Teachers of the Year

TOY 17 logo2018“Let us remember,” said Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, “one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” Every day, the worlds of Canyons District students are made bigger, bolder and brighter because of the stellar work of our teachers. From algebra to the art of motorcycle maintenance, teachers lead the kind of college- and career-ready lessons that will build up and strengthen the next generation of global leaders, innovators, and creators. As Canyons has done for a decade, educators from every corner of the District are being honored for their efforts to increase achievement, inspire excellence, and build bridges of caring in communities. Forty-seven teachers from Canyons District schools and programs have been selected as their schools’ Teacher of the Year for 2019. Each was nominated by peers, parents and students for the honor, for which they received donated gifts and prizes from local business partners. From this field, Canyons will select one teacher who will be honored as the overall Teacher of the Year. The honor will be announced at a special event, hosted by the Canyons Board of Education, on Tuesday, April 23 at Butler Middle, 7530 S. 2700 East. A reception will begin at 7 p.m. The announcement ceremony, during which every honored teacher will receive a crystal award from the Board of Education, starts at 7:30 p.m. A top teacher from every level — elementary, middle and high school — will be announced, and the overall first-place pick will receive a $1,000 check from the Canyons Education Foundation. The winner also will represent Canyons in the state Teacher of the Year contest. The teachers also will receive a Real Salt Lake jersey and tickets to a May 24 Real Salt Lake game. On that night, which is Canyons District Night at Rio Tinto, all school-based Teacher of the Year will be honored on the field during halftime. Please join us on Tuesday, April 23 at Butler Middle to celebrate the positive impacts our teachers make in the world.  

Teachers of the Year 2019

  • Alta View Elementary - Julie Cornia
    JULIE CORNIA PhotoAs one parent said about Alta View Elementary’s Julia Cornia, it takes a special person to teach little hearts. The little hearts in Cornia’s kindergarten classroom can sometimes be wiggly, impulsive and inattentive, but they also are eager, excited and ebullient. Cornia works with her students and their parents to provide an organized, effective classroom where her learning is fun and her students excel at reading. For her passionate dedication and kind, caring tutelage, Alta View is proud to choose Julia Cornia as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Altara Elementary - Wendy Westwood
    WENDY WESTWOOD PhotoWendy Westwood’s impact on her students reaches far beyond the walls of her Altara Elementary classroom. It extends into hospital rooms when her students are sick, or to funeral services when her students experience the loss of a loved one. Her influence of loving and caring for her students, in turn, reaches into the academic accomplishments of her class. Westwood regularly has the highest growth scores and benchmarks achievements in whatever grade she is teaching. She maintains a high degree of rigor and has been called a phenomenal teacher by those who work with her. For these reasons and more, Altara Elementary is happy to select Wendy Westwood as the Kittyhawks’ 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Bell View Elementary - Kristi Johnson
    KRISTI JOHNSON PhotoIn Kristi Johnson’s supplemental instruction kindergarten class at Bell View Elementary, students experience a lot of growth. This year, they have grown from 33 percent proficiency in first-sound fluency at the start of the year to 92 percent proficiency at winter benchmark. They’ve grown in their social and emotional abilities and made radical progress as they get ready to attend first grade next year. And for all of that growth, Johnson has come early, stayed late, developed personal relationships with each student, and set an example of compassion and kindness.  Bell View is thrilled to choose Kristi Johnson as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Bella Vista Elementary - Laura Rasmussen
    LAURA RASMUSSEN PhotoFrom the intuitive homework Laura Rasmussen sends home to the technology she uses to interact with students, parents say Bella Vista Elementary’s Laura Rasmussen is a dynamic educator who helps students succeed. Rasmussen is a constant professional as she works with parents and her first-graders with a smile, even when she encounters difficult moments. Her love for each student is apparent as she reaches out to lend a hand throughout the school whenever assistance is needed. Because of these reasons and more, Bella Vista is proud to choose Laura Rasmussen as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Brookwood Elementary - Shauna Cooper
