If these walls could talk, they would tell stories of edge-of-your-seat wins and losses, drenched-with-sweat practices, the thump-and-blare of the pep band, and the heard-for-miles cheers of generations of Huskies.

While history has been kind to Hillcrest's Art Hughes Gymnasium, the time has come to build new memories in a facility that's being constructed for the generations to come.

A pack of former players, some of whom played on the school's first championship-winning team in 1968, attended the Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 boys hoops game against Kearns High. They were honored at the outset of the game for contributing to the strength of the home of the Huskies and mark the last home game played by the boys team before the more-than-50-year-old gym is torn down to  make way for the new Hillcrest High, which will be built in phases over the next three years. 

Construction crews are already working on the site of the school, which is being built with proceeds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November 2018.  It’s one of four  construction projects now being done in Canyons District, including a rebuild of Brighton High, a major renovation at Alta High, and a classroom-wing addition at Corner Canyon High. 

At the region game, the former players, who are brothers and friends, shook hands, hugged and re-lived the buzzer-beating shots, off-the-board rebounds, and the bonds built during the hours of practice and game-time play. They talked about the days gone by, when the entire community came to watch the Huskies hit the hardwood.   

“It was a lot of fun to play here,” said Ron Hatch, the 6-foot 4-inch center of the title-holding 1968 squad. “Both sides of the court would be full (of cheering fans.)”

But there was a lot less to do in those days, he says, no Netflix, no Internet, no video games. “People came out to watch basketball. It was different then. It was what everybody did.” 

“The game was different then, too,” he said. “You didn’t worry about who was going to get the  ball. You just went out and played. It was so much fun.” 

George Hughes, the son of the coach after whom the gym is named, recalled the good times had in the gymnasium throughout the years. “When I first entered his gym, I was just in awe,” he said. At the time, the Huskies’ gym was new, shiny, and ready to welcome the community. 

Hughes said his father, who died in 2003, was immensely proud to coach the Huskies, and led the school to state championships, including the school’s first hoops title.

George Hughes said he was thrilled to attend the school while his dad was at the hoops helm, and held up his golden “H” that he earned for his letterman’s jacket.  “I was proud to have gone to this school, to have played for this school.” 

On Tuesday night, the stands were full of cheering students, parents, friends and boosters. The cheer squad jumped and flipped, and the Hillcrest drill team hip-hopped through a half-time routine. While the Huskies did not emerge victorious, they played as strong as their legacy.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the girls' hoops team will take the floor at 7 p.m.  At the sound of the game-ending whistle, an era will end. And the score will be the last one tallied in the stadium where champions have been made.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Digital Divide

The Board of Education approved a proposal by Information Technology Director Scot McCombs to bridge a digital divide among Canyons students. The proposed program will aid the 10 percent of CSD students, including 430 high school students, who do not have Internet access at home. McCombs said CSD was awarded a T-Mobile Empower 2.0 grant to cover the cost of a Chromebook, which could be checked out like a library book but for an extended period of time, and 50 percent of an unlimited filtered hotspot for high school students who qualify for the program under family-income guidelines. Students also would be asked to sign an agreement that outlines the appropriate use of the device. The District’s costs, roughly $20 a month per device, also could be met through the state’s Digital Teaching and Learning Grant.  The IT Department now will work with the CSD Purchasing Department to purchase the Chromebooks and begin working with the high schools to distribute the devices. 

CTE Month

The emphasis of Career and Technical Education, said Canyons’ CTE Director Janet Goble, is to ensure students graduate high school with the academic, employability and technical skills to succeed in the marketplace. CTE classes help students become ready for the rigors of college and the workplace by helping them see how to apply knowledge in context and authentic situations. The 1,773 Canyons students who participate in CTE student organizations such as FBLA, DECA and HOSA and FCCLA are learning specific vocational skills while also honing leadership, teamwork, and decision-making abilities. CTE courses also are preparing students for life through job shadow, work-based learning, and concurrent-enrollment courses, she said. Last year, 1,687 students earned industry certifications and 6,147 students earned skills certifications. Goble was joined at the Board’s study session by Canyons’ CTE coordinators and Canyons Technical Education Center Principal Ken Spurlock.

Policy Updates

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen presented proposed updates to policies governing summer school, small unmanned aircraft systems, life with dignity orders, and student overnight travel. The Board took the suggested updates under advisement. Prompted by discussion at the Utah Legislature, Christensen also presented policy information about fees.

Open Meeting Law Training

Legal Counselor Dan Harper conducted a required training of the Utah Open Meetings Act. 

