A Trojan Victory! Midvale Middle’s Robison is Utah’s Middle School Principal of the Year

Courage • Caring • Community

The calculus is clear: When you factor Mindy Robison’s instructional background, administrative savvy, and enviable interpersonal communication skills, and then add in her infectious energy and positive attitude, it’s not difficult to arrive at the answer that the Midvale Middle leader is the exponentially perfect choice to be named the 2022 Utah Middle School Principal of the Year.

Robison, who started her career as a mathematics teacher, was surprised with the top-principal news during a recent faculty meeting at Midvale Middle. The morning announcement by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, which sponsors the award, also was attended by Robison’s family, Canyons Board of Education members Nancy Tingey and Mont Millerberg, Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins, and School Performance Director Cindy Hanson.

Midvale Middle School Principal, Mindy Robison

“There is no one more deserving,” Dr. Robins says. “Mindy has a positive can-do attitude and is always looking for solutions. The way she’s inspired a culture of excellence at Midvale Middle has always humbled and inspired me.  It’s should not be a surprise to anyone that she’s considered one of the best in the state of Utah.” 

Robison has been principal at Midvale Middle since 2017, when CSD opened the new Midvale school for the first time. The 200,000-square-foot home of the Trojans was rebuilt with funds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. The completion of the $40 million building fulfilled CSD’s promise to build a state-of-the-art educational center in the heart of Midvale. The new 950-student middle school sits adjacent to Midvale Elementary, which was the first major new-construction project completed by CSD after the 2010 bond was approved.

Since that time, she’s spearheaded initiatives to increase achievement among Midvale Middle’s wildly diverse student body, the vast majority of whom come from families facing socio-economic challenges. She requested — and was granted by the Canyons Board of Education — $230,000 in additional funding to reduce class sizes and provide after-school programming three days a week. 

The results? It has worked. Even during the COVID-19 year, Midvale Middle students did not  experience a slide in math — and actually notched an uptick in reading-skill attainment.

More students also are attending school and fewer students are being referred to the principal’s office for discipline. With the extra educators, multilanguage learners receive more support. Math-class sizes are smaller, too.

“No matter what is going on, she always tries to find a way to fix it,” said Hanson, who supervises the middle school principals.  “When faced with a problem or an issue, she just says, ‘OK, I’m just going to say this once, and then I am over it.’” 

Millerberg lauds Robison’s innovations and engagement with the Midvale community.

“We have had some great principals that have come out of Midvale, but none eclipse Mindy by any sense of the imagination,” he said. “Anyone who can teach math and then become a principal has got to have what it takes to be a great principal.”

For her part, Robison says she’s honored with the award — but also says she’s glad recognition is coming Midvale schools. “I am just really happy for the community,”  she said. 

By earning the state designation, Robinson, who will officially receive the award at the UASSP mid-winter conference in St. George Jan. 24-26, becomes part of a prestigious group of Canyons educators who have been honored by the association.

Previous winners from Canyons District include 2021 Utah High School Principal of the Year Dr. Brian McGill, 2020 Middle School Principal of the Year Paula Logan, 2018 Assistant Principal of the Year Sandy LeCheminant, 2016 High School Principal of the Year Mary Bailey, 2014 Assistant Principal of the Year Doug Hallenbeck, 2013 Middle School Principal of the Year Mary Anderson, and 2011 Assistant Principal of the Year Dr. Paul Kirby.

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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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