    SHAUNA COOPER PhotoShauna Cooper’s third-grade class at Brookwood Elementary is curious. They want to discover more about plants, and percentages, and particles of speech, so Shauna Cooper lets them. Her teaching style encourages students to explore their interests in-depth, then research, present, and quiz other children in the class about what they discovered.  She continually challenges students in an engaging way that keeps them excited to come to school as they deepen their understanding. She supports their creativity — and curiosity — all while communicating with parents and speaking kindly to others. Brookwood is happy to announce Shauna Cooper as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Butler Elementary - Julien Naudot
    JULIEN NAUDOT PhotoOne sign that Julien Naudot is doing something right in his classroom is the steady stream of visitors he receives from Utah’s State Office of Education who come to observe and learn from his dual-language immersion instruction at Butler Elementary. Naudot has earned the respect and admiration of his students, their families, and his colleagues through his dedication, knowledge and kindness. Naudot is an exemplar in Utah for dual-language immersion education, and he is always seeking to improve his craft by paying attention to the details and learning how to adapt.  Congratulations to Julien Naudot, Butler Elementary’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Canyon View Elementary - Ina Thompson
    INA THOMPSON PhotoFor some students, the fear of making a mistake is a major obstacle in the learning process. Canyon View Elementary’s Ina Thompson recognizes that hurdle, so she turned it on its head.  From the beginning of the school year, instead of emphasizing “rightness,” Thompson celebrates “wrongness.” As she has highlighted the importance of failure in learning, her students have let go of their fears of making a mistake, and excelled. When she makes a mistake, Thompson and her class shout a celebratory “woot-woot” and then they move on. Thompson uses teaching strategies that include dancing, singing, STEM activities and cultural awareness that provide a well-rounded education for her students.  Students and parents appreciate Ina Thompson’s hard work and dedication, and we congratulate her on the honor of being her school’s Teacher of the Year for 2019 .
  • Copperview Elementary - Wendy Linares
    WENDY LINARES PhotoIf you happened to walk by Wendy Linares’ classroom at Copperview Elementary, you might hear a little bit of chatter — but that’s a good thing. Linares’ students use academic discourse as they learn mathematics and English language arts. They respond to their teacher and pose questions in an attentive and focused way. They’re engaged because they love their teacher. Linares is known to go above and beyond in her instruction as she conducts home visits and reaches out to parents to help them be involved in their student’s education. Copperview Elementary cheers Wendy Linares’ selection as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Crescent Elementary - Cynthia Carling
    CYNTHIA CARLING COWLEY PhotoCrescent Elementary may hearken images of a moon, but there is a shining star under its roof in the form of a teacher. Parents say Cynthia Carling is a true luminary as she encourages her students to do their best and help those in need. She facilitates mentor relationships between students who are excelling and students who need a little extra help, and she communicates closely with parents to make sure they know how their child is progressing throughout the year. Carling’s students believe in her, like she believes in them, one parent said, and for these reasons, Crescent Elementary is thrilled to announce their beloved “Mrs. C” as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Draper Elementary - Madison Ellingson
    MADISON ELLINGSON PhotoMadison Ellingson has been known to look outside of the box when it comes to teaching. Many times, she looks to the stage. As Draper Elementary’s enthusiastic choir director, Ellingson meets with more than 100 students twice a week before school in addition to instructing her own students in her classroom. Parents love their school’s twice-yearly choir performances, and Ellingson’s coworkers love her willingness to jump in and help wherever needed as a team leader. Because of her positive, problem-solving attitude, Draper Elementary has honored Madison Ellingson as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • East Midvale Elementary - Raschell Davis
    RASCHELL DAVIS PhotoRaschell Davis is not one to back down from a challenge. This year, when a student who had missed 80 days of school the previous year joined her fifth-grade classroom, she was determined to help the student not only catch up, but excel. Now, the student is soaring in math, represented the class in the school spelling bee, and is confident and helpful. Davis’ students regularly show outstanding growth on the English language arts SAGE assessment, but her kind, yet firm, instruction helps them reach even farther.  Congratulations to Raschell Davis, East Midvale’s Teacher of the Year for 2019.
