Hard hat? Golden-tipped shovel? The near-completion of 13 major construction projects financed with a $250 million bond passed by CSD voters in 2010? Check, check — and check.

The countdown has begun for the long-awaited rebuild of Indian Hills Middle, the final new-school and school-improvement project promised as part of the 2010 general-obligation bond. Crews have already started work at the Sandy-area site, ‎1180 E. Sanders Road, and construction is expected to take roughly a year.

To the end of celebrating the start of work on the project, the community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m. Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor and Principal Doug Graham will speak at the special ceremony at the school. After the ceremonial dirt is turned, refreshments will be served. 

When the project is complete at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Indian Hills students and teachers will enjoy plenty of natural light throughout the facility, six new classrooms, collaboration spaces wired for the high-tech demands of the 21st century, an expanded kitchen and cafeteria, and spacious hallways and commons areas, among other amenities. 

“The patrons from Indian Hills have been so happy to watch all the building and renovation that has been going on in the District … Now, they are so thrilled that it is their turn,” President Taylor said. A completed Indian Hills, he said, “will be a far better school than it ever was before.” 

Taylor also notes that Canyons has completed every project promised to the Canyons community when the bond gained passage seven years ago. In all, since 2010, the District has provided a new Corner Canyon High; a rebuilt Midvale Elementary; a renovated Albion Middle; seismic improvements to Sandy Elementary; a new Draper Park Middle; a rebuilt Butler Middle; a new Butler Elementary; additions to Brighton and Hillcrest high schools; and a rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle. Crews are now working on a new Alta View Elementary and Midvale Middle.

In addition, CSD has installed air-conditioning in every school that didn’t have it at the time of Canyons’ 2009 founding; added security vestibules at all elementary schools; completed a soccer field, tennis courts and athletic fields near Brighton High; and internal and external upgrades to Alta High.

“We have spent (the bond funds) how we promised you,” Taylor told patrons at a recent meeting of the Canyons Board of Education.  “Everything we promised you has been done.”

During construction, the school community will be housed at the old Crescent View Middle, 11150 S. 300 East. Transportation services will be provided to qualifying Indian Hills students.
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
She’s a shrewd negotiator with an eye for detail — a purchasing agent who takes seriously her charge to safeguard precious education funds, and not only as a Senior Buyer for Canyons School District.

For her leadership role in the Utah Cooperative for Acquiring Resources Efficiently (UCARE) — a purchasing cooperative of 16 school districts — CSD’s Nancy Webb was named Utah Buyer of the Year. The March 14 announcement by the Utah Chapter of the NIGP, or Institute for Public Procurement, coincides with Purchasing Month, which runs through March. 

UCARE was created to give smaller school districts greater bargaining power with food (school lunch) suppliers, and Webb was tasked three years ago with overseeing it. She examined the contract — valued at about $22 million — to make sure it was current with state and federal law, and based on feedback from member districts who, at the time, were dissatisfied, recommended that it be re-bid.

“Nancy Webb is one of the most detailed and passionate purchasing managers that I have ever dealt with. [She] is truly always looking for the best interest of UCARE [while] keeping the overall goal of everyone involved in the co-op at the forefront and making very tough decisions that are not always the most popular at the time,” says Cosme Padilla Jr., Vice President of Sales for Sysco Intermountain, Inc. “I have to say that she has pushed us to be a better organization by demanding what is in the best interest of UCARE.”

Colleagues describe Webb as a generous mentor whose door is always open. She’s committed to fairness and upholding ethical standards, which is why she is entrusted with some of Canyons District’s more complex purchases: employee health benefits, financial advisory services and a merchant account service for secondary schools. “Her negotiating skills have saved taxpayers thousands of dollars,” says Canyons CFO Leon Wilcox.

As word of UCARE's success has spread, two new school districts have joined the cooperative, which has proved to be a valuable resource for smaller, rural districts that don't have dedicated purchasing agents on staff. UCARE is being expanded expanded this year to handle bids for small kitchen equipment, and there's talk of also adding uniforms and cleaning supplies.
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
Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The appointments are for the coming school year.  The appointments are: 

BJ Weller, currently the Principal of Canyon View Elementary, is the new Director of the Department of Responsive Services.  

Kierstin Draper, Principal of Oakdale Elementary, will become Principal of Canyon View Elementary

Lori Jones, currently Principal of Sprucewood Elementary, will become Principal of Oakdale Elementary. 

Colleen Smith, currently Principal of Parkside Elementary in the Murray City School District, will become Principal of Sprucwood. 

Christy Waddell, who now is the Principal of Butler Elementary, will become Principal at Draper Elementary.  She replaces Piper Riddle, who is leaving Canyons District for a principal’s post in the Wasatch School District.

Jeff Nalwalker, currently Principal at Midvalley Elementary, will become Principal at Butler Elementary.

Tamra Baker, currently Director of Student Support Services, will become Principal at Midvalley Elementary.

Brandee Burgum, a teacher at Fort Herriman Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.

Randall Seltz, now an Achievement Coach at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle School.
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