GS is pleased to offer a new way to connect to alumni working across diverse fields. Each month, join GS alumni for conversation and Q&A that allows for an inside look at working in the field.
On May 28, hear from Keith Hightower '09GS, Director, Corporate & Public Partnership at Teach For America and Talia Kovacs '10GS, CEO, LitLife Inc.
Registered guests will receive a link 24 hours prior to event time.
Talia Kovacs '10GS
Talia Kovacs is a mission-driven educator working to provide all children with the social-emotional and literacy skills needed to lead meaningful, empowered lives. She is the CEO of LitLife, where she leads the talented, dedicated LitLife Literacy Specialists in shaping lives of purpose and joy through SEL-based literacy instruction. Talia has been a contributing author for many curricular materials, including LitLeague, Scholastic Literacy: Writing, and LitCamp en Español. She also wrote the close reading lessons for the beloved Every Child a Super Reader with Scholastic, and several online courses on best practices in literacy instruction. Talia's work has been featured in Forbes, Today, The 74, Scholastic EDU Blog, NY Metro Parents, The Everymom, Pearson Educators among other publications.
In her own work as a literacy specialist and consultant, Talia has helped schools raise literacy scores by more than 60% in a year and has regularly increased teacher job satisfaction in her partner districts. Prior to her work with LitLife, Talia was a classroom teacher and curriculum consultant in Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, N.Y. Talia believes deeply in literacy as a civil right and the lasting impact on children and their entire communities when provided with equitable, joyful literacy instruction.
Keith J.D. Hightower, J.D. '09GS
Keith J.D. Hightower directs the government affairs and corporate relationships at Teach For America Las Vegas. He joined TFA’s team as the Director of Corporate and Public Partnerships in October 2019. A decade earlier, Keith was selected to join the 2009 TFA Hawaii corps where he taught middle-school social studies and science and chaired the Social Studies department.
Prior to his role with TFA, Keith served on, Nevada Governor, Steve Sisolak’s senior leadership team as the Governor’s Legislative & Intergovernmental Affairs Director. Keith also served as the Legislative Director for Governor Brian Sandoval. In a period of hyper-partisanship and political-polarization, Keith earned trusted advisory roles from these successive governors belonging to opposite political parties.
Keith was born in Youngstown, Ohio, attended high school in Atlanta, Georgia, and then went into business with his brothers in Columbus, Ohio where they notably opened a chain of cellular phone stores and produced three motion pictures. After achieving entrepreneurial success with his brothers, Keith pursued and achieved academic success. He majored in Political Science and earned his BA from Columbia University in 2009, his Master of Education in Teaching from the University of Hawaii in 2013, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, graduating in 2017 with Pro Bono Highest Honors. And in 2019, UNLV Law presented Keith with its prestigious Young Alumni Award.
After graduating from law school, Keith served at the university as the Assistant Director of Development and Admissions. He was appointed and currently serves on the UNLV Law School Advisory Board for the Justice Michael L. Douglas Pre-Law Fellowship Program. And Keith helps lead the Las Vegas National Bar Association, where he holds a seat on its executive board, which aspires to promote diversity within the local legal profession.