  • East Sandy Elementary - Alison Stroud
    ALISON STROUD PhotoOne thing Alison Stroud has learned in her teaching career is that when it comes to encouraging students to do their best and work hard, incentives are a handy tool. Stroud tracks her students’ progress and provides a carrot of rewards for improvement in homework, class behavior, participation, and test scores. But the aim to constantly improve doesn’t end with her students, Stroud also pushes herself further by attending trainings and conducting research outside of the class. For these reasons and more, East Sandy is proud to select Alison Stroud as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Edgemont Elementary - Lyndsey Sjogren
    LYNDSEY SJOGREN PhotoOne of the standout characteristics of Lyndsey Sjogren is her ability to shine with positivity, parents say. As a fifth-grade teacher at Edgemont Elementary, Sjogren excels at creating strong, positive and caring relationships with her students and colleagues. Students know she likes them, and in return, they like her, too, as they feel empowered to do hard things. Sjogren is quick to adapt to corrective feedback and uses data to guide her teaching practice.  Congratulations to Lyndsey Sjogren, Edgemont Elementary’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

  • Granite Elementary - Stephanie Brand
    STEPHANIE BRAND PhotoStephanie Brand has found the sweet spot in teaching. She’s cheerful yet serious, energetic yet patient and engaging yet direct in her fifth-grade classroom at Granite Elementary. Brand uses her skills to help her students excel as they prepare to enter middle school. She meets students who lag academically, socially, or emotionally right where they are, and buoys them higher, parents say. She truly care about the success of her students.  Granite Elementary is proud to choose Stephanie Brand as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

  • Lone Peak Elementary - Cassie Walker
    CASSIE WALKER PhotoWhen walking through Lone Peak Elementary, it’s not hard to imagine you’re within the hallways of an art museum rather than a school. A big reason there are student-created masterpieces on almost every wall is Cassie Walker, who teaches art at the school. Walker’s ability to scaffold student learning and integrate artistic concepts into all areas of teaching have made Lone Peak a model for other Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning programs, parents say. Walker’s thoughtful design instruction, ability to engage students and diligent work are all reasons she has been selected as Lone Peak’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Midvale Elementary - Jessica Beus
    JESSICA BEUS PhotoThe world of a child sometimes swirls with chaos, but in Jessica Beus’ Midvale Elementary classroom, there is calm. Beus brings a caring and welcoming tone to greet her students each day, and they are quiet and respectful in response to her strength in classroom management. She is positive on difficult days, and as the third-grade Team Lead, she listens to the ideas and opinions of her colleagues with, as one parent said, “all the patience in the world.” For these reasons and more, Midvale Elementary is proud to select Jessica Beus as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Midvalley Elementary - Ashley Bell
    ASHLEY BELL PhotoAs a kindergarten teacher, one of Ashley Bell’s main tasks is to help her students learn to read and write and add — but Bell adds something else to her classroom that has proven to be essential to her instruction. Parents at Midvalley say Bell provides her kindergarten students with all of the love, support and guidance they need to succeed in school and in life. In her classroom, everyone is welcome, everyone learns, and everyone — including students with special needs — is involved. Because of her positive influence on her class and coworkers, Midvalley Elementary is proud to choose Ashley Bell as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Oak Hollow Elementary - Donnelle Jensen
    DONNELLE JENSEN PhotoFor parents and principals alike, Donnelle Jensen is a “dream” teacher. After 32 years of teaching, Jensen maintains an energetic teaching style that helps all of her students improve by leaps and bounds. Last year, 88 percent of her first-grade students at Oak Hollow reached proficiency on their oral-reading fluency evaluation. She sings, she engages her students in choral response, and at the end of the day, both Jensen and her students go home exhausted. Her commitment to education and impact on her students are more reasons why Oak Hollow has chosen Donnelle Jensen as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Oakdale Elementary - Allison Fortie
    ALLISON FORTIE PhotoStudents at Oakdale Elementary love Allison Fortie. Last year, her third-grade students launched a letter campaign trying to convince the school’s principal to move Fortie with them to the fourth grade. “Fortie is kind, and teaches in a way that I understand,” one student told the principal. Fortie is known by her coworkers as a fun person to be around, with a positive, can-do attitude. She relies on data to drive her instruction, she communicates regularly with parents, and she uses positive reinforcement to drive her students’ growth. Oakdale is proud to have Allison Fortie as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Park Lane Elementary - Michelle Theurer
    MICHELLE THEURER PhotoStudents in Michelle Theurer’s Park Lane Elementary classroom don’t just have a teacher, they also have a friend and advocate. They have an educator who models the kindness and respect she expects from her students, and a leader who hosts book clubs, pencil challenges and VIP, which stands for “Very Important Panther,” lunchtime events to help them feel special. Theurer is beloved by her class, their parents, and her coworkers and teammates. As one parent said, “She is absolutely amazing.”  Park Lane is proud to choose Michelle Theurer as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.

