December 2018 | Vol. 15 Iss. 12
PERSONAL TRAGEDY SPARKED A NATIONWIDE FIGHT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE By Joshua Wood | firstname.lastname@example.org
he tragic consequences of domestic violence struck close to Jessie Richards’s life. She nearly lost a friend. To help combat the problem, she focused her professional research on the issue, and she and her husband worked with a team of other founding members to launch a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and supporting service providers for victims of domestic violence. A Cottonwood Heights resident and business professor at the University of Utah, Richards has used her expertise to make a difference. She has focused her research on domestic violence and related issues. She also started raising money through her nonprofit organization, Fight Against Domestic Violence (FADV), to fund awareness and training programs. FADV also raises funds to support shelters and other organizations that provide direct services to victims of domestic violence. Richards was motivated to fight against domestic violence when a friend and colleague of hers was shot and nearly killed by her husband. Her friend survived and the husband is in prison, but the drive to do something has remained with Richards. “I wanted to apply my research to something more tangible,” she said. “We also started seeing what money we could raise and started education programs.” She, her husband Jared, and other founding members of FADV raised $200,000 over the summer and over $500,000 overall since the organization’s inception in February 2017. Shelters and other service providers apply for grants from FADV to run their programs and operations. Jessie Richards and her colleagues at FADV work to raise awareness of domestic violence, what can be done, and what services are available. They direct people to service providers and help raise much needed funds to help them operate. “Shelters have a hard time raising money,” she said. “A shelter in Blanding had to close recently even though there is a huge need there.” One way Jessie works to support domestic violence shelters is through corporate partnerships. Companies can raise funds for service providers in their communities, host events that help raise awareness and even donate goods or services. Jessie spoke of bedding and other everyday necessities that shelters always need. “Dental services is an example,” she said. “There was one woman whose husband knocked her teeth out.” Jessie and her network at FADV were able to find oral surgeons willing to donate their services. Campaigns to raise awareness of domestic violence have a number of goals. They let more people know about the issue, which in turn can lead to more donations and therefore resources
Jessie (center) and Jared Richards with a colleague raising awareness of domestic violence. (Jessie Richards, by permission)
available to victims of domestic violence. Shining a spotlight on domestic violence also helps to combat the secrecy that often surrounds the issue. That secrecy can contribute to shame among victims and less willingness to seek help. Making people more aware of the often complex issues surrounding domestic violence can also help people who want to do something for a victim they know. “We get questions like, my sister or friend is in an abusive relationship, what should I do?” Jessie said. “They want to take them in, but it is dangerous to get involved at the time a person leaves the relationship.” Jessie and her colleagues work to make people aware of issues like this to educate everyone who might become involved. They aim to help victims and to give their friends and family tools to help without putting themselves in danger as well. Jessie cited the murder of Lauren McCluskey at the University of Utah in October as example of the need for greater awareness. “There is a gap in resources for women that age, between
17 and 25,” she said. “They are not going to call a hotline. There is also a lack of resources for stalking situations, which are not taken as seriously.” The vision Jessie has for her young organization includes raising more money so FADV can provide regular support to shelters and other service providers. She wants to help them keep their doors open and prevent communities like Blanding from losing vital resources like domestic violence shelters. She also wants to expand FADV’s advocacy work and to work more with police. With a long-term vision, a growing organization and a tremendous amount of need in communities nationwide, Jessie and her colleagues have kept on working. “We just take it one day at a time,” she said. People interested in learning more about domestic violence and Jessie’s work can visit their website at www.fadv.org. l
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Cottonwood Heights City Journal
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Brother Boy Scouts literally do it all By Joshua Wood | email@example.com The Cottonwood City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood. For information about distribution please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: email@example.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.
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hen Matthew Seastrand turned 11 and became a Boy Scout, he suggested something ambitious to his older brother, Jacob. Four years later, the two accomplished what they set out to do by earning every single merit badge available. Countless hours of work and 137 merit badges later, the two reached their goal and built a stronger bond in the process. Matthew’s motivations for undertaking what seemed at first an outlandish goal were simple enough. “I like scouting, and I always found it fun and interesting,” he said. “I just thought it would be fun.” Jacob and Matthew are the two youngest of nine children. Their four older brothers had all become Eagle Scouts, but none had attempted the feat that Matthew suggested. Jacob had already earned his Eagle, but still had four years at the time to earn more badges before turning 18. “I didn’t really take him seriously,” Jacob said of his younger brother’s idea. “But halfway through, it looked like a possibility.” The boys’ mother wasn’t so sure either. “As a parent, you say okay, but just think whatever,” Tina Seastrand said. “Then I said, how serious are you? This was going to take a lot of organization.” Tina would look for merit badge classes and work to schedule them whenever she could. “Logistical help, that was my job,” she said. Sometimes, especially in the summer months when the boys were out of school, they would spend the morning working on one merit badge, and then head across the valley to work on another. If one of the boys started to lose motivation, the other would push him to keep going, even on the most challenging projects. “The backpacking merit badge was the most challenging. It was summer and it was hot,” Jacob said. “It was the hardest but it had the best memories.” Matthew agreed with that assessment, then added bugling to his list of most challenging merit badges. “I practiced for a year just to pass off some songs,” he said. The exposure to so many subjects launched new interests that he plans to pursue in the future, like wilderness survival and scuba diving, his favorite merit badge.
Matthew and Jacob Seastrand wearing all of their 137 merit badges. (Tina Seastrand, by permission)
There were other benefits too. “In school, I find it surprising how much I know about things,” Matthew said. “I also plan to play football in high school and will stay fit.” Four years of work and more time together than they could track made for an unforgettable experience. “It’s built a really strong relationship,” Jacob said. “We have a lot of funny memories.” In the end, it definitely seemed to be worth all the work. “We had a lot of fun experiences, and it strengthened our relationship,” Matthew said. “One hundred and thirty-seven merit badges really bring you together.” l
Matthew and Jacob Seastrand working on one of their 137 merit badges together. (Tina Seastrand, by permission)
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Cottonwood Heights City Journal
Mythological business emerges from food truck boom By Joshua Wood | firstname.lastname@example.org
group of Cottonwood Heights siblings wanted to go into business together. The result has been a new spin on the recent food truck craze. Their mobile food service brings cookie dough and Greek mythology to events throughout the area. Katina Moutsos and her siblings have spent years in the food industry. She has focused her work on her Mexican restaurant in Cottonwood Heights. A couple years ago, they wanted to do something together. They decided to stay in the food industry they all knew, and the result was a food truck. To make the venture unique, they focused on desserts, and to make it even more unique, they incorporated their own Greek culture. The result was Dough Gods, providing edible cookie dough with recipes inspired by Greek mythology. “Our family is Greek, and it’s been fun to educate people about Greek mythology,” Moutsos said. “We find a cookie dough that fits each god, each mythological monster.” Their recipes have been inspired by the likes of Zeus, whose representation features lemon, Hades with chocolate and cinnamon, and Medusa with her gummy snakes and stone-like cookie chunks. “It’s an ongoing process,” Moutsos said. “That’s the fun part of this.”
Dough Gods taps into the recent rise in food trucks in the area. New food truck companies start up on a regular basis. The Salt Lake County Health Department offers three mobile food service classes each month, one of which is in Spanish, to accommodate people seeking to start up a mobile food business. The Food Truck League, which provides education, marketing and sched- The Dough Gods food truck has served events in the area for two years and counting. uling services for its (Katina Moutsos, by permission). to find a niche for their food truck business, and member food trucks in Utah, has seen a lot of growth in the industry. created Dough Gods. They fill orders and make “Over the last couple years, it has grown dessert baskets. Mostly, they book their truck for a lot,” said Taylor Harris of the Food Truck events. “It’s always interesting,” Moutsos said. League. “When we started in 2015, we were ex“Everybody likes to celebrate, and we like to cited when we got to 30 members. Now there are celebrate with them.” l 300 to 350 registered with us.” Moutsos and her family did some research
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Losing a driving force By Cassie Goff | email@example.com
fter three years working for Cottonwood Heights, former Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie has left the building he helped create. Haderlie began working for the city on Oct. 7, 2015. During his time between the canyons, he has worked in almost every segment of local government, including managing the administrative staff, aiding in the planning and construction of city hall, helping to flourish the IT department, re-vamping the city’s budget, providing assistance for the economic and community development and business staff, providing his own labor for events and planning a new public works department and even getting up early to help clear snow from city roads. Some of the more practical implementations from the IT department have been particularly exciting. “We got Microsoft Office 365 that allows for mobile access and server reliability has been improved. It’s been fun to see the improvements,” said Haderlie. In addition, he’s enjoyed watching the creation of the city’s public works department. When he began working for the city, most public works (including snowplowing) were contracted services. Former City Manager John Park tasked Haderlie with creating a new plan for snowplowing within the city. The plan proposed to the city council was to have an in-house public works department. Much to his surprise, the city council was supportive of this plan and quickly began working through the necessary steps. “The residents were given a public works department that serves them better than before,” said Haderlie. When current Public Works Director Matt Shipp was hired, he adjusted the plan slightly to help with the success of the new department. The city purchased 13 new snowplows and two backup trucks, which was council approved. Those trucks can now be seen staged at the public works yard. “Matt (Shipp) really took the plan and ran with it. We spent more on road repairs than we
spent in a long time,” Haderlie said. Having more money for road repairs was one of the city council’s top priorities for this year’s budget. In earlier months, the council members, mayor and executive staff worked through the entire city budget. “We asked a lot of questions and made the budget more efficient,” Haderlie said. “The city council wanted more of an understanding of what services the budged included, so we got into that this year.” Haderlie eventually took over the budget and would present monthly finance reports during public city council meetings. “It was a lot of fun to dig into the budget. We identified over $400,000 in savings,” Haderlie said. This year, the city council experienced change with two new council members and a new mayor being elected. Since Haderlie had been with the city for two years prior to the new council members being sworn in, he witnessed firsthand how a different council can influence a city. “Cottonwood Heights is still a relatively young city,” Haderlie explained. “The council had to talk it all out in the beginning. This council is the next evolution for the city and they are learning new ways of doing things.” Under the new council, their goal is for residents to be able to find more transparency, with more time for residents to read and understand things. This goal is to help residents be more involved in their local government. With over 25 years working in local government, Haderlie has witnessed residents influence city decisions time and time again. “Groups of individuals can influence their daily lives during a public hearing or city council meeting. Changes in idling laws, streets that are marked with no parking, bicycle routes, were all results of resident involvement in Cottonwood Heights. Residents of all ages should be aware of what’s going on. Anyone can come to the meetings and speak to the council,” en-
Bryce Haderlie worked as the assistant city manager for Cottonwood Heights for over three years. During that time, he worked in almost every segment of local government. (Photo courtesy of Bryce Haderlie)
courages Haderlie. Additionally, he suggests that residents should take advantage of city events. “(Events Coordinator) Ann Eatchel and her staff work really hard to give this city something to celebrate. The events are phenomenal.”
