Who We Are

Team & Board

Our Team

Jana Wilcox Lavin

Jana Wilcox Lavin

Chief Executive Officer

Throughout her career, Jana Wilcox Lavin has championed policies and practices that put student success at the forefront of decision-making. She has led Opportunity 180 since 2017, and prior to that, served as Superintendent-in-Residence of the Nevada State Achievement School District.  

Before coming to Nevada, Jana served as both the Chief Program Officer for Scholar Academies and the Executive Director of Memphis Scholars. In that capacity, she designed, developed, and executed organization-wide strategic plans to turn around the lowest performing schools. She worked collaboratively with the community to improve student achievement, develop sound, student-focused policies, inform practices, and build resources for schools to drive outcomes.

Jana had previously served as Scholar Academies’ Chief Operating Officer where she led the organization’s strategy, operations and school launch teams, opening schools in Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Trenton, NJ. Her previous work also included managing a portfolio of non-profit programs supporting fundraising, strategic planning, program execution and organizational development, and the start-up of a consulting firm in Washington, DC designed to improve the connection between secondary education, higher education and the industry in support of various workforce and economic development initiatives. Jana is a graduate of The Hotchkiss School, Tulane University and Emerson College.

Tamara Shear

Chief Program Officer

Tam was born and raised in southern California where she earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Riverside. She began her education career through Teach For America in Washington D.C. as a middle school math teacher where she earned her Master’s of Arts in Teaching.

She worked for Friendship Public Charter School and the District of Columbia Public Schools. She moved to Los Angeles to be closer to family and worked for Animo Watts, a Green Dot Public Charter School.

In 2014, Tam found her new home in Las Vegas where she explored many types of development and training to support the teachers and leaders she works with to reach their full potential. Prior to working for Opportunity 180 she worked with Teach for America, TNTP, and Achievement Network. Her time in those organizations was spent working alongside birth through 12th-grade teachers, coaches, principals, and district leadership to improve instructional outcomes for students from historically marginalized backgrounds. Recognizing the systemic barriers school districts and school leaders face, she joined Opportunity 180 and leads the program team by working collaboratively with her colleagues, partners, and our community to ensure all students and families in Nevada, especially our most underserved, have access to great public schools and people in those schools who are deeply committed to their success.

Outside of work, Tam stays involved in her community by serving as a founding board member for a local Public Charter School, supporting committees focused on improving education, and coached a Girls on the Run team. Tam is driven by her vision of working alongside people in the community she calls home so that kids of color, first-gen college kids, and kids from low socioeconomic backgrounds have many adults in their life supporting them to reach their full potential.

Kati Casto Headshot

Samantha Boothe

Program Coordinator

Samantha, a Las Vegas resident for over 25 years, shows commitment to her community through her dedication to education and health advocacy. With eight years of nonprofit experience under her belt, Samantha’s journey into education was sparked by her roots in Las Vegas. With a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from UNLV, Samantha also has a passion for health and wellness.

During her time at Andson Inc., Samantha’s responsibilities went beyond data gathering and report creation for their academic and financial literacy programs. She innovated by developing a virtual version of the Openvest financial literacy program. This innovative step played a crucial role in supporting students during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdown, showcasing her adaptability and dedication to ensuring accessible education.

Beyond her professional roles, Samantha’s health advocacy journey began in 2008. Her proactive approach involves creating compelling content to advocate for chronic illness patients and fostering connections with fellow advocates. Her ability to collaborate directly with brands and businesses to curate impactful content highlights her strength in community involvement and expanding awareness.

Samantha’s commitment doesn’t end there; she strives to bridge gaps within the community and hopes to shape a brighter future for students in Las Vegas. In her free time she values moments with family and friends, often revolving around lively game nights and time at home with her two dogs.

Jacob Church

Operations Coordinator

Jacob moved to Las Vegas from his hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana in the Summer of 2019. Prior to moving, Jacob worked for seven years in local news for Nexstar Broadcasting. During this time, he also earned his master’s degree in Instructional Design from Indiana State University.

Jacob moved to Las Vegas in order to be closer to his family, and to start a new exciting chapter in his life both personally and professionally.

Jacob began his career in the Vegas area working for local news, but decided he wanted to pursue a different professional path. Since moving to Las Vegas, Jacob has worked as: a legal assistant and an office manager for STARBASE Nellis, a non-profit STEM program on Nellis Air Force Base.

Jacob is a devoted son and brother to his parents and sister who currently reside in Henderson. He is passionate about several causes, including the conservation of animals and improving the quality of education in Clark County.

Anthony Curry

Anthony Curry

Director of Public Policy

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Anthony is a second generation Nevadan. He previously headed the ACLU of Nevada’s Smart Justice campaign, educating the public about criminal justice reform issues. Prior to that he worked as an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Domingo Garcia in Houston, TX.

Anthony is a U.S. Navy veteran. He served 10 years as a Master-at-Arms and Navy Counselor. He received his BS from Arizona State University and his JD from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. When he’s not working, you will find him cheering for the Aces, Knights, and Lights.

