2021

APEX Awards Logo

From its founding days, the CSD community as a whole has invested in its schools with passion, creativity, and a mindset that anything is possible. The winners of the 2021 Apex Awards are among those who have gone above and beyond in our collective quest to rise above, strive to make a difference, and lift the children of Canyons as they reach for their dreams through education. Each year since 2010, the Board of Education and Administration have recognized stellar employees, volunteers, and business partners with Apex Awards, the highest awards presented by the District. The Canyons Board of Education and Superintendent, who select the winners, express deep gratitude to this year’s honorees for their excellence, commitment and leadership.

2021
TEACHER
of
THE YEAR
Traci Raymond

2021
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR
of
THE YEAR
Tom Sherwood

2021
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR
of
THE YEAR
Steve Dimond

2021
EDUCATION SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS
of
THE YEAR
Rick Hoggard
Lorraine Miles
Jeff Wren

2021
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES PROFESSIONAL
of
THE YEAR
Amy Boettger

2021
VOLUNTEER
of
THE YEAR
Dr. Allyn Kau

2021
ELECTED OFFICIAL
of
THE YEAR
Rep. Andrew Stoddard

2021
COMMUNITY PARTNER
of
THE YEAR
SCHEELS

2021
LEGACY AWARD

Dr. Kathryn McCarrie

2021
LEGACY AWARD

Karen Sterling

2021
TEACHER
of  THE YEAR
Traci Raymond

As the curtain fell on her 30-year career as a performing-arts teacher, Alta High’s Traci Raymond received a standing ovation for a grand finale at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. This time, though, it was not for the twists and turns of her talented dancers. It was for Raymond’s skill as an artful educator who inspired legions of students to sparkle like diamonds in the spotlight. Raymond, a health, physical education, and dance instructor, as well as the adviser for Alta’s award-winning Dance Company and Dance Academy, also is a one-time recipient of a prestigious Sorenson Legacy Award for Excellence in Arts Education. The elite quality of Raymond’s instruction displays itself every time her students stepped on the dance floor. She positively influenced pupils through top-tier instruction, mentoring, and connections. In addition, her efforts in aiding, supporting, and advocating for her students beyond the classroom and dance studio have been remarkable. In spring 2020, when Utah schools were forced to pivot to online learning because of COVID-19 restrictions,  Raymond utilized technology to 

continue teaching students how to improve their artistry. She shared her leadership skills in other ways, serving in several capacities with the Building Leadership Team, acting as master calendar coordinator for Performing Arts and fulfilling the role of Department Chair for the Performing Arts team. For these reasons, and so many more, the Canyons Board of Education and Administration are pleased to present the 2021 Apex Award for Teacher of the Year to Traci Raymond.

2021
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR
of  THE YEAR
Tom Sherwood

The motto at Brighton High School — “We choose to be better today than we were yesterday” — also aptly describes the style of leadership practiced by its principal, Tom Sherwood. Maybe it was driven into him as a young boy working on the family farm, or reinforced through his teaching of the fundamentally experimental subjects of biology and chemistry. But the capacity to humbly accept feedback, learn from mistakes, and always be striving to improve is what colleagues say they admire most about Sherwood. It’s also what he works to instill in his students and had to draw upon these past few years, some of the toughest in his 25 years as an educator, including 18 as a principal. Managing a high school is already an emotionally, physically, and intellectually demanding job. In the space of a 65-hour workweek, principals will supervise dances, sporting events, and after-school meetings while providing a listening-ear for parents, a backstop for teachers, a reality check for boundary-testing students, and a buffer between the politics and practice of education. Add to that the challenges of keeping a school running while

a new one is being rebuilt around you, and then throw in a pandemic, and you get a sense of the chaos Sherwood has kept at bay. But in true Sherwood fashion, he’ll tell you in his folksy way that while this latest chapter has “been a ride,” it has also been incredibly rewarding. Any doubts about the resilience of teenagers were certainly put to rest. Families rallied to do what was needed to keep students healthy and learning. Schools found new ways to reach disengaged students and deliver more personalized instruction. Online meeting tools made it possible for educators to collaborate with colleagues from across the hall and around the world — and the Bengal community is stronger for it. With Sherwood’s support, Brighton students continue to earn statewide titles in sports and national Model United Nation competitions. The school brought back its marching band and created an AP Capstone diploma program while also adding flex periods to boost achievement for all students, propelling its already-high graduation rate to new heights. For all of these reasons, and more, the Canyons Board of Education and Administration are proud to present Tom Sherwood with the 2021 Apex Award for School Administrator of the Year.

