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February 2018 | Vol. 12 Iss. 02



of dropping everything to read for 30 minutes. “The education approach is that they need to teach them content, not reading, in high school,” he said. “Some students grumbled, teachers weren’t all on board and everyone didn’t see the value of reading for leisure.” Instead of dropping the idea, Colosimo fine-tuned it, bringing together 750 students, along with faculty, and combined the reading time with daily announcements in the auditorium. Now, students and teachers have their “nose to the book,” and seem to enjoy the time. “What I didn’t expect was that it has built a sense of community. With students sitting next to each other reading, there was a sort of low-impact peer pressure for even those more hesitant to read,” he said about the second year of the program. Junior Campbell Magrane was one of those students who didn’t fully support the reading program upon initiation. “Homeroom was when we were able to hang with friends and then, they wanted us to sit and read,” he said. “It was a weird change. It took me about two months to get used to it, but now I really like it. I actually am beginning to love reading.” Magrane, who plays basketball and baseball on the school teams, said that often fitting reading for fun in between homework and practices was hard. “Now I’ll read on my Kindle on the bus going to games. I like to read murder mysteries, trying to solve them before the last page, and I like to read the books before seeing the movies,” he said. Although the books they read are not for class, Magrane said he’s seen improvement in his reading. “Before I’d look at some assignments and books and it was like words on a page. Now, it’s easier to understand and I’m able to read faster,” he said. Colosimo said that it’s because of the deeper level of concentration and time reading that students are becoming more critical readers. “We want our students to extend their stamina and read for leisure at a longer stretch of time. We want to Juan Diego students read about two hours per week during their homeroom time reading get them doing what all of us used to do — read for for pleasure. (Julie Slama/City Journals) leisure. We want them to read more thoughtful, longer writing, not a shorter news article. Our aim is to prepare y his own account, Juan Diego Catholic High Principal our students for college and we want them to acquire the Galey Colosimo will admit that when people think of read- leisure reading to go along with the classics and rigor they will ing time, they think of elementary school. have in a classroom,” he said. Colosimo, who used to be an elementary principal, said iniUnlike elementary schools where there are rules about how tially he wasn’t able to get the entire faculty to buy into the idea many minutes or books students need to read, Colosimo doesn’t


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want this time to be guided by rules. His only principles include that the recreational reading be in a book not an electronic device — “there’s a time and place for everything,” so after being online for hours each day, he wants students to actually pick up a book. He also allows them to stop reading a book if they don’t find it interesting. He also said the program doesn’t have any incentives or punishments — “no candy bars if you’re good or detention if you’re bad.” “Reading is valuable in of itself and we want our students to develop a lifetime love of leisure reading,” he said. “So much of our education is test scores, which takes the fun out of learning and reading. We’re giving them the opportunity to trust in a different environment than the academic classroom.” However, Colosimo said it is translating into success in the classroom as well. He said that oftentimes, students show that if high school students read for two hours per week, they do better in school. “If you give students reading time, their reading levels will improve,” he said. Each December, Juan Diego students take the Accuplacer Reading comprehension exams, which is a prerequisite for many college introductory classes. According to test results from 2015 to 2016, the most recent available, students reading scores increased 68 percent. Junior class president Chloe Tatum, who is currently reading Pulitzer Prize winner “All the Light We Can’t See,” attributes her score of 33 out of 36 on the ACT in part to increased reading. “As we read, we get better at reading, gain a wider vocabulary and learn others’ points of view,” she said. “I’ve always loved to read. I use reading as a way to unwind. I have four AP classes so instead of going straight from AP class to AP class, this gives me a chance to relax during my day and head back to class refreshed.” Tatum also chats in the halls with her teachers, including a science teacher, for recommendations and about her current reading. Juan Diego swim coach John Moran said he overhears team members chatting about books they’re reading in between workout sets. “It’s pretty cool that there is dialogue about books and I hear how they are liking reading,” he said. Each Thursday, instead of reading for a half hour, about one dozen students meet with a faculty mentor, where often the conversation turns to reading, said Colosimo, who also offers a “book talk” monthly. “The most powerful part is hearing students give each other reading recommendations and how it is opening a dialogue,” he said. “We’ve created a culture of reading.” l

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wo elementary teachers and two administrative assistants in Canyons School District schools recently were nominated for the national LifeChanger of the Year award. Draper Elementary’s second-grade teacher Madison Ellingson and administrative assistant Marian Broderick were both nominated by colleague and teacher, Katie Madsen. Madsen was nominated previously. “It is exciting for me to see what people are doing who exemplify excellence,” said Ellingson, who was one of eight nominees across Utah. “It feels good to be recognized.” At Bell View Elementary, Principal Chanci Loran nominated fourth-grade teacher Madaline Chilcutt, and at Altara Elementary, Principal Nicolee SveeMagann nominated administrative assistant Wendi Christensen. National Life Group’s LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program recognizing K-12 educators and school employees who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Students, parents, colleagues and administrators nominate these LifeChangers. When nominated, each LifeChanger receives a congratulatory poster and certificate and an opportunity to be a LifeChanger of the Year winner, which awards one winner $10,000 each spring, to be shared with the winning school. Four grand prize finalists receive $5,000, to be shared with the winning schools. Ellingson, who is the co-director of Draper Elementary’s choir, believes in engaging with students, whether it’s playing at recess — even if she’s not on duty — or having the choir perform throughout the community. “You will often find her eating lunch with students in her classroom or engaging in recess games with students outside,” Madsen wrote on the nomination. “You will never find her at her desk during the school day. She is too busy interacting and engaging with her students through whole-class, small-group, and one-on-one instruction. She truly believes that each of her students can learn and achieve at high levels.” She also is known for incorporating technology into her class lessons. “Instead of my students just listening and watching with technology, they are able to explore more as they are learning. We are able to share their responses quickly with Nearpod, test their knowledge with Kahoot, research topics, learn to type and even go on virtual field trips,” she said, adding that she and Madsen received a $10,000 Innovation Grant from the Canyons Education Foundation so that all students are able to have iPads to use individually. Willow Canyon second-grade teacher Jeannette Workman inspired Ellingson to go into the profession. “She was amazing. I had lots of other teachers who really made a difference and inspired me,” Ellingson said. Ellingon also appreciates the support from administrative assistant, Marian Broderick. “Marian makes the school so much better for the kids and for us teachers. She’s always willing to laminate or cut out lessons for us. She’s the heart of our school,” she said. Broderick said she was surprised when she learned she was to be recognized.

Draper Elementary teacher Madison Ellingson, who was nominated for the national LifeChanger of the Year award, teaches second-grade students. (Draper Elementary)

“I come in and do my job; I love my job,” she said. “I work with kids, with adults, the staff I love. Anytime we can help the teachers, we jump in.” Broderick also said she gets to know the 740 students at the school and has for the past 23 years she has worked at Draper Elementary. “I get asked a lot of times, ‘do you remember me?’ It’s a fun part about working at an elementary, getting to know everyone,” she said. Altara’s Christensen also gets to know many of her students as the administrative assistant and was surprised to learn first on Facebook that she was nominated for the award. “I was surprised to see my picture tagged so I went to see what was posted. So many parents have written nice comments,” she said. Her principal describes her as “an essential member of the school community.” “Last year, my husband passed away,” Svee-Magann wrote in the nomination. “Not only did she support me emotionally, but she organized the staff with their desire to contribute meals and flowers. She ran the school as I was in and out sporadically for a few weeks, and I never doubted that the school was in excellent hands. She is often the go-to person when I am out of the building.” Principal Loran’s nomination states that Chilcutt is “an amazing teacher who inspires her colleagues to be better. She is a highly effective educator who brings high expectations to her classroom and works to create a positive learning environment.” Chilcutt said that with the focus in improving student engagement and providing immediate feedback for student learning, she uses practices that are supported throughout the district. It was in college, her first education course, when she knew “teaching was my calling.” “I love seeing the students learn and make progress from not understanding to mastering a concept,” Chilcutt said. Now in her 24th year of teaching at Bell View, she often teaches students who had aunts and uncles who were in her classroom. “It’s the cards and notes from parents and former students and the comments of praise from my colleagues that are the best recognition,” Chilcutt said. l

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‘Annie’ coming to Draper Historic Theatre By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

“Annie” will be at the theatre for 12 shows starting February 2.



