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Not His First Rodeo: This Alta High Graduate Takes Life By The Horns

Years of practice, bumps and bruises, and a load of nervous jitters culminate in eight short seconds the moment you climb atop a thousand-pound bull and nod to set him loose in an arena of cheering fans. That’s assuming you manage to stay atop the bull for eight seconds, the time limit for a qualifying ride — and there are plenty of times Alta High graduate Tairel Hardman came up shy of that mark.

But there are also times when he hit the mark and walked away with some shiny hardware to prove it. Turns out, getting up and trying again is a powerful teacher.

“[Bull riding] is teaching me a good mindset, to stay active, stay physical,” Hardman says, “I feel like they’re good life lessons, so if I make mistakes in life, I can look back and say, ‘here’s where I messed up, this is what I can do to improve.’”

Working hard was a value he internalized early. While he rode sheep, mutton busting, when he was younger, he never thought he would want to ride a bull…until, one day, he did. “My first bull’s name was Ford Henry, I got bucked off instantly, but I’ve learned things from it that I haven’t with other sports I’ve played in the past,” Hardman said.

Staff and faculty at Alta say Hardman loves working with his hands and is an assertive, self-advocate. He has excelled in multiple career and technical education and art courses, having completed the Canyons Technical Education Center welding program this year.  

He aspires to a professional bull rider and has considered careers in law enforcement or landscaping.

Looking back on his years at Alta High, Hardman says he’s made real connections with adults whose influence has meant a great deal to him. “Officer Colton, our school resource officer, he supports that I ride bulls, so we talk about that a lot. My counselor and advisory teacher have been awesome, Mr. White and Ms. Marty,” he says.

He’ll carry with him plenty of great memories, and life lessons. The Hawks’ Class of 2024 has been through a lot, from the pandemic and new digital modes of learning to the rebuild of their campus. “It was weird and once [the pandemic] kind of died down things went back to normal. I definitely feel like it got harder but I also think I enjoyed my junior and senior year the most,” he says. “They were more relaxed, great people, great times, and great memories. I feel like working hard and achieving is something to be proud of just in general.”

Hardman says no matter how stressful life and school can be, next year’s seniors and should never give up. “Whether you’re at school, whether you’re doing a sport, or just home life, just keep going,” he says, “because once you get to where I am now, or where you will be, it feels like you can just feel all the weight off of your shoulders. It’s a good feeling.”

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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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