  • Peruvian Park Elementary - Annie Nixon
    ANNIE NIXON PhotoAt Peruvian Park Elementary, Annie Nixon’s influence as an exceptional teacher is felt not just by her students, but by their parents, as the school’s principal learned one day when she discovered a mother in tears in the hallway. The mother was crying not out of frustration or fear, but relief and joy, as she had just been informed her student who had been lagging behind his peers had grown by leaps and bounds and was near benchmark on his winter assessments. Nixon knew the parent’s concern and notified her as soon as her student had completed his test. Nixon is known as a leader who maintains a model classroom and is key to helping her students make incredible progress. Congratulations to Annie Nixon, Peruvian Park’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Quail Hollow Elementary - Rebekah Summerhays
    REBEKAH SUMMERHAYS PhotoRebekah Summerhays’ instruction at Quail Hollow Elementary goes beyond the basics. With flexibility and an accommodating attitude that lifts those who lag and pushes those who are advanced, Summerhays creates a familial environment in her classroom where the students are all friends who believe in themselves. Summerhays works with students on setting individual and class goals, and helps them see ways they can improve, day by day. For these reasons, and her support of schoolwide activities, Quail Hollow is proud to select Rebekah Summerhays as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Ridgecrest Elementary - Sara Hawker
    SARA HAWKER PhotoSara Hawker is building something special at Ridgecrest Elementary. In her kindergarten classroom, Hawker is building a foundation for her students to gain a passion for lifelong learning. She has built a strong relationship with her little learners that helps them absorb the education they are receiving. And she is building on their knowledge. In an evaluation of next- number fluency, her class grew from 44 percent in the fall to 60 percent benchmark in the winter. Parents and coworkers appreciate how deeply Hawker cares for her class, and for these reasons, and more, Ridgecrest is proud to choose Sara Hawker as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Sandy Elementary - Kirstin Homer
    KRISTIN HOMER PhotoIn Kristin Homer’s classroom, every day is the best day possible for learning. Her passion for teaching is unmatched, colleagues say, and it makes her Sandy Elementary students thrilled to show up ready to learn. Through her hard work, Homer helped two students who were well below benchmark at the beginning of the year rise above benchmark levels by winter. The number of students meeting proficiency in missing number fluency grew by 33 percent between fall and winter. Teachers, administrators and students love Kristin Homer, and Sandy Elementary is happy to announce her as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Silver Mesa Elementary - Lisa Latoni
    LISA LATONI PhotoWhen Lisa Latoni heard of a difficult, life-altering challenge that one of her third-grade students would be facing in her class, she didn’t turn the parents of the student away. Instead, she held out her arms, embraced the trial, and said, “I’ve got this.” She brought a rigor to the classroom every day, challenging her class to think harder and ask more profound questions. She used data to drive her instruction, she found ways to meet each student’s need, and she created a safe place for children to forget their troubles while they are at school, losing themselves in the love of learning. Silver Mesa is proud to choose Lisa Latoni as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Sprucewood Elementary - Cindy Bronson
    CINDY BRONSON PhotoWhen Cindy Bronson comes to class, she brings a lot of love with her. She brings a love of technology, art, and nature to enhance her lessons — but most of all she brings a love of her students. Bronson stays after school to host technology classes for her students and extend their learning, but somehow she still has time to purchase clothing and food for students from disadvantaged homes. She draws out her students’ strengths while addressing their needs to help them meet their greatest potential. Congratulations to Cindy Bronson, Sprucewood Elementary’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Sunrise Elementary - Kristen Adams
    KRISTEN ADAMS PhotoWhen Sunrise Elementary teacher Kristen Adams isn’t in the classroom, she is probably in a professional development class, her coworkers say. Whether the course is on technology or anything else, Adams always returns to school to teach her colleagues what she’s learned, and applies it to her second-grade class. She charts growth with spread sheets, displays student work, and celebrates their achievements. She is driven by the belief that every child has the ability to learn and grow, and for this reason, Sunrise is thrilled to select Kristen Adams as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Willow Canyon Elementary - Rosanne Jensen
    ROSANNE JENSEN PhotoRosanne Jensen has learned from personal experience the best way to help students who struggle from separation anxiety. Once upon a time, her own children sometimes felt sad to go to school, so she taught them a trick that came from a book:  She drew a heart on their hand and then kissed them goodbye. Her experience has helped other students and parents as they struggle with school, and once they’re in her classroom, she follows through with encouragement, praise and positive reinforcement. For the impact she has had on her students and their families, Willow Canyon Elementary has selected Rosanne Jensen as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. 
