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September – October Nominees

Abri Harrison, Pleasant Grove High; teacher

Abri is new this year to Pleasant Grove High and she’s amazing. She jumped right into her position as Work Based Learning Coordinator and you’d never know she was new to this position. If you visit Abri’s class, you will find her happy, excited and very engaged with the students and wants them to succeed.

Nominated by: Taffy Lovell, district employee

Heather Hall, Oak Canyon; teacher

Heather goes above and beyond to help her students excel! She is kind, selfless, loving and positive! She is an amazing example of what teachers should be! ❤️

Nominated by: Jodi Harner, parent

Kali Schauerhamer, Silver Lake Eleemntary; teacher

Kali really helped my son during his fifth grade year. He could have easily slipped through the cracks of the education system, but Kali worked with him and us to help my son progress. Kali was always kind, made learning fun for my son, and gave him the extra help that he needed. She recognized his needs and listened to our concerns. My son enjoyed school because of Kali. Every adult has at least one teacher they remember because they were exceptional. Kali will be that teacher for my son and we won’t forget her. I just hope our three other children get to be in her class as well!

Nominated by: Monica Nielsen, parent

Brian Ellingford, Orem High; teacher

Mr. Ellingford has been an amazing teacher for our son. He loved having him and said he is one of the best he’s ever had! Thanks for all you do, Mr. Ellingford!!

Nominated by: Steve and Jamie Madsen

Suzanne Hullinger, Canyon View Junior; administrative secretary

Su has been pivotal in both our sons’ educations. She has worked at two schools with them. She worked for years with one of our son’s diabetes management and was so understanding and kind if he had to change a pump at school or needed to store some snacks in her office drawer. She always took a genuine interest in both of our boys and the things they were doing. We love you, Su! Thanks for all you do for all the students and the huge impact you make!

Nominated by: Steve and Jamie Madsen, parents

Adam Rindlisbacher, Sego Lily Elementary; teacher

Mr. Rindy, as the kids affectionately call him, was 2nd grade teacher for both of my daughters. The youngest was in his class last year. Through his dedication, encouragement, positive outlook, and sense of humor, he helped my daughter find her inner superhero and thrive in school. She learned to love math and was excited to go to class every day. Most importantly, he reinforced that it takes effort, practice, and time to get better at things. He is an amazing teacher who genuinely cares for his students’ learning and well-being!

Nominated by: Alicia Olson, parent

KImberlee Hamilton, Forbes Elementary; teacher

“Kimberlee was so loving and kind and helped my son (who was new to the school) feel loved and excited about learning.

Nominated by: Christina Palmer, parent

Ashley Sare, Riverview; teacher

Ashley is always putting others’ needed before her own. She never says no to help, even if she already has too much on her plate.

Nominated by: Ryan Sare, spouse

Mary Anderson, Cherry HIll Elementary; teacher

Mary has worked as a kindergarten aide for several years. In the classroom, Mary know just what to do to help students and assist the teacher without being told. She spends numerous hours during the summer, volunteering her time preparing things for the students. She comes whether the teacher is in the building or not. She is kind with the students and is well loved by the faculty and staff. She is an integral part of our school.

Nominated by: Kerri Hundley, district employee

Alyssa Clyde, Freedom Elementary; teacher

Alyssa is a devoted and amazing teacher. She puts her heart and soul into teaching her students. First off she makes sure each students feels loved and supported. The conversations she has with them daily gives them value and desire to learn. Secondly, she is constantly making sure students needs are met through differentiated instruction. She is constantly providing students with the interventions they need to be successful. Lastly, she is a great member of our school’s Leadership Team and making sure we stay connected with our school’s grade levels, admin, Hope Squad and SEW team.

Nominated by: Michelle Gregory, district employee

Jerry Preisendorf, Skyridge High; head custodian & coach

As the head custodian and boys soccer coach, Jerry teaches the boys on the team to be outstanding individuals on and off the field. He requires them to be respectful of referees, parents, opposing players, and each other. The team participates in service projects in the community and the boys are asked to complete additional service on their own time. Jerry builds camaraderie with the boys through team dinners and positive interactions. He dedicates his time to ensuring these youth are not only prepared to play on the soccer field, he also prepares them to be outstanding individuals.

Nominated by: Chalon LInton, parent

Never scolded players or was demeaning. He was very kind and professional and influenced his players to act the same way on the field and gave them opportunities for service projects and earned many commendations from parents, officials, and anyone he worked with.”

Nominated by: Elias Linton, student

Joy WIlliams, Deerfield Elementary; nutrition services worker

Joy went beyond to watch over my son and make him feel safe and comfortable when he came into the lunchroom. My son has some special needs for emotions. She would find him and call out to him, talk to him, and made sure he was feeling ok. If he wasn’t, she would do whatever she could to be the light in his day. He was always excited to find her and tell her what he was doing with his class or what project he was doing. It made him feel loved.

Nominated by: Robyn O’Keefe, parent

Tiffany Smith, Bonneville Elementary; teacher

Last year my ex and I had multiple concerns for our son, who was in Tiffany’s class. Tiffany used her own personal time and resources to help our son. Tiffany helped our boy excel greatly last year. She faces many challenges but always comes out on top. She always puts her students first and will always do what she can for them.