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It was 80 years ago that the Pearl was built in Draper. This movie house served as the forerunner of what today is a community fixture: the Draper Historic Theatre. The theater is known for its productions of classic plays and musicals. In February, another beloved show is coming to the venue. Popular musical “Annie” will be at the theater for 12 shows. The first showing will be held Feb. 2, followed by additional performances Feb. 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 23 and 24, all at 7 p.m. In addition, there will be a special matinee showing on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. There are numerous seating options for you and family and friends. For premium select seating, adults can get seats for $15, while military, students and senior can get in for $12; children 12 and under can get these seats for $10. Premium reserved seating is available for adults for $12 and for military, seniors and students for $10. Children 12 and under can choose these seats for just $8. Finally, general seating is open for adults for $10 and for military, seniors and students for $9. Children 12 and under can get in to general seating for only $7. The best way to secure your tickets is by going to www.drapertheatre.org. You can also purchase tickets at the box office, which opens at 6:20 p.m. on the night of performances. The Draper Historic Theatre is located at 12366 South 900 East. The house doors open at 6:30 p.m., so make sure you arrive early to get a good parking spot. During each show, there will be a 10-minute intermission, and concessions will be open at this time.

Many dedicated, talented performers and staff make this production possible. Marc Navez will direct the musical; he’s also in charge of scenic design and light design. Heather Oberlander will assist Navez in directing the musical, while Craig Haycock serves as the technical director. Jared Daley is tasked with directing the music, and Heather Haycock and Mae Hinton-Godfrey lead the choreography and costume design, respectively. “Annie” the musical was first produced and shown on Broadway in 1977. It remained there for six years and garnered a Tony Award for Best Musical. The play is based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray. It tells the story of Annie, an orphan girl living in 1930s New York City, who desperately wants to find the parents who left her on the steps of an orphanage several years earlier. The orphanage is run by the nasty, mean-spirited Miss Hannigan, who treats Annie and the other orphan girls with disdain and disregard. Intent on finding a promising life outside of the orphanage, Annie escapes the terrible place with her dog, Sandy, and embarks on adventures in the city, where she eventually finds a new home with billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks. She even meets U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. “Annie” features timeless songs such as “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life.” You won’t be able to help but sing along and smile when you come to the Draper Historic Theatre for this winning production. Get your tickets today. l

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February 2018 | Page 5

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Sloths quickly becoming popular attraction at aquarium


t took a while, but sloths finally made their way to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper. With great anticipation, the slow-moving mammals made their way to the aquarium last fall. It was the first time these lovable creatures have been on display in the four-year-old facility. The sloths — one male and one female — came to the aquarium by way of South America’s Guyana, where the animals’ home was destroyed through deforestation. These two sloths are specially known as Linnaeu’s two-toed sloth, nocturnal animals that sleep up to 18 hours a day. Because sloths don’t move much, they eat infrequently and relieve themselves only once a week. When they do eat, their preferred diet consists of leaves and fruit. Everything sloths do, they do upside down, including sleeping, mating, eating and giving birth. The sloths were unveiled for public view on Nov. 3. They live in the aviary in the Journey to South America gallery. “People are drawn to these animals,” said Caroline Ralston, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium director of marketing and public relations. “Our visitation is higher than expected for this time of year and guests are staying longer. We like to call it the ‘sloth effect.’” In their natural habitat, sloths can live 10 to 15 years; however, when in captivity, sloths can live up to 30 years, so expect these fouryear-old adorable animals to be around for many years to come. In recent years, sloths have been a popular attraction in zoos and in media, which makes their arrival in Draper even more exciting. Ralston said coming to the aquarium to check out the sloths is about much more than simply looking at them. It helps visitors appreciate these animals and understand the importance of conservation. “You never know which animal is going to leave a lasting impression on someone, so it’s important to have animals like sloths

By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com that have broader appeal,” she said. “When people come in to see the sloths, they learn about the challenges they face in the wild such as deforestation, and hopefully are inspired to get involved in conservation efforts.” Since the aquarium’s opening in 2014, more than 3 million eager visitors have visited. There are more than 4,500 animals at the aquarium totaling 550 different species. The facility stretches 136,000 square feet and even includes a massive 300,000-gallon shark tank with a walk-through tunnel, where visitors can view the impressive creatures on all sides. Other popular features of the aquarium include a four-story rainforest gallery, along with four other galleries: Ocean Explorer, Journey to South America, Discover Utah and Antarctic Adventure. The aquarium employs more than 150 workers. “The sloths have really driven home the fact that we’re more than an aquarium,” Ralston said. “We showcase diverse ecosystems and how species are interconnected as part of one living planet--not just aquatic animals, but also mammals, birds, insects and more. This is most apparent in our Journey to South America Gallery, which houses our sloth exhibit, and where guests can see many different animals co-existing just like they would in their natural rainforest habitat.” The Living Planet Aquarium is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Mondays from 4 to 8 p.m., families can get in for $5 off. The aquarium is closed on Christmas Day. Adult ticket prices are $19.95. Teens, military, students and seniors can visit for $16.95. Child ticket prices are $14.95, and children 2 and under can get in for free. The Living Planet Aquarium is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The aquarium is located at 12033 Lone Peak Parkway in Draper. l

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Loveland Living Planet Aquarium welcomed two sloths last fall. (Loveland Living Planet Aquarium)

Page 6 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

‘Bright future ahead’ as Draper swears in elected officials By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

Councilman Mike Green stands between Councilwoman Tasha Lowery and Mayor Troy Walker after all three were sworn in to their elected positions. (Maridene Alexander/Draper City)


t was about a month after Tasha Lowery had filed her candidacy for city council when she received a phone call from her son’s preschool. He had told various kids on the playground that his mom was “running for mayor in this town and they needed to give him $10. Bring it to school tomorrow.” “We believe he has a bright future in either the mafia or New Jersey politics,” Lowery joked. She was speaking to an overflowing city council chambers on Jan. 8 as she, Councilman Mike Green and Mayor Troy Walker were sworn into their elected positions. Friends, families and neighbors were in attendance to congratulate the new officials in addition to current Draper City councilmembers, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Speaker of the House Greg Hughes. Lowery and Green were the respective winners of the two at-large seats on the city council, beating out incumbent William Rappleye and Jeff Stenquist, who chose not to run. For Green, it was during his drive to city hall for the inauguration that the significance started to sink in. “I kinda felt that pressure that these people are relying on you,” he said. Walker said the new council members will learn that the enjoyment is short lived. “Our two new council members are going to learn quickly that that swearing in is fun, the swearing at will not stop. It’ll start up in about

four hours,” he joked. With a full house and parking stretched around the block, Walker noted the only time the chamber is that full is when they raise taxes. Equating Draper City to a mantra his grandmother always told him, Walker spoke to those in attendance about being with “the right people, doing the right things in the right place at the right time.” Draper is the right place, he said, with its diverse economy, while the right people are its residents and city staff. “As elected officials, our job is to look to the future and be serious about it and be honest about it and be prudent about it and to have the courage to do things that we gotta do,” Walker said. All three elected officials point out the unique nature of Draper with, as Lowery put, “some of the greatest natural beauty I’ve ever seen,” referring to the open space, trail systems, mountains and canyons. She added how excited she is for the future of the city. “We know we have a truly good thing going on here in our beautiful town,” Lowery said. “I am so honored to work and protect what we love so ferociously about our town while also working strategically and thoughtfully into our very bright future.” Green, a veteran having served in Afghanistan, plans to bring a leadership philosophy with him he learned while serving in Special

Forces: place mission first and people always. He said the city’s mission is obvious — keep taxes low, maintain roads, police, fire, etc. — but the people means to surround yourself with the best humans possible. “You find people that are willing to go the extra mile and do things they wouldn’t normally do and you treat those people well,” Green said. “My philosophy is to make sure you bring the right people. Draper’s got fabulous people.” The newly elected councilman told a story from Christmas Eve when he witnessed the work of the city’s first responders as they attempted to resuscitate a man found in his car on the side of the road. “While we’re all sleeping, getting ready for Santa to come, these guys were there and they were ready,” Green told the audience. “I’ve never been more proud … these are the people we need to keep.” Green later told the Journal his first concern is getting an ambulance for the firefighters. “We need to get them taken care of, that’s going to be a top priority. We want to make sure they get the right equipment,” he said. Walker called for unity saying the challenges that come can be surmounted if the city does it together. “We can face any problem we have if we’re willing to reach across the aisle and look at ways to solve problems that are not just ideological, but ways to make a difference in the human condition,” he said. l

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Page 8 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

MATHCOUNTS offers middle school students challenge By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

