September 20 Rise Nominees

Neil Corry, Cedar Ridge Elementary; head custodian

Mr. Corry takes excellent care of our school. He is also supportive and helpful to the PTA when we need his help. He happily sets up chairs for Battle of the Books, provides tables for Back to School Night, and chairs for various assemblies and events.”

Nominated by: Wendi Jensen, parent

Heather Turner, Cedar Ridge Elementary; teacher aide

Heather is a great paraprofessional at our school! She helps out in one of our kindergarten classes with patience, kindness, and humor. She also helps out with our reading program. She was so kind to my VERY nervous son on his first day of kindergarten and helped him have a great start.”

Nominated by: Wendi Jensen, parent

Krissi Mortensen, Black Ridge Elementary; teacher

My son had the worst anxiety, no self confidence, and had a hard time learning to the point he came home in tears. Mrs. Mortensen went above and beyond to change his perception to the point that he looks forward every day to learn. He loves to read and has an absolutely incredible outlook on school, all thanks to Mrs. Mortensen.

Nominated by: Payge Peterson, parent

“Mrs. Mortensen offered to be trained on administering my son Wyatt’s insulin because she realized going to the office was a challenge for him. She also facilitated getting him an aid for specialty and lunch who could focus all their attention on him. Then to top it off she went above and beyond to help me track down Wyatt’s missing insulin pump controller (VIP) when it got left on the bus. She was always proactive in decisions regarding Wyatt and put my worries at ease. She is an amazing teacher and a genuinely kind human! Thank you. We love Mrs. Mortensen!”

Nominated by: Allison Ostrander, parent

Sharon Curran, Black Ridge Elementary; teacher

Sharon is an amazing art teacher, a mentor, advocate and loved by all children. She has a way of making everyone believe they can do art, be creative and feel seen. She has top notch organization and systems in place to stream line every art project. She is a master in the operations of the classroom.

Nominated by: Marissa Reyes, parent

Stephanie Howard, Freedom Elementary; teacher

Ms. Howard made my special needs son feel loved! He did not want to miss school ever. She came to his baseball games, she directed the school play, she ran student council, and this is her final year before retirement. She is amazing!!!

Nominated by: Stephanie Wardrop, parent

Stevie is a one-of-a kind teacher and person. I felt that the moment I met her 10 years ago. She is kind, compassionate and patient with all students. She is fun, funny and creative. She genuinely loves every child and takes a special interest in each of them both in and out of the classroom. Her students feel that love, and as a result, they are willing to do anything for her. My son is in her class this year and I’ve seen him bend over backwards to please her. He has a renewed love of school that wasn’t there last year. With Stevie retiring this year, it seems a perfect time to honor her.”

Nominated by: Kim Carroll, parent

Keely Giles, Vineyard Elementary; librarian

For the last couple of years I have known and volunteered with Keely. She runs the library as well as the Battle of the Books for our school. She is so focused on connecting with every student and she wants them to be excited about reading. She cares so much for every student and she deserves recognition.

Nominated by: Jennifer Joos, parent

Kailiana Downs, Foothill Elementary; teacher

In a system where the neurodivergent are often forgotten Ms. Downs is a voice for those who struggle to express themselves due to autism. She has connected with our son with autism in a way few have ever been able to. She has created a safe environment for kids to thrive and feel safe.

Nominated by: Shari Satko, parent

Lynette Ray, Lindon Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Ray is a phenomenal educator. She works with kids with special needs and she is loving, caring and above all patient with her students. She is most deserving of this prestigious award.

Nominated by: Pauline, parent

Travis Blevins, Centennial Elementary; teacher

Travis is so dedicated, kind, and is the definition of a good teacher. He cares about his students and wants them to succeed.

Nominated by: Emi Workman, district employee

Fabian Castro, Orchard Elementary; teacher

Señor Castro has taught all 5 of my kids and he is exceptional! We have driven from Provo to Orchard for 12 years now and Señor Castro is a very big part of why we make that sacrifice! He loves his students and the parents and they all know it! He’s so kind, so patient, and meets every student at their level. He is the reason my kids looked forward to 5th grade. He was the prize for making it through the younger grades! We love him and feel lucky to have had him teach our kids.

Nominated by: Autumn Bustos, parent

Sr. Castro is an incredible teacher. He shows so much joy when seeing the students, and they know it! He’s sincere, thoughtful, and so kind. He makes a difference in the lives of students and parents at Orchard Elementary.”

Nominated by: Kelsey Young, parent

Megan Wooten, Sage Hills Elementary; teacher

Megan Wooten embodies this award and its legacy. She selflessly worked around-the-clock with my son’s class, constantly encouraging their academic development, and inspiring their character growth. As a volunteer in the classroom, I saw her efforts first-hand, and applaud the remarkable role-model she was for my son and his classmates. My son repeatedly brings up life-lessons and principles he learned from her intentional discussions on those topics. She constantly went above and beyond as an educator, mentor and leader and deserves recognition.”

Nominated by: Brian Dosa, parent

Tracy Warby, American Fork High; teacher

Tracy combines excellence, discipline, and fun, teaching life, not just music to hundreds annually. Tracy’s choirs consistently best the top national high school choirs in Carnegie Hall. She gathers funding for underprivileged students, so they get life experiences they’d otherwise never have. Her 4-5 choirs have exceptional musicianship, whether it’s a masterwork Mozart requiem or up-town-funk with choreography. She cries over students struggling in dysfunctional homes and compassionately accommodates those with chronic health issues. Tracy teaches with heart, conviction, and inclusiveness.

