When Mount Jordan middle was demolished and rebuilt in 2015, then-principal Molly Hart saved a stack of bricks in her office to pay homage to the 59-year-old school. Later she discovered the school had an even greater treasure with a history as old as the original building: a Steinway and Sons 1954 Model B classic grand piano.

The piano was cracked, out of tune and badly in need of extensive repairs. It looked as bad as it sounded and seemed as though the cost to fix the instrument would be significantly more than it was worth. All of the hammers needed to be replaced, as well as the dampers and strings, and the soundboard needed to be fixed. There was a fleeting suggestion that perhaps the piano should just be sold to save the cost of restoring it to its former glory — but Hart had different ideas.
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She took a look around the school’s brand-new, million-dollar auditorium built in partnership for the community with Sandy city, and she knew she couldn’t let it go. “I could just imagine performances taking place in that gorgeous auditorium,” Hart says. “That would be a really memorable experience and a life-changing experience for a middle school student to have a memory of playing a 1954 vintage Steinway B. You don’t have to be a piano player to know that.”

Hart worked with Canyons’ Art Consortium Chair Sharee Jorgensen and the Purchasing Department to orchestrate the repair with an expert who restores pianos across the state. To pay for the project, the school’s PTA donated their remaining budget for the rest of the year, the state PTA gave the school a grant, Jorgensen allocated funds from her budget and Hart used money from her furniture budget. The project cost a little more than $20,000, but the investment increased the value of the piano substantially.

“He (the restoration expert) took the piano, and between him and the person who refinished the outside, they turned it into a brand-new looking, beautiful piano that we could have never replaced for the money we spent on the restoration,” Jorgensen said.

Canyons District owns seven Steinway and Sons grand pianos, one Steinway and Sons upright piano, and 31 grand pianos by othcarryingpiano.jpger makers. The piano at Mount Jordan is the first to be completely restored, bringing its value to an estimated $60,000-70,000, Jorgensen says. However, a new Steinway and Sons Model B piano, which the company refers to as “the perfect piano” on its website, costs about $100,000. As the instruments age, their value typically increases.

“If you take care of it, it’s like an old violin,” Jorgensen says. “If you take care of it, it will eventually become priceless and last you a long time.”

To that end, the school purchased a special cover and locking case for the piano. It is used for special performances by students and members of the community, as Hart, who is now principal at Albion Middle School, had hoped.

“Mount Jordan serves a population of students that may or may not have an opportunity to play on a Steinway,” Hart said. “For the students that perform, that could be something that a pianist would have a memory of forever. I wanted kids to have that opportunity — and I wanted Canyons to have that opportunity.”



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Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The appointments are for the coming school year. 

The appointments are: 

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.
Advocate, example, amazing — these are just a few of the words parents, coworkers and students use to describe the abilities of Eric Murdock, a counselor at Hillcrest High and Entrada.

Murdock has made such a difference in the lives of his students that the Utah Association of Career and Technical Educators’ Guidance Division has chosen him as the School Counseling Educator of the Year.

Murdock works tirelessly with all students and their families to forge individualized paths to graduation and help his students achieve their dreams. "I've never met a Counselor who cares more or gives more than Eric Murdock," wrote CTE Coordinator Lesli Covington-Taft on a Facebook post announcing Murdock's award. "He works tirelessly well into the evening most days to make certain he has given each one of his students the best support and advice available. I'm proud to call him my friend and co-worker."

He serves on CSD’s Credit Recovery Committee, which identifies students who are at risk for not graduating and helps them make up lost credits, and he helps students obtain scholarships to attend schools they could not otherwise.












Two Canyons’ students have received honors at the prestigious Springville All-State High School Art Show.

Brighton’s Georgia Raddon and Jordan’s Nicole Brooks each received the Juror’s Award of Merit for their entries into the 45th annual art show. The highly competitive exhibition features entries from high school juniors and seniors throughout Utah. Raddon and Brooks will receive a cash prize and special recognition at the Utah State Capitol on Feb. 22 for their entries.

Raddon’s AP Arts teacher required all 30 of her students to prepare entries to the contest, from which she selected four pieces of art to submit to the museum. After two of Raddon’s photographs were chosen to comprise Brighton’s four entries, the senior was surprised. When she won an award for her photo called “Pink Haze,” she was shocked.

“I wasn’t even really aware there were awards, and so when my teacher told me, I was like, ‘Really?’ ” Raddon said. “I was really excited.”

Raddon has always had an interest in photography, but she never considered herself to be very good, she says. She enrolled in an AP arts class to gain more experience — and the class inspired her to pursue the arts as a career after she completes college. Raddon already has a scholarship and plans to attend the School of Visual Arts in ManhattaIMG_0374.JPGn to study photography after she graduates this year. Her love of art stems from her desire to share her perspective with others.

“I like that I can help the world, or the people around me see the world that I see,” Raddon says. “I feel like I have a very different view or perspective of the things around me, and I think a lot of people don’t see that. So when I’m able to share that with people, it just makes me really happy.”

Brooks submitted artwork in last year’s art show at the Springville museum, as well as this year, which is an accomplishment of itself, the junior says.

“I wasn’t even expecting to have my piece get in, so it was a really sweet surprise to have it picked for an award,” Brooks saNicole_Brooks.jpgid.

Her motivation for her charcoal sketch of a human form came from her desire to share a story with others. Brooks participates in the Robotics Club at Jordan in her free time, and she decided this year to include an inner narrative with each piece she creates.

Over the summer, Brooks took an art class that featured a ballet dancer who held different poses for the students to photograph. One of his poses inspired Brooks, who drew the form with the story of Icarus in mind.

“I thought of telling the story of Icarus when I did it,” Brooks says. “But I’d also like people to see it and come up with their own stories to go with it.”
Two Canyons District employees — a teacher and an administrator — were recognized this month for their contributions to the rapidly-growing field of language immersion.

You Yin-Yao, a Dual Language Immersion teacher at Draper Elementary, was named the International Teacher of the Year by the Utah Foreign Language Association (UFLA). He received the award Thursday, Feb. 9 during a conference at Utah Valley University. The plaque he received says the award is "in recognition of his energy, his industry, his caring, and his tireless dedication to the students at Draper Elementary, Canyons School District, and the teaching of Chinese language and culture." 

Also honored at the conference was CSD’s Dual Language Immersion Coordinator Ofelia G. Wade, who holds a dual appointment as Utah’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion Director. Wade was given the youpick.jpgassociation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her role in launching and growing Utah's immersion program under the direction of legislators and former Gov. Jon Huntsman who is fluent in Mandarin and served as U.S. Ambassador to China.

A model of bilingual instruction dating back to the 1960s, immersion programs are surfacing in classrooms around the globe as the most efficient path to proficiency in a woUtah_ofelia_wade_new.pngrld language. Children in dual language immersion programs spend half the day learning core subjects in English and the other half learning in a target language, such as, Spanish, French, Chinese and Portuguese.  

CSD’s first immersion classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District is now home to 14 elementary and secondary school immersion programs. Statewide, nearly 10 percent of all elementary students are learning a world language through the program which extends through high school where, if they've passed an Advanced Placement exam, students can start taking college-level courses for early college credit.

Wade got her start in education as a special education teacher. She has 23 years of experience in elementary administration, including seven years as a principal at an immersion school.
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