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The Board of Education recognized this month’s recipients for the Provo Way Award at the board meeting on Tuesday, March 14. The Provo Way Award is an opportunity for the district to recognize and celebrate the positive things that students, teachers, administrators, parents and staff do for the district. The recipients, as well as their contributions to the district, are listed below.
Tricia Biggs Provo Peaks Teacher
Tricia Biggs returned to the teaching profession this year and is doing an absolutely incredible job teaching my son, a 5th-grade student at Provo Peaks. She is enthusiastic. She is skilled. But what makes her a cut above is that she genuinely loves my son and understands his specific gifts and his specific challenges. She invests time outside of class to learn things that will help him. He is open and honest with her because he knows how much she cares. Whatever you can do to retain this wonderful teacher, please do it!
Michele Strong Oak Springs Registrar
We have two people who run and organize our office and both of them are amazing and helpful. This year I would like to nominate Michele Strong our school registrar. Even though we are a small school here at Oak Springs, we have a lot of activity going on with the Utah State Hospital, Parents, Caseworkers, the volunteers, and staff. We have many students who enter the school and discharge from the school from all over the State of Utah. Michele is masterful and dealing with all types of situations connecting with all these people, tracking down records and getting records ready to send when students discharge. She is also very effective and efficient in keeping all school records, grades, reports etc. that she is responsible for. If staff need help she is always ready to make the time to help and resolve any problem or issue for that staff member and in a pleasant professional way. Michele often has to juggle many duties and does it well without complaint and very effectively. She is a great addition to the Oak Springs School Staff and makes everything seem smooth and seamless.
Alexandra Harker Timpview High School Teacher
Alexandra cares about her students on an individual basis in a way that very few teachers do. She takes the time to learn about what her students are passionate about and if they prefer names besides their own. She makes class fun and we are able to learn and interact in a way that I think that very few teachers can. She knows the kinds of books I like and recommends books to me. She emails me with helpful lists of assignments when I let her know I’ll be gone next time, whereas I often go to other teachers to tell them I’ll be gone and they don’t know what the lesson will be, and if they will assign homework. She is organized, caring and a fun person to be around. She has made school fun for me and my classmates. Her impact to me alone has been far larger than I’m sure she knows. She has been an example of what a teacher can be when they really care.
Angaleen Goodwin District Physical Therapist
She treats students all throughout the district who have mobility/physical therapy needs. She works with parents, students, administrators, and teachers to help students with disabilities be successful in our district. She is the only Physical Therapist Provo School District has. She does an outstanding job communicating and coordinating between schools. She works with all levels of students from Preschool through High School. She continues to excel in her profession attending conferences to stay abreast in the most current research. She has had her own kids attend Provo School District schools and is invested in the Provo Way!
Emma Monsivais Timpview High School Student
Emma has been volunteering for the Red Cross for over 5 years. She was the President for the youth services and now she’s the disasters preparedness co-chairman.
Because she has spent the last four years helping young women in her youth group earn their personal progress award, by organizing opportunities to help them work in different goals, since she had earned her award in less than two years. Emma has also spent the last four years being actively involved with the Red Cross youth services including serving a year as co-president and doubled the number of youth attending meetings and serving in the community. This year she has been serving as co-chair to arm forces which includes organizing group visits to the Veterans assisted living center in Payson. It has also been important to Emma to be a part of Hope Squad the past five years because it gives her a way to help her fellow classmates when they cannot help themselves.
What Emma does for the community is incredible. Even though Emma is a junior in high school, graduating early, and participating in sports, she always finds time to serve and help others. She volunteers for Red Cross, helps with blood drives, and so much more! There is not another person in this world like Emma who is so kind and willing to go out of her way to make someone feel good.
