November 15 – RISE Nominations

Emily Hallam, Greenwood Elementary; teacher

Mrs Hallam deserves this award because she emulates everything this award stands for. She wants the best for any and all students. She will go the extra mile to help a student and she truly cares about them. She has already made a huge impact in my family and my student’s life and I owe every success from my child to her. It only takes one teacher to change a student and she is the one.

Nominated by: Shantel Jensen, parent

Kylee Dixon, Eaglcrest Elementary; teacher

Both of my children have had Ms Dixon. She is a truly fabulous teacher. She remembers previous students as if they are current, and know details only a teacher who really dedicates herself to her profession could keep straight. She makes each and every student feel loved and important. We’re so lucky to have a teacher like her at Eaglecrest Elementary.

Nominated by: Bre Allen, parent

Traci Parkinson, Eaglcrest Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Parkinson is the type of teacher you never can forget and are lucky to have had an opportunity to learn from. She loves her students, makes time for each one, and is very good about keeping parents up to date on what’s happening in the classroom. Mrs. Parkinson is an extremely effective teacher and leads an interactive and engaging classroom that children look forward to each day. We love Mrs. Parkinson!

Nominated by: Bre Allen, parent

Teri Jacobs, Vineyard Elementary; aide

Teri knows the school in and out. She acts as a teacher, custodial worker, discipliner, recess aide, Viking vend chairman, friend to teachers and staff! I honestly don’t know what our school would do without her or even what her official position is… she is EVERYTHING!! She is firm, yet loving, caring and strict. I have served on PTA for years and she even supports us!! She would never be nominated cause she clots everywhere and I want her to know WE SEE HER.

Nominated by: Angie Williams, parent

Joy Goff, River Rock Elementary; teacher

Joy deserves to win for all her hard work that goes into teaching her kids. She does a wonderful job and deserves to be recognized.

Nominated by: Angie Williams, parent

Cristina Tenney, Forbes Elementary; teacher

Cristina has consistently gone above and beyond for my daughter who isn’t even in her class. She has been a wonderful ally for our family. My step-son also adores her and he doesn’t often connect with people quickly.

Nominated by: Naomi McCain, parent

Janell Mack, River Rock Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Mack began with the first interaction full of love, joy and excitement. She teaches first grade and sincerely cares for all students. She has already instilled a love of reading in my daughter (and it’s only been a month). Anyone who can make coming to school a positive, enjoyable experience deserves an award. She is a great collaborator too!

Nominated by: Samantha Frei, parent

April Hunt, North Point Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Hunt goes above and beyond for her students. Her deep desire for each student to achieve their highest potential is evident through her dedication to the students fully understanding material. She has high expectations for her students and teaches them to expect a great deal from themselves, because they are capable. She hosts weekly study halls, does special projects and even opens her classroom at lunch for current and past students who need more help or even just a listening ear. She truly loves each of her students. They know just how important they are to her and they love her too.”

Nominated by: Stephanie Dorsey, parent

Melanie Jesperson, Cedar Ridge Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Jesperson is beyond deserving of this award. The first day of school I watched as she introduced students to others who she noticed had similarities, making the first day of school less scary for many. Every day she continues to show kindness and passion towards teaching our kiddos. She is always complimenting students to their parents and to the children themselves. My kindergartener tells me how she tells him in class how great he is doing as well. He comes home everyday saying he has had the best day and that Mrs. Jesperson is the best teacher ever.

Nominated by: Rhonda Zyvoloski, parent

Stephanie Gaddis, Riverview Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Gaddis is remarkable because she sees the remarkable in others. She is inspiring because she inspires others to see the remarkable in themselves. She is selfless and encouraging in that she goes out of her way to reveal the remarkable in a world that tends to revel in ridicule. In EVERY communication we’ve had with Mrs. Gaddis about our son (or his peers) she has made an intentional effort to highlight his/their best qualities – she is helping us to see, think about, and talk about our son in a better way, which is changing how he feels about himself and who he is becoming.

Nominated by: Garrett Stone, parent

Cammy Powell, Eaglecrest Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Powell loves the children she teaches and her job. Her warmth and care shine through in everything she does. She is truly a treasure in education.

Nominated by: Mary Hawkins, parent

Jackie Stone, Pony Express Elementary; teacher

Jackie Stone is the most patient, fun teacher who truly loves what she does. The students all love her. She knows how to communicate well with the students, and knows how to make learning fun to keep the kids attention. Even after the kids move forward to the next grade, they still return to her classroom to say hi, where she had a bowl of candy for them waiting.

