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Alumni News


News Type:  Alumni News Lower School News Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Friday, April 24, 2020 Byline:  Lynn Wexler
AEC has seen its share of heroes since the COVID 19 crisis hit the world and impacted our school community. Among them are AEC faculty, students, and parents who continue to work - since the close of school - to assist those in the greater Las Vegas community who are in need of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) as they work to save lives. Their efforts and dedication tell a story of community caring and pride!
Startup Incubator and Innovation Lab 3D Printing team leaders Tobin Herringshaw and Robin Pence, along with Rachel Ziter, Gil Mayron, Milly Joyner, former Startup Incubator Coordinator Leon Wilde, and newly appointed Upper School Head Dr. Camille McCue identified coding files for medical face shields and mask clips; organized and mobilized twelve 3D printers and filament to be delivered to homes by campus security; and assisted 3D printing students via Zoom and Edsby with the printing process.
Students Theo Cooper, Jeri Weiss, Daisy Shuper, Harris Lin, Jack Kim, Jacob Roiter, and Ash Abrahamson continue to 3D print devices in between their virtual classes and homework.
PTO President Rachel Allen, PTO parents Melanie Lewis, Milenne Aldana, and Emily Litt, and the entire Hafter family -  mom Jackie, and students Gabe, Judah and Aviva - are working diligently to assemble over 250 face shields by attaching elastic and transparency sheets to the 3D printed headbands.
Art Specialist Debbie Levy continues to lead a team of volunteers making much needed (and beautiful) cloth masks. Many thanks to Jillian Potashnick, Milenne Aldana, Rachel Allen, and Tiffanie Zuttermeister. 
AEC parent Dr. Avi Weiss and Development Director Lynn Wexler are working to get the word out to the greater Las Vegas medical communities about AEC’s PPE efforts and to deliver finished products to those in need. The response for devices continues to be overwhelming. 
Our school’s dedicated team of volunteers has thus far worked to print, assemble, and deliver over 250 shields, 75 mask clips, and 100 cloth masks as between Centennial Hills Hospital, Clark County Medical Society, First Responders (AMR ambulance and Clark County Fire Department), a senior-living home, synagogue, hospice, and Native American Pueblo. They have also collaborated with 3D printing volunteers from the Clark County Library Systems, Children’s Discovery Museum, and Jewish Nevada.
The need for PPE continues. The efforts to help continue. The AEC team cannot print, assemble, and sew fast enough. More volunteers are needed. Please reach out if you can to tobin.herringshaw@adelsoncampus.orgor
The AEC community is proud of and thankful for its Campus Heroes in this time of COVID 19 crisis.

AEC Partners with Lauder Javne School, Budapest, Hungary

News Type:  Alumni News Lower School News Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Friday, November 8, 2019
AEC high school students and faculty partners with the Lauder Javne School, an independent Jewish Day School in Budapest, Hungary. VIEW PHOTOS
The High School Morim Limmud, sponsored by SOS International Enriching Jewish Identity, is a five-year international educational exchange and professional development opportunity for American and European Jewish day schools. Each U.S. school partners with a Central or Eastern European school for the duration of the program, which includes a series of travel exchanges for participating teachers and students.  The teams establish personal and professional relationships both for students and teachers and proactively participate in Jewish Community Renewal.
Our students and faculty have experienced the Lauder Javne School and Hungarian education and have been able to engage in week-long joined group activities, including home hospitality and personal connection with Lauder students and their families with AEC students; visit sites of Jewish importance;  visit other touristic sites, and teaching. AEC teachers and students led activities and lessons to Lauder students and teachers. Upon returning to AEC, these cohorts of students and faculty will continue to work together to perfect the art of teaching and to share best practices in general studies education and Jewish education.
A special opportunity afforded to our AEC Budapest team was to meet the founder of the Javne Lauder School, Ms. Anna. Not only was Ms. Anna the founder, but she also served as Head of School for 30 years. Since her retirement, she has been instrumental in the rebuilding of the synagogue at Balatonfured Village, and the museum of Jewish Excellence. Ms. Anna is an inspiring educator and community leader who spoke about her journey to keep Jewish heritage alive and celebrated instead of a sole focus on the tragedy. Inspired by their interaction with Ms. Anna,  our AEC BUdapest team discussed how we can emphasize the importance of leadership in our school’s community, the Jewish community, and the wider community in general.
Other experiences on the educational trip included visiting  the House of Jewish Excellence where researched Jewish scientists works and contributions to mathematics, science, and technology have been felt worldwide.  The Dohaney Street Synagogue provided both experiential learning and breathtaking views. It is the third largest synagogue in the world and its attached museum helped to bring perspective to the learning students have done in preparation for the trip. 
We are excited for the opportunity to host our new friends and colleagues from the Lauder Javne School in Las Vegas in February.  We plan to show them our strong Las Vegas Jewish community and keep this living bridge alive.

