Las Vegas, N.M. – Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval named a Highlands University alumna to the Nevada State Board of Education.
Felicia Ortiz, a Las Vegas, Nevada, businesswoman who earned her B.A in business administration/accounting from Highlands in 2001, began her term of board service Feb. 29.
“Felicia will be a strong advocate for the residents of Southern Nevada’s District Three on the Nevada State Board of Education,” Sandoval said. “The board has been given new and expanded authority in implementing many of the accountability measures and allocating the unprecedented funding increase in public education as approved during the last legislative session. I am pleased Felicia has accepted this important position during this critical time.”
Ortiz, who was named a Highlands University distinguished young alumna in 2012, is the president and CEO of PM Solutions Consulting, a project management firm she established in 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. She moved to Nevada in 2001 to begin her business career.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Governor Sandoval for giving me this wonderful opportunity,” Ortiz said. “I am honored to have the privilege to serve our state and continue our commitment to improving the education of our children and future leaders.”
Ortiz is a leader in Latino business organizations in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her service often focusing on education. She is on the education committee for the Latino Leadership Council and is the immediate past president for the Las Vegas Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America, among others. In 2012, the Latin Chamber of Commerce named her Power Broker of the Year.
Ortiz also serves on the board for the Las Vegas nonprofit Create a Change Now that works to educate and empower children about eating healthy food and living healthier lives.
“Having my own business allows me more time to volunteer with the causes I’m passionate about, with education being first and foremost because it’s the the foundation of everything for our children,” Ortiz said. “Serving on the State Board of Education gives me the chance to help drive the agenda for quality education for everyone. That’s the bottom line for me.”
Ortiz said there is strong bipartisan support statewide in Nevada for improving K-12 education, adding that addressing the teacher shortage is one one of the major goals.
“In the Clark County School District that includes Las Vegas there are approximately 330,000 students, making it the fifth largest school district in the country and the largest employer in Nevada. We have 700 teacher vacancies. A piece that’s close to my heart is that 47 percent of our students are Latino, and we need to recruit more diverse teachers that reflect the student population,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz is the only Latino on the Nevada State Board of Education.
“I hope I will give the board additional insight into the needs of our Latino community. I also bring a business sector perspective to the board, including educating our children for future jobs,” Ortiz said.