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Getting Involved


Employees, Volunteer, Teacher of the Year Announced

The Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday announced Canyons School District’s premier employees of the year, a Volunteer of the Year, and the Canyons Teacher of the Year.

The honorees are:

  • Teacher of the Year:  Mark Petersen,  Jordan High Science Department Chairman
  • School Administrator of the Year: Laura Finlinson, Principal, Butler Elementary  (formerly Peruvian Park Elementary)
  • Education Support Professional of the Year:  Gina Bench, Human Resources Lead Contract Secretary
  • District Administrator of the Year:  Scot McCombs, Director, Information Technology
  • Volunteer of the Year:  Shannon Reynolds, President, Region 17 PTA

For the first time, the Board recognized one Teacher of the Year for every school in Canyons School District — a talented group of professionals from which the District Teacher of the Year was selected. The District Teacher of the Year will be nominated for State Teacher of the Year honors, and all will be honored at Canyons District Night at the May 1 Real Salt Lake Game.

Bond Priorities Set

The Board unanimously approved building priorities for its proposed $250 million, tax-rate-neutral bond to come before voters June 22, 2010. The 13 priorities are:

  • Build a new high school in Draper (projected to open in fall 2013) to allow ninth-graders to be brought into high schools so they are better prepared for college and careers
  • Upgrade Brighton and Hillcrest high schools to accommodate ninth-graders
  • Rebuild or renovate: Midvale Elementary, Butler Elementary, Butler Middle School, Midvale Middle School, Mount Jordan Middle School, an elementary (to be determined) in the White City area, address seismic issues at Sandy Elementary, enclose classrooms and install air conditioning at Albion, Crescent View and Indian Hills middle schools 

District leaders also are working to create a 10-year plan to address additional facility needs at each school.  In related news, Draper Mayor Darrell Smith wrote the Board a letterin support of its tax-neutral bond. The letter was read by Board Vice President Sherril Taylor.

Albion Middle School Principal Named

Joanne Ackerman was appointed as the new principal of Albion Middle School.  Ms. Ackerman, who is Principal of West Jordan Middle School, will assume her duties in June. She replaces Larry Odom, who this fall will become an Assistant Principal at Brighton High School.  

Budget Discussions Continue

The Board is discussing how to cut more than $12 million from the 2010-11 budget due to revenue shortfalls, state budget cuts, and one-time money used in the current budget year. Cost-saving measures include a possible furlough and shifting money from the 10 percent of Basic Levy to the General Fund to cover supplies and books. The Board will continue the discussion in future meetings. The budget must be set by June 30.

Professional Development, Bullying and Hazing Policy Improvements Discussed

The Board is updating its bullying and hazing policy to align with State Board of Education policy and Canyons District expectations. The proposed policy has been examined by a community task force of parents, coaches, principals and others, and includes language on cyber bullying and provisions for anonymous reporting. Board members asked questions about the draft policy details, including how to handle false reports, and praised its improvements. The Board also discussed revisions to the Support Staff Development Committee policy to reflect Canyon’s organizational structure, better align professional development opportunities for support staff and add financial oversight provisions. The Board will continue discussions on both policies.

Board Action: The Board approved two student appeals, and denied one.  It approved the consent agenda, which includes: the March 30 minutes; purchasing bids; changes in summer school fees; Midvale Middle School’s LAND Trust Plan; March Hire and Termination Reports; Formation of the Joint Educator Evaluation Committee; and March Financial Statements. It also approved student travel for: Brighton High Student Government, Drill Team, Drama Productions, Dance Company and Shakespeare Team; Hillcrest High Football; and CTE FCCLA. The Board also met in closed meeting to discuss litigation and the character, professional competence or physical or mental health of an individual.

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent David Doty talked about the May 1 Canyons District Night at Real Salt Lake, a schedule for bond information presentations and referendum rules for public agencies.

Board Reports
: Kim Horiuchi attended the Butler Elementary and Butler Middle School Community Council meetings and relayed information about the bond. She also congratulated Brighton High Model UN students for success at national competition, which included the Award of Merit in the NGO Forum.

Kevin Cromar reported on workshops and performances he attended at the National School Boards Association conference in Chicago with Superintendent Doty, Mr. Bradford, and Board member Paul McCarty. He said he hoped to provide a full report in a future Board meeting. He also praised teachers of the year recognitions, and recommended recognizing one employee of the year for every department.

Mont Millerberg also praised the Teacher of the Year recognitions and teachers’ impact on society. He attended the Midvale Elementary 60th Anniversary Celebration, which he likened to a walk down memory lane.

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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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