Jordan Valley School, Canyons District's facility for the severely disabled, on Friday, May 31, 2013 honored five students for the completion of their education at the school. 
 
This year’s Transition Exercises, held at the school, 7501 S. 100 East, was attended by family, friends, faculty, staff and members of the District's administration, including Superintendent Dave Doty, Deputy Superintendent Ginger Rhode, Assistant Superintendent Kathryn McCarrie, and Special Education Director Robin Collett.
 
Board member Steve Wrigley congratulated the students and encouraged them to keep learning and growing. "Everyone can make a difference," he told the students, as they sat on the stage in gold and blue caps and gowns. "I am looking forward to seeing the difference you make” in the future.   
 
Wrigley also lauded the parents of the students. “You parents are my heroes,” he said.  “You’ve held in there and have been (the students’) supports. We all need support … We all need people to be a part of our lives.”
 
After the students were presented certificates, Principal Mark Donnelly bid the students and their families a fond farewell. "You will be immensely missed at Jordan Valley,” he said.
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  • You can help build up programs at the new Midvale Elementary by buying bricks from the old, now-demolished school on Center Street.

    Midvale Elementary supporters can now buy a brick of the six-decade-old building for $10 or $15 with an engraved plate. If you order more than 10 bricks you can receive them for $5 per brick or $10 per brick with an engraved plate.

    Also, the PTA continues to sell the pavers for the sidewalk leading to the front entrance of the school. Each paver has an individualized message, and will forever mark your family’s support of the school or your child’s accomplishments as a Midvale Mustang. Small bricks are $50 and large bricks are $100. You can add a picture for $25.

    The bricks from the school and the pavers will be for sale at the Midvale PTA Carnival on Thursday, May 30. The event will be from 3-8 p.m. at the school, 7830 Chapel St. Orders also can be sent to Suzanne Walker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    The seniors who play with Jordan High’s Wind Symphony can walk across the stage at commencement knowing they are leaving a superior legacy intact. Earlier this month, the school’s Wind Symphony, led by teacher Randal Clark, took home honors at the Utah State Concert Band Festival.
     
    Out of 35 bands that qualified for the festival, Jordan was one of only six that received “Superior” ratings for its performance.  This marks the 12th consecutive year that Jordan’s student musicians achieved such high scores, which Clark says is a “pretty big deal in the music world — kind of like the Superbowl.”
     
    Senior Holly Tuft, who plays the clarinet, says the scores are sweet relief after years of hard work.  “It feels good to have contributed to continuing the legacy,” says Tuft, who has earned a music scholarship at Southern Utah University. The win at the festival also showed “that we work hard and don’t give up,” said Adam Millett, the senior percussionist.
     
    The students performed “Americans We,” by Henry Fillmore; “Ride,” by Samuel R. Hazo; and “One Life Beautiful,” by Julie Giroux.
     
    This is just the latest in a series of superior ratings for the Beetdiggers. In fact, Clark says, Jordan’s string of top ratings for students in Concert Band, Jazz Band and Orchestra make it one of the most successful programs in the state.

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  • Bruce Shuck has always felt a close connection to Native American culture. It started when he was young, when the neighborhood kids used to play "cowboys and Indians" — and he always chose to be the indian.   
     
    He was 30 before he discovered that he really did have Native American blood — his great-grandmother was part of the Cherokee Nation, with generations of ancestors from the Powhatan tribe — and he was thrilled.
     
    Since then, as a guidance counselor at Crescent View Middle School, Shuck has helped hundreds of students on the path to learning more about their Native American identity. His efforts working with students in the Standing Tall program helped earn him recognition this fall as a recipient of the prestigious Utah School Counselor Association's Human Rights Award.

    This week, CSD is lauding all its school counselors for the impact they have on helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, will be celebrated Feb. 4–8, 2013.
     
    For his part, Shuck says the Human Rights Award honors his students more than himself. "It means an awful lot," he said. "It's recognition of the students I work with."
     
    Standing Tall is a program designed to teach students with Native American heritage about Native American culture, inspire confidence and monitor academic performance. The program helps students ranging from those who have just moved from the reservation to those with native ancestors who want to learn more about their heritage.
     
    In addition to meeting weekly with Standing Tall students at Crescent View, Shuck is also a member of the Indian Education Parent Committee and he coordinates a districtwide, monthly Native American meeting.
     
    "Bruce is a champion of civil rights for not only our American Indian population, but for all students, particularly those who have been disadvantaged in various ways and could use a measure of compassion and support, as well as a caring mentor," Crescent View Assistant Principal Dave Barrett told the Utah School Counselor Association in Shuck's behalf. "He is generous, thoughtful and often engaged in small acts of kindness both with students and faculty."
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    When this experience is over, Oakdale students will know far more about Korean culture than just the “Gangnam Style” song and dance. For the past week, Oakdale students and teachers have been playing host to six teachers-in-training from South Korea’s Busan National University of Education who are in Utah to watch and take notes on the instructional and engagement practices of American schools.  

    Oakdale Principal Alice Peck says it’s been delightful to interact with the Busan students, who have quickly become part of the school community. In “nearly flawless English,” Peck says, the delegation from the Land of the Morning Calm has taught students some traditional games, as well as how to utter names and phrases in Korean. “They have just joined right in,” Peck says, “They just love the kids.”

    The Oakdale visit, which ends Feb. 7, has attracted favorable attention from the highest-ranking officials at the Busan University. The school’s president, Sang-Yong Kim, visited Oakdale on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, bearing gifts of appreciation and friendship. The university forged the relationship with Oakdale when the son of one of its professors attended the school while his father was on sabbatical in Utah.

    The student, Soo Wan Kim, attended Oakdale for two years before returning to Korea. Peck said his former classmates were disappointed that Soo Wan couldn’t return to see them when his father, Dong Kyoo Kim, a professor in the English Education Department, made this week’s ceremonial visit with President Kim. “The students were like, ‘Hey, where’s Soo Wan? Is Soo Wan here?’” Peck said. “I think it was nice for Soo Wan’s dad to hear that his son is missed here at Oakdale.”

    Peck said President Kim was in Utah solely to visit the Busan students, who have been busy working with teachers throughout the Sandy school. Oakdale students from the first to fifth grades have enjoyed the classroom presence of the Busan educators, whose trips were funded by the university.

    Peck said it’s been fascinating to exchange ideas with the Korean guests, who plan to give Peck a report on what they learned while observing Oakdale classrooms. Korean teachers, for example, teach intensively for 40 minutes. Then, the students and teachers take a 10-minute break. That pattern is repeated throughout the day.

    “We have been happy to compare and have some great conversations,” Peck said. “None of the conversations have been about finding fault or determining whose way is better. It’s been so that we can learn from each other.”

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