Haderlie will miss the people he’s worked with. “I’ve loved working with the staff; they care about the city and have good support of the mayor and council. I’ve had a lot of fun working in Cottonwood Heights.” l
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Country mouse becomes city mouse By Cassie Goff | firstname.lastname@example.org
new smiling face can be found behind the front desk of Cottonwood Heights City Hall. Sherrie Martell has recently been hired as the new business development specialist. In this position, Martell will primarily work with business licensing and the Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA) along with local businesses. So far, most of Martell’s days have been spent becoming familiar with the back end of business licensing. Despite a steep learning curve over the past few months, she has already established some big goals. Soon, she plans on being cross-trained on basic assistance with building permits and help covering the front desk. “I want to be able to help people when they come in, so we can do multiple things,” Martell says. As she learns her way around the city offices, she continues to identify areas for improvement and increased efficiency. One goal of particular importance for her is for the licensing program to become paperless. “There’s streamlining to do to make our licensing processes more efficient, so we can be available to the public. We want to have more time to spend with the businesses and community,” Martell says. In her position, she will be working closely with the CHBA. Again, she has a few ideas on how to make the association more beneficial for all parties involved. She plans to assist the board to help inspire more networking and collaboration opportunities. She is also hoping to find volunteers to help with events. “We want businesses to be more involved with the CHBA,” Martell says. As soon as her day-to-day work becomes more streamlined and efficient, she will become more community oriented. She plans to work individually with businesses (approximately 1,487 of them within the city), going out to visit them, working to build more retention — doing the work of a liaison for businesses within the city. “We work with all types of businesses, including home-grown businesses that want to expand. If they want to grow, we can refer resources to help them. If I can find out what their needs are, I can work to find partners and referrals to assist their needs. The city is business friendly, regardless of size. If you want to grow, you can grow,” Martell says. One of the resources available for businesses within the city is ribbon-cutting events. Martell urges businesses to contact her if they want to do such an event. “We can get a crew together to be present; contact us as far in advance as you can,” Martell says as a friendly reminder. Many of the things she hopes to accomplish require collaboration with the city’s economic and community development staff, city staff, CHBA board and businesses throughout the city. “With guidance from Economic and Community Development Director Mike Johnson, we’ll develop a strategic plan for business retention and economic development, a guide to keep moving forward,” Martell says. While implementing many of her goals, Martell will be drawing on her past experience
Star being trained by Sherrie Martell, as part of her non-governmental job. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Martell)
within the economic and community development sphere. Before working with businesses and communities throughout the state, Martell grew up on a family ranch in the small town of Erda, Utah, just outside of Tooele. Growing up, she learned how to work cattle, as well as ride and train horses. Needless to say, Martell loves animals even though she’s “allergic to them all; dogs, horses, cows.” She received her degree in agriculture economics with minors in business administration and animal science from Utah State University (USU). During college, she was able to put her love of animals to good use, as she judged in livestock competitions and competed with colleges throughout the country on the USU team. After she finished her college education, she began her career in federal government, working for the Tooele Army Depot as a program analyst in resource management. Once the base was chosen for closure, she worked in industrial risk management managing restoration programs until the end. After the base closed, she worked in Salt Lake City for a real estate firm. She soon found the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) and began working as their finance and administration manager, where her main focus was to manage a nonprofit whose mission was to bring jobs and capital investment to the state of Utah. When she began, EDCUtah was a small nonprofit organization, but it later became a partner with the Governor’s Office. Under former Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., a collaborative economic development plan was implemented. Martell helped manage some of the programs set forth through that partnership. “My position morphed from a program analyst to the program’s investor relations manager. I worked to form relationships with all the members (public and private) and helped educate them on the process of business and economic development. This allowed for the EDCUtah team to collaborate with partners throughout the state and help incoming businesses when looking to expand
in Utah,” explained Martell. For 21 years, she drove around the lake from her little three-acre farm to work in Salt Lake City. “I really had two different jobs,” she said. She eventually decided to sell her place and move to the city, where she settled in Midvale. “A little country mouse became a city mouse,” she laughs. Martell worked for EDCUtah for over 18 years, a public-private nonprofit corporation, de-
veloping relationships with companies, cities and counties. With her knowledge in community and economic development, she teamed up with Parallel Strategies, owned by Tricia Pilny. With the president’s knowledge and experience in construction management and business development, Parallel Strategies became a “one-stop shop for a business looking to come to Utah or expand,” Martell said. During a meeting with the Cottonwood Heights economic and community development staff, former Business Development Coordinator Peri Kinder informed her of a position opening up in the city and urged her to apply. She is now surrounded by phones constantly ringing in the Cottonwood Heights office and working with the public who stop by city hall. She seems to be enjoying herself, though. “I love the staff here; they are very friendly and welcoming. We have a good team,” she said, smiling. Martell welcomes anyone who wants to talk or meet with her. “We can even do it in groups. I’m open to suggestions. Call me or come meet with me. Make me take the time to do it,” she says. “I love to meet people and hear their stories. I want to make sure the businesses and community know that we care.” You can reach Sherrie Martell at smartell@ ch.utah.gov or by her office number 801-9447067. l
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December 2018 | Page 7
Wasatch Boulevard and the road to 2040 By Cassie Goff | email@example.com
he Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan has been in the works for nearly two years. Currently, the plan takes the form of a 168-page document that will serve as the guiding document for the corridor’s future. It is not a recommendation of any specific project but will work to inform decisions about future projects developing in 10 to 20 years. Wasatch Boulevard has been of concern for Cottonwood Heights and its residents for years. It’s a unique road that presents many challenges. Beginning at the I-215/6200 South Interchange (by Old Mill Golf Course), crossing the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, up to where it forks with Little Cottonwood Canyon Road, and spanning all the way into Sandy, it’s a heavily accessed road. It is used by commuters traveling to and from work between Salt Lake City and Sandy, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts traversing the two canyons and residents who live in the neighborhoods along the boulevard. Additionally, Wasatch Boulevard is one of the only roads within the city boundaries that is still owned by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). On many maps, the boulevard is referred to as State Road (SR) 210, which classifies it as a highway road. In 2017, the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) awarded a $85,000 grant to conduct a long-range master plan study along the Wasatch Boulevard corridor. This was the chance the city needed to work with WFRC in collaboration with
UDOT, Utah Transit Authority (UFA), Sandy City, City of Holladay, Salt Lake County and other stakeholders on the future of the corridor. A project management team was quickly established, comprised of representatives from the entities working collaboratively on this project, including private consultant Tim Sullivan of Township + Range and his team, additional firms Landmark Design, Parametrix, and RSG, members from Cottonwood Heights (Community Development Director Michael Johnson, Former Community Development Director Brian Berndt, Former Business Development Specialist Peri Kinder and City Planner Andy Hulka), representatives from UDOT (Angelo Papastamos, Jordan Backman and Brad Palmer), and Alex Roy from Wasatch Front Regional Council. The team’s first objective was to establish goals for the corridor. The six goals they established are as follows: “preserve and enhance the character and livability of existing residential neighborhoods; move people through the corridor reliably and safely; increase travel choices on the corridor; enhance opportunities for recreation; preserve and enhance the scenic and natural qualities; and identify potential land uses and locations for new development or redevelopment.” After the goals were established, a preliminary analysis of all existing conditions was conducted. From that analysis, the team found that traffic would nearly double by 2040, with 85 percent more vehicles using Wasatch at Big Cot-
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tonwood and 97 percent more vehicles at Little Cottonwood. They also discovered that several of the main intersections along the corridor are already at maximum capacity. By 2040, five out of the eight intersections in the northern part of the corridor will be failing. In Nov. 2017, the first open house was held where project goals and initial findings were presented to the community. Attendees provided feedback on those goals and proposed ideas for how the corridor could be improved to meet those goals. Long-range corridor concepts and scenarios were developed based on the community feedback before a second open house was held in March 2018. Attendees gave feedback on the elements of each of three scenarios for the future of the corridor. Community Development Director Michael Johnson reiterated some of the resident concerns. “The corridor is reliant on single-occupancy vehicles to move people through. There are park and rides that are often at capacity and hard to access during busy ski days, which leads to illegal blocks of intersections and neighborhoods.” A preferred scenario was established after the second open house, created by combining the most effective ideas from each of the three scenarios. Between the months of July and September, the Cottonwood Heights Planning Commission held public comment sessions helping to solidify the preferred scenario, which has now received a positive recommendation from the planning commission and is, as of publication, under review by the city council. Currently, the master plan identifies four possible scenarios for the Wasatch Boulevard corridor. Only one, the preferred scenario, has been recommended. Scenario 1(Current Plans) uses existing plans while the corridor grows. It projects what would likely happen along Wasatch Boulevard if things continue as they are without major changes. “This would be to take the back-seat approach. It’s really the control group,” explained Johnson. Scenario 2 (East Meets West) uses East Coast planning development. This plan anticipates intense development at the gravel pit site, located on the east side of Wasatch Boulevard between 6200 South and Fort Union Boulevard, instead of development spreading along the corridor. Such de-
