February 15

Craig Smith. Lone Peak High, teacher

Craig Smith is a devoted teacher and shows his commitment to the success of his students in EVERY interaction he has with them. He has taught all four of my children in AP Calculus and has motivated them to be independent learners, who are driven to succeed! He spends many hours of his own time working with students, and works hard to ensure that they are confident in their knowledge and capabilities! I am inspired by his devotion and am grateful for his impact in my children’s lives!

Nominated by: Elizabeth Swalberg, parent

Mr Smith is the poster child for remarkable, inspiring, selfless and encouraging. Each night at dinner we hear about calculus. CALCULUS of all subjects!!l How can Mr Smith inspire these kids, who struggle with a tough concept, rave about him, and proclaim “it’s my favorite class”? How? He is there for them like no other teacher ever has been. He is what a teacher should be, he actually teaches, RE-teaches and ensures kids understand the concept. He supports them in his own personal time when he could go home. I am grateful for his kindness and drive to be all our education system should be.

Nominated by: Katrinka Condie, parent

Laura Stoddard, Shelley Elementary, speech therapist

Laura is one of those people who has a positive impact on those around her. When my child needed additional support she was a true advocate for him and coordinated everything in a such a quick manner. She kept me informed and got him the additional resources he needed immediately. She covered all the bases so my child would have all the tools necessary to succeed. It’s amazing to have someone you truly feel is in your corner. Laura is an incredibly talented individual who has a natural gift and patience with her students. My child looked forward to seeing her every week.

Nominated by: Jennie Largey, parent

Troy VanKomen, Oak Canyon Junior, teacher

Mr. VanKomen is a really encouraging teacher. Whenever we are in math class he never makes us feel embarrassed when we ask a question and he is always walking around the classroom to help us with any of the problems. He is one of my favorite teachers because he teaches math in a really good way which helps me understand it more and he helps us stay positive whenever we are stuck on a math problem. He is a really awesome teacher.

Nominated by: Kensington Thomas, student

Michelle Allan, Oak Canyon Junior, teacher

Mrs. Allan is an amazing and selfless teacher. When she was gone earlier this year, (because of a death in her family) she was still trying to help us do good in class while still being with her family.

Nominated by: Kensington Thomas, student

Erin Tiegen, Lehi Junior, teacher

Mrs. Teigen was amazing she made it so easy to learn and was extremely helpful and patient. I’ve never had a better teacher. She helped me through all my math struggles gently and kindly, she always was willing to help you through whatever you needed. She is overall a great teacher who made me feel great about my learning.

Nominated by: Marley Moak, student

Ted Hansen, Oak Canyon Junior, teacher

Mr. Hansen is a really remarkable teacher because he makes his class fun. I always look forward to B days because it’s my first class in the morning and Mr. Hansen always makes my day. He actually helps me enjoy school!! He is super funny and I love that he cares about us and wants to be our friend.

Nominated by: Kensington Thomas, student

Jonathan Pittman, west transportation, bus driver

Jonathan is a bus driver for our small group class. He often works solo because his aide has been sick. The kids love him. He is so patient with them. He puts Mozart music on for the kindergartener to listen too. He says it helps their brains. He often has 10 plus kids on the bus and sometimes they’re happy and sometimes they have had a rough day. So having this job takes so much patience. He is amazing and each kid looks forward to him picking them up.

Nominated by: Emily Crawford, district employee

TJ Brodrick, Lake Mountain Middle, teacher

Mr. Brodrick is funny, has an amazing classroom workplace, and is always ready to try his best to answer any questions you have, or assist you in any problem. He also teaches his subjects in fun and easily-learnable ways, and his assignments are interesting and entertaining. He is an incredible teacher! He decorates his classroom super cool, he does a great job of teaching, and he loves Star Wars.

Nominated by: Seth Young, student

Jamie Sam, Bonneville Elementary, teacher

Mrs. Sam goes above and beyond to teach her students that they are loved and that they are smart. She personalizes every interaction and learning situation to each children to ensure they succeed and are supported.

