Chromebooks, iPads, Sphero devices, and Makey Makey kits: These are just a few of the digital tools in Ashley Lennox’s classroom.

The fifth-grade Draper Elementary teacher also has been known to put a few analog (even living) devices to use, including, an iguana and yoga balls — masterfully marrying them with the curriculum to make learning fun and encourage students to think, problem-solve and create. But don't let her fun-filled classroom fool you. “She’s an outstanding young educator who combines creativity, technology use, classroom management, and superior teaching skills to create a classroom where all students learn and achieve,” says CSD Educational Technology Specialist Katie Blunt.

For her smart use of new technology, her willingness to collaborate and share tech tips with her peers, and her efforts to promote good digital citizenship, Ashley Lennox was named the 2017 UCET Outstanding Young Educator Award at the March 16 Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Conference. The award was presented during the Opening Session of the conference, which was held at the University of Utah.

Lennox is first in line to embrace new technology, Blunt says. Many of the devices she uses were purchased with grant money that she personally applied for and won.

Yet she’s generous with her time and resources, forever sharing students' accomplishments, tech tips, and teaching ideas on social media to promote the cooperative development and effective use of technology.

Lennox, M.Ed., is a certified NASA teacher with endorsements in educational technology, reading, and teaching English as a second language. The leader of Draper’s "Techniteer Troupe,” she brings together students interested in the use of technology and gives them opportunities to code, and complete engineering challenges.

She’s not one to let high-tech resources rest idle, Blunt says. “When entering her classroom, what becomes instantly obvious is the passion Ashley has for teaching and learning and the love she has for her students. She motivates, encourages, and inspires.”C7DJ5tVVoAEqhQL.jpg
A whopping 22 stellar students from Canyons District’s five traditional comprehensive high schools find out tonight if they have been selected as 2017 Sterling Scholars in their respective categories.  Winners in the 55th annual scholarship program sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL-TV Channel 5 will be announced during a ceremony at the LDS Conference Center’s Little Theater, 60 West North Temple.  Students from Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools are in the finals in all but one of the judged categories.  Last year, Canyons students walked away with several awards.   Anthony Cheng, from Hillcrest High, was announced as the top mathematician — and the overall general scholar. Sadie Chidester and Camden Seeborg, both from Corner Canyon, won in the Skilled and Technical Sciences and World Languages categories, respectively.  Here’s a list of Canyons District’s 2017 finalists:

Business and Marketing
Elizabeth Ericksen, Corner Canyon

Computer Technology
Abigail Olsen, Hillcrest
Ryan Dalby, Brighton
Ellek Linton, Corner Canyon

Dance
Caroline Tarbet, Hillcrest
Ashley Jex, Alta
Audrey Memmott, Corner Canyon


English
Nain Christopherson, Jordan
Alexandra Carlile, Hillcrest

Family and Consumer Sciences Education
Carlee Culberson, Jordan

Mathematics
Ben Hiatt, Corner Canyon

Science
Boyd Christiansen, Jordan
Michelle White, Hillcrest

Skilled & Technical Sciences Education
Mary Evans, Hillcrest
Mykell Johnson, Alta

Social Sciences
Eliza Bennett, Jordan

Speech, Theatre Arts, Forensics
Emma Smith, Alta

Visual Arts
Dexter Holmes, Jordan
Meg Warnock, Corner Canyon

Vocal Performance
Kristen Fairbourn, Alta

World Languages
Cade Kartchner, Hillcrest
Julianne Liu, Brighton
Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan and his wife are sure to turn heads when they step onto the red carpet at the 89th Academy Awards. When they do, they’ll be showcasing the work of a Jordan High graduate who is styling the couple's hair and makeup for the big event. 

Sheridan is a dark horse nominated to win an award for his “Hell or High Water” original screenplay.  But the actor-turned-writer and director also will have a dashing look, thanks to former Beetdigger Tim Muir.

