Canyons District student-athletes are acing tests, quizzes and homework while also scoring big on the playing field.

In addition to the four state championship trophies won already this year in Utah High School Activities Association-sanctioned sports, 26 students from all five of Canyons District’s traditional, comprehensive high schools have earned Academic All-State Honors in fall sports. 

The UHSAA selects students on the basis of their athletic ability and academic proficiency.  

Boys Golf
  • Dylan Ricord — Alta High
Girls Tennis
  • Emilee Astle — Alta High
  • Elizabeth Simmons — Corner Canyon High 
  • Madison Lawlor —  Jordan
Girls Cross Country
  • Emily Liddiard — Hillcrest High
  • Ellie Anderson — Brighton High
  • Karlie Branch — Corner Canyon High
  • McKayla Kimball — Corner Canyon High
Girls Soccer
  • Megan Munger — Brighton High
  • Amelia Munson — Brighton High
  • Kaitlyn Conley — Brighton High
  • Megan Astle – Corner Canyon
  • Gwendelyn Christopherson — Jordan
  • Erika Oldham — Jordan
Boys Cross Country
  • Tavin Forsythe-Barker — Alta High
  • Declan Gleason — Brighton High
  • Joshua Johnson — Brighton High
  • Peter Oldham — Corner Canyon High
  • Michael McCarter — Corner Canyon High
  • Brandon Johnson — Corner Canyon
  • Jeddy Bennett — Jordan High
  • Samuel Bennett — Jordan High

  • Baylor Jeppsen — Corner Canyon High  
  • Caden Johnson — Corner Canyon High
  • Austin Schaurgard — Jordan High
  • John Hillas — Brighton
What if California were to secede from the United States? Is a Brexit-style “Calexit” even legal? And how might the state’s departure, and the loss of its 55 electoral votes, influence future presidential elections? It’s this last question that piqued the curiosity of Brighton High sophomore Jenna Rupper — and that impressed the judges of Canyons District’s 2017 Science and Engineering Fair.

Rupper is among 110 finalists chosen from a field of about 300 to represent CSD at the Salt Lake Regional and Engineering Fair in March where she’ll compete for tens-of-thousands of dollars in college scholarships. If judges there are equally impressed with her data modeling project exploring the political ramifications of a Calexit, she’ll join a select number of students to advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Like most scientific inquiries, Rupper’s started with a question drawn from observation or experience — in her case, from current affairs. Her favorite school subjects have always been math and science, but over the past few years she’s been intrigued by politics, particularly the data-driven journalism and opinion poll analyses produced by the blogging platform, FiveThirtyEight. “An independent group in California has been talking about withdrawing from the Union, so I looked at past presidential elections dating back to 1992 to see how they might have gone if California wasn’t part of the U.S.”
Because California has more electoral votes than any other state, and has historically supported Democratic candidates, Rupper hypothesized that it’s absence would tip the balance of votes in favor of Republican Presidents. Using historical U.S. Census data and the University of Michigan’s Electoral College calculator, she re-calculated election results with California out of the equation.

Her data modeling produced an average 3 percent shift in electoral votes — not enough to flip any of the Presidential races. “California’s secession could still influence Congressional races and the balance of power in Congress, and it could have economic consequences for the country,” Rupper said. “But concerns about a Presidential shift in power might be overstated.”

If Rupper had more time, she says she’d like to re-run the data to test what would happen if electoral votes were apportioned the same way as Congressional seats.

The Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 21-23, 2017 at the University of Utah’s Rice Eccles Stadium. The awards ceremony will be held March 24 at Olympus High School 4055 S 2300 E, Holladay, UT 84124. Here is a full list of CSD’s 70 elementary division and 40 junior and senior division finalists:

Altara Elementary
Hailey Richards
Luciana Bizek
Nora Wetzel
Ruby Gardner

Brookwood Elementary
Eli Baker
Walker Malmstrom
Natalie Morrill

Canyon View Elementary
Erin Chan
Luke Barlow
Jack Baird
Talmage Howe

Crescent Elementary
Mackenzie McKay
Marcus Evans
Taylor Gould

Draper Elementary
Easton Adamson

Granite Elementary
Peyton Seamons
Halle Terry
William Bohmholdt

Oakdale Elementary
Mateo Paul

Park Lane Elementary
Chantel Moore
Riley Roof
Kambri Butcher
Carissa Culberson
Preston Cheney
Mitch Stepan
Spencer Moore
Charlie Wanek
Ty Spillett

Peruvian Park Elementary
Edward Loh
Fiona Zara
Gabriel Williams
Jacob Arens
Katrina Rogecheva
Liliya Barashyan

Quail Hollow Elementary
Eva Chamberlain
Priscilla Smingler

Silver Mesa Elementary
Keyan Olson

Sunrise Elementary
Carson Wood
Elena Parker
Jaden Andrew Aguilon
Logan Bridge
Maryam Bassaid
Nayantara Nair
Nicholas Perrine
Savannah Sierer
Sterling Perry
Zach Tokita 

Albion Middle School
Anegilla Keefer
Anna Mitchell
Cara Cheatham
Chaitrali Samant
Charlie Caten
Adam Liu
Charlie Simmons
Riley Gillespie
Eli Rehmer
Cameron Johns
Mason Young
Erica McDermott
Eryn Huntamer
Fatima Zaidi
Garett George
Dillon Barney
Jayden Olsen
Grace Wong
Ashley Hill
Jared Kimball
Katie Kelly
Ashlyn Thomson
Olivia Vandersteen
Lakshmi Adiga
Lilly Cheatham
Allie Jager
Lindsey Peterson
Madison Goerke
Annabella Franco
Emma Nieporte
Nathan Hunter
Paris Freebairn
Paul Glade
Raunya Barakat
Ski Dalgleish
Vincent Van Leeuwen
Wyatt Rawson
Bryson Petzinger
Cassidy Kenney
Chesney Chin
MaKenzi Thomson
Drew Stevens
Easton Ashworth
Ellie Whitmore
Emily Villanueva
Emmaline Young
Hanna Sasivarevic
Hassan Alabbas
Isabella Grim
Katelyn Simmons
Ashlie Sperry
Maloree West
Mercedes Cole
Naiya Chamberlain
Porter Bach
Andrew Hill
Raegan Rutherford
Reagan Manwaring
Sam Clayton
Sarah Hunter
Sienna Christensen
Zane Wong
Jaron Hansen
Stewart Sonntag

Midvale Middle
Andry Joseph
Danju Zoe Liu
Eric Chen
Joel Larrabee
Matthew Simmons
Luke Cox
Ryan Chen
Warren Ellsworth
Lucas Bolster
Selena Yu
Urah Goh
Abigail GIolas
Wentao Zhang
Eric Snaufer
Abigail Slama-Clatron
Marianne Liu

Brighton High
Jenna Rupper

Hillcrest High
Alan Zhao
Alex Sun
Alexander Cheng
Jaehyun Han
Sai Parsawar
Wensen Zhang
Now this is music to our ears.

Eight Canyons District students have been selected to play side-by-side with members of the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall on Tuesday, May 17.

The 7 p.m. concert will feature some of the state’s best high school musicians. Cost to attend the event ranges from $6 to $18. The students are:

  • Alta:  Jacob Kilby, acoustic bass; Noah Valentine, violin
  • Hillcrest:  Mitchell Spencer, piano; Michael Zackrison, tuba; Adam Ford, violin
  • Corner Canyon:  Hannah McKay, viola; Kadyn Allen, trumpet
  • Jordan:  Nathan Jensen, French horn

Hillcrest’s alumni International Baccalaureate students laughed and joked with each other Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 as they took a break from college to receive their diplomas and certificates for participating in the prestigious high school program.