Nominated by: Stevi Johnson, parent

Guisela Paz, Westmore Elementary; secretary

Guisela makes me feel welcome at the school with her smiles and kind words. She is always sympathetic to any issues anyone has. I heard her speaking to a parent on the phone and she repeatedly validated his concern and assured them they would do everything they could to rectify the situation. She gives kids and visiting babies books and treats if they seem to be upset to try to make sure everyone in the office is happy. She works quickly and multi-tasks and is very aware of everyone’s needs in the room and is respectful of other people’s time.

Nominated by: Mary Ann Nielsen, parent

She is willing, attentive, cultured, helpful, loving with children. It is a pleasure to go when Mrs. Gigi is there.”

Nominated by: Johana Perez, parent

Guisela puts forward great effort to welcome all visitors and has a special gift of making it genuine and a personal touch to making each person feel special. She has a positive attitude and always pleasant no matter the circumstances. She has a very service oriented approach to helping each person.”

Nominated by: Michael Nielsen, parent

As a member of the school community, I feel compelled to write this review to recognize the exceptional work and dedication of our school secretary Gigi. Her role is often overlooked, but her impact on the smooth functioning of our school is invaluable. Through her tireless efforts and unwavering commitment, shes proven to being part of the schools success.
Whether it’s addressing concerns, providing information, or offering guidance, she handles each interaction with pure kindness. From greeting visitors to managing cafeteria duties, she consistently does it with a big smile.” 

Nominated by: Jim Mule, parent

Paige Otterson, Parkside Elementary; teacher

Paige has been such a wonderful kindergarten teacher! My new kindergarten student is feisty and can be pretty cheeky. She has been so patient and kind as we’ve been working with him to improve his behavior. She is wonderful!!

Nominated by: Alicia Hawks, parent

Tammy Brunst, Orchard Elementary; secretary

Tammy is ALWAYS willing to help the students and parents! You can tell she really cares about the students. She is very patient, kind, caring and very efficient! Always working hard, making sure things are running smoothly. I’m always impressed how well she remembers everyone’s names and is very personable. She deserves to be recognized! We love Tammy ❤️

Nominated by: Maira Clark, parent

Katie Bowman, Harbor Point Elementary; administrator

Katie is always kind, present, knowledgeable, and decisive. She allows all to express themselves, to have ideas and opinions, and creates a happy and productive work environment. She is involved and attentive and just awesome!

Nominated by: Alyssa Bertele, district employee

Kelli Mansanaraz, Lakeridge Junior High; teacher

Mrs M is my son’s special education teacher. I have never been so reassured when I drop him off that he is in good hands. She goes above what a fantastic teacher is required to do, like taking care of bus scheduling for his specific needs, she signed him up for summer school when I got busy and forgot, and many other fantastic things I could mention. If there is anyone deserving of recognition I believe it is her. Thank you.

Nominated by: Ryan Oaks, parent

Janice Bentley, Lehi High; teacher

Janice goes above and beyond to make sure each of her students have a good understanding of what she’s teaching. She is an amazing teacher and takes care of each of her students.

Nominated by: Brinkley Westwood, student

Mindy Hinckley, Skyridge High; teacher

Mrs. Hinckley is the best teacher I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a teacher who genuinely cares so much for her students. She makes learning material fun and engaging.

Nominated by: Brinkley Westwood, student

Emily Roberts, Cedar Valley High; teacher

Coach Roberts is so giving of her time and talents that teach students how to be professional, respectful, and resilient. She holds students to a high standard of sportsmanship within the ballroom community and teaches students to work as a team. She is a wonderful ambassador of Cedar Valley to other schools and promotes a high quality of friendly competition. We love Coach Roberts and her coaching staff!

Nominated by: Rachael Johnson, parent and district employee

Shana Vanisi, Desert Sky Elementary; teacher

Shana joined our 6th grade team less than a week before school started. She got her classroom whipped together, and has been an amazing addition to our PLC. She’s has great ideas, and is always willing to help our new team as we figure out how we want to do things at our new school. She is always positive while also keeping things real.

Nominated by: Seth Price, district employee

Sandy Barbanchon, Belmont Elementary; teacher

Madame Barbanchon is an excellent teacher. She is passionate with what she teaches, loves the students and goes out to her way to meet everyone’s needs. I have four children who have gone to school for several years now and Madame Barbanchon is on my top 2 BEST teachers ever!

Nominated by: Emma Neilsen, parent

Kennedy Ereth, Greenwood Elementary; teacher

Ms. Ereth goes above and beyond to make sure the students feel comfortable. My son loves having her as a teacher!