  • Willow Springs Elementary - Kelsey Manglinong
    KELSEY MANGLINONG PhotoKelsey Manglinong’s teaching technique is a breath of fresh air to those around her. It involves stickers on wall charts when her students turn in their books; certificates of accomplishment; one-on-one follow-up meetings; attendance at her students’ baseball games, concerts and recitals; and giving students an “epic” kindergarten experience, as one parent said. On top of all of that, Manglinong’s classroom is warm, inviting, and conducive to learning.  It’s no secret that Willow Springs loves their Divine “Miss M,” the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Albion Middle School - Emalee Brown
    EMALEE BROWN PhotoOn any given day of the week, Emalee Brown makes Albion Middle better. In her Family and Consumer Science classroom, she may be leading her students as they plan a menu and market their own food trucks. Down the hallway, she may be pulling costumes for the school’s musical, or attending one of the school’s many after-school rehearsals. She might give some guidance to the Student Body Officers, as their sponsor, and make sure they are on top of the school’s cereal drive for low-income elementary students over winter break. At the end of it all, Brown is supportive to both her students and her peers, and for these reasons, Albion Middle has chosen Emalee Brown as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Butler Middle School - Susan Kirkland
    SUSAN KIRKLAND PhotoWhen Susan Kirkland saw that her some of her eighth-grade English language arts students needed a little extra help, she found a solution. Correction: She created a solution. With the help of her grade-level team members, Kirkland developed and implemented an after-school program for struggling students. The program focuses on motivating and improving work ethic strategies, with the result being that most of the students have seen their grades improve by at least half a grade. She is always available to help any student. For her professionalism, confidence and compassion in helping students succeed, Butler Middle has chosen Susan Kirland as the school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Draper Park Middle School - Krista Pippin
    KRISTA PIPPIN PhotoAside from being extremely smart, as her Draper Park colleagues say, Krista Pippin is a student-centered teacher with an impeccable work ethic and commitment to student learning. She uses her smarts to actively engage students, facilitate robust classroom discussion, provide constructive feedback and track every student’s achievement data to know exactly where they stand in terms of their progress. Pippin also adds insightful, solutions-oriented comments in staff meetings. Draper Park is pleased to choose Krista Pippin as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Eastmont Middle School - Anna Alger
    ANNA ALGER PhotoIn Anna Alger’s view, the place where she teaches at Eastmont Middle is not just a room with four walls, a floor, and some desks. It is fertile ground where she takes the time to plant seeds, and nourish her garden each day. Alger sees each of her students as a beautiful flower, and she understands that some seeds bloom on their own timeline, not on her schedule. So she plants her students’ in solid ground, cares for them, teaches them, and waits to see their potential grow. Her positive impact on her students and coworkers are all reasons Eastmont has selected Anna Alger as the 2019 Teacher of the Year. 