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Canyon School District honored its top 14 middle school students in the recent MATHCOUNTS competition. (Rachel Marshall/Canyons School District)


fter two rounds of complete silence, 132 Canyons School District middle school students were able to work together to solve 10 problems in the team round of MATHCOUNTS. “Math makes sense and it’s fun,” said Mt. Jordan eighth-grader Shaylee Neilsen, who is competing on her school’s MATHCOUNTS team for the first time. At the district competition, students had four rounds: a 30-question sprint round, a target round with four sets of two problems, a team competition where students work together on 10 questions, and then an oral countdown round. MATHCOUNTS is offered after school at the eight middle schools and promotes middle school mathematics achievement in every U.S. state and territory. Since 1985, students in the district have competed in MATHCOUNTS, said Bob McGee, Midvale Middle School teacher and coach of 39 club members. Up until last year, Midvale Middle has dominated the competition, winning 15 years straight until Waterford claimed the title last year. Last year at the chapter competition, Midvale scored 57 of the 66 points possible. “Our kids are practicing doing more questions and being exposed to more math questions from algebra to geometry to probability. These are tough questions they’re solving,” McGee said last year. This year, with a new chapter of private and charter schools formed, there were only seven Canyons schools competing at the district level on Jan. 3. Union Middle did not participate. The top 14 students, plus their teams, will compete next at the chapter contest in February, followed by state and even nationals. “The students get involved because they like doing math,” said McGee, who has accompanied the state team to nationals several times. “Some

of these students who compete at the national level go to MIT and other high-end schools. They are able to problem-solve and are self-motivated to learn.” Midvale eighth-grader Zoe Liu said she studied on her own in addition to the club meetings once per week. “It’s like anything else you do — you have to practice,” she said. “The more you practice, the faster and more accurate you are. This gets harder every year; it’s become more competitive.” Zoe, who finished second in the overall competition, said she joined MATHCOUNTS to learn. “It’s a fun way to learn about math. It’s unique, creative and applies to the real world,” she said. Many schools, including the 11-member Indian Hills team, use MATHCOUNTS-prepared booklets to help students get ready for the competition, said math teacher and coach Allyson Derocher. “It’s for fun, for kids who enjoy solving math problems,” she said. “Our aim is to have fun and have our team compete at the chapter contest.” Butler Middle School coach Amy Giles supported Derocher, adding that her seven-member team consists of students who participate for “the love of math.” Eastmont coach Stephanie Schott said it also helps students learn to “problem-solve with friends. It’s taking what they learn, building upon it and applying it. They’re often solving problems a couple years beyond what they’re learning in the classroom.” Mt. Jordan Coach Michelle O’Reilly said the problems are purposely scaled above their difficulty. “It’s an enrichment above the ninth-grade problem set,” she said.

Schott said that through competition, they’re learning how to collaborate with their team as well as attempt problems in multiple ways. At Albion, MATHCOUNTS coach and teacher Emalee Elkins said that often, her 17-member team works together to come up with the solution. “There’s some challenging questions; it’s hard stuff,” Elkins said. “We look at Pascal’s triangle and Fibonacci’s sequence just for fun. We’re trying to get students more college-ready, so while they’re having fun and collaborating with each other, they’re learning.” District instructional specialist Rachel Marshall said that because some accelerated students choose to remain in their neighborhood schools rather than attend Midvale Middle, which houses the Salta program, the past three years, they have encouraged all schools to offer the math enrichment MATHCOUNTS program. “We have advanced math students spread out throughout our district, so this provides students an enriching and dynamic way for them to be challenged,” she said. While all students competing received finalist medals, only the top 14 competed in the oral countdown round. The top three students received trophies and the top four students from each school form a team that can compete at chapter competition. This year’s top 14 students who placed in order after the countdown round were Eric Chen, Midvale; Zoe Liu, Midvale; Thomas Lu, Midvale; Marianne Liu, Midvale; Lucas Pearce, Eastmont; Will Pearce, Eastmont; Michael Watts, Indian Hills; Andrew Liew, Midvale; Hyun Chun, Midvale; Luke Holt, Butler; Ryam Pomeroy, Indian Hills; Ashley Nielsen, Draper Park; Matthew Telling, Albion; and Asiah Collinson, Mt. Jordan. l

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Canyons students lend a hand to others By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


his winter, Willow Canyon students brought in boxes of cereal — 870 boxes, in fact. The Sandy students, led by the school’s student council, wanted to make sure students who regularly counted on school breakfast had breakfast over the winter break. They gave their donations to their peers at Midvale Elementary. “Their helping hands culminated a month-long theme of service to others and the importance of being kind,” Principal Marilyn Williams said, adding that donations were also taken as part of their holiday school choir performance. Willow Canyon was one of more than 25 Canyons District schools to hold donation drives. Despite the robust economy, intergenerational poverty continues to be a problem in Utah, said Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney. “In Canyons District, we value service learning — the idea that we learn so much about ourselves when we’re in the service of others,” he said. “It’s heartwarming to watch school communities participate in their holiday donation drives every year. Across the district, we saw acts of charity, both big and small, that showed the depth of care of our community.” Canyons District administration also took the lead by raising $11,300 and collecting winter clothing for residents of The Road Home in Midvale, a homeless shelter within the district’s boundaries. An event to benefit their efforts was combined with a luncheon performance at Jordan Valley and a silent auction. As part of Canyons’ partnership with the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, the district also gathered gently used purses and jewelry for People Helping People, an organization that helps low-income women, primarily single mothers, find jobs with living wages. Canyons District schools also hosted drives for food, clothing,

stuffed animals, books and other items. Amongst the numerous service projects, at more than five schools, students supported their peers at another Canyons school with food and clothing drives. Students at about seven other schools donated food items to the Utah Food Bank. At Midvale Middle School, books were brought in and Jordan High pitched in to donate clothing, all earmarked for the Boys and Girls Club. At Park Lane, students participated in Project Teddy Bear with the Bank of American Fork, and Willow Springs donated items for The Road Home and Ronald McDonald House. Union Middle School students contributed to a local animal shelter while Brookwood Elementary held a fundraiser for Utah’s Ouelessebougou Alliance. Both Corner Canyon High and Brighton High held activities to benefit the Tyler Robinson Foundation, with Brighton’s to finish late January. Indian Hills Middle and Hillcrest High held fundraisers to benefit Make-a-Wish Foundation. Indian Hills student council organized their coin drive fundraiser, which was slated Jan. 22 through Feb. 2. It included incentives such as faculty dyeing their hair, kissing a piglet, taking a pie to their faces and performing a dance routine. “We’re pretty excited for it,” said Kamil Harrison, seventh-grade social studies teacher and student council adviser. Hillcrest raised more than $14,400 to help three youth receive their wishes, said student body vice president Lizzie Jensen. “This year we added a lot to our own plates, but we really wanted to make the fundraiser a big deal. I think our all day assemblies may have helped a ton,” she said, adding that they raised more than $7,000 that day alone. One of the three wishes will go to an unnamed Hillcrest student that has been diagnosed with leukemia, Jensen said, adding that students knew their donations were helping someone from their school.

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“We made sure it was addressed on why we picked the Make-aWish Foundation,” Jensen said. “She is a very sweet girl — we’re so glad we got to raise money to help her wish come true.” l

The “Save of Shave” event at Hillcrest High School helped raise more than $1,300, the most they’ve ever made through the event; the money was donated to Make-a-Wish Foundation. Seen here is senior John Ruff, who had his hair shaved to support granting three people’s wishes. (Melinda Schwendiman/Hillcrest High School Student Body Historian)

Page 10 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

Off-season learning prepares local high school robotics teams for spring competition


