New Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education and Cabinet announce the following new administrative assignments:

Giovanni Guzman – Principal of Suncrest Elementary

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Giovanni Guzman as the principal of Suncrest Elementary school in Orem, effective July 1, 2018. Mr. Guzman has been serving as the principal of Provo Peaks Elementary in Provo School District for the last four years. Mr. Guzman’s educational background includes teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade mathematics, English, geography, U.S. history, Utah history and also experienced at the elementary level in special education, coordinating academic and behavioral interventions.

Mr. Guzman received his master’s degree in Educational Leadership and his bachelor’s degree in Combined Special Education/TESOL K-12 both from Brigham Young University. He is currently working on a Doctorate in STEM Education.

Upon receiving the call for appointment, Mr. Guzman said, “I am excited to work side by side with students, teachers, staff members, and community to create a collaborative culture and system that allows us to become a very successful school through the Professional Learning Community (PLC) process. I am passionate about helping students not only master essential academic concepts but also helping them acquire skills and dispositions required to succeed in the 21st century.  I am excited to be a part of the culture of Alpine School district and collaborate with the amazing leadership in the district.”

Barry Beckstrand, Elementary Administrator of Schools said, “We are fortunate to add Mr. Guzman to our Alpine team of administrators. His experience and ideas will enhance our efforts to guarantee learning for all students. He is positive, personable, and collaborative. He brings a unique set of skills that will help execute our district’s Vision for Learning. I can’t wait to collaborate and work with Mr. Guzman.”

Jack Kingsford – Elementary Principal (Location TBD)

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Jack Kingsford as an elementary principal, effective July 1, 2018. Mr. Kingsford has been serving as a principal in Elim, Alaska since 2015. Before becoming a principal, Mr. Kingsford was an elementary teacher in 1st grade, 4th grade, art specialty, and Reading Recovery in Alpine School District.

Mr. Kingsford received both his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University and his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education K-8 from Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Mr. Kingsford stated, “I am very excited to be returning to Alpine School District where my professional educational career began.”

Dr. Mark Pew, Elementary Administrator of Schools, said, “Mr. Kingsford’s diverse background makes him an exceptional person for the principalship.  His knowledge of curriculum, his innovative approach to collaboration, and his love of students will serve Alpine School District well.  Welcome back Mr. Kingsford!”

Heather Slaymaker – Principal of Cherry Hill Elementary

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Heather Slaymaker as the principal of Cherry Hill Elementary School in Orem, effective July 1, 2018. Mrs. Slaymaker is in her 20th year as an educator with vast experiences ranging from K-12 social work for thirteen years and as a high school assistant principal for three years. Most recently, Mrs. Slaymaker has been an elementary assistant principal at Ridgeline Elementary.

Mrs. Slaymaker received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Weber State University and her master’s degree in Social Work from Brigham Young University. Heather earned a second master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Utah.

Mrs. Slaymaker said, “I feel privileged to work in a position to partner each day with educators, students, parents and the community for the success of students. I have a strong passion for education and truly love what I get to do every day.”

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Barry Beckstrand, remarked, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Mrs. Slaymaker join our Cherry Hill community. Her experience in the Provo and Alpine districts broadens her perspective and capacity to lead. One can feel her passion and excitement for education. I can’t wait to work with Mrs. Slaymaker, as she builds upon the amazing traditions and legacy of Cherry Hill Elementary.”

Aaron Stevenson – Principal of Pony Express Elementary

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Aaron Stevenson as the principal of Pony Express Elementary School in Eagle Mountain, effective July 1, 2018. Mr. Stevenson has been serving as the principal of Orchard Elementary in Orem for the last 8 years. Mr. Stevenson’s educational background includes teaching at Bonneville Elementary and North Point Elementary before becoming an assistant principal at Northpoint Elementary and Freedom Elementary.

Mr. Stevenson earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership and his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, both from Brigham Young University.

Following an acceptance of his new position, Mr. Stevenson stated, “I am honored to be appointed as the principal at Pony Express. I am looking forward to partnering with parents, teachers, and students to continue the tremendous work that has occurred there and to build on the already wonderful things that are happening. I can’t wait to meet you and be a part of the community. Go Riders!”

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Dr. Mark Pew said, “We are thrilled for this opportunity to have Mr. Stevenson come to Pony Express Elementary.  Mr. Stevenson brings a wealth of experience and a love for students.  Mr. Stevenson has been a strong leader in the Orem schools as they implemented our Alpine Vision for Learning.”

