Last Tuesday, February 11, was the monthly School Board meeting The following topics were...
We would like to extend a special thanks to our district employees who will be retiring this year. Thank you for the years of service, you will be missed.
Director of Special Education
Morgan has served Provo City School District for over 34 years. He has held many positions and served students of all grade levels as the Director of Special Education. Morgan has been influential in lives of students, parents and employees. He has had the courage to make changes through his leadership to support student learning. He has used the resources for special education students to develop a high functioning program. Morgan has a positive outlook on education and the opportunities all students should receive to be successful. Morgan is quick to smile and offer welcoming words of support. He has been an advocate for students and teachers. Morgan has mentored many of the leaders in the District and they are grateful for his influence on their career.
Instructional Assistant at Westridge Elementary
Hannah Braithwaite has been at Westridge Elementary longer than almost any other person! Her devotion to students and learning has left an enduring heart print on the students, staff, and culture of Westridge! Her colleagues say: Hannah became a dear friend over the years we worked together in the Special Ed. Department at Westridge. She had so much love and dedication to the students she worked with. I always knew I could depend on her to do whatever it took to help each child find success and pride in their efforts. Students loved coming to her groups because of her love and dedication for each of them. Her caring nature didn’t stop with her students; she was kind and supportive to the staff also. In her quiet way she went about showing her love and concern for each of us. I have many special fun memories of times we worked and laughed together. I wish her the very best as she moves on to a new stage in her life adventure. Hannah is a gold mine of experience and information about teaching students who need some assistance in their learning journey. I worked with her for a short time when she was a reading tutor, but I was very impressed with her ability to work with all kinds of students. She was very good at assessing and pinpointing a student’s weakness in reading. She would then be able to help the student in the areas they needed to improve. She is very kind and patient with her students (and her crazy reading tutor coworkers). I will miss her expertise in tutoring our students at Westridge Elementary. Hannah Braithwaite has been a quiet, unassuming, but amazing teacher here at Westridge for years and years. Her help in resource and special ed has enabled students to progress academically and improve their confidence in school. Even though Hannah has a teaching degree, she prefers to be in the “wings” and not “on stage” because she is humble and helpful. I have loved every conversation I have ever had with Hannah. She is honest and professional, kind and gentle, supportive and positive. We will miss her very much! Thank you Hannah for your willingness to see a need and fill a need and gently help us all learn by example how to focus on students as individuals. We will miss you and your contributions to Westridge. Enjoy your well-earned retirement!
Pam came to Provo City School District as an already experienced school bus driver in the summer of 1999 and has been transporting our students for the past 20 years. Over the years Pam has driven numerous field trips, served special needs students and numerous general ed routes. In addition to driving our students, Pam also served for a few years as a PESP representative. Pam has always enjoyed the students and created a fun, safe experience while transporting her students. She often decorated her bus for the seasons and would have an Easter egg hunt in the spring. She will be missed by her students and coworkers.
Linda began working for Provo City School District as a bus attendant in 1989 and then became a driver in 1995. For the last fourteen years, in addition to driving, Linda has served as the district’s lead driver trainer as well as our DMV certified, behind the wheel tester for obtaining a commercial driver’s license. Linda has received the Provo Way Award and was recognized as Driver of the Year for the state of Utah in 2013. Linda’s bright shining personality puts a smile on everyone she interacts with and has left lasting impressions with students, parents and coworkers. With her dedicated work she’s been a key part in preparing and maintaining drivers, new and old, to transport students in the district. Everyone in transportation is very thankful to have worked with Linda and she will be greatly missed.
Lead Secretary at Rock Canyon Elementary
Valarie is the heart of Rock Canyon Elementary! She’s the first happy face that students see when they come into the school in the morning, and the voice of a loving “see you tomorrow” when they leave. She knows the name of every student, their teacher, their siblings and parents, where they moved from, where they live, and who their neighbors are. Everyone who walks into the main office at Rock Canyon has an immediate friend. Mrs. Davis has worked as the head secretary for 13 years and for a total of 19 years at Rock Canyon, having previously been a library aide and office aide. We are sad to see her go.
