April 12

Dawna Lauer, Freedom Elementary; preschool aide

Dawna is my son’s preschool teacher and she goes above and beyond every day. Sometimes my son struggles going to school and she is always there to help me drop him off. She will give him a big hug and she helps him feel loved and safe. She is definitely teaching my son as a “whole child” by meeting his educational and his emotional needs. I have no doubt that any future love he has for school will go back to the experiences he is having with her. I am so grateful that she is a part of his educational foundation. Freedom Elementary is a better place because of her!

Nominated by: Whitney Schoenfeld, parent

Nicole VandenBos, Orem Elementary; Innovative Learning Coach

While it might be frustrating to work with a “bit of a technology dinosaur” who lacks the computer savvy of a younger teacher, Nicole has gone above and beyond to help me succeed. She is a skilled peer teacher who understands the gaps of those she supports and has an innate ability to guide others in becoming more proficient in technology. She has encouraged me to be more innovative and given me the confidence to take on new things. This is true mentorship! Her expertise, combined with her patience, is making Orem Elementary a better place to teach.

Nominated by: Anita Babb, district employee

Samantha Johnson, Oak Canyon Junior; teacher

“She is nice, she is funny, she is kind.

Nominated by: Allison Herrera Hernandez, student

She understands the kids in school and is very funny even though some times people don’t want to be there.”

Nominated by: Ethan Ranson, student

Michaela Howlett, Bonneville Elementary; sweeper

Michaela is a senior at Timpanogos High school and is taking EMT classes at MTECH. She has been a sweeper at Bonneville for 3 years. When leaving work one night, she found an individual outside the school who was having a medical emergency. She didn’t hesitate to use her training until first responders arrived. The police told her that her actions likely saved his life. We are lucky to have her at our school.

Nominated by: name withheld

Priscilla Prestes, Oak Canyon Junior; teacher

She is a very caring and aware teacher that is always motivating and kind. She is deserving of the RISE award because she is so kind and caring she is always aware of other students who are struggling and helps us with countless struggles in and outside of school.”

Nominated by: Kallie Andersen, student

This person is deserving of the RISE award because she has always been there for all of us. If one of us was struggling, she would talk to them, and help them. She came to Oak Canyon in unconventional circumstances. The previous Portuguese teacher had left because the students were very disrespectful, and would never pay attention. She deserves it because she helped those students, and has touched the lives of many.”

Nominated by: Benjamin Belliston, student

Melissa Stewart, Skyridge High; student advocate

As an advocate, most of the students Melissa Stewart works with are struggling with something; attendance, low grades, social-emotional issues, heartbreaking family situations, all of the above and more. She establishes relationships of trust as she nurtures and encourages her students and their families. We often refer to her as “school mom” as she lovingly helps students with homework, works with teachers, gives them tools, communicates with parents…she works tirelessly to support and empower families. She gives families hope! She is RISE!

Nominated by: Jill Stott, district employee

Rachel Quintana, Bonneville Elementary; administrative secretary

Rachel has worked for Bonneville as the admin secretary for 3 years but has worked within the district for many more. Rachel has learned so much while being an admin secretary and is still continuously learning. She inspires us to keep trying and she is our biggest cheerleader. Rachel has great relationships with our parents. Especially those that may have a language barrier. She is thoughtful and creative. She keeps us laughing. We are truly grateful for her dedication to our students, our parents, and our faculty.

Nominated by: Camie Howlett, district employee

Angel Holmes, Oak Canyon Junior; teacher

She is nice and teaches well and explains things perfectly. She also makes sure everyone on task, following along and understanding everything.

Nominated by: Savannah Moak, student

Jessica Smith, Riverview Elementary; paraprofessional

Jessica is one of those gems every admin looks for. She goes above and beyond to help out whenever possible, and she does it with a smile on her face at all times. She is such a bright light that shines on “the Riv” everyday, and we are super lucky to have her.

Nominated by: Susan Christensen, district employee

Vickie Pendleton, Westfield Elementary; teacher

Vickie Pendleton is kind and a friend to all. Vickie has taught all four of our children and her kindness and wisdom have left a lasting imprint on our children’s minds and hearts. Instilling in students a strong work ethic and responsibility are a strength of Vickie’s, students leave her classroom changed. Vickie understands different learning styles well and ensures all of her students learn and understand the essential standards of 4th grade. Vickie’s kindness and work reach well beyond her classroom, she treats her coworkers and all she meets with kindness and grace.