Nominated by: Aaron Lindsay, parent

Jen Boucher, Skyridge High; teacher

Jen is an outstanding educator and human being. She is remarkable in her ability to connect with students and co-workers. We know that she is truly listening to us and cares about what we are saying. She is inspiring to us with her focus on gratitude and service. She is genuinely empathetic, and we are encouraged to become better people just by her example. She is selfless when she consistently puts other people and their needs ahead of her own, and not just in the moment of need. She is constantly encouraging all of us with her sunny attitude and genuine care and concern for our well-being.

Nominated by: Anna Barton, district employee

Jenny Correa, Ridgeline Elementary; PLC coach

Jenny is compassionate, supportive and takes the time to make each individual child feel loved and cared for. She is genuinely invested in their success and overall well-being. Jenny encourages self empowerment and a growth mindset. I spent a lot of time in her classroom and her students were always happy and hard at work. Due to health issues, my son was below grade level when he started in her class and by the end of the year he was above grade level. Jenny is remarkable and a true inspiration, always going above and beyond and is very deserving of the RISE Award.

Nominated by: Katie Swenson, parent

Annie Young, Barratt Elementary; secretary

Annie is the head secretary at Barratt. She is always positive and helpful. She remembers the kids and parents and greets them with a happy attitude. She is quick to problem solve and encourages students. She is very busy but seems to be able to do all that is required of her. She is a light at the front desk of Barratt.

Nominated by: Anne Brown, parent

Annie Young is the most amazing elementary secretary that ever was or will be!! This past summer, while our custodian was on maternity leave, Annie voluntarily took it upon herself to make sure that all the summer cleaning was happening how it should be. She trained and retrained those here to help clean to make sure that Barratt was in tip top shape for the school year. Annie goes above and beyond EVERY day to help Barratt be a great place to be!!”

Nominated by: Caroline Knadler, district employee

Jennifer Barclay, Forbes Elementary; office specialist

Jenn has been involved in our school through PTA and now is employed at our school. She has jumped in and helps where ever she is asked. She is an incredibly positive person who is always looking for the good in others. If you are having a bad day, she is always there to smile. She works hard in our Wellness Room to help our students feel comfortable and loved. She is very invested and dedicated to our students and our faculty. I love having her at Forbes! She definitely exemplifies the RISE mantra of Remarkable, Inspiring, Selfless, and Encouraging.

Nominated by: Kate Chavez, district employee

Kallie Bean, Traverse Mountain Elementary; teacher

Kalie goes beyond what her job title is at Traverse. The way she is with our students is remarkable. She always goes the extra mile for each of her students. She is their voice and advocates for them when they aren’t able to. She’s not just their teacher she truly loves each one of her students and makes sure their getting all their needs meet. It’s truly because of Kalie that I feel confident in sending my kids to school. She ALWAYS has a smile on her face and is ALWAYS approachable in any situation. She’s truly the hands down best teacher any of my four kids have had, and that speaks volumes.

Nominated by: Constance Tapia, parent

Ben Carter, Lakeridge Junior; administrator

Ben is the epitome of an educator and anyone in need is considered one of his “students.” He takes on whatever role is needed to help kids, parents, teachers, colleagues, and community members. He is an amazing mentor for teachers and a staunch advocate for all students.

Nominated by: Ashley Belnap, district employee

Angie Johnson, Sego Lily Elemenetary; teacher

Mrs. Johnson was my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher last year. She will, without a doubt, be that teacher that leaves an impression on my daughter for the rest of her life. Angie was made to be a Kindergarten teacher. She loves those kids and makes sure she is doing everything in her power to help them succeed in all things. My daughter was struggling with keeping up with the letter sounds and reading. Angie contacted me, and between our efforts end of year, testing showed her at above-average testing levels. Amazing teacher!

Nominated by: Jordan McDonald, parent

Hands down the BEST kindergarten teacher out there. My little one had Angie last year and every one of her kindergartners passed above grade level. Truly amazing and an accomplishment for a kinder teacher!!”

Nominated by: Jake McDonald, parent

Chelsie Gustofson, Hidden Hollow Elementary; teacher

Chelsie was in a terrible accident over fall break in 2020. She was hit by a wave that broke her back and placed her permanently in a wheelchair. She not only went back to teaching first graders at Hidden Hollow, she went back less than four months after her accident. She shows up. Even when she’s in massive pain, she does the hard work. She is an incredible teacher who loves her students, and they know it! She is always prepared. She even brings work home when she has to get things done for “her kids.” She is amazing and definitely deserves the RISE award!!!

Nominated by: Sherilyn Gustofson, parent

Brittany Loveland, Harbor Point Elementary; nutrition services manager

Brittany cares deeply about the employees she manages and the students she serves lunch to. She makes sure the food that leaves her kitchen is visually appealing, crispy, perfectly warm, and delicious so the students will enjoy their meal and their time in her lunchroom. The kids tell her often that her lunches are the best! She leads with kindness. Brittany is also great at her job. She knows how much food to order, how much to make each day, how to prevent excessive waste, and how to do it all in an organized and clean kitchen. She is a gem of a person and an extraordinary employee.