Kindergarten Teacher at Westridge Elementary
Kathy Francis has been a loving, caring teacher at Westridge and Canyon Crest for the past 33 years. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grades, and has spent the last several years teaching Kindergarten. It was not uncommon for parents to request for their children to be placed in Kathy’s caring, adventuresome classroom! They knew the love and patience their child would feel and the enthusiasm for discovery and learning Kathy would instill in them at the very beginning of their school life was critical. Kathy is the target of many hugs at the school; anyone who has been in her classroom is certain that they are her favorite! Kathy brought real life living into the classroom—literally! Her students hatched chicks, raised plants from seeds, and investigated all kinds of life. She asked questions that made them think about why they were seeing what they saw, and sent them out noticing the world around them. Kathy’s colleagues say: Her expertise in reaching out and uplifting our little Kindergartners will be sorely missed. I admire her positive outlook on life. She’s always smiling as I pass her in the halls. Anyone who is willing to teach a whole classroom of struggling little immature extended-day kindergartners is an absolute saint! Her love for children is boundless. I wish her well as she opens a new chapter in her life. Although Kathy may be retiring, she will always be a teacher! We love Mrs. Francis and are so excited to see how she continues to impact the lives of the children she meets. Enjoy your retirement, Kathy!
Lead Secretary at Centennial
Linda has served as the Administrative Secretary for the past 4 years at Centennial Middle School. Before that Linda was the Financial Secretary for 19 years. She has been at Centennial since it opened! Before Centennial, Linda worked at Dixon Middle School. Linda is a Centennial staple. She knows everyone and everyone knows her! She has been a powerful, positive influence on countless students. There are many student who will stop by just to check in with her. She will be missed greatly, and the school will not be the same without her.
Supported Employment Coordinator at CUE
In 1984, Sheree Garner began working for Provo City School District at Central Utah Enterprises (CUE) which served students 18-22 years old, as well as adults with intellectual disabilities in a vocational setting. Sheree has held many positions at CUE. She began as a vocational trainer and earned her way to the position of a job coach, program manager, contract and employment coordinator and, finally in 2000, the position of Supported Employment Coordinator where she became part of the management team. Sheree has been instrumental is accruing job contracts, enclaves and individual placements for those CUE serves. She has spent numerous hours providing supports to individuals to ensure they were successful in their job placements. While Sheree has been involved in many of the organizational and program aspects of CUE, she much prefers working directly with the individuals and seeing the progress they make. Outside of CUE, Sheree’s greatest joy is her family, especially her children and grandchildren. Just ask her, but only if you have a couple of hours to hear all about them. She likes to spend time with them going on vacations, attending school programs and other events they are involved in. They enjoy her as much as she enjoys them. Sheree’s other interests and likes include bunco, watching Hallmark movies, watching the Bachelor with her parents, going out to eat, decorating her house, getting her nails done, being actively involved in community events, pink flamingos (it’s a contest with her good friends) and of course, chocolate. Over the past 30 years, Sheree has been a support to many, not only those CUE serves but also to their families.
Instructional Facilitator at Franklin Elementary
Karen Hoffman has been an educator at Franklin Elementary School for 36 years. During her career, she taught 3rd, 4th, and 5thgrades, and was the Facilitator at Franklin Elementary School. Although her main responsibility has always been to educate the students at Franklin Elementary School she has done much more than that, she has educated the teachers and faculty members as well. Over the years Karen has mentored countless teachers. She has shared her ideas, her lessons, her energy, and more than anything else, her passion for teaching. She has made those around her better teachers, just by her example. The students at Franklin know that Mrs. Hoffman is their advocate. They know she will fight for them. She will love them. She will celebrate their success and she will help comfort them when they feel they have failed. Karen will truly be missed by the students, the families, and the faculty at Franklin Elementary School, but all of us are better teachers, better people, and better advocates for students because of Karen’s example. Congratulations Karen on your retirement! You have given everything to Franklin and we will be forever grateful!
