June 19 – RISE Nominations

Heather Bayless, Thunder Ridge Elementary; administrator

Mrs. Bayless is an amazing teacher. This is my second son in her class, and she has helped them grow at their own pace. My boys are very different, but she has been able to reach each one of them. She cares about her students, and she teaches in a way that helps all students. We are so lucky to have her!

Nominated by: Whitney Child, parent

Natalie Robinson, Oak Canyon Junior; teacher

Natalie has a way of bringing math to life in her classroom. She engages students through story telling and real life application. Through collaboration, communication, and creativity, her students are experiencing what it is like to be a math mathematician. We are so lucky to have her in our school district and helping students to love math and become critical thinkers.

Nominated by: Kellie Campbell, district employee

Katie Robinson, Lehi High; teacher

Katie Seamons raises the bar for excellence in art education. Katie does the little things every day that make a difference like having clear routines and procedures, clear learning intentions, and great relationships with her students. Students are not only learning art skills, but learning Deep Learning skills for life. She goes above and beyond. For example she took 50 students to California to see world-class art museums and have incredible art experiences. She is also a great teacher-leader as CTL for her 2D Design team and a member of the Visual Arts Leadership team. Thanks, Katie!

Nominated by: Anna Davis, district employee

Alanna Camargo, Cedar Valley High; teacher

Alana is a natural. She works with individual students to guide them to their next step. She does consistent reflection on their own learning, so they know where they are and where to go next. She has built incredible relationships with her students, and then used that to teach a rigorous curriculum. Her students are engaged in the learning. We are lucky to have her!

Nominated by: Whitney Child, district employee

Erika Free, Cedar Valley High; teacher

Erika has a passion for helping her students learn. She is thoughtful in her planning to ensure students are engaged, purposeful, and learning. She reflects on her practice, and she always wants to do better. She creates a culture of critical thinking in her class.

Nominated by: Whitney Child, district employee

Kirsten Anderson, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

Kirsten Anderson has done so much for my kids & their life success. She creates a space for them to learn, grow, & express themselves. She is the drama teacher and her shows are REMARKABLE! She gets middle school kids to do AMAZING things on stage. We had a SOLD OUT SHOW this year, but it was no surprise! She is INSPIRING! She really teaches at a deep level and has such high standards for the kids. She is SELFLESS with her time, energy, talents. When it’s play season, you might think she lives at school. Her students are ENCOURAGED to try things they’ve never tried before, and they succeed!

Nominated by: Myla Johnson, parent

Kirsten puts her heart into providing valuable performing arts experiences for students. She spends many hours outside of her paid time giving to her school and community. She is a remarkable teacher and mentor. I have seen her help students develop and strengthen their talents. She guides and encourages students to be responsible and hard working participants in a production. Her talent and vision are evident in the shows that she has directed. Kirsten is an amazing example of what it means to rise and inspire.”

Nominated by: Rachel Merrell, parent

Kirsten is the drama teacher at Vista Heights. I have had 3 children in her program. She is always bubbly and enthusiastic and her energy spreads to the students! This year’s musical was Joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat. It was an unbelievable show! It sold out every single night! The time and effort that she puts into these productions is amazing. The way she loves her students and guides them to be nice humans is remarkable. Kirsten is a wonderful teacher and an even better person! We are lucky to have her!”

Nominated by: Candice Nielsen, parent

Mrs. Anderson has been an incredible theater for the students at Vista. Her engagement and involvement in how she manages all of her classes, cares for her students and understands their strengths and challenges is unparalleled. Her direction of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was outstanding and it is clear how much the students love and appreciate her from their joyful performance.”

Nominated by: Theresa Belvin, parent

Kirsten Anderson goes above and beyond to develop a love of theater, community, performing, and inclusion for her students. She runs the Drama Department and does an exceptional job at providing a welcoming space for the children and parents. I am astounded again by the incredible production that she did for the school this year. I had the honor of working closely with her and her students during that production and she really makes every student feel welcome and included.”

Nominated by: Kelsy & Kennedy Love, parent

Ricardo Cetz, Windsor Elementary; teacher

Excelente persona y maestro.

“Excellent person and teacher.”

