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Winner of 2015 Pulitzer Prize in History to speak at Alta High

History lovers in Salt Lake County don’t need to fly halfway around the world to meet Elizabeth Fenn, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in History – she’s coming to Canyons School District.

The University of Colorado professor of Early American History, who earned her Ph.D. at Yale University, will be speaking at Alta High School on Saturday, Jan. 30 starting at 8:15 a.m. Fenn will discuss two of her books, including, “Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People,” for which she won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in History, as well as answer questions from the audience for the day-long event, which will conclude at 3 p.m.

Fenn’s presentation is part of a series of lectures in the Social Studies Colloquium created by Alta’s administration and history teacher Rique Ochoa. Ochoa established the seminar to bring some of the country’s top historians to speak to his students about their areas of expertise. Past speakers include David Kennedy, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in History, who visited the school in 2013 and discussed the Great Depression, and Mary Beth Tinker, plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, who came to Alta in 2014.

“The great, fortunate thing for our students is it introduces them to top-flight professors from around the world that are nationally known and that they’ll never get in their undergraduate career, because (these historians) teach graduate-level courses,” Ochoa said. “My students have benefitted tremendously over the years.”

The public is invited to attend the lecture, which will take place Saturday at Alta in room 1906 from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrance to the event is free, but donations to help pay for the speaker’s travel expenses are encouraged.  

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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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