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Surprise! CSD Foundation Gives $113,000 in Teacher Innovation Grants

The Canyons Education Foundation warmed the hearts of 25 teachers – and hundreds of students – for two days in November, just as the first snow of the season hit the ground.

With bouquets of flowers and giant checks in hand, the Foundation delivered $113,000 in Innovation Grants to 17 schools across the District, greeting teachers and students who sometimes screamed, sometimes cried and sometimes spontaneously burst into song at the news.

This year, the governing Board of the Foundation awarded grants to support funding for innovative classroom teachers, special education programs, school resource and fine arts programs. The Board received more than 60 applications this year – more than double the number received last year – and increased the amount of grants distributed by $23,000.

Innovation Grants, which can range from $1,000 to $10,000 each, are awarded to recognize and support excellence in teaching throughout the District.

Teachers who received grants, and the focus of their projects, are the following:

– Stacey Nofsinger, Mount Jordan Middle, $1,264; Resource
– Melody Evans Carver, Mount Jordan Middle, $4,600; Broadcasting
– Ben Simmons, Mount Jordan Middle, $8,738; Fine Art
– Sharon Aitken, Midvale Elementary, $2,090; ELA
– Lynn Smargis-Shumate, Union Middle School, $2,390; Science
– Kendra Mallory, Julia Falcey, Melody Andrus, Butler Middle, $2,420; Special Education
– Pamela Tafili, Butler Middle, $7,470; Science
– Stephanie Campo, Ridgecrest Elementary, $2,999; Dual Immersion
– Angela Meredith, Brighton High School, $2,573; Special Education
– Michelle Van Dyken, Canyon View Elementary, $1,735; Science
– Jenni Perkins, Jamie Workman, Melissa Niskala, Lindsay Pearmain, Albion Middle School, $10,000; Fine Arts
– Wendy Hamann, Granite Elementary, $5,296; Computer programming and writing
– Third grade team, Altara Elementary, $9,136; Technology
– Anne Clyde, Edgemont Elementary, $7,432; Special Education
– Melanie Kieffer, Edgemont Elementary, $4,072; Fine Arts
– Cameo Lutz, Jordan High School, $8,668; Math
– Linda Tognoni, Park Lane Elementary, $4,159; ACC Autism
– Shelley Allen, Midvale Middle, $9,999; English Language Learners
– Michele Law, Sprucewood Elementary, $4,999; Classroom
– Melissa Thorne, Corner Canyon High School, $1,500; Fine Arts
– Amanda Toler, Corner Canyon High School, $9,780; Fine Arts
– Susan Somsen, Jordan Valley School, $2,051; Special Education

See Canyons District’s Facebook page and the Foundation’s Facebook page for photographs and videos of teacher’s reactions to the surprise announcements.

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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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