  • Indian Hills Middle School - Chelsea Gordon
    CHELSEA GORDON PhotoThe students in Chelsea Gordon’s math classes at Indian Hills Middle know what it means to soar. From the beginning of the year to the end, Gordon’s students have one of the highest growth rates of any subject area in state testing. Many of her students experienced a double-digit growth rate on year-end assessments. That accomplishment is something Gordon’s coworkers have come to expect, as they see the same results coming from her students year after year. Because of this success, Indian Hills is proud to choose Chelsea Gordon as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Midvale Middle School - Shelley Allen
    SHELLEY ALLEN PhotoShelley Allen has a unique calling at Midvale Middle. Part of her role is to coordinate the Middle Years International Baccalaureate program, but the rest of her day is filled with working with English Language Learners. She worked with the Latinos in Action advisor to create a class where the LIA students could work with students who are new to the United States. She creates scaffolds to support her students, and the effect is remarkable. As one colleague said, “It is amazing to watch Shelley teach students that have only been in the U.S. for a few weeks, and they are already writing life goals and their ambitions in English.” For her fantastic work, Midvale Middle is proud to select Shelley Allen as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Mount Jordan Middle School - Jay Rudel
    JAY RUDEL PhotoJay Rudel is known at Mount Jordan as the kind of teacher who is always willing to step up to the plate — with gusto. Year after year, Rudel accepts assignments to be a leader in the school, both on the building leadership team, as an AVID site coordinator, a mentor friend and more. Rudel always strives to do all that is asked of him and then some. He is successful at building strong, long-lasting relationships with his students, and he makes Mount Jordan a wonderful place to be, coworkers say. For these reasons and more, Mount Jordan has selected Jay Rudel as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Union Middle School - Taylor Brooks
    TAYLOR BROOKS PhotoIf there’s one thing Taylor Brooks wants his eighth-grade students to learn, it is a love of history. And what better way is there to learn than the student becoming the teacher? To this end, Brooks has established a scaffold to help each of his students complete a History Fair project. Students complete extensive research, build websites, and speak passionately about their historical topics, becoming tiny experts in their field. Brooks’ effective, multi-faceted approach to education is admired by his colleagues and students alike, and for these reasons, he has been selected as Union Middle’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Alta High School - Ron Strohm
    RONALD STROHM PhotoWithout Ron Strohm, robotics wouldn’t be a part of students’ experience at Alta. This funny, dedicated, motivating teacher has pioneered a first-rate robotics program at the school that attracts students and families from throughout the District. He built private community partnerships, secured tens of thousands of dollars for students pursuing 21st century STEM career paths, and continues to mentor and lead other teachers in the field of engineering. It’s not uncommon to see Strohm at the school from 6:30 a.m. until late at night during robotics season, not to mention Saturdays, when he helps students work on STEM projects. For these reasons and more, Alta High is proud to choose Ron Strohm as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.

  • Brighton High School - Aaron Hadfield
    AARON HADFIELD PhotoAaron Hadfield is a decorated teacher who has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to student learning. He received a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education in 2016 for his unusual, yet highly effective, teaching methods. In Hadfield’s class, students may experience totalitarian rule or run for president.  Either way, they are learning the principles of politics and history. Hadfield is accomplished, but his gratitude is directed somewhere else: his students. “My future is tied to you,” Hadfield has said to his class. For his continued excellence, Brighton High has selected Aaron Hadfield as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Corner Canyon High School - Steve Reed
    STEVE REED PhotoAs Marian Wright Edelman once said, “Education is for improving the lives of others, and for leaving your world better than you found it.” At Corner Canyon, Steve Reed is the kind of teacher who shows his dedication to leaving the world better than he found it by pouring his heart and soul into the improvement of his students. As department chair, Reed leads his science colleagues with innovating practices, data-driven decisions, and collaboration. Students in his class say they learn more in Mr. Reed’s class than any other class, all the while they are pushed harder and challenged more. Reed’s support of his class and lasting impression as a first-class educator are further reasons why Corner Canyon High has selected Steve Reed as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Hillcrest High School - Josh Long
