About Joyce

Joyce Woodhouse served as a first grade teacher for 17 years, and later as an elementary school principal at J.M. Ullom Elementary School. Her experience in the classroom and as principal gave Joyce a deep understanding of the needs of students, teachers, and parents.

Joyce brought her lifelong commitment to public education to the Nevada Senate where she initially served from 2006-2010. She was elected again in 2012 and has continued in her role as an education advocate in the Nevada Senate. She has established herself as one of the Nevada Legislature’s foremost experts on education issues.


During the 2015 Legislative Session, Joyce fought for new revenue to put badly needed resources into classrooms across the state while increasing standards and accountability for education spending. She fought to expand STEM education in Nevada schools, improve teacher training and professional development, and increase programs for schools serving low-income families.

Joyce is also a passionate advocate for Nevada’s veterans and military families. She sponsored legislation to make childcare more accessible for children with a parent on active duty, or who has been declared killed in action, missing in action, or taken as a prisoner of war. Joyce also sponsored legislation to help servicemembers who are survivors of sexual assault, a growing national concern.

On issues affecting seniors, Joyce pushed for more research into issues regarding behavioral health and cognitive care for older persons. She has frequently urged the state to increase its focus on palliative care and quality of life issues that affect both patients and their families.

Joyce has a long history of service to her community. She served as the Director of the School-Community Partnership Program for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas from 1985 to 2006, when she was elected to the Nevada State Senate. In her role as the liaison between the school district and the business community, Joyce brought together resources, secured financial commitments and facilitated cooperative activities to enhance the education of our students. As a result of Joyce’s guidance and dedication, the Partnership Program has grown to over 600 programs for students, including tutoring and college preparation.

Joyce is active in the community, and has served as both Chair and member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Employee Retirement System of Nevada. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Silver State Schools Credit Union. Her numerous other activities and interests included working with the United Way, Nevada Council on Economic Education, Clark County READS, and as a Little League coach, among others. She presently serves as Treasurer and Board Member for Voices In Voting/Kids Voting Southern Nevada and as the add Co-chair of KidsVention as well as the Co-Chair of the Southern Nevada Science Education Consortium. She has been honored as ‘Distinguished Woman of the Year’ by the Soroptimists of Nevada, Leadership in Public Education from Phi Delta Kappa, an “Unsung Hero” from the Nevada Public Education Foundation, Legacy Award from the Hero School Suit-Up Program, Denise Dunning Excellence in Advocacy from the Nevada Cancer Coalition, and Lawmaker of the Year from the American Society Cancer Action Network.