Both of Muir’s parents also ar epart of the Canyons District family. Patrons who have needed assistance with technological issues may have spoken with Holly Muir, his mother, who is a Help Desk Technician in the Information Technology Department. Dad Todd Muir works in Canyons’ Facilities Services Department as a trainer and custodial lead. Both parents are brimming with pride at their son’s accomplishments.

Tim Muir flew out to California days ahead of the ceremony to prepare Sheridan and his wife for pre-Oscar parties and the big day. It may seem glamorous and exciting, but for Muir, who owns his own salon and has been professionally styling hair for 15 years, it’s just another day on the job.

“I work in New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Texas — you name it I’ve worked there,” Muir said as he juggled last-minute errands — like picking up dinner for his four kids — before heading to Hollywood. “I don’t like to be in one place and doing one thing all of the time. I have a mind that goes a million miles an hour.”

Muir does his best to stay busy, traveling every month to various fashion shows and working with celebrity clients. He is a board member of the International Hair Fashion Group and travels around the world teaching other stylists about styling multicultural hair. His expertise has made him a leader in working with diverse hair types, and when he’s not traveling, he does it all from his salon, Alter Ego in South Jordan.

Muir started styling and cutting friends’ and family member’s hair when he attended Jordan High 17 years ago, and he decided it was a career he wanted to pursue.

“I have always had an infatuation with hair,” Muir says. “When I was little, to go to sleep I would play with my mom’s hair. As I grew up, it was a calming thing for me, and it got turned into something more as I got older.”

Muir has worked as a hair artist on films, including the recent “Wind River,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Muir was Director of Hair for the movie, which was written and directed by Sheridan. His favorite part of the job is using his creativity to design every aspect of the role hair plays in movies and real life. While he enjoys working for celebrity clients, he wouldn’t mind someday winning an Oscar for his cinematic contributions.

Next time, it might be Muir who is turning heads on the red carpet.
Thursday, 23 February 2017 00:14

Board Meeting Summary, Feb. 21, 2017

Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

American Heart Association Presents HeartSaver Award to CCHS

The American Heart Association recognized Canyons District administrators, educators and support staff who took emergency measures to revive a student who had suffered cardiac arrest during a Jan. 10, 2017 physical education class. The association presented HeartSaver Awards to Corner Canyon High Principal Darrell Jensen, Assistant Principal Christian Cowart, teacher Elisa Posey, school nurse Nancy Purcell and hall monitor Joyce Spencer. A special award of merit also was given to CSD Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray, who spearheaded the District’s efforts to install the AEDs in all CSD schools four years ago. The quick actions of CCHS employees that day, coupled with training and the immediate availability of an Automated External Defibrillator, may have saved the life of 14-year-old Porter Lewis, who also helped present the awards. Lewis’ survival was as close to a miracle as it gets, said Marc Watterson, Government Relations Director for the Utah chapter of the American Heart Association. Each year in the U.S., there are approximately 359,400 Emergency Medical Services-assessed cardiac arrests outside of a hospital setting, and on average, fewer than 10 percent of the victims survive, Watterson said. Defibrillation, along with CPR, is the only way to restore the victim’s heart rhythm to normal in a lot of cases of cardiac arrest. Yet only 17 percent of the nation’s schools and government offices make AED’s available in their facilities. Watterson handed Corner Canyon’s staff special pins that the Heart Association bestows on those whose heroic actions contribute to the “chain of survival” for heart attack victims.

Board Approves Administrative Appointments

The Canyons Board of Education approved a spate of administrative appointments for the 2017-2018 school year.  They are as follows: 

Stacy Kurtzhals, currently Principal at Eastmont Middle, will become a Program Administrator in the Special Education Department. 

Charisse Hilton, currently Principal of Brighton High, will become Principal of Eastmont Middle.

Tom Sherwood, currently Principal at Jordan High, will become Principal at Brighton High.

Wendy Dau, currently Principal at Midvale Middle, will become Principal at Jordan High.

Mindy Robison, currently Principal at Crescent Elementary, will become Principal at Midvale Middle.

Camie Lloyd, currently Assistant Principal at Albion Middle, will become Principal at Crescent Elementary.