2021
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR
of  THE YEAR
Steve Dimond

With the precision of a four-star general, Steve Dimond organized one of the most complex initiatives of the 2020-2021 school year: Canyons District’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Thanks largely to Dimond’s indefatigable energy and planning acumen, on the year anniversary of the “soft closure” of Utah schools to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Canyons provided the final shots to interested and eligible employees, an occasion that drew a visit by Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson. For nine weeks, Dimond quarterbacked the weekly inoculation clinics, arranging the 2,695 hours of personnel work that was required to provide the service to some 4,000 teachers, principals, and Education Support Professionals. In all, 116 nurses worked 1,044 hours to give the jab to employees, and about 650 hours of work was donated by Canyons employees who saw the clinics as key to restoring a sense of relief to a weary world. All tallied, 73 percent of CSD employees participated in the District’s vaccination clinics. The clinics also capped a year when concerns about

working conditions in schools dominated online chatter, the news cycle, and discussion among patrons. As Canyons’ Human Resources Director, Dimond and his team worked hand-in-hand with employee unions and various District departments to perform contact tracing, recruit substitutes, and ensure that supports for those who suffered severe symptoms of COVID-19 were being provided. Throughout it all, even as the logistical demands became nearly overwhelming, Dimond retained his determined can-do attitude and cheerful it’s-a-party demeanor. The Canyons Board of Education and Administration express appreciation to Dimond for his tireless dedication and hard work, and congratulate him for receiving the 2021 Apex Award for District Administrator of the Year.

2021
EDUCATION SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS
of  THE YEAR
Rick Hoggard     Lorraine Miles     Jeff Wren

If you think air-traffic controllers have a stressful job, consider what it takes to keep the wheels on Canyons District’s 180 buses going round and round. Some 15,000 students begin and end each day with a trip on a bus, and working behind the scenes to make sure that, rain or shine, they arrive at their destinations safely and on time are shop foreman Rick Hoggard and route coordinators Lorraine Miles and Jeff Wren. Miles and Wren begin each year mapping data to match students with bus stops, place the stops along routes, and then assign the routes to drivers. Care is taken to account for safety hazards, the proximity of sidewalks, and navigability of tight neighborhoods — and as soon as the routes are mapped, a family inevitably relocates, a city schedules road repairs, or heavy rain causes detours, and it’s back to the drawing board. So, it’s Hoggard’s job to minimize avoidable disruptions such as mechanical failures and fender benders to keep the fleet in motion. In one school year, CSD buses can be inspected up to 400 times.

The interrelated nature of their jobs requires that the trio work as a finely tuned team. When literal and figurative roadblocks arise, they problem-solve workarounds — even if it means working nights or weekends, or volunteering to drive a bus every day during a nationwide bus driver shortage. If all goes well, their work may go unnoticed by the families they work so hard to serve but not by the Canyons District Board of Education and Administration, which are proud to present Hoggard, Miles, and Wren with the 2021 Apex Award for Education Support Professionals of the Year.

2021
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES PROFESSIONAL
of  THE YEAR
Amy Boettger

Amy Boettger arrives at work every day with the intention of living by the inspirational words she has printed, framed, and placed on her desk: Be the change you want to see in the world. Boettger, the principal of Diamond Ridge and Entrada high schools, has been the driving force behind Canyons District’s initiatives to provide a pathway to graduation for the students who, for whatever reason, are taking the road less traveled in their educational journeys. Thanks largely to Boettger’s let’s-help-you-help-yourself approach, Canyons’ alternative and adult high schools have become a literal and metaphorical lifesaver for students who found themselves struggling and sinking in traditional school environments. As students arrive on campus to attend classes, Boettger carefully evaluates what and how many support services need to be arranged. If a student is experiencing food insecurity, she opens up the campus food pantry. If a student is having a hard time regulating emotions, she alerts the mental health specialists who have been assigned to the school. And if a student is missing credits, academic counselors are

