Las Vegas Southwest Rotary Newsletter

November 30, 2015


December 7 Program


Katie Decker, Principal

Bracken Elementary School & Walter Long STEAM Academies

Considered one of Southern Nevada's most innovative educators and leaders, Katie Decker, principal at Walter Bracken and Walter Long STEAM Academies in Las Vegas, has developed an effective magnet program that transformed her school completely. When Ms. Decker was appointed principal in 2001, Walter Bracken was one of the lowest performing schools in the district and is now one of the top. In 2013 Bracken earned High Achievement status from the state of Nevada for Adequate Yearly Progress and ranked among the top 5% of all schools in the district. Walter Bracken offers a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Katie was awarded the 2013 Principal of the Year from Magnet Schools of America. In 2015, the award-winning program received the National Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence and she received the Terrel Bell Award for Outstanding Leadership. She has been recognized by the City of Las Vegas with a Katie Decker Day on April 15th, 2015 and a Congressional Record in September of 2015.
Due to the success of the program at Bracken, Katie was given a second school to Franchise the model developed. She is now the principal of two schools and is replicating what was built at Bracken. She has established community partnerships, constructed outdoor gardens, refreshed the school building with colorful murals, developed an onsite bank for students, and installed learning labs to successfully create an environment that is appropriate for theme-based learning. She works as a consultant for Magnet Schools of America and serves on several committees for community organizations.

Upcoming Speakers:

December 14: Bob Welling, The Smith Center for Performing Arts

December 21: Dark

December 28: Dark


Meeting Happenings

Invocation: Ron Reynolds; Photos: Ted Henderson; Mr. Mic: Bruce Pope; Newsletter: Clinton Pope; Raffle: Roll-over



Magical Forrest School Bus & Santa Run: Ed Guthrie reminded the club that the Club's Magical Forrest bus support event is Friday, December 4 at 8:30 a.m. Please sign-up in the book and contact Ed if you have additional questions. Also, Ed encouraged members to participate in Opportunity Village's annual Santa Run held on Saturday, December 5 in downtown Las Vegas. For more details please visit

Holiday Party: The Club Holiday Party will be at Eric Colvin's house the night of December 3 at 6 p.m. A sign-up can be found in the book or you should have received an invite. Please invite past members or guests.

Santa Clothes: Mitchell Horst reminded the Club that the Las Vegas Club will be doing a Santa Clothes shopping event on the morning of Thursday, December 3rd and Galleria Mall. Jordana Lane will be in attendance and if you are interested in participating, please contact her.

PAY YOUR BILL! It's really easy!: Bruce Pope reminded the Club that it is their duty to keep up to date on their invoices and asked the Club to resend outstanding balances before the end of the year so everyone is aware where they are at in their billing. The Club recently instituted on-site credit card payment so any member can pay their bill at any meeting.

Elections and Past Presidents: Josh Satterlee asked all Past Presidents to stay after next week's meeting (December 7) to discuss elections.

Thank you!: Ted Henderson thanked all the members that participated in his matching funds challenge for KNPR. He especially wanted to thank Shawn Callahan.


This man obviously has too much money! Josh Satterlee apparently let a $20 bill drift to the floor and was given it back but assessed a $20 recognition for losing his money.

Turkey Day fun. . . Rick Colvin was recognized $100 for his rather uneventful Turkey Day.

How many awards can one man receive? Ed Guthrie once again received an award, this time for OV's job discovery program which helps those with intellectual disabilities find jobs throughout the community. He was recognized $200 but it was dropped to $150 due to his wonderful holiday tie.

Successful, but not too successful . . . Justin Kalb was assessed $175 for being listed in Vegas Inc.'s contractor list at #5. He was asked why not #1 where he said that he doesn't want to have to go after the projects that would make him #1 and he is only a figure head at his company.

If you don't show up, you'll get yours anyway . . . Sherm Frederick was recognized $125 for his lack of attendance, Rich Bowler was recognized $125 and text bombed for his Nevada Business Magazine profile and Pepe Charles was recognized $100 for his daughter's college of choice, Notre Damn's, heart wrenching loss to Stanford over the holiday.

Keeping Giada Open . . . Joanne Blystone was recognized $150 for her patronizing of Giada on Thanksgiving where she enjoyed a polenta waffle with the part of the family she enjoys.

Gifts for the President:

Joanne Blystone gave Mitchell Horst a bunch of Pawnstars themed golf balls.

Guest Speaker:

Amy Wiles, Vice President of Development and Kevin Eberle Orchestra Personal Director from Las Vegas Philharmonic

Amy and Kevin provided an overview of 17 year old philharmonic and their 2015-2016 season's offerings saying that this year's events have been expanded by 60 percent with the addition of new matinee showings. The moved to The Smith Center three years ago and have found to have great success with their native Music Director Donato Cabrera. They have also introduce a new Flex Ticket program for the first time this season allowing people to by 8 tickets to use to their discretion throughout the season. They gave away two tickets (Adrienne Cox won) to this next weekend's The Snowman performances where the Philharmonic plays the score to the movie as the movie is shown. To learn more or to buy tickets please visit or call 702.749.2000.


Pass it on...

We encourage you to share this newsletter with your family, friends and co-workers or anyone whom you feel might be interested in Rotary and joining an organization dedicated to building a better world.

Club meetings are Monday's from 12:00pm - 1:30pm at Lawry’s The Prime Rib located at 4043 Howard Hughes Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89169. Please check the Club’s website for meeting times and events at

Yours in Rotary Service,

Mitchell Horst
President 2015-2016