AEC Rises to New Academic Heights

News Type:  Alumni News Lower School News Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Friday, August 23, 2019 Byline:  Matt Boland
This week, twenty-one students from the Adelson Educational Campus were honored by the College Board with special recognition for outstanding performance on the 2019 Advanced Placement exams. The AP Scholar Awards recognize high school students who have demonstrated exemplary college-level achievement on AP Exams. The recognized students are:
“The twenty-one students listed represent 38% of the Classes of 2019 and 2020. Their achievement is reflective of these students’ ambition and intellect and speaks directly to the quality of education provided by Adelson Campus faculty and to the tremendous advantage of small class sizes,” states Adelson Educational Campus college counselor, David Girard.
This year Adelson Education Campus welcomes its eleventh freshmen class during a period of dynamic growth and record academic achievement. The Class of 2019 raised the standard for national testing, academic recognitions/honors, and merit scholarships. With a class average of 1330 on the SAT, the twenty-nine members of the graduating class earned more than 3 million dollars in merit scholarship awards from their respective colleges and universities last spring.
“The Class of 2020 is already showing a stronger average on the PSAT than we have seen from prior classes, and with eight AP Scholars already recognized by the College Board, we look forward to another strong academic year as the Class of 2020 challenges its predecessors’ record of success,” anticipates David Girard.
With college acceptances to Harvard, Stanford, Duke and other prestigious universities, Adelson Educational Campus continues to provide its students with every advantage to succeed. AEC’s recent investment in innovation and technology, featuring a 5,000 sqft state-of-the-art technology lab called the Startup Incubator, propelled the school’s national profile as best-in-class for its innovative, integrated curriculum. Another investment for AEC students is the school’s partnership with the nationally acclaimed PSAT/SAT prep company, PrepExpert.  PrepExpert boasts an average 200 point increase on standardized tests for college admission -- an increase which can be the edge our students need for admission to elite universities. We are confident our partnership with PrepExpert will further solidify the esteemed collegiate opportunities our graduates have earned in recent years.
The Adelson Educational Campus is an academically invigorating Preschool through Grade 12 independent private school based on Jewish values and identity.  The close-knit community, inspired by expert teachers and administrators and fueled by a forward-looking curriculum, shapes independent thinkers and morally-minded citizens. Through the School’s abiding belief in the combined power of intellect, empathy, and Judaism, students see themselves in personal as well as community contexts—fostering genuine creativity, purposeful action, and enduring friendships. The Adelson Educational Campus is a drug-free facility, providing random drug testing for all high school students and faculty members. AEC students graduate as concerned, perceptive, engaged thinkers, fully prepared for post-secondary study at top universities. Equally important, AEC students espouse the intellectual and personal fortitude to embrace—and enhance—a world of accelerated change.

Great Start to School Year!

