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CSD Honors the Life, Legacy of Board of Education member Mont L. Millerberg

Canyons District is mourning the sudden passing of a dedicated public servant, committed community leader, and fierce advocate of Midvale-area schools. 

Canyons Board of Education Vice President Mont L. Millerberg died Friday. He had been hospitalized since Feb. 18 when he suffered a stroke. Despite the valiant efforts of doctors and specialists, Millerberg did not recover. 

Millerberg, 74, was surrounded by loved ones at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Kristine, six children, and 16 grandchildren.  The family was set to welcome another granddaughter in March. 

The Midvale native made history when he was elected in 2008 to the first-ever Canyons Board of Education, which had the responsibility of overseeing the fledgling years of the first new school district to be created in Utah in nearly a century. 

The work of Millerberg and other members of the inaugural Board of Education set the course for Canyons, which quickly became a state leader in advancing student achievement, encouraging innovation, promoting community engagement, and providing top-notch customer service to the public. The inaugural Board’s major tasks included hiring CSD’s first Superintendent and Business Administrator and approving the appointments of the “start-up team” of administrators who had less than a year to lay the foundation for CSD’s primary days. 

Millerberg, a proud graduate of Hillcrest High, was re-elected to the Board of Education in November 2016 and again in 2020 to represent District No. 1, which covers mostly schools in Midvale City. In addition, Millerberg was instrumental in launching the Canyons Education Foundation, the fundraising arm of the District.

“In the midst of grief at the loss of our friend and colleague, we also honor the legacy Mont Millerberg has left as a founding father of Canyons District. Generations of children, especially in the Midvale area, will benefit from his vision of education in our community,” said Board of Education President Amber Shill. “Mont was plain-spoken yet outspoken, firm yet kind, and serious about the responsibility of his elected office, but wise enough to know when laughter was needed to ease a tense moment. His presence will be missed by all those who knew him, and I will always cherish the memories we made together on the Board of Education.” 

Millerberg was a hands-on and visible leader, regularly visiting schools and attending near-daily meetings at the District Office. He was a fixture at Hillcrest athletic events, cheering for the Huskies from the stands, and rarely missed a Hillcrest theater-arts production. Mlllerberg often volunteered to smoke meat for employee barbecues or cook hot dogs at back-to-school nights. 

Millerberg’s advocacy of the schools in his beloved Midvale City — where he grew up and lived until his passing — is among the reasons nearly every Midvale-area school has been rebuilt or renovated in the past 14 years. When CSD voters approved a $250 million general obligation bond measure in 2010, he led the charge to ensure Midvale Elementary was the first CSD elementary to be rebuilt with bond funds. Since that time, Canyons has rebuilt or completed renovation projects at Hillcrest High, Midvale and Union middle schools, and MIdvalley and East Midvale elementary schools. In all, during Millerberg’s time on the Board, CSD has invested $270 million, or roughly 35 percent, of its bond money on improvements for Midvale-area schools.

Millerberg valued teachers and was known to say “the magic of education happens in the classroom.” In 2019, Millerberg voted with other Board members to give every CSD teacher at double-digit salary increase and boost a starting-teacher’s salary to $50,000, making Canyons one of the highest-paying districts in Utah. 

Board of Education Co-Vice President Amanda Oaks praised Millerberg’s unflagging commitment to ensuring the children of Midvale, where the majority of CSD’s Title I schools are located, have access to life-changing services. His commitment to strengthening educational access for refugee and homeless families in Midvale was akin to a humanitarian mission, Oaks says.  

“With all his skills and talents, he could have done anything in his retirement. Instead, he chose to spend his time fully engaged in public service and worked especially hard for the populations of his community who needed a person of his strength and caliber to represent their interests,” Oaks said.  “It’s humbling and inspiring to think of all of children whose lives have been positively impacted by his work on the Board of Education. He truly fought for the families who may have felt powerless in their circumstances. He was their voice.”

Millerberg, a certified public accountant, was a stickler for the wise expenditure of funds and served on the District’s financial audit committee. His concern for the safety of students also was evident during his time on CSD’s Emergency Management Team, which guides the security initiatives for CSD’s schools and programs.

“Mont Millerberg’s contributions to Canyons School District cannot be overstated. His leadership from our very first days is a reason Canyons is known as a lighthouse district across the state and even the country,” said Canyons Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins. “Beyond the core subjects, Mont cared deeply about making sure our students embraced their civic responsibility and had a working knowledge of our country’s history and founding documents. As a veteran, he wanted students of all ages to have a love of their country, liberty, and our freedoms.”

A viewing will be 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at Hillcrest High, 7350 S. 900 East. Funeral services will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at the LDS Church at 7699 Chad Street, Midvale.

A memorial fund in Millerberg’s name has been set up by the Canyons Education Foundation. All funds raised will go toward fulfilling his legacy of dedicated service to the students and schools in CSD.  Donations to the Millerberg memorial fund can be made at this link:  https://sfnd.io/millerbergmemorialfund

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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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