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Record number of Canyons teachers receive grants from Canyons Education Foundation

From cow eyes to a glockenspiel, rock samples and microscopes, 33 teachers from all corners of Canyons School District received funds to purchase new tools and technology to bolster their classroom instruction. The new equipment is made possible through Innovation Grants distributed to teachers recently by the Canyons Education Foundation in surprise classroom visits at 18 CSD schools.

Members of the Canyons School District Board of Education, including President Nancy Tingey, Vice President Amber Shill and Amanda Oaks joined the Canyons Education Foundation and its supervisory Board, Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe and other administrative leaders as they carried big checks, balloons and candy into the rooms of unsuspecting teachers and shared the good news. 

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for caring so much about our students and their growth and development,” Alta theater teacher Linze Struiksma said after receiving a check for $4,256. “You really have no idea how much this can do for the success of students in the future. I’m very thankful and grateful.”

Struiksma will use her grant money to purchase new computer equipment to help with lighting projects in the theater department. In Mount Jordan, seventh-grade science teachers Leslie Mouton and Michael Dennis will use their Innovation Grant check for $9,417 to purchase new microscopes for students to use.

“We have needed this for a long time,” Mouton said, after learning she was selected to receive the grant. “We still have some equipment from the 1950s. We show our students pictures of other people doing research, now they will be able to do the research themselves.”

This year, a record number of recipients received the grants, which totaled more than $112,000. The Canyons Education Foundation raised money for the grants by hosting an annual fundraising gala and golf tournament. This year, the Foundation raised more than $84,000 at the annual golf tournament.

“We are so excited to be able to deliver these grants to our teachers who work so hard to help our students succeed,” said Denise Haycock, Canyons Education Foundation Development Officer. “The funds raised by the Foundation are used to support teachers and students in their efforts to become college- and career-ready, and really encourage teachers to look for innovative ways to enrich their classrooms. It is wonderful to walk into their rooms and give them funding that will help them accomplish their goals.”

Other projects that will be funded through the grants include throwable microphones, so that soft-spoken students will be encouraged to speak; digital cameras, so that vocabulary-limited preschool students can take pictures to share their perspective; and cow eyeballs, the dissection of which will be used to teach students more about the human eye.

Here is a list of this year’s winners: Dalton Magee of CTEC; Heather Sullivan of Altara Elementary; Sydney Bentall, Rachel Farmer, and KateLyn Beach of Alta High; Linze Struiksma of Alta High; Ronald Strohm of Alta High; Leslie Mouton and Michael Dennis of Mt. Jordan Middle; Christy Bell-Cornaby and Milagros Vasquez of Mt. Jordan Middle; Tammy Goodwater of Sandy Elementary; Michelle Theurer and Angela Drake of Park Lane Elementary; Mindy Miller and Katie Goudie of Eastmont Middle; Cody West, Emma Moss and the seventh-grade team at Eastmont Middle; Marcus Chen and Skylar Haines at Union Middle; Chelsea Jones at Albion Middle; Amanda Kissell and Annette Ramos at Quail Hollow Elementary; Sacha Despain at Oakdale Elementary; Paul Otterstrom at Brighton High; Sherise Longhurst at Ridgecrest Elementary; Lena Johnson, Melissa Porter and the Special Education Team at East Midvale Elementary; Gretchen Givonne and Tracie Garrard at Oak Hollow Elementary; Case Spaulding at Corner Canyon High; Marie Smith at Crescent Elementary; and Lauren Schriner, Katheryn Taylor and Brittany Thomfordha, who work with special education students throughout the District.

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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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