News Type:  Alumni News Lower School News Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Friday, August 16, 2019 Byline:  Matt Boland
Students who attend the Adelson Educational Campus experience many advantages, including superb facilities, dedication to advanced academic programming, a safe and drug free campus, small classroom sizes inspiring individualized attention, and direct access to highly qualified teachers. At AEC, students receive more effective instruction, but more importantly, educators get to really know their students. Our teachers understand what our students need to thrive academically, socially, and reach their full potential. We call this the Adelson Advantage. We pride ourselves on what makes our school unique and exceptional. Throughout the school year we will showcase these advantages with stories of our students, faculty, and academic programming. These advantages instill a feeling of PRIDE. The pride we have for our school and for our community.
As we enter the 2019-2020 school year, we have many new and exciting things to celebrate. For starters, our new Head of School, Dr. David Portnoy, has arrived and is already making connections with the AEC community. You can find him outside the dome entrance every school day from 7:20am-8:00am, waving and greeting students and families. In case you missed Dr. Portnoy’s announcement as Head of School, read it here.  
Lilach Bluevise, who was announced as the principal for both Lower and Upper School, has already begun inspiring the faculty and students to go above and beyond this school year. The feeling of school pride and positive momentum going into the new school year, is a direct result of Ms. Bluevise’s leadership and enthusiasm. Read Ms. Bluevise’s announcement as the new all-school principal.
During the summer, the school hallways and classrooms were full of activity as Summer Camp at AEC was once again a huge success! Our summer camp provides an excellent experience for AEC students, creating fun memories and bonding experiences with classmates and faculty. Notice the two group photos (right) showcasing how much our camp has grown over the past two summers. 
Todd Peters, AEC’s chief of security and safety, has been busy over the summer adding additional security features, hiring new security staff, and continues to improve security protocols. During the summer break, AEC Security added 27 new cameras to the perimeter wall of the campus property.  The cameras provide added coverage of the exterior wall; inside and outside the property. Camera analytics will instantly alert Security to anyone trying to scale the wall or anyone attempting to enter campus property. Please help us in welcoming Charles Payne to the AEC Security Team.  Charles comes to AEC from Schecter School and has 10 years experience working security at Temple Beth Shalom. The security and safety of our students, faculty, and families is paramount. AEC security will continue to make any and all necessary improvements to keep us all safe.

Las Vegas Review-Journal Academic Excellence

News Type:  Alumni News Lower School News Upper School News Date:  Thursday, May 9, 2019 Byline:  Matt Boland
The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Academic Excellence program is designed to recognize 1st thru 12th grade students in Southern Nevada who exhibit academic achievement, community involvement, citizenship and leadership in and out of the classroom. To be eligible, a student must demonstrate some or all of the following pillars: Academic Excellence, Responsibility, Leadership, Extracurricular Activity/Community Service.
We are proud to announce two AEC Lower School students were recognized for their academic and community achievements: Mazel Tov!
4th Grade
Adelson Educational Campus
Ethan Cohen is a 4th grader at Adelson Educational Campus. He currently has a 4.0 GPA and is in numerous activities. Ethan recently spoke at a school gathering where he declared, “Everyone is a legend in their own way, especially if you believe you can make another person smile”. Kim Cooper said “Recognizing the part of himself that can be quite introverted, he actively seeks out ways to force himself to grow. Whether it’s participating in early morning math and coding classes at school, campaigning for a role on student council, or auditioning for the school musical. Ethan is continually pushing himself far out of his comfort zone; in doing so he has discovered so much about himself and his own potential!”
 5th Grade
Adelson Educational Campus
Rachel Super is a 5th grader at Adelson Educational Campus. She currently has a 4.0 GPA and has received several achievement awards for science. She is on the school’s swim and cross country team. Rachel is an active member in her synagogue youth group and participates in a program that helps with the homeless in Southern Nevada. “Rachel has maintained all A’s in her rigorous class load, which includes a foreign language, religious studies, technology, art, science, along with humanities, math, social studies and physical education. She is extremely dependable and others know they can depend on her for group projects” said Jill Super.


News Type:  Alumni News Date:  Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Byline:  Carolyn Velez Cicciari, ASAC Secretary

The Drug Enforcement Administration Las Vegas District Office, Sands Corporation and others are hosting its 2nd Annual “Opioid Youth Summit” for all high schools in Clark County, Nevada on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at the Venetian Theatre, 3377 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. 
The goal is to educate high school students on opioid safety messages by facilitating an open conversation, with hopes that they will then share this knowledge in their respective schools and continue dialogue about the dangers of opioid abuse. We are targeting high school sophomores who are athletes, student council members or otherwise nominated student representatives from each school to participate in the summit.  
At the end of the event, students will take an oath or pledge to not abuse opioids and to go back and share the information with their peers.  In addition, they will all be presented with a special challenge coin to remind them of their oath.
We are also engaging several speakers who have been personally affected by Opioid addiction who can speak to the students about their personal experiences. 
I would like to formally invite you to attend this amazing event.
If your schedule permits you to join us, please RSVP by February 15, 2019 to Carolyn Cicciari at (702) 759-8020 or  If you have any questions regarding this event please contact Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Daniel W. Neill at (702) 759-8022.