Steve Bailey, currently Assistant Principal at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Alta High.

Ryan Durrant, currently an administrative intern at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Jordan High.

Sandy LeCheminant, currently an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Albion Middle.

Nate Edvalson, currently an administrative intern at Draper Park Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle.

Shelley Karren, currently an administrative intern at Alta High, will become an Assistant Principal at Union Middle.

Bryan Rudes, currently an administrative intern at Midvale Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.

Brooke Rauzon, currently an Assistant Principal at Union Middle, will become Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary.

Hillcrest Feeder Initiative Update

The Board of Education heard a proposal by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie to continue a concentrated and aligned effort to boost student achievement across schools in the Hillcrest High feeder system. The initiative, which entails tracking and transitioning Midvale-area students from one school to the next, was launched last summer and is already producing gains in student achievement. Copperview Principal Christy Waddell, Midvale Principal Chip Watts and East Midvale Principal Justin Pitcher explained how elementary school-level instructional coaches funded through the initiative have helped make classroom time more effective. More targeted instruction and collaborative lesson plans are enabling students to progress more quickly, setting them up to succeed in middle school and beyond. Progress is showing in improved test scores at the elementary and secondary levels. Midvale Middle Principal Wendy Dau told the Board that intensive professional development for teachers, coupled with targeted literacy strategies, have produced gains in SAGE scores in English language arts.  Coaching in behavioral interventions designed to encourage positive behavior, instead of discouraging negative behavior, has reduced discipline referrals to the Main Office by 50 percent, she said. The training provided teachers also has improved morale; Midvale Middle’s teacher turnover rate has fallen from 44 percent to 11 percent. The goal of the program is to provide early supports to students who are at-risk of not graduating from high school. This includes a Summer Boot Camp program for ninth-grade students entering Hillcrest High. Of the 74 students to sign up for the inaugural Boot Camp this past summer, 47 completed the program, said Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt. In addition to those students, Hillcrest has targeted another 17 for interventions. Of those 64 students, 19 percent have a grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher, and another 22 percent have a 2.0 or higher. Board members expressed support for the initiative and will address ongoing funding with the next year’s budget. 

Students, Employees Recognized for Achievements

The Board of Education also recognized outstanding students and employees. Honored were:
  • Brighton High students Brayden Stevens, the 5A state wrestling champion at the 152-pound weight class.
  • Corner Canyon High student Shaun Stockwell, the 4A state wrestling champion in the heavyweight division.
  • Hillcrest and Entrada counselor Eric Murdock for being named the School Counseling Educator the Year, as named by the Utah Association of Career and Technical Educators Guidance Division.
  • Brighton’s Georgia Raddon and Jordan’s Nicole Brooks, winners of Jurors’ Awards at the Springville Spring Museum’s Utah All-State Art Show.

Update on Progress at Diamond Ridge High

Student Advocacy and Access Director Karen Sterling and Diamond Ridge High administrator Amy Boettger updated the Board of Education on the progress of CSD’s alternative high school. Enrollment at Diamond Ridge has swelled from 79 to 108 this year, and has a waiting list of 14 students. Enrollment is projected to grow to 125 next fall, with 45 students on the waiting list. The school is helping students toward graduation. In fact, Diamond Ridge’s graduation rate is 77 percent. Grade point averages, as well as scores on assessments, also are on the rise, Sterling told the Board. 

Legislative Update

External Relations Director Charlie Evans updated the Board of Education on talks surrounding SB80, a school-funding equalization proposal. If approved in its current form, CSD stands to lose some $1.5 million. He urged the Board to thank legislators who have made stances against the proposed legislation. He also briefed the Board on SB240, which, among other things, would allow School Community Councils to bypass a Board of Education and approach the Utah State Board of Education to request approval to become a charter school.   

Board Meeting Schedule

The Board of Education reviewed a proposed meeting schedule for 2017-2018. 

Board Approves Policies

The Board of Education approved two policies and declared some policies obsolete. The new policies govern the hiring of employees and the administration of medication to students.