By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

ocal high school robotics teams are trying to puzzle out how their robots, which are trapped in a simulation arcade game, can escape. This year’s FIRST robotics competition, First Power Up, gives high school students six weeks to build a robot that can transport power cubes and climb, amongst other tasks, said Juan Diego Catholic High’s Jim Duane, who coaches the school’s team along with Eric Browning. “It’s a monumental challenge to be able to design, build and practice the task,” Duane said. “It’s giving them real-world experience. These high school students are paving the way in engineering and design.” Of the 3,700 teams worldwide, about 50 will compete March 1–3 at the Maverick Center. Half of those teams will be from out of state, even from other countries, Duane said. “Our stop build date is Feb. 20 so it allows teams to travel to the regional qualifier,” he said. “Utah is one of the first regional competitions in the world.” However, for many of the local teams it’s not just a two-month season. Many students learn, design and test their skills year round. Juan Diego was joined by Jordan, Brighton and Alta high schools in December for a ribbon-cutting ceremony where their robots cut sections of the ribbon for the new Alta View Clinic. Eighteen months earlier, the same teams used shovels for a symbolic groundbreaking. “We used the base and drive train from our robot, but then had to learn to add a shovel for groundbreaking and add motors so we’d be able to have a lot of power. For the ribbon-cutting, we had to have the arm be able to use scissors, so the students did some programming,” Duane said. Jordan High coach Cameo Lutz said her students helped with the STEM Action Center bus ribbon cutting including teaching Gov. Gary Herbert how to have the robot cut the ribbon with scissors. So for this ribbon cutting, they decided to slice the ribbon with a beet knife, symbolic of the school’s nickname, the Beetdiggers. They used a wheelchair chassis they had taken apart for the groundbreaking. Alta High coach Ron Strohm said the schools were invited because Intermountain Health Care wanted robots to be part of the ribbon cutting, symbolizing all their new technology available. Alta High recently acquired a robot from the Steve Jacobsen Foundation that was used as one of the animatronics from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland California. It joined the school’s robotic hand that was used in the movie “Short Circuit” in 1986. “They had them in the back room,” Strohm said, adding that students are learning how robotics can lead them to careers tied in with other professions. “We are using them to view and educate how animation is evolving.” Alta, as well as Jordan, Waterford, Hunter, Hillcrest, Jordan, West, AISU, Roots Charter and Judge Memorial schools, took part in the Academy of Math, Engineering and Science (AMES) off-season game of capture the flag. “The team alliances were random at the beginning and teams could earn points by how many

Students intently look on during the final round of the capture the flag off-season competition in December 2017. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

flags you bring to the other side,” Lutz said. Sara Whitbeck, who coaches at AMES alongside Doug Hendricks and Laurie Williamson, said that details of the competition were worked out between her 50-member team, which is in its eighth year, and the other teams. “A couple years ago, teams from outside Utah dominated our regional qualifier,” she said. “So a bunch of Utah coaches got together and decided that we could make events to help us develop skills and leadership.” From that, AMES students began organizing and hosting an annual mock competition. The first year, six teams learned to shoot paper rockets at a target in Robot Rocket Rumble. Last year, 12 teams played Robo Pong, where the robots had to shoot Ping-Pong balls into a trash can. “Those years, it was more of an individual team event. This year, we wanted it to be more of an alliance game where the teams could refine their skills,” Whitbeck said about the 14 teams that competed in December. Hillcrest High Coach Clief Castleton said this year the competition was more like regular season, without the pressure. “The students who came could increase their skills in programming, designing and building,” he said. “It was especially helpful for our newer and younger students to experience before the regular season.” Lutz said it also gave them the experience of overcoming things that could go wrong before a competition — even though her students spent about two months’ preparing for the event. “It gave students the chance to know how to make things work last minute,” she said. “Alta was able to help us out with a motor the night before the event. At first, I didn’t understand FIRST’s term, ‘cooperition’ — cooperation and competition between teams. It isn’t just us against other schools. We’re all in it to become better.” Lutz said that Jordan, now in its second year, has been grateful for the support such as the men-

toring from Hillcrest, parts and camaraderie from Alta and practice space shared by Waterford. These events help to strengthen the relationship between teams, Waterford coach James Harris said. “There’s a lot of cooperation between schools as we’re all wanting to get better,” he said. “Our first couple years, we struggled so it was helpful when other teams helped us. We know how hard it is to get a program started. Our only goal is to inspire students in general and to enjoy problem-solving techniques to solve some interesting problems. In the real world, it will require collaboration, as we won’t have all the answers. We want students to collaborate in a wider community; that’s how problems will be solved.” Teams often mentor one another, such as helping with beginning robotics teams, such as Waterford’s 26-member teams did when helping Roots Academy’s and Navajo Mountain’s team. Or helping younger students learning through FIRST Lego League — such as AMES assisting the Autism Spectrum Clinic team and Hillcrest High helping a team in Wyoming. Others talk about the league with the community. Jordan adopted a class of special needs students at a West Jordan elementary, and Corner Canyon reached out to Draper Park Middle School as well as to a Bountiful elementary school. Others worked on educating the community, such as Alta hosting local Girl Scouts to learn about their robots. Hillcrest is hoping to receive a grant this year to start a robotics programs with school children, including one within the Midvale community. A few years back, when Comic Con was new to Salt Lake City, several teams showcased their robots at the event and even held a demonstration against R2-D2. This summer, Jordan’s students drove its robot around Sandy’s 4th of July parade and demonstrated it for Jordan School District’s STEM at the stadium event and at STEM Action Center’s STEMFest in Sandy. Schools use their skills to help the commu-

nity in other ways. The past few years, Hillcrest’s team worked on iTRAC, developing a prototype and testing software that tracks eye movement in hopes it would help Jordan Valley School students communicate through blinking. “It has been a long-term project that allowed our students to use their skills in a real-world application to help others,” Castleton said. Others sharpen their building, fabrication, design, coding and programming skills through engineering labs and challenges within their schools or in their robotics classes. “Our students are often self-motivated and plan their own activities, such as building catapults so they can learn force, torque, rotary motion and how to make something happen,” said Brighton’s Robert Rainey, who coaches with Janice Spencer Wise. “Our team designed and built a robotic-controlled boat, called BoatBot, for last year’s play, ‘Pocahontas.’ This year, they built a winged horse of ‘Xanadu.’ It’s amazing to see brand new students timidly pick up a tool at the beginning to seeing them become quite good and able to problem solve and build their design. Anything they can do to better understand how to make things work is good.” Corner Canyon Coach Jill Kennedy said that this year, the team’s mentor suggested her 40-member team get involved with the Rage in the Cage competition. “It involves two small robots or Battle Bots, so our students are learning both those robots as well as the big one we use for the FIRST season,” she said. “It’s been great to have students actively learning electronics and programming so this year, with FIRST, they’ll have more experience.” All coaches say it isn’t just robotics’ skills they learn. It extends to planning and organization, marketing, communication, graphic design, cosmetics for robots and fundraising for the team. “We even go over how to brainstorm so they aren’t just locked into one person’s idea,” Brighton’s Rainey said. “We cross train from coding to design so everyone gains that knowledge.” Like most teams, AISU (American International School of Utah) first-year coach Aaron Burton said his 20 students, who comprise the Mechanical Dragon team, are reaching out to the community for support. “Fundraising is also a high priority in the off season; we look for sponsorship from local companies — and are still looking if any company owners want a tax deductible way to help a local team,” he said. The past couple years, AISU has hosted another community-wide event, RoboFest, which has taught students from fabrication to grant writing and leadership as well as brought in experts in the field. This year, the Leonardo will host the event. Burton, like many coaches, sums up his many goals for his students: “To see that they can accomplish hard and awesome things; to see what happens when teamwork works; to get a glimpse of engineering —and see if they want to pursue that for a career; to have fun; to make new friends; to learn from their failures; (and) to get some of the glory and excitement (normally reserved for sports teams) to shine on them.” l

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February 2018 | Page 11

DraperJournal .com

American Preparatory to host music competition, Memorial Day assembly at its new Draper campus


n late fall, American Preparatory Academy opened its third Draper campus, just 11 months after breaking ground. This spring, the school will host a Memorial Day assembly for students and the community. “After many challenges, and 14 years after the opening of the first Draper campus, the American Prep Draper High School was completed,” APA Communication Director Daniel Bazan said. “Parents and students were very excited to have the high school completed, so students are able to experience the full K-12 education American Prep has to offer.” The new Draper school, called the Upper School, is designed to serve more than 700 secondary students. This 72,000-square foot, three-story campus, which is located near the Living Planet Aquarium, features 36 new classrooms with science, biology and chemistry labs that support advanced placement classes and honors STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes for junior high and high school students. “The opening of the new building has enabled the science instruction to expand,” Bazan said, adding that the computer science curriculum provides students with the opportunity to study computer programming, 3D printing, breadboards and circuits. Art instruction — instrumental and vocal music, drama and visual art — continue to be im-

By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

American Preparatory Academy Executive Director Carolyn Sharette cuts the ribbon to its newest campus in Draper. (Daniel Bazan/American Preparatory Academy)

portant components of the classical education offered at American Prep, he said, adding that in the future, school administrators would like to have an auditorium adjacent to the new campus to provide students with as much exposure as possible to the arts. Unique to the school is a professional Horn-

er Pro-King maple hardwood floor previously used in the Burns Arena at Dixie State College. The floor was refinished for American Prep and is now in use not only for its own team, but also as the school partners with Draper Youth Basketball League, which hosts multiple teams all season. Their mark in the community also will ex-

tend this spring, as American Prep will host its annual Memorial Day assembly at the new campus. The assembly will take place at noon, Friday, May 25 in the school gym. “This is one of two assemblies each year where students can learn more about the value of our freedom and the need to protect it,” Bazan said, alluding to Veterans Day where the students honor and thank veterans as well. American Prep completed construction on the new Draper school in just 11 months from groundbreaking to grand opening, spending about half the square-foot cost of an average public school in Utah, Bazan said. “The cost savings is directed back into the classroom providing curriculum, equipment and excellent teaching staff for students,” he said. Draper American Prep schools, which serve about 2,200 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, currently has seven Utah campuses. American Prep also has locations in Las Vegas and Lusaka, Zambia, Africa. The school started in 2002 when a group of parents envisioned a new charter school in Draper founded on two pillars: rigorous academics and strong character development. In 2003, American Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free public charter school, was established. American Prep was named Charter School of the Year in 2011 and in 2017 received the Best of State Charter School designation. l