Alisa Hart – Principal of Meadow Elementary

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Alisa Hart as the principal of Meadow Elementary school in Lehi, effective July 1, 2018. She has been serving as the principal of Cherry Hill  Elementary in Orem for the last 11 years. Prior to administration, Mrs. Hart taught one year prior to coming to Alpine School District in 1992.  She taught at Sharon Elementary for two years then transferred to Hillcrest Elementary and taught for five years before moving to Snow Springs Elementary as a TSA (teacher on special assignment).

Mrs. Hart received her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, both from Brigham Young University.

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Eric Woodhouse said, “I am thrilled to be able to team with Mrs. Hart again, and be a part of the great energy and vision she brings to education.  She has been such an important member of the Orem community during her service to Cherry Hill Elementary.  She knows how to bring people together in pursuit of excellence, and is a great example of service leadership.  She inspires confidence in her faculty and staff, and loves the students she works with.  Meadow Elementary is a perfect fit for her talents.  Welcome aboard, Alisa!”

Jennifer Moore – Principal of Windsor Elementary

The Alpine School Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Jennifer Moore as the principal of Windsor Elementary in Orem, effective July 1, 2018. She will be replacing Lani Sitake, who recently announced her retirement. Mrs. Moore is in her second year of service as the assistant principal at Riverview Elementary.  Prior to that assignment, she was a TSA (teacher on special assignment) partnership facilitator at Geneva Elementary and taught 10 years at Sego Lily Elementary.

Mrs. Moore stated, “This appointment is overwhelming, frightening and amazing, all at the same time.  This position comes with great responsibility to the community, the teachers and most of all, the students.  I have a desire to work with a team that is continually looking for ways to learn from others, improve their practice, and are dedicated to what is best for kids-even when it is hard for adults. This is such a great opportunity to stretch my own abilities and hopefully make an impact on the abilities of others.”

Mrs. Moore received her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University, and her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University.

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Barry Beckstrand said, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Mrs. Moore as our principal at Windsor.  With her experience at Riverview in Visible Learning, as well as her understanding of professional learning communities, Windsor will be well taken care of. Relationships are very important to Mrs. Moore, and she is exceptional at working with students and families.  She is an advocate for students and works hard to create a safe learning environment for students and teachers.”

Kerry Milner – Principal of Orchard Elementary

The Alpine School Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Kerry Milner as the principal of Orchard Elementary in Orem, effective July 1, 2018. She will be replacing Aaron Stevenson, who was recently appointed as the principal of Pony Express Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Mrs. Milner is in her first year of service as the assistant principal at Fox Hollow Elementary.  Previously, she was a TSA (teacher on special assignments) partnership facilitator at Manila Elementary.  Mrs. Milner also taught kindergarten at Manila Elementary.

Mrs. Milner received her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix and her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Weber State University.

Mrs. Milner stated, “I feel very grateful to be given the opportunity to serve as a school leader.  It’s a beautiful thing when career and passion come together.  I feel very lucky to do what I love everyday.  I am passionate about education and have a great desire to move this work forward with our wonderful teachers, students and community.   I love Alpine School District’s Vision for Learning and I want to continue to collaborate with teachers and leaders to ensure that all students acquire the knowledge, skills and dispositions that they need to be successful in life.   My career as an educator has been exceedingly rewarding. Working together with wonderful colleagues I know we can change the world every day for our students.   I feel very honored to work along the wonderful leaders, teachers and students of Alpine School District.  I am excited about taking the next step forward.

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Barry Beckstrand said, “Kerry is a wonderful leader and advocate for students.  Her experience at Manila and Fox Hollow has proven to make her an exceptional communicator and problem-solver.  She is a perfect balance of being relationship-driven and detail-oriented.  Her love of teaching and understanding of pedagogy will make her a great fit for Orchard’s tradition and focus on deeper learning.  We are so excited to have Kerry join our team at Orchard!”

Patrice Dietz – Principal of Dry Creek Elementary

The Alpine School Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Patrice Dietz as the principal of Dry Creek Elementary in Lehi, effective July 1, 2018. She will be replacing Sam Rencher, who was recently appointed to a position in the district curriculum office. Mrs. Dietz is in her first year of service as the assistant principal at Dry Creek Elementary.  Previously, she was the assistant principal at Harvest Elementary for one year.  Prior to administration, Mrs. Dietz was a TAA (teacher on administrative assignment) and taught third grade at Harvest Elementary.

Mrs. Dietz received her master’s degree in Education Administration from Utah State University and her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Utah Valley University.

Mrs. Dietz stated, “I am honored to be appointed as principal of Dry Creek Elementary. I am excited to have the opportunity to take what I have learned as a vice principal and apply it as well as accept new responsibilities that cultivate student learning within the culture of a school. I would like to help facilitate a leadership team that supports knowledge and student success. I want to advocate authentic learning for students to prepare them for the real world that they will face in the future.”

