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Getting Involved

Former Park Lane Student Makes a Yearly Return as Santa For Yule Assembly

A fun sign above the front doors of Park Lane Elementary welcomes guests to “The Happiest School on Earth.” The Panthers gave a festive example of that proclamation Friday morning. During their traditional holiday assembly, students from all grades brightened spirits like Rudolph’s nose on a foggy night.

The assembly included musical performances from each grade — general and special education students combined; songs from the school’s orchestra and choir; and rousing “Little Drummer Boy”-approved percussion pieces by the Jordan High drum line and enthusiastic third-graders equipped with five-gallon plastic buckets and rulers for snares and drumsticks.

As wonderful as all of that was, there was another special moment to come at the end of a student body sing-along — a surprise visit by Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. The fun part: This delightful Santa Claus, who circled the gymnasium twice to give dozens of high-fives, is a 35-year-old alumnus of Park Lane with special needs.

For Dane Lambert and the Panthers, visiting students at his old school has become an anticipated part of the annual assembly.

After going to school at Park Lane, Lambert went on to become the Eastmont Middle School student body president and then a student body officer at Jordan High. Coming back to his early stomping grounds is one of the highlights of his year.

“It’s everything,” his mom Melanie Lambert said with tears in her eyes. “He loves it.”

Students and staff do, too.

“I get emotional,” Melanie Lambert said. “I sit here thinking I can’t believe so many years have gone by.”

Third-grade teacher Susan Homer, who organized the assembly, told the students they brought tears to her eyes with their performances. “Who cries at Jingle Bells? You made me,” she joked.

Homer and JHS instrumental music teacher Brandon Cressall collaborate to entertain and in hopes that students will see how awesome it is to play instruments and sing and join the band, orchestra, and choir.

After all, The Happiest School on Earth just wouldn’t be quite the same without joyful music, especially at this time of the year.

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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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