Four members of the Canyons Board of Education were sworn into office on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 after winning the majority of the votes in the November 2017 General Election. 

Also, in a historic decision, the newly empaneled Board voted to elect Nancy Tingey as the first female Board President in Canyons District history.

The atmosphere was celebratory Tuesday night as friends, families, supporters and Canyons District employees attended the first Board of Education meeting of 2019. They came to witness the re-elected and newly elected Board members take their Oaths of Office in the Board chambers of the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. A reception followed the swearing-in ceremony. 

The oaths, administered by Megan Allen, chief clerk of the Utah House of Representatives, were taken by Amber Shill, Clareen Arnold, Steve Wrigley, and Amanda Oaks.  Shill, Arnold and Wrigley were re-elected to their seats and Oaks replaces former President and inaugural CSD Board member Sherril H. Taylor, who did not run for re-election.

They join Board members Tingey, Chad Iverson and Mont Millerberg on the seven-member governing body of the 34,000-student school district. 

"The right to vote is a solemn responsibility," said Tingey in her opening remarks. "Tonight we honor and celebrate our newly elected members of the Board, as well as those who participated in the democratic process." 

After being sworn in, the newly elected members were invited to address the audience for a few minutes to thank friends and family members, outline their goals for their terms of office, and present philosophies about governance.

Shill, a Utah native with deep roots in civic engagement, was sworn into office to serve a second term representing District No. 2. Shill thanked her family for their support and said her priorities continue to be student achievement and transparency.

Wrigley took his oath to continue representing District No. 5 for a third term.  “I promise,” he said, “to continue to be your voice in education and to give my all in this public service.”

Arnold is starting her second term on the Board as the representative of District No. 4. A career educator of 30 years, she says she is humbled to represent a community that “cares about kids.”

Taking her oath for the first time, Oaks, an attorney and classically trained musician, said she believes collaborative partnerships between parents, educators, and administrators create stronger schools and communities.

The closing remarks were delivered by former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, a parent of a student at Corner Canyon High. He congratulated Canyons on its successful first decade and urged the Board to always hearken back to the reason the District was founded:  To be responsive to the needs and wants of the community and to encourage inspiring educational innovation and high student achievement.

See the District's Facebook page for a photo gallery of the ceremony and reception.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Oaths of Office and a vote for the Board's leadership were the highlights of the first meeting of 2019 for the Canyons Board of Education. 

The Board of Education will now be led by Nancy Tingey, the first woman to serve as Canyons Board President. Steve Wrigley, who in November was re-elected to his third term to District No. 5, was elected as a Vice President, his second time in Board leadership. Amber Shill, who also was re-elected to her seat, returned to Board leadership in an other Vice President post.

Before the vote for leadership positions, the Board discussed Canyons policy that states the elected body should have a president and a vice president. For four years, the Board has added a 2nd Vice President to the leadership group. Board member Mont Millerberg encouraged the Board to return to two-person leadership, saying that the three-person leadership team lends itself to having a near-winning-vote coalition on any issue. On a six-to-one vote, with Millerberg voting against the motion, the Board decided to have one president and two vice presidents.   

In addition to Wrigley, the representative for District No. 5, and Shill, the represetative for District No. 2, Board members Clareen Arnold and Amanda Oaks took Oaths of Office after winning their respective District 4 and District 6 races in the November 2017 General Election.  Arnold won re-election and Oaks was newly elected to the seat that's been held by former Board President and inaugural CSD Board member Sherril H. Taylor, who did not run for re-election.

The Oaths of Office were administered by Megan Allen, the chief clerk of the Utah House of Representatives. After each re-elected and newly elected member took the oath, they were invited to address the audience for a few minutes to thank friends and family members, outline their goals for their terms of office, and present philosophies about governance.

Former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes delivered the closing remarks. He stated that he’s proud of the first 10 years of Canyons’ operations, especially the improvements to the District’s schools. He urged the District to remain true to its guiding tenets, and emphasized how important public education is to Utahns. 

Also District also hosted a short reception for re-elected and new Board members.
This January marks the first time in over a decade that Sherril H. Taylor, a member of the inaugural Canyons Board of Education, does not have a front-row to history in Canyons School District. 

With his decision to not seek re-election in November, Taylor’s 10-year tenure as the representative for District No. 6 in Canyons came to an end on Dec. 31, 2018. The Board of Education set aside time during the regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 4, 2018, to present him with a crystal award and read a resolution in his honor. 

“Whereas, Mr. Taylor’s contributions as an exacting, thoughtful, kind, dedicated, and generous leader are unparalleled and will be greatly missed by his fellow members of the Board of Education, Administration, faculty, staff, and volunteers,” read the resolution. “Therefore, be it resolved that the Canyons Board of Education expresses its deepest appreciation for the outstanding contributions made by Mr. Sherril Taylor during his decade of distinguished public service in support of Canyons School District.” 

“He was born of wisdom, wit and a big heart," Nancy Tingey, the Board's 1st Vice President, told the Valley Journal. "He truly loves children and educators and makes every effort to serve the community. He leads by helping others be successful. He ensures everyone is comfortable to speak and he values the voice of his fellow board members."

Amber Shill, the 2nd Vice President, echoed those sentiments:  “He will be missed by our Canyons District family,” she said.

