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Arnold, Wrigley Honored for Combined 20 Years of Service on CSD Board of Education

Clareen Arnold
Steve Wrigley

Clareen Arnold, known as the “voice of the teacher,” has been a no-nonsense and fierce advocate for educators, but equally tenderhearted and quick to share a smile with anyone who looks like they need one.

Steve Wrigley, dogged in his service, has always willing to consider every perspective. A cheerful face at the end of every long or heated debate, he is a leader in every sense of the word.

Both of these duly-elected members of the Canyons Board of Education have served during some of Canyons’ earliest years, a challenging and rewarding period of growth and change. Both have left a lasting mark, participating in critical budget and policy decisions that will benefit generations of students to come.  They conclude their terms this December after many years of service to the Canyons community — eight for Arnold and 12 for Wrigley.

The Board of Education devoted a portion of its Dec. 13, 2022 meeting to a farewell celebration in tribute to these outstanding leaders. With family members in attendance, Wrigley spoke of what his time on the Board has meant to him personally and for his family.

“The past 12 years have been some of the sweetest and most challenging of my life. I’ve had an opportunity to work alongside the most professional and talented individuals I have ever met. This has truly been a blessing in my life and also a sacrifice for my family,” Wrigley said. “I served on Board for almost one-third of my married life.”

Arnold remarked on how she is forever changed by the experience.

“Eight years ago, I ran for Canyons School Board believing I was going to change everything,” Arnold said. “I have been the one who was changed.”

In truth the 14-year-old District — the first new district to be created in Utah in nearly a century — has been transformed by Arnold’s and Wrigley’s leadership.

Arnold played a major role in the national search for top-tier candidates to serve as Superintendent, leading to the hiring of Dr. Rick Robins as CSD’s fourth-ever chief executive. 

A full-throated champion of teachers, she voted for a tax increase to raise teacher pay and has also advocated for Education Support Professionals, often commenting on how they were the backbone of CSD’s schools.

She has voiced support for vocational-training provided through the Canyons Technical Education Center, and alternative schools, like Diamond Ridge and Entrada high schools, which give pathways to graduation to non-traditional students.  

“I’ve actually seen Clareen in the classroom teaching, and if you think she’s a great Board member, you should see her with kids,” said Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins of her “servant” style leadership and valuable boots-on-the-ground perspective.

Over his three-term tenure, Wrigley has the distinction of serving with every Superintendent ever hired to lead Canyons. 

A fierce advocate for a 2017 bond proposal to modernize schools, he celebrated this year the opening of the new Glacier Hills Elementary and the new Peruvian Park Elementary—school communities Mr. Wrigley has represented with fidelity. 

Double-digit teacher pay increases mark his tenure along with a landmark grade configuration to boost academic achievement by moving ninth-graders to high school and sixth-graders to middle school. This has led to rises in academic achievement, including increased high school graduation rates, which have hovered around 90 percent for several years, including the COVID-19 years.  

Wrigley served multiple terms in Board leadership, including when Canyons schools were in the throes of the pandemic. The Board of Education’s measured and balanced approach to education during this time eventually became the statewide standard for school operations and led to minimal drops in achievement. 

A consistent presence at school and District events, he has missed just one Board meeting of the 288 during his tenure.

Even in the heat of the COVID-19 health crisis, Wrigley was “always looking forward and asking, ‘What are our next steps? When are we going to get to the Strategic Plan? What’s the gameplan for the next 5, 10, or 15 years?’” Robins recalls of his forward-thinking mentorship.

It’s been said that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. In the time they have served on the Board, Arnold and Wrigley have taken the special light that makes them such amazing individuals and have shared it with so many others.

In their honor, we share a few highlights from their years of service:

  • Double-digit increases in teacher pay
  • The passage of a voter-approved bond to pay for school safety upgrades in every corner of the District
  • The birth of CSD’s alternative high school, Diamond Ridge
  • The creation of the new Glacier Hills Elementary
  • The launch of CSD’s dual language immersion programs
  • Step2theU partnerships through which students can take college classes for college credit while in high school
  • Soaring graduation rates and year-end test scores that surpass the state average by double digits
  • The hiring of two of Canyons’ Superintendents

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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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