Celebrating Our Winter 2018 Teachers of the Season

Special Olympics Nevada (SONV) is proud to honor three teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and have encouraged an environment of inclusion and acceptance throughout their respective school communities.

The selected teachers were nominated by Schools Partnership Program coordinators for the winter season. SONV recognizes the contributions of partnering special education, adapted physical education (APE) and other teachers and administrators for their outstanding efforts in impacting the lives of students with intellectual disabilities.

The honored teachers include:


Ms. Gina Schifini

Clark County School District

Ms. Schifini is an Adaptive Physical Education Teacher for the Clark County School District.

She is described as being exemplary in her efforts for students and a champion of inclusion. Ms. Schifini was instrumental in preparing for the Unified Basketball Competition and is passionate about students in special and general education interacting with each other – both on and off the court.

Thank you, Ms. Schifini!


Mr. John Brase

Yerington High School

Mr. Brase is a Leadership Teacher at Yerington High School who has taken the lead on bringing Unified Sports to his school and the district as a whole.

Mr. Brase worked with his school administration and students to create the first Unified Basketball program in the district and has since expanded it to host two different events. He is passionate about inclusion and the opportunities that Unified Sports offers to students in special and general education. Mr. Brase goes the extra mile to ensure that his students are put in the best position to succeed – both on and off the court.

Thank you, Mr. Brase!


Ms. Alexa Youngberg

O’Brien Middle School

Ms. Youngberg is a Leadership Teacher at O’Brien Middle School in Reno.

She has taken on the Unified Sports program at her school and has greatly expanded the Whole School Involvement and Youth Leadership components. Ms. Youngberg was responsible for coordinating a Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign, Valentine’s Day dance and an all-school assembly to encourage inclusion and respectful language. She is passionate about Unified Sports and creating more opportunities for students of all abilities to succeed.

Thank you, Ms. Youngberg!

Learn more about the Schools Partnership Program