Nominated by: Mandy Rohner, district employee

Misty Ovard, Hidden Hollow; teacher

Misty has been at Hidden Hollow since the day it opened. She has taught 1st grade since this year and when my team needed a great new team member she volunteered. She is dedicated to her students, comes in early every day, is a fantastic team member and helps her peers succeed with great ideas and collaboration. Her students love her and she tries hard to help each one.

Nominated by: Stacey Kirtley, district employee

McKaylee Michaelson, Silver Lake Eleemntary; teacher

McKaylee is one of the most animated and loving teachers I have ever met. She sincerely loves each one of her students and gives her all to them each and every day. She is constantly helping her team members and bringing joy to all who work with her. She is such a wonderful teacher. All her students adore her.

Nominated by: Heather Michaelis, district employee

October 5, 2022 Nominees

Carrie Barker, Cedar Valley High; teacher

Mrs Barker is an amazing mentor and teacher. She genuinely cares deeply for each of her students. She is helpful and understanding. She is funny and full of energy. She embodies everything the RISE award represents! My child was greatly blessed to have her as a math teacher.

Nominated by: Brittany Thompson, parent

Chelsey Mason, Brookhaven Elementary; secretary

“My son was struggling with anxiety at school and was in the office multiple times a day to call home. Chelsey always took the time to talk to him and help ease his anxiety as he was in there and took the best care of him. She was often a shoulder to cry on for me and I always knew he was loved and taken care of during his struggles if I wasn’t there. She would text me often to update me while he was at school, and also check on him outside of school on particularly hard days. We love Chelsey!

Nominated by: Brooke May, parent

Jenna McArthur Payne, Orchard Elementary; teacher

My son has hearing problems as well as sensory issues. Jenna did everything in her power to make him feel accepted. She worked with us, adapted to special equipment in the classroom, and all with a smile on her face. She is positive, kind, dedicated, and so easy to communicate with! She is truly the best teacher I have ever known. I am so grateful that she was my son’s first taste of school. She created a joy and an excitement for learning in him that I had no idea was possible.

Nominated by: Tanesha Garlitz, parent

John Shelton, Parkside Elementary; principal

“Mr. Shelton is one of the kindest principals around he’s always getting to know each student personally and is always around for them when they need anything.

Nominated by: Jessica Gordon, parent

Rebecca Abbott, Fox Hollow Elementary; teacher

Rebecca Abbott is hard-working, organized, loving, fun, and outgoing. She cares so much about her students and their parents and is always happy, patient with her students.

Nominated by: Taylor Gough, parent

Jason Crowton, Greenwood Elementary; former principal

Estamos muy agradecidos siempre lo estaremos es un director que desde el primer día nos ayudó. Nos atendió personalmente ya que no dominamos el idioma inglés y el sin dudar nos dio un recorrido por la escuela nos contó la historia de remodelación y nos dijo que nos sintiéramos como en casa tanto a nosotros como padres y a nuestra niña temerosa por ingresar a una nueva escuela gracias a él ella logró cumplir su ciclo escolar en confianza.después con el tiempo nos dimos cuenta que era el director lo cual nos dio mucha admiración a su persona ya que es muy muy servicial y humano y sencilloe.”

“We are very grateful, and we always will be, to a principal who helped us from the first day. He helped us personally since we had not mastered the English language. Without hesitation, he gave us a tour of the school, told us the history of remodeling, and helped us to feel at home, both us as parents and our girl who was afraid to enter a new school. Thanks to him, she managed to complete her school year in confidence. Later, over time, we realized that he was the principal, which gave us a lot of admiration for him since he was so helpful and kind.”

Nominated by: Alejandra Lomeli, parent

Erin Druce, Eagle Valley Elementary; teacher

Mrs Druce is everything the RISE award stands for. I witnessed this on the first day back to school. I watched her help several students who were lost, scared, or just didn’t know what to do or where to go, find their teacher, while still keeping all of her own students safe. She’s overall a genuinely kind person and that was really awesome to see.

Nominated by: Miranda Timpson, parent

Marshell Olson, Mount Mahogany Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Olson makes school fun for the kids. She’s always joking and making them laugh. My daughter wanted to stay in 2nd Grade so she could keep going to Mrs. Olson’s class. She goes above and beyond to help the kids learn in a fun, comfortable, enjoyable environment.

Nominated by: Natalie Robinson, parent

Caroline Ball, Sage Hills; teacher

Mrs. Ball is RISE and she continues to rise. She is remarkable, inspiring, selfless and encouraging. She sends her students home feeling confident and happy about learning and being in school. As a parent I feel secure that we made the right decision to put our child in a public school because of the outstanding things we heard about Alpine School District. Mrs. Ball keeps the integrity of what makes her school and this district great. Acknowledge her. She’s earned it.

Nominated by: Theylanna Fayol, parent

Sheri Card, Sage Hills; teacher

Mrs. Card is why I like to go to school. She helped me feel safe in the classroom and that helps me feel confident to learn and discover new things. One word I use to describe Mrs. Card is inspiring. She is remarkable, selfless and always encouraging. She makes me feel noticed and important. She magnifies what it is to RISE in our classroom, communities and at home. Please consider her. She’s my favorite!