Nominated by: Heidi Clifford, parent & district employee

Miguel Giraldo, Windsor Elementary; DLI teacher

Last year, Mr. Giraldo was my 6th grade Spanish DLI teacher. He’s Encouraging as well as Inspiring because he shows inspiring videos about people who motivates us to strive to be more accomplishing and do our very best. He’s also really Inspiring by sharing stories about himself, how he came to the US, and how we should work hard and be grateful for what we have. He’s Remarkable due to how he connects with the students by being fun, having high expectations and teaching content effectively. I love how Mr. Giraldo is Selfless. He gives his time and really cares about each one of his students.

Nominated by: Erica Freire, student

Señor Miguel Giraldo is an incredible educator in our DLI program . He is dedicated to getting to know his students and their families through constant communication and home visits. Señor Giraldo is dedicating to reflecting on his teaching practices and is always looking for ways to increase student engagement and learning. Students throughout the school want to be in his class. It is evident that he holds his students to high standards and he works tirelessly to help them reach their potential. He is an incredible gift to our school, district, and community.”

Nominated by: Windsor administrators and coaches

Angela Moulton, Oak Canyon Junior; teacher

Mrs. Moulton is the best math teacher I have ever had. She is extremely encouraging and always pushes us to be our very best. She puts our learning before herself and gives us understandable lessons. I’ve never found math more easy, and it’s thanks to Mrs. Moulton.

Nominated by: Kat Perl, student

Mrs. Moulton always has a fun class of math students. She is strict, but she makes it easy for people to understand the concepts being taught, and she makes sure that everyone knows how to do each and every problem. I know that she works tirelessly hard to make each day a day full of learning and knowledge, and being able to have a silent class and a great lesson is something that she works hard to do each and every day.”

Nominated by: Elizabeth Loveridge, student

JoDee Spanos, Windsor Elementary; secretary

JoDee has had an incredibly challenging year. She still comes to work and supports, encourages as well as listens to everyone. She is a great support to our staff, administration and students. JoDee is truly an incredible, inspiring and resilient individual. Windsor is lucky to have her!

Nominated by: Cayce Thill, district employee

Jenna Flood, Oak Canyon Junior; teacher

Madame Flood stops at nothing to give her students the BEST Oak Canyon experience, and an amazing world language and culture education. She works and overworks to guarantee that she is ready with engaging and relevant lessons with clear goals in mind each and every day. Her students know her expectations for them as well as how much she cares. She goes above and beyond, and actively studies the most recent research in her field to boot!

Nominated by: Anna Robison, district employee

When your child comes home from school each day telling you how much they love their teacher, that is a special thing! I appreciate Madam Flood’s ability to connect with her students, cheer them on, and truly brighten their day. She keeps my daughter laughing with her positivity and wit and always seems to know when she needs a pick me up. She has mastered the balance of respect and fun and I couldn’t think of a better teacher for junior high age kids.”

Nominated by: Jordan & Michelle Hunt, parents

Kirsten Elkin, American Fork High; preschool aide

Kirsten works as help in the preschool at American Fork High. Not only has she involved herself with the little kids, but she builds connections with the HS students too, she deserves this because she works so hard.

Nominated by: Brealyne Jensen, student

Brandis Smith, Lake Mountain Middle; teacher

Mrs. Smith has been inspiring for the two years that I have been on her dance company. She has been the reason that I love dance at school and she really has helped me become better as a person and a dancer. She encourages kindness and respect while still being fun and friendly. She allows so much creativity as a dance teacher should and my choreography skills have improved because of her help and feedback.

Nominated by: Kierra Varga, student

Brittany Harris, Polaris High; teacher

Brittany Hansen is the kindest, most supportive person I know. She always encourages her students to do their best and she helps them reach their goals. She helps students resolve conflicts and always makes sure her classroom is a safe place for everyone.

Nominated by: Sydney Futrell, student

Cory Smith, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

“Dr. Smith makes me excited to come to school every day. He makes a good learning environment and jokes with us and also takes our jokes. He has good rules in place and he always delivers on his promises. He also gives us free time at the last 5ish minutes of class. This is great as it lets us unwind. Doctor Smith is truly the best.

Nominated by: Curtis McCorirstin, student

John Meyer, Polaris High; teacher

I’m nominating John because he’s a great teacher and if I every need someone to take to I know I can go and talk to him he’s like my school dad.