Child Nutrition Cook at Lakeview Elementary
Nadine Johnson-Phillips is a true School Nutrition Hero! She began her career in Child Nutrition in Provo City School District in 1992 at Joaquin and Maeser Elementary Schools. She continued working for sixteen years, eventually moving to Dixon Middle and Timpview High. When her husband passed away, she left the district for year-round work, but returned to Child Nutrition in 2014, this time at Lakeview Elementary. Although she began with food prep, she later moved up to cook. Having a deep, heartfelt commitment to her school and the children, Nadine never stops working and is always on the go. She is such a positive light in the kitchen and always goes out of her way to be kind to everyone! With the many diverse regulations that go into feeding our students at school, Nadine learned the ins and outs of the kitchen and became the manager’s “right-hand” person, even learning the point of sale! Besides being a great cook, Nadine always has the best ideas for specialty days that enrich the lunchroom experience and brighten the children’s school day. School Nutrition professionals play such an important role in the lives of our children. Feeding and nourishing young bodies every day to prepare them to learn, their smiles go a long way with every child who comes through their lunch line. Nadine Johnson-Phillips is one amazing lady, and we will be forever thankful for her many years of dedication to the child nutrition program and the hundreds of children she served with loving hands and heart! The Lakeview family will miss her, but we are excited for her future adventures, especially her first cruise, which she is planning to do in August to Mexico. Nadine and her service will never be forgotten!
Speech Language Pathologist at Provost, Dixon and Oak Springs
Anine has contributed to the education of thousands of students as a Speech Language Pathologist in Provo City School District for 32 years. She started in 1987 and has worked at Franklin, Grandview, Provost, Dixon, Rock Canyon, Canyon Crest, Provo Peaks, Oakridge and Provo High. During that time, she also taught a self-contained class for students with significant disabilities at Timpview High School. Anine is grateful to have been able to have an impact on students in our district – especially with those having significant disabilities (her true love). One of her greatest memories is working with other professionals to problem solve, collaborate and dig deeper to find solutions for the benefit of students. Her expertise in speech and language development and working with students with significant disabilities has helped all the teams with whom she has been assigned to work. Her colleagues are excited to wish Anine well as she continues her life adventures. They also wanted to share what they value about Anine: Anine has always been committed and has loved the students she has worked with. Unconditionally. Anine has always contributed great thoughts and ideas to our SLP group. Anine has always been a passionate advocate for the students she works with. She has always been concerned that they get all of the services they have needed to be successful students. Anine has always advocated for the entire child– not just for their communication needs. Anine is always supportive of the people she works with. She is a good team member and is always willing to contribute to the good of the team. Anine is willing to try new things if it will benefit the child. She is very caring and compassionate towards the students, the parents and her colleagues. We love Anine. She will be greatly missed. All our best as you follow a new path.
Office Assistant at Centennial Middle School
Marsha is retiring from Centennial Middle School. Marsha has been the Attendance Secretary for the past 4 years. Before that she ran the copy center and also worked in Special Education as a para. Marsha has been at Centennial for the past 20 plus years. Marsha has made our school a great place to be with her friendliness and desire to help. She has an eye for beauty and makes the spaces around her beautiful. Marsha has a rapport with the students that is hard to replace. They come to her for help and she willingly does whatever she can. We will miss Marsha’s infectious laugh at Centennial.
