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Peak performances: Canyons District honors 2022 Apex Awards winners

Continuing a cherished tradition, the best of the best in Canyons School District were honored with 2022 Apex Awards on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Midvale Middle.

The 13th annual event featured award presentations for this year’s well-deserving winners in nine categories, special performances by talented performing arts students from Canyons high schools, a red-carpet entry walk, a fun reception, a whole lot of smiles, and some eye-moistening emotional moments.

More than 200 people attended the celebration, creating a vibrant atmosphere befitting the highest honors given by the Canyons Board of Education and Administration.

During her opening remarks, Board of Education President Nancy Tingey marveled at the honorees and their contributions to education, thanked those in attendance, and noted that we are already two months into the 14th academic year in Canyons District.

“On July 1, 2009, Canyons District began this historic journey of working to build a world-class school district for our community,” Tingey said. “This year’s winners of the Apex Awards certainly have helped the District towards that goal and we are so glad they are part of the Canyons District family.

“We’ve all been touched by our community’s commitment to the success of our schools. This celebration tonight is a continuation of the tradition of community engagement that was established in our early years. It is our way of extending our heartfelt appreciation for that tireless dedication.”

Student Services Department Program Administrator BJ Weller’s presence was one of the many highlights of the evening. Weller, who attended with his wife, Becky, and a son, recently underwent a painstaking surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Weller earned a 2022 Apex Award for District Administrator of the Year.

Canyons also warmly welcomed back retired Rick Conger for the special occasion. As CSD’s first Director of Facilities Services, Conger, the well-deserved Legacy Award winner, the highest honor given in CSD, spearheaded the Board of Education’s ambitious plan that called for the renovation or construction of nearly 20 schools in the first 15 years of the District’s operations.

Even in the twilight of his career, and in the shadow of the pandemic that required his staff to work smarter and harder to maintain sanitary schools, Conger never rested, never wavered in his dedication, and never allowed his kind demeanor to dim.

While also overseeing landscaping and custodial services for one of Utah’s largest districts, Conger, who retired in spring 2022, served as the main liaison between CSD and the contractors who endeavored on more than $500 million in new construction. That wasn’t all: Conger also oversaw the thousands of small-capital and regular maintenance projects that add shine and sparkle to the facilities that safely house Canyons’ 34,000 students and 6,000 employees.

The 2022 Apex Winners:

  • Teacher of the Year: Katie Tinoco, Draper Elementary
  • School Administrators of the Year: Altara Principal Nicole Svee Magann, Peruvian Park Elementary Principal Leslie Jewkes, and Glacier Hills Elementary Principal Julie Winfree
  • District Administrators of the Year: School Performance Director Dr. McKay Robinson and Student Services Department Program Administrator BJ Weller
  • Education Support Professionals of the Year:  Mark Ward, Lone Peak Elementary assistant facility manager and Fano Tagovailoa, Draper Elementary assistant facility manager
  • Student Support Services Professionals of the Year: Title I Community School Facilitators
  • Elected Official of the Year: Rep. Susan Pulsipher
  • Business/Community Partner of the Year: Jordan Credit Union
  • Volunteer of the Year: Ridgecrest volunteer Marci Cardon
  • Legacy Award: Retired Facilities Director Rick Conger

Winners, who are selected after a public-nomination process, receive a lead crystal commemorative award from the Board and the Administration.

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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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