Wendy Nichol Timpview High School Special Education Coordinator
Wendy is a hard working advocate for kids with Special Needs at Timpview. She goes out of her way to take care of issues that are brought to her attention. My son knows Wendy’s office is a safe haven where he can go if he is overwhelmed or being bullied, and that Wendy won’t just listen. She will do something about the stress-causer or the bully. When I email her to bring something to her attention, Wendy is attentive and proactive in resolving concerns, and works with teachers to make the best environment possible for my student. Wendy is easy to work with and caring, and I couldn’t imagine my son’s Timpview experience without Wendy there to help. She is a life-saver!
Brandon Hunt Spring Creek Elementary ESP
The Mr. Hunt is such an asset to our Spring Creek team. He has been working with our students who are struggling readers and he has helped them to improve their reading abilities. He is patient and kind to all students that he works with throughout the day. He has proven to be a positive role model for our students who need one-on-one guidance. Mr. Hunt knows how to encourage students to be their best and students gravitate towards him. His work at Spring Creek has made a positive impact on the lives of our students and he should be recognized for his continued dedication.
Alison Van Orden Timpview High School English Teacher
Without a doubt, Mrs. Van Orden has been the most influential teachers of my high school experience. I have had the opportunity to be her student for two years, and she has taught me invaluable lessons in and out of the classroom. She is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the subject she teaches. I am honored to be able to have been able to receive instruction from her. She is kind and willing to help any and every student succeed. Simply put, Alison Van Orden is exceptional. She exemplifies what public education should be, and well represents the kind of education that students can receive at Timpview High School. I recommend her without hesitation for the Provo Way Award.
Callie Gallacher Westridge Elementary Social Worker
Callie is tireless and dependable in meeting the needs of our students and families at Westridge! She is indispensable as an extension of the administrative team that is able to contact families, put them in touch with community resources, and support them through difficult times. She provides instruction to students who require modeling and practice to be a good friend, handle conflict, manage their anger, anxiety, and other emotional distress, successfully navigate the classroom, and establish a community of kindness. Her work with the Hope Squad, Kindness Club, Kindness Initiative, PBIS, and student leadership efforts have been literally immeasurable in the positive impact on the school. She impacts Westridge on a school-wide, grade, classroom, individual, and family level through the different services and training she provides.
Callie is always positive and creative in problem solving and delivers fabulous professional development. Teachers appreciate her insights with students and often invite her to help with difficult situations. She is a resource for all of us, and we don’t know how we ever functioned without her!
Shelley Graham Westridge Elementary Parent
Shelley is an official “Mover-and-Shaker Parent” of Westridge! Her voice is often heard on morning announcements encouraging students to ride their bikes to school, bring Box Tops, be kind, read a million minutes, come to PTO nights, participate in contests, buy Val-o-Grams, and on and on.
In addition to successfully running our PTO as co-President, this year Shelley has worked hard to increase the participation of more families in the organization, ensuring that the PTO represents all the neighborhoods within our school boundaries. Shelley is concerned about every child at Westridge, and continually looks for ways to make a difference for the teachers and staff as well. She founded and continues to enhance the Westridge Fine Arts Festival, and every student can sing the catchy song she wrote encouraging everyone to participate. (Ask her to sing it!) ?
Shelley volunteers at several schools throughout the district, strengthens the public school partnership with the Covey Center for the Arts, teaches Drama at BYU, and I swear she doesn’t sleep! We are grateful for her influence at Westridge and want to share her dynamism with the School Board as an exquisite example of the Provo Way. Thank you for lifting us, Shelley!
Kaden Hickman Spring Creek Elementary Student
Kaden saw a classmate that was really struggling. He noticed that he wore the same clothes to school every day. Kaden didn’t know that this student’s family was homeless and living in a hotel, but he knew that he wanted to do something kind for his classmate. He asked his mom if they could get him some new clothes to wear. Kaden and his mom went a bought the students some brand new clothes. The clothes were given anonymously to the student. Kaden’s kindness is exemplary. He is kind to everyone even students that may be harder to want to be kind to. We appreciate Kaden’s awareness of those around him and his desire to help them feel accepted at Spring Creek.