News Type:  Alumni News Date:  Wednesday, January 16, 2019
The Adelson Educational Campus is honored to host many activities and events for the Las Vegas Jewish community. Since we opened our beautiful campus ten years ago, AEC has partnered with Israeli Scouts, Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival, JCC of Southern Nevada, IAC, Jewish Nevada, and many others. We are proud to announce starting this Friday, January 18, The Adelson Educational Campus will host Congregation P’nai Tikvah Shabbat and High Holiday services. Kabbalat & Maariv Shabbat services start at 7:30pm and will occur on the 1st and 3rd Friday each month. The Adelson Educational Campus welcomes P’nai Tikvah with open arms and will continue to support the Las Vegas Jewish community from strength to strength.
This Friday, Congregation P’nai Tikvah’s Shabbat! Sing! Dance! Pray! service features Reb Jamie Hyams, Cantor Marla Goldberg and Tim Cooper, along with new and old friends, for an inspiring and joyful Shabbat. FREE to the public.  P’nai Tikvah (Faces of Hope) is an egalitarian Jewish Renewal/Reconstructionist congregation in Nevada. It provides opportunities for spiritual growth and education, joyful observance, and communal support, welcoming all regardless of religious background, or financial status.
The Adelson Educational Campus is located at 9700 Hillpointe Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89134.  For more information call (702) 436-4900 or  


News Type:  Alumni News Lower School News Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Thursday, December 20, 2018 Byline:  Rabbi Joyce Raynor, Head of School
The Adelson Educational Campus is pleased to announce Lilach Bluevise will serve as the Principal of both Lower and Upper Schools for the 2019-2020 school year. For the past 3 years, Lilach has served as the Lower School principal and has done a wonderful job developing teacher excellence, an integrated and rigorous curriculum, establishing trust among parents, and supported student leadership/empowerment. Lilach has amazing school spirit and prides herself on building a strong leadership team, revitalizing the performing arts program, building an organic garden, and establishing a sense of community with Tikkun Olam projects and Jewish values. Lilach also has a lifelong passion for integrating Jewish values and General Studies across all disciplines, which fits perfectly with AEC’s mission and academic program.
Lilach will be working closely with the new Head of School, Dr. David Portnoy, and the leadership teams for both Lower and Upper School to create a smooth transition for our students and faculty. David is extremely excited about his partnership with Lilach and I know that their collaboration will enable our school to flourish. During the second semester, Lilach will be involved in planning so that we are in a strong position next year. 
Lilach has an extremely experienced and well-functioning leadership team in the Lower School and she will still be an integral part of running things, focusing on strategical thinking, providing guidance and mentorship. Lilach builds very strong teams and works collaboratively with them. She will do the same in Upper School working closely with Milly Joyner, Ben Koch and Maria Paxinos to continue the new initiatives we launched this year in project based learning, integrated humanities and targeted majors. 
I have worked with Lilach for nearly 15 years and before she joined AEC the majority of her work has been done with Upper School students. Lilach was the recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for excellence in Jewish education (2008), leading her staff in professional development and promoting excellence in teaching. Lilach holds a B.A. in Political Science and Special Education, a teaching certificate, and a master's degree in Educational Policy and Organization from Tel Aviv University. She was a fellow in cohort 3 of Project SuLam for leadership in Jewish education (by RAVSAK), she is a NETA Hebrew curriculum master teacher, and an expert in Israel Education.
Lilach’s 20 years of experience in both Lower and Upper Schools will provide a streamlined educational experience for our students with natural and comfortable transitions throughout their years at Adelson.  Additionally, it provides opportunities for improved communication throughout our school.  Lilach will provide increased collaboration and a close knit community of students, parents and faculty.
Join me in congratulating Lilach and feel free to contact her with any questions.
Rabbi Joyce Raynor
Head of School


