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Full-Time Staff

Jessica Russell, RTL Coordinator

A member of the Vegas PBS staff for more than 16 years, Jessica’s has helped expand the station’s childhood health and education initiatives. As RTL Coordinator, she oversees and implements all Ready To Learn outreach programs and activities, including the coordination of family workshops focusing on literacy, health and mathematics in the community.

Jessica earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and two master’s degrees in Technology and Literacy Education from UNLV. Her passion for literacy has taken her to places such as Shenzhen, China, where she was one of 15 teachers selected to teach readers/writers workshops at the Rainbow Bridge English Summer Camp. She is also an active member of the Southern Nevada Writing Project (SNWP).

Contact her at 702.799.1010 x5413 or via email.


Mayte Heredia, RTL Bilingual Project Facilitator

Bilingual in English and Spanish, Mayte assists with all Ready To Learn outreach programs and activities, including family engagement workshops in public and private schools and throughout the community.

Prior to joining Vegas PBS, Mayte was a Title 1 Project Facilitator at the Title 1 Family Engagement Centers for more than 10 years. She also taught kindergarten for several years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the UNLV and a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Lesley University.

Mayte has a passion for working with families as she has presented many family workshops that focus on literacy, math, technology and family leadership. In her spare time, Mayte loves to cook and spend time with her five beautiful daughters.

Mayte can be reached at 702.799.1010 x5414 or via email.


Sondra Wachtel, RTL Project Facilitator

Sondra has seventeen years of experience in early literacy, family literacy, community program management, education and research aligned with the goals of her position as the literacy specialist for Vegas PBS' Ready To Learn program.

Sandi holds a BA in Broadcast Production and a master's degree in Literacy and Technology and has served as Master Fitness Trainer in the US Army. She holds endorsements in elementary teaching, computer literacy and literacy and as a reading specialist. She has taught every grade from preschool through college and most recently served as a middle school learning strategist before coming to join Vegas PBS.

Contact her at 702.799.1010 x5420 or via email.

Part - Time Staff

Angela Hamilton

Angela's bachelor's degree is in computers and her master's degree is in early childhood education, with a lot of extra classes thrown in throughout the years to keep life interesting! Before joining the Vegas PBS Ready To Learn team, she taught pre-K with the Clark County School District for five years. Prior to that, she taught toddler classes for Family to Family for approximately five years.

As a classroom teacher, Angela used PBS resources extensively with her early childhood students. She was a self-proclaimed "PBS KID" as a child and has proudly continued the tradition with her own children.

Angela may be reached via email.


Stephanie Werkema

Stephanie joined the Vegas PBS Ready to Learn program in February 2012. Since that time, she has facilitated family engagement workshops throughout the community on topics such as environmental print, exercise, dental health, measurement and early writing.

Prior to joining the RTL program, Stephanie taught high school English in rural Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Western Michigan University and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a fellow of the Southern Nevada Writing Project (SNWP) Summer Institute and an SNWP Teacher Consultant. In addition to working with preschool children and their parents on behalf of Vegas PBS, Stephanie teaches graduate classes for the UNLV Department of Education.

When she is not teaching, you can find Stephanie hiking Southern Nevada’s beautiful trails with her family.

Stephanie may be reached via email.

PBS KIDS Writers Contest