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With Snip Of Red Ribbon, Alta Cheers Renovations

To the cheers of dozens of students clad in black and silver, the leaders of Canyons District and Alta High sliced through a rippling-in-the-wind red ribbon to ceremoniously mark the recent renovations and upgrades at the Sandy high school. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, held Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, also marked the completion of an impressive new entrance at Alta. Students, teachers and parents who attended the event were able to walk for the first time through the new vestibule, which features Alta’s school colors and plenty of natural light.

In addition to the new entrance, which is emblazoned with the school’s name in giant silver letters, crews have been working since the start of summer on new classrooms; art, robotics, and engineering labs; a Healthy Lifestyles Center equipped with new cardio and exercise machines funded by a donation from the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation; a wrestling room; sprinkling systems, and landscaping. 

“I’d like to acknowledge the sacrifice of the students and faculty at Alta in the past few weeks,” Sherril H. Taylor, President of the Board of Education, said at the ceremony. “You’ve done a great job of making the best of a difficult time, when construction was happening all around you.  It couldn’t have been easy with all of the trucks and construction workers and dust – but you have done it with good cheer and an eye toward the future.”

The project is the latest in a string of school-construction and -renovation initiatives in Canyons District. The Board of Education last spring approved a budget that included $7.5 million in small capital-facility projects at Jordan Valley, Eastmont Middle, and Oakdale, RidgecrestSandy and Sprucewood elementary schools.

But that’s not all. Canyons District also is about halfway through the projects promised to voters at the approval of the $250 million bond in spring 2010. Five new or renovated schools have been built since CSD patrons graciously approved the bond issuance. Taylor publicly thanked patrons for voting in favor of the bond proposal.  “Any applause (for the new buildings) is meant for the parents who are paying for the bond,” he said.

Principal Brian McGill, who also is a graduate of Alta High, thanked the Board and CSD Administration for their “efforts to make sure the new and improved Alta High will benefit not only the students who will attend it, but the Sandy community and beyond.” 

“As principal, I can tell you for sure that students and teachers feel better and do better in schools that are well-maintained and welcoming,” McGill said. “They feel better and do better in schools that are easily accessible, aesthetically pleasing, energy-efficient, and wired for the high-tech demands of a 21st century education.”

 Superintendent Jim Briscoe said that the recent improvements at Alta High should be celebrated – but urged the community to always remember that brick-and-mortar upgrades aren’t what make a school special.  “You are the heartbeat of this building,” Briscoe told students. “I believe the best is yet to come for Alta High.”

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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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