Nominated by: Célene Fayol

Taylor Martinez Evans, Trailside Elementary; teacher

Ms. Martinez, now Mrs. Evans, took on my son 3 months into the school year after he transferred from another school; even though her class was already maxed out. Her impact on my son cannot be described with words. She was so kind and patient with my energetic son and always made him feel like a million bucks. He makes it a point to go visit her and give her a hug any chance he gets. She made my son excited to learn and always encouraged him to try his best. She is the epitome of patience and kindness, and selflessness. She is exactly the type of teacher EVERY child needs in their lives.

Nominated by: Alison McGrath, parent

Liz Swalberg, Ridgeline Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Swalberg has the ability to draw out the good in each person. Even with large class sizes, she manages to focus on the individual, making the student/parent feel known, heard, and cared for. She exemplifies and teaches a growth mindset and avoids putting children in “a box.” She CHOOSES to focus on all the improvements and growth the individual has made rather than his/her shortcomings and with that she instills children with the confidence, belief, and mindset for success. What more could you want? Mrs. Swalberg changes lives for the BETTER.

Nominated by: Lynne Oldham, parent

Heather Turner, Cedar Ridge Elementary; aide

Heather Turner is a phenomenal aide at our school. She works hard, problem solves, is kind and caring and considerate. She even donated several hours of her summer vacation to help set up my classroom for the new year.

Nominated by: Jennifer Dajany, district employee

Aubri Elder, Alpine Elementary; teacher

Aubri allowed my son who was lacking in all areas of his schooling to have the confidence he needed to improve and excel in his learning. The biggest thing I loved about her teaching was there was no judgement. She encouraged and inspired my son to work hard and whether he got the answers right or wrong his confidence remained in his learning. This is only due to the manner in which she teaches to allow her students to feel this. She also is able to relate the learning to what the kids love, for example Harry Potter, sports and culture.

Nominated by: Tia Winitana, parent

Natalie Real, Orem High; teacher

“Natalie goes above and beyond for anyone. She is a great model of kindness, happy and hardworking!

Nominated by: Annie Bray, district employee

Jonathan Hulse, Pleasant Grove High; counselor

Jonathan engages with the students in a way that makes the students feel special and cared for. They feel that they have a great friend in the counseling office. He is always positive, smiling, and the kids respond with smiles and a genuine feeling that he is their friend. My son refers to Jonathan as “My Man Johnny”.

Nominated by: Jed Anderson, parent

Jennye Harding, Highland Elementary; secretary

Jennye is the first you see when you walk into the office and always displays kindness, concern and professionalism. I have a child that suffers from anxiety, which results in migraines and I am so relieved to have her there to help him, which she has many times. She has such a love for the school, students and families and it is noticed. Thank you Jennye for all you do!!

Nominated by: Makenzie Casteel, parent

Candace Wilson, Westlake High; teacher

Candace Wilson is a great example of the RISE award qualifications because she constantly is fostering an environment of excellent in her classroom. She puts in countless hours training ProStart students for competition, works individually with FCCLA students on their projects and maintains a full class schedule as a foods and nutrition teacher. I know she maintains a busy, engaging and exciting classroom with all of her labs and activities. Students at Westlake are lucky to go through her culinary program and lucky to have Candace as their teacher.

Nominated by: Monica Milburn, district employee

Cameron Dickson, Orem Junior High; administrator

We have gone through a rough few years at Orem Junior High School. In a continued effort to make OJHS a better place, Cameron has helped bring structure, stability, and a continued focus on improvement. He has also done so with a smile on his face, an attention to detail, a git-r-dun attitude and cheered up many people along the way. He is a vital part of our school.

Nominated by: Travis Schramm, district employee

Kami Adamson, River Rock Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Adamson is the SPED teacher at River Rock and made my son’s time there amazing. She treated my son like he was her own. She stayed late to accommodate when my child was not attending school during Covid-19. She made me feel like my child was the only student she had even though she had at least 50 other students. She always listened to my child even with his speech issues and made him feel important. She wasn’t just a teacher, she became family.

Nominated by: Jenny Mellor, parent

Lezlee Gallegos, Fox Hollow Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Gallegos was always supportive of my daughter and her classmates. She promptly addressed all concerns and did it happily. She is was a great influence on my daughter’s third grade year.

Nominated by: Marissa Jones, parent

Alec Powell, Lone Peak High; teacher

Mr. Powell is the best, I mean the best teacher I have ever had, and I’ve had a lot of good amazing teachers. Mr. Powell does everything he can to make every class engaging and inclusive for everyone in the classroom. He is so welcoming and funny, his class is what I look forward to every single day at school. I’m sure all of my friends would agree with me when I say that he of all teachers completely deserves this award.

Nominated by: Maria Krois, student

Mykel Johnson, Alpine Elementary; teacher

Mykel is more than a teacher! She goes over and beyond to help her students feel cared for and welcome in class. My child struggled for a week with wanting to go to school. Mykel would contact me in the mornings to see what she could do to help. She met me outside and took my daughter in before school started as a “special helper” to get things ready for class to start. I was updated throughout the day on how things were going and the small improvements that were made. She wasn’t just a teacher but became a true friend to my daughter!

