Family Connections

Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Sandy Elementary’s Debbie Beninati Named Music Teacher of the Year

Debbie Beninati loves teaching music. She can’t imagine doing anything else. But that’s not all the Sandy Elementary Music Specialist does in the name of the arts.

When she’s not teaching, Debbie is advocating for the importance of continuing to make comprehensive elementary music education available in public schools.

For her passion and tireless devotion, Debbie was named Elementary Music Teacher of the Year by the Utah Music Educators Association (UMEA). The award, which is given annually to only one elementary teacher statewide, was announced earlier this month at UMEA’s Professional Development Conference in St George.

It’s not her first public recognition. In 2013, the self-described music education “junkie” received the prestigious Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education Award for her work heading up a 61-student, before-school orchestra at Lone Peak Elementary. She did it for three years on her own time and dime as a volunteer, because, as she said at the time, “It’s fun.”DSCN2715.jpg

Today, she continues to model the joys of music for children, but at Sandy Elementary as a paid Music Specialist. “She really makes music come alive for students and has an energy that is unprecedented,” says CSD’s Arts Chair Sharee Jorgensen.

Beninati was born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO, and earned a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Colorado in 1987. During her 22-year tenure traveling the country as a career Air Force spouse, she taught K-6th general music, private piano lessons, substituted in regular elementary education classrooms and autism unit classrooms, and taught early childhood music.

For a period she took a hiatus from teaching to start her own family, but remained active in public education by serving on PTA Boards and School Community Councils.

Upon her husband’s retirement from the Air Force in 2009, the Beninati family relocated for the last time to Sandy, UT.  Since arriving in Sandy, Debbie has substituted in the regular education classroom, taught elementary orchestra, K-6 general music, K-6 choir, and has written an original musical suitable for young children (grades 2-5). She earned her Level 1 Orff certification through Utah State University, and is an active member of the Utah American Orff Schulwerk Association. 

“Debbie personifies effective teaching on a daily basis,” says Sandy Principal McKay Robinson. “[Her] students are constantly engaged. In fact, anyone who walks into her room at any given moment will immediately be pulled into the lesson and activity. She is passionate about music and even more passionate about teaching.”

McKay says, one of the greatest gifts Debbie has been able to give Sandy’s students, “is the opportunity to get their hands on instruments that most have not, and may never have had the opportunity to play.”


Share This Post

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!

Specialty Schools

High Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement

Canyons School District is committed to making this website compliant with the ADA. At this time, we recognize that not all areas of this website may be ADA compliant. We are currently in the process of redesigning and creating new website content to be compliant with the W3C Level Two guidelines. If you are experiencing issues with this website, please contact us here