators of the Year, Bonnie Toth & Carl Esteban! Bonnie's excellence in working with infants and toddlers at the Kids Co-Op Preschool in Las Vegas is exemplary and It's incredibly important that our youngest learners have access to caring and attentive early educators like Bonnie. Carl is a shining example of excellence in teaching an inclusive Pre-K classroom at the UNLV / CSUN ECE Program.  His support to the 3-5 year-old children in his classroom will contribute to their love of learning and lifelong experiences. I commend you both and appreciate all you contribute to the education landscape in Nevada. Throughout all the challenges facing teachers over the last couple of years, you have risen to the challenge and shown the children in your care dedication and excellence. Thank you for all you do!" Stated Superintended Jhone Ebert

Carl Esteban is a pre-Kindergarten teacher at the University of Las Vegas CSUN Preschool (UNLV CSUN) Child and Family Resource Center (CFRC). Carl works in an inclusive 3-5-year-old classroom and is an exemplary teacher, dedicated to equity and excellence. While teaching, he has been a student at UNLV contributing to the University in more areas than one. Carl was quoted as saying, "I genuinely love being an early childhood education teacher because I know I am a part of something bigger than myself! Since teaching during the early childhood years is so critical to the overall development of a child, being in a position to lay the groundwork for a successful future for our youngest of learners is what I take immense pride in. "

"Teaching our youngest children is the greatest honor because I feel like I am really making a difference in our community," said Bonnie Toth, the Infant and Toddler Early Educator of the year.  "I also feel super fortunate that I get to play and learn everyday" Bonnie teaches in a Kids Co -Op Preschool in Las Vegas and has dedicated herself to the children in her community, showing excellence in her field.

The Nevada Early Childhood Educator of the Year award was spearheaded by the NDE Office of Early Learning and Development to recognize, elevate, and celebrate the important work done by early childhood educators in the State. This is the second year that NDE has recognized teachers for this honor.

Any Nevada educator who is employed as a full-time lead teacher serving in an early childhood classroom, defined as serving children between the ages of zero and five, is eligible to be recognized for this honor. Educators must have served in this capacity during the 2021-22 school year and plan to serve in a similar role during the 2022-23 school year.

From the pool of applicants, eight finalists were selected and interviewed in August 2021. The six other outstanding finalists for Nevada 2021 Early Childhood Educator of the Year were:  

Elizabeth Sims, Washoe County, UNR Child & Family Research Center
Erin Marquez-Tapia, Clark County, District Pre K KIDS (Autism) McCall and Brookman Elementary Schools, Tresa Pursley, Churchill County, Northside Early Learning Center, Margaret Bourgon, Clark County, University Methodist Child Development Center.
Emily Wagner, Clark County, Mitchell Elementary School
Janice Lester, Humbolt County, Humbolt County Early Learning Center
Christian Kauanoe Clark County, The Hills Preschool

Carl Esteban was celebrated with a surprise visit to UNLV by NDE and UNLV Leadership and his family on September 22. Bonnie Toth was celebrated by a classroom visit to Kids Co-Op by NDE, school leadership and family on September 29th Both awardees will receive generous donations from Lakeshore Learning and The Children's Cabinet and will represent early childhood education in Nevada as ambassadors and thought leaders throughout the 2022-23 school year.

Attachments: Photos of the recipients


Dr. Jose Silva