Nominated by: Camille Beck, parent

Katie Rogers, Mount Mahogany Elementary; PLC Coach

Katie is the PLC Coach at Mount Mahogany Elementary school, and she does so much for our school. She ensures that the aides are all well trained and keeps our academic programs, as well as our safety supervision, running smoothly. She meets with each grade level team and works hard to help everyone have the tools and support they need to meet their students’ needs and goals. She is kind and great to work with. It is easy to see that she cares deeply for everyone at our school.

Nominated by: Hillary Tolman, district employee

September 21, 2022 Nominees

Diane Lewis, Highland Elementary; Teacher

My son is new to the school and as timing would have it, registered the day before school started. With hours notice, Mrs. Lewis made sure he was on every labeled list and decoration, just like the other kids. Going to back to school night and seeing this made him feel included right from the start.

“And to go an extra mile, at first recess he didn’t know anyone and was standing to the side trying to figure out what to do. Mrs. Lewis noticed him and then introduced him to a group of boys in his grade that he instantly connected with. She is incredible and really cares at an individual level.”

Nominated by: Laura Gelder, parent

Annie Simmons, Snow Springs Elementary; Lunchroom Worker

My daughter has an autoimmune disorder and has to have special food accommodations. School lunch is something that has brought a lot of anxiety for my child and myself. Annie Simmons has been very accommodating and encouraging. She has made my daughter feel very comfortable in the lunch room, which in return means I’m not stressing out as much. She is quick to respond to my questions and is always positive and reassuring. Annie Simmons has all of the characteristics RISE stands for and is very deserving of this award.

Nominated by: Cami Richards, parent

Tianna Morrison, Black Ridge Elementary; Counselor

Hard working, organized, caring, passionate, pro-active, researcher, selfless, empathic, relatable, fun, joyful, kid-centered, makes a difference, supportive, energetic, kind, committed, genuine, compassionate, thoughtful, listener, engaged, determined, optimistic, looks for moments. Wow! We are very lucky to have her, and she really works hard to make connections with those kids that need it the most.

Nominated by: Heather Jensen, district employee

Megan Stoddard, Riverview Elementary; Teacher

She is the most loving, personal, inspiring, friendly teacher ever!!

Nominated by: Noah Taylor, student

Jalaire Terry, Dry Creek Elementary; Teacher

I have consistently been impressed with Mrs. Terry’s genuine love for her students and ability to teach and inspire in numerous age appropriate ways. She truly loves her students and is an excellent educator.

Nominated by: Hillary John, parent

Annie Whiting, Mountain Trails Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Annie was our preschool teacher and she was ALWAYS happy and excited for school. She instills a love of learning at such a young and impressionable age. She called me before school started to make sure I didn’t have any questions and made sure I knew the pick up/drop off process. She takes time to get to know her students and their families. I really appreciate her encouragement that we can all learn no matter what disabilities we have.

Nominated by: Erin Smith, parent

Kathy Woodward, Greenwood Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Woodward is such an amazing teacher. She is so patient, kind and encouraging to her students. She keeps parents well informed and my son loves having her for second grade. One of my son’s summer bucket list items was to go make cookies with Mrs. Woodward (she makes beautiful royal icing sugar cookies). She loves her students and my son learned so much from her. She truly is an amazing teacher, and we are so happy that my son got to have her for his teacher.

Nominated by: Tawnnie Forbush, parent

Lisa Dunn, Dry Creek Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Dunn is amazing! Last year she was so patient and helpful with my son. Always going above and beyond in trying to find different ways to help him succeed in her class. He loved having her as his teacher.

Nominated by: Danielle Gutierrez, parent

Heather Rockwood, Greenwood Elementary; Teacher

Miss Heather is absolutely amazing. The energy that she brings is unreal. What is most impressive is the love she has for her students in her class and the other students at Greenwood. My son says that she ‘makes learning fun.’ He looks forward to going to school each day because he knows Miss Heather is there.

Nominated by: Jim Harvey, parent

Maegen Merrell, Fox Hollow Elementary; Aide

Maegan is the Wellness Center Aide at our elementary school. My son had debilitating anxiety with school last year and she was a lifesaver. Other support staff were helpful too, but they weren’t at our elementary school every day. Maegan went above and beyond to be caring, understanding, supportive, and informative to help my son improve his emotional wellness regarding school. And I know she provides this for many other students at the school as well. What she does is so important and she deserves to be recognized.

Nominated by: Meghan Posner, parent

Melanie Dodge, Lindon Elementary; Teacher

Melanie is always super positive towards her students and parents. She loves to see her kids succeed and lets them know just exactly what makes them awesome and unique. She has made her students feel loved, appreciated and valued.

Nominated by: Gavin and Tiana Phillips, parent

Lisa Young, Pleasant Grove High; Receptionist

Lisa has created a positive relationship with my special needs teen. She has cheered for his success and encouraged his continual efforts towards progress. On many days during non-class hours, my student is at a desk working on his assignments near her. She has been one to deescalate volatile emotions and helped him remember that he has people on his “success team” ready to help him. She talks with him about his interests, including musicians & football teams. She meets him where he is at. Lisa Young is a remarkable staff member who exemplifies the RISE award. She is his hero!