velopment would include extra parking, a transit hub, and pedestrian and bike lanes connecting to the canyons. This plan does not include additional development to the road itself. Scenario 3 (Recreation Villages) allows for a few areas along the corridor to have less intense development and housing projects. These recreation villages would take place of a major regional center. This scenario is based on the idea of slowing down traffic, which many residents have been vocal about wanting. In order to lower the posted speed limits to 35–40 mph, a speed study would need to be conducted. However, slowing down traffic can be accomplished in other ways. “We can look at the right of way itself, like a middle cement barrier and narrowing the roads. We can design the corridor to incentivize lower speeds,” explained Johnson. The preferred scenario is based on three main objectives that aim to balance the goals: build a canyon-oriented, walkable urban place at the Gravel Pit; create a connected network of pathways and trails for transportation and recreation along the entire corridor; and balance livability, roadway capacity and sustainable canyon access south of Big Cottonwood. This scenario was the result of combining the most popular elements from each of the three scenarios. It includes focusing all new development at the gravel pit site, adding a pathway along the length of the corridor, adding a shoulder lane that can be reserved for ski buses, reducing the speed limit to 35–40 mph, adding local frontage roads to improve neighborhood access and adding a connection to Draper through Highland Drive and Dimple Dell. “Although out of city (Cottonwood Heights) control, if commuters could take Highland Drive instead of Wasatch, then the traffic on Wasatch would greatly decrease,” said City Planner Andy Hulka. As of publication, public comment has been extended and the council will have further discussion throughout November. Residents can voice their opinions on the Master Plan during city council business meetings on Tuesday nights. The council will set a date for action after further discussion has ceased. l
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
Promise program provides opportunities for Cottonwood High students By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
his December, the after-school program at Cottonwood High may host a holiday party that brings in many of the students’ cultures. As part of the Promise program, which supports students academically as well as offers enriching activities, the holiday event will be a fun, unifying event, said Kayla Mayers, Promise after school coordinator at Cottonwood High School. “We will want to include the history of their cultural holidays and get to know what they do for the holidays,” she said. “We want to get to know them and celebrate them.” According to its website, the Promise program is in 13 South Salt Lake and Millcreek schools and community sites as well as at Cottonwood High. The program aims to serve South Salt Lake’s youth in academic, arts-based, physical fitness and recreation, social and cultural programs at little or no cost through community involvement and volunteerism. “In 2008, (South Salt Lake) Mayor Cherie Wood made three promises to the South Salt Lake residents that every child has the opportunity to attend and to graduate from college; every resident has a safe, clean home and neighborhood; and everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and to prosper. This program is helping to support those promises,” Mayers said. With a partnership with Cottonwood High, where about 600 South Salt Lake high school students are bused to, Mayers said a specific goal is to provide those students with a traditional high school experience. “Many of these students rely on provided transportation. There is an after-school bus as well as one at 5:30 p.m., so students can participate in the after-school program or in other clubs or sports. But with our partnership with United Way, they also provide buses to dances, some of the big football games and parent-teacher conferences. We’re trying to get rid of barriers that may make things more difficult so they can be part of the community school,” she said, adding that other times, they have made arrangements for students to have UTA bus tokens when needed. Cottonwood High Principal Terri Roylance supports the Promise program at the school. “We started hosting it two years ago,” she said. “We are the South Salt Lake high school so we wanted the program here. It’s flexible and open to help anyone with academics and offers activities that are fun with very little or no homework involved. They’ve had field trips to colleges and invited speakers in. It’s a great opportunity for students.” The program, which is open to anyone, begins after school with snacks that are provided by Cottonwood High’s PTA and its food pantry. From there, the program holds an academic hour, where National Honor Society members, college students, volunteers and three paid
The Promise after-school program at Cottonwood High brings students together through academics and activities. (Photo courtesy of the Promise program)
teachers provide assistance with homework. Afterward, students take part in activities ranging from soccer to filmmaking. These clubs within the program are designed to enrich students’ knowledge and interests, Mayers said. “Last year, we reached out to students and the interest in the clubs helped to determine which ones to offer and it helped boost participants in our program,” she said. “We offer cooking, last week they made an apple crisp; chess, there is a tournament coming up in South Salt Lake; filmmaking, which is popular; and soccer, we hope to set up games.” The program also may rotate clubs and offer basketball, literacy, leadership and prevention, which will help students make positive choices, Mayers said. Students are provided dinner from the Granite School District before boarding the bus
to the South Salt Lake area. “It’s free; you don’t need to qualify,” Mayers said. “We do need a parent signature and most students have a regular schedule when they attend. We started the first year with 15 to 30 students, had about 30 last year and have about 50 to 70 students involved in Promise this year.” As partnerships expand, Mayers said there will be more opportunity for students. Already, Cottonwood’s Latinos in Action has offered to assist Promise staff in translating during parent-teacher conferences and she is hoping to expand enrichment activities with different areas at the high school. “Part of the promise to graduate from the college is to attend and graduate high school,” she said. “We’re wanting to support students and give them a positive high school experience.” l
December 2018 | Page 9
Tests? Fitting in? It’s more than that as student anxiety increases By Julie Slama | email@example.com It may be that an elementary student is fearful to come to school and once there, he is afraid to enter the school. If that student makes it to the classroom, often he is unable to cope or focus. In secondary schools, feelings can be internalized, leading to disengagement and depression. “There is likely an equal distribution of anxiety and stress K (kindergarten) through 12 (12th grade), however associated behaviors will manifest in different ways,” said Judy Petersen, Granite School District’s college and career readiness director. “Younger students are more likely to act out and struggle to regulate their behavior. Older students tend to internalize their struggles until they manifest as self-harm and/or suicide ideation.” Veteran teacher Karen Larson, who instructs English at Canyons District’s Brighton High, learned that firsthand. “The anxiety level is off the charts,” she said. “Students worry about paying for college, competing in the global marketplace for a job to support themselves, failing, being on their own and having that responsibility, what’s going on in the world.” Larson, who has students keep a journal that she tells them she reviews, has read those entries and more, including a student trying to harm himself. “I immediately let people know. By looking through his phone, they learned there were more pressures coming at him. What is happening in the world — shootings, climate change, cyberbullying — just adds to anxiety,” she said, adding that before reading the journal entry, she had no idea that the student attempted suicide. Sometimes, teachers and counselors recognize anxiety, such as being nervous before a test, but other times, it can be disguised as anger, illness, apathy or other behaviors that look entirely different, said Torilyn Gillett, Canyons School District school counseling program specialist. “Everyone will feel a level of stress in their lives,” she said. “Anxiety is when that stress becomes a point at which the person can no longer accomplish their everyday tasks. Therefore, it is often that a student may not be able to concentrate and participate in academic learning nor complete assignments.” Anxiety in the classroom isn’t just hitting students locally, said Jordan School District Health and Wellness Specialist McKinley Withers. “Nationwide, the suicide rates have increased,” he said. “Hopelessness, depression, anxiety all contribute. This is a generation needing different support than we’ve seen in the past. Much of their social world is fragile, contained to a device. There is a definite biological need to be face to face, to have that human interaction and touch, that is being reduced by technology. Now some peers are lacking self-confidence and anxiety grows as they text their peers next to them and sit isolated with their earbuds.” The Child Mind Institute reported in 2015 that more than 17 million U.S. children and ad-
Page 10 | December 2018