Legislative Update

Canyons District External Affairs Director Charlie Evans updated the Board of Education on the first week of the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature. He reported on the Utah Senate confirmation of the Shawn Newell as CSD’s representative on the Utah State Board of Education. The Board opted to take a public position against proposed legislation that would create at-large seats on local school boards. Evans also updated the Board on several other pieces of proposed legislation, including one focusing on student fees and another that proposes to change the current school-grading system.

Canyons’ 10-Year Anniversary Celebrations

Communications Director Jeff Haney presented plans to celebrate the 10th birthday of Canyons School District, which was founded on July 1, 2009. The proposed events, which include an arts festival and a birthday party, were discussed and prepared for presentation to the Board by the District’s 10-Year Anniversary Committee. 


The Board of Education recognized the following for their achievements:
  • CSD Instructional Supports Department, DLI elementary principals — ACTFL Melba D. Woodruff Award for Exemplary Foreign Language Program
  • Jordan High drill team coach Lacey Wing — 5A Drill Team Coach of the Year
  • Jordan High dancer Taylor Tilby — Utah High School Activities Association’s Heart of the Arts Award
Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the Jan. 22, 2019 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports; student overnight travel requests; the 2019-2020 Board meeting schedule; annual ongoing list of Human Sexuality Supplemental Resources; and a LAND Trust amendment for Indian Hills Middle.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Boy Scouts who attend Oak Hollow Elementary presented the American and state flags and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Principal Julie Mootz delivered the reverence. Mootz said the 680 student school, whose mascot is the Eagle, have soared on the year-end exams for the past four years. Teachers and parents also are involved, caring and hardworking, she said.  Oak Hollow also is home to a French-English Dual-Language Immersion program — one of eight DLI elementary programs in Canyons District. 

Superintendent Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on attending the Job Shadow Day organized by the CTE department, which is leading the celebration of CTE Month. He noted that Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie has announced her retirement, and thanked her for her contributions to the District. He also said he plans to attend the Utah School Boards Association training for presidents and vice presidents. 

Board Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg thanked the Boy Scouts for posting the colors and leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. He reported on attending the Draper Chamber of Commerce’s meeting on behalf of the District, CTEC’s Open House, and Albion Middle’s recent production of “Mary Poppins.” He thanked the faculty and staff for making it happen with their time and talent.  He recognized Development Officer Denise Haycock for working with Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen on a $350,000 grant Hansen provided to Canyons teachers.  He also commented on Midvalley’s Math Night, funded by a national PTA grant. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks reported on her first-ever Town Hall meeting as a Board member. She attended Draper and Lone Peak elementary schools’ Chinese New Year celebrations, a social media information night for parents at Alta High, and legislative meetings at the State Capitol.  She also attended an Alta High School Community Council meeting. 

Ms. Amber Shill updated the Board on a recent Utah High School Activities Association decision to change the way state tournaments are seeded. Shill said eight sports will adopt the new system, which is used by neighboring states. Girls wrestling and competitive cheer also may soon be sanctioned sports, she said. She reported on attending USBA meetings in Washington, D.C., where she met Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, who represents a chunk of Canyons District.

Mr. Steve Wrigley commented on turnaround schools, an upcoming policy change on the dress code, his attendance at a ribbon-cutting at Alta View Hospital, and the CTEC Open House.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold remarked on the Job Shadow Day, and said she attended “Mary Poppins” at Albion Middle. She thanked Principal Dr. Molly Hart for going the extra mile to support the students in the musical. 

Mr.  Chad Iverson commented on the Town Hall meeting he held with Ms. Oaks. He also reported on attending the Alta vs. Timpview boys basketball game, and urged the Board to start studying middle school enrollments.

President Tingey gave a shout out to the CSD science fair organizers, and reported on attending the Granite Elementary’s Family STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Night. She recognized the good work of the District’s counselors as part of National School Counseling Week. 
These are the people who are on the front lines at our schools, making sure students are not only guided toward high school graduation but also healthy outlooks on life.

From helping students who are struggling with difficult emotions to building a school schedule that will lead to a high school diploma, our corps of 60 school counselors do so much to aid in the college- and career-readiness of Canyons District students.

Canyons District lauds the dedication of our counselors by recognizing National School Counselor Week, held each year to focus public attention on the contribution of professional school counselors in our elementary, middle and high schools. The week highlights the impact counselors have on a student’s success as they move from grade to grade. 

Like other counseling centers across CSD, Jordan High’s office is a bustling hive of activity, especially as juniors and seniors start to plan for the next steps in their educational journeys. Last year, thanks to the counseling staff, the school finished second among all Utah high schools in completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known FAFSA. Those are the federal forms that must be submitted before students can obtain financial aid for college. For this and other reasons, the Canyons Board of Education honored the 'Digger counseling staff with the Apex Award for Student Support Services Professionals of the Year — one of the highest awards given by the Board.