Nominated by: Chrys McCumber, parent

Tiffany Nielson, Mountain Trails Elementary; Office Assistant

Tiffany has been amazing. When my daughter started school 3 years ago I was so nervous because she is a Type 1 diabetic. Tiffany has been there since day one. She has listened to everything I said, taking notes, while letting me know she understood. I was instantly comfortable. She still takes good care of my daughter every day at school. She helps the teachers feel more comfortable and doesn’t make my daughter feel bad when she is having a bad day needing a lot of attention. She takes A LOT on and God Bless her for that!

Nominated by: Lisa Hansen, parent

Heather Logan, Dry Creek Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Logan is an amazing teacher. She was a miracle for our son and I can tell that every student of hers feels loved and cared for. She builds students’ confidence in their ability to work hard and learn tough subjects. I’ve been impressed with the amount of work she puts in, including making a personalized book of pictures and artwork for every student at the end of the year.

Nominated by: Tonya Allen, parent

Stacie Bishop, Black Ridge Elementary; Office Staff

Amazingly, Stacie always has a smile and a warm welcome for parents and children coming into the school. She remembers parents and students and makes them feel welcome. Despite the busy atmosphere of school she is never short or unkind – she cares for students and their families and it shows that her kindness is genuine! It is so refreshing to experience!

Nominated by: Emily Smith, parent

Steven Acker, American Fork Junior; Teacher

Last year he was my math teacher and he was very Outstanding!”

Nominated by: Nathan Kunze, student

Sojin Mortimer, Deerfield Elementary; Secretary

Since day one, she welcome us and my kids with such a big desire to help. Even after a year of attending Deerfield Elementary, Sojin is always there to answer to our questions, even through the phone, and is always willing to do all that she can to help the kids.

Nominated by: Yananci Porras, parent

Marcie Alcorn, Ridgeline Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Alcorn isn’t just a teacher, she is a dedicated advocate in the lives of the children that enter her classroom. I have yet to find another teacher that is more creative, dedicates more time, or is more loving and truly connected with her students. She challenges all students at their individual levels and meets a wide array of emotional and academic needs. My kids have been blessed to start their elementary school years in her loving hands. She also is an active part of our community and is a mother we should all look up to.

Nominated by: Samantha Daniel, parent

Heather Pulley, Mountain Trails Elementary; Teacher

“Miss Pulley is kind and very patient with all of her students. She teaches things slowly and effectively so every student can understand! My daughter loved being in her class! I wish every teacher cared and worked with their students like Miss Pulley does!

Nominated by: Angela Hanna, parent

Peggy Lowry, Cedar Ridge Elementary; Teacher

To put it simply, Mrs. Lowry is absolutely wonderful. She really cares about her students. She loves all children, sees the best in them, and recognizes their potential. She encourages her students in a kind, loving way that increases confidence and fosters growth. Having her as a teacher was such a blessing in my daughter’s life. My daughter looked forward to going to school each day because of Mrs. Lowry. As a mother, it meant so much to me to know I was sending my child to such a loving, caring, happy, safe, and encouraging environment each day.

Nominated by: Kelsie Roberts, parent

Jennifer Dajany, Cedar Ridge Elementary; Teacher

Mrs Dajany is one of the most kind-hearted, loving, and caring teachers I have ever had the privilege of interacting with. She cares deeply about her kindergartners and goes above and beyond to help them succeed academically, emotionally, and socially. I feel so grateful my daughter was able to learn from her. She does a great job preparing kids to become independent, confident, and resilient grade-schoolers. Mrs Dajany’s students can feel how much she cares about them. She radiates kindness and love. Thank you, Mrs. Dajany!

Nominated by: Kelsie Roberts, parent

Heidi Doxey, Rocky Mountain Elementary; Teacher

Besides going above and beyond as my child’s kindergarten teacher last year, she was there on the first day of school lining up with the 1st graders (her old class) showing them so much love and support. She is genuinely so so good.

Nominated by: Vanessa Alves, parent

Johnathan Hale, Parkside Elementary; Teacher

Mr. Hales had my son two years in a row. My son is a harder student, but Mr. Hale’s helped him through his ADHD problems and gave my son the confidence he needed to keep pushing. He was always there to listen and to help find a solution. He is that teacher that has helped my son grow and love school. He helped him be a stronger person and to remember his diagnosis is who he is and that it’s okay to be different. My son knows even to this day he can go to him for help even though he isn’t his teacher this year and I love that. He will help shape and save many kids he teaches!

Nominated by: Amanda Pacas-Woolley, parent

Randy Ockey, Highland Elementary; Teacher

He is the best teacher I’ve ever known. He was my teacher when I was in elementary school and he was my son’s teacher as well. I have lasting memories of learning in his class that I will never forget. He goes above and beyond for his students. He cares so much and puts so much of his time into helping students. He really is the best!

Nominated by: Michelle Paswaters, parent

September 7, 2022 Nominees

Casey Connelly, Freedom Elementary; Custodian

Casey makes every child feel special. He sings to every child on their birthday and helps them feel special/recognized. He has endless patience with opening containers, milk, etc. He is always multitasking by greeting individual children, lending a hand, cleaning a mess, and keeping the cafeteria in top shape. Freedom is better place because of Casey.

Nominated by: Jaclyn England, parent

Josh Buss, Centennial Elementary; Teacher Aide

Mr. Josh is the best aide! He is so kind and fun and funny. The kids love when he plays with them at recess, he’s amazing at soccer, and he is the kids’ favorite substitute. The kids look forward to seeing him everyday and we can’t imagine Centennial without Mr. Josh!!

