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Brighton High's Lady Bengals — the newly crowned 5A girls basketball champions — were honored Thursday. Feb. 26, 2015 at Utah's Capitol Hill.

They were invited to Capitol Hill by Utah Sen. Brian Shiozowa,R-Cottonwood Heights, and Rep. Marie Poulson, R-Cottonwood Heights. In addition, the students were congratuated on the win by Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, and House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, among others. 

The team and the school also received an official citation from the lawmakers. "The Utah State Legislature recognizes and congratulates the Brighton High School Lady Bengals Basketball Team on their outstanding achievement," reads the citation. "We honor those hardworking athletes and extend best wishes for their continued success." 

The state-title win on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 was the first for the Brighton High’s girls basketball program since 2004. The team won 49-40 against last year’s top 5A team, the Fremont Silverwolves. 

In conversations with reporters immediately following the championship game, Brighton Coach Jim Gresh joked that his navy-blue sweater may have been the team’s good luck charm during the 5A tournament held at Salt Lake Community College

"My wife said stop wearing that sweater. … She may have to wash it tonight," Gresh told the Deseret News

Perhaps the sweater helped a little bit — but the Bengals' defense and rebounding are being touted as the big reasons the team bested the reigning champs.  The final-round game was a battle from beginning to end — but the Bengals pulled away in the last quarter to claim the trophy.

Additional honors were announced this week for ome members of the Brighton squad. As voted by news reporters at the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, McCall Christensen was named the 5A Most Valuable Player and Dani Barton and Lindsey Johnson earned enough votes to be named to the All-Tournament Team.  In the championship game, Christensen, Barton and Johnson scored in double-digits.

See Canyons District's Facebook page for a photo album of the celebration following the title win.
Alta High is proud to announce the selection of a new head football coach who will build on the Hawks’ sky-high legacy of excellence.

Alema Te’o, known for his role in founding the prestigious All-Poly Football Camp, officially assumed the post on Feb. 6, 2015. Alta High Principal Brian McGill says he has “full confidence” that Te’o, a special education and physical education teacher, will make an immediate positive impact to the program.

"We're excited about the hiring of Alema Te'o as Alta High's head football coach,” McGill said. “He has an innate ability to connect with student athletes, a multitude of skills and years of experience at both the high school and collegiate coaching levels, and has built a strong reputation as the go-to connection for collegiate level football prospects in the state of Utah.”

Te’o was hired as the school’s fifth-ever coach after being interviewed by a search committee that included McGill, District administrators and the chair of the School Community Council.  Te’o will join Alta’s staff in fall 2015. However, McGill said the new coach has not hesitated jumping into the new role. He’s already seeking to solidify his coaching staff and creating plans for the 2015 season and beyond.

“Coach Te’o comes highly recommended, and we are thrilled that he’ll be bringing his skills and talents to Alta High,” McGill said, adding the search committee sought input from former Alta Coach Doug Berry and Utah Coach Ron McBride before making the new-coach selection. 

Te’o, who has a master’s degree in exercise and sports science from Utah State University, has 26 years of experience in education. He’s played major coaching roles at Woods Cross, Bountiful and Lehi high schools, and completed an elite Nike weight-fitness training certification program. Te’o also played and coached at Snow College and served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Utah.

The recent construction of a new, state-of-the-art training facility at Alta, done as part of a remodeling project at the school, will assist the coach and his athletes as the team powers into training season. "Alta will start the 2015-2016 football season with a new coach, region, and best-in-the-state training facilities,” McGill said.

The Hawks achieved 5A-playoff status in the 2014 season. Previously, the school made appearances in 5A semifinal games from 2005-2009 and won state championship trophies in 2007 and 2008.

It's time to give our teachers some love!  Send your child's favorite teacher a well-deserved valentine by nominating him or her to become the 2016 Canyons District Teacher of the Year. 

Canyons schools are taking nominations for Teacher of the Year until Friday, Feb. 26. Each year, every Canyons District school recognizes a Teacher of the Year for outstanding teaching practices, professionalism, and community involvement.

Every school-based Teacher of the Year receives gifts and prizes donated by CSD’s generous business partners and special honors from the Board of Education. Each also is nominated for Canyons District Teacher of the Year, an honor that includes cash, prizes, and a nomination for the Utah Teacher of the Year award.

To nominate your favorite teacher for the top award, fill out the following form and return it to your school.

Teacher of the Year Nomination Form

Winners will be announced April 1 in school celebrations throughout the District. The Canyons Board of Education will announce the Canyons Teacher of the Year at a special recognitions ceremony on April 26 in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building, 9361 S. 300 East.
A Canyons District administrator has been elected by her peers to serve on the Board of Directors of the nation’s largest advocacy organization for Career and Technical Education.