Nominated by: Tashua Pouloit, parent

Kelsey Evans, Bonneville Elementary, teacher

Well for one, Mrs. Evans is just an amazing teacher and is really good with how she teaches us. I love that she manages to teach us without it just being boring. Another reason is that she is just a great person overall. She’s always willing to chat when there’s extra time. I like having a relationship with my teachers and I think I’ve got a pretty good one with Mrs. Evans and that’s why she deserves the RISE award.”

Nominated by: Kambree Raff, student

Kari Trejo, Lehi High, teacher

Kari went above and beyond to help a student that didn’t graduate on time due to some mental health issue. She worked through the end of the summer and beginning of the following school year to help a student remediate chemistry credit so that she could graduate and get her diploma. She was amazing, and a huge asset!

Nominated by: Troy Humphries, district employee

David Gillis, Orem Junior, teacher

He is the best and a dedicated teacher who loves his students. He is responsible, always willing to give an extra help to students, and proactive.

Nominated by: Sandra Acosta, district employee

Ashlee Barker, Lehi High, teacher

Ashlee worked after school and individually with a specific student to help her get to graduation. She was extremely motivated and was able to build a great relationship for the student that helped her get to graduation!

Nominated by: Troy Humphries, district employee

Kristy Taylor, Saratoga Shores Elementary, teacher

Mrs. Taylor is the perfect example of an amazing teacher. She is kind, patient, cares about the students each individually, she sees the potential in each and every one of them, and by doing so helps them grow in confidence and academically. She believes in them and that makes them believe in themselves. She impacted my daughter in a big way, and I’ll be forever grateful for her influence. She is the kind of teacher that her students will always remember.❤️

Nominated by: Kylie Provost, parent

Mary Patten, Harbor Point Elementary, teacher

Mrs. Patten deserves to be recognized. She is kind, understanding and has such a way with the kids. My son was new to Harbor Point for 6th grade and she really made him feel welcome. She teaches in a way the kids can really connect with and the kids actually remember what she teaches.

Nominated by: Kaysha Hair, parent

Pam Thatcher, Dan Peterson School, secretary

Pam is the best secretary for Dan Peterson School. You will find her every morning greeting the students and coworkers with a smile. She’s goes above and beyond in her job making sure others are feeling loved and appreciated. It’s time to let her know how much we appreciate all she does. Our school would not function without her. We love you, Pam!

Nominated by: Kim Smith, district employee

Morgan Zimmerman, Lakeridge Junior, teacher

She’s always there to talk and is always listening to her students when we need. Even when she was pregnant last year, Zimmerman was always there to listen and help us the best way she could.

Nominated by: Sabie Lindlow, student

Marianne Beckstead, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

Mrs. Beckstead is such a great teacher, she helps me with a lot, and her way of teaching is perfect, she really deserves this award.

Nominated by: Yirmets Gandica Jr., student

Carma Williams, Westmore Elementary; teacher

Carma spends hours of her little free time preparing materials to fully engage her students despite bouts with sickness and surgeries her commitment to her students is awe inspiring.

Nominated by: David Behunin, parent

Ben Carter, Lakeridge Junior; administrator

I think that he’s a great person. I see the way he cares for students and always wants to support them no matter the situation. He is a great person overall!

Nominated by: Edith Cabrera, student

Carter is just a super funny guy and makes everyone feel like they actually belong. He talks to the students and gets involved in the activities they do and he’s just a really great guy.”

Nominated by: Makenzie Marsh, student

Shaylee Nielson, Skyridge High: teacher

Because she is always making sure we know the best about health and is making sure we feel loved by each and every one including students she is
amazing every single way.

Nominated by: Kaylee Sweeting, student

Kacey Oliekan, Snow Springs Elementary; teacher

Kacey is the teacher I wish was in every classroom. My son had her this last school year and she was such a phenomenal teacher. She is one of those teachers you can tell she is passionate about what she does and she enjoys her job and she makes such a difference in her students’ lives. I wish there were more teachers like Miss Oliekan. I feel blessed to have had her for my son this past year.

