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Board Honors Native Americans

Canyons Board honors Native American students in historic ceremony

SANDY — In an emotional ceremony attended by state and local Native American leaders, the Canyons Board of Education honored nearly 70 Native American students and adults for their educational and community achievements. Canyons District Native American Education Specialist Joyce Guenon called the event historic, saying it marked the first time a Board of Education has honored area Native American students.

“This is the most incredible gift I’ve seen our people get,” Guenon told the Board at its Tuesday meeting. “You have given tonight the gift of hope. You have given the gift of hope to each of our children.”

The recognition, coinciding with national Native American Heritage Month, spotlighted academic and life achievements of students involved in Standing Tall, a program aimed at nurturing academic success by building relationships, boosting self-esteem and leadership skills, monitoring and encouraging academics, and helping students prepare for college and careers. The honorees included students, counselors, and alumni of Crescent View Middle School and Jordan High School.

The event, orchestrated by Karen Sterling, Canyons Director of Federal and State Programs, was attended by Forrest Cuch, executive director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs; Standing Tall author Howard T. Rainer, program administrator for Native American Educational Outreach Programs at Brigham Young University; Janice Jones Schroeder, Janet Canyon, and Lillian Tsosie-Jensen, members of the Utah American Indian/Alaska Native Education Advisory Committee; John Beck, Salt Lake Valley South Area Director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Seminaries and Institutes; and Chuck Foster, Title VII/Indian Education Specialist for the Utah State Office of Education.

“This is an unprecedented relationship,” Board of Education President Tracy Cowdell told the families and dignitaries in attendance. “I hope this is just the beginning.”

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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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