Nominated by: Judy Davis, parent

Andrea Tucker, North Point Elementary; teacher

Andrea is very cool, calm and collected at all times. She teaches first grade and that is a learning curve for little kids. She handles it with so much grace. Andrea helped prepare my daughter for 2nd grade and more importantly how to handle hard emotions for us both. She is always prepared, always on time, and always ready for any situation.

Nominated by: Tawny Streeter, parent

Karyn Ruoho, Sage Hills Elementary; teacher

Ms. Ruoho is always willing to go out of her way to help others. She helps everyone and is always so happy and cheerful. The students adore her! There are always dozens of students from years past waiting outside her door at the end of the school day to say hi and give her a hug. She’s phenomenal!

Nominated by: Jessica Brady, district employee

Jennifer Phillips, Frontier Middle; teacher

Ms Phillips, or “Ms Jen”, has made the biggest impact on our special needs daughter. She never gave up on her. She pushed her to progress while showing support, love and compassion. She truly cares about the success of her students. Every school needs more teachers like her!!

Nominated by: Mindy Hunt, parent

Nicole Quiring, Harvest Elementary; teacher

My son has a hard time with school and his ADHD. Mrs. Quiring has put together so many ways to help students that need the additional help. A few years ago she had a class of almost 45 and she rocked it.

Nominated by: Jamie Levesque, parent

She is nice and treats me really well and helps me get my work done.” 

Nominated by: Regenald Levesque, student

Carol Winkleman, Central Elementary; teacher

Ms. Winkleman is such an amazing teacher! She knows how to connect with the kids and make lasting impressions on them! She knows how to teach them to help them be engaged and want to learn. We absolutely love her and any kid she teaches is a very lucky student! ❤️” 

Nominated by: Holly Smith, parent

Holly Palmer, Mountain View High; teacher

Ms. Palmer is great, positive and caring! Loves all kids she works with. Will always go the extra mile for her special needs students!” 

Nominated by: James Sorensen, parent

Rachel Chidester, North Point Elementary; teacher

Ms. Chidester has incredible energy with her students. She lifts them up with positivity and inspires their self-confidence. She makes her teaching relatable with life lessons. She is firm, but gentle.” 

Nominated by: Hayley Laidlaw, parent

Kay Beck, Cedar Ridge Elementary; teacher

We absolutely love Kay Beck. We’ve been with her for almost 4 years now. She puts the kids first every time. She goes out of her way to see her kids even years after they’ve left her classroom!” 

Nominated by: Rebecca Webb, parent

Sherry DuMoulin, River Rock Elementary; teacher

When my son first started preschool, he was so nervous. He was afraid to be at school and struggled to communicate. The progress that he has made is incredible and it’s because of Miss Sherry. She is kind, loving, gentle, honest, and so genuine. She loves her students and cares so much about helping them reach their potential. As a parent I have felt so comfortable having my child in her classroom and I don’t worry that he won’t be taken care of. Sherry is selfless and devoted and Alpine is lucky to have her!!” 

Nominated by: Ciara Paskett, parent

Kathy Price, Lehi Junior; teacher

Kathy is committed to excellence in all areas of her life. She is compassionate and loving. She loves her students and education. I call her sunshine and she truly is.” 

Nominated by: Jennifer Curtis, district employee

She loves and understands all of her students. She is fun and driven. She loves her job and is dedicated to helping her students succeed.”

Nominated by: Mindy Cupello, parent

Kathy genuinely cares about her students and about making an impact in their lives. She has a passion for Reading and it shows when teaching students about books and how important they are. She accepts everyone as they are, and I think that’s so important because it creates trust in our youth.”

Nominated by: Trina Kinyon, parent

She is a wonderful teacher who cares deeply about her students, far beyond just the education that she is paid to provide. Kathy is incredible at making her students feel loved and seen, as the wonderful kids they are.”

Nominated by: Anna Dick, Anna Dick

She cares so deeply for her students and devotes so much time to them. She is a ray of sunshine!”

Nominated by: Katie Perry, parent

Kathy is such a dedicated teacher and offers kindness and acceptance to every student who enters her classroom.”

Nominated by: Dre Haag, parent

Angela Nuttall, Lindon Elementary; teacher

Mrs. Nuttall deserves the RISE award because she has risen to the challenge of setting each of her students up for success. Mrs. Nuttall has gone above and beyond to pay special attention to my child’s needs and accommodate them. Instead of making him (or me) feel like he is a hassle or that the extra steps she has to take with him are too much she makes us feel seen, supported, and most importantly loved. I hope she knows how deep my appreciation for her is. She does her very best to make school a positive experience even for those who require a little extra every single day.

Nominated by: McKenzie Alvidrez, parent

Jeff Young, Eaglecrest Elementary; teacher

Mr. Young makes learning fun! He creates an environment in the classroom that the children look forward to and actively participate in. Mr Young has a passion for teaching his students and inspires them to always do their best.

Nominated by: Bre Allen, parent

Ben Larson, Pony Express Elementary; teacher

Cole is a 2nd grader and Mr. Larson is a 6th grade teacher at Pony Express! My son continues to have amazing words about him! So helpful, understanding, and patient with the kids! He was amazing thru the whole summer STARS program as we are new to the area! So welcoming and loving to all kids! So helpful as the new school year started!

Nominated by: Cole Smith, student



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