Nominated by: Tate Liechty, student

Leslie McCleery, Lake Mountain Middle; Student Advocate

Leslie works tirelessly with many of our students that are most at-risk. She encourages, motivates, inspires and teaches them to be better than even they think they can be. Many of these students look to her as a mentor, model, and sometimes, mother, as they try to find their place in the world. As a school counselor I have seen Leslie touch the lives of students that I struggle to connect with. She truly gives her heart and soul to these students.

Nominated by: Thomas Wiltbank, district employee

Marcela Olsen, Westmore Elementary; Lead Secretary

I had the pleasure of working with Marcela last year. She was always upbeat, happy and just a joy to be around. She treated the parents and students with great respect and they all adore her. She was new to her job last year, but always found the time to help others when she could. I wish all schools had a Marcela. There would be happier places to work, the students would be happier just from knowing her, she simply is a ray of sunshine! I highly recommend Marcela for the RISE award. She exemplifies the traits for Remarkable, Inspiring, Selfless and Encouraging!

Nominated by: Michelle Hartzell, district employee

Kylie Ingalls, Vineyard Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Ingalls is one of a kind! She takes the time to get to know each one of her students and their needs. She attends students extra curricular activities and makes sure they know they are special and loved. She makes her class magical and all the kids leave with the best year they have ever had. They actually don’t want their year to end with her but it’s nice that they are able to come back the next year and visit her.

Nominated by: Arlynn Lawrence, parent

Steve Millward, North Point Elementary; Teacher

Mr Millward was my daughter’s 4th grade teacher two years ago. My daughter was nervous for a male teacher and this was the best year she has had. Mr M went out of his way to make her 4th grade year amazing. The way he taught (even with a mask) made her enjoy school more. He had encouraging games and rewards which she loved them most. While in 5th grade she went and visited Mr M each day after school. Mr M is the reason why my daughter started to succeed in reading and wanted to read. On back to school night this year she wanted to visit Mr M before her new 6th grade teacher.

Nominated by: Lindsay Barker, parent

Mike Gowans, Westlake High; Teacher

Mr. Gowans has been a savior to so many kids. He listens, encourages, helps, makes them smile and laugh, he is an inspiration to many, and at any time, would drop anything to help his students! He has taught all of his students not only life skills, everything to deal with FFA, but also that graduating is so important, and that anything he can do to help to let him know! I’m so blessed to know my daughter has Mr. Gowans as a teacher, I can honestly say he has changed her outlook on life and has lifted her up to have such a positive outlook! Thank you, Mr. Gowans!

Nominated by: Shanna Norman, parent

Michelle Brady, Aspen Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Brady is hands down the most phenomenal teacher I have ever seen (that includes any I had as kid). I have never seen a teacher with so much dedication to teaching the kids, making them feel extraordinarily loved, and spending so much of their own time outside of school to make sure her students excel. Mrs. Brady does all this and so much more. She is so genuine and you can tell she loves the kids (even the difficult kiddos). I wish she could be my child’s teacher through every grade.

Nominated by: Shantel Veater, parent

Stephanie Olsen, Viewpoint Middle; Student Advocate

As an academic counselor, Stephanie was instrumental in providing excellent care for my 8th grade daughter during a scary phase of truancy, self-harm, depression, academic failure, and substance use. Her frank, straightforward, and compassionate approach went a long way toward gaining my daughter’s trust. Knowing Stephanie was available for check-ins and goal setting with my child provided incredible peace of mind. She gave me hope when I had none left. My daughter has completely transformed into a mature and responsible 9th grader, and I credit Stephanie with helping her get there.

Nominated by: (name withheld), parent

Brison Dodge, Black Ridge Elementary; Teacher

Mr. Dodge is the absolute best teacher! He is always bringing out the best in his students. He even thinks of them years after they are done with his class. My son who is in 8th grade had him in 5th grade. He struggled with Chinese the next year and Mr. Dodge gave him advice and encouraged him all year long. In fact, he still thinks of him now and asks my younger kids how he is doing. He knows my son is a 49’ers fan and Mr. Dodge has a friend who played for the 49’ers. Well one day I was brought to tears when Mr. Dodge sent me an email with a video just for my son from his 49’er friend.

Nominated by: Jen Burge, parent

Erica Staples, North Point Elementary; Teacher

I am blown away by Erica and her gift with children. My son came to her class after a very hard time in another class. He cried every day. The first day he came to Mrs. Staples class she had prepped the class to give him a huge welcome which was everything to him. Under her guidance, my son excelled and was accepted to the gifted program. She helped with confidence, anxieties, and our son was a new kid. We will forever be grateful for her.

Nominated by: Tracy Cook, parent

Timothy Stokes, Thunder Ridge Elementary; Teacher

Mr. Stokes was my son’s teacher last year. He was inspiring to my son because he was a male and my son could relate to him. He encouraged my son to find books that interested him and loaned him several books that he recommended for him. He made sure his students knew that he had their back. He was an excellent teacher in his very first year and I’m excited to see the amazing things he does in the future!

