Did you know that half of all Canyons District’s teachers have a master’s degree? CSD is committed to hiring the best teachers for our classrooms and providing them the resources they need to excel.

There is an instructional coach and education technology specialist assigned to every one of our schools. And, in addition to offering nearly 100 hours of free training annually, we help sponsor advanced degrees for educators looking to branch into high-needs areas. Just last week, CSD celebrated its first cohort of 10 teachers to earn a master’s degree with an ESL endorsement.

Demand for educators who are specially trained to teach students for whom English is a second, or third, language is growing, says Karen Sterling, CSD’s Director of Student Advocacy and Access. When Canyons District first opened itIMG_0195.jpegs doors in 2009, the district served 1,400 English language learners. “They were a silent minority, and now they are among the fastest growing group of students, numbering about 2,700 and speaking 89 different languages,” Sterling says.

Congratulations to our teacher-graduates — professionals who are willing to do whatever it takes to champion all children.

Todd Butler, Canyons Technical Education Center
Brandie Dyson, Bellview Elementary
Hanna Turpin, East Midvale Elementary
Katherine Willie, East Midvale Elementary
Nicole Kratzer, East Midvale Elementary
Jessica Maughan, Willow Springs Elementary
Sara Hawker, Ridgecrest Elementary
Paige Irwin, Hillcrest High (former)
Stephany Gonzalez, Silver Mesa Elementary
Noelia Ricks, Draper Elementary
High school graduation is a rite of passage, a time for celebrating academic achievement, and an opportunity to spotlight our exceptional students and faculty. It’s one of those can’t-miss events, so mark your calendars now!

The District’s five traditional high schools will all perform commencement rites on Tuesday, June 5.

Ceremonies for special programs and schools are held on separate dates in May and June. Following are the dates, locations and times:

  • Alta High School — June 5, 10 a.m., Huntsman Center at University of Utah
  • Brighton High School — June 5, 2 p.m., Maverik Center
  • Corner Canyon High — June 5, 2 p.m., Huntsman Center at University of Utah
  • Hillcrest High School — June 5, 10 a.m., Maverik Center
  • Jordan High School — June 5, 6 p.m., Maverik Center
  • Diamond Ridge — June 6, 7 p.m., Mt. Jordan Middle
  • South Park School — May 31, 8 a.m. at Utah State Prison 
  • Entrada — June 26, 7 p.m., Jordan High School
  • Jordan Valley School — June 1, 11 a.m., Jordan Valley School
  • Canyons Transitions Academy — June 6, noon, Professional Development Center in CSD’s East Administration Building
It was a big night for arts education. Three talented Canyons District artists walked away winners from the 2018 Sterling Scholar Awards, an academic excellence contest sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL Broadcast Group.

Brighton High’s Sofia Rahaniotis was named Utah’s Sterling Scholar in the Speech, Theatre and Arts category, Alta High’s Addie Wray won the Music and category, and Hillcrest High’s Kara Komarnitsky won in Dance. They were joined on the podium by two Hillcrest Huskies who were named runners-up in the academic-excellence program: Sterling Larson in the World Languages category and Alex Sun in Science.

Rahaniotis, Ray and Komarnitsky were among 11 CSD students to be named finalists in Utah's Sterling Scholar competition, which honors students “for the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship.”  They each received $2,500 scholarships, and runners-up received $1,000 scholarships.

A member of the Brighton’s nationally-recognized Model United Nations team, Rahaniotis was previously awarded Brigham Young University’s Model United Nations Distinguished Delegation Award and Peer Award. She has a 4.0 grade point average, ranks first in her class, and is senior class President. She has volunteered for the Road Home homeless shelter, the American Red Cross, the Tyler Robinson Foundation, and many other charities. “To learn from, teach and inspire through art for which I feel such indescribable passion is to me the pinnacle of happiness,” she says. “I’m among those who are fortunate enough to experience such unmatched artistic joy and for this, I am truly thankful.”