Jordan High counselor April Sagala says the role of a high school counselor has changed significantly over the years. “Not too long ago, it was OK to say to a student, ‘Just go to college and eventually you will figure out what you want to do,’” she said. 

“But the landscape has changed with the rising cost of college and post-secondary training programs,” she said. “Our aim now is to help students narrow their focus to about five possible majors or careers, and them expose them to those opportunities before they leave high school.” 

However, perhaps the most important task the counselors assume is working with students struggling with suicide ideation and other emotional issues. In her 20 years as a counselor, she has seen anxiety-related issues increase drastically.  In the past, she’d see just a few kids each year who suffered from anxiety. 

“Now, I see kids several times a day who need help with anxiety,” she said. “Students live in a world of high expectations and they don’t think there are room for stumbles.  But life isn’t like that.  We all have bad days, and sometimes life throws us a curve ball.” 

To be sure, Canyons counselors are working hard to meet the social-emotional needs of the students, she said, and the Canyons District Board of Education and Administration continue to provide resources for mental-health supports. 

Segala, who appeared on ABC4 and KUTV 2News on Monday, Feb. 4, to help kick off National School Counseling Week, encouraged parents to work with counselors before student issues become crises. “Toward the end of a grading term, students and their parents often come to us in a bit of a panic, asking what can be done.  It’s usually not the first moment they realized there were issues with grades or missing assignments — but it’s the first time they come to see us,” she said.  “Counselors can work best with parents and students when they are focusing on preventing the crisis and providing supports to students over a longer period of time.”
Two Canyons District well-known and respected advocates for student athletes have received statewide honors for their notable careers.

Morgan Brown, athletic director for Alta High, and Natalie Meyer, who has been at the heart of Brighton High’s tennis dynasty, are two of the Utah High School Activities Association’s 17 Distinguished Awards recipients for 2018. 

Brown, who is in his 30th year at Alta High, was honored by the UHSAA as the Utah High School Athletic Director of the Year. Meyer, whose boys tennis team are the defending 5A state champs, was named by the UHSAA as the 5A Coach of the Year. 

For all of Alta’s students who love to play sports, Brown is an essential part of their experience, school officials say.  For nearly 20 years, Brown has coordinated transportation, overseen scheduling, and supported the Alta Hawks’ athletic endeavors. Brown started his career at Alta coaching football and track, having been a state champion himself in track in high school.

Meyer, a a long-time teacher and coach, is adept at helping her students accomplish hard things. She teaches them in math, and when they falter, she tutors them before and after school to make sure they succeed.

When it comes to sports, Natalie helps her teams develop the qualities that make them champions, both in their hearts and on the scoreboard. For Meyer, watching her players enjoy the sport and treat each other with respect is her greatest accomplishment, she says. That said, she is no stranger to winning, with nine state championships on her record.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Board Committee Assignments 

Members of the Board of Education discussed their various committee assignments. Board members serve on such external panels as the Board of the Canyons Education Foundation, the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Utah School Boards Association, and Cities that Care-Draper. Internally, Board members serve on CSD Arts, Audit, Policy, Facilities, Arts, RDA/CDA, Incident Command, Dual Language Immersion, Calendar, Curriculum, Health, and Vision Mission and Values committees. 

Legislative Preview

School safety, equalization, ongoing funding, and secondary-school fees are among the education-related issues expected to surface during the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature. External Affairs Director Charlie Evans updated the Board on the District’s approach to representing CSD on Capitol Hill during the 45-day session. CSD representatives will be monitoring committees and floor debates with an eye toward informing budget and policy discussions. Evans said Board members will receive daily updates about the progress of education-related bills. 

Partial Federal Government Shutdown

Students who qualify for free- and reduced-price lunches will continue to be served even if the federal government shutdown continues several more weeks. According to the USDA, the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program will continue operations into March. That said, CSD policy is to provide a meal to every student, regardless of their ability to pay in that moment. Employees also have been directed to not ask students for meal payments. It’s the District’s intention to maintain the meal program uninterrupted, even with the partial shutdown. The District also will still receive reimbursements for all U.S. Department of Education grants, including IDEA, Title I, Title IIA, and Title III, until September.

