It takes a small army to run a school, from first-rate principals, exemplary educators, and busy bus drivers to top-rate lunch and custodial staff, technology experts and financial wizards — not to mention scores of classroom volunteers.

Only through the combined knowledge and skill of these champions of public education do Canyons District schools succeed, and there’s a way to recognize them for their good work: The Apex Awards, the highest awards that are bestowed by the Board of Education and Administration.

This will be the eighth year CSD has honored outstanding educators, administrators and community supporters with Apex Awards at a by-invitation-only event held in the fall.
Winners are nominated by the public and chosen by the Board and Administration. Nominations are open now through June 30, 2017.

Apex Award categories are:
  • Teacher of the Year  
  • School Administrator of the Year
  • District Administrator of the Year
  • Business Partner of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Elected Official of the Year
  • Student Support Services Professional of the Year
  • Education Support Professional of the Year
  • Legacy Award
Nominations can be submitted for all categories except Teacher of the Year, which is chosen each spring. This year’s District’s Teacher of the Year will be announced by the Board of Education on Tuesday, April 25.

Questions? Call Jeff Haney or Kirsten Stewart in the Office of Public Communications at 801-826-5084 or 801-826-5050 or send a note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Use this easy-to-use online tool to read more about the categories and to submit nominations.
They go out of their way to make students feel special. They recognize and encourage greatness in children. They give of their free time to support teachers. They find resources for schools, forge creative paths around big problems, and have worked shoulder-to-shoulder to build Canyons into the school district it is today.

For their countless contributions, these inspiring individuals were named Canyons School District's 2016 Apex Award winners, the highest honor given by the Board of Education and CSD administration.

Celebrated at a by-invitation-only evening event were: Gretchen Murray, who was named a runner-up in the state Teacher of the Year contest and selected as Canyons Teacher of the Year; Corner Canyon High's first principal Mary Bailey, who was selected as School Administrator of the Year; CSD's District Administrator of the Year Mike Sirois, who helped reconfigure CSD's middle schools and bring teachers out of isolation to work as teams; Judy Ward, the beloved and nurturing nutrition clerk at Lone Peak Elementary, who was selected as Education Support Professional of the Year; Katie Blunt, a driving force behind the success of Canyons Education Technology wizards, who was chosen to receive the Student Support Services Professional of the Year award; Ron Konnick, Sunrise Elementary's 'resident grandpa', who won the Volunteer of the Year award; Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, who champions education for homeless children, and was selected as Canyons' Elected Official of the Year; Valley Behavioral Health, which provides aid and care to students in crisis and was chosen to receive the Community Partner of the Year award; and Jennifer Toomer-Cook and Jeffrey Haney, the first communications team of Canyons District, who were chosen to receive the Legacy Award.

To see video profiles of the award-winners, click on the links above. Congratulations to all of the honorees, and thank you for all you do to provide a world-class education for CSD's students. 


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  • Is the assistant principal at your child’s school simply stellar? Do you see a volunteer in the PTA who needs a public pat on the back? Has a counselor made a difference in your child’s wellness? There’s a way to cast the spotlight on the good work and exemplary dedication that is seen every day in every corner of Canyons District: The Apex Awards, the highest awards that are bestowed by the Board of Education and Administration. 

    The Apex Awards are given each fall to educators, employees, local elected officials, corporate partners, community leaders and volunteers at a by-invitation-only event.  This will be the seventh year CSD has honored outstanding educators, administrators and community supporters with Apex Awards. 

    Apex Award categories are: 
    • Teacher of the Year  
    • School Administrator of the Year
    • District Administrator of the Year
    • Business Partner of the Year
    • Volunteer of the Year
    • Elected Official of the Year
    • Student Support Services Professional of the Year
    • Education Support Professional of the Year
    • Legacy Award
    Use this easy-to-use online tool to read more about the categories and to submit nominations. Nominations can be submitted until July 31, 2016. 

    Nominations for Apex Awards can be submitted for all categories except Teacher of the Year. The District’s Teacher of the Year is selected in the spring and is CSD’s nominee in the state Teacher of the Year competition. This year's winner will be announced Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30.  The Board of Education invites the community to the event, to be held in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building, 9361 S. 300 East. 

    Questions? Call Jeff Haney or Kirsten Stewart in the Office of Public Communications at 801-826-5084 or 801-826-5050 or send a note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    A bright-as-sunshine secretary, Hillcrest’s just-retired principal and high school counselors who epitomize what it means to be “Husky Strong,” and a charismatic mayor who inspired residents to support the creation of a new and nimble school district were among the honorees at the 2015 Canyons Apex Awards.

    The Canyons Board of Education presented awards in nine categories at the event, which is held each year to celebrate the excellence and dedication of CSD educators, employees and community partners. The by-invitation-only banquet and ceremony was Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 at The Gathering Place at Gardner Village. 

    “We host this event every year to pay tribute to those in our community who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we have worked to provide a world-class education to our children,” said Sherril H. Taylor, President of the Board of Education.  “We have reached out to many people in this endeavor, and we have not been disappointed in their willingness to respond, roll up their sleeves, and go to work.”

    Apex Award winners are selected by the seven members of the Board of Education and Canyons Superintendent Jim Briscoe after a months-long public-nomination process.  Nominations for Apex Awards can be submitted for all categories except the Apex Award for Teacher of the Year. The District’s Teacher of the Year is selected in the spring and was CSD’s nominee in the state Teacher of the Year competition. This year’s winner is Matt Leininger, a physics teacher at Alta High.

    Other winners in the sixth-annual awards are: 

    District Administrator of the Year

    Jeff Murry, Director, Technology Development

    School Administrator of the Year

    Sue Malone, Principal, Hillcrest High

    Education Support Professional of the Year

    Marilyn Gulbransen, Front Office staff, Sunrise Elementary

    Student Support Services Professional of the Year

    Hillcrest High Counseling Center

    Volunteer of the Year

    Betty Shaw, Director, Region 17 PTA

    Elected Official of the Year

    Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy

    Business Partner of the Year

    Jordan Credit Union 

    Legacy Award

    Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan


    The Legacy Award is the top honor given by the Board and Administration. It is reserved for those whose personal and professional actions serve to inspire the Canyons community. The individual chosen for this award is known for a pioneering spirit, dedication to excellence, and lengthy commitment to civil public engagement. Previous winners include former Jordan District Superintendent Barry Newbold, former Canyons Superintendents David Doty and Ginger Rhode, and CSD’s homeless-student liaison Connie Crosby.

    See our Facebook page for a photo album of the event.

    Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:00

    Apex Award Nominations 2014

    Each fall, Canyons District gives Apex Awards to educators, employees, local elected officials, corporate partners, community 
    leaders and volunteers at a by-invitation-only event. This will be the fourth year CSD has honored outstanding educators, administrators and community supporters with Apex Awards.

    Apex Award categories are: 
    •   Teacher of the Year 
    •   School Administrator of the Year
    •   District Administrator of the Year
    •   Business Partner of the Year
    •   Volunteer of the Year
    •   Elected Official of the Year
    •   Education Support Professional of the Year
    •   Legacy Award
    Use this easy-to-use online tool to read more about the categories and to submit nominations.

    Nominations for Apex Awards can be submitted for all categories except Teacher of the Year. Our Teacher of the Year is selected in the spring and is CSD’s nominee in the state Teacher of the Year competition.

    Videos of previous winners can be accessed on our YouTube channel. 

    Questions? Call Jeff Haney in the Office of Public Communications at 801-826-5084 or send a note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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