Nominated by: Ana Vaca, parent

April Thompson, Westlake High; teacher

Mrs. Thompson is an outstanding chemistry teacher, who makes the material easy to understand and fun for everybody. She tells hilarious stories that are relevant to what we are doing and various safety procedures. I may not like chemistry as a subject, but I still look forward to the class because it means learning from Mrs. Thompson. She encourages every individual to participate, and is enthusiastic when we get a tricky problem right. You can tell how passionate Mrs. Thompson is about chemistry and her job as a teacher every day, and it is contagious to her students and classroom.

Nominated by: Emily Austad, student

Ms. Thompson is the best! She truly cares and loves each student. She made a hard and scary class like chemistry fun and exiting.”

Nominated by: Amon Santos, student

I nominate her because even though it is really hard to understand Chemistry, she is able to break it down and help me and my fellow classmates to learn the subject matter. And it is tough to teach, because certain students detracting or not paying attention in class, she is still able to persevere.”

Nominated by: Carter Durrant, student

She goes above and beyond letting her students learn and helping them get the best grade they can. She stays after school most days and even sometimes misses things for her own kids so she can help her students. She should be recognized for all the hard work she has done and shown to all of us.”

Nominated by: Dreyson Cowley, student

Ms. Thompson goes above and beyond to teach her students. My daughter did not have a very good experience in Chemistry, but transferred into Ms. Thompson’s class half way through the year and it was a drastic difference. My daughter loves science now and looks forward to class. Ms. Thompson is willing to teach and help them before, after school, during her lunch, whatever it takes. If they do not understand, she is willing to work with them one on one. She is the definition of a RISE teacher. She is Remarkable, Inspiring, Selfless, Encouraging. Thank you Ms. Thompson for ALL you do!”

Nominated by: Krista Rigamoto, parent

Kyle Reini, Westlake High; teacher

Mr. Reini is a great math teacher who always takes time to explain and answer questions. He also is just a fun guy.

Nominated by: Stockton Carlson, student

Chris Cooper, Westlake High; teacher

Mr. Cooper is flexible with the work and makes things convenient. Mr. Cooper is easy to talk to when it comes to doing stuff for his classes and has some pretty good teaching techniques.

Nominated by: Asher Anderson, student

Stephanie Taylor, Westlake High; teacher

Mrs.Taylor has truly been a strong foundation throughout this school year. I love her teaching and have grown so much as a writer and person because of her. She is kind, understanding and sassy! Her influence on both my life and perspective have caused me to become a more caring and inclusive person. I’ll never forget the amazing lessons she has taught me.

Nominated by: Kapri Turner, student

Mrs. Taylor truly cares about me and my education. She is understanding, but also holds us each accountable for our own learning something that I have needed to learn how to do for awhile. She is kind-hearted and funny, but she also keeps it real with us and makes sure that we are all receiving the help we need to succeed. She perfectly balanced education with care. She has made me love analyzing things and made hard English classes not so bad. I truly appreciate her and think that she deserves this award.”

Nominated by: Brynlee Bingham, student

Ms. Taylor cares so much about helping each of her students learn in an engaging and positively growing way and shows her amazing personality while doing so. She gives you room to grow and great constructive criticism. She also allows room for mistakes and is understanding when we aren’t perfect. Her teaching is helpful and has made me a better writer and analyzer.”

Nominated by: Miley Coates, student

Mrs. Taylor is an amazing teacher that genuinely cares about the students learning. She plans engaging lessons, gives great feedback, and is willing to work with the students. She gives us second chances, and is really helpful with her feedback and teaching.”

Nominated by: Matyas Bird, student

Mrs. Taylor inspires me to do my best every time and keeps trying to get to where I want to be. She is willing to help me and give me chances for success. She wants me to succeed and learn to be better and do better. She focuses on learning and doesn’t give us work just to do work. She does things with a purpose and goal in mind to help me learn and grow.”

Nominated by: Katie Heath, student

Mrs. Taylor has taught me so much this year. I came into the class without confidence in my writing abilities, and I am now coming out of the class feeling confident. She pushes us to be the best we can be, and she showed me my love of poetry. And even if the tasks are hard sometimes, she always believes in us, and I have been able to see my immense growth over the course of the year.”

Nominated by: Averie McKenna, student

Ms. Taylor is an amazing teacher who offers a fair and welcoming environment. She has an uplifting personality and shapes us into great writers. Thanks to her I have increased my writing abilities drastically, through remediations and assignments.”

