High school graduation is a rite of passage, a time for celebrating academic achievement, and an opportunity to spotlight our exceptional students and faculty. It’s one of those can’t-miss events, so mark your calendars now!

The District’s five traditional high schools will all perform commencement rites on Tuesday, June 5.

Ceremonies for special programs and schools are held on separate dates in May and June. Following are the dates, locations and times:

  • Alta High School — June 5, 10 a.m., Huntsman Center at University of Utah
  • Brighton High School — June 5, 2 p.m., Maverik Center
  • Corner Canyon High — June 5, 2 p.m., Huntsman Center at University of Utah
  • Hillcrest High School — June 5, 10 a.m., Maverik Center
  • Jordan High School — June 5, 6 p.m., Maverik Center
  • Diamond Ridge — June 6, 7 p.m., Mt. Jordan Middle
  • South Park School — May 31, 8 a.m. at Utah State Prison 
  • Entrada — June 26, 7 p.m., Jordan High School
  • Jordan Valley School — June 1, 11 a.m., Jordan Valley School
  • Canyons Transitions Academy — June 6, noon, Professional Development Center in CSD’s East Administration Building
All of CSD’s five traditional high schools — including, for the first time, Jordan High — will be fielding teams at the 2017 Regional FIRST Robotics Competition where they’ll compete against peers from seven states and Canada.

This is the Beetdiggers’ inaugural year, and while the rookie team is not as well-funded or experienced as its rivals, students are riding a wave of “first-timer’s” excitement. Also, the team got a jump start with $6,300 in seed funding from the Canyons Education Foundation. “In past years, some of our brightest students have had to compete for neighboring teams. Now they’ve returned to be a part of our rookie season,” says the team’s adviser Cameo Lutz.

In all, 48 teams will compete in the regional March 10-11 contest, which is sponsored by the University of Utah’s College of Engineering. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Maverik Center in West Valley City (3200 S. Decker Lake Drive).

Taking cues from the Steampunk subculture, this year’s “FIRST Steamworks” competition calls for robots that are both futuristic and retro in design. Teams are in a race to launch balls (fuel cells) into a mock steam boiler with a goal of building enough fuel to operate a simulated steam-powered airship. The remote-controlled robots must also haul enough giant gears to the airships to operate the ships’ propellers.

Each round ends as human players, who are stationed atop the airships, turn cranks to engage the gear-driven propellers and lower ropes to hoist the robots aboard.

The two-day competition marks the culmination of a six-week design-build period where student teams engineer, program and test their bots. It’s an exercise in teamwork, which, as the "Steampunk" theme suggests, involves science, technology, engineering, art, and math (S.T.E.A.M.). The Steampunk aesthetic, a blend of science-fiction fantasy with the industrial, steam-powered 1800s, will add a special flavor to this year's competition, said U. mechanical engineering associate professor Mark Minor in a press statement. “Many teams will dress up in period costumes and give their robots a cool design."

Special award recipients and winners of the regional competition will advance to the FIRST National Championship held April 19-22 in Houston and April 26-29 in St. Lois. Following is a schedule of events. For more information, visit: http://www.utfrc.utah.edu/

Opening ceremonies, Friday and Saturday, 8:30-9 a.m.
Qualification matches: Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5:45 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.
Final rounds: Saturday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Awards ceremonies: Friday, 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. and Saturday, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Pits and machine shop: Opens Friday and Saturday at 8 a.m.

Do the winter blues have you down? Would you rather disappear into Victorian England, consider the value of individuality, laugh about society’s pitfalls, pretend you are at the Globe Theatre or spy on the Salem witch trials from the comfort of a high school auditorium? Never fear, Canyons’ students are hard at work on this year’s lineup of Winter-Spring plays — and they’re ready to transport you to your destination of choice.

From “Hamlet” to “Urinetown,” each of Canyons’ high schools — and several middle schools — will be presenting a variety of musicals and plays beginning later this month.

“Our goal is to create a unique version of the world’s most famous play that will cause audiences to realize they can understand Shakespeare,” says the award-winning Hillcrest d16425746_3878946570826_6174560334808074503_n.jpgrama teacher Josh Long. Hillcrest’s production will feature three different versions of Shakespeare’s original script for a streamlined performance, transported into a modern setting, with digital screens surrounding the audience.

Long chose to present “Hamlet” as an additional challenge to his students, who are already four-time Shakespeare Competition champions and four-time State Champions.

Here is a rundown of CSD's theatrical productions:
  • Alta: The Crucible, 7 p.m. Feb. 22-25 @ Alta auditorium
  • Jordan High: Jane Austen’s “Emma,” 7 p.m. March 2-4, 6 @ Jordan auditorium
  • Hillcrest: Hamlet, 7 p.m., March 17-18, 20 @ Hillcrest auditorium
  • Corner Canyon: Urinetown, 7 p.m. May 17-20 @ Corner Canyon auditorium
Middle school performances: 
  • Draper Park Middle: The Lion King Jr. 7:30 p.m. March 7-11
  • Mt. Jordan Middle: Fame! Jr. 7 p.m. May 12, 16-18
At Jordan High’s Career Day on Friday, students met with professionals from more than 40 organizations, giving them a taste of what it’s like to work at a veterinary clinic, a local theatre, or an architectural firm.

Such experiences are invaluable, and made possible by the generosity of the many industry leaders who step up to volunteer their knowledge, skills and time, said Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan at a kick-off breakfast where he dolan.jpgstressed the vital role that professional mentors had in his career. The Jordan career fair was one of three sponsored by Canyons District this year. Similar events also were staged at Corner Canyon and Brighton.

If the idea is to expose students to careers they might like, career fairs also help students rule out jobs that aren’t a good fit, said Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe. “These adults are here because they’re passionate about what they do,” Briscoe told the student participants. “Please listen and take advantage of their advice. They have something to share with you of value.”

Briscoe urged students to put aside any preconceived notions that they may have about their desired career paths and keep an open mind. “You have to be the one to decide what you want to do in life” — and better now than before you’ve spent four years at college in studying the wrong subject, he told students.

They’re blocking their scenes, rehearsing their lines and putting the final touches on stage designs. In the coming weeks, CSD’s high school drama departments will debut the year’s fall theatre productions — a diverse lineup offering a little something for everyone.

Following are production times and dates. Please address any questions to the individual schools.

Jordan High
“Once Upon a Mattress”
November 10-12 and 14 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium
This musical comedy is a fun-filled parody of the fairy tale, “The Princess and the Pea” with a large chorus, opening the theatre experience to a broad range of students. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door or in Jordan’s Main Office.

Alta High
“Music Man”
November 17-19 and 21 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium
Alta's Drama Department will be performing another classic with a large chorus, “Music Man," which students have been practicing for months. Tickets are $8.25 in advance at the school’s main office or $9 at the door.

Hillcrest High
“Mary Poppins”
November 17, 18, 19 and 21 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium
It’s practically perfect in every way. This Broadway version of a children’s classic is an upbeat crowd-pleaser for the whole family. Tickets are $8-10 and are on sale now at the school’s online box office.  

Corner Canyon High
“West Side Story”
November 17-21 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium
This musical, a loose retelling of Romeo and Juliet set on the gang-torn streets of New York, is a cautionary tale about the dangers of intolerance and prejudice and a reminder of the enduring need for empathy and kindness. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online, starting November 7.
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