Canyons District has a new Business Administrator.

The Board of Education on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 appointed Leon Wilcox to the position, effective immediately.  

Wilcox had been serving as the Interim Business Administrator since September 2013. 

Wilcox is a seasoned professional with 20 years of governmental accounting experience, with an emphasis on financial reporting, budgeting, and auditing.

As Canyons District's Director of Accounting from 2009-2013, Wilcox was intricately involved with the 2009 division of $1.5 billion in assets of the former Jordan School District, and was responsible for establishing Canyons' original and subsequent budgets.

Wilcox, a certified public accountant who earned bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from Utah State University, also has worked nine years in the Granite School District and six years in the State Auditor's Office.

“I appreciate all the confidence and support you‘ve given me while I’ve served as the Interim (Business Administrator),” Wilcox told the Board after his appointment.  “We have accomplished a lot this year, and I have a lot of ideas that I’m excited to implement.”

Canyons District’s new Superintendent is hitting the ground running.

The Canyons Board of Education is pleased to welcome Dr. Jim Briscoe to the Canyons community. Starting next week, members of the Board will host public meetings to give students, parents, employees and community partners a chance to meet and get to know Dr. Briscoe.

Members of the public are free to attend any meeting that suits their schedule.

  • June 17 — Mt. Jordan Middle, Band Room, 7 p.m., hosted by Tracy Scott Cowdell      
  • June 18 — Butler Middle, Media Center, 7 p.m., hosted by Kim Horiuchi                    
  • June 23 — East Sandy Elementary, Gymnasium, 5 p.m., hosted by Tracy Scott Cowdell
  • June 23 — Jordan High, Tech Atrium, 7 p.m., hosted by Tracy Cowdell and Steve Wrigley
  • June 26 — Eastmont Middle, Choir Room, 7 p.m., hosted by Steve Wrigley     
  • July 8 — Hillcrest High, Atrium, 7 p.m., hosted by Robert Green           
  • July 10 — Albion Middle, Commons, 7 p.m., hosted by Nancy Tingey   
  • July 15 — Midvale Middle, Auditorium, 7 p.m., hosted by Robert Green          
  • Aug. 6 — Corner Canyon High, Atrium, 7 p.m., hosted by Chad Iverson
  • Aug. 13 — Indian Hills Middle, Media Center, 6:30 p.m., hosted by Sherril Taylor     
  • Sept. 4 — Silver Mesa Elementary, Gymnasium, 7 p.m., hosted by Steve Wrigley

The seven-member Board voted unanimously in an April 29, 2014 meeting to approve the appointment of Dr. Briscoe, who for the past six years has served as Superintendent of Schools of the DeKalb Community Unit School District No. 428, located about 50 miles west of Chicago. The appointment, effective July 1, 2014, follows an exhaustive national search for the new superintendent. 

In her final meeting as Canyons District’s Interim Superintendent — and the last public meeting of her stellar 35-year career — Dr. Ginger Rhode gave a “huge thanks” to students, teachers, staff, parents, and volunteers for their hard work in launching the first new school district to be created in Utah in nearly a century.

"What a true privilege it's been to work with all of you," Dr. Rhode told members of the Board of Education and the staff in the final minutes of the Tuesday, June 10, 2014 board meeting.  "It's been wonderful to work with all of you ... you’re the most wonderful people that I could ever hope to meet."

Dr. Rhode, who was one of the first employees hired by the District, served as the Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer from 2008 to 2013. Her final year in public education — she plans to retire June 30, 2014 — has been spent as the top leader of the 34,000-student District.

Canyons teachers and staff, Dr. Rhode said, "have exceeded expectations by such a long shot. I am so proud of what they have accomplished.” In the past year, CSD implemented districtwide grade reconfiguration and boundary changes in addition to opening three new schools and starting such initiatives as the new Elementary Report Card and middle school schedule. Under Dr. Rhode’s guidance, CSD also has put into place the state’s first-ever college- and career-ready high school diplomas.

Dr. Rhode also thanked the members of the Board of Education for putting their trust in her to oversee the District throughout the year.  “Thank you all for everything that you’ve done,” she said.  “I really appreciate it.”

