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Alta Math Teacher Kevin Clyde Named Canyons Teacher of the Year

Alta High mathematics teacher Kevin Clyde says his drive to be in the classroom every day, building student connections and guiding classes through complex equations, is as intrinsic to him as the beat of his heart or the color of his eyes.

“Teaching is not what I do,” he said.  “It’s who I am.”

This kind of dedication to teaching is among the reasons Clyde was announced Tuesday as Canyons District’s 2024 Teacher of the Year.  He received the honor at an evening ceremony at Butler Middle School. 

After his name was announced as the overall winner, his children rushed to the stage to give him a hug. They sat on his lap while he received a standing ovation. 

As the District’s top teacher for the year, he received a $1,000 cash prize from the Canyons Education Foundation, as well as other gifts and donations.  He also will be Canyons’ representative in the 2025 Utah Teacher of the Year selection process, which is part of the National Teacher of the Year competition.

“We have some amazing teachers at Alta, and he is one of many,” says Alta Principal Ken Rowley. “He does a great job, particularly with our math department. You can see he loves his students. It’s all about relationships, and he’s not just a math teacher. Being a teacher is who he is.”

Clyde was one of three finalists for the award. Others included Park Lane’s Jamie McDonald and Eastmont Middle’s Stephanie Davis. They both received $500 from the Foundation, which secured the funds through the Cyprus Credit Union.

In all, the Canyons Education Foundation contributed some $30,000 for the CSD’s Teacher of the Year program, which culminated in Tuesday’s ceremony and red-carpet reception.

This year’s top teachers from each school and program also will receive two free tickets to the June 1 Real Salt Lake game and will be recognized the field at half-time. Discount tickets will be available to families for the game, which is Canyons District Night at America First Field. 

Clyde is lauded as an innovative math teacher who eschews traditional lectures with hands-on lessons in small groups or on whiteboards tacked to the classroom walls. He also serves as Alta’s mathematics department chair and coaches the Math Modeling Team, which is currently ranked as one of the best in the world.

“This is a moment in the sun,” says Clyde about being named as Canyons’ Teacher of the Year.  “It’s meaningful and there is some satisfaction in knowing what I do matters.”

For 15 years, Canyons has celebrated educators through a Teacher of the Year selection process that begins with a month-long nomination process. Students, parents, and employees are encouraged to submit nominations for teachers who deserve accolades. From those nominations, each CSD school and program picks one teacher to be honored and join the field of teachers to be considered for that year’s District award. 

All Canyons school and program Teachers of the Year received gifts and prizes, including a $250 cash card, from the CSD Foundation.

After a review of the student-achievement data, site visits, and classroom observations, the list is pared to three finalists — one from the elementary level, one from the middle schools, and one from the high schools.  From those three, an overall winner is picked.

This year, CSD received a record 5,000 nominations, an increase from last year’s tally of some 3,000 nominations. 

At the event on Tuesday, each school-based Teacher of the Year was recognized and presented with an award from the Canyons Board of Education.  Snippets from the nominations were shared about each honored teacher. 

“It’s meaningful to hear some of the testimonies about all the other teachers, all of these people who love kids like I do,” said Clyde, whose wife, Anne, also is an educator in CSD.  “The world we live in is crazy sometimes, but kids don’t know that. They need people to love them, I hope fellow teachers never forget that.”

The Canyons Board of Education and Administration also presented two new awards this year.  CSD’s first-ever Preschool Teacher of the Year is Sandy Elementary’s Kristen Stevenson.  The inaugural Instructional Coach of the Year is Glacier Hills’ Jeny Wariner.

“Teachers are the foundation of any community’s efforts to ensure children grow and learn,” says Board of Education President Amber Shill. “Words cannot adequately express the gratitude we have for the wonderful work (our teachers) are doing.” 

Canyons District 2024 Teacher of the Year

Kevin Clyde, Alta High

District Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • High School: Kevin Clyde, Alta High
  • Middle School: Stephanie Davis, Eastmont Middle
  • Elementary School: Jamie McDonald, Park Lane Elementary

District Teacher of the Year Semifinalists

  • Jamie McDonald, Park Lane Elementary
  • Patrice Rogers, Midvalley Elementary
  • Sam Madej, Quail Hollow Elementary
  • Stephanie Davis, Eastmont Middle
  • Austin Giove, Canyons Technical Education Center
  • Kevin Clyde, Alta High

To see more photos from the 15th annual Teacher of the Year awards, click here

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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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