Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Trojan Math Teacher Extraordinaire Named CSD’s 2023 Teacher of the Year

Maxwell Eddington learned an invaluable lesson from a dear relative earlier in life that continues to impact him and those whose lives he positively influences as an eighth-grade mathematics teacher at Midvale Middle School.

“My great-grandma used to say, ‘Love is the answer — and now what was the question?’” Eddington recalled. “That’s been my personal mantra the whole time I’ve been a teacher. No matter what I’m doing, whether it’s a lesson or a conversation with a student, I need to make sure that everybody in the room knows that I care about them so that what I say has meaning. This is something that I care just so deeply about.”

If only great-grandma could see her wisdom in action years later.

Eddington, whose empathetic approach and heartfelt concern for students forms a solid foundation for relationships and learning, was announced on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 as the 2023 Canyons School District Teacher of the Year. 

“Congratulations, Mr. Eddington!” one of his students said in a video played during the Teacher of the Year celebration event at Hillcrest High. “You made math my favorite subject and I just want to say, ‘Thank you.’”

Eddington, an exceptional educator who helps students believe in themselves and their ability to do math, will represent the 33,000-student District in the annual Utah Teacher of the Year section process, which is part of the National Teacher of the Year program.

“ I think the thing that makes Max such an amazing teacher is his ability to connect and care genuinely about students,” Midvale Middle Principal Mindy Robison said. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a teacher that has the ability that he has to connect with students, make them feel safe and valued, but most of all, they enjoy math.

“They need someone that really genuinely believes in them, and he does.”

That love was reciprocated in the nomination process for Teacher of the Year. Twenty-plus students wrote a recommendation for Midvale Middle’s popular, respected and effective math teacher.

The teens credit him for making math interesting and a class they look forward to attending even though some have never liked the subject; for teaching in a unique, fun, creative, and understandable way; for helping students feel comfortable; and for making sure they know he cares regardless of their behavior or the situation.

“He loves his job and what he does,” one student wrote. “He does all that he can to help and love everyone in the school. He’s the reason so many kids succeed in math and schooling, in general.”

Another student shared this message: “I think you are the best teacher because you’re so nice and you help every single student, every day, and everybody likes you.”

Eddington received a $1,000 cash prize from the Canyons Education Foundation for being named the District’s overall winner.

Like the 45 other Teachers of the Year representing Canyons’ schools and programs, he received a gift bag full of donated prizes worth more than $400, including a $250 cash prize, along with tickets to an upcoming Real Salt Lake game and an inscribed crystal award from the Board of Education.

Hillcrest High science teacher Tasha Jensen and East Midvale Elementary second-grade teacher Rachel Teasley earned runner-up honors, the District also announced during the annual Teacher of the Year ceremony at Hillcrest High. Jensen and Teasley each won $500 cash prizes from the Foundation.

Seven CSD Teacher of the Year semifinalists, including Eddington, Jensen and Teasley, were selected from nearly 3,000 nominations that were submitted during the public-nomination process.

Other semifinalists included Silver Mesa Elementary’s Sarah Smith, Sprucewood Elementary’s Jennifer Dean, Indian Hills Middle’s Andrew Robbins, and Corner Canyon High’s Jana White.

Colleagues and administrators are in awe of Eddington’s abilities, collaboration, problem-solving, insight, and support. Principal Robison enjoyed reading the students’ nominations.

“I used to teach math, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t remember eighth-graders ever being excited to go to math,’” Robison said. “More than anything, they do it for him because of that relationship that he builds with them.”

She also admires how he empowers and teaches students. 

“Hey, Max, I feel so fortunate to get to learn and grow when I’m around you. I know that you are one of the best teachers I’ve ever seen,” Robison told Eddington in a video message. “I know you’re humble and you have taken this all in stride, but the reality is you are a phenomenal teacher who is loved by our entire school, but especially the students that you teach each day.”

True to his character, Eddington’s reaction to the award was humble and heartfelt.

“This is such an extraordinary place to work and is full of so many amazing educators. I honestly have imposter syndrome about it,” Eddington said. “It’s extremely validating. It makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing with my life and that I’m doing a good job.”

Many students and fellow educators can vouch to that being the case.

“Students are so incredible. They’re so complex and interesting and funny, and there’s just never a boring day. Being a teacher is never boring, and I really love that,” Eddington added. “I love coming home from work knowing that I’ve done something more than just earn money. It feels like a calling. It gives purpose to my life. I don’t think a lot of people can say that about their jobs, and that makes me feel really lucky.”