Small Capital Projects Update

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox updated the Board on plans to improve schools. Bidding for Front Office upgrade projects at Sunrise, Granite and Oakdale started on Jan. 22, and the Board is expected to review and approve bids in February and March. Construction is scheduled to begin in June. On Jan. 31, bids will open for daylighting projects at Oakdale, Quail Hollow, Crescent, Sunrise, Canyon View, Granite, East Midvale, and Sandy. The Board will review the bids in March, and construction is expected to start in June. Those projects were promised to the public when voters approved a $283 million bond in November 2017. Wilcox also discussed other proposed summer 2019 projects, including a $1.8 million mechanical upgrade and  $300,000 carpet installation at Jordan High, and a $1.1 million CAB-East remodel of current central-office work spaces and HVAC upgrade. Wilcox also presented proposals for 2020 projects. 

Board Meeting Schedule

The Board of Education discussed a proposed meeting schedule for 2019-2020.

Consent Agenda

The Board voted to approve the Consent Agenda, including minutes from the Dec. 18, 2019 meeting of the Board of Education; minutes from the Jan. 8 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports; request for student overnight travel; December Financial Reports; purchasing bids; LAND Trust amendments for Bella Vista Elementary; and administrative appointments. 

Yearbook Policy

The Board of Education approved updates to the District’s high school yearbook policy. The policy calls for the price of the books to be reviewed by the Office of School Performance and removes language that is inconsistent with the local school practice of taking of individual yearbook pictures.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The colors were posted by Boy Scouts who attend Indian Hills Middle. The reverence was presented by Indian Hills Middle Principals Doug Graham, who said the school has a solid balance of high-quality core classes and elective programs. The middle school has a robust enrollment even though it’s a landlocked area with not a lot of construction growth, he said. He also said the faculty is dedicated to removing any barriers to learning for the students.

Public Comment

Facilities Department employee Merlyn Rhodes, who is retiring this year after a 40-year career, thanked the Board of Education for making decisions that benefit employees, students, and families. 

Parent Lorena Milner urged the Board to consider adopting policies that would restrict or prohibit rewarding students with food, especially junk food, for academic or behavioral progress.

Patron Steve Van Maren asked the District to send regular communications to all patrons of the District.


The Board recognized the students, faculty and staff for their achievements.  They are: 
  • Morgan Brown, Alta High Athletic Director, UHSAA Athletic Director of the Year
  • Natalie Meyer, Brighton High, UHSAA 5A Coach of the Year
  • Jake Sorensen, Entrada, ASE Technician of the Year
  • McKay Wells, Draper Park Middle 7th-grade student, Cross Country Gold Medalist in National Junior Olympics
  • Robert Violano, Midvale Middle 8th grade teacher, Utah Science Teachers Association 8th Grade Teacher of the Year
  • Fifth-grade teachers at Draper Elementary, Outstanding Elementary Department Award, Utah Science Teachers Association

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on attending the Utah School Boards Association Conference. He also announced the appointments of Cindy Hanson and McKay Robinson as the new School Performance Directors. They will replace Mike Sirois and Joanne Ackerman, who are retiring. In the posts, they will join Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle and Alice Peck in supervising the schools. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reported on attending the USBA conference, congratulated Amber Shill for her election to Vice President of the USBA, and commented on the good work of bus drivers who drive in the winter weather. He recognized Merlyn Rhodes and congratulated him for a long and successful career. 

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson thanked School Performance Director Mike Sirois for his years of service.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on the Incident Command Committee discussions and her attendance at the Legislative Luncheon with the elected officials who represent Canyons District. She also reported on attending the Utah School Boards Association Conference. She thanked the custodians for clearing the walks of snow and ice before students and teachers arrived on Tuesday after Monday’s snow storm.

Mr. Steve Wrigley said the District’s Wellness Committee has discussed policies that would discourage rewarding students with food. He reported on attending the Student Advisory Council meeting, the USBA conference, and the District’s Legislative Luncheon. He also encouraged Board members to complete the “master boards” training program of the USBA. 

Mrs. Amber Shill updated the community on UHSAA discussions surrounding sanctioning cheerleading and girls wrestling. He also reported on attending the USBA conference. She thanked staff members for planning the Oath of Office ceremony for new Board members.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks attended several legislative-update meetings. She also said she enjoyed the USBA conference, thanked the Education Support Professionals who work in CSD schools, and congratulated the fifth-grade teachers at Draper Elementary who received the statewide award for science education.

Mr. Mont Millerberg welcomed Mrs. Oaks to the Board, complimented the Calendar Committee for “scheduling a snow storm on a holiday,” and commented on the positive impact that retirees have on our schools. He also reported on attending the holiday program at Peruvian Park Elementary and the Homecoming Dance at Jordan Valley School.

President Tingey thanked employees for touching the lives of children every day.  She also thanked those who assisted to the responses at Jordan High, including the Sandy Police.  She hopes the community can continue to work together to provide safe and welcoming learning environments to students.
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