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Teachers of the Year - 2016

Tavia Richards is the kind of teacher who believes in teaching her students to walk before asking them to run. With that in mind, she tackles the challenge of giving…
Watch out, Disneyland, you’ve got some competition. It’s Libby McShinsky’s classroom. The Alta View teacher captivates her students so much that recently, when one child had the opportunity to go…
One of the benefits of being Alta’s yearbook advisor is that Denise Ferguson gets to go to almost all of her school’s extra-curricular activities. As she floats from games to…
Heather Sullivan invests so much energy in serving Altara Elementary even her marathon-running coworkers are impressed with her vigor. She is “the Energizer bunny,” one colleague said, and she invests…
When Rachel Bingham sees a broken piece of machinery, she doesn’t see trash — she sees an opportunity. She sees the chance to teach her first-grade students about creativity, to…
Tawnya Goodfellow is not the sort of teacher who runs from a challenge. In fact, she’ll meet it head on. She takes the projects at Bella Vista that nobody wants,…
In Angie Meredith’s experience, sometimes the best instruction comes outside of the school building — it happens in the real world. That’s why the Brighton Accommodated Core Classroom teacher takes…
From the time Cathy Carr’s 5th grade students walk into her classroom, they know they are loved. That’s the driving force behind Carr’s concern for each of her students’ academic…
For Nancy Bauman, the work-week at Butler Elementary isn’t just Monday through Friday, it’s Saturdays too. And, of course, she doesn’t go home when the last bell rings. She stays…
Students who are nervous about transitioning to sixth-grade in middle school don’t need to be apprehensive in Lisa Boyce’s class at Butler Middle. Boyce is a skilled teacher who connects…
Michelle Van Dyken’s colleagues aren’t exaggerating when they call the first-grade teacher a “present day superhero.” Not only is Van Dyken credited with changing the lives of many of her…
Whether over the Internet or face to face, Anita Leimbach knows how to inspire her students to do their best work. While it may be second nature for most teachers…
After teaching for 41 years, Kathy Butler knows her students are capable of anything, even if they face challenges at home. Butler implements Instructional Priorities and District curriculum to help…
On a daily basis, Kristana Miskin mixes equal parts dedication, vision, grace, confidence and patience in her Corner Canyon classroom as she opens the world to her students. They may…
When it comes to helping her students succeed, Susan Turpin doesn’t take no for an answer. She brings her inclusive nature, ability to form positive relationships and keen understanding of…
Shelli Ivie’s cosmetology class at CTEC does more than inspire students to be qualified stylists — it inspires them to be better citizens. As a result of Ivie’s example, CTEC…
Diamond Ridge teacher Lezlie Harper is one of a kind. For example, she is the kind of teacher who can take a student who is lagging in reading and help…
Tawna Glover believes in teaching her students concepts with a whole-brain approach. To that end, she links high-frequency words with songs and body movements to help students remember key concepts,…
Whether she’s arranging riveting guest lectures or brainstorming another hands-on science lab, Amy Valdez brings the “wow” factor to her classroom, striving every day to find new ways to bring…
If there were newsies on the street corners of the city that were selling newspapers about the great things that were happening at East Midvale, Lisa Hubbard would be waving…
If you’re trying to find Tammy Goodwater in her classroom, start by looking down. That’s where East Sandy’s 2016 Teacher of the Year is usually seated — on the floor,…
The list of Jessica Evans’ roles at Eastmont Middle is long and varied: she teaches in the classroom, serves on the school’s Building Leadership Team, is the District ELA lead,…
Edgemont Elementary’s Carolyn Criddle is no ordinary teacher, she is, her colleagues say, “a rare gem.” Criddle works as an accommodated core cluster special education teacher who uses weekly assessments…
As a teacher at Entrada High School, Eric Murdock isn’t just interested in helping his adult students complete their high school diplomas, he’s determined to help them achieve their dreams.…
When one of Tiffany Smith’s students couldn’t even enter her classroom without having a meltdown, Smith didn’t panic. She didn’t quit, and she didn’t complain. She learned. She came to…
Kari Bennett’s connections to her students don’t just end when graduation comes. Colleagues say Bennett is always a source of support to Hillcrest’s students, long after their high school years.…
Brian Cox is Indian Hill Middle’s “Music Man.”  A 76-trombone salute wouldn’t be enough to herald of the hard work and dedication of Cox, the instrumental-music teacher. But unlike the…
As a teacher of AP Biology and AP Environmental Science at Jordan High, you might say Heather Gooch loves the environment. When you consider she started the AP Environmental Class…
Sue Somsen has found the perfect way to teach her Jordan Valley students about the value of money: take a fieldtrip to the dollar store — every week. Somsen prepares…
Susan Colledge’s classroom is a dream come true. It is the kind of magical place where students feel safe and encouraged to pursue their goals and no students are referred…
Midvale Elementary teacher Nicole Faddis is known for her commitment and dedication to the Midvale community. She regularly goes the extra mile to serve her fifth-graders, paying close attention to…
In her 30 years of teaching, Tammy Nay has helped hundreds of students and teachers receive the best education possible. As the Special Education Department Chair of Midvale Middle School,…
When Anna Taylor steps in the classroom, there’s no time to waste. She’s ready to teach her students math and science with an efficiency that makes her classroom run like…
If teaching middle school is like scaling Mt. Everest — a feat that requires precision, preparation and determination — then Landon Smith is a mountaineer of his own right. Smith’s…
When it came time to nominate a Teacher of the Year at Oak Hollow Elementary this year, colleagues, parents and students all clambered for the opportunity to voice their support…
Kim Moreton is a good example of what it means to go the extra mile. As a teacher of a student with organizational challenges, poor social skills and sensitivity to…
Linda Tognoni wrote the book — literally — on teaching, but she’s still looking for ways to improve. She writes grants to receive thousands of dollars to benefit students in…
The first day of school in Gretchen Murray’s classroom starts in a very specific place: the floor. That is where she sits in a circle with her students and allows…
Nicholas Heinz approaches teaching with the ideology that to receive respect, you must offer respect. That’s the understanding Heinz’ students have with their beloved fifth-grade teacher, as they see his…
Everyone at Ridgecrest Elementary knows which teacher is most likely to jump onstage when the presenter asks for a volunteer, because the entire student body is calling out her name:…
Macy Serzen is the kind of teacher who is willing to do whatever it takes to help her students succeed. She begins by setting high expectations for each student, treating…
Kevin Nelson knows exactly why he is in his classroom every day. As his colleagues have noticed, Nelson is laser-focused on helping his students achieve greatness so that someday, they…
An ideal teacher, Barbara Romney serves as a model for her students at the Utah State Prison. She seeks out those who need encouragement, even those who are struggling with…
Some of the words Karrie Wilbur’s colleagues use to describe her include: teammate, leader, model — and amazing. The Sprucewood Elementary teacher builds her students’ confidence while teaching them to…
Few teachers would relish the idea of letting their students throw something at their face, let alone a pie. But that was exactly Kathryn Brog’s idea as a way to…
If students at Union Middle have a question, they know exactly who to ask: Jody DeLand. She is usually in the hallway during class breaks to greet students and field…
It’s been a few years since the first day Candace Miyake graduated school and became a teacher — but after 36 years, colleagues say she still has the enthusiasm and…
When educators at Willow Springs look for a great example of a dedicated, effective, invested teacher, they look to Lisa Hodson. As an instructor of second-graders, Hodson teaches her students…