As a member of the first-ever Board of Education, Taylor played a major role in the historic creation of Canyons, the first new school district to be created in Utah in nearly a century. He also helped oversee the division of $1.5 billion in assets of the former Jordan District, and the arbitration agreement that established CSD’s financial foundation. He was instrumental in the hiring of two superintendents and business administrators, the passage of two general-obligation bonds to build and improve schools in all corners of the District, and the approval of a progressive salary schedule to hire and retain the best teachers for CSD. 

Taylor is the longest-serving member of the Board in the history of Canyons District.

During his tenure, he always served in a leadership role, either as President or Vice President. But, his fellow Board members said, he may be most remembered for always having the welfare of students foremost in mind and cultivating learning environments where everyone feels welcome, supported and free to innovate and try hard things. 

"I respect his integrity and honesty and the way he interacts with people,” said Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe. “He’s been a strong leader of the Board, and what I have seen him accomplish is quite a legacy.  He will be dearly missed.” 

As Taylor steps away from service, four Board members prepare to start four-year terms.  Incumbents Shill, Clareen Arnold, and Steve Wrigley were re-elected to their seats and Amanda Oaks was elected to fill Taylor’s old seat.  The public is invited to a swearing-in ceremony for Shill, Arnold, Wrigley and Oaks on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 5 p.m. at Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East.
Yes, the calendar may tell us that it’s snow-filled January — but it’s not too early to start thinking about where to send your 4-year-old child to preschool when the leaves of the trees start to turn golden in autumn. 

The application window for spots in Canyons District’s tuition-based preschools in the 2019-2020 school year is now open. Parents can click here to apply for high-quality preschool programs at Altara, Bella Vista, Butler, Edgemont, Jordan Valley, Oakdale, Quail Hollow, and Willow Springs elementary schools.

For the Canyons preschools, which follow an evidence-based curriculum the lines up with the core standards of learning at the kindergarten, the cost is $100 per month for students attending two days per week and $200 a month for students attending four days.  There’s also a one-time $20 registration fee.  Availability in the program for the coming academic year is based on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis. 

Morning sessions are from 8:20-10:50 a.m. Afternoon sessions are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.  

Terri Mitchell, the programs administrator for CSD’s Early Childhood Department, gives this advice to parents who are looking for a preschool for their kiddo:  Pay particular attention to the safety, security, cleanliness and organization of the staff and the school. 

The children should be guided in play, she said, and their social development should be supported.  The staff ratio is important, too. No less than one adult for 10 children. In Canyons’ preschools, we have a higher adult-to-child ratio, she said. 

Parents also should spend some time preparing children for their first time in a classroom. 

“If parents talk to their children about how fun it will be for them to go to school, then the children will be more likely to be excited to go to school,” said Mitchell, who shared more tips during an appearance on ABC4. 

Mitchell tells parents to read books with their children and seek out story times at local libraries.  She also urges parents to show their children photographs of their first day at school and share experiences of what it was like to go to school for the first time. 

“Preschool can be an important part of early childhood development,” she said.  “The time spent at preschool may be the first time that a child is away from her or his mom and dad or grandparents, or without their siblings, for an extended period of time.  The kiddos learn a little bit of independence. They also learn their colors and their ABCs and 1-2-3s, which can help them as they start their kindergarten and first-grade years.”

In Canyons, free school programs also are provided at Title I schools. Students who turn 4 years old before Sept. 1, 2019 and live within the boundaries of Midvale, Copperview, Sandy and East Midvale elementary schools can apply to participate. CSD will being taking applications for spots in those preschools on March 1.
It’s been said that the influence of a great teacher can never be erased. To celebrate the indelible marks that educators make in the lives of children, the Canyons Board of Education and Administration are asking for nominations for the District’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. 

The community is invited to submit nominations for this year’s top-teacher award, which will be presented to one educator at a community reception and announcement ceremony on Tuesday, April 23 at the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East.  The event, to be in the Professional Development Center, is free to the public. 

To nominate a stellar CSD teacher, fill out the nomination form and return it to your PTA/PTSA or the school where the teacher works. Click here for the form. Nominations for the prestigious award will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 1. 

Following a selection process established nearly a decade ago, Canyons District recognizes a Teacher of the Year at every CSD school. Forty-eight teachers are cheered for their outstanding instructional practices, positive engagement with parents, and professional approach to their craft.

From that field, the District selects one teacher to represent the District in the state top-teacher competition. That educator also will receive the 2019 Apex Award for Teacher of the Year — the highest honor given to teachers by the Canyons Board of Education. 

For the second year, the Canyons Board and Administration will announce one top teacher from the elementary, middle and high school levels. One of those three will be named the District’s top teacher. 

Every school-based Teacher of the Year will receive a basket of donated gifts, a banner with their name to hang outside the school. The Canyons District Teacher of the Year program is generously supported by local businesses and the Canyons Education Foundation. 

Last year’s top-teacher honoree, Corner Canyon High’s Amber Rogers, received a $1,000 cash prize from the Canyons Education Foundation. Previous CSD Teacher of the Year winners include Union Middle’s Drew Fosse, Peruvian Park Elementary’s Gretchen Murray, Alta High’s Matt Leininger, Brookwood Elementary’s Monica Rotermund, Sprucewood Elementary’s Michele Law, Eastmont Middle’s Amy Bateman, Quail Hollow’ Elementary’s Naomi Damron, and Brighton High’s Barb Scrafford.
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