Canyons’ Career and Technical Education Director Janet Goble, who has been with CSD since its 2009 founding, on July 1, 2015 will assume the post of Administration Division Vice President on the governing board of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Goble, a former Business Education Specialist for the Utah State Office of Education, says she was “surprised and excited” when told by an ACTE leader that she’d garnered the majority of votes in the association’s recent national elections. Some 4,700 CTE administrators who belong to ACTE were eligible to casts ballots.

“At first, I was, like, ‘Oh, wow. This really happened.’ It really is a dream,” Goble said with a laugh, adding that her family treated her to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House after they heard the good news. “It’s also a great opportunity to showcase, on a national level, the great things that are happening in our District.”

In the post, Goble will serve as the voice of those administrators in the association, seek to bolster the membership rolls, create opportunities for productive dialogue between education organizations and business leaders, and advocate on local, regional and national levels for continued funding and support of CTE.

Goble, who has served on the Executive Board of the Utah Association of Career and Technical Education, also aims strengthen current relationships with post-secondary officials to ensure that high school principals, program coordinators, and teachers are receiving constant feedback about the CTE offerings in secondary schools. “We need to make sure that what we are doing at the secondary level feeds into and makes sense” for what is offered at the post-secondary level, said Goble.

In addition, Goble, who underwent a rigorous application and interview process in order to be eligible as a national-board candidate, will be tasked with planning and executing the Administration Division sessions for this fall’s national VISION conference, a major professional-development meeting for CTE educators. In addition to smoothing out any logistical wrinkles at the event, Goble says she wants to “make sure the division has meaningful sessions for members to attend during the national conference.” 

“I am excited about (the new position) and the chance to get a national perspective,” she said. “This is will be a good opportunity — and an important professional-development piece for me.”

The holidays have arrived early for some Canyons District teachers.

The Canyons Education Foundation spent two days last week criss-crossing the District to surprise teachers in their classrooms with the news that they had been chosen to receive a 2014 Foundation Innovation Grant.

The Foundation distributed 17 grants — made possible by generous community donations — to teachers who submitted creative and exciting ideas for ways to use technology in the classroom.

In all, the Foundation gave away $90,000. The grant winners were picked by a selection committee, which was made up of Foundation board members, administrators and educators in Canyons’ Education Technology, Evidence-Based Learning and Special Education departments. This year, the Foundation received 32 applications totaling $196,576.22 in funding requests.

Teachers who received grants, and the names of their projects, are the following:

  • Grace Libby McShinsky, Alta View Elementary, $4,325.62, “Illustrating Math Story Problems Using iPads”
  • Tami Malan, Teresa Gilpin, Karen Trevino, Becki Little, Alta View Elementary, $10,000, “Chromebook Technology”
  • Todd Butler, Canyons Technical Education Center, $4,591.97, “Medical Assisting Interactive Smart Board”
  • Fourth Grade Team, Draper Elementary, $7,480, “Weatherbug:  Enhancing Science, Math, and Technology Learning and Community Service”
  • Tammy Goodwater, East Sandy Elementary, $5,727.75, “Little Hands Touch Learning”
  • Jaydene Rusel, Granite Elementary, $2,727.78, “Beating Benchmark and Beyond”
  • Clief Castleton, Hillcrest High, $3,230.35, “Innovating STEM Communication”
  • Ed Mondragon, Hillcrest High, $1,500, “STEM Introduction Through Game Development with GAME:IT Software”
  • Michael Brzozowski, Hillcrest, $9,499, “Getting Students Acquainted with Visual Art Communication Through Electronic Media”
  • Peiru Hsieh, Lone Peak Elementary, $4,187.80, “I Love to Write Chinese”
  • Heather Krall, Lone Peak Elementary, $7,821.95, “Engaging Students Through iPads”
  • Pamela Tafili, Midvale Middle, $3,000, “Genetics: Me, My Family Tree, and Human History”
  • Linda Tognoni, Park Lane Elementary, $2,454.66, Autism Cluster Classroom
  • Stephanie Campo, Ridgecrest Elementary, $4,289.41, “Through the Eyes of a Child:  Making Mini-Movies with Meaning”
  • Cindy Bronson, Sprucewood Elementary, $9,566.78, “iPads”
  • Michele Law, Sprucewood Elementary, $2,744, “Capture the World!”
  • Jolene Brown, Willow Canyon Elementary, $3,606, “Exercising our Ears”

See Canyons District’s Facebook page and the Foundation’s Facebook page for photographs of the surprise classroom announcements. 

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