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Page 12 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

The Lexie and Ethan Trail becoming more of a reality


By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

hen Corner Canyon High School students Lexie Fenton and Ethan Fraga passed away in November of 2016 in a car accident, there was a tremendous amount of mourning among family, friends and the Draper community. Lexie’s best friend Sofia Osthed has spent the last few months organizing and fundraising for the Lexie and Ethan Trail as a memorial for the pair. “I’m actually surprised at how far-reaching this tragedy has affected people, even people far beyond our city,” Osthed said. “This trail can become a great place to have fun and feel close to them. A public source of light and comfort would be very helpful and would even become a sacred place for the community.” Since the beginning of Nov. 2017, more than $9,000 has been raised of the needed $12,500 to build the trail, which will extend more than half a mile to remember the two former Charger mountain bike team members. “I wanted to do something to honor her and Ethan that would also help many people feel comforted and find happiness after this tragedy,” Osthed said. “I hope (they) can be remembered for how I know them — for who they actually are instead of something so negative. With this trail, people can have fun and feel Lexie and Ethan’s light as they enjoy things Lexie and Ethan loved to do.” Osthed credits the Draper Parks and Trails Committee for their support and assistance in planning a “beautiful, perfect trail” to honor Lexie and Ethan. The Lexie and Ethan Trail will begin off of the Red Potato Trail and end at the Bonneville Short Trail. “This site is actually just above the Fenton’s and Fraga’s houses,” Osthed said. “It is going to have an absolutely gorgeous view.” Donations are being accepted through a GoFundMe page at www.gofundeme.com/thelexieandethantrail or be sending a

The Lexie and Ethan Trail has been approved by Draper City leaders and when fundraising is complete, construction will begin on the .6-mile area to memorialize two Corner Canyon High School students who were killed in a car accident in the fall of 2016. (Photo/Sofia Osthed)

check to: Corner Canyon Trails Foundation, Attention: Lamont Smith, 999 E. 13200 S., Draper, UT 84020. An EIN number is available for charitable donations. When fundraising is complete, the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation will organize construction, which is slated to begin

in the spring and finished this summer. Any surplus money will go toward a memorial bench and planting wildflowers along the trail. “I really believe this trail will bring peace into the hearts of so many people,” Osthed said. l

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February 2018 | Page 13

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Juan Diego boys basketball team rolling


he Juan Diego Catholic High School boys basketball team began the season with a loss to Orem, one of the top teams in 4A, and played a tough preseason against some of the state’s top teams. The Soaring Eagle squad also faced some of the nation’s best in the prestigious Tarkanian Classic in Last Vegas in mid-December. “There tends to be a lot of disparity in 4A and we try to make sure we face good teams and push ourselves,” head coach Drew Trost said. “We want to be always developing our team and this program.” In the Las Vegas tournament, Juan Diego saw one of its best players, Jason Ricketts, go down with a severe ankle sprain in the first half of the first game. The team battled to a 2-2 showing in its four games. “We did pretty good considering we were playing without Jason,” Trost said. Ricketts has since returned to the floor and has helped lead Juan Diego to a 7-4 record, heading into region play over the past four games. In those matchups, the Soaring Eagle squad has outscored opponents 300 to 164 in double-digit wins against Bonneville, Ogden, Park City and Ben Lomond. “I feel good overall with how our season has gone so far,” Trost said. “We have learned a little bit with that tough preseason and now we’re rolling in region.” Three JDCHS players average 13 points a game — Ricketts, senior Matt Kitzman and junior Raimoana Tiniraurarii — to lead the team in scoring, while Ricketts and Tinirauarii are top in rebounds with seven a game each. Trost also noted the contributions lately of junior Lawson Roe, who has been the team’s leading scorer the last few games and now averages nearly nine points a game. “He’s really taken off lately and he can truly shoot it,” Trost said of the junior who has put in 37 3-pointers through the team’s

By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com 15 games. “He helps us from not just being a three-headed monster, but takes some pressure off Jason, Matt and ‘Ray,’ and they get him chances when he’s open.” Others on the 2017–18 team are seniors Brady Greene, Turner Crooms and Chinonso Opara; juniors Mikey Curran, Campbell Magrane and Kalthom Kur; and sophomores Gabe Soto, Lorenzo Soto, Jobi Gelder, Laurbong Gai and Kemari Bailey; and freshmen Talon Valdez and Jag Martin.

“We have been doing really well lately in sharing the ball and our assists show that,” Trost said. “Passing well will continue to be a focus the rest of the way.” Trost is assisted on the coaching staff by Ron Preece, Hector Marquez, Joe Colosimo and Larry Colosimo “Our program is built on defense, effort and attitude,” Trost said. “If we can have those things, the other things take care of themselves.” l

The Juan Diego Catholic High School boys basketball team has won six straight games to start region play. (Photo/Mickelle Marston)

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Page 14 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

Corner Canyon girls basketball staying focused on court


By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

ummary: Corner Canyon’s girls basketball team, who claims two of the state’s top players, have lost just one game in 17 matchups this season. The Corner Canyon High School girls basketball team qualified for the state tournament for the first time in school history last winter, losing to Box Elder 69-62, and began the 2017–18 season with eyes again focused on goals to carry them to the postseason. The Chargers began the year with a seven-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 441 to 298, and after a 63-47 loss to Copper Hills in its own Winter Classic Dec. 16, the squad has won the last six games, five of them by double-digit margins. “There are endless highlights Junior forward Jaeden Vaifanua is leading the 16-1 Chargers in rebounding while being the second leading scorer. (Photo/Lesa Bowen) thus far as we reach the goals we set on a daily basis in practice and Another highlight of the season, according to Ackgames,” head coach Jeramy Acker said. “There er, was a 65-64 overtime victory against Mountain are quite a few things which I have worked ex- View, one of the top teams in the state. In hosting tensively on personally, and I am extremely proud its Winter Classic, Corner Canyon also faced three of the girls in executing their individual and col- top 6A teams and came away with two wins — lective roles in realizing the vision I had for this against Taylorsville 64-33 Dec. 14 and over Rivseason last spring.” erton 62-36 Dec. 15 — and its only loss of the year The 16-1 squad has been led by “the best play- to Copper Hills. ers in their given positions in the state,” according “We have been working on sharing the ball to Acker, in junior captain Kemery Martin, a point and competing at our highest level,” Acker said. guard who averages more than 21 points and five “Seeing the girls share the ball and take charge rerebounds a game, and junior captain Jaeden Vai- cently has given me great comfort knowing how fanua who adds 18 points and nearly nine boards a dedicated each of the players are to the team phigame as a power forward. losophy we emphasize daily.” Acker also noted the key contributions of his Acker is assisted on the coaching staff by other starters — senior point guard Annie Bowen, Heather Humble, Christie Duke, Brian Vaifanua, senior Nicole Critchfield and senior captain Han- Lexi Gagon, Andie Nicholes and Brian Rhay with nah Sanderson, who average another 14 points and team managers Hannah Knoop, Maddie Moushey, nearly 12 rebounds between them. “Integrating Cara Chambers and Cora Butler. the special talents of Kemery and Jaeden with our Corner Canyon has also defeated Hillcrest, other key contributing players has been one of the Pleasant Grove, Maple Mountain, Layton, Woods most rewarding experiences of my coaching ca- Cross, Box Elder, American Fork, Jordan and reer thus far,” Acker said. “With that said, we rely Brighton so far this season. on our bench extensively in practice and games to Acker said the keys to winning this year have be prepared and ready to fill various roles we ask been “having great players which play with heart, of our players on a daily basis,” Acker said. effort and dedication to their teammates and the Also on the squad this season are seniors Al- philosophy we are emphasizing within the proyssa Crow, Andi Humble and Ashlyn Bird; juniors gram.” Megan Astle, Alexandra Wright, Livi Redden and “A total and complete buy-in to the style and Marissa Wicherski; sophomore Abby Kleinman; philosophy we are trying to utilize is a challenge and freshman Baylee Bodily. on almost any team,” Acker said. “The success we “I am a consummate coach, so I continual- have experienced thus far in large part is a direct ly notice the areas which we can improve on and testament to the leadership of our seniors throughthose things which still need to be addressed,” out the last three seasons and the leadership qualiAcker said. “So, there is always room for im- ties of our current team captains.” provement. With that being said, it’s exciting to The focus the rest of the season for Corner be a part of this team as we pursue our individual Canyon will be on individual and team improveand team goals.” ment each day. “If we can do this individually and In its second game of the season, Corner collectively as a team, we believe we will be right Canyon played at the Vivint Smart Home Arena where we want to be at the end of the season comand dominated Syracuse in a 68-28 win Dec. 1. petitively,” Acker said. l