Administrator at Slate Canyon
Brad graduated Cum Laude in 1974 from Utah State University with a major in Physical Education and minor in Recreational Education. Before coming to Provo, Brad worked for 9 years as administrator, teacher, guidance counselor, coach, and even bookmobile librarian in Roosevelt, Utah. Brad has worked the past 29 years in Provo City School District as an administrator at Timpview High, Provo High, and Youth in Custody and Alternative Programs. Brad has been reliably kind and thoughtful as a school administrator. He is described as “genuinely friendly, kind, open, and he maintains that steady positivity on a regular basis.” Brad has shown people that he cares by listening, supporting, and giving freely of his time. “He prefers to have a team that works well together and doesn’t care if the good ideas come from him. His overall goal is to motivate and empower educators to do well – to do things that are good for kids and to take pride in their role as teachers.” The staff members at e-School have valued his leadership. “He uses his experience to advise me on difficult situations, but doesn’t let that experience stifle his willingness to accept new, unconventional ways of doing things. Brad has been invaluable as he guides and supports our special education team to become one of the most progressive, inclusive providers to students in an online school in the whole state.” His colleagues at Slate Canyon have felt they have accomplished so much under Brad’s leadership. “He has admitted to being somewhat trepidatious when he was first assigned the position, but I think he ended up being very satisfied with the move. In this small, intimate setting, he was able to really help us make some great changes to our program that made an immediate difference in the lives of students.” Brad will certainly be missed for his smile and personality that can warm the whole room. He has also left a legacy of genuine kindness and willingness to always give his very best.
Librarian at Edgemont Elementary
Kristen Moore has served 26 years in Provo City School District at Edgemont Elementary School. Over 13 of those years she has been Edgemont’s Library Media Specialist. She is beloved by the students of this school and they will greatly miss her enthusiasm and love of reading. She has passed on that love of reading to so many students as they pass through her library. She has a unique ability to read with multiple voices that draws her students into the stories she is sharing. The students never doubt the boundaries to having a delightful experience in the library. Students feel accepted, valued and safe when they are with Kristen. Kristen is a contributing member of the school’s community through her willingness to assist where there is a need. What a pleasure it has been to work with Kristen Moore. We are the better for rubbing shoulders with such a great woman. We express deep gratitude for her service to the students at Edgemont Elementary School. We wish her the best as she now has the time to pursue her dreams for retirement.
Social Studies Teacher at Provo High
Brian Preece is a 30-year teaching veteran. Brian started his teaching career at West High School in Salt Lake City and, after five years, came to Provo High School to be the head wrestling coach. Brian was the head wrestling coach at Provo High School from 1994-2006 and also coached in the baseball, football and golf programs. As a wrestling coach Brian was recognized as the Utah Coach of the Year in 2006 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, coached eight state champions at Provo High School and one wrestler that placed second in the nation. Provo also set a national record in a dual meet score by beating rival Timpview 84-0 with all 14 bouts ending in a pin and Provo won the Utah Wrestling Coaching Association 4A State Duals in 2004. As a classroom teacher Brian has taught Social Studies and probably taught at least a dozen different classes within that field, including even creating some course offerings for the school. In 2008, Brian and three other Provo High teachers created the Provo Academic Unified Studies program which brought field study experiences to students in a co-curricular environment. Though he hasn’t been a head coach in wrestling for over a decade, Brian remained active in the wrestling community by creating the Wrestling Against Cancer Duals hosted by Provo High School and helping to run the JV Rumble, the largest JV wrestling tournament in the United States. Brian also started the Provo High Wrestling Hall of Fame to recognize the past great wrestlers, coaches and other contributors to the Provo High Wrestling program. Brian also is an avid journalist, writing thousands of sports stories mostly about high school and college athletics. The past two years Brian was a Utah Teacher Fellow and has worked in recent years to publish stories and do podcasts about teacher and educational issues to advocate for public schools and teachers. Brian has been married just short of 22 years, and in fact, met his wife Heidi at Provo High School. They have two children, Lizzy age 19 and Zach age 17. Brian and Heidi set up a scholarship to recognize the top scholar, multiple sport athlete at Provo High School several years ago and that scholarship will be renamed in Darren Hirsche’s honor as Darren worked alongside Brian in coaching and a teaching and were the best of friends before Darren tragically passed away of Huntington’s disease in the fall of 2018. Brian will of course miss the friends he has made at Provo High School working with the students. However, he feels fortunate that through his coaching and teaching he has made many lifelong friends. As a veteran teacher, you actually get to see how the athletes you coached and the students you taught turned out in life and when they turn out to be great husbands and wives, great mothers and fathers, and great citizens and leaders in their various fields of study and career, it makes it all worth it.
