They could have spent the summer relaxing poolside with friends, playing video games, or earning babysitting money. Instead, they chose to get a jump on high school with a deep-dive into the math and science concepts they’ll be expected to learn as entering freshmen this fall.

For four hours a day over four weeks, participants in Jordan High’s AVID summer academy immersed themselves in what it takes to be a successful Beetdigger. They attended class, conducted experiments, and completed exams while becoming familiar with the new surroundings, new teachers, and more rigorous demands of high school. For their efforts, on Friday, June 13, they were awarded cash stipends and completion certificates, and treated to a celebratory breakfast with family members. Screen_Shot_2018-07-13_at_5.20.51_PM.png

More valuable, still—they learned that they’re capable of doing hard things, and that it feels pretty good. “This summer, you’ve shown that you can do something really important,” remarked Canyons Board of Education member Steve Wrigley at the ceremony. “Believe in yourself and work hard and it will open all kinds of doors for you.”

 Made possible with an investment by the Board of Education, and modeled after a similar program at Hillcrest High, the AVID summer academy is now in its second year. Participants in last year’s academy ended their ninth-grade year with higher grade point averages than those students who were invited to the program but chose not to participate (see chart below). They reported having more confidence and also attended school more regularly.

“We didn’t have any of our participants who were falling into dangerous areas of missing a lot of school, which is something that prohibits students from being successful,” says Jordan’s Principal Wendy Dau.

How students perform in the ninth grade tends to predict how well they’ll do in high school. The idea behind the AVID program, says Dau, is to help students excel that first “sink-or-swim” year, and beyond.

Last year, the approach earned CSD the honor of being named a 2017 District of Distinction by District Administration Magazine. One of Utah’s largest newspapers called the initiative a "smart, sensible and innovative" approach “to dealing with a specific problem — one that happens to be at the heart of any education system’s principal mission — to make sure students who show up on the first day of school are still there when the bell rings on graduation day.”
Jordan High is playing a part in the Chilean government’s history.

Thanks to connections Jordan High Assistant Principal Roberto Jimenez has made in the Chilean community, the Canyons District school was asked to serve as the polling place for Chileans living in the Beehive State who wanted a cast a ballot in that country’s presidential election.  

Jimenez was approached by officials in the Chilean government who were looking for a polling place in Utah. The Chile voting officials also arranged for polling places in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle. 

Jimenez, who is an American citizen but whose family members are from Chile, met and corresponded with the Consul General in Los Angeles in preparation for the vote. “They asked for a place to be, we asked to our district officials, and we were on,” Jimenez said. “It’s been very exciting to be a part of this historic election.”    

This is the first election in the history of Chile in which Chileans are permitted to vote from abroad. A law enacted in 2016 gave the 450,000 Chileans residing abroad the right to vote in presidential primaries, national referendums and first and second round presidential elections. 

Some 123 Chilean citizens living in Utah went through the voter-registration process to vote in the 2017 election. Sixty-four cast ballots on Sunday.

“I think it’s a lesson in civic duty,” Jimenez told ABC4 anchor Emily Clark in a post-election interview.  “To think that people who live so far away from their country, thousands of miles away, they take the time to drive for hours, for two or three hours, to get to Jordan High to cast their vote.”   

The vote required a room big enough to have a table for three officials from the consulate and a voting booth that is far enough away from the officials to guarantee privacy. 

The school hosted the Chilean presidential July 2 primaries and the Nov. 19 general election. Because the Chilean president is elected by the absolute majority of valid votes, if no candidate obtains such a majority a special runoff between the two candidates with the most votes from the general election will be held Sunday, Dec. 17.  This vote also will be held at the home of the Beetdiggers.
Due to unseasonably high temperatures, Jordan High School's Tuesday, June 6 commencement ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Maverik Center (3200 Decker Lake Dr., West Valley City, UT 84119).

Previously, the event was scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. at the Beetdigger's outdoor stadium. But evening temperatures are forecast to approach the nineties, and temperatures on the football field are even higher.

