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Principal of Spanish Springs Elementary Joins
PBS Reno Delegation in Washington, D.C. 


RENO, NV (MAR 19, 2024)Jim Verdi, the principal of Spanish Springs Elementary School in Sparks, NV, joined PBS Reno President & CEO Kurt Mische, PBS Reno Board Chair Christine Fey, and past PBS Reno Board Chair Mendy Elliott for the 2024 APTS (America’s Public Television Stations) Public Media Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit is the largest annual gathering of public broadcasting general managers and community leaders who come together to explore issues that are vital to the future and mission of public service media. The Public Media Summit was held February 26 – 28, 2024, at the Salamander Washington, D.C. Hotel.

Verdi was invited to participate due to Spanish Springs Elementary being among the first schools in the Washoe County School District to adopt PBS Reno Curiosity Classroom Workshops, which are delivered to schools in eight school districts in northern Nevada, free-of-charge, by trained facilitators with professional backgrounds in elementary education.

Verdi and Mische were invited to participate in the Partners in Public Service Panel which featured discussions around public affairs, emergency readiness, and education. More than 300 people were in attendance as Verdi and Mische discussed robotics-specific PBS Reno Curiosity Classroom Workshops, which offer multiple interactive hands-on demonstrations and activities specific to different grade levels.

“I came to the Summit with little understanding of the work that was to be done,” said Verdi. “I was thinking it was more of a conference and Kurt and I were just one of the breakout sessions. I am glad we didn’t present until Day Two so I could really understand the important work everyone was there to do. The Summit impacted me such that I adjusted my flight to work with the team on Wednesday as they went from one meeting to the next to the next. I am hoping our work will pay off and I am excited to see how it all shakes out. I appreciate this opportunity.”

“We were honored to be asked to present our Curiosity Classroom Workshop series to so many of our peers,” said Mische. “Jim Verdi joined the panel as an early adopter of this program, which is designed to give young ones a strong start in learning. We are grateful to APTS for recognizing the value of this program.”

“We were pleased to showcase Kurt Mische and Jim Verdi on our Partners in Public Service panel at the 2024 Public Media Summit,” said Patrick Butler, President and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations. “The partnership between PBS Reno and eight school districts across 75,000 square miles of northern Nevada, serving 126,000 students, is an inspiring example of what public television stations and partners throughout the United States are doing to serve the public in innovative, essential ways. Kurt and Jim were the stars of our show at the Public Media Summit, and we were honored to welcome them to Washington for some well-deserved recognition.”

The Summit concluded with the presentation of several awards from the Library of Congress Members Room. Mische received the 2024 APTS National Advocacy Award for his legislative work in Nevada and California. According to APTS, this award is presented to station leaders who excel in telling the story of their local station’s service in education, public safety and civic leadership and the essential role of federal and state funding in making that service possible.

Before heading home to northern Nevada, Verdi joined the PBS Reno group on a visit to Capitol Hill where they met with members of Nevada’s Congressional Delegation: U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and U.S. Rep. Stephen Horsford, along with staffers from the office of U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen and the offices of U.S. Reps. Mark Amodei, Susie Lee, and Dina Titus. Mische and Verdi also met with the office of U.S. Rep. Kevin Kiley (CA District 3). The discussions involved PBS Reno’s strengthening of Pre-K through 4th grade education in northern and central Nevada and northeastern California.


About PBS Reno

As of December 2023, PBS Reno is enjoyed by more than 288,000 monthly viewers in northern and central Nevada and northeastern California across several platforms including three broadcast channels (PBS Reno 5.1, Reno Create 5.2, and PBS KIDS on PBS Reno 5.3), a YouTube channel, YouTube TV, online, livestreams, and digital platforms. PBS Reno provides PBS national programming and award-earning, locally-produced content, with many local segments posted weekly to PBS Reno’s YouTube Channel. provides engaging interactive content, including the video portal at that streams all locally-produced content and most PBS national content. PBS Reno serves students, teachers, parents and caregivers through immersive educational services including Curiosity Classroom Workshops that bring classroom lessons to life with standards-based lessons and activities. Through the support of local corporations and foundations, as well as thousands of individual members, PBS Reno has been delivering public television and educational services to the communities it serves since September 29, 1983.


About APTS

America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit

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