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Board Meeting Summary April 28, 2015

Alta’s Matt Leininger Named CSD Teacher of the Year

The Board honored Alta High physics teacher Matt Leininger as the 2015 Canyons District Teacher of the Year. Leininger’s energetic approach to teaching physics shows his students exactly how much they matter. His dedication and care for students are just a few of the reasons that the Alta High educator, who is affectionately called “Mr. L” by casts of Hawks, was selected as the District Teacher of the Year.

Leininger, who also coaches robotics, swimming and tennis, was selected from a field of 46 Teachers of the Year who had been nominated from every Canyons District school, including the academy at the Utah State Prison.

“He is just that type of teacher, that no matter the student that is in class, no matter their background, their demographic, he connects with all of his kids,” said Alta Principal Brian McGill. “He is what I would call an exemplary teacher in Canyons District and Alta High School.”

Board Honors 46 CSD Teachers of the Year

The Board hosted a Teacher of the Year Reception and Recognitions event to honor all 46 CSD Teachers of the Year. As part of the recognitions, the following educators were named as semifinalists for the CSD Teacher of the Year:

– Claudia Jimenez, Midvale Elementary
– Susan Homer, Park Lane Elementary
– Bethany Smith, Sandy Elementary
– Emily Nance, Draper Park Middle
– Kattie (KATIE) Dewald, Midvale Middle
– And Matt Leininger, Alta High

Smith and Dewald also were named as finalists for the top award, and each received $500 checks from the Canyons School District Education Foundation. Leininger received a $1,000 cash prize from the Foundation as part of his Canyons Teacher of the Year award. All 46 Teachers of the Year received additional awards and prizes at the event from dozens of community sponsors.

New Chemistry Textbook Discussed

The Board is considering adopting a new chemistry textbook recommended by a District committee of chemistry teachers. The recommended text is called Modern Chemistry, published by Holt McDougal. Dr. Hollie Pettersson, Director of Evidence-Based Learning in Secondary Schools, said a chemistry book previously brought to the Board was in fact the committee’s second choice, and apologized for the mistake. Modern Chemistry will be available in the office of each high school should parents wish to view it. Board President Sherril Taylor said he believes it is a good procedure to put the textbooks in the schools before the Board votes. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie agreed, saying it shows parents and patrons what is being taught in CSD schools.

New School Fee Schedule Discussed
The Board for the second time discussed the proposed fee schedule, which would aim to assure some fees cover actual costs of some programs. The proposal would increase the Activity Fee from $45 to $50; parking permits from $10 to $15; and raise the maximum allowable fees for varsity cheerleaders and songleaders from $500 to $600.
CFO Leon Wilcox said he and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle talked to principals about this fee schedule, which would be effective for the next three years. The Board also received a general accounting of school fees to aid in the discussion. Board Member Nancy Tingey asked for additional account details. Dr. Dowdle noted that the Student Advisory Committee empaneled by the Board supports the fee increases. Board members asked if parents had weighed in on the proposal. No formal input has been received at this time.

Board Action

The Board approved parts of the Consent Agenda, including Purchasing Bids; April Hires and Terminations; March Financial Reports; Board Meeting Schedule; and LAND Trust Amendments. The Board approved student overnight travel for the following groups: CSD CETEC SkillsUSA; Alta Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Volleyball and Dance Company; Corner Canyon Cheer and Student Government. The Board asked for travel plans to be revised for modes of transportation for the following groups: Alta Drill, Corner Canyon Yearbook, and Hillcrest Yearbook.

Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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