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Eric Woodhouse, said, “Mrs. Dietz has been such an asset to Dry Creek elementary this past year.  She has worked closely with Mr. Rencher and established critical relationships with the faculty, staff and parents.  Her understanding of Professional Learning Communities and our district vision for learning will help Dry Creek continue their trajectory towards deeper, authentic learning for all students.  I am thrilled for Mrs. Dietz, for the students and staff, and the Dry Creek community.  Welcome aboard Mrs. Dietz!”

Lynn Gerratt – Principal of Orem High School

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Lynn Gerratt as the principal of Orem High School, effective July 1, 2018. Mr. Gerratt has served as the principal of Summit High school for the last eight years. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Principal at American Fork High for 8 years.

Mr. Gerratt earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy and his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Utah.

Secondary Administrator, Theron Murphy, said, “Lynn is a servant leader; his heart and vision will add to Orem High’s legacy of EXCELLENCE. We are thrilled for Principal Gerratt and the Orem High School Community.”

Mark Whitaker – Principal of New Middle School in Saratoga Springs

The Alpine District Board of Education announce the appointment of Mark Whitaker as principal of the new middle school in Saratoga Springs. He will be at Vista Heights Middle School effective July 1, 2018 and reassigned in January 2019 to open the new school.  Mr. Whitaker has served as principal of Mountain Ridge Junior High School for the past eight years. He was named 2016 Utah Secondary Principal of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals.

Secondary Administrator, Dr. Shane Farnsworth, said, “Mark is an outstanding administrator admired by his students, patrons and staff. He exercises great judgment and develops strong relationships with students. I could not be more pleased to have Mark open our newest middle school. He will do an outstanding job. The Saratoga Springs community is fortunate to have him as their middle school principal.”

Mike Browning – Director of Operations, District Office

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Mike Browning as a Director of Operations, effective July 1, 2018. He has been serving as the principal of Orem High School for the last seven years. Other leadership experience includes Principal of Willowcreek Middle School for  three years and assistant principal at Timpanogos High and Mountain Ridge Junior High. Mike also served at the district office as an administrator in special education where he coordinated academic and behavioral interventions.

Mr. Browning received his master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Foundations and his bachelor’s degree in Special Education Mild/Moderate, both from Brigham Young University.

Mr. Browning stated, “I think this is going to be a great opportunity to serve ASD, but I’m going to miss the heck out of Orem High School. Not interacting with the students and teachers everyday is going to take some getting use to. I love the Orem community and I consider my time as a Tiger as some of the most cherished years of my career. I look forward to a new challenge and appreciate the confidence the district has in me.”

Administrator of Operations, Jess Christen, said, “Mike is a great leader who brings a wealth of educational experience to this position.  His knowledge of the day-to-day operations of schools will benefit all students in ASD.”

Sam Rencher – Director of Curriculum, District Office

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Sam Rencher as a Director of Curriculum, effective July 1, 2018. Mr. Rencher has been serving as the principal of Dry Creek Elementary School in Lehi for the last four years. Mr. Rencher’s educational background includes Principal of Forbes Elementary for 5 years and teaching within Alpine School District since 1999.

Mr. Rencher received his master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Phoenix and his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Utah Valley University.

Administrator of Educational Services, Garrick Peterson, said, “Sam has done an outstanding job as a principal throughout his career.  I have always been impressed with his sound understanding of the Professional Learning Community process and I am excited to have that understanding be a part of the district office team. I am confident that Sam will have a positive influence with all those with whom he works.”

Lori Thorn – Assistant Director of Student Services, District Office

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Lori Thorn as an Assistant Director of Student Services, effective July 1, 2018. Mrs. Thorn has been serving as the principal of Polaris High School in Orem for the last 6 years. Mrs. Thorn’s educational background includes assistant principal East Shore High and also twelve years teaching at Lehi Junior High.

Mrs. Thorn received her master’s degree in Education Administration and her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Brigham Young University.

Dr. Chip Koop, Director of Student Services remarked, “We are excited to have Lori’s experience, strengths, and skills join the efforts of the Student Services Department. Her background in working with at-risks students will be an asset for all ASD schools.”

Kari Shirk – Director of Curriculum, District Office

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Kari Shirk as Director of Curriculum, effective July 1, 2018. Mrs. Shirk has been serving as the Convergent Assessment Coordinator for the Curriculum Department of Alpine School District. Prior to that she was the PLC Coordinator at Skyridge High School. She taught mathematics at Lehi Junior High School for two years and at Lakeridge Junior High School for 12 years.

