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Getting Involved

Mountain America Credit Union Grant Funds Jordan Valley ‘Wish List’

When Jordan Valley PTA President Betty Shaw applied to receive a $1,500 grant from Mountain America Credit Union, she asked all of the school’s teachers to make a wish list of items that could help them in their classrooms.

After Shaw officially received the grant Tuesday at the school in a presentation that included representatives from Mountain America Credit Union, Canyons Director of Special Education Misty Suarez, Principal Stacey Nofsinger, Canyons Education Foundation Development Officer Denise Haycock and PTA Region 17 Associate Director Terri Francis, she was emotional with gratitude. 

“It will do so much good for the school,” Shaw said. “It makes me cry and makes my heart happy because it can do so much good for these students and teachers. If we can help students transition here, what a great life they can have.”

Some of the items on the teachers’ lists included a ball pit, a shelf for a ceramic oven and items that help with sensory development for Jordan Valley’s population of students with severe special needs. Now that the money is certain, Shaw says the school will be able to determine exactly how best to use the funds for things that can’t be funded through federal, state or District money. 

Mountain America offered the grant to PTAs throughout Utah as a way to give back to the community. This year, the credit union distributed 10 grants. 

“In the credit union world, it’s about people helping people,” said Mountain America Credit Union’s Eric Buchanan. “This is a win for everyone. It’s humbling and exhilarating.”

Teachers at Jordan Valley use a wide variety of tools to help their severely disabled students, said Nofsinger.

With students who have such a wide range of special needs, solutions that may help one student with a challenge don’t necessarily help another. Grants like this help teachers expand their resources and add a meaningful contribution to the school.

“It just gave me goosebumps,” Nofsinger said. “Out of the goodness of people’s hearts, they just want these students to experience the most they can. People have a special spot in their heart for this school, and that’s just awesome.” 

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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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