olescents have or have had a diagnosable mental illness — and 80 percent of the kids with anxiety don’t get treatment. According to the National Education Association, nearly two-thirds of college students reported in 2016 “overwhelming anxiety,” up from 50 percent just five years earlier. For seven straight years, anxiety has been the top complaint among college students seeking mental health services, with nearly one quarter saying it affects their academic performance. Petersen said that social workers report a higher number of students with behavior issues related to anxiety. “Students seem to be more anxious about safety at school, away from their parents, especially in K (kindergarten) through 6 (sixth grade), by negative influence of social media, and issues related to their status — and their family’s status — related to immigration,” she said. Gillett said that anxiety at a young age often centers around separation, being worried about their parents when they’re at school, or being anxious in school, speaking to teachers or in front of a classroom. Sometimes, children worry about a variety of everyday things and are filled with stressful thoughts, Gillett said. “Some worry is excessive and not normally warranted,” she said. Testing and academics also may play a factor, said Granite School District parent Robyn Ivins, who has taught in a classroom. “Teens today are really pressured from a young age to succeed so by the time they’re in high school, there’s real pressure to get a 36 on the ACT (college standardized test) and have a 4.0 (grade-point average),” she said. “It’s really taken a toll. Students are struggling to get the best classes, the best teachers, the best of everything. Sometimes they feel the pressure from parents or their peers. Sometimes it’s pressure they put on themselves.” The National Education Association said that these teens grew up in classrooms governed by No Child Left Behind, the federal law that introduced high-stakes standardized testing to every public school in America. Starting in elementary school, instead of making art and new friends, the NEA said they learned to write fullon sentences in timed tests. These are the same students who instead of having hours of art and recess, attend pep rallies to pump them up for state testing. Even the stress of teachers needing to meet certain standards may be adding to the picture, wrote University of Michigan professor Daniel P. Keating in “Dealing with Stress at School in an Age of Anxiety.” Ivins said certain anxiety issues, such as families struggling, may impact a number of Cottonwood High students, with some of the 1,700 students coming from refuge families. She and others try to take away that anxiety by providing food and needed items through the school pantry, which is open to all students. “In high school, there are all sorts of pres-
The Zitting family attends Park Lane Elementary’s STEM Night. Counselors recommend families spend time together to help build bonds to make students feel safe and valued. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
sures from sleeping with a boyfriend or getting asked to a dance and wearing the cutest clothes to where their next meal will come from and how their family will cope with pressures,” she said. Ivins, who said she’s not an expert, has seen the effects of social anxiety maximized through technology, such as social media. “There is a false look of the world when something is posted on Snapchat,” she said. “Whether it’s students posting or the parents, what’s there is not the whole story. They’re only posting the best. They see that their friends are succeeding, but what isn’t posted is a child having a tantrum or getting a C on a test. It becomes a struggle to lead the perfect life they see their peers have.” Gillett said sometimes, youth can’t fully understand messages and posts on social media. “A friend may say something, and your child takes it as a harsh rejection, when it’s not meant that way at all. Or they see all the great things that people do, but that’s only one percent of their life that is posted. We tend not to post our whole stories, just great accomplishments, not our normal days. Often that results in feelings of not measuring up when they compare themselves on what they see posted,” she said. Withers agrees. “Social media sucks kids in and creates anxiety in who sees what or how they measure up. Kids bullied at school feel less anxious nowadays than those who have been cyberbullied. Online, you don’t know who has seen what and you feel your whole life has been broadcast. You have no idea how far it went or who talked about it,” he said. The accessibility of having a smartphone also has led to more concerns beyond social media. “The increased screen time affects stu-
dents,” Gillett said. “Constant access to the world can be a good thing, but it also means that the young are no longer sheltered from troubles, the next school shooting, bombing or even bullying, as we were when we young. Sometimes, they can’t process it at a young age. We need to build in escape time daily.” She said that even adding meditation, relaxation, deep breathing or taking a few minutes each day for a mindfulness app will help take away panic and anxiety feelings. “Even a walk without technology gives good exercise for both the body and the brain,” Gillett said. She also recommends that having family time as well as putting away devices at dinner will help build bonds to make students feel safe and valued. Sleep, about eight or nine hours nightly, is one the best things for students as well, Gillett said. “Just as your phone needs to be plugged in to recharge, your brain is the same way. It needs to recuperate,” she said. Gillett isn’t anti-technology. “It’s a factor of the world we live in and we need to find a healthy way to navigate through it. Technology developed super quickly and now we’re seeing the adverse effects and are understanding them. We need to help students make healthy choices that will support and protect them in the world they live in,” she said. Teachers are becoming more aware of how students cope with anxiety and how their relationships are critical, Gillett said. “Some anxiety, such as their ACT scores or fitting in the crowd, is normal, but it’s when there is hysterical crying or depression, those are warning signs and having a positive, strong relationship where a student can talk to and trust
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
an adult is important,” she said, adding that secondary schools have become more pro-active in sharing the SafeUT app or suicide hotlines with students. “We’re taking away the barriers in talking about mental illness. Any mental illness is a risk factor for suicide.” Suicide prevention education begins in seventh and eighth grades in Canyons District from warning signs to recognizing where to get help to good coping skills. Hope squads, students who are “the eyes and ears” of secondary schools who help identify warning signs and seek help from adults, are in place in a number of secondary schools across the state. In September, Canyons showed, “Angst,” a movie about students dealing with anxiety and had a panel discussion afterward. More than 500 families attended, Gillett said. “Anxiety has become a hot topic for parents and we have seen an increase in discussion and in seeing students who previously didn’t know where to get help,” she said. Olympus High in Granite School District also showed the movie in October and Skyline High held a suicide night Oct. 16. Several parent outreach meetings on mental health and suicide prevention are held throughout Granite School District. In Jordan District, where Herriman High community experienced seven student suicide
deaths last year, 36 psychologists were added this year so every elementary has a full-time health and mental professional to match those already in place at the secondary schools. Petersen said there also has been an increase in the number of students — and their parents — reporting that they feel anxious and stressed. “We do not track this specifically, but we have seen an increase in ‘anxiety and stress’ used as reasons for not attending school and an increase in the number of students — and their parents — requesting a home instruction placement for the same rather than a traditional school schedule,” she said, adding that all Granite District staff are trained on what to look for and how to talk with struggling students. Murray School District Director of Personnel and Student Services Darren Dean said school personnel do not diagnose anxiety, but help with resources. “We train administrators and teachers to work with the parent on accommodations in the school setting that will help the student to be successful,” he said, adding that services include meeting with school counselors or extending referrals to an outside agency for counseling services. Withers said while school districts aren’t designed to treat mental health, Jordan District supports students and provides families with resources, including Jordan’s Family Education
High school students’ anxiety may increase as they fill out college applications. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Center where students can receive eight weeks of free counseling services. Withers said there is even an anxiety group that meets regularly. Gillett said that some immediate changes such as healthy eating and sleeping can help. “By setting goals and exercising daily hab-
its of living a healthy life, students are building protective factors against anxiety,” she said. “If those are already in place, then that routine will help when anxiety or depression comes. Balance is something we need to learn for ourselves and for our children.” l
December 2018 | Page 11
Are letter grades failing students? Parents give the grade to report cards By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
t may be a positive experience when little Gabriella or Alex brings home a report card from elementary school informing parents they’ve mastered or are progressing to meet a standard in the core curriculum — all without the traditional letter grade. But parents say that may not be the answer for high school students. “So far, my kids have been spared the drama of the standard-based report cards,” Bingham High PTA vice president Jodee Packer said. “With my kids applying to colleges, random proficiencies compared to letter grades don’t make sense. Everyone knows that a 4.0 GPA (gradepoint average) means all As.” Packer, who lives in Jordan School District, also points out to compete in high school athletics, GPAs are checked to allow students to compete, and to change it “complicates the system unnecessarily.” “It’s a system we all know. How do we check grades if we’re all doing proficiency-based report cards?” she said. Nationally, the trend is exploring standard-based report cards as educators say letter grade report cards diminish students’ interest in learning and result in them thinking about how well they’re doing rather than be engaged in what they’re doing, said education expert Alfie Kohn, author of “Punished by Rewards” and “Schooling Beyond Measure.” “The research quite clearly shows that kids who are graded — and have been encouraged to try to improve their grades — tend to lose interest in the learning itself, avoid challenging tasks whenever possible (in order to maximize the chance of getting an A), and think less deeply than kids who aren’t graded,” Kohn told the National Education Association in 2015. “The problem isn’t with how we grade, nor is it limited to students who do especially well or poorly in school; it’s inherent to grading. That’s why the best teachers and schools replace grades (and grade-like reports) with narrative reports — qualitative accounts of student performance — or, better yet, conferences with students and parents.” Locally, school districts are taking a closer look at transitioning to or have already made the change to standard-based report cards to complement their parent-teacher conferences. Granite School District, Salt Lake City-area’s largest district, began reviewing the standard-based grading more than eight years ago and has been making the transition, tweaking it along the way, said Assistant Superintendent Linda Mariotti. Four years ago, 18 teachers tested the new system. Last spring, 400 Granite District teachers used proficiency-based grading. This fall, 1,200 of the 4,000 teachers in the district were on board, mostly in the elementaries, she said. “Anytime something is new, it can be overwhelming because change is hard,” Mariotti said. “But proficiency-based grading empowers our students. It supports student learning and we
