Marianne Liu, a first-grader at Peruvian Park Elementary, was cheered by her classmates on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 when she was announced as the state winner in the Doodle 4 Google contest, a competition open to all K-12 students in the United States.

Click here to see a video of the announcement.

As the state winner for Utah, Liu has the chance to win a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for her school. Later this month, she will fly with her family to New York City for the national awards ceremony.  
The overall winner, to be determined by online voting, will win the scholarship from Google and have his or her doodle featured on Google for a day in May.
Canyons District has agreed to endorse the philosophy behind and participate in “Stand4Change,” a national anti-bullying effort that will take place on Friday, May 4, 2012.

On Friday, students, faculty, staff and parents nationwide are encouraged to take a stand against bullying and personally demonstrate a commitment to no longer tolerate bullying in our schools and communities. The school communities that have signed up to participate are urged on that day to stand and join hands at noon to show solidarity in the campaign to eradicate bullying in U.S. schools.
A student and parent with Canyons District ties have received awards from the Council for Exceptional Children, an organization for teachers and staff who work in Special Education.  
Andrew Mutters, a student in the Canyons Transition Academy, was awarded the Utah "Yes, I Can" award in the area of "Independent Living/Employment."
Mutters, who is in his second year of work with the Transition Academy, plans to graduate from high school in May. He wants to pursue his dream of going to college and becoming a science teacher.  
Canyons District's “More for 4” has been created to help parents of 4-year-old children learn quick, fun, and easy activities that will build excitement for kindergarten.
Please plan to join us at a More for 4 Parent Academy on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at Altara Elementary, 800 E. 11000 South, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free.
"The aim of the More for 4 program is to work as partners with parents to support the growth of children in the areas of early literacy, numeracy, motor, language and social development so they can be successful in kindergarten," said Terri Mitchell, coordinator of Canyons' early childhood programs.
Mitchell says parents who attend the More for 4 Parent Academy are presented with tips to use in everyday life to prepare their children for school. For example, she says, parents could reinforce early knowledge of numbers and quantity by asking their child to count out five dinner plates in order to set the table. They also could ask their children to count the number of red cars they may see while running errands.
Both exercises are easy ways to help children learn about numbers and colors, she said. Participation in the More for 4 Parent Academy is not required. It is designed as a support for parents whose children will attend kindergarten in the coming year in Canyons School District.
Free, on-site child care is provided at the events, which are conducted in both English and Spanish.

Questions?  Please call the District's Office of Evidence-Based Learning at 801-826-5045.
Tanner Jones couldn’t help but check his e-mail every 5 minutes last Friday.

April 20 was the day the Alta senior was told he would receive a note indicating if he’d been selected as a 2012 Coca-Cola Scholar. The prize: a $20,000 scholarship.

The message he was waiting for pinged his in-box right before he arrived at the Hawks’ Friday baseball game — and it was worthy of a smile. Indeed, Jones had been selected as one of 50 students in the U.S. to receive the prestigious award.

Celebration of the good news, of course, included ice-cold Cokes.

Jones, an Alta High student body officer, was one of two Canyons students who had been named a finalist in the 24th annual scholarship program. Hillcrest senior Nikos Liodakis joined Jones on the list of 253 students nationwide who were being considered for the top awards. Only two other Utah students were named finalists.

The finalists receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete to become one of the 50 students to receive the $20,000 scholarships. The final stages of the competition occur at an all-expenses-paid trip to Coca-Cola’s Georgia headquarters. There, the finalists are interviewed by Coca-Cola executives and participate in a service project.

They also are the guests of honor at the Coca-Cola Scholars Banquet, which this year featured an onstage question-and-answer session with Coca-Cola Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent and Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

Jones, who at 18 already owns and operates a dozen vending machines throughout Salt Lake and Davis counties, said the executives who interviewed him asked about his experiences with the Boys Scouts of America, including his efforts to become an Eagle Scout, and the initiatives Alta’s student leaders launched to unify the school and enhance the school’s reputation in the community.

Jones plans to defer his scholarship for two years while he completes a mission in Mendoza, Argentina for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon his return, he will attend Brigham Young University.
Canyons District will have four-day work weeks during the summer. Starting June 11, the Canyons Administration Building, Canyons Support Services Center, and all schools will be open Monday through Thursday of every week, except on the weeks when employees have days off for the Independence Day and Pioneer Day holidays. The schedule is as follows:

June 11-14 — Four 10-hour work days (Monday-Thursday)
June 18-21 — Four 10-hour work days (Monday-Thursday)
June 25-28 — Four 10-hour work days (Monday-Thursday)
July 2-3, 5 — Closed Wednesday, July Fourth for the holiday; work 10-hour work days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)
July 9-12 — Four 10-hour work days (Monday-Thursday)
July 16-19 — Four 10-hour work days (Monday-Thursday)
July 23, 25-26 — Closed Tuesday, July 24 for the holiday; work 10-hour work days (Monday,Wednesday, Thursday)
July 30 — Return to five 8-hour work days

Screen shot_2012-04-23_at_2.57.53_PM
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 21:48

Jordan High Teacher Wins Huntsman Award

Jordan High physics teacher David Morrill was surprised Wednesday with one of Utah’s most prestigious awards in education — a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education.

