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CSD Honors Alta View’s Scott Jameson as Utah’s Top Elementary Principal

On an afternoon a few weeks before the end of the school year, the gymnasium at Alta View Elementary pulsated with ear-splitting chants of “Jameson! Jameson! Jameson!”

That was the high-octane response of the Alta View Roadrunners who had gathered to celebrate Principal Scott Jameson for being named the 2022 Utah Elementary School Principal of the Year, an honor presented by the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals.

At the time, Jameson was visibly taken aback by the surprise announcement, which was arranged in secret by the UAESP Board, Canyons District administrators, and Alta View’s faculty and staff.  A few weeks later, while reflecting on the honor, he said it “blew him away” to be selected.

“In some ways, I don’t really like to be the center of attention,” said Jameson, who laughingly recalls that he became an elementary-education major in college as a way to find dates in classes made up largely of women. “There are so many great principals, I ask, ‘Why me?’” 

But the members of the Alta View school community insist Jameson, who has been an educator since graduating from Brigham Young University in 1997, is one of the greats — and they wanted to make sure he received the accolades he deserves. 

Jameson, who last year received the Innovator of the Year Award from the UAESP, knew he was a finalist for this year’s Utah National Utah’s National Distinguished Principal Award, but had decided not to complete the last-step application for the award because, as he says, “I don’t think you should apply for an award for yourself.”

“I looked at the application process, and I just said, ‘I don’t have time for that.’  I was too busy in my building,” he said. “So, I just said, ‘No thanks.’”

His candidacy for the state honor continued without him, however. Alta View staff and School Community Council members believed he had a good chance to win if an application detailing his contributions to Alta View, home of one of CSD’s Spanish-English dual-language immersion programs, could be completed. 

So, unbeknownst to him, they submitted the application on his behalf. 

The assembly to cheer his win also was planned in secret. Canyons District School Performance Director Alice Peck, who was privy to the confidential news about his selection as the state’s top elementary school leader, concocted a reason to keep him in his office while every grade and class spirited to the gymnasium for the surprise announcement.

By that time, the UAESP Board had made their way to the front of the gym with prizes and a banner that heralded his selection.

The students, teachers, staff, and parents waited quietly in the dark. When he walked into the gym – the school staff had asked him to go to the gym to check out why the lights weren’t working in there — the crowd erupted into cheers.

“You are seriously the best,” Jameson said after recovering from the surprise. “I think the reasons that I have opportunities like this is because of people like you: The teachers, students and parents. You are the best.”

Among those who attended the announcement of Jameson as the Utah Elementary Principal of the Year were Jameson’s family, Canyons Board of Education member Steve Wrigley, and Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins. As Utah’s National Distinguished Principal, Jameson will represent the state in Washington, D.C., as the National Association of Elementary School Principals honor top principals from each state.

Jameson, who at one time had set his sights on becoming a pilot, is well-known in many parts of Canyons District. He started his career teaching sixth grade at Ridgecrest Elementary. In CSD, he’s also been principal of Altara Elementary and an assistant principal at Albion Middle. 

To Jameson, the best thing about working in education, especially the Alta View community, “is the people — by far,” he says. 

The keys to building a strong school community can be found in listening and providing honest yet kind feedback, making changes if they can be made, and finding humor in even the most challenging circumstances, he says. 

“I think it’s important to make teachers feel like they are doing better than they thought they were doing,” he said. “It’s important to build a relationship with every person in the building so they feel like they are an important part of the work.” 

In his experience, Jameson says, the majority of parents, teachers, school staff, fellow administrators with whom he’s worked truly are driven by the altruistic desire to help children reach their highest potential.

“The job can be a tough one,” he says. “The rewards are not in money, that’s for sure. They are in the learning and the experiences and the relationships. But that is what makes this truly the best job in the world.”

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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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