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February 2018 | Page 15

DraperJournal .com

Draper’s Race Cats track program producing young runners By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


ummary: The Race Cats Track Club, founded by Draper’s Nan Kennard — a former collegiate runner — sent 18 Draper runners to Junior Olympic Nationals recently where McKay Wells finished third overall in the 9-10-year-old division while helping his team finish 15th. Drew Croshaw and Logan Dorny were part of the eighth place 8U boys team and Samantha Tenzer finished 32nd in the 8U girls division.

Draper’s Nan Kennard has running in her blood. So when the former two-time All-American at Brigham Young University returned to Utah three years ago and couldn’t find track programs around like the ones in Boulder, Colorado—where she had lived and coached—she decided to start her own. Race Cats, which is sanctioned by USA Track and Field, has been growing ever since around the Utah, Salt Lake and Davis County areas with expansion set for Weber County as well. “The goal is a statewide league,” Kennard said. “Last year, we had 18 teams with over 600 kids throughout the Utah, Salt Lake and Davis county areas. All of the directors running their areas are former BYU teammates and six of us are Level 1 USA Track and Field–certified coaches.” “Nan has been a tremendous force in creating this program,” said Corner Canyon High track and field coach Devin Moody. “She’s getting kids running and doing a great job.” At the recent Junior Olympic Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida, Draper’s McKay Wells

placed third overall in the 9-10-year-old division, leading his team to a 15th place finish. Other Draper runners on the 9-10 boys team were Sean Seely, Porter Jensen and Sharva Jarkenar. The 8U boys team, which included Draper’s Drew Croshaw and Logan Dorny, had a top 10 finish, coming in eighth place, while Draper’s Samantha Tenzer took 32nd in the 8U girls division. Other Draper runners who qualified for Nationals were Kennard’s daughters, Ali and Bre, along with Abbi Anderson, John Croshaw, Anna Dorny, Matt Dorny, Asher Hartey, Avery Hartey, Audrey Johanson, Grayson Milne and Anna Nelson. Thirteen other area runners qualified for nationals for the Race Cats: Isaac Allen, Kenny Briggs, Luke Briggs, Pyper Houghton, Brady Houghton, Cole Jameson, Breelyssa Leeper, Preston Marketts, Adam Moody, Christian Pettit, Gavin Pettit, Brooklyn Tarr and Caleb Tarr. Kennard directs the Draper/Sandy area of Race Cats, which is a seven-week track program that provides top-level coaching for students in first through six grades who practice twice a week in an after-school running program. A Race Cats elite team is also offered. Registration for the spring league will be in early February. More information can be found at www.racecats.org. “My vision for Race Cats is to facilitate opportunities for youth to discover running at a younger age than I did,” Kennard said. “I’ve designed the Race Cats program to be fun and positive so we can ignite a love of exercise in young

children. I want them to experience the positive physical and mental benefits, confidence, joy and lifelong friendships that running provides.” Kennard also emphasizes goal setting and learning principles daily that will help young peo-

ple in running and in life. “I think it’s important to teach perseverance in life and running gives you those opportunities to fail and pick yourself up,” she said. “It is so rewarding to teach the youth community those lessons.” l

Draper’s McKay Wells (second from right) placed third overall in the 9-10-year-old age group at the recent Junior Olympic Nationals, helping his team to a 15th place finish. (Photo/Nan Kennard)


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Page 16 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

Canyons Middle School debate program grows as student interest increases By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


undreds of Canyons School District middle school students filled the halls and classrooms at Mt. Jordan after school one day last fall. Some were talking as fast as they could while others scribbled notes. Yet others were found pacing or reciting in the hallways. These students are part of the district’s middle school debate program, which gives students a chance to try their hand at either debate or speech, said Leslie Robinett, district English language arts specialist, who coordinates the program. “This gives students a real-world application of English and language arts,” she said. “They need to form an argument, research, write, speak and listen and this tests those skills. They work individually or with another in the competition, but ultimately, they’re part of their school team and are learning teamwork as well.” She said these skills — critical thinking, reasoning and communication — also will translate to their classroom work as well as benefit them in the real world. Robinett said the program has steadily grown since she received a grant five years ago to help make debate an extension of the core curriculum. The result has been six of the eight middle schools developing at least one class, with Midvale and Butler middle schools looking into the possibility of adding classes in the future. “This means most of these students are getting class time in addition to the one hour each

Draper Park, Union, Albion and Mount Jordan middle schools’ varsity policy debate winners celebrate after the first debate tournament of the school year. (Leslie Robinett/Canyons School District)

week after school. They’re able to learn more from returning students, mentors and coaches in addition to researching and practicing,” she said. The interest has increased alongside. Last year, Robinett said about 250 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students across the district participated. This year, the number has increased to about


The students compete in four areas — policy debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, original oratory speech and extemporaneous speaking. Policy, which at this tournament had 95 entries — 190 students — participate, is the area more students pursue as many of the students get an opportunity

to compete in fifth grade, she said. While not all middle school coaches have a debate background, Robinett meets with all coaches regularly to share ideas and talk about the season’s tournaments. Draper Park Coach Jared Collette said he came to coaching debate without having prior debate knowledge. “I’ve learned on the spot,” he said. “I’m a history teacher and political junkie so I like to see both sides of the issues. Personally, I like to examine each issue, but in debate, kids ‘spread talk,’ or talk extremely fast to get in as many arguments they can in a short time.” Collette said he’s been on a learning curve as “debate has its own language and culture,” so he relies upon a University of Utah student and an Alta High student to mentor students along with assistant coach and math teacher Mike Armstrong. “Our debate students are learning how to analyze, think, question, respond to questions and see other people’s points of view. Our extemporaneous and oratory students are presenting with quality speaking skills. All these skills will help students with life in civil engagement,” he said. The next tournaments are Jan. 11, 2018 and March 15, 2018, which will extend invitations to schools outside the district. The season will continue through the district and state tournaments in April. l

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February 2018 | Page 17

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JDHCS girls basketball reloading on court By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


ummary: The defending state champion Juan Diego Catholic High School basketball squad returns just three upperclassmen this season and is gaining experience as a young team so far this year. The Juan Diego Catholic High School girls basketball team has won two of the last three state championships, but are now in a bit of a rebuilding mode. At press deadline, the Soaring Eagle squad was 7-9 and riding a three-game winning streak. “We are a very young team this year,” head coach Ashley McKray said. “I start three sophomores, and the youth shows up from time to time during games.” Sophomore Laulea Tavake averages a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds a game, while her sister Eva Tavake adds six points and five rebounds as well. “They are huge for us,” McKray said. “They love the game of basketball and enjoy playing each and every game. They are ultra-competitive and hate losing. They bring energy and excitement to the court.” Sophomore Kiely Rasmussen leads Juan Diego in scoring with just over 11 points a game. The point guard has put in 26 3-pointers so far this year. “Kiely is a great shooter and ball handler for us,” McKray said. “She doesn’t seem to run out of energy and keeps fighting until the end.” McKray also noted the contributions of se-

nior Kallie Craig, who brings an average of four points and four boards a game to the team. “Kallie is a motivator and a fighter for us,” McKray said. “What she does for our team doesn’t always show up in the stats, but she is invaluable to our team.” Others on the 2017–18 squad include junior Lindsey Holly; sophomores Brianna Ahlstrom, Marissa Butkovich, Maya Sherrell, Lauren Anderson, Aranza Tellez, Alexis Hosking, Alexis Dooley, Dana Alcala and Autumn Price; and freshmen Cierra Turner, Melissa Malanga, Cassidy Azarcon, Ilene Magana, Hailey Carlson, Brooke Smalls, Ahea Tavake, Eliana Moreno, Sam Griffis, Isabelle Alamilla, Sophia Lopez, Fernanda Duenas, Vanessa Zavala, Elizabeth Hardin and Paola Severo. Juan Diego began the year with a 48-43 win over North Sevier Nov. 21 and have also defeated Hunter 41-28 (Nov. 28), Desert Hills 40-34 (Dec. 2), South Sevier 34-30 (Dec. 16), Ogden 43-35 (Jan. 4), Park City 45-26 (Jan. 9) and Ben Lomond 45-38 (Jan. 11), with losses to Snow Canyon 5439 (Nov. 30), Hurricane 40-35 (Dec. 1), Richfield 43-29 (Dec. 15), Ridgeline 44-33 (Dec. 19), Summit Academy 49-28 (Dec. 29), Judge Memorial 54-48 (Dec. 30) and Bonneville 58-38 (Jan. 3). “We have set some measurable goals for us with stats, and if we can achieve those then the wins and losses will work themselves out,” McKray said. “For example, our tallest player is five-

foot-eight so we have set a goal to try and out-rebound our opponent by three rebounds a game. If we meet our goals, then it will show a lot of growth on our part.” McKray is being assisted by Amie Thax-