AEC Announces New Head of School 2019-2020

News Type:  Alumni News Lower School News Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Thursday, December 20, 2018 Byline:  Lynn Wexler
The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus (AEC) is pleased to announce Dr. David Portnoy as its new Head of School as of July 1st, 2019. He will take the reins from the current Head, Rabbi Joyce Raynor, Ph.D, who retires at the end of this school year following four years of dedication and leadership at AEC.
Dr. Portnoy brings to the Adelson school a wealth of leadership experience in Jewish and independent school education, outstanding academic credentials, and the enthusiasm and vision to take AEC to its next level of excellence.
“I am thrilled to be joining The Adelson Educational Campus at this time of exciting growth,” says Portnoy, who was impressed, from the moment he stepped on campus, by the vitality, passion, and warmth of the students, teachers, and parents.
“And the facility… it is truly breathtaking. The architecture, the light, the colors, the Jerusalem stone and the quotes from Jewish tradition. What a beautiful and inspirational place to come to each day,” he adds.
He is also impressed with AEC’s exceptional campus security, “the importance of which can’t be overestimated,” he says.
Dr. Portnoy grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated Cum Laudefrom Baltimore’s prestigious Gilman School - a leading boy’s independent college preparatory K-12 school. There he served as president of the Debate Club and the Lancers Boys Club of Baltimore City. He lettered in Varsity Soccer, Basketball and Golf, starting on a Gilman team that won the Maryland Scholastic Golf Championship in 1979. It was at Gilman that Dr. Portnoy got his first taste of close harmony a cappella singing – where the tradition of wearing his now-signature bow tie claims its origins. But more on that later.
In 1983 he graduated from Yale University, again Cum Laude, with degrees in Economics and Political Science.  He completed the Yale Teacher Preparation Program; played soccer and lacrosse; sang in a close-harmony a cappella singing group; and was involved in the Yale Jewish Appeal. (Since graduating from Yale, he has chaired six of his seven 5-year class reunions.) 
Dr. Portnoy proceeded to earn a Juris Doctor Degree from UCLA School of Law, an M.S.Ed. from Johns Hopkins University, and an Ed.D from Seton Hall University. He practiced law and managed a family business, but his heart was always in education. He has more than 25 years of experience as a teacher, coach, principal, and head of school.
He taught at the distinguished Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. He worked in Undergraduate Admissions at The University of Pennsylvania.  He served as Upper School Head and Associate Head of School at Beth Tfiloh Community School in Baltimore for a decade before becoming Head of School at Emery Weiner School in Houston and Yavneh Academy of Dallas (both ranked among the Top 10 National Jewish Schools by ), where he is currently serving in his seventh year.  
Married for 33 years to Rabbi Dr. Shira Lander – a Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas - Dr. Portnoy and his wife are the proud parents of two married sons and grandparents to a one-year old granddaughter.
An avid cyclist, singer, lyricist and reader, Dr. Portnoy is looking forward to discovering the biking trails at the Red Rock Mountains. 
He’s also looking forward to leading the AEC team in building on what he believes is already a very solid foundation of accomplishment. 
“I’ve been fortunate to lead schools in Maryland and Texas that have achieved levels of excellence and prominence,” he says. “The Adelson school strikes me as an institution on the verge of attaining that same stature.”
Dr. Portnoy is also attracted to the mission and culture of the school – particularly its dedication to Jewish ethics, diversity, and, under the leadership of Dr. Miriam Adelson, to student health and wellness. 
“As an experienced educator, parent of two grown sons, and as a new grandfather, I believe there is nothing more important than our children’s safety and well-being.”
As to the iconic sartorial accessory that he has proudly donned for nearly forty-years – it started with the close harmony singing group he belonged to in high school. Their uniform was the classic button-down collar shirt, khaki pants, vest, and of course the bow tie. He’s been dressing that way ever since. “It’s actually very practical attire for a man. When you lean over for instance, the bow tie doesn’t get in your soup or in the way of grading papers,” he shared in good humor. 
Dr. Portnoy will visit the school from time to time between now and July of next year – something he looks forward to. 
Be sure to say hi and welcome him to the community. You’ll know him by his classic and elegant style, his broad smile, the twinkle in his eye, the energy in his step, a warm outstretched hand and – of course – that signature bow tie. If you’re lucky to catch him with a moment to spare, he might even give you a lesson in how to tie it! 
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