Heather Horton is a force to be reckoned with. Put her in a race, in the water, in mud, on a steep mountain, on a bike, with an injury, against people from all over the world and she’ll still win.

At the Xterra World Championship in October in Hawaii, Horton took first place in her age division, 15-19, racing against competitors from France, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, and all across America, Canada and the rest of the world. She swam one mile, biked 20 miles and ran six miles in 5.5 hours.

“It was slow, but it was raining a lot and I had to walk my bike six miles in the mud,” says the 16-year-old Alta junior. Horton started mountain biking three years ago when she joined Alta’s Mountain Biking club. She won the state championship as a freshman, a junior-varsity title, and took first place this year at four Xterra races on her way to winning her division at the Pan Am Tour, which took place in Utah in September. Bikers from all over the world came to the Beehive state to compete in the off-road triathlon.

Horton usually trains with her father, who is also an avid mountain biker, by biking four times a week. Her favorite trails aheather_horton_on_bike.jpgre in Corner Canyon in Draper, but she drives to Park City once or twice a week for variety. “I like my team and I love mountain biking,” Horton says. “It’s pretty when I ride and I feel really good when I’m riding on my bike.”

Horton’s teammates performed well at this year’s state championships — which Horton missed because of a fall and injury — with Ellise Shuman taking third place for girls varsity, and Morgan Hales taking fourth place in the girls junior varsity category. Canyons’ Mountain Biking clubs at Corner Canyon and Brighton also excelled at the state championships. Corner Canyon won the Division 1 contest, and Brighton claimed the state championship in Division 2. Two of the team’s riders also won individual titles: Brayden Barlage took first in the girls’ freshman category, and Ryder Jordin took first among freshman boys.

Utah’s High School Cycling League has grown in popularity among middle and high school students since the league was formed in 2011. With an abundance of maintained mountain biking trails available in close proximity, Utah’s high school league has grown to become the largest in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, with 1,156 registered high school athletes in the state, according to the league’s website, www.utahmtb.org.
Get a group of American fifth-graders videoconferencing with students at a “sister school” in China and this is the conversation that transpires.

What kinds of food do you like to eat? How do you get to school, and what subjects do you learn? Do you have a favorite hobby or sport?

These questions and more topped the foreign affairs agenda Thursday evening at the Utah Capitol as a group of Mandarin learners in Draper Elementary’s dual language immersion program virtually sealed a "sister schools" agreement with the Shenyang Wanghulu Primary School of China. The digital cultural exchange was facilitated by Legislative leaders following a trade mission to Liaoning Province, a region of China with 10-year-long ties to Utah.

Chinese government officials, District and Legislative leaders, including Superintendent Jim Briscoe, House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, and Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, were on hand to mark the ocassion with gifts and dinner in the Rotunda. It was the second time Draper students have teleconferenced with their Shenyang Wanghulu peers, and an educational tool that Legislative leaders hope to use with other Utah schools.

The digital diplomacy sessions give young learners a chance to hone their language skills and observe and learn differences in social norms and cultural beliefs. Senate President Niederhauser hopes the new friendships “will last a lifetime, and bear results for generations."

Said Marianne Barrowes, a Draper Elementary parent with two children in Chinese language immersion, “It’s so valuable for these children to meet kids in another country and to actually talk to them. When we were little, we had pen pals; this is a whole new level.”

Utah’s Dual Language Immersion Program was created by lawmakers in cooperation with former Gov. Jon Huntsman who is fluent in Mandarin and also served as U.S. Ambassador to China. CSD’s first immersion classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District is now home to eight elementary immersion programs, eight middle school programs, and by 2016-17, will have world language programs in all five of its high schools.

A vocal supporter of the program, House Speaker Hughes believes it will give Utah children the skills they need to thrive in a 21st Century, global economy.
A shiny new plaque on Rich Landward’s office wall serves as recognition for his hard work. But the CSD Student Support Specialist insists that the honor isn’t just for him. Landward says he shares the honor — the Clinical Faculty of the Year Award from the University of Utah’s College of Social Work — with those around him in CSD who are dedicated to building up Care Coordination, an evidence-based initiative that links students and parents in Title I communities to mental health and other community services.
Landward, who this year supervised master-level social work interns at Copperview, East Midvale, Midvale and Sandy elementary schools as part of the Care Coordination program, was surprised with the award at a recognitions ceremony at the University of Utah. While he knew he had been nominated for the award, he says he “had no idea” he’d won.
Landward says at-school mental health services have the potential to boost student achievement.  If students have immediate access to services that can help them cope with, for example, mood disorders, trauma, depression, anger, or family disruptions, then it may positively affect how they perform in the classroom. It also has been shown to reduce behavioral issues.  
Karen Sterling, Director of the Office of Student Advocacy and Access, lauded Landward for his efforts.  “We are very excited for Rich and proud to have him on the Student Advocacy Team,” she said.
Canyons District has re-scheduled the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Crescent View Middle School.

The event will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 13133 S. 1300 East, Draper.

Wet weather forced the postponement of the previously scheduled groundbreaking event on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

A relocation of the school is part of CSD’s plan to reconfigure grades and improve academic opportunities for students. The new middle school is expected to open in fall 2013.

Eleven Canyons District students are semi-finalists in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students are among the 16,000 scholastically talented high school seniors who remain in the competition for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships. The awards, worth more than $32 million, will be announced this spring. Of the Canyons students, eight attend school at Hillcrest. Two are students at Alta, and one attends Jordan.

About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as the initial screen of the entrants. The nationwide pool of semi-finalists, which represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semi-finalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

A semi-finalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The semi-finalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semi-finalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

The CSD students who have earned semi-finalist status are: 

Jacob Brown
Joshua T. Fairbourn
Cory D. Goates
Aaron A. Johnson
Micah R. Johnston,
John R. Morrell
Jarom T. Norris
Caius S. Worthen

Parker Awerkamp
Macey Crockett


Jessica Lindsay
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