Juan Diego’s girls basketball team returned to the court to defend its state title with a young team and are currently 7-9 on the season. (Shooting Star Photography)

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Draper City Journal

Salt Lake County Council’s


South Salt Lake City Editorial By Richard Snelgrove Salt Lake County Councilman at Large

to these and other popular venues would be higher and possibly out of reach for Richard Snelgrove many of our citizens. The same is true of many of our arts organizations. The Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Pioneer Memorial Theater, Utah Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum and Ballet West are the most well-known of these. But, there are many other large and small organizations that provide quality entertainment and cultural exposure to hundreds of thousands of patrons including the Draper Historic Theatre and the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society. In addition, many of these arts organizations donate free tickets to disadvantaged residents as part of their agreement to receive ZAP funding. Lastly, Salt Lake County owns and operates 30 regional parks and recreational centers. These facilities are heavily used, as anyone who has visited them can attest. Because of this demand, in part, we are in the process of building additional ZAP supported parks and centers to make these types of facilities available to additional residents. Indeed, as a custodian of these funds, I am regularly approached by city mayors and other civic leaders requesting further ZAP funded services in their communities. They express appreciation for the facilities they have and acknowledge that they are well used. I extend my appreciation to the taxpayers of Salt Lake County for making the ZAP program possible and I can assure the taxpayers that in this program, they are getting their money’s worth. l

I believe that the citizens I serve realize, for the most part, that basic public services such as roads, courts, planning and zoning, police, fire and paramedic, etc. are best left to local governments. These services are, of course, funded by taxes. Taxpayers rightfully expect efficient services in exchange for their hard-earned tax dollars. For the most part, particularly at the state and local level, I believe that is what they are receiving. In saying this, I want to highlight a program where I believe the taxpayers are getting an exceptional “bang for the buck”. It is the Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) program. This program is funded by a tenth of a cent sales tax in Salt Lake County and raises over $23 million per year. The ZAP program was reauthorized by the voters in 2014 with 77% support. In Salt Lake County, the ZAP program is administered by two employees. A recommendation on the allocation of funds is made by two advisory committees made up of city mayors and other community volunteers. The final decision on the allocation of funds is then made by the Salt Lake County Council. In December, the County Council authorized the disbursement of $13.3 million of funds to worthy ZAP Tier I and Zoological organizations. This program helps fund a broad range of activities across the Salt Lake Valley. It is likely that you or someone you know has taken children or grandchildren to the Hogle Zoo, The Living Planet Aquarium or the Tracy Aviary, which together see millions of visitors per year. If not for the support received from the ZAP program, ticket prices

Salt Lake County Council’s


ith the state legislative session underway, the Salt Lake County Council is keeping an eye on a number of bills that could impact our county residents. Although there will be many interesting issues, here are some that I will be paying particular interest to. Over the last year, homelessness has been a focal point of county, state, and city leaders in the Salt Lake area. With the spike in criminal behavior and victimization in the Rio Grande district of downtown Salt Lake, and with help from Operation Rio Grande, much of our time has been spent discussing solutions and allocating additional resources. We appreciate our state partners in this endeavor. Though Operation Rio Grande has had many successes, we’re certainly not finished. Providing the right tools for our homeless residents to get back on their feet is a long-term effort. As any legislation arises to fund homeless services or alter current programs or resources, we’ll

Homelessness, poverty, mental health among issues to watch this legislative session

examine how it accomplishes the goals to help all our Salt Lake County residents be successful. Part of solving the homelessness crisis also must include affordable housing. Far too many county residents can’t find suitable housing that they can afford, while struggling to make ends meet. Currently, community reinvestment projects must set aside 10 percent of their budget to go toward affordable housing. This is a helpful funding stream that shouldn’t be taken away without a suitable replacement source of funding. The best way to address the homeless issue is a combination of law enforcement response to the criminal element (specifically targeting the drug trade), short-term resources for housing and other immediate services so families no longer have to live on the streets, and longer term jobs, education and training options so they have the skills and resources to become self-sufficient. These long-term

resources will naturally have to include affordable housing as a key component. I look forward to the work of our legislators to move these goals forward this session. Last year the County Council approved my proposal to launch the Salt Lake County Intergenerational Poverty Task Force to look at ways to increase access to opportunity for those residents who are struggling the most to make ends meet. I’m hopeful that legislation this session will move us closer to accomplishing the goal of expanded opportunity, upward mobility, and empowering impoverished Utahns with the tools to earn their success and climb out of poverty. Lastly, I’m encouraged by Governor Gary Herbert’s recent creation of the youth suicide task force. I’ve written in detail about this issue before, as it touches many of us personally, and all too painfully. I hope that with more efforts as a community, we can increasingly convey hope and help to each and every teen who may be

struggling. I ’ l l continue fighting for better resources, Aimee Winder Newton like the County Council District 3 w i l d l y successful SafeUT app, and the proposed three digit crisis line, to help our teens overcome any mental health crises they face, and take a step forward into a life filled with more happiness and hope. We owe this to our children. These issues are often weighty and difficult to fix. But that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the good work done by so many in Utah who serve in state, county, and city leadership roles. I look forward to the tremendous progress we can make as we work together as Utahns in the coming year. l

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You were just in a car accident, now what?


nless you’re one of the few anomalies in the world, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve experienced that sickening feeling when your car makes unwanted contact with another vehicle. We’re frustrated and disheartened. While we may want to crawl into a hole, we can’t. There are things to do and we’ve given you 10 to be aware of (in no particular order). 1. Have an emergency kit in your car. While this step comes before the accident occurs, it’s essential to be prepared. Whatever you kit entails, make sure it has a first aid kit, flashlight, reflective triangles and a small (and simple) camera in case there’s been damage to your phone. We’re typically frustrated or frazzled after an accident and not inclined to rational thinking. Being prepared limits the possibility of forgetfulness. 2. Take a deep breath. Accidents are traumatic experiences. Taking a breath will shift focus from what just happened to what needs to be done next. 3. Get a status check on everyone in the car. Check with each passenger to see if they are OK. Have someone call 911 immediately if someone is injured or unresponsive. 4. Move to a safe location. Most insurance companies recommend relocating the vehicle to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as soon as possible after the accident. If the damage to the car is minor, this should be relatively easy. But if there are major injuries or questions about the safety of the car, leave it where it is, even if its blocking traffic. 5. Increase your visibility. Turn on your hazard lights and set out your attention items from the emergency kit—flares, orange cones, reflective triangles, etc. One accident should not lead to another. Take precaution to ensure other drivers on the road remain safe. 6. Stay calm. It is very easy to lose your temper in this situation, it’s human nature. Keeping your cool will keep the situation from

getting worse. If it wasn’t your fault, it’s easy to want to let your emotions loose on the other driver. This will cloud your judgment and may lead to something that does not help the situation. You still need to exchange information. 7. Exchange insurance information. This is imperative. If you are to file a claim on your car, you will need the other driver’s information. Most likely, after an accident you are feeling jumpy or stressed. It means when you try to write down their information your handwriting will look like ancient hieroglyphics and, unless you are a cryptographer, will be unable to read it later. We live in the 21st Century, take a photo of their information and take photos of the damage done to both cars. 8. Don’t admit guilt. Every insurance company will tell you to do this. Even if you are at fault and it was you to blame. This could drive your premium up or even lead to you being sued. Let the police and insurance companies determine this. 9. Call the police. While some minor accidents don’t require a report to be filed, it’s up to the discretion of the drivers in the accident to call the police. Law enforcement can take statements, get information on injuries and property damage. Be sure to ask for a copy of the accident report. If there is a dispute, the officer will be an important testimony. 10. See a doctor. Depending on the injuries suffered or not, it is easy to skip this. A large financial situation has just happened with the car accident, you don’t want another one by seeing the doctor and jacking up your health costs. It’s important to consider it, or possibly speak with one. Adrenaline can be pumping after the accident and one might not notice the amount of whiplash to your neck. Symptoms can take 24 hours to appear. The warning signs include neck pain, stiffness, loss of motion in the neck, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and pain in the shoulders or upper back. It can be better to be safe than sorry. l

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February 2018 | Page 19

Page 20 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

Welcome to Draper City!