    JOSHUA LONG PhotoTo create the caliber of musicals and plays that Hillcrest produces year after, it takes teamwork. It takes the choir, the band and the orchestra, it takes the stage crews and dance teachers — but it also takes a very special ingredient to make it all come together, and that is Joshua Long. Long welcomes everyone who wants to participate to theater, drawing diverse teachers together and overseeing casts of more than 200 students. He chooses plays and musicals that connect to a wide variety of students and their experiences, and no matter how many awards his students win — and they win a lot — he is always working with them to become even better. For these reasons and more, Hillcrest High is proud to choose Joshua Long as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Jordan High School - Cozette Baddley
    COZETTE BADDLEY PhotoIf you are a student at Jordan High, you are a student of Cozette Baddley. It doesn’t matter if you’re in her actual art classroom or not. If you’re a Beetdigger, she will claim you and care about you as if you were her own. Baddley is willing to help everyone and anyone, and she is driven by the desire to see every student succeed. She allows students to redo their work until it represents their best possible effort, and is always available to help students at lunch and after school. Under Baddley’s care and instruction, she has turned many first-time artists into Sterling Scholars who can earn money off their work. She helps them earn college credit, teaches concurrent and Advanced Placement courses and shows all of the practical ways art can be used in the real world. For these reasons and more, Jordan High has selected Cozette Baddley as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Diamond Ridge High School - Aaron Rodney
    AARON RODNEY PhotoAaron Rodney was among the first teachers hired by Diamond Ridge High and has been a vital part of the DRHS team ever since. He connects with students, letting each student know he genuinely cares about them and their success in school. His dry sense of humor and calm presence support his informal title as the “Dad” of Diamond Ridge. Congratulations to Aaron Rodney, who is the 2019 Diamond Ridge Teacher of the Year. 
  • Entrada Adult High School - Tara Black
    Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 3.59.09 PMThere is a rock star at Entrada High School and her name is Tara Black. Take the energy of a pop queen and the aplomb of a celebrity and put them in the classroom, and you’ve got something close to the energy Black brings to her students. Her joy and positive attitude inspire her English as a Second Language students to push themselves as far as they can. Black loves to see their desire to learn, and she is invigorated by their success. As the ultimate team player with a can-do attitude, Tara Black has been selected by Entrada as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Jordan Valley - Zeke Michel
    ZEKE MICHEL PhotoBy day, Zeke Michel teaches one of the largest classes of some of the toughest students at Jordan Valley, and he never complains. By night, he fulfills responsibilities on numerous committees, gathers data, and goes to graduate school. When the sun rises, he is at it again, putting the students first, continually working with them to give them the ability to functionally communicate. He pushes them to exceed expectations and introduces them to real-world situations, like the dollar store, where they can learn skills of independence. Under these circumstances, Michel has performed wonders, his coworkers say. Jordan Valley is proud to honor Zeke Michel with the award of the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • South Park - Leah Sharitt
    LEAH SHARITT PhotoThe students in Leah Sharitt’s South Park Academy class may have different limitations than others who aren’t at the Utah State Prison Promontory Correctional Facility, but Sharitt believes that her students potential, and their right to learn, is unbounded. Sharitt prepares her students to take the ACT, brings college representatives to talk with her students about what the scores mean, helps them participate in Career Day and runs a literacy program. One day, her students read a book called, “One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Children’s Peace Statue.” The book’s shared the idea that folding 1,000 paper cranes will make a wish come true. Sharitt’s students folded the cranes and sent them to the Peace Park in Seattle, Wash., to be displayed on a statue of Sadako. For her efforts to help her student’s wishes and dreams come true, South Park Academy has chosen Leah Sharitt as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
  • Responsive Services - Brenda Staples
    BRENDA STAPLES PhotoBrenda Staples’ classroom at the Canyons Youth Academy is filled with students who struggle in the general-education environment. Many come from challenging situations at home and on the street that would try any teacher, but Staples’ willingness to go the extra mile helps her students see that they are capable of achievement, regardless of their pasts. In the face of difficulty, Staples becomes her students’ advocate and champion. Her steady reliability, kindness, and smile when you need it, are all essential to helping her students succeed.  Congratulations to Brenda Staples, the 2019 Teacher of the Year for the Canyons Youth Academy and the first-ever top teacher for an academic initiative of the Canyons District Responsive Services Department.