Komarnitsky has performed for Salt Lake’s Repertory Dance Theatre and has been the President of Hillcrest’s dance company for three years. She spent more than 50 hours with the Washington State Trails Association rebuilding a handicap access trail, she tutors students in biology and French and holds a black belt in taekwondo. “Challenge is the method to reach future growth,” she says, “and dance challenges me to grow in different ways every day.”

Alta’s Addie Wray has played the leading role in three musicals. By age 11, she had performed in two professional shows. She has donated her time to support programs for people with special needs and says, “Vocal performing is something I was born to do, that I live, love and breathe eternally.” 
The sounds of cheers flooded the hallways of Crescent Elementary on Wednesday, March 14 and that was before the guests of honor even entered the room. "Now I'm starting to get nervous," Burlington Stores manager Cedric Reeves said with a smile as he cracked open the wooden door to the multi-purpose room and greeted every student and teacher in the school.

The teachers and students had been summoned there under a ruse — tricked by Principal Camie Mo29216468_10155067106576580_854465232230154240_o.jpgntague to attend a schoolwide behavior assembly — but really, they were about to get a huge surprise. "You guys are never going to believe this," Montague told the crowd. "We pulled a prank on the teachers." Reeves and coworker Elizabeth Mathieu, who oversees loss prevention at the store, presented a massive $10,000 check to the school. The money, which was donated to Crescent Elementary from Burlington Stores, in partnership with AdoptaClassroom.org, will be divided among all of the school's teachers and used for school purchases.

"I know this school, I know the situation they are in," said Reeves, who is manager of a Burlington store that will be opening on March 21 on 10453 S. State Street. The company regularly selects a school located near their stores to receive donations through funding. Reeves suggested the company donate to Crescent Elementary, where his wife is a first-grade teacher.

"I know the impact this will have on the teachers," Reeves said. "We are part of the community and we are here to serve you however we can."

The teachers' jaws dropped when they saw the size of the check and the students roared even louder. The school will have one year to use the funds — but Montague is sure Crescent's 32 teachers won't have a problem finding a use for the money. The teachers are able to spend the money at more than 30 vendors partnered with Burlington Stores and Adopt a Classroom, including Office Depot, Best Buy and Scholastic. The school can make purchases on "everything from technology to field trip expenses," according to a statement from Burlington Stores.

"I can't even believe it," Montague said. "This is just one more thing to help our kids be successful in the classroom. I'm super excited. I can't even believe it."
Canyons District has created a plan to respond to any students who choose to participate in during-school demonstrations a part of the national conversation on school safety. 

In an effort to support all patrons and students, Canyons maintains a position of neutrality on this issue. That said, CSD believes schools should encourage civil discourse and engagement in the democratic process, as well as recognize the First Amendment rights of students. 

Accordingly, Canyons District schools will neither mandate nor intercede in the actions of students who respectfully participate in the following two national events:

  • A demonstration planned for March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., shooting
  • A demonstration planned for April 20 to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting
For security purposes, school and District administrators will work with student organizers to identify a safe space for students to express themselves, provide school supervision, and will ask local law enforcement to provide extra security during these two events. 

For students who are not participating, the school day will proceed as normal. Those students will remain supervised by school staff inside the school.   

Standard attendance rules for unexcused absences, truancies and tardies may apply to students who choose to participate in spontaneous demonstrations outside of the March 14 and April 20 dates.

However, the CSD Administration also recognizes that students’ decision whether to participate is best made after students have had the opportunity to discuss the demonstrations and the students’ related feelings with their parents.

Canyons District believes it is important to provide notice about these upcoming national demonstrations to parents so that they can have those conversations with their children and make a joint decision about participation.

In letters sent to parents, principals have encouraged parents to talk with their children about the importance of respectful behavior toward all students, regardless of the other students’ viewpoints or whether they participate in such demonstrations.

This response plan was created to preserve instruction time while providing students with a safe outlet for expressing their viewpoints. 

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