Nominated by: Missy Liston, parent

Stay Litster, Parkside Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Litster is kind to her students and encourages them to learn in a positive way. She gives them the freedom to choose the right thing to do while keeping a friendly classroom. I saw how a former student hugged her and the boy was disappointed that Mrs. Lister wasn’t going to be his teacher this school year. We’re lucky that she is my son’s teacher!

Nominated by: Flor de Liz Sibaja, parent

Diane Knight, North Point Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Knight has made Kindergarten easier not only for our child but for us as well. She goes above and beyond and is very patient, kind, and fun. We lucked out getting her as our daughters teacher. She makes learning fun. If there are issues that arise she handles them really well and is very patient and kind when addressing them. She makes our daughter feel like the most smartest amazing person and we love that she is so positive and helpful. Thanks Mrs Knight, you’re the best teacher ever.

Nominated by: Vance family, parents

Sharon Wharton, Liberty Hills Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Wharton has been such a loving and caring teacher to my daughter. She is patient and truly takes the time to teach the students who need that extra time. Mrs. Wharton has reached out to me on times I have forgotten to schedule parent teacher conferences to ensure that I didn’t miss out on learning more about my child’s education. She provides so much positive feedback on assignments to allow students to know they are doing a great job. We love having Mrs. Wharton as my child’s teacher.”

Nominated by: Margarita Beltran, parent

Rachel Lewis, Canyon View Junior; teacher

Miss. Lewis deserves this award because she really cares about the student’s grade and well being. Last year I was crying because of stress and pressure. She saw me crying and let me take a break from school and for me to complete 2 days before the term ends. Another time she stayed until 4:40 for me to complete and help me during retakes. She always makes sure that we believe in our self. She is the reason why I had all As last year. Miss Lewis is REMARKABLE – INSPIRING – SELFLESS – ENCOURAGING.”

Nominated by: Amaife Uzo-Menkiti, student

Suzanne Allen, River Rock Elementary; teacher

I have had two of my children in her class and I am amazed by the progress my children have made. She teaches her students not just school curriculum but she teaches them to make a difference in the world around them. My son wrote a letter to her “just because she’s the best teacher ever”. In his letter he told her “you make me feel like I belong here.” She makes her students feel like they can do anything and she helps them succeed by going above and beyond. She is a true gift to her students!

Nominated by: Jerah Assmus, parent

Hayley Brown, Vineyard Elementary; teacher

Ms. Brown is a dedicated person with children. She is very loving and patient, I appreciate her support for the beginning of my son’s education. She is genuinely happy to watch the children progress in their education. She is a great person.

Nominated by: Gesibel Villalobos, parent

Megan Wooten, Sage Hills Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Wooten has been so amazing this year! She inspires a love of learning with her own excitement, she is selfless with her time and talents used for reaching out to her students and engaging them, and she has been so encouraging when there are things to work on- making sure our student knows they are important and capable! Thank you Mrs. Wooten!

Nominated by: Jessica Philipbar, parent

Rodger Smith, Willowcreek Middle; counselor

Mr. Smith has helped so many children through hard times at Willowcreek, including me. My friend died this past year and Mr. Smith was there for me and my friend group when we needed him. He always gave out some of the best advice in hard situations. Another one of my friends was feeling suicidal last year, me and my friends didnt know what to do but Mr. Smith did and he walked us through how to help her. Because of him, she is still here.”

Brogan Elwell

Nominated by: Brogan Elwell, student

“‘Cause he is the best and he is always there for me.”

Nominated by: Vicente Castro, student

Cindy Velasquez, Legacy Elementary; teacher

Teaching is a great challenge and Mrs Velasquez does it well and cheerfully despite her physical challenges. She is amazing!

Nominated by: Mindy Utley, parent



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