Page 12 | December 2018
want to do what’s right for our students.” She, along with other educators, inform parents in town meetings about what the district calls proficiency-based grading, which she said is a synonym for standard-based grading. “I may be one of the oldest in the room and grading hasn’t changed since I was in grade school, but we need to let you know how well your student is learning at that moment in time and we can do that with proficiency-based grading where a letter grade can’t do that,” Mariotti told parents recently at town meeting held at Cottonwood High. “The PBG report card will show where students are struggling and how you can help them and with what. It allows teachers to evaluate the assessments and know where to reteach. It eliminates grade inflation and extra credit not based on course work. Our report cards now will have value where the traditional letter grade report cards haven’t been making the grade when it comes to measuring student progress and achievement.” In traditional grading, Mariotti said letter grades report the number of points earned on assignments in a subject but it doesn’t reveal what the student has learned. Proficiency-based grading, she said, offers better feedback by evaluating how well the student has met measurable standards. Through the PBG or standards-based grading, students will receive a score based on assessments put into an algorithm. The latest assessment will carry the most weight as students are expected to know the subject better, she said. “This will ensure that we are being consistent and that the students will be learning the standards,” Mariotti said about the assessments that can be retaken during that school year. “With PBG, students are given multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency in multiple ways — they can write it, build it, dance it, say it, paint it, say it in another language — any way they can articulate they know it.” That one to four score will be what is shown on report cards for elementary-grade children, but Granite secondary students currently will have that converted into letter grades as well. “Nationwide, colleges are placing less emphasis on GPAs and more on ACT (college standardized tests) and the courses students are enrolled in, but we realize it is a bigger system out there so right now, we’re continuing to provide both the score and letter grade. USHAA (Utah High School Activities Association) also has student-athletes eligibility on GPA so that’s another reason to provide both. But we know letter grades can be subjective and may not really be reflective of what students are learning and PBL eliminates that,” she said. However, the transition frustrates some parents. Sheri Wade’s children have some classes that are graded on a PBG system and some that are not — she thinks. “My daughter’s math class is straight forward,” she said about the eighth-grade honors
Granite School District Assistant Superintendent Linda Mariotti discusses the transition to proficiency-based report cards at Cottonwood High School. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
class at Bennion Junior High. “If the student gets a one, then we know the student needs improvement and in what area. If there’s a four, then we know the student has exceeded the expectations.” What confuses Wade is a science class. “I’ve been told that if a student receives 40 percent on a quiz, that it can’t be retaken and that assignments and labs are part of the grade where I’ve been told that with PBG it’s not graded so it’s hard to understand what is going on,” she said after the parent meeting at Cottonwood High. Earlier, Mariotti said that homework is not scored. “Homework is independent practice. Teachers demonstrate and talk about a skill, then they do it together with students and then ask students to do it on their own either in class or at home. Teachers provide students feedback, but not in terms of grades or scores, but rather to see them do well and improve,” she said. “There also is no extra credit. The scores are based on proficiencies’ assessments. It’s a new mindset that we’re needing to shift.” Cottonwood School Community Council member and parent Robyn Ivins then questions the motivation for homework. “I really like the proficiency-based grading and I’m grateful for them trying to make a difference, but it’s confusing to students and parents with how assessments really work and if homework and extra credit are really not part of the grade,” she said. “I feel like all the teachers who have switched to PBG are on the same program, but they aren’t.” For example, Ivins said her daughter, who she thought was in a PBG math class, just had her homework graded and was told that the teacher informed her that homework needed to
be completed if any student wanted to retake tests that term. Even the change of mindset may prove difficult, Ivins said. “If teachers tell them they’re not grading homework, the majority of high school students won’t do it. It’s hard for them to be motivated to do it just for the sake of learning. It’s hard for students to suddenly be told they don’t have to get a certain grade. It goes against everything they’ve been told from first grade that they need to have certain grades so they can be ready for college and receive scholarships,” she said. Ivins also expressed concerns with the new grading system for refugee students and those with disabilities. Mariotti gave the example if a parent has a sixth-grader and she is reading on a third-grade level, the teacher is still to teach the sixth-grade standards. “The IEP (the student’s individualized learning plan) will be able to show and help her with different ways she may be able to demonstrate her learning and trying to meet the proficiencies, which she may or may not get to, but she may get to a concept or objective level,” she said. “The same is true with an English learner, where a state test helps identify her understanding level and from there, she can demonstrate the learning.” Many parents wanted a concrete date the district will completely transition to PBG. Mariotti said there isn’t “a drop dead date,” but encourages teachers to shift when they’re comfortable. “Already this is rolling over on its own, just snowballing. I know it’s frustrating to parents we don’t have a specific date, but we want teachers to embrace it, not resist it,” she said, but added that in two years, she expects most teachers and
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
schools to be on board with PBG for Granite’s Both Granite and Jordan districts have on67,900 students. line report cards so students and parents can The transition also is occurring in nearby review students’ learning — as does Murray Jordan School District, School District. that educates students in Murray School the southwest part of the District students reur report Salt Lake Valley. ceive the common cards now will Jordan School Disletter grades. trict Administrator of “All Murray have value where the Middle Schools Michael City School District Anderson said that he’s schools use a traditraditional letter grade “excited to give more letter grade report cards haven’t been tional meaning to our grading report card that measystem. It’s part of the making the grade when sures completion,” trend to get to the heart said Scott Bushnell, it comes to measuring of school and learning Murray District assisand education.” tant superintendent. student progress and While he said that “The MCSD report achievement.” middle school and high card is issued quarterschool levels haven’t ly and gives a snap— Granite School District Assistant changed their letter shot of a student’s Superintendent Linda Mariotti grades, with SBG, they academic, citizenship are able to provide an and attendance status “accurate reflection of what students know and at that time.” are able to do.” However, Murray District educators have “With standard-based grading, extra credit, looked into the pros and cons of standard-based effort or not getting work down isn’t the focus; grading. it’s assessments,” he said. “We’re changing re“We are focusing by grade levels and subport cards from a grading game to a learning ject areas, across schools, working on agreement game.” of standards and levels of proficiency. We are He said that the assessments will reveal currently working within the traditional grading what standards students miss and will help teach- format and communicating with students and ers determine if the question was poor or if it’s parents on how a student is performing. In Enan area that needs to be retaught. He said that glish/language arts, math and science, we have homework is used for students to practice what is begun to monitor the progress of students with taught to be ready to take the assessments. respect to grade-level standards. This progress “Kids can retake assessments, but only af- monitoring has been beneficial in helping stuter homework is done, so they have a chance to dents and parents understand standards mastery. learn the material,” he said. “The four, three, This process began in elementary schools and is two, one score with proficiencies will show if now being used in secondary schools as well,” students know or can show proficiency and can he said. demonstrate and apply it. This will give more Canyons School District made the transition meaning to the A to F letter grade on current to SBG with elementary schools in 2013-14 and report cards and allow the student to know why tweaking it with parent and teacher input for the they may have a B in a class and know he or she following school year. needs to show proficiencies in certain standards “We feel parents have a better understandto improve. Standard-based grading empowers ing of their child’s progress with our report the students to know where they are learning and card reflecting ‘mastered’ or ‘not yet mastered’ what gaps they have.” a standard rather than passing or failing,” CanAnderson said that since letter grades are yons spokeswoman Kirsten Stewart said. “The “universal” with colleges worldwide, Jordan has idea is not to penalize the student, but to learn remained with letters, but “has put more mean- the material and retake the tests to demonstrate ing into those letters” at the high school level. the mastery of the standard. One of the benefits Elementary students are on the numeral system. of standards-based grading is it helps to convey “Our teachers and administrators have that mistakes can be made and not getting 100 worked their guts out for better education and percent is part of the learning process.” standards of learning for our kids,” he said. While the standard-based grading system “Standard-based grading takes the guess work is in place in elementary schools, Stewart said out of report cards.” there is discussion about placing it in the secOquirrh Elementary PTA President Beth ondary schools although “there is no established LeFevre appreciates that. deadline.” “The report cards are trying to explain it “It doesn’t have to be a score, but the letmore and there’s no guessing that one assign- ter grade can be based on those standards,” she ment can bring down a grade,” she said. “It gives said, adding teachers have more than 90 hours parents a better idea of what a child needs to annually of instructional training to help assess work on, but I’d still like to see more explanation student learning and achievement. “We feel stanwith the scores and see the percentage of where dard-based grading is a nice balance to commuthey’re at. If I don’t understand something, or nicate to parents that their child is learning and want more detail, I don’t wait for the school to learning skills that they will use through their contact me. I just go to the teacher.” lives.” l