Director of Special Education
Shauna has served as the Assistant Special Education Director and Acting Director of Special Education for this school year. She has worked for Provo City School District for 37 years in many important responsibilities. Through her many responsibilities she has had the opportunity to work with students from all grade levels. Shauna has helped students, parents and employees feel listened to and respected. She has a warm personality and she leads with kindness. She has been a wonderful influence on the lives of many students throughout her years of service. Shauna has worked to develop services for students that are meaningful and improve learning. She has supported teacher teams in determining how to best help students. Shauna is a leader who has developed lasting relationships with co-workers. Her influence on the special education program will be felt for years as those she has mentored continue in their careers.
English Teacher at Centennial Middle School
Erin has been an English Teacher at Centennial for 13 years. She has also been the Student Council Adviser for the past 4 years. Before Centennial, she taught for 4 years at Spring Creek and 5 years at Maeser. Erin is a joy to work with. She makes everything fun. Her students love being in her classroom because she helps them find the joy in learning. If there is a school dress up day you can bet that Mrs. Radandt will dress up and blow everyone else out of the water! Her willingness to help and positive attitude are irreplaceable! We will miss Erin here at CMS!
Career Teacher at Dixon Middle School
Dave Starling graduated from BYU, earning a Bachelor’s while serving in the military and later a Master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. He began his teaching in Alpine School District prior to finding his career home here in Provo. Dave has worked in Provo City School District for 20 years, previously working at Independence High School before joining us at Dixon in 2013. Dave loves teaching students life skills through the CTE curriculum. He has helped his students win the state stock market game multiple times and we celebrated his most recent win with his students this April. He goes beyond teaching the basics of computer using surplussed computers to take his students through the process of assembling a computer with a box of basic system parts. Dave is a consistent support in our school for students and teachers alike. He works to foster and maintain relationships at school and within the Dixon community. He goes out of his way to communicate with parents and share his students’ success. Dave even used an App called Duolingo to learn Spanish so he can communicate with them in person or by phone. I remember the first time he made a phone call in Spanish and was able to successfully communicate with the family. Dave is always smiling and happy and his fun and engaging attitude will be missed as he retires from his career as an educator to pursue other professional interests in his retirement.
Kindergarten Teacher at Rock Canyon Elementary
Charlene has served as a Kindergarten teacher for Rock Canyon Elementary for 12 years. She has worked in Provo City School District for a total of 28½ years, teaching at Rock Canyon, Canyon Crest, and Franklin in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades. Charlene loves to keep students actively learning, while pushing them to be their best selves. Visitors in her class can quickly see that she loves her students and they love her back. They remember her throughout the rest of their schooling. We’ll miss you, Mrs. Stewart!
Secretary/Registar Provo Adult Education
DeAnn Thompson has worked at Provo Adult Education for 32 years. For most of those years she has held the positions of secretary and registrar. DeAnn has moved with the program several times. The locations she has worked at include: the Trade Tech Building, the Dixon Seminary Building, the former Center for High School Studies Building and the portables south of Independence High School. DeAnn is fantastic with students. When new students come into our program, DeAnn takes time to make sure all of their questions are answered, that they understand how our program works and they know what their options are. She has encouraged countless students throughout the years through both face to face pep talks and through phone calls. DeAnn’s persistence in reaching out to students has been a big factor for many of our students returning to school. Because of her years of experience, DeAnn is the person students and staff turn to when they have a question or need advice. DeAnn genuinely and deeply cares about the students and staff at Provo Adult Education.