Mrs. Shirk received her bachelor’s degree in Math Education from Brigham Young University. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in Curriculum and Instruction and also earned an administrative certification from Utah State University.

Administrator of Educational Services, Dr. Garrick Peterson, said, “Kari has gained a unique skill set as an educator.  As a teacher she became an expert in the Professional Learning Community process. As a PLC coordinator she showed an ability to coach teams in the PLC process. This past year she has done an amazing job in developing the capacity of other PLC coordinators. We are excited to have her continue to train and coach others in the PLC process.”

Jess Carter – Assistant Director of CTE, District Office

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Jess Carter as an Assistant Director of CTE, effective July 1, 2018. Mr. Carter has been serving as an assistant principal at Pleasant Grove Junior High School for the last two years and one additional year as a TAA at American Fork Junior High School. Mr. Carter’s educational background includes teaching Career and Technical Education at American Fork Junior High School.

Mr. Carter  received his master’s degree in Education from Southern Utah University and his bachelor’s degree in Technology and Engineering from Brigham Young University.

Director of CTE, Michelle Price, said, “We are so excited to welcome Jess to our team. He is passionate about building high quality CTE programs. We look forward to many positive experiences for students as a result of Jess’ vision for the future of CTE in ASD.

Sandra Akagi – Principal of the New Elementary in North Lehi

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Sandra Akagi as the principal of the new elementary in north Lehi. Mrs. Akagi has served as Director of Curriculum for the district for the last five years focused on mathematics and literacy curriculum and instruction. Prior to her work in the district office, she was the former principal of Fox Hollow Elementary school in Lehi for four years, and has served in the district for the past 20 years.

Mrs. Akagi stated, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to get back into the school.  I came into education to work with children and teachers, and I can’t wait to get back to it.  I’m so excited for this new adventure, and look forward to building something special with the new community.”

Mrs. Akagi received both her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy and her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Utah. She has received many awards as a teacher and has been through the BYU Associates program.

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Elizabeth Wilson, said, “Sandi is a dynamic leader who brings a wealth of experience with her. She has an extensive knowledge of curriculum, innovation and broad elementary education experience. I first met Sandi when she was my youngest daughter’s 5th grade teacher. My daughter loved her and I was thrilled as a parent at the education my daughter was receiving. I am excited to work with her now as a returning principal, and think her passion and expertise is a perfect fit for this new school community.”

(January 24, 2018)

Brady Rowley – Principal of the New Elementary in Eagle Mountain

The Alpine District Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of Brady Rowley as the principal of the new elementary school in Eagle Mountain. Mr. Rowley has been serving as the principal of Sage Hills Elementary, in Saratoga Springs. Prior to his experience as an elementary principal, Mr. Rowley served for four years as an assistant principal at Lehi Junior High.

Mr. Rowley commented, “I am excited and honored to be named the principal of the new elementary school in Eagle Mountain! This opportunity to bring together these amazing communities to create a new school with a culture of learning and a vision focused on student achievement will be a wonderful experience!”

Mr. Rowley received both his master’s degree, in Educational Leadership and Foundation, and his bachelor’s degree, in Secondary Education, from Southern Utah University.

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Dr. Mark Pew, said, “Brady is an exceptional leader. He understands school and community cultures and is driven to see every student succeed. We are confident that he will bring all the communities of the new school together and form an exciting school environment, rich in innovation and learning, with his new staff and the parents and students they serve.”

(January 24, 2018)

John Emett – Principal of Sage Hills Elementary

The Alpine School Board of Education and Cabinet announce the appointment of John Emett as the principal of Sage Hills Elementary in Saratoga Springs. John will be replacing Brady Rowley, who was recently appointed to open the new elementary school in Eagle Mountain. Mr. Emett is in his third year of service as the assistant principal at Sage Hills Elementary.  Prior to administration, Mr. Emett was a sixth-grade teacher at Saratoga Shores Elementary and also in Jordan and Canyons school districts.

Mr. Emett stated, “I am thrilled to continue in the direction and tradition we have at Sage Hills! The focus on student learning and building strong partnerships with the community will continue to be a hallmark of our school! I look forward to working with the teachers, staff, parents, and students to continue the vision of success so many have helped to establish. Go Thunderhawks!”

Mr. Emett received his master’s degree in Teacher Leadership at the University of Utah and his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University. He has an administrator’s license from the University of Utah.

Elementary Administrator of Schools, Dr. Mark Pew, said, “John knows the Sage Hills community very well. He has a strong curricular background and has a special ability to see the big picture in best instructional practices. John is good with people and has a kind heart. He is excited to continue on the path to move Sage Hills students, families and staff forward.”

(January 24, 2018)