At Hillcrest, Jensen hasn’t skipped a beat since returning to the classroom after taking a couple of years off. Students thrive thanks to her approach to teaching science.

“She instantly jumped back in and has changed lives,” an impressed colleague said. “She is one of the most thorough and well-prepared teachers I know and loves her students.”

Remarkably, East Midvale’s entire school adopted the spreadsheet Teasley designed to monitor her second-grade students’ typical growth in reading and math. She helps children from a wide variety of backgrounds, including refugees, succeed at learning and life.

In the words of a colleague, “Rachel is incredibly passionate and thoughtful with her students and co-workers.”

2023 CSD Teacher of the Year Awards

District Teacher of the Year

Maxwell Eddington, Midvale Middle

District Teacher of the Year Finalists

High School: Tasha Jensen, Hillcrest High

Middle School: Maxwell Eddington, Midvale Middle

Elementary School: Rachel Teasley, East Midvale Elementary

District Teacher of the Year Semifinalists

Jennifer Dean, Sprucewood Elementary

Maxwell Eddington, Midvale Middle

Tasha Jensen, Hillcrest High

Andrea Robbins, Indian Hills Middle

Sarah Smith, Silver Mesa Elementary

Rachel Teasley, East Midvale Elementary

Jana White, Corner Canyon High

Missed the event? Watch the recording below.

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Board Meeting Schedule

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that the Board of Education for Canyons School District will hold a regular study session and public business meeting at the Canyons District Office building, 9361 S. 300 E., Sandy, UT each month unless otherwise posted. The Board may determine to conduct some business during a study session. All business meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. unless changed by the Board and appropriately posted for the public.

Please note that ALL DATES, TIMES and LOCATIONS listed on this scheduled are TENTATIVE and are subject to change at any time.  Please check this schedule often to be informed of any changes.

Unless otherwise specified, all meetings in the schedule below will take place as the Canyons District Office located at 9361 S. 300 E. in Sandy, Utah.

District Leaders

Dr. Rick Robins


Dr. Rick L. Robins is the superintendent of Canyons School District. Dr. Robins, who was selected by the Canyons Board of Education after a national search, brings 24 years of experience as an educator to his role as the chief executive officer of Utah’s fifth-largest school district. Prior to joining Canyons, Dr. Robins, who earned an Ed.D. from the University of Las Vegas, for six years was Superintendent of the Juab School District, based in Nephi, Utah. While there, Dr. Robins, who also was the Juab High School Principal from 2009-2013, helped oversee efforts to improve the district’s graduation rate to 97 percent, a double-digit increase over a 10-year period. Other innovations he led in Juab included a partnership with Arizona State University for blended-learning opportunities; the launch of a districtwide competency-based personalized learning model driven by a 1:1 technology initiative and standards-based reporting system; and the construction of the STEM-focused West Campus Innovations Center, funded largely through private and corporate sponsorships. Dr. Robins began his career as a history teacher at Copper Hills High in the Jordan School District and has worked as an assistant principal and principal in the Alpine, Nebo and Juab school districts. He was the 2012 Utah High School Principal of the Year for the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2014 earned the Lexington Institute Superintendent Fellowship Award presented to innovative superintendents across the country. Dr. Robins was starting quarterback for the football team at Southern Utah University Thunderbirds from 1991-1995, and in 2013 was inducted into SUU’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He has four children and one grandchild.

Leon Wilcox

Business Administrator and CFO

Leon Wilcox is a seasoned professional with 20 years of governmental accounting experience, with an emphasis on financial reporting, budgeting, and auditing. As Canyons District’ Director of Accounting from 2009-2013, Wilcox was intricately involved with the 2009 division of $1.5 billion in assets of the former Jordan School District, and was responsible for establishing Canyons’ original and subsequent budgets. Wilcox, a certified public accountant who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Utah State University, also has worked nine years in the Granite School District and six years in the State Auditor’s Office.

Supervises:  Accounting and Budget Services, Facilities and Maintenance, Insurance, New Construction Budget, Nutrition Services, Purchasing, Payroll

Dr. Robert M. Dowdle

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance

Robert Dowdle has a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah, and more than 31 years of experience as a teacher and educational leader. He began his career at Mount Jordan Middle School, where he taught Earth Science, English and Social Studies. He later taught Advanced Placement Economics, U.S. History and World History at Bingham High School, and served as Principal of Jordan High School and Assistant Principal for Alta High School and Brighton High School. Dowdle has served in the District office for 11 years as Assistant Superintendent. This role has included various leadership responsibilities, including Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Dowdle currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance.

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!

Specialty Schools

High Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

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