To mark her last meeting, the Board of Education entered a statement of appreciation into the official record and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.  Earlier this month the Board hosted a retirement Open House for Dr. Rhode.  At the event, they presented her with a crystal award for her dedicated service.    

"Dr. Rhode, thank you for bringing your wealth of experience, your depth of knowledge, and your expansive compassion to a community that desired more from its public school system,” said Board President Sherril Taylor.  “The practices that have been implemented under your leadership are poised to bring even more increases in student achievement.

"Your dedication to Canyons District was even more evident when without hesitation you accepted the responsibility of serving as the Interim Superintendent. Your work in this capacity has been exemplary. While you will be missed, your presence will be with us as the people and programs you have influenced carry forward the mission of Canyons District."

The Canyons Board of Education today announces the historic selection of three finalists in the national search to appoint the District's next Superintendent.

The finalists, chosen after an exhaustive application-review and interview process, are the following veteran administrators and educators:
  • Dr. James Briscoe, Superintendent of Schools, DeKalb Community Unit School District No. 428 in DeKalb, Ill.
  • Craig Hammer, Executive Director of Secondary Schools, Washington County School District in St. George
  • Dr. Kathryn McCarrie, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Performance Officer, Canyons School District in Sandy, Utah
The seven-member Board of Education selected the finalists after completing three days of interviews with a select group of applicants from around the country. Canyons District's first-ever superintendent, Dr. David S. Doty, resigned in spring 2013 to lead a national education reform organization. Dr. Ginger Rhode has served as Interim Superintendent since July 1, 2013 and recently announced her intention to retire July 1, 2014.

"As a Board, we have been duly and thoroughly impressed with the quality of the candidates. It truly was a challenge to narrow the list to just three finalists," said Board President Sherril H. Taylor. "However, the Board remains dedicated to finding the best possible leader for the District, and we're confident in the skills, talents and experience of those who remain in consideration for this vitally important position."

Dr. James Briscoe
Craig Hammer
Dr. Kathryn McCarrie
Dr. Briscoe, who earned a Doctorate of Education at Northern Illinois University, has served for six years as the superintendent of a 6,200-student school district located about 50 miles west of Chicago. Prior to this appointment, he served as superintendent of a 1,800-student high school in Oak Lawn, Ill., and principal of high schools in Brookfield, Wis., and Round Lake, Ill. He also has been a classroom teacher. Hammer, who received a Master of Education at the University of Utah, has worked for seven years as the executive director of  secondary schools in the 28,000-student school district located in southern Utah. He also has worked for 15 years as a high school administrator, including 13 as principal of Dixie High School, and nine years as a classroom teacher.  Dr. McCarrie, the recipient of a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah, has been Assistant Superintendent since 2011. McCarrie was one of the first administrators appointed in CSD, serving for two years as the Executive Director of the Special Education Department. She also was Granite District's Special Education Director and Associate Director for nine and four years, respectively. In addition, McCarrie has worked as a principal, assistant principal, special-education coordinator, school psychologist and a special-education classroom teacher.

Members of the Board of Education plan to conduct additional interviews and site visits to the workplaces of the finalists. The Board aims to select the successful candidate in time for a July 1, 2014 start date.
Thursday, 10 October 2013 16:17

Parents Invited to Suicide Prevention Seminar

Canyons School District parents are invited to a free Suicide Prevention Seminar. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, from 7 – 8 p.m. at Hillcrest High School, 7350 S. 900 East in Midvale. The event will be held in the auditorium. The seminar also will be delivered in Spanish in AT 200.

The seminar will provide parents information about suicide prevention and child wellness resources, signs a loved one may be at risk, and tips on how to intervene and report concerns.

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults ages 24 to 64, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. In 2011, Utah recorded 490 suicide deaths, marking a rate that rose by 60 percent over the previous eight years, the Tribune reported. The State of Utah has appointed statewide suicide prevention coordinators to work at the Utah Department of Human Services and the Utah State Office of Education. A new Utah law also requires secondary schools to implement suicide prevention programs, and local school boards to approve policies requiring parent notification of bullying and suicide threats. The Canyons Board of Education approved the Reporting Student Safety Policy last month.
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