Startup Incubator 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.

Startup Incubator In Action

News Type:  Lower School News Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Friday, November 8, 2019 Byline:  Ben Koch, Upper School Assistant Principal
AEC students have a tremendous advantage with access to a best in class 5000 sqft technology lab called the Startup Incubator. Digital media, robotics, 3D printing are signature features, and this year, our 7th graders are engaged in a yearlong series of 3D printing projects connected to their Judaics curriculum. Their current project is to create Shabbat sets for each Preschool classroom.  
At their first meeting in August, Mr. Mayron and Ms. Ziter led students to draft logos for each preschool class both digitally and freehand.  Then students learned how to move those designs onto 3D printed objects. Since then, they’ve problem solved how to design candlesticks to fit a specifically sized candle, and a cup that holds a specific amount of liquid.  These embedded math lessons have added an additional layer to this cross-curricular project.  
Each week, students are given thinking questions to expand their learning about 3D printing and how it interacts with the real world.  They’ve had to consider questions such as “Are 3D printed sets kosher?” (They are.), and what process must 3D printed objects go through to be considered food safe.   Today, in preparation for gifting each Preschool classroom these Shabbat sets, the 7th graders visited the preschool classrooms this morning to read the students books about Shabbat!
As this is a yearlong initiative, the seventh graders will soon draft and 3D print projects related to Hannukah, Purim, and be responsible for designing the awards for the Middle School Awards program which will happen in conjunction with Yom Haatzmaut in April.

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.


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! 

In The News: Las Vegas Israelite

News Type:  Upper School News Startup Incubator News Date:  Thursday, August 30, 2018 Byline:  Las Vegas Israelite
Blazing the Academic Trail 
The Adelson Educational Campus (AEC) is again blazing the trail in its pursuit of excellence in Values, Academics & Community. The only preschool through 12th grade Jewish Day School in the state of Nevada, AEC launched the 2018-19 school year with three progressive and ambitious Upper School academic initiatives that address the manner in which today’s 21st century student receives, processes, and maximizes information. 
Project Based Learning (PBL), Integrated Humanities, and Student Selected Majors are uniquely designed programs that enable and empower teaching and learning through authentic and collaborative experience, personal and focused interest, public recognition, and community participation. Two years ago, capitalizing on its boutique size, AEC introduced a multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art technology lab called Startup Incubator where students learn coding, build drones, design programs for 3D printing, and create digitally produced works of art and science. 
Upper School Assistant Principals Milly Joyner and Ben Koch are excited to add to the school’s progressive vision for learning. “Innovative learning strategies are purposed to inspire deep thinkers and doers, facilitate spirited discussion and debate, and create citizens of the world – young people who are comfortable with challenge and risk because they are armed with problem solving skills and the self-confidence to implement them,” says Joyner. 
“At AEC we are investing in learning based strategies that are essential to meeting the needs and demands of how today’s students learn,” adds Koch. Koch explains that the PBL teaching method is designed to give students real life knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a real-life, engaging, complex question, problem, or challenge.
“Students and teachers reflect on the effectiveness and quality of a project’s activities; review obstacles; and evaluate how to overcome them. In the end, students present and explain their project to a public audience,” says Koch. “PBL makes learning come alive for the students. It gives them ownership of their interests and ideas and guides them along the path to execute and achieve,” adds Joyner. “It’s about how curriculum is delivered. This new methodology unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.”
Joyner and Koch are equally excited about the Integrated Humanities and Student Selected Majors programs. “Instead of creating divisions between closely-related subject matter, we instruct using an interdisciplinary approach. For example, we integrate humanities courses so that students can dive more deeply into the connections among literature, history, social, and Jewish studies,” says Joyner.
High school students can also select up to two areas of study to ‘major in’. Five majors are offered for student consideration: Judaics, Pre-Law, Pre-Med, Communication Arts, and Technology and Entrepreneurship. “The result, by grade 11 and 12, is a capstone, or cumulative, learning experience. Students are prepared to apply their knowledge to real life work opportunities. We help them to get internships in the community in their chosen areas of study,” says Joyner. 
To further support student excellence, AEC has on staff a PSAT Counselor who works with 11thgrade students for 45 minutes a day, 4 days a week, in the first quarter of their junior year to prepare for the PSAT test. Practice tests are given on six consecutive Sundays. “This not only gives students a testing advantage, it saves parents a fortune in private tutors!” says Joyner. Dr. Camille McCue is the school’s Director of Curriculum Innovations. “The educational landscape is evolving rapidly as technological innovations change the way students learn and teachers instruct,” says McCue. 
McCue emphasizes that AEC students are fortunate to be on the forefront of receiving technology mediated access to tools for research, communication, collaboration, analysis, visualization and presentation. “These teaching and learning practices are fundamental to every course offered at AEC, providing students with extensive opportunities for engaging in a true 21stcentury learning experience,” she adds. “To my knowledge, no other school in Nevada is doing this!”


News Type:  Startup Incubator News Date:  Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Byline:  AEC Technology Team

Adelson Campus won first place at the Skybot Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAV) competition over the weekend, defeating the top technology schools in the Las Vegas Valley. It came down to a final "overtime" round after ten hours of tough competition when AEC Sophomore Kalman was able to make a dramatic last precision landing with only seconds to spare.
The final round was flown by Kalman, in a UAV that had only minutes before crashed and broke! Leo was able to repair to flying condition the UAV without which our team would not have been able to compete. A total team effort! 
Leo also won an award for technical engineering for his design of a quick release UAV drone towing mechanism.
Team consisted of: 
Leo Liu 
Tal Derei
Kalman Steinberg
Ben K
"Our technology students now have amazing, authentic achievements they can showcase when they apply to university -- something won on the battlefield beyond the walls of the school, demonstrating that when you come to learn at AEC, you will succeed on the large stage." boasts Leon Wilde, AEC's Startup Incubator Coordinator and SKYBOT Coach.
RUACH MOMENT: At one point in the competition our team loaned an entire UAV (DRONE) to the direct competing team so they would not have to forfeit! 
"I am beyond proud of this team and the work Leon has accomplished over these past two years with our students!  And I am so impressed with the time those boys have invested in working towards this goal.  Just.... wow!" states AEC's Director of Technology Innovations, Camille McCue, Pd.D.
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