2020-2021 Executive Board

James Hsia, President
James Hsia was born in Taiwan and moved to New York State when he was 9.  He spent most of his pre-college days in Albany, NY developing much of his musical skills in a family of all musicians.  James has a sister that he loves to play music with. Together, they grew up performing for various events including church services, and weddings.  He received his bachelor degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master of Music Degree in Violin Performance from Binghamton University.
While obtaining his Masters Degree in 2012, he started his first teaching job at Binghamton High School in New York.  There, he taught string orchestra and music theory. This job gave him the confidence boost he needed and absolutely fell in love with teaching kids.  This job soon came to an end due to budget cuts which brought him to where he is today - Las Vegas! James is currently currently teaching string orchestra at Burkholder Middle school.
Over the last few years he has completed his second Masters Degree in Secondary Education.  He has decided to continue pursuing educational courses because he is constantly looking for better ways to help students achieve their highest potential.  I'm interested in becoming the ASTA president because I want to further develop the appreciation of students and teachers love in music. Students and teachers would learn more knowledge about the music that are played in other parts of the world.  This could include teaching methods that are used in other countries, and also performing music that belongs to a particular culture.

Pasted Graphic 2 Eric Maine, Past President
Eric Maine has been a resident of Nevada since he began working for the Clark County School District in 2012. He completed his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in Music Education with a minor in Music History, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2015. He has teaching experience at both the middle and high school levels. His orchestras have consistently received superior ratings at festivals in Nevada, California, and Florida. Eric currently teaches at Ed W. Clark High School, where he is the co-director of orchestras. He directs three of the six major ensembles at Clark High School, and will be conducting at The Midwest Clinic this December. He also currently serves as the Southern NMEA All-State Orchestra Chair, where he oversees the student audition process, conductor selection, and the overall operation of the Orchestra. Eric is excited for the opportunity to lead the ASTA organization. He prides himself on his abilities to listen and communicate. Music education is his passion and ultimately he wishes to grow and become a positive force for Nevada music educators, parents, and students alike.

9CZaOPNAKlOE2LwLf4Ty1ugp-2FG7flxySB1bqH7pMs75WsJG0wPpge_8AyB8IVfW9DmOkPkXo8fXoD1NGwF-CW94alhXCOTIqHHWS7xRUoB9bJsn063y3VIP_ABLfyzTFmQhm4d Laura Dianiska, President Elect
Laura Dianiska is originally from Houston, TX. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Loyola University, New Orleans in 2007, earning her Bachelor of Music Education, and has been teaching in Clark County for 13 years.
While in CCSD, Laura has taught at three middle schools in the district, and currently teaches at Canarelli Middle School, where she has been for 6 years. She serves as Fine Arts Department Chair at her school, and is regularly asked to mentor new teachers both at her school and throughout the district. Her orchestras have consistently earned Superior ratings at their district festival, as well as first- and second-place awards at annual competitions in California.
For the past 4 years, Laura has served as Chairperson for the CCSD Middle School Advanced Orchestra Festival, where she oversees the hiring of judges, scheduling of performances, and generally runs the 3-day event with a volunteer staff of teachers. In addition to running this district-wide event, Laura is also the chairperson for the CCSD Viola Fest, an annual NVASTA-sponsored event celebrating the best of the best in Viola pedagogy.
One of the things that Laura is most proud of is the NVASTA-sponsored New String Teacher workshop series for which she is the co-chairperson. What started as one workshop in the Fall of 2017 has grown into a 5-workshop series covering everything from instrument position and posture to sight-reading sessions for repertoire selection at Festival and even closing up classrooms for the summer.
Laura is honored to be nominated for President-Elect, and is excited about the possibility of leading our state’s organization. Laura prides herself on being able to lead both students and adults to success, and strives to be a teacher leader in whatever way she is needed. String education is her passion and purpose.

Jessica Williams, Business Manager

Pasted Graphic Debra Yavitz, Secretary
Debra Yavitz received her Bachelor’s Degree in 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. Along with teaching in her school, Debra also coaches the upper string sections in Concert Strings for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra. Aside from teaching, Debra also loves to play her Violin in the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, where she is currently a member of the first violin section. Ms. Yavitz is excited to grow as an educator by being a part of Nevada ASTA.

_DJuPPcMwbfCFUeuqZE27YM7PxsMD5Di5SIdg7KJWxSCNycDCd4I4l_DNRFoVnEE1PE7Uhq8qiABnLialvMO2nbKKzKIo36WHR86fcI9JrmFCAmuWVxbax-Muqnpno6Ls5Ddg4eP Jonnie-Jo Didas, Member-at-Large
Jonnie-Jo Didas grew up in Las Vegas, NV and graduated from Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. Jonnie-Jo received her Bachelor of Music Education from Northern Arizona University and her Masters in Music Education from Kent State University. As a product of the Clark County School District in Nevada, Jonnie-Jo felt drawn to returning home and teaching. Jonnie-Jo has taught for 7 years, all at Carroll M. Johnston Middle School in Las Vegas, NV. In her free time, Jonnie-Jo plays with two local orchestras on her primary instrument: Cello.
Outside of teaching at her middle school, Jonnie-Jo conducts the Ensemble, the youngest performing group in the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra (LVYO).  
Jonnie-Jo serves as the chairperson for the NVASTA sponsored event Cello Day. Cello Day is an annual event where students of all levels take classes from local professionals as well as special guest artists. Jonnie-Jo is also the co-chair of a series of new teacher workshops sponsored by NVASTA. These workshops help new string teachers get their bearings and help make those first few years just a bit easier. Jonnie-Jo has helped this series grow from one workshop into a five-workshop series. 
As a teacher, Jonnie-Jo believes that everyone can learn or no one is done learning. Jonnie-Jo is always looking to create a better tomorrow and is excited to serve as the member at large position with NVASTA.