Pledge of Allegiance, Posting of the Colors

Scout Troop 4331, whose members attend Altara Elementary, posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Altara Principal Nicole Svee-Magann spoke to the Board about the academic improvements at the school. She also noted that an Altara parent was the driving force behind the District’s implementation of a districtwide no-idle initiative. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe thanked Board members for their support of the Hillcrest Feeder Initiative. He also expressed appreciation for Board members Nancy Tingey and Amber Shill, who are spending a lot of time at the legislature on behalf of CSD and public education. He also mentioned the work that is being done to update CSD’s policy manual. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox noted that SB80 will be discussed on Capitol Hill later this week. He also recognized Utah State Board of Education Board Member Kathleen Riebe, who attended the meeting. He also mentioned a recent meeting with the Student Advisory Committee, and thanked teachers for their hard work preparing for last week’s Parent-Teacher Conferences. 

Board members

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending the Alta vs. Corner Canyon boys basketball game. He commended the schools on maintaining a fierce but friendly rivalry. He encouraged legislators to vote against SB80. He mentioned the bill is sponsored by an elected representative who represents some Canyons District patrons.

Ms. Nancy Tingey commended the faculty and staff who responded to the calls for help when Corner Canyon High student Porter Lewis collapsed and needed emergency medical attention.  She expressed her appreciation to everyone in the “Canyons District family.” 

Ms. Amber Shill reported that she attended a USBA professional development session for presidents and vice presidents of school boards across Utah. She also encouraged patrons to attend District Day at the Hill on Friday in the rotunda at the state Capitol. CSD will have an informational booth, and a brass sextet from Alta High will perform at 12:30 p.m.

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he attended the Sandy Chamber Peak Awards with Mr. Wilcox and Dr. Briscoe. He also has visited Mount Jordan Middle, Eastmont Middle and Bell View, Willow Canyon, and Park Lane elementary schools. He also toured the under-construction Alta View Elementary.  He also thanked Office Max for donating goods to teachers. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg deferred his report and Ms. Clareen Arnold was excused for personal reasons.  

President Sherril H. Taylor recognized the District teachers and staff who go the extra mile for students. The presentation from the American Heart Association reminded him of how far Canyons employees will go to help students. He said he is glad Porter Lewis is recovering and wished him the best in the future. 
For the second year, Canyons District is embarking on a big idea for little kids.

To provide extra academic options to the community, CSD will again offer Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten-age students in the 2017-2018 school year. Students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2017 to participate in the opt-in, tuition-based program.

Students who are accepted into the classes will receive nearly four additional hours of instruction every school day. Enrollees begin and end school at the same time as the school’s first- through fifth-grade students. Click here to see the bell schedules for all Canyons schools.

Canyons District will begin accepting online applications at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The application window will close at 11:59 p.m. on April 15. Computers will be available at Canyons schools for families who do not have computers or Internet connectivity at home. 

The application can be accessed at the bottom of the Frequently Asked Questions page.  Simply click the blue button that says "Start."

Students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cost for the program is $2,950 a year, and can be paid in monthly installments, August-May. A 10 percent discount is available for parents and guardians who pay the yearly tuition in full at one time. There also is a one-time, non-refundable registration fee of $100.

Financial-need scholarships also are available for qualifying students.  Parents may apply for the financial assistance at the same time they submit enrollment applications. 

The District plans to offer the classes at Alta View, Altara, Bell View, Bella Vista, Brookwood, Butler, Crescent, Edgemont, Lone Peak, Midvalley, Oakdale, Park Lane, Ridgecrest, Sprucewood, Sunrise, Willow Canyon, Willow Springs elementary schools.  However, the program can only be offered at these sites if at least 20 students have enrolled in the program.   

Children who qualify for transportation services will ride the kindergarten bus with morning-session kindergarten students and will ride home with the afternoon-session kindergarten students. 

Efforts will be made to enroll students at school closest to their homes — but the District cannot guarantee placement at any specific school.  Placement notifications will be made by April 21 for the families who submit applications during the initial application window. 

Questions?  Call 801-826-5045 or send an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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