brought in to brainstorm solutions. There isn’t a student support service provided in Canyons that Boettger doesn’t utilize to remove barriers to graduation for her students, many of whom arrive at campus demoralized and ready to drop out. But under her watch, it does not take too long for a significant number of her charges to find
purpose in their studies, a place to belong, and a reason to dream for more than they ever thought possible. Her efforts have been so successful that graduation rates at Diamond Ridge have ticked up to more than 80 percent —an increase of nearly 20 percent in just a few years. It’s for these impressive reasons, the Canyons Board of
Education and Administration are pleased to present the 2021 Apex Award for Student Support Services Professional of the Year to Amy Boettger.

2021
VOLUNTEER
of  THE YEAR
Dr. Allyn Kau

Dr. Allyn Kau is the embodiment of the Harry S. Truman quote that underscores how much you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. A licensed physical therapist, she could be earning doctorate-level wages but has chosen instead to make a difference by volunteering at her children’s school. In her humble, quiet-spoken way, Dr. Kau has helped boost the achievement of more students than Alta View Elementary Principal Scott Jameson can count. For five years, she has weekly donated 20 hours of her time, and there is no task or role that she hasn’t willingly and capably embraced, from serving on the PTA Board and School Community Council to substitute teaching and Career Day demonstrations. Putting to use in the classroom strategies similar to those she once used to help injured patients regain mobility, she developed “Roadrunners Read,” a Dyad Reading program that helps students gain — and keep — ground in reading by stretching them past their comfort zones. Through the program, Dr. Kau, and 

the Salt Lake County Library volunteers she recruited, guide students in tackling texts that are two grade-levels higher than they comfortably read. Using supplies and resources she arranged to be donated by local nonprofits, she trains parents in the partnered, read-aloud technique so they can do it at home, and coordinates keeping the school’s Media Center open over the summer so students can check out new and challenging books. She sends positive notes to teachers and staff, and is always sharing ideas for school-building activities, freely giving of her time to make the suggestions a reality. For her selfless dedication to all Alta View students, especially those who need it most, the Canyons Board of Education and Administration are proud to honor Dr. Allyn Kau with the 2021 Apex Award for Volunteer of the Year. 

2021
ELECTED OFFICIAL
of  THE YEAR
Rep. Andrew Stoddard

When Andrew Stoddard was a student at Brighton High, it’s not likely that he knew he would someday represent nearby neighborhoods in the hallowed halls of the Utah legislature. But the former Bengal is now one of Canyons District’s staunchest supporters on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives. Regardless of the issue, Stoddard examines the facts with a prosecutor’s eye — and then thoughtfully gauges how bills could affect the school districts he represents. Two years ago, when a spate of threats against schools upended operations and frightened parents, students, and teachers, Stoddard, whose children attend Canyons schools, fought valiantly to pass legislation that called for stricter penalties for hoax or real threats against schools. Canyons approached Stoddard with the idea after a string of social media and bomb threats literally halted operations at several schools. In those cases, prosecutors faced a major challenge: Utah’s criminal code did not specifically address threats against schools. Stoddard aimed to change that, not 

just for Canyons but for all schools in the state. His bill, passed on the final day of the 2020 legislative session, codifies a threat against a school as a misdemeanor penalty. It also authorizes judges to seek restitution for losses and expenses incurred responding to the threat. If the perpetrator of the threat is a minor, the case can be referred to juvenile court or addressed through school-based intervention. Throughout the legislative process, Stoddard worked hard to develop and pass legislation that would not only aid the District but also provide a helping hand to students who need a firm nudge to correct misguided decisions. For being a tireless advocate on Utah’s Capitol Hill, the Canyons Board of Education and Administration are pleased to present the 2021 Apex Award for Elected Official of the Year to Rep. Andrew Stoddard.

