district_of_distinction_black.png
The bright lights of Broadway weren’t the only things shining in New York City on one magical day in March.
 
To the utter surprise — and delight — of Brighton High students and advisers, the school’s Model United Nations Team was announced as one of the best at the National High School Model U.N. conference in New York.  The conference, which is a teen-student juried simulation of the United Nations, was March 6-9, 2012.
 
Only nine of the 133 teams hailing from elite high schools from around the world earned “Superior,” “Excellent,” or “Outstanding” status at the end of the competition.  Those are the only grades awarded by the judges. Brighton was one of the three delegations that scored high enough to land in the “Excellent” category. Two groups received the “Superior” rating and four received “Outstanding.”
 
“When they called the name of our school,” said Emilie Callahan, a sophomore member of the team, “we were in shock.  We didn’t even scream.  We just stood there.  It took a few minutes to sink in.”
 
Senior and club president Sean Whalen, who also is this year’s Wasatch Front Region Sterling Scholar winner in the computer technology category, collected the award on the group’s behalf.  The awards were announced at the United Nations’ International Headquarters, the modern-day pantheon of global diplomacy.
 
The “Excellent” status is quite an accomplishment, considering it was achieved against significant odds. The team, small by any standard, was pitted against teams of 30 or 40 members; some had as many as 100. The strong finish means that each BHS student was judged among the best in their committees.
 
The students who go to Model U.N. arrive ready to represent the interests of countries or non-government organizations. Judges evaluate the students’ debate and writing skills, and their knowledge of parliamentary procedure and international politics. They also are graded on their negotiation skills as they maneuver proposals and resolutions through committees.
 
Members of the Brighton team — also made up of senior Frank Gallardo; junior Olivia Esplin; junior Jessica Arthurs; junior Natalie Callahan; and junior Sam Ellis — took in Broadway shows “Wicked,” “Sister Act” and “Mama Mia” while in New York.
 
“Model U.N. is not everyone’s idea of cool,” said Arthurs, whose older siblings also participated in the training ground for future diplomats, “but it’s my idea of a good time.”
Canyons District seeks to respond to information presented on KSL-TV.
 
The District is issuing this response because KSL-TV chose not to include a written statement that was provided to the news station on two occasions.
 
That written statement is as follows:
 
“This is about education reform. We are running this school district for the benefit of the students. We will maintain that focus, even though we realize that making students the No. 1 priority may upset some entrenched or special interests.”
 
We believe the District gave KSL-TV the most detailed response possible with the extremely limited information that the reporter would give to us about the focus of her story.
 
When she requested the interview with Superintendent Doty, she would only say it was about his management style and administrative transfers. When we asked for additional information in order to prepare for the interview, she repeatedly declined to provide information about any allegations or pose any questions directly or indirectly, despite our repeated requests.
 
Just hours before the Thursday newscast, the District received this e-mail from KSL-TV: “KSL has decided not to run the statement you provided after our repeated request for an in-person interview with Superintendent Doty. Where the statement is not in response to any particular question, we feel it’s irrelevant to the report.”
 
Canyons District reiterates the crux of its original statement: The Board of Education and Administration remain dedicated to the District’s singular goal — ensuring the college- and career-readiness of the students who attend our schools.
Do your students need a review for the Advanced Placement history test?
 
Alta High’s Social Studies Department is inviting students across the District to a review featuring Randy W. Roberts, professor of history at Purdue University.
 
The review, which is free for Alta students but $10 for students from other schools, will be 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 14 in the auditorium at Alta High School, 11055 S. Hawk Hwy.
 
Topics include:
  • “Vietnam: The Legacy of Six Presidents, and How and Why we got There”
  • “World War II: Decisions That Changed America”
  • “Civil Rights Through the Eyes of Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali”

Roberts, who has authored or co-authored 17 books, has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize. He’s been a commentator for HBO, BBC, PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, and was a consultant on documentarian Ken Burn’s “Unforgiveable Blackness.”
Attention, students: Get a jumpstart on credits required for high school graduation by attending classes during the summer.

The online registration window for Canyons District’s Summer Semester, which is available for any incoming ninth- through 12th-grade student, is now open. Students who don’t usually attend Canyons District schools also are welcome to attend.

The deadline to register for classes is June 11.

Students can earn .5 credits in English, Computer Technology, Financial Literacy, ACT Prep and Participation Skills and Techniques.
Canyons District's Office of Civil Rights and Accommodations welcomes Jamal Willis as the District’s new hearing officer. The Canyons Board of Education ratified Willis’ appointment at its March 27, 2012 meeting.

Willis, now an academic counselor for Brigham Young University’s football, baseball, and men’s and women’s tennis programs, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Brigham Young University. He also has earned his master’s degree in educational counseling from the University of Phoenix.

Willis, a former high school football coach and high school academic counselor, was a standout running back for the BYU Cougars and also played for the San Francisco 49ers.

Willis fills the position vacated by Justin Matagi, who became an Alta High Assistant Principal when Corrie Barrett, who previously was at Alta, was named Interim Principal of Oak Hollow Elementary.

Page 87 of 91