Students love their ‘awesome’ Canyons District principals — and for good reason

It’s been said that the influence of a great principal can never be erased.

 But don’t just take our word for it. To kick off National Principals Month, we asked students around the District to share what principals mean to them and their schools. Answers ranged from cute to sincere.

Jason Mun, a student body officer at Hillcrest High, described principals as being organizers and intermediaries between teachers and students. “My favorite thing about our principal is that he’s hilarious,” Mun said. “Mr. (Greg) Leavitt is awesome, and he’s constantly thinking of us.” 

Bonus: Mr. Leavitt occasionally buys pizza for students at football games, and has been known to make three-plus-hour drives to watch sporting events.

A young student at Bell View Elementary shared two reasons why she likes Tamra Baker and other principals. “I would say because they keep children safe, and they help people.” Victoria, a fifth-grader, respects principals for being leaders, helpful and friendly.

“Miss Baker’s always really nice,” Victoria said. “She’s always trying to do something new at our school.”

Sunrise’s lead administrator, Dr. Angela Wilkinson, received high marks for being “very nice” and for allowing students to buy fun stuff through a points system. In addition, one student noted, “She helps us out when we’re sad.”

Brighton High student Johnny McFarland credited all of CSD’s principals for caring a lot about different groups of people: students, staff, teachers, and community members.

“They have to pay attention to so many different factors,” he said. “Principals do it all.”

That, McFarland added, includes being aware of everything that goes on, making sure everyone is cared for and happy, listening, and working hard. Those are among reasons why Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood earned a 2021 Canyons Apex Award for being the School Administrator of the Year, and why Alta High Principal Brian McGill was named Utah’s High School Principal of the Year.

“I think principals are really great for schools and the community,” McFarland said. “We really appreciate them.”

Other words students used to describe CSD principals: aware, caring, super strong, resilient, awesome, supportive, engaging, and helpful. The list could go on, too.

“If I could say anything to my principal, it would just be, ‘Thank you,’” Hillcrest student Luke Bangerter said. “He’s such a loving guy. He’s always looking out for us, and he makes it feel like Hillcrest is a big, giant family. … (Principals) help the teachers teach and help the students get to where they need to be — in class and getting your (work) done. They’re amazing.”

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