On Monday, August 15, teachers and administrators from all schools in the Carbon School District gathered in the Mount Harmon Auditorium for the annual commencement institute. Upon arrival, district educators were invited to breakfast and meet with representatives of the Carbon County Educators Association (CCEA).
A sense of excitement hung in the air as everyone visited, laughed and shared stories.
To begin, Ms. Stephanie Cha, President of the CAMC, welcomed everyone and took a moment to introduce the various executive members of the CAMC, including the Past President, President-Elect, Board Members and representatives of the associations of each school. She also recognized Jennifer Black. who served in the CCEA for (as she put it) “I don’t even know how long!” Miss Cha also discussed tax updates and changes for Carbon School District (CSD) educators.
Following his remarks, Superintendent Mika Salas welcomed everyone with a warm “It’s so nice to see your faces! She talked about the upcoming school year and how excited she was to get started. She begged educators to make it a point every day to check in with a colleague and with a student. She explained that throughout history, [humans] overcame the trials by banding together. She promised that if we show sincere concern and interest for those around us, we will reap the benefits ourselves.
After Superintendent Salas, Elementary Principal Stacy Basinger recognized new employees in the Carbon School District and those who have changed positions within the district. Starting with elementary schools, she invited each principal to introduce their new employees.
Bruin Point: Natalie Bigelow in secondD rank, Jared Barker in thisrd degree, Sandi Regruto in counseling and Sharon Manchester in special education.
Heights of the castle: Tristan Garvin in foure grade, Kasondra Frazier in special education and Renee Pressett as a new educational coach.
creekview: Megan Hinckley in thisrd grade and Natalie Lantz in fife to note.
Sally Mauro: Kailee Pendergrass in the treest note, Tiffany Barlow in foure note, Tyler Grundy in foure degree and Sarah Spear in special education.
Assistant: Sandi Regruto as a mental health therapist and Megan Costello as an art teacher.
Mount Harmon: Amy Warburton in eighte Mathematics, Amber Chappell in sixe mathematics, Chrissy Bishop in consulting, Rachel Allen in sevene quality language arts, Denise Madsen as behavioral interventionist, Taylon Abeyta in physical education, Danielle Tuttle in special education, Alaena Fryer in sevene quality language arts, Becky Cook in sixe language arts, Heidi Lindsey in digital literacy and Bradley Brown in eighth scientific degree.
High carbon: Kaitlyn Ipson in music, Julie Powell in FACS, Emily Anderson in FACS, Amy Morgan in math, Alex Anderson in math, Alisa Kranendonk in special education, Stacy Abbott as counselor and Chris Sweeney as dean of students.
Castle Valley Center: Tracilynn Anglesey as teacher and Tracey Curtis as transition teacher.
Neighborhood SPEED: Marcie Gregersen as IEP Support, Jamie Bradley as SPED Coordinator, Raegan Baker as Autism Teacher and Bryndee Anderson as Speech Language Pathologist.
Youth in Custody: Ted Gubeler as YIC teacher. He will also work with Carbon High’s CAP program.
District office: Rebekah Moore as Behavioral Interventionist, Emily McKenney as Behavioral Interventionist, Jared Hansen as Maintenance Manager, Justin Wilde as Transportation Manager, Tonya Jones as Child Nutrition Manager, Nick Osness as caretaker and maintenance man, and Dustin Stettler as maintenance
After recognizing new employees, Basinger recognized the service and commitment of employees who have continuously held one or more positions in the Carbon School District for 4, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 31 years.
4 years: Jo Begay and D’Lee Cologie of Castle Heights; Jaimi Hillman and Jimmy Parker of Creekview; Sally Mauro’s Shelley Gravett; Chrissy Bishop, Tara Elrod, Jessica Fasselin, Sarah Feik and Shawn Smith of Mont Harmon; Heidi Christensen and Lane Tait of Carbon High; and Calie White from Castle Valley Center.
10 years: John Behn of Bruin Point; Cynthia Lancaster of Castle Heights; Wellington’s Kodi Gunter and Jaime Noyes; Heather Arrieta and Jessica Fausett of Helper; Sandi Cox and Steve Robinett of Mount Harmon; Carrie Barnett, Tracey Curtis and Amy Nicholson of the Castle Valley Center; Wendy Berryman from the district; and Amanda Hamaker and Todd Richardson of transportation.
15 years old: Shaunna Barney, Bill Bate and Arland Leonard of Castle Heights; Racquel Adams and Misty Matthews of Creekview; Laura Allred of Wellington; Rob Bradley of Helper; Karlene Bianco of Mount Harmon; Doug Morris, Kirt Nunley and Romelia Urrutia of Carbon High; and Shawna Sherman of Transportation.
20 years: Linda Garvin and Paige Haddock of Castle Heights; Grace Gutierrez of Creekview; Paulie Vogrinec of Wellington; Carrie Timothy of Castle Valley Center and Kristen Henrie of Transport.
25 years: Bambi Erramouspe from Creekview and Ruth Whiteside from Castle Heights.
30 years: Julie Thayn of Castle Heights and Leslie Smoak of Carbon High.
31 years: Ms Basinger and the District Office team made a special acknowledgment for Sid Nelson in the interview as they accidentally missed his 30 year acknowledgment last year
Next, the program was to recognize teachers nominated by their colleagues as Teacher of the Year: Joset Wells from Bruin Point, Marcie Gregersen from Castle Heights, Grace Gutierrez from Creekview, Janel Parry from Sally Mauro, Kodi Gunter from Wellington, Alisha Hansen of Helper, Tina Frame of Mount Harmon, Chris Sweeney of Carbon High and Amy Nicholson of Castle Valley Center.
From these teachers, a district committee selected one member as the district’s teacher of the year. Carbon High’s Chris Sweeney was their pick. Mr. Sweeney was invited to address his colleagues. He talked about what inspired him to become a teacher and what influenced his teaching style. He spoke of the struggles faced by so many students, especially students in recent years who have endured a pandemic, wars, and political and social unrest. There was almost total silence during his speech; the power and sincerity behind his words were felt.
The event wrapped up with Mike Roberts, a longtime educator and instructional coach from Northern Utah. His presentation was “The Soundtrack of Teaching” and he shared the valuable lessons he learned over 23 years of teaching in college. With each lesson he shared, he linked it to a well-known song whose lyrics were related to the message. The audience was encouraged to show up and sing the songs karaoke style. Many educators in the Carbon School District were excited to participate and entertain their colleagues. The hall was full of laughter and positive energy, which carried with the educators as they returned to their buildings for school meetings.
It’s obvious that Carbon School District faculty and staff are excited about a new year and all it will bring. Welcome everyone to school; let’s make it a great year!