2022 Board Elections


Tim Thomas

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Tim Thomas is a 15 year veteran orchestra teacher in the Clark County School District focused on building accomplished ensembles while inspiring students to connect to their own meaning of music education. His career arc as a musician and educator go far beyond the classroom to make a substantial community impact. As you read on, you will discover why Tim Thomas would be a great selection to lead the Nevada chapter of the American String Teacher Association as President.

After graduating with his BME in 2007 at Boise State University, Tim moved to Las Vegas and taught orchestra six years at Burkholder Middle School followed by nine years at Basic Academy of International Studies. His programs at Burkolder and Basic both held an annual enrollment of over 260 uniquely different students, without the aide of dual-enrollment. His Orchestras have earned 23 Superior ratings between CCSD and NV-ASATA festivals. Tim will begin the 2022-2023 school year in a new role as Orchestra Director at Coronado High School. Student nominations have resulted in a 2022 Grammy Educator Semi Finalist and Rodgers Foundation Heart of Education nominee. 

Outside of his school orchestra program (but still within CCSD) Tim currently holds additional titles such as; Honor Orchestra Chairperson, High School Orchestra festival Chairperson, & Mentor for New Orchestra Teachers. These positions were either appointed or voted in. Within NV-ASTA Tim is the Las Vegas Bass Workshop Chairperson and Cello Day Site Host. 

Tim Thomas is still a dedicated performer and Principal Bass of the Henderson Symphony. He steadily plays for the Red Mountain Music Company, Las Vegas Men’s Chorus, and Substitute Bass for Tuachan in St. George, UT. Previous roles include Substitute Bass for Las Vegas Philharmonic and Substitute Bass for Nevada Ballet. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was Principal Bass of the Boise Baroque Orchestra and played section bass for the Boise Philharmonic, Grande Ronde Symphony, and Oregon East Symphony. 

The most unique opportunity Tim has is the privilege to serve as Program Coordinator for the Foundation To Assist Young Musicians (FAYM). FAYM is a non profit based in Las Vegas serving 180 stringed instrument students after school. In addition to writing curriculum, staffing, and overseeing day-to-day classes, he actively writes grants and fundraises to keep the program at low to no-cost for all students. His direct influence has contributed to raising over $1.2 million dollars for music education. These funds have been used exclusively for after school programming, scholarships for college bound students, prizes for competition winners, and access to instruments and opportunities.


Debra Yavitz

As a young music student in Las Vegas, Debra Yavitz was inspired by her middle school Orchestra teacher. That inspiration quickly grew into a deep passion for music and music advocacy. She decided from then on the only way to share that passion with young musicians was to become an Orchestra director.
Debra Yavitz received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2014. After receiving her degree, she began her music teaching career at Robison Middle School where she currently resides as the orchestra director. Ms. Yavitz is always seeking ways to better her teaching and community involvement within the music industry. Ms. Yavitz coaches the violin section for Ensemble Strings for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra, serves as the middle school advanced orchestra festival co-chair and is an NVASTA violin day board member She is currently working on her national board teaching certification. 
Aside from teaching, Debra also plays violin in the Henderson Symphony Orchestra and the Nevada Chamber Orchestra where she is currently a member of the first violin section.