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Jordan High is starting the year on a high note by serving as a host to "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band.

The band, known as one of the best in the world, will perform at Jordan High School, 95 E. Beetdigger Blvd., on Saturday, Sept. 20 as part of the group’s national concert tour.  The 7:30 p.m. event is free — but attendees must have tickets to enter the auditorium.

Jordan band teacher Brandon Cressall can be credited for bringing the band to the Canyons community. He reached out the musical organization, which is tasked by an Act of Congress to perform at the pleasure of the President of the United States, when he noticed that the band was planning to swing through Utah.  

He offered up Jordan’s 1,300-seat auditorium as a venue. The school’s auditorium and stage met the size requirements for a concert, he said, so the band’s leaders agreed to bring the band to town

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the community and it’s great for the state,” Cressall says.  “We don’t get a lot of world-renowned groups that come through … (This band) is on par with the New York Philharmonic.  It really is a great privilege to have them come here — and to do it for free.” 

Cressall says the band, when not performing for the president, travels the country, playing for the public. The stop at Jordan will be one of three in Utah during September. “They are really into being involved and being in contact” with public-education music programs, he said. 

Warning to those who plan to attend: security will be tight.  The high school has already been evaluated for security, no bags will be allowed into the auditorium the night of the event, and no video-recording or taping of any kind will be permitted.

“Once you’re in the group you are automatically an officer,” said Cressall.  “So we are looking at 110 high-ranking Marine Corps officers in the same place at the same time.”

Tickets can be obtained at Jordan High’s Main Office. But interested concertgoers can send the school a self-addressed stamped envelope in care of the U.S. Marine Band concert. Inside, please include your name and the number of tickets you’d like to reserve.  Only four tickets will be given per person.  If they run out of tickets, the envelope will be returned with a letter of regret.

Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. 

The following have accepted new administrative roles in Canyons District schools and District Offices:

Albion Middle Principal JoAnne Ackerman and East Midvale Principal Alice Peck have been named School Performance Directors. In their new administrative posts, they will supervise the District’s 29 elementary schools. 

The selection of Ackerman and Peck as District-based administrators created positions at both Albion and East Midvale. Darrell Jensen, who is serving as Assistant Principal at Jordan High, will become the new leader at Albion Middle.  Justin Pitcher, an Assistant Principal at Brighton High, will replace Peck at East Midvale Elementary.

Jana Crist, who had been slated to start an administrative intern at Alta High, replaces Jensen at Jordan High, and Matthew Schelble, who has been hired to be an administrative intern at Brighton High, will replace Pitcher at Brighton High.   

Also, Shawn Walker, who has been the Assistant Principal at Midvale Elementary, has been assigned to Copperview Elementary, replacing Assistant Principal Jethro Jones, who resigned this summer to accept a principal job in Kodiak, Alaska.

Jessica Vidal, who has been the Achievement Coach at Oak Hollow Elementary, will assume the Assistant Principal role at Midvale Elementary.

In addition, Todd Bird, who has been serving as CSD’s Coordinator of Student Support Services, has been appointed as the District’s new Juvenile and Adult Corrections Education Administrator. In this role, among other duties, he will serve as principal at South Park Academy, the District’s high school at the Utah State Prison. He replaces Dr. Lory Curtis, who retired last spring.

Tamra Baker and Mike Sirois also have accepted new roles in the administration. 

Baker, who has served as a School Performance Director since 2009, has taken up the charge of launching a new Student Support Services Department as envisioned by Superintendent Jim Briscoe.

Sirois’ role as a School Performance Director has been expanded.  He now supervises Ackerman and Peck, as well as overseeing the principals of the District’s eight middle schools.

For the first time, Canyons District celebrated graduation rites of five traditional high schools. The first-ever graduating class from Corner Canyon, which opened last fall for its inaugural year, joined seniors from Alta, Brighton, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools as members the CSD graduating class. 

Commencement exercises for the five schools were held Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Members of the Board of Education and the CSD Administration wish this year’s graduates good luck and much prosperity. We leave them with these thoughts from Mark Twain:  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  
Students at Alta, Brighton, Jordan and Hillcrest took the field Wednesday to help kick off the first-ever Unified Sports soccer games in Utah.

Through a partnership with the Utah High School Activities AssociationSpecial Olympics Utah started offering an inclusive sports program — called Unified Sports — that provides an opportunity for students with and without disabilities to train and compete together as teammates.

Canyons District Special Education Director Robin Collett lauds Unified Sports for its inclusiveness.  “It's a great program,” she said, “ and we are very glad that our high schools chose to participate.”

The four participating Canyons high schools are among the first 12 to provide this kind of experience for their students. On Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at Hillcrest’s Del Mar Schick Stadium, parents, friends and family applauded and snapped photos of the players on the field. During the games, three Special Olympics Utah athletes and two partners vied for goals and cheers.

This year, students participating in Unified Sports will compete in soccer and track and field. The UHSAA is the seventh state interscholastic association to officially partner with Special Olympics to offer Unified Sports as a new division of play. Other state interscholastic associations are now also quickly sanctioning Unified Sports, thanks in part to a recent endorsement from the National Federation of High Schools.

Collett said the program came about in response to a 2013 letter from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights “regarding actual competition involving students with disabilities and students without disabilities.”

The letter re-emphasized and clarified the legal and philosophical obligation of schools to provide equal opportunities and the same support and resources for students with disabilities to participate in extracurricular athletics as are afforded the school's other athletic programs. The letter creates a clear roadmap for how schools can integrate students with disabilities into mainstream athletic programs and also initiate adapted programs for students with disabilities. One of the suggested opportunities in the clarifying letter for physical activity and sports equal to those afforded to students without disabilities is Unified Sports.

The state tournament for Unified Sports track and field will be Wednesday, May 14. Students from Alta, Brighton, Hillcrest and Jordan will compete in this activity, as well.
Two Canyons District students were golden in their efforts to become Sterling Scholars, an annual competition of academic achievement sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL-TV Channel 5.
 
Hillcrest High's David Sagae was announced as the overall winner in Business and Marketing, and Jordan High's Tanner Nelson topped the competition in World Languages.
 
Sagae, son of Joaquim and Caroline Sagae, is ranked No. 22 in a graduating class of 483 students. His overall GPA is 3.997, and he earned a 32 composite score on the ACT. Sagae’s awards and accomplishments include first place in FBLA Business Communication in the Metro Region; first place in FBLA Global Business; first place Future Business Leader; and founder of trialsizedonations.org, a Web site dedicated to collecting travel-size toiletries for organizations that help low-income families.   
 
Nelson, son of Karl and Amy Nelson, is ranked No. 1 out of a 485-student graduating class.  His GPA is a 4.0, and he earned a 28 composite score on the ACT.  He received an academic letter in foreign language, is the Spanish Club President, served as the team captain for the sophomore football team, and participated in Brigham Young University’s Language Bowl.
 
The winners were announced Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Some 1,000 students across the state vied for the prestigious awards.
 
Sterling Scholars were named in 14 categories: Business and Marketing, Computer Technology, Dance, English, Family and Consumer Science, Instrumental Music, Mathematics, Science, Skilled and Technical Sciences, Social Science, Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics, Visual Arts, Vocal Performance and World Languages.
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