Karen Huntsman, who created the annual awards with her husband, Jon M. Huntsman Sr., personally delivered the good news to Morrill.

The following is part of a nomination letter penned by Jordan Principal Tom Sherwood:

“If you want to see a great teacher in action, step into Mr. Morrill’s classroom. You will not find a quiet classroom with students sitting quietly reading their books and answering questions. Instead, you will find students engaged in a variety of activities in an effort to learn and understand physics. Some students may be working on computers doing simulations, others will be using tracks to perform experiments, but all of them will be actively engaged in the learning process. He takes a personal interest in the success of each and every student.”

Colleague Mark Petersen, chairman of the JHS Science Department, wrote in a nomination letter that Morrill's “commitment to his students and his willingness to work alongside them to help them progress through this difficult subject is one of his most admirable qualities as a teacher.”

“Students really do feel and understand that he is doing what he does for them. They are not made to feel inferior at all in the learning process, but rather they feel he is learning right along with them, so everyone in his classes can succeed,” Petersen wrote. “I have never observed any teacher who spends more time and effort in helping students learn than David Morrill.

Each year over the past 19 years, the Huntsman family has presented 10 special awards to outstanding teachers, administrators and volunteers. The winners receive a $10,000 check and a crystal obelisk.

This year, to mark the 20th anniversary of the awards program, an 11th recipient will be selected to receive the Mark H. Huntsman Award. This award will recognize excellence in the field of special education. The winners will be recognized at a banquet in May.   

The bright lights of Broadway weren’t the only things shining in New York City on one magical day in March.
To the utter surprise — and delight — of Brighton High students and advisers, the school’s Model United Nations Team was announced as one of the best at the National High School Model U.N. conference in New York.  The conference, which is a teen-student juried simulation of the United Nations, was March 6-9, 2012.
Only nine of the 133 teams hailing from elite high schools from around the world earned “Superior,” “Excellent,” or “Outstanding” status at the end of the competition.  Those are the only grades awarded by the judges. Brighton was one of the three delegations that scored high enough to land in the “Excellent” category. Two groups received the “Superior” rating and four received “Outstanding.”
“When they called the name of our school,” said Emilie Callahan, a sophomore member of the team, “we were in shock.  We didn’t even scream.  We just stood there.  It took a few minutes to sink in.”
Senior and club president Sean Whalen, who also is this year’s Wasatch Front Region Sterling Scholar winner in the computer technology category, collected the award on the group’s behalf.  The awards were announced at the United Nations’ International Headquarters, the modern-day pantheon of global diplomacy.
The “Excellent” status is quite an accomplishment, considering it was achieved against significant odds. The team, small by any standard, was pitted against teams of 30 or 40 members; some had as many as 100. The strong finish means that each BHS student was judged among the best in their committees.
The students who go to Model U.N. arrive ready to represent the interests of countries or non-government organizations. Judges evaluate the students’ debate and writing skills, and their knowledge of parliamentary procedure and international politics. They also are graded on their negotiation skills as they maneuver proposals and resolutions through committees.
Members of the Brighton team — also made up of senior Frank Gallardo; junior Olivia Esplin; junior Jessica Arthurs; junior Natalie Callahan; and junior Sam Ellis — took in Broadway shows “Wicked,” “Sister Act” and “Mama Mia” while in New York.
“Model U.N. is not everyone’s idea of cool,” said Arthurs, whose older siblings also participated in the training ground for future diplomats, “but it’s my idea of a good time.”
Do your students need a review for the Advanced Placement history test?
Alta High’s Social Studies Department is inviting students across the District to a review featuring Randy W. Roberts, professor of history at Purdue University.
The review, which is free for Alta students but $10 for students from other schools, will be 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 14 in the auditorium at Alta High School, 11055 S. Hawk Hwy.
Topics include:
  • “Vietnam: The Legacy of Six Presidents, and How and Why we got There”
  • “World War II: Decisions That Changed America”
  • “Civil Rights Through the Eyes of Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali”

Roberts, who has authored or co-authored 17 books, has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize. He’s been a commentator for HBO, BBC, PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, and was a consultant on documentarian Ken Burn’s “Unforgiveable Blackness.”
Alta High School "Wilkommen" — welcomed — 16 German exchange students and two chaperone teachers to Utah late last month with a new experience for the foreigners — an American high school cafeteria breakfast.

"It's pretty awesome. I did not expect everything to be so big — the mountains, the streets, the shopping malls," said Jeremias Zeller, a German exchange student staying with Alta junior Tandin White. "In Utah, you can eat at any restaurant you want — Asian, Italian, Mexican."