Nominated by: McCall Carson, parent

Diane Knight, North Point Elementary; Teacher

Mrs. Knight has been a wonderful teacher for over 30 years. I have known her my whole life and her patience with children is remarkable.

Nominated by: Kiersten Kizerian, parent

Shanlee Herrin, Vineyard Elementary; Teacher

Ms. Herrin shows genuine concern and love for her kids. She takes time out of her life to attend student events outside of the classroom and helps each child feel safe, smart, and valued. She encourages and expects growth in her students.

Nominated by: Laci Harper, parent

Cali Burgess, Timberline Middle; Teacher

Mrs. Burgess is deserving of this award because she teaches in a phenomenal way. She cares about every one of her students and thrives for them to have a brighter future. She teaches in a creative and energetic way and is an amazing person!

Nominated by: Eliza Neal, student

Makayla Needs, Harbor Point Elementary; Teacher

Ms. Needs is continually learning and progressing as a teacher. She creates an incredible classroom environment. She is encouraging, kind, a leader, and a great teacher. She puts in so much personal time to become a better teacher. She helps coach other teachers and helps with tricky kids. She is incredible!

Nominated by: Patrice Hiskey, parent

Malana Clayson, Cascade Elementary; Assistant Secretary

Ever since I met Malana, she has been finding ways to serve our family; particularly our eight year old son. She got to know him a couple of years ago when he was experiencing pretty bad anxiety about school. She was always on the lookout for my son and encouraged her own son to befriend him. My son needed the support of her and other fantastic school aides at Cascade, and he is doing so much better now. Every time I see Malana, she is smiling, friendly, and coming up with ways to serve and lift those around her.

Nominated by: Savannah Krumwiede, parent

Stacey Kirtley, Hidden Hollow Elementary; Teacher

My son Tyven is on the spectrum, and needed to repeat kindergarten to catch up. My son had her both times, I strongly believe if he did have her he wouldn’t have succeeded like he did and move on to first grade fully ready and prepared.

Nominated by: Mikayla Harper, parent

Amy Luiz, Harvest Elementary; Teacher

Amy Luiz is excellent at her job because she truly believes that she can not leave any child behind. She teaches, reteaches, and then tries to find different ways to teach those students that still have not understood the concepts. She gives individual attention to a lot of each of her 65-75 students every year to make sure that they can and will succeed. She doesn’t give up on anyone. She has brought up so many students test scores and end-of-year RISE scores as well through her efforts.

Nominated by: Jennifer Canar, parent and district employee

Jesus Valladolid, Central Elementary; Custodian

Jesus V is the best head custodian ever. He’s super nice and always willing to help the teachers and kids. He also takes a lot of time to polish and wax everything to make it look extra nice.

Nominated by: Taylor Nielson, district employee

Jesus is one of the janitors at Central and has made a big impact on teachers, parents, and students. He’s been there around three years and has been a big asset to the school in encouraging kids who struggle. He notices those that misbehave and gives them small responsibilities to encourage responsibility, accountability, and self-confidence. He is Central’s biggest cheerleader and goes out of his way to help with events going on in the school. Despite some difficult challenges in his life, he is ALWAYS smiling and looking for ways to lift others and bring a smile to their face.”

Nominated by: Sherrie McDaniel, parent

Deanna Mendez, Valley View Elementary; Teacher

My kid needed special attention last year and Deanna didn’t think twice about it, attending to his needs. Also, she so creative with her teaching! She’s always working on things at home to help her students feel special and makes the classroom environment a fun place to be. She is patient and kind and loving to students and engages her students with fun incentives to earn. She also went above and beyond helping out with our school play! Her efforts are truly above and beyond and all her students love her! Mrs. Mendez is truly remarkable!

Nominated by: Alea Bynes, parent

Tiffany Williams, Orem Elementary; Teacher

Ms. Williams goes above and beyond for her students as well as the parents. She is always in high spirits and is so positive. My daughter loved having her as her kindergarten teacher and we appreciate all she has done for our daughter.

Nominated by: Kalen McCoy, parent

Randy Brady, Westlake High; Teacher

Randy is the band director at Westlake. Of course he encourages his students to work hard as musicians, but just as importantly, he inspires them to be good human beings. He teaches them to be kind and respectful, to connect with and watch out for each other. The students learn how to manage time and prioritize. He cares about each individual kid and learns their names. He loves his students and helps them be the best they can be!! He donates more time than anyone will ever know! He is one of the best teachers I’ve had the privilege of working with.

Nominated by: Cindi Arnold, parent

Megan Pachner, North Point Elementary; Teacher

Megan is a ray of sunshine! She greets each student with a big smile and makes them all feel so loved and so important. Along with the momentous task of teaching the core standards, she finds ways to incorporate life lessons, and is constantly instilling positivity into her students. She embodies every aspect of the RISE acronym.

Nominated by: Dani Sorensen, parent



Please check school websites for school based resources, such as bell schedules and school meals. Employees should visit the Alpine Employe Gateway for employee specific resources. 

Registration is postponed until further notice.

Steps to Register


View the Clear Creek Camp Schedule in the “Registration FAQs” document. We recommend selecting a few dates in case your first choice sells out.


Once registration is open, click “Eventbrite Registration” and select the date of your choice.


Fill in all requested student registration information and pay the required registration fee.


Complete Student Information & Health Form.