December 2018 | Page 13
Technical, vocational training becomes high-tech “These aren’t the grease monkey positions we used to know.” By Julie Slama | email@example.com
ordan High students Rhiannon Adderley and Jordan Barrus tried out Utah Valley University’s airplane that was on display. Adderley, who is a junior, said they had learned about topics from engineering to aviation services. Barrus, who is a sophomore, said, “I’m looking around, getting an idea of what I want to do.” Learning about career opportunities is one reason Career and Technical Education (CTE) leaders in Murray, Granite, Jordan, Canyons, Salt Lake and Tooele school districts as well as area charter schools wanted to hold a showcase where high school students could explore and ask questions to college and industry leaders. “We want to open the students’ eyes,” said Janet Goble, Canyons CTE director. “They may not know what exists or how the ones they’re familiar with have changed. This gives them a chance to interact and be exposed to these careers and talk to those in the fields. Many industries are offering part-time jobs, internships, education reimbursement and one-on-one conversations about opportunities.” Goble said it’s an effort to support “One, two, four or more,” meaning post–high school education and training such as earning a certificate to a doctorate program. “It used to be pushed that job opportunities came with a four-year degree and that’s not true anymore. There’s a severe shortage in all the skilled, technical areas as the current workforce is retiring. Some starting careers can reach six figures and tuition reimbursement,” she said. Such is the case with Komatsu Equipment, said Matthew Pruss, Komatsu Equipment director of human resources. Komatsu, which supports the Utah Diesel Technician Pathways through educational opportunities at Jordan and Canyon technical education centers, was just one of more than 100 businesses and college and university departments at the Oct. 16–17 Pathways to Professions’ Career & Technical Education Showcase. Pruss said workers earning “six figures” rings true in the diesel tech careers, where they also offer apprenticeships and help pay for education. “Careers are becoming much more hightech,” he said. “These careers aren’t the grease monkey positions that we used to know. Now, our technicians are on the laptop, understanding electronics, coding and programming.” For example, a drone’s photography may be used to measure elevation, which then can be used in developing models of roads or where to place piles of dirt when building a future school site. From there, technicians build and create models with 3D printers, which may be used when excavating with computer-programmed autonomous hauling machinery and trucks. “There are prototypes where there are no
Page 14 | December 2018
drivers in the cab; they’re already be tested,” Pruss said. “We’re needing technicians right now and students can work right into the program where we’re experiencing shortages.” Stephen Hemmersmeier, marketing department data coordinator at Jerry Seiner Dealerships, said they too are experiencing a technician shortage in the automobile industry, and incentives such as tuition reimbursement for two-year technician certification programs are possible with Jerry Seiner Dealerships. “Many students think it’s working with your hands and tinkering with engines, but now it’s being able to upload and run diagnostic equipment on the computer,” he said. Hemmersmeier, and other company representatives, interested students through hands-on activities at the Pathways expo. At Jerry Seiner, students participated in a “Minute to Win It” scavenger hunt to identify 25 parts of a Kia Stinger. “It’s a fun, interactive way to get students involved, and then they feel more at ease to ask questions,” he said. Drayke Gray, a cadet with Salt Lake City Fire, answered students about what he does and why he chose to enter a program for students from age 14 to 18 to learn about the fire service. “Even if they end up not wanting this career, it helps them learn leadership, accountability, knowledge, working with people and opportunities that will help them in their careers or with scholarships with colleges,” he said. Hillcrest High’s Work-Based Learning Facilitator Cher Burbank said not only is it a great opportunity for students to talk to industry leaders, but it also gives industry a chance to share with students so “kids will stay in Utah” with their careers. Priscilla Banbury, an adult volunteer with Americon, agreed. “We’re looking to find adults and kids who are wanting to pursue a job as we have openings and great benefits,” she said. “We want to integrate into the community and support our local students.” Jordan School District CTE Director Jason Skidmore said booths featured agriculture, business and marketing, family consumer science, skilled and technical areas, technology and engineering, information technology and health sciences. “We invited education and industry from all those sectors with a goal to provide students variety and have them look and learn what options are there,” he said about the 8,000 students in attendance. “Harmons has been here all three years we’ve held the Pathways Showcase. They tie into agriculture, culinary, business and marketing — so many more opportunities than students realize.” Skidmore said he also hopes students are intrigued to pursue their own passion to make it their career. As part of the expo, Salt Lake Com-
Jordan High students Rhiannon Adderley and Jordan Barrus check out Utah Valley University’s airplane at the Pathways to Professions showcase. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
munity College hosted Jamie Hyneman, co-host of the television show “MythBusters,” who shared how he did that. Jordan High’s WorkBased Learning Facilitator Lisa Willis said it started with “solid advice about following through with what you start” in terms of jobs and education. “He learned through survival, starting to make his own way when he was 14 and did a variety of jobs to survive,” she said, adding that he also earned a master’s degree. “He wanted students to know they could be more than the students who took a test. They could be the students who could find the new method, not just answer a question right, but to think outside the box — to do hard Herriman High senior Braxton Fabert created a toolbox at the Utah Sheet Metal things and make things better. Education and Training booth at the Pathways to Professions showcase. (Julie He said they needed to learn Slama/City Journals) things and see things through to the end, not just be passive “He said he’s still in the process of exploring or give up.” and that he’s always learning,” she said. “LifeGoble added that she hopes students took long learning is an important part in careers.” l note of his reply when asked how he figured out what career he wanted to do.
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
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Christmas came early to the Canyons School District Education Foundation with a $20,000 donation from Larry H. Miller Charities, the nonprofit arm of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. The money will fund a Sub-for-Santa effort benefiting students in every corner of the District. "We have pockets of need throughout our District, and this generous donation will make it possible for schools to assist families in making the holiday season truly special for students in need," said Foundation Officer Denise Haycock. The donors want the funds to be widely dispersed. To that end, the Foundation will make every effort to share this money across the District.
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December 2018 | Page 15
Bengals start new wrestling season with more depth, returning state placers By Josh McFadden | firstname.lastname@example.org
n a sport such as wrestling, numbers make all the difference. Wrestling, much like golf, is an individual sport and team sport in one. Individual matches combine to make up the team sport. If a team doesn’t have the personnel to fill weight classes, it’s difficult to score enough overall points to come out victorious. Brighton head coach Mitchell Stevens is happy that his squad is larger than it has been in previous years. Though many of these athletes are newcomers to the program (some are even new to the sport), Stevens does have two returners who placed at state a year ago and another, Rylan Stevens, who qualified for the 5A tournament. Jaxson Wilde, a senior who will wrestle at 132 or 138 pounds, placed third at state last season in the 132-pound bracket. He defeated a competitor from Box Elder 10-3 in the third-place match. Anthony Ouk, a junior, also took third at state a year ago. He won by fall in the third-place match in the 126-pound bracket. He may move up to 132 pounds, depending on where Wilde ends up. Rylan Stevens wrestled at 138 pounds last season. At state, he won his first match by fall but lost in the next round. He then picked up a victory in the consolation bracket but lost before getting to a point where he could place. Mitchell Stevens pointed out that senior
Weston Shumway, who didn’t reach the state tournament last season, “should do pretty well” this season. He, along with some wrestlers in the 220-pound and heavyweight divisions, could help the Bengals’ fortunes. Mitchell Stevens can also turn to some of his many newcomers, as soon as he decides where they best fit into the lineup. “We have some talented younger kids,” he said. “We just need to figure out where to put them.” Unfortunately for Brighton, some athletes he expected to come back decided not to return to the team. However, he’s excited to see the new team members develop skills and work hard. “I enjoy seeing the kids progress and grow,” he said. “I have a couple of kids who have never competed that are getting better.” Mitchell Stevens credits his assistant coaches, Jerry Christensen, Travis George and Bronson Weaver, for helping develop the newer athletes. He said their instruction, along with the accomplishments of wrestlers such as Wilde and Ouk, will help the inexperienced team members catch on faster. “The kids can see their experience and work ethic and can see what it takes to get to state,” Mitchell Stevens said. The Bengals placed seventh in Class 5A last season. Mitchell Stevens doesn’t have a specific
(From left) Jaxson Wilde and Garrett Wilde pose after a match last season. Wilde placed third in state last season in his weight class. (Photo by Jerry Christensen.)
target where he wants his squad to finish. He simply wants to put his athletes in a position where they can be successful in each match.