We recognize this is a departure from tradition, and we thank students for being so understanding. After all, we want families to comfortably and safely enjoy this can't-miss event.  
A whopping 22 stellar students from Canyons District’s five traditional comprehensive high schools find out tonight if they have been selected as 2017 Sterling Scholars in their respective categories.  Winners in the 55th annual scholarship program sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL-TV Channel 5 will be announced during a ceremony at the LDS Conference Center’s Little Theater, 60 West North Temple.  Students from Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools are in the finals in all but one of the judged categories.  Last year, Canyons students walked away with several awards.   Anthony Cheng, from Hillcrest High, was announced as the top mathematician — and the overall general scholar. Sadie Chidester and Camden Seeborg, both from Corner Canyon, won in the Skilled and Technical Sciences and World Languages categories, respectively.  Here’s a list of Canyons District’s 2017 finalists:

Business and Marketing
Elizabeth Ericksen, Corner Canyon

Computer Technology
Abigail Olsen, Hillcrest
Ryan Dalby, Brighton
Ellek Linton, Corner Canyon

Dance
Caroline Tarbet, Hillcrest
Ashley Jex, Alta
Audrey Memmott, Corner Canyon


English
Nain Christopherson, Jordan
Alexandra Carlile, Hillcrest

Family and Consumer Sciences Education
Carlee Culberson, Jordan

Mathematics
Ben Hiatt, Corner Canyon

Science
Boyd Christiansen, Jordan
Michelle White, Hillcrest

Skilled & Technical Sciences Education
Mary Evans, Hillcrest
Mykell Johnson, Alta

Social Sciences
Eliza Bennett, Jordan

Speech, Theatre Arts, Forensics
Emma Smith, Alta

Visual Arts
Dexter Holmes, Jordan
Meg Warnock, Corner Canyon

Vocal Performance
Kristen Fairbourn, Alta

World Languages
Cade Kartchner, Hillcrest
Julianne Liu, Brighton
Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan and his wife are sure to turn heads when they step onto the red carpet at the 89th Academy Awards. When they do, they’ll be showcasing the work of a Jordan High graduate who is styling the couple's hair and makeup for the big event. 

Sheridan is a dark horse nominated to win an award for his “Hell or High Water” original screenplay.  But the actor-turned-writer and director also will have a dashing look, thanks to former Beetdigger Tim Muir.

Both of Muir’s parents also ar epart of the Canyons District family. Patrons who have needed assistance with technological issues may have spoken with Holly Muir, his mother, who is a Help Desk Technician in the Information Technology Department. Dad Todd Muir works in Canyons’ Facilities Services Department as a trainer and custodial lead. Both parents are brimming with pride at their son’s accomplishments.

Tim Muir flew out to California days ahead of the ceremony to prepare Sheridan and his wife for pre-Oscar parties and the big day. It may seem glamorous and exciting, but for Muir, who owns his own salon and has been professionally styling hair for 15 years, it’s just another day on the job.

“I work in New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Texas — you name it I’ve worked there,” Muir said as he juggled last-minute errands — like picking up dinner for his four kids — before heading to Hollywood. “I don’t like to be in one place and doing one thing all of the time. I have a mind that goes a million miles an hour.”

Muir does his best to stay busy, traveling every month to various fashion shows and working with celebrity clients. He is a board member of the International Hair Fashion Group and travels around the world teaching other stylists about styling multicultural hair. His expertise has made him a leader in working with diverse hair types, and when he’s not traveling, he does it all from his salon, Alter Ego in South Jordan.

Muir started styling and cutting friends’ and family member’s hair when he attended Jordan High 17 years ago, and he decided it was a career he wanted to pursue.

“I have always had an infatuation with hair,” Muir says. “When I was little, to go to sleep I would play with my mom’s hair. As I grew up, it was a calming thing for me, and it got turned into something more as I got older.”

Muir has worked as a hair artist on films, including the recent “Wind River,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Muir was Director of Hair for the movie, which was written and directed by Sheridan. His favorite part of the job is using his creativity to design every aspect of the role hair plays in movies and real life. While he enjoys working for celebrity clients, he wouldn’t mind someday winning an Oscar for his cinematic contributions.

Next time, it might be Muir who is turning heads on the red carpet.
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