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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.
Now this is music to our ears.

Eight Canyons District students have been selected to play side-by-side with members of the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall on Tuesday, May 17.

The 7 p.m. concert will feature some of the state’s best high school musicians. Cost to attend the event ranges from $6 to $18. The students are:

  • Alta:  Jacob Kilby, acoustic bass; Noah Valentine, violin
  • Hillcrest:  Mitchell Spencer, piano; Michael Zackrison, tuba; Adam Ford, violin
  • Corner Canyon:  Hannah McKay, viola; Kadyn Allen, trumpet
  • Jordan:  Nathan Jensen, French horn


The charismatic first-ever leader of Corner Canyon High has been named the state’s top high school principal.

Mary Bailey, who has guided the successful growth of Canyons District’s newest high school since its inception, was named the Utah High School Principal of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals. The prestigious honor was given to Bailey during a Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 ceremony in Salt Lake City.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle, who has worked with Bailey since 1988, lauded Bailey for her savvy as a public-education administrator. “She’s been professional her entire career. Her standards are through the ceiling,” Dowdle said.  He added that Bailey has a notable ability to build and maintain relationships.  “Everyone is affected by her love of people,” he said.

In Bailey’s nomination, a Corner Canyon staff member described Bailey as “the heart” of the high school. “She’s the motivator, the mentor, and the supporter of everyone in our school. She is revered by the entire community.”

Bailey began her career as a teacher in the Jordan District and the Cassia County District in Idaho before returning to Utah where she worked in the Jordan central office and as principal of Copper Hills High. In 2009, she joined Canyons as the executive director of K-16 student achievement for the district’s high schools. In 2011, she was tapped to oversee the launch of Corner Canyon High, a new-school construction project that was made possible by a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010.

At Corner Canyon, which became an athletic and academic powerhouse the day it opened, Bailey is credited with initiating a Principal’s Roundtable to give students a voice in school matters; a Freshman Academy to help students make the transition from middle to high school; and a partnership with Microsoft that brings in company engineers to teach computer science courses.

Bailey was one of three educators honored during the morning ceremony at the Crystal Inn, 250 W. 500 West. Mountain Ridge Junior High Principal Mark Whitaker also was honored as a secondary principal of the year. Lava Ridge Intermediate School Assistant Principal Greg Bozarth received the Assistant Principal of the Year award.

A star is born in the home of the Chargers. Anna Richey, a student at Corner Canyon High School, in August 2015 received the Best Director Award at the 2015 NO BULL Teen Video Awards for her video, “Broken.”  The awards, held Saturday, Aug. 8, at YouTube Space in Los Angeles, sparkled with stars from television, movies and social media.

Founded in 2011, the “Great American No Bull Challenge” asks American youth ages 13 to 23 to address the issue of bullying in schools by creating and producing positive messages in short video documentaries, music videos, public service announcements and Vines. The aim of the video contest and award ceremony, according to organizers, was to encourage students to create anti-bullying messages through filmmaking, leadership and social media.

The awards show was live-streamed and recorded for a YouTube audience.  Richey can be seen accepting her award in the 28th minute of the video. “Oh, wow!” Richey said in accepting her award.  “Wow.  This is so amazing.”  She also thanked her co-directors, her family and friends, and the people who helped support her efforts to create the video. 

The day of the awards, all nominees were invited to attend the NO BULL National Education Conference, which addressed topics on bullying, digital responsibility, leadership and social justice.   This year’s #NOBULLnation social media campaign recorded nearly 20 million impressions and more than 5 million unique reaches.
The Canyons Board of Education is interested in hearing from those who are directly affected by the policies and procedures of the District — the students.

To that end, for the second year, 10 students from Alta, Brighton, Corner CanyonJordan and Hillcrest high schools have been selected to serve on a CSD Student Advisory Board. The group’s main function is to provide input to the Board from a student’s perspective.  

The student board consists of two students from each Canyons high school. The members are selected through an application process. Council representatives are asked to attend the Board of Education’s semi-monthly meetings and discuss issues facing the elected Canyons Board. 

Members of the second Student Advisory Board are:
  • Alta: Jake Kohler and Maddie Dismuke
  • Brighton: David Warr and Carter Brown
  • Corner Canyon: Brady Thayer and Coleman Broman
  • Hillcrest: Allison Rimmasch and Anthony Cheng
  • Jordan: Kate Lesuer and Bronson Battaglia

"What you will bring to some of the discussions and decisions we make as a Board will be valuable," Board of Education member Nancy Tingey told the members of the student advisory group at a recent meeting. "Thank you for getting involved ... we will look to you for advice and counsel.”

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