Nominated by: Ivy Mitchell, student

Amanda Spencer, Cedar Ridge Elementary; teacher

My son has been attending (another school) for 6 years and has Anxiety, ADHD and DMDD and was so nervous for this school year (as were we as parents) We had a meeting with Mrs. Spencer, the resource team and the VP the day before school started and discussed my sons needs and I told them the most important thing for Radek was to be loved. You can’t fake it because he will know and he won’t work well with you if he doesn’t feel loved and supported. She has been so amazing. She has loved my kid and helped him accomplish so many things and so far have the most incredible experience at school!

Nominated by: Helen Jochetz, parent

Kennedie Savage, Legacy Elementary; teacher

“She goes above and beyond for her students. Isn’t afraid of a kid who is a challenge. Comes up with her own goals for positive reinforcement for a child. Cares and loves her students. Works with parents to help a child. I can tell she loves my child. My 1st grader would not be the same without her. I am so thankful for her. She is the best teacher!

Nominated by: Kristina Anderson, parent

Sue Hansen, Cascade Elementary; receptionist

Sue Hansen is an incredible woman. The kindness and compassion she shows for all the students at Cascade is unmatched. I have seen her calm many students struggling with anxiety. The students feel safe with Sue. She is always helping someone with something. She inspires me to be there for others too.

Nominated by: Aimee Monsen, district employee

Taralyn Holmes, Oak Canyon Junior; teacher

She has amazing teaching methods, she gets involved with her students and she makes sure everyone understands and comprehends the assignments. She is a positive influence in the lives of all of her students. She not only teaches the curriculum, but she also teaches important life lessons, or lessons that can be easily applied to your daily life and can greatly help you in the future.

Nominated by: Eve Richardson, student

Tammy Rediehs, Brookhaven Elementary; teacher

Miss Rediehs has gone above and beyond for our daughter. She created an amazing log book to help keep us in the loop of her daily behaviors and homework. She helps our daughter in the mornings before school with Reading and Writing, helps her with personal problems she is struggling with, and gives her the motivation she needs. I have been to a few classroom events, where I have personally seen Miss Rediehs interact with her students in such a loving and engaging way. We absolutely love Miss Redeiehs she is deserving of this Award and so much more!

Nominated by: Samea Hampton, parent

Brie Gutzman, Viewpoint Middle; teacher

Mrs. Gutzman is the BEST! She is so kind and makes her classroom a great place to be! I am so thankful for Mrs. Gutzman! She makes super fun lessons and is always willing to help us when we need it!”

Nominated by: Lily Blanchard, student

Liliana Jessup, Westlake High; teacher

Señora Jessup is one of the kindest people I know! She always goes out of her way to talk to me and other students in the halls. When she sees somebody she knows she always is so excited to see them and catch up! She cares deeply about all her students and makes sure we know it. She makes everybody feel so welcome and encourages them to do their best. She helps all her students have fun in the classroom and is very understanding! Thanks so much for being one of the best teachers ever!

Nominated by: Josie Mumford, student

Danley Phillips, Lehi Junior; teacher

“He is a very kind and smart humorous teacher who is very helpful and he takes time to get to know the students on a personal level. He also was very helpful to me in 7th grade when i struggled in English.”

Nominated by: Samantha Mendenhall, student

Jon Benight, Cedar Valley High; teacher

He’s a great teacher. My favorite.

Nominated by: Sofie Taylor, student

Sarah Harding, Viewpoint Middle; teacher

Mrs. Harding deserves a RISE award because she is not only a teacher she is also a friend. She always listens to what you have to say even if its not school related. She’s always there to talk and help with any problems you face.

Nominated by: Alexis Tapia, student

Kaylee Roestenburg, Lehi High; teacher

Mrs. Rose, as we call her, is my favorite teacher by far. This teacher is very outgoing and when in need of help, goes beyond her limits to help her students be successful. She is lively and is always caring about each individual student, trying to create the safest place inside her classroom. She deserves this award just for these few things, but as this is her first year of teaching, I doubt this will be the first or last award she will be awarded with.

Nominated by: Stevie McClure, student

Mrs. Roestenburg is deserving of the RISE Award because she has gone above and beyond in being a fantastic teacher. She has taught her curriculum with precision and she has made it easy to understand for all students. Mrs. Roestenburg checks up on her students and ensures that they are doing well in school and in their own personal lives. I have never had or heard a teacher who would be able to approach her level of quality of teaching.”

Nominated by: Kristen E Mecham, student



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