Nominated by: Alisa Bingham, parent

Kelsey Luck, Legacy Elementary; teacher

It is my privilege to recommend my colleague, Kelsey Luck, to receive this RISE Award. I don’t know how long Kelsey has been teaching for but I have been fortunate enough to have known her for the past three years…two of those here at Legacy. In that time, I’ve been able to observe Kelsey’s dedication to her students and to this school as a whole. The students LOVE her! Every afternoon a bunch of her students from years past always want to hug her and say hi! Because I’ve witnessed first hand her dedication to her work, I am convinced that Kelsey deserves this award.

Nominated by: Sandra Lorenzana, district employee

Mrs. Kelsey Luck is truly Remarkable, Inspiring, Selfless, and Encouraging to her students and her team! Nothing can compare to her expressive read alouds and ability to change her voice. Kids truly fall in love with reading when in her class and report after a long summer break that they’ve finished the entire Michael Vey series. Kelsey brings fun to the 2nd grade team and brightens our day with her stories. She always has wonderful ideas for a directed drawing or art project and the kids just love her. Thanks for being a wonderful teacher, coworker, and friend. We love you!”

Nominated by: Amanda Bañuelos, district employee

We are so lucky to have Kelsey Luck on our second-grade team at Legacy Elementary! Her positive attitude, flexibility to try new things, and laugh is contagious. As we differentiate all the second graders on our team for W.I.N. (What I Need) time, I’ve noticed that my students are so excited to work with her on their reading skills because of her love for teaching makes learning fun. She not only cares about her 64 students DLI students but everyone she comes in contact with. She truly makes our team and school a great place to be.”

Nominated by: Kiyo Richins, district employee

Sabrina Christny, Belmont Elementary; teacher

Madame Christiny had my daughter last year and now has my son and I could not be happier with this. I have seen her teach and the level at which the students finish the year is absolutely amazing. Madame Christiny is an excellent teacher and I would not want any other teachers for my kids in first grade. Now, if she could move up and follow them (along with Madame Barbanchon), it would make Belmont the best DLI program!

Nominated by: Emma Neilsen, parent

Judy Hainsworth, Legacy Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Hainsworth has a way of empowering kids to be initiators in their own learning. She teaches them strategies to stay engaged. This is such an invaluable gift, for kids to feel empowered in the learning process, and not as bystanders to the teacher’s preparation. They are active and encouraged as they see their own successes in taking an active role in the learning process. Mrs. Hainsworth is molding engaged, intrinsically motivated learners.

Nominated by: Cambria Staples, pareent

Zach Knappenberger, Orem High; teacher

Mr. Knappenberger showed an amazing amount of respect for my son. My son came to talk to him about a friend that was having a problem in Chemistry. Mr. K listened and then told him how impressed he was that he would come to the defense of his friend. He continued to tell my son that he respected what he did and complimented him on his kindness. Mr. K took the time to point out his strengths and my son walked away feeling fantastic. Thank you Mr. K for recognizing and sharing the positive character of a student! My son has the greatest amount of respect for you after this encounter.

Nominated by: Angela Williams, parent

Corinne Sonderegger, Willowcreek Middle; teacher

Mrs Sonderegger is amazing! She connects with her students and gets to know them more. When I was in her class, I felt comfortable and happy, she taught me so much and really helped me believe and have encouragement to start a career in the arts :)

Nominated by: Jade Grange, student

Emily Gibbons, North Point Elementary; teacher

My daughter has a reoccurring issue in class that is keeping her from learning. Mrs. Gibbons has been so remarkable and encouraging in helping my daughter deal with this. She has emailed me and helped my daughter many times throughout the day so she can stay and learn. Mrs. Gibbons selflessly took time out of her lunch break to spontaneously meet with me, and even requested the school nurse and the school counselor join us so that together we could come up with a plan of action to help my daughter. I appreciated how much she cares for my daughter and how dedicated she is to finding a solution.

Nominated by: Stephanie Cox, district employee

Mrs Gibbons is excellent at being a teacher, above and beyond the books. She is sincere and thoughtful of her students and genuinely strives to help them succeed.”

Nominated by: Sarah Rogers, parent

Chris Kofoed, Mountain Ridge Junior; teacher

“Mr. Kofoed is very passionate about what he does. He is very good at showing the importance of History and how it affects our lives. He encourages us to learn history and why it is so important. I like history because of him.

Nominated by: Crosby Burrows, student



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