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Jordan High Teacher Wins Huntsman Award

Jordan High physics teacher David Morrill was surprised Wednesday with one of Utah’s most prestigious awards in education – a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education.

Karen Huntsman, who created the annual awards with her husband, Jon M. Huntsman Sr., personally delivered the good news to Morrill.

The following is part of a nomination letter penned by Jordan Principal Tom Sherwood:

“If you want to see a great teacher in action, step into Mr. Morrill’s classroom. You will not find a quiet classroom with students sitting quietly reading their books and answering questions. Instead, you will find students engaged in a variety of activities in an effort to learn and understand physics. Some students may be working on computers doing simulations, others will be using tracks to perform experiments, but all of them will be actively engaged in the learning process. He takes a personal interest in the success of each and every student.”

Colleague Mark Petersen, chairman of the JHS Science Department, wrote in a nomination letter that Morrill’s “commitment to his students and his willingness to work alongside them to help them progress through this difficult subject is one of his most admirable qualities as a teacher.”

“Students really do feel and understand that he is doing what he does for them. They are not made to feel inferior at all in the learning process, but rather they feel he is learning right along with them, so everyone in his classes can succeed,” Petersen wrote. “I have never observed any teacher who spends more time and effort in helping students learn than David Morrill.

Each year over the past 19 years, the Huntsman family has presented 10 special awards to outstanding teachers, administrators and volunteers. The winners receive a $10,000 check and a crystal obelisk.

This year, to mark the 20th anniversary of the awards program, an 11th recipient will be selected to receive the Mark H. Huntsman Award. This award will recognize excellence in the field of special education. The winners will be recognized at a banquet in May.   

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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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