Nominated by: Alivia Griffiths, student

This teacher deserves the nominee because of the effort she has put into teaching her students. She spends so much of her own time at home working on students’ work, so that they can have a well-written response to what they did well on and what they can do better on. She not only teaches her students, but also engages with her students. She focuses on what her classes can do to think like a true writer even if we get behind. Her understanding attitude towards students who may be struggling is very important to what she believes and that makes her a well-deserved and appreciated nominee.”

Nominated by: Tate Goodmansen, student

Mrs Taylor, is incredibly intelligent and hardworking. Her intelligence rubs off on the students and class environment while also teaching the curriculum with passion from deep inside her heart. Every class, she does everything to make the learning environment professional and doesn’t tolerate bad behaviors that occur often in other classes. She values work and effort in her classes. She is vulnerable in her teaching, the vulnerability is relatable and that is something I value a lot in teachers. Furthermore, Mrs. Taylor is a genuine person who cares deeply about teaching.”

Nominated by: Cydnie Peterson, student

Mrs. Taylor has helped me improve my writing skills in countless ways over her year-long Honors English 10 course. At the start of the year, most if not all her students came unable to write a formal, effective analysis of a text. Mrs. Taylor not only taught our class to write an effective analysis, but also how to use that writing to persuade others and reflect on current societal issues. Thank you Mrs. Taylor, for helping me unlock a deeper level of my writing.”

Nominated by: Samantha Erickson, student

Rebecca Dajany, Westlake High; teacher

Mrs, Dajany is a really great photography teacher who has helped me simply love photography as a whole. I’ve always liked photography, and the ideas of different photos I could take, but since taking her Photography 1 class, I’ve learned to enjoy and love photography a lot more. She has taught it very well to a point where I could understand it. Photography is high up on the list of hobbies for me because of her!

Nominated by: Cayden Hatch, student

Whitney Child, Westlake High; teacher

I have probably read more books this school year than I have my whole life. I accidentally signed up for Mrs. Child’s honors class and I was gonna switch, but after the first few days I realized honors English was BETTER then normal English and now I actually enjoy English.

Nominated by: Briston Fisher, student

Mrs. Child has taught me so much and she is such a kind teacher. She has helped me love English and always makes the classes so much fun. She is the best teacher to ask when you need a new book to read. I have loved every single recommendation she has given me. I told her I liked a genre and she gave me so many books that were perfect for me!”

Nominated by: Rylee Paul, student

Whitney Child, Westlake High; teacher

I have probably read more books this school year than I have my whole life. I accidentally signed up for Mrs. Child’s honors class and I was gonna switch, but after the first few days I realized honors English was BETTER then normal English and now I actually enjoy English.

Nominated by: Briston Fisher, student

Mrs. Child has taught me so much and she is such a kind teacher. She has helped me love English and always makes the classes so much fun. She is the best teacher to ask when you need a new book to read. I have loved every single recommendation she has given me. I told her I liked a genre and she gave me so many books that were perfect for me!”

Nominated by: Rylee Paul, student

Alice Gold, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

Mrs. Gold always made class so fun! Her obsession with Dwayne the Rock Johnson was hilarious. She loved to make class a party and I miss her class.

Nominated by: Malcolm Felt, student

Karen Hackett, Lake Mountain Middle; teacher

Mrs. Hackett is the most amazing teacher I have ever had. I have not had a teacher whose lessons are so thoughtfully planned, student conscious, or honestly enjoyable. Mrs. Hackett takes a difficult class and makes it approachable and if you put in the work, she can help you get anywhere.”

Nominated by: Charlotte Thaler, student

She deserves this award for making me love AP Human Geography. To this day I still use a lot of things I learned in the class. I also know that she cared whether or not I had a good day and cared about my learning and who I turned out to be in this world. She really helped me a lot my freshman year.” 

Nominated by: Ava Thaler, student

She deserves the RISE award because she made learning fun and her class was my favorite class. She helped get us ready for our AP test and she put up with me and my friends. She cared about us and joked with us and helped us learn. I loved her class so much and she had a big impact on my life.”

Nominated by: Mia Cook, student

She didn’t make anyone feel bad for asking questions or not understanding. I still use some of the studying and learning techniques that she taught us. She cares a lot about her students and is such an amazing teacher!! She was always so funny and was able to joke around with me and my friends while also teaching us. She prepared us so well for our AP test and me and my friends all got fours.”

Nominated by: Eliza Hicken, student



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