Seven students from Hillcrest, Jordan and Corner Canyon high schools were selected to perform with the Utah Symphony in its All-Star Evening concert Tuesday, May 20, 2014. This exceptional honor recognizing outstanding performance in music was extended to the following students:

·         Nathan Guertler, Hillcrest, cello

·         Mason Short, Hillcrest, horn

·         Melissa Ylst, Corner Canyon, flute

·         Marin Russell, Jordan, bass

·         CJ Hellige, Hillcrest, tuba

·         Spencer Day, Jordan, violin

·         Rachel Batty, Jordan, violin.

Congratulations to these students for their outstanding accomplishments.
For anyone wondering how to go to the college of their dreams or land the perfect job, Lori Jones, Canyons District’s Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Coordinator, has some words of wisdom for you.

“I want them to look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn, and make sure they take hard classes that make them think. (Students) should go the extra mile by exploring and learning everything they can about the career of their dreams, and the college of their dreams,” Jones said.

Jones has been named the Utah Technology Council’s Educator of the Year. She was selected for the prestigious award for her efforts to connect school counselors with industry representatives and improve career opportunities for students. She also was noted for her efforts to give counselors the training and resources they need to have the most cutting-edge information about the job market available for students. For the last two years, Jones focused on bringing industry executives, mostly from engineering and high-tech jobs, to meet with the counselors at the annual Wasatch Front Counselor Fair to make sure their knowledge was up to date.

“It’s important to have continual training as to what are the high-paying jobs and what skills (employees) are looking for,” Jones says. “Our hope is to help students understand what is going on in the world of work and why they need to take rigorous classes and pursue post-secondary options.”

In addition to meeting with school counselors, Jones says students should meet with their school’s work-based learning specialist and participate in job-shadow events and visit colleges to be more educated about their choices in life.

Jones herself has held a variety of jobs in education over the course of her 28-year career. She taught fourth grade, seventh grade, and ninth grade, and worked as a middle school counselor and high school counselor specialist before becoming Canyons’ Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Coordinator­ — but she’s far from being finished. Next school year, Jones will serve as principal of CSD’s Sprucewood Elementary School. She will replace Garth Anderson, who is retiring.
Hillcrest High's auditorium has been reinvented as skate park for the flashy arrival of "Starlight Express," the rock musical by Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

Hillcrest is the first high school in Utah to stage the ambitious show, which is about toy trains that spring to life through a child’s imagination. Throughout the production, which features elaborate costumes leased from the Tuacahn Center for the Arts, audiences will be surrounded by racing “trains” of student performers on rollerskates, Heelys and skateboards. Students even do back flips from a giant half pipe on the stage. 

Teacher Josh Long says the 32-student cast, made up of students in the school's Production Company, has spent nearly a year taking trips to local skate parks and roller rinks in preparation for the rigors of this production. It’s certainly not easy for teen actors to recite lines, sing and dance in front of packed houses. It’s doubly difficult while on skates.

A handful of student performers in “Starlight Express” became accustomed to performing on skates during this fall’s “The Wiz.” Cast members appeared as the “flying monkeys” so they could get used to careening down aisles and across the stage. 

“They are still falling all over the place,” Long said with a laugh during a recent rehearsal. “The big thing we have been focusing on in all our shows is to push ourselves and to do things that are scary … It’s made the kids understand that they can do hard things.” 

Junior Austin Blake, cast as Tank, has taken about a dozen rough tumbles while rehearsing. He says he’s glad his costume “has a lot of padding.” Blake says he started skating last spring when he was accepted by audition into the Production Company and learned that a ride on the “Starlight Express” was in his not-so-distant future.

Other recent Hillcrest productions, such as the two-night, six-hour “Nicholas Nickleby,” have been mentally challenging, he says. This part, as a black leather-clad, roller-skating gang member, is physically demanding, he says.  

“Once you get over the fear,” he says about his rapid-pace role, “you just keep doing it and doing it. Eventually, you get it.” 

“Starlight Express” will play Thursday through Saturday, May 15-17. Tickets are being sold in the Main Office. Cost is $10 for reserved premium seating and $8 for general admission. The doors will open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7 p.m.
each night of the show.

Call Hillcrest at 801-826-6000 for information.
Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were ratified by the Board of Education on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. 

“We are excited about these appointees,” said Interim Superintendent Ginger Rhode. “We had strong candidates, and we are thrilled to have these people in their new positions.”

The following have accepted new administrative roles in Canyons District schools and District Offices:

Sally Sansom, now serving as Principal of East Midvale Elementary, will become the Human Resources Administrator for Elementary Schools. She replaces Susan Callister, who is retiring.

Alice Peck, currently Principal of Oakdale Elementary, will become Principal of East Midvale.

Kierstin Draper, an Administrative Intern at Alta High who has a strong elementary background, will become Principal of Oakdale Elementary.

Marianne Yule, who currently is the Administrative Intern at Willow Springs Elementary, will become Principal at Willow Springs. She replaces Sharyle Karren, who is retiring.

Cindy Hanson, who is the Administrative Intern at Brighton High, will become Assistant Principal at Brighton High. She replaces Larry Odom, who is retiring.

Tifny Iacona, who is the Administrative Intern at Midvale Elementary, will become an Assistant Principal at Jordan Valley and Canyons Transition Academy.  

Lori Jones, currently the District’s Coordinator of Comprehensive Guidance Counseling, will become Principal of Sprucewood Elementary.  She replaces Garth Anderson, who is retiring.

Cathy Schino, now serving as Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle, will become Principal of Edgemont Elementary. She replaces Karen Kezarian, who is retiring.

Karen Fairhurst, who is now serving as the Achievement Coach at Hillcrest High, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.

The Canyons Board of Education recognizes and appreciates the contributions of the men and women who have dedicated decades of service in our schools. 

As the school year draws to a close, the District pays tribute to the achievements of the educators and education support professionals whose careers are coming to a close. In all, CSD retiring employees have contributed more than 1,400 years of service to our schools and communities.  

Canyons’ retirees, including Interim Superintendent Ginger Rhode, have worked tirelessly to ensure the best possible education for our community’s children, said Sherril H. Taylor, President of the Canyons Board of Education.

“Whether you have worked in school classrooms, school buses or school grounds, all of you have worked to help children, and help build a better tomorrow,” Taylor told the retirees and their guests at the Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Retirees Banquet. “Our schools will continue to grow stronger — all because of the power of the gifts you have shared.”

Taylor also presented Dr. Rhode a gift from the Board of Education. 

“Dr. Rhode holds a very special place in Canyons District history,” he said. “She was one of the founding administrators of the District, put together one of the strongest academic teams in the country, and served as the main architect of our academic plan, which resulted in the state’s first-ever college- and career-ready high school diplomas.”
Open Houses to honor retirees are being held throughout the District.

To post information about Retiree Open Houses on the site, please send an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  In the e-mail, please include the name of the retiree and the place, date and time of the reception. -
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