2021
COMMUNITY PARTNER
of  THE YEAR
SCHEELS

More than a sporting goods chain, SCHEELS is a force for good. Each employee-owned store makes it a point to give back to its community through outreach and voluntarism, guided by the belief that “together, we can change the world.” And there is, perhaps, no more powerful path to change than through education, says Kami Packard, Community Relations Coordinator for the SCHEELS store in Sandy. “The schools are where our future is. We appreciate everything these kids are trying to achieve in this crazy world, and we think the more support they have, the better.” A longstanding and steadfast partner, SCHEELS has donated more than $70,000 in cash and in-kind donations to Canyons District schools through the Canyons Education Foundation. In 2017, the store helped build two mini soccer pitches at Sandy Elementary. The store’s associates have volunteered thousands of hours inside classrooms, often in support of campaigns promoting active lifestyles. They contribute each year to the gift baskets that are given to Canyons’ Teachers  of the

Year. Their quarterly donations of shoes, coats, and other clothing items have benefited students of all ages. Last year, they were a Platinum-level donor to the Foundation’s Connect Canyons campaign, an effort to ensure that all students, whether they were learning in the classroom or from home, had the tools they needed to learn in a pandemic. For all they do every year to connect with and support students, knowing our futures are bound together, the Canyons Board of Education and Administration are pleased to present SCHEELS with the 2021 Apex Award for Community Partner of the Year.

2021
LEGACY AWARD

Dr. Kathryn McCarrie

Talk about an impressive second act. Dr. Kathryn McCarrie had spent decades earning a reputation as one of the state’s foremost experts in special education when she was asked in 2008 to take a chance on Canyons District, which was recruiting a strong start-up team to pioneer Utah’s newest public school system. Never one to shy away from a challenge, McCarrie decided to retire from her director-level post in a neighboring district and start anew in the fledgling Canyons District. As CSD’s first leader of the Special Education Department, she was one of the first 10 administrators ever hired in Canyons’ history. From the outset, Dr. McCarrie played a major role in not just how the District provides special-education services but in creating a culture of innovation that continues today. In 2011, Dr. McCarrie made the CSD history books again by becoming the District’s first Assistant Superintendent for School Accountability, with direct oversight over the day-to-day operations of Canyons schools. In 2014, Dr. McCarrie’s portfolio

 of responsibilities shifted to focus on instruction and learning, and she supervised the Instructional Supports, Special Education, Student Advocacy and Access, and Research and Assessment departments. McCarrie, a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Association of School Psychologists, also drew on decades of experience in counseling, including a doctorate degree in Educational Psychology, to centralize Canyons’ student-support services in one department. By the time she decided to call an end to her vaunted educational career two years ago, there was not a part of Canyons District’s academic effort that had not been influenced by her formidable skills, thoughtful approach, and no-nonsense leadership style. It’s for all of these reasons that the Canyons Board of Education and Administration are pleased to present the 2021 Legacy Award to Dr. Kathryn McCarrie. 

2021
LEGACY AWARD

Karen Sterling

Karen Sterling retired doing what she does best — giving support to students who need just a little help to do big things. From her first day as one the founding administrators of Canyons District to her last, no challenge was too great for the 45-year educator, not even the pandemic, which afforded new opportunities to improve outreach to disconnected students. Fueled by Diet Coke, an unquenchable passion, and reams of federal grant opportunities, she worked tirelessly to harness the goodwill of the community and build partnerships to remove barriers to student success. Unapologetic in her advocacy, she left no stone unturned and no idea untested, and, in the process, played a major role in building CSD into the forward-thinking District it is today. Canyons Virtual High School, Diamond Ridge and Entrada high schools, and CSD’s Title I Community Schools are just a few of the innovations she helped forge, with the aim of making sure all students have the resources and opportunities needed to achieve.

Native American students and families, newcomers to the country, inmates at the Utah State Prison’s South Park Academy, Latinos in Action participants, students who learn differently, and those experiencing homelessness or mustering the courage to return to school as adults are among the beneficiaries of her big heart. She’ll be greatly missed, not just by her colleagues but by students who may not even know that she was always their biggest cheerleader. It’s with heartfelt appreciation that the Canyons Board of Education presents its highest award, the 2021 Legacy Award, to Karen Sterling.