“I want to get the kids in as good a shape as I can,” he said. “I need to get the new kids to understand the sport and understand the techniques.” l
Winter driving safety: Snow falls and you slow down
he long line at the local auto body shop isn’t just for oil changes, it’s for winter tires too. With temperatures dropping and leaves soon to follow, it’s time for a refresher course on safe winter driving. 1) Know the conditions Technology affords us the privilege of knowing road conditions before ever leaving the house. Utah Department of Transportation has more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or schedules according to the heaviness of traffic making for less congestion and less risk for accidents. The UDOT app means you can see all those cameras from your phone. Twitter feeds also provide alerts about traffic situations throughout the state, including roads up the canyon. Unified Police have a canyon alerts Twitter page for to update traffic in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as tire requirements and road closures. 2) Prepare the car Make sure the car is prepared for the road conditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give greater tread for better traction. If only two new tires are placed on the car, make sure to put them in the rear. With the falling snow, it’s necessary to have quality wiper blades that ensures clear views rather than leaving water streaks across windshield impairing your ability to drive. The wiper
Page 16 | December 2018
fluid reservoir also needs to be replenished before the first snows hit. Snow and ice should be completely removed from the windows, headlights and taillights prior to driving to ensure visibility. If your car is parked outside overnight, place towels over the windows. This keeps the windows from icing over. A system should be in place to check everything in your car such as the battery power and your cooling system. Antifreeze helps the vehicle withstand the freezing temperatures. The vehicle should also be stocked with safety items in the case of an emergency. The Utah Department of Public Safety suggests on its website to have jumper cables, a tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car is visible to others driving, flashlight and batteries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, battery or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh water and non-perishable food, paper towels and hand warmers. 3) Control the vehicle Keeping the car under control requires some safe driving tips. The most obvious: drive slow. Despite our impatience or urgency to get to the desired location, slow driving is the safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes even more important when traveling over snow, ice, standing water or slush. In drivers education courses, prospective
drivers learn about the rule for distance between your car and the one in front of you. Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance should be increased even more during wet conditions to allow the car time and space to stop without rear ending the vehicle in front. All movements should be gradual rather than sudden. This means avoiding sharp turns, accelerating slowly and braking softly. Though you may have four-wheel drive or even all-wheel drive, this does not give license to drive recklessly in winter conditions. This means staying off cruise control as well. The need for seat belts increases tenfold during the winter. With car seats, place coats or blankets around the children after strapping them in. Coats can limit the effectiveness of a car seat. Stay alert. Deer become more active after storms. Black ice causes many crashes and that ice typically looks like wet spots. If skidding does take place, steer in the direction the back of the car is going and ease off the gas. Remember to keep the gas tank at least halfway full, it will keep the gas tank from freezing and if you get stuck in a traffic jam, you may need as much gas as possible. 4) Time For those of you who struggle with punctuality, this becomes paramount. Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination means you won’t rush, decreasing the chances of a crash. l
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
Don’t let holiday activities break the bank! There’s lots of fun free events in the SLC area
he holidays are right around the corner and there are plenty of things to do in the Salt Lake Valley. Many of them are free. Here’s a list of activities that won’t put a dent in your budget and will provide fun for all. Herriman’s Night of Lights: Monday, Dec. 3 from 5-9 p.m. at City Hall and Crane Park (5355 W. Herriman Main St.). There will be a gingerbread contest, a visit with Santa, the tree lighting, a candy cane hunt, holiday crafts, food trucks, performances by Herriman Harmonyx and Herriman Orchestra, photo ops, and ice skating. There is a fee for ice skating (weather permitting), but everything else is free. Draper’s Candy Cane Hunt: Monday, Dec. 10 from 4-5 p.m. at the Draper Historic Park (12625 S. 900 East). This is a free family event sponsored by the Draper Parks and Recreation Department. Children ages 3-6 will hunt for thousands of candy canes that are scattered around the park and hidden in bushes and trees. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also arrive on a fire truck and will be available for photos under the gazebo. While you are in Draper, don’t forget to check out Draper’s Tree of Light (or sometimes called The Tree of Life), which is a big willow tree in the middle of Draper City Park (12500 S. 1300 East). This tree is decorated with more than 65,000 lights. Draper City first lit the tree for the Christmas season in 2008 and each year more lights have been added. The lights turn on at dusk and stay on until midnight everyday until New Years. This has become a popular holiday destination for people statewide. Gingerbread House Contest in South Jordan: Gingerbread houses will be on display in the Gale Center Auditorium (10300 S. Beckstead Lane) from Nov. 27-Dec. 6 for People’s Choice Award voting. The hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Light the Night at the South Jordan City: On Friday, Dec. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the South Jordan City Plaza at 1600 W. Towne Center Drive. There will be pictures with Santa, hot cocoa, gingerbread houses, the unveiling of the candy windows display featuring artists Jennifer Vesper and Krista Johansen. Visit Santa on Towne Center Drive in South Jordan: On Dec. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m., Dec. 8 from 3-5 p.m., Dec. 14 from 6-8 p.m., Dec. 15 from 3-5 p.m., Dec. 21 from 6-8 p.m.,
By Christy Jepson | email@example.com
Two boys sit on the laps of Santa and Mrs. Claus during Holly Days at the Riverton City Park. (Photo credit Angie Meine)
and Dec. 22 from 3-5 p.m. (1600 W. Towne Center Drive) Riverton’s Holly Days in the Park: On Nov. 26, 30 and Dec. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Riverton City Park, large pavilion, 1452 W. 12600 South. This free family event includes: the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire engine, hot chocolate and warm buttery scones, and walking through the park reading from the giant-sized storybook pages of “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” There will also be vendor booths so visitors can get some holiday shopping done. Christmas Night of Music: This 3rd annual event will be on Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the Riverton High School auditorium and will be a night filled with a community choir of over 100 voices and a local orchestra. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Riverton High School is located at 12476 S. Silverwolf Way. This is a free event. Salt Lake City: If you are downtown celebrating the season be sure to drop by and look at Macy’s holiday candy window displays at City Creek Center. Also in Salt Lake City, on Dec. 17 is the 32nd Annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along at
the Vivint Smart Home Arena. This free event will be filled with holiday music and fun. There will be musical numbers by the Bonner Family. This event starts at 7 p.m. Santa Is Coming to Town in West Jordan: On Thursday, Dec. 20 from 6-8 p.m. there will be a craft, a coloring station, story time with Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa and cookies, carolers, and
a visit with Santa. Santa will be arriving at 6 p.m. sharp so don’t be late. This event will be located in the City Hall Community Room at 8000 S. Redwood Road. Saturday with Santa: Christmas Around the World: On Saturday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. families can come visit with Santa, enjoy food tasting from places around the world, crafts and games and entertainment. This event is free and is sponsored by Taylorsville Preservation Committee and will be held at the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center, 1488 W. 4800 South in Murray. Back for the second year at The Shops at South Town in Sandy is Chistmas in the Wizarding World. Step into the world of a wintry Hogsmeade village that features unique merchandise from the “Fantastic Beasts” and “Harry Potter” films. It is free to walk through and will be opened from now until Jan. 21. Even though it is not free, there is another activity in Sandy that is inexpensive when it comes to ticket prices. The Dickens’ Christmas Festival at the Mountain America Exposition Center (9575 S. State Street) is produced and organized by Olde World Historical Council and claims to be a “unique and unusual entertainment and shopping experience.” From fortune tellers, to old English shops, the “real” Father Christmas, period costumes, street theater, puppet shows, a mini-production of “Scrooge” and visits from the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Ticket prices are $3.50 for children and $5.50 for adults. l
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esert Star’s latest parody takes on the Christmas villain that everybody loves to hate! No, not the Grinch... The Grouch! This zany parody opens November 8th and it’s a hilarious musical melodrama for the whole family you don’t want to miss! This show, written by Ben Millet, with an update for 2018 and directed by Scott Holman, follows the story of the Whoville Orphan Sisters as they attempt to save their Christmas future, and presents, from the notorious Grouch. Also hot on the Grouch’s trail is the handsome huntsman, Hunter Hyrum Y, who blames the green goon for the loss of his arm. The team pursues the Grouch into the snowy mountains surrounding their town, only to encounter an even greater threat... one so dangerous, they just might need to join forces with the Grouch himself in order survive! Comedy, romance, and adventure are all on the docket for this delightful send up of the classic children’s story, as well as topical humor torn from today’s headlines. “How The Grouch Stole Christmas” runs November 8th through January 5th, 2019. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s
side-splitting musical olios, following the show. The “Swingin’ Christmas Olio” features hit holiday themed songs and merry, musical steps mixed with more of Desert Star’s signature comedy. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table. The menu includes gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, appetizers, and scrumptious desserts. “How the Grouch Stole Christmas” Plays November 8th - January 5th, 2019 Check website for show times: www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com Tickets: Adults: $24.95-$28.95, Children: $14.95 (Children 11 and under) 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Call 801.266.2600 for reservations For additional information, visit our website at www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com l
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ging parents. Sooner or later we will be faced with the reality that our parents need more care. Possibly more care than we can provide. Visiting Angels Salt Lake City is a non-medical alternative to nursing homes and assisted living. They provide services to Salt Lake and the surrounding areas and give the one-on-one support seniors need to remain independent and safe at home while offering hourly rates so that you can work within your budget. Visiting Angels offer seniors and their families a wide range of services that can be customized to their needs such as: companion care, personal care, palliative care, post-hospital stay care and social care, as well as dementia care, Alzheimer’s care and end of life care. Activities they frequently help with but are not limited to are: diet monitoring and meal preparation, light housekeeping such as help with laundry, vacuuming or making the bed, shopping, running errands, transportation to appointments, bathing, dressing, medicine reminders and going for walks. Visiting Angels offer a free case assessment. Families can choose from between one hour to 24-hour care. They also offer temporary or long-term care, weekday, weekend and holiday care visits, day time, evening, overnight or live-in care and respite care. You choose, you are in charge. Your care program is flexible so that you can change the program if needed. As with most businesses a need was observed. In 1989, while working as the director of social work for a Maryland nursing home in Baltimore, Jeffrey Johnson became disappoint-