“The importance of IB wasn’t the score on our tests, it was interacting with my fellow students that made it worth it,” former IB student president Nicholas Cockrell told the group. “It built a community around all of us.”

The students, who graduated with the class of 2015, were accepted to universities across the country, including Oxford, Brown, Columbia, Duke, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Princeton and Cornell. Of the 120 students who received a certificate for participating in the program, 56 were awarded full IB Diplomas, and three students reported that they entered college with an average of 46 credits. As of June, the group received $8,949,534 in scholarship offers.

After taking IB courses in six different subject areas, including mathematics, the arts, science and language acquisition; writing an extended essay on a chosen research topic and meeting requirements for involvement in the school through creativity, action and service, the recent graduates celebrated their accomplishment at a graduation ceremony with parents, friends, former Hillcrest Principal Susan Malone, IB Coordinator Brian Bentley, Superintendent Jim Briscoe and Canyons Board of Education members Steve Wrigley, Nancy Tingey, Clareen Arnold and Amber Shill.

 “Remember that this program is a means — not an end — to your education,” Bentley told the audience. “Success in life has very little to do with intelligence.”

 Bentley asked the students to remember three things: to work hard, remain teachable and use their knowledge to help others.

 “Always remember this mantra — ‘It is never a sure thing,’ ” Bentley said. “Be the best you can be.”

The purpose of the IB program is to provide rigorous curriculum and assessments, encourage high academic standards and promote international understanding, according to the program’s web page at Hillcrest. Involvement in IB helps students prepare to be global citizens and have a positive influence on the world, Malone said.

“We are international citizens,” Malone said. “There are challenging things happening. Hopefully (these students) will be the ones who can provide some peace and stability in the international community.”

To learn more information about the IB program, parents, guardians and students who will enter eighth-grade next year can attend one of several upcoming information meetings. The following meetings are scheduled:

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 7-8:15 p.m.
Draper Park Middle, 13133 S. 1300 East

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 7-8:15 p.m.
Mount Jordan Middle, 9351 S. Mountaineer Lane (300 E.)

Thursday, Jan. 14, 7-8:15 p.m.
Albion Middle, 2755 E. Newcastle Dr.

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 7-8:15 p.m.
Midvale Middle, 11150 S. 300 East

Saturday, Jan. 30, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (deadline for Early Enrollment )
Hillcrest High, 7350 S. 900 East

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 5-5:50 p.m. (before Incoming Freshman Orientation)
Hillcrest High, 7350 S. 900 East

Questions?  Contact the IB office at Hillcrest High at 801-826-6018.

Click here to see a Facebook photo album of the diploma and certificate ceremony. 

Five outstanding students at Hillcrest, Alta, Brighton high schools were among the 14 stellar Utah students who captured  category awards in the 54th annual Sterling Scholar Awards Program. 

The winners were announced during a Tuesday, March 10, 2015 ceremony at the LDS Conference Center, 60 W. North Temple.  

Hillcrest led all Utah schools with three winners. 

Canyons District has a tie to another winner, as well. Bingham High's Stephanie Jencks, who received the Douglas F. Bates Community Service Award, is enrolled in the cosmetology program at the Canyons Technical Education Center. She also serves as President of the CTEC SKillsUSA Chapter.

In all, 22 students from CSD's traditional comprehensive high schools made the finals in the prestigious competition sponsored by KSL and the Deseret News. The final round of judging was Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Corner Canyon High. 

The winning students, their schools and the categories are:
Other categories include Business and Marketing, Computer Technology, Dance, English, Family and Consumer Science, Instrumental Music, Skilled and Technical Sciences, Vocal Performance, and World Languages.

Two other awards — the General Sterling Scholar Winne and the Philo T. Farnsworth Governor's Award — also were presented during the ceremony.

The much sought-after awards “publicly recognize and encourage the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship of high school seniors in the state of Utah,” according to the Sterling Scholar website. 

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