Julie Duran

Julie Duran

Director of Fellowships & Programs

Prior to working at Opportunity 180, Julie was a high school principal at a charter school in Massachusetts. She developed strategic initiatives to incorporate social emotional learning into the school’s curriculum, worked to improve how the school communicates and involves families in student progress, and developed a teacher pathway towards leadership to uplift teacher voice in spaces where decisions are made.

As a former teacher and through teacher coaching, she directed the implementation of practices that support student achievement, such as targeted interventions to advance accelerated learning and action planning shifts in curriculum to uphold high expectations for all students.

Julie was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and moved to Boston, MA to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. While in college, Julie worked as a tutor for Upward Bound and BUILD, where she discovered her passion for education. Since then, Julie has been passionate about creating opportunities for historically underrepresented and underserved students to thrive in college and in their careers.

Ray Fraser

Ray Fraser

Director of Operations

Ray was born in Henderson, but grew up in Lake Havasu City, AZ. He moved back to Las Vegas to attend UNLV and got his degree in Physical Education with a Minor in Athletic Coaching. After graduating, he accepted a full time job with the YMCA.

His time there spanned nearly 14 years as he grew with the organization. Passionate about impacting our community, Ray helped lead several outreach programs including water safety programs, teen engagement programs, and high school aged workforce development programs.

A product of public schools, Ray knows how critical of a role our school systems play in setting our youth up for lifelong success. He served on the board of a local charter school for 2 years as the school went from the application process to open doors to students. That process enriched his perspective on the need to ensure all children have access to high quality educational systems.

Ray is a proud father of 2 young girls and is surrounded by family here in the Las Vegas Valley. He is excited that the work he can do at Opportunity 180 will help create a stronger, more equitable system for his kids, nieces and nephews, and his community.

Noelle Jefferson

Noelle Jefferson

Program Manager, Good Data and Good Governance

Noelle moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles in Spring of 2015. Prior to moving, Noelle was the Membership Coordinator for Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, CA, where she focused the program’s lens on cultivating member relations and planning unique immersive events.

These events aimed to provide new and diverse programming that allowed kids to expand their worlds and thoughts around expressing and connecting with their own realized or undiscovered passions and potential. Noelle moved to Las Vegas, in part, to assist a family member with a business start-up, but on a greater scale, to challenge herself to explore personal growth opportunities that come with stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory.

Noelle began her career in Las Vegas as an Operations Specialist for a national private insurance company, improving operational and workflow processes/procedures, implementing new programs and technologies to expand offerings to clients, and connecting colleagues with charitable opportunities throughout Southern Nevada as the firm’s volunteer committee co-chair.

Noelle served on board of the Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN) of Southern Nevada from 2019-21 and as the 2021 Co-Chair and is a founding member of With Love For Vegas, a Las Vegas nonprofit providing free laundry services and other programs to individuals and families in under-resourced communities.
Noelle is a proud aunt and great aunt to nieces and nephews who are current and future students in Las Vegas. Drawing from her passions and background, she looks forward to contributing to Opportunity 180’s mission for the kids in her family and for all families across the district.

Cesserly Rice

Director of School Support & Incubation

Cesserly Rice is currently the Director of School Support & Incubation at Opportunity 180. Over the past eight years, she has been a teacher and served in several leadership capacities including K-8 instructional coach, and charter school principal.

She has also worked with a local ARL program to prepare aspiring educators to fill roles as teachers across the Las Vegas Valley. Through this work she noticed her inclination and desire to develop and support educators. She has earned her Master’s degree in Educational Administration and is a current doctoral student to ensure she is continually becoming more well-versed in her field.

Greta Seidman

Greta Seidman

Director of Public Affairs

Greta has called Las Vegas home for more than 25 years, but originally hails from the East Coast. She previously worked with the Vegas Chamber, connecting members and the community through unique experiences, programming, and outreach.

She has also served on the teams at Nevada HAND and Brightline West, helping to advance projects and rally people and organizations around a mission or cause. Passionate about growing the Las Vegas community in meaningful ways, Greta looks forward to working with the team and community members to ensure every kid graduates from high school equipped to realize their hopes and dreams.

She received her BA and MBA from UNLV and is proud to serve on the Leadership Las Vegas Council, the boards of Jewish Nevada and Get Outdoors Nevada, and on the Vegas Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee. In her free time, Greta enjoys adding to her to-be-read pile, going on adventures with her son, baking, showtunes, and traveling.

Board Members

Board Chair

Dr. Sebern Coleman

University of Nevada Las Vegas

Director of Educator Preparation – College of Education

Miles Dickson

Nevada GrantLab


Mike Mullin


Piper Overstreet

Las Vegas Raiders

Vice President of Government Relations

K. Nicholas Portz

U.S. Attorney

Paula Sneed

Phelps Prescott Group, LLC

Chairman & CEO

Angela Torres Castro

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

Deputy Chief Executive Officer