ed with the community resources, limited options and apathetic attitude that some people had toward the elderly residents. Jeffrey wanted to provide more choices and options for them and their families. He wanted to give them the opportunity that many wanted most – to remain in their homes. Over the next 10 years, Jeffrey built a successful business focused on providing seniors with experienced, top-quality caregivers without moving from the comfort of their home. Jeffrey met Larry Meigs in 1998. Larry was a franchise developer from Philadelphia, Pa. Together they opened Visiting Angels/Living Assistance Services. Since those modest beginnings Visiting Angels has spread across the country with 650 agencies. Bruce Allison is the administrator/director of the Salt Lake office. He came up with an acronym for “Angels” the following is a shortened version. A–Advocate, N–Nurturing, G–Goal Oriented, E–Ethical, L–Loving. When asked what their greatest challenge has been so far, Kathy Sorenson, their community liaison, responded, “letting people know about the services we provide.” Visiting Angels agencies are required to be bonded and insured and it is their policy to have the appropriate state license that permits “hands-on” care. Visiting Angels have been honored to receive the Best of Home Care Award in 2018 for Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice. They also have a 5 Star rating out of 101 reviews. “We are excited about the recognition we have received.” Bruce Al-
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lison, the administrator of the Salt Lake office said. “It validates our commitment to our clients and employees to have a positive experience with Visiting Angels.” Visiting Angels Salt Lake City is located at 4095 S. Highland Drive. There phone number is 801-542-8282. You can visit them at www.visitingangels.com/slc l
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Brighton girls basketball starting season with new head coach at the helm
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ompeting against the likes of girls basketball powers Corner Canyon and Timpview is never easy. This season, Brighton will attempt to do so with a new coach in charge of the program. Cameron Wood comes to Brighton from Ogden’s St. Joseph’s Catholic High School. He brings nine years’ coaching experience to a team that placed fourth in Region 7 last season with a 4-6 record. The Bengals were 9-11 overall. Wood’s first impressions of the team were positive, especially when it comes to the cohesion and unity of the group. “I was surprised how much the girls care about each other,” Wood said. “There’s genuine appreciation on and off the court. The attitude is the best and most energetic and cohesive I’ve had in nine years of coaching.” Wood said the girls have bought into his philosophy and approach and have meshed well together. He hopes to instill a defensive-centric mindset to the game. “We’re going to have a toughnosed approach on defense,” he said. “We’re going to have defensive pride.” Last season, the Bengals allowed just 46.5 points per game and only surrendered 60 or more points in a contest four times. Offensively, Woods hopes for more production. The Bengals struggled at times to score, as they tallied a per-game average of 44.3 points. “We need to build a identity of the girls competing and that all of the girls are accountable,” he said. “Everyone fulfills a role.” Anabelle Warner is the only returning starter on what Wood acknowledges is a young team. He said the senior is a “great leader and works hard.” She has great energy and work ethic. She averaged five points a game a year ago. Nicky Vyfvinkel, a junior, saw a little bit of court time last season. She will expand her duties this season. Sophomore Lily Cheatam is poised for a big year. “(Vyfvinkel) is a great athlete and a good competitor you can rely on,” Wood said. “(Cheatam) will surprise some people. She’s far ahead in matu-
The Bengals defeat Hillcrest during a game last season. This year’s team begins with new coach. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
rity and ability.” In year one at Brighton, Wood has high expectations, despite his team’s inexperience and the daunting challenges ahead. “Our goal is to compete for region,” he said. “We want to strive to get better and grow and build the program. We want to grow successful people. Athletics are a great tool for life growth.” The Bengals opened up at Kearns on Nov. 20 (after our press deadline). Brighton then hosts Hillcrest and Hunter on Nov. 28 and 29, respectively. The first Region 7 game is Jan. 8 at Alta. Brighton must finish in the top four of the six-team region to once again qualify for the playoffs. Last season, Brighton lost to East in the first round. The last time the Bengals won a postseason game was in 2015 when it advanced to the state quarterfinals. “The girls have a desire to get better,” Wood said. “As coaches, we want to make sure we’re there for the girls in all facets.” l
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Tempting The Grinch
he animated film by Illumination “The Grinch” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Cameron Seely recently premiered on Nov. 9. During opening weekend, it made $66 million dollars. The popularly known version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss was published on Oct. 12, 1957. It began as a 32-line illustrated poem titled “The Hoobub and The Grinch” and was originally published in May of 1955 in Redbook magazine. The book version was released in December of 1957 by Random House. Since then, the book has held the attention of young readers for decades. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, here’s a quick rundown. In the little town of Who¬ville, all of the Whos who live there love Christmas. The Grinch lives north of Whoville and, not being a Who, hates Christmas. As the holiday approaches, the Whos get antsier, creating all sorts of smells and noises, including a song they all sing together on Christmas Eve. As The Grinch radiates of hatred on that night, he comes up with an idea. He will steal Christmas. He disguises himself as Santy Claus and sleds into Whoville where he steals all the Christmas things. As he is stealing Christmas in the middle of the night, a Who child, Little Cindy-Lou Who questions him about
stealing the family’s Christmas tree. He feeds her a lie and moves on with his night. On Christmas morning, well…I won’t spoil it for you. In the story, The Grinch steals everything relating to Christmas, even though Dr. Seuss mentions a few very specific things on The Grinch’s list: pop guns, bicycles, roller skates, drums, checkerboards, tricycles, popcorn, plums, pudding, roast beef, ribbons, packages, boxes, bags, and even the tree. If you don’t want to tempt The Grinch this holiday season, maybe it’s worth not having all of the above-mentioned items easily accessible. We’re in good shape with the first item on this list. Pop guns will probably be unavailable for purchase in many stores. Instead of buying an entirely new bicycle, tricycle, or roller skates, maybe it would be worthwhile to provide a gift card for the app related to the dockless electric rental scooters littering the streets of downtown Salt Lake. I haven’t used one myself, but from what I understand, you pay through an app on your phone and the scooter will run for as long as you pay for. Instead of buying a drum kit, which can run anywhere from $200 to upwards of $600 or more, maybe gift some drumsticks and lessons; or the Rock Band video game provided a gaming console has
been previously purchased. Checkers isn’t the popular game it used to be. Instead of spending $15 to $300 (I’m surprised too) on checkerboards, pick up a few packs of cards for less than $10. Not only are cards less expensive, there are unlimited variations of games that can be played. I’m not so sure checkers can say the same. For popcorn, just don’t. Who wants kernels in their teeth? Or to string popped popcorn? Unless that’s crucial to family tradition, please don’t partake. Also, plums and pudding. I’ve never incorporated those into festivities myself, so I don’t personally understand the appeal. However, I do know that my home is flooded with cookies and other homemade treats gifted from neighbors and family members. If you’re like me and have a swarm of goodies anyway, don’t buy plums and puddings either. Along the same thread (no, not the popcorn one), is roast beef. Does anyone still do roast beef for Christmas? It must be a Who thing. For ribbons, packages, boxes, and bags: keep it simple. Let’s start with boxes and bags. I’m sure a good portion of us will be doing online shopping this year. Keep the boxes from those orders. Personally, I keep boxes from online orders all year long so I can re-purpose them for gift giving. If I need to use
bags, I’ll buy a wholesale pack, because spending $2 to $10 per bag is madness. For ribbons and packages, I recommend buying wholesale as well. Hit up your local craft or party store and buy a few spools of ribbon which you can use multiple times. Balloon ribbon makes for surprisingly fancy present wrapping ribbon. Finally, the tree. I’m exceptionally biased. There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh pine from a live tree throughout the season. I would have saved a few hundred dollars by now if I had invested in a fake tree, but some things are just worth it. l
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Life and Laughter—Dance of the Sugar Plum Peri
never remember having visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, mostly because I didn’t know what a sugarplum was (but it sounds like something I’d eat). What I do remember is having visions of Christmas cookies piled on every possible surface in our kitchen as mom baked herself into a holiday frenzy. Around the middle of December, mom would cart home bags and bags of ingredients for her annual Christmas cookie bake-a-rama, preparing to make the treats she only made once a year. My siblings and I would “help” her unload bags of chocolate, sugar, cream and spices until she yelled at us to go watch TV. When mom donned her apron, adopted a determined expression and started grabbing bowls, that’s when I knew Christmas was really coming. We also knew to stay out of her way, which meant we had to be creative when it came to sneaking bits of cookie dough, scoops of frosting and pieces of pecans. During the ‘70s, sugar consumption wasn’t regulated, it was even encouraged! We ate so much sugar on a daily basis, our teeth were in a constant state of vibration. But at Christmas?! Our sugar levels reached critical mass to the point we peed sugar cubes. I’d eat cookies for
dinner, have a stomachache all night, and only be able to eat four bowls of Cap’n Crunch for breakfast. Each of us had our sugary Christmas cookie favorites, and mom made every single one. Mine were the cherry cookies; buttery sugar cookie dough baked around a maraschino cherry. My sisters loved the pineapple tarts cooked to a golden brown, and gingerbread men, decorated with frosting and Red Hot candies. We all loved the delicate spritz cookies, made with mom’s electric press, and the chocolate mousse balls (which we never got tired of saying). Once the baking was done, and the powdered sugar settled underfoot, mom would pile the cookies on sturdy paper plates and send us out in the snow to deliver the goodies to our neighbors. We roamed the neighborhood, passing other children delivering treats to nearby homes, and wave to each other because this was one chore we didn’t mind. More holiday treats came in the form of grandma’s raisin pudding with rum sauce that she’d warm up in an aluminum can on the stove, and pies she kept hidden in the back bedroom under dishtowels because she couldn’t trust us not to stick our finger in them. We’d decorate sugar cookies at
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school, suck on candy canes during church, snack on boxes of Whitman’s chocolates (which I never really liked, but ate anyway), decorate (and eat) graham cracker houses, and visit our friends’ houses to sample their sweet delicacies. I don’t know how any of us got through the season without losing all our teeth and developing diabetes. Then, on Christmas Eve, we’d sort through all the desserts to find the perfect cookies to leave for Santa Claus. We’d select the ones with the most frosting and
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sprinkles, the best shape and the least burnt in the hope our cookie selection would earn us amazing presents from the big man himself. Christmas morning meant chocolate-covered peanuts, pancakes with syrup and stockings full of orange sticks, nuts and ribbon candy. That night, we’d nestle, all snug in our beds, gently twitching as sugar ran through our veins, not dreaming of sugarplums, but already counting the days until next Christmas in all its sugary glory. l
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801-819-9158 December 2018 | Page 23
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Hours of operation for Monday –Friday: 6:00am – 6:30pm Saturday 8:00am – 3:30pm | Sunday: Closed
Cottonwood Heights Journal December 2018