American bobsledder to visit schools during Olympics By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

We invite the Draper Business Community to join us in our annual February “Honor the Blue” Month. William E. Rappleye -President & CEO Call now for a poster: 801-553-0928 Ext 101 Email: wrappleye@integraonline.com

American bobsledder Jeremy Holm aims to visit one school a day during the Winter Olympic Games in February and the Paralympic Games in March. (Courtesy Jeremy Holm)


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raper’s Jeremy Holm will continue his efforts for his Day of Champions Foundation which supports student athletes, coaches and parents both in and out of the sporting arena. With the upcoming Olympics, he is aiming to visit one school a day — elementary, junior high, high schools or colleges — during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games from Feb. 9 through 25 and the Paralympic Games from March 8 through 18. The American bobsledder will bring an athlete or two and tell their stories and share motivational messages about goal setting, encouragement and any social issues the schools would like addressed. “We are always trying to reach out with our messages and encourage everyone

we talk to,” Holm said. “Doing this during the Olympics will give us an opportunity as well to help spread the excitement of the games as they are happening.” For information or scheduling, email Holm at jeremy@adayofchampions.com. Holm is also a published author with two books. His first, “The Champion’s Way,” teaches principles of success, and “Fire On Ice” shares experiences and life lessons from Holm’s career in bobsledding. For more information or to order, visit http://jeremycholm.com/ books/item/81-the-champions-way or http:// jeremycholm.com/books/item/84-fire-andice-book. He is currently working on a third book.l

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February 2018 | Page 21

DraperJournal .com

My Dumb Car By Dean Scott | d.Scott@mycityjournals.com


Dont Text & Drive

The 2018 Mazda 6, loaded with safety features to keep you safe on the road.


y car is a 2005 Ford Taurus. Knowing that, you can imagine that I am not a car guy. I am not a person that is necessarily impressed with something because of the shininess, rather, I look at things more functionally. My car gets me from point A to point B, several times a day. It gets 25 miles per gallon, the doors and windows work, the heater and air conditioner work, and best of all, it is paid for. Why would I need a new car? Until this week I would have made a passionate argument that I don’t need a new car. But over the last week my thoughts have changed. A few weeks ago my office got a new car on a loan with the instruction I could drive it for a week. They did not know what car, just that it would be a new one. I was excited. Then I got the phone call saying the car was at the office, it was a red 2017 Mazda 6, I was disappointed. A Mazda. I might as well just drive the Taurus. However, I was assured the Mazda was a nice car. I have 200,000 miles on the Taurus, so I thought at least I don’t have to put more miles on the Taurus. As soon as I sat in the car I was impressed, it had comfortable white leather bucket seats, smelled like a new car and it was modern and sleek. The excitement was back. But it was not the new smell that changed my mind, it wasn’t the comfortable seats that changed my mind, it was not the warranty. From my office to my home is about a 25-minute drive, from Sandy to Bountiful. In those 25 minutes, I learned my Taurus was dumb. Now I have always known that I drove a dumb car, but never understood that my car was dumb. The Mazda 6 was equipped with heads up display, keyless entry system, keyless start, rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, auto lights, auto high beams, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition system, radar cruise control, traction control system, and dynamic stability control. Those are just the things I figured out. My Taurus had given me no experience with such capabilities. The fact was obvious, this car was smart. This car knew things that I did not know, important things like when a car was in my blind spot or when I was drifting lanes. Technology is cool but doesn’t necessary impress me. Remember, I measure the functionality. And it was the tech’s functionality that impressed me. As soon as I started the car

the heads-up display came up on top of the dash. This allowed me to know the most important things I needed to know while driving, without me taking my eyes off the road. It showed me my speed, the speed limit, if there was a car in my blind spot, if I was drifting lanes and more. The Bluetooth telephone system allowed me to take calls without using my hands. In one swipe of my thumb, without my hands leaving the steering wheel, the call was answered. Until this moment, I did not realize how dangerous it was for me to use my handset while driving. Over the week I also noticed that I did not hold my phone while I was driving, which dramatically cut down on texting and other use of my phone while driving. I travel with two dogs and, like children, sometimes these dogs require attention in the back seat. So, I reach back and tend to them. The first time I did this with the Mazda I started to drift into the next lane. That is when I learned about lane departure warning and lane keep assist. The car alerted me that I was drifting lanes and it corrected the steering to keep me in the lane. Possible disaster avoided. The Mazda 6 is also equipped with controls in the center console, which are easy to learn and operate. This was nice because it allows you to maintain your driving position when using the radio, navigation system, Bluetooth phone, without having to reach up and touch a button on the dash or touch screen. In the 7 days that I drove the Mazda I don’t recall once reaching for the dash as I drove. All this tech seemed to keep my body in a better driving position, my eyes to the front, alerted me of dangers, presented me more data to allow me to be a better driver and when I wasn’t being that better driver, it softly nudged the steering wheel and put me back on target. So after spending a week with the new 2017 Mazda 6, I will be looking for a new car, or at least a newer car, but for sure a smarter car. I loved the Mazda and I hated to return to the Taurus, is that Mazda the right car for me? I don’t know. The Mazda was a great car and it appeared to be incredibly safe, so if you see a new Mazda 6 out there on the road with a smiling driver, it may be because I traded in my dumb car. l

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Page 22 | February 2018

Draper City Journal

Homemade Love



A commercial crazed Valentine’s Day can leave you broke. Americans spend billions of dollars to celebrate a holiday rumored to be started by Hallmark in order to sell cards—which aren’t cheap. Then there’s the overpriced dinners, expensive roses and the marked-up heart-shaped chocolate. Perhaps a more accurate expression of love can be found in homemade gifts, because your time, love and effort was put into them. Here are less expensive alternatives for homemade Valentine’s Day gifts; some not even requiring creativity. Instead of supporting Hallmark’s card industry (some cards are $13 now!), write your own card. It’s not that hard, I promise. Start by picking the front of your card. If you’re not feeling particularly magical, just print a picture. It can be a cartoon your sweetheart will find funny. Or perhaps print a photo of a fun memory, or something related to an interest of theirs. Now you’ll need to write something on the back or inside of the card. Google “Valentine’s Day card messages” for some inspiring poems and sayings. For more personalized content, close your eyes, think about your loved one and what they mean to you, type out your thoughts, and then write it on the card. Creating your own card doesn’t take too much time, and it’s usually


more memorable. Plus, you’ll save a few bucks! If you’re planning on buying candy or chocolate, don’t grab the heart-shaped ones. Candy specifically made for Valentine’s Day is anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars more than the everyday version of the same. Maybe it would be worth it if the candy tasted better, but usually the proportions are thrown off by festivity. I’d rather have a regularly proportioned Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, than a heart-shaped slab of peanut butter. One dozen red roses can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. Instead of buying something that will just die in a few days, make some flowers. This is where DIYers rejoice. It’s fairly simple to make some flowers out of material that won’t wilt. Pinterest is a great place to find instructions on how to make flowers out of any material you can imagine: books, tissue paper, felt, glass, cotton balls, buttons, seashells, pearls, Q-tips, pinecones, feathers, old jewelry, yarn, and even coffee filters. Unless you’re just aching to dine at a packed restaurant followed by watching a movie in a crowded theatre, don’t leave your house for Valentine’s Day this year. Luckily, we have many amazing streaming choices for entertainment. It’ll be much more relaxing to stay in, cook

dinner, pop your own popcorn, and watch a movie together. Cook your partner’s favorite meal. If you need help in that area, many grocery stores have readyto-prepare meals that can help you. Or, try cooking something completely new together. If a movie or TV show is decided upon beforehand, try cooking something from that show. A great place to find ideas for corresponding a meal and a movie is the YouTube channel called “Binging with Babish.”

The best way to save money on Valentine’s Day is to be different and perhaps delay celebrating it by a day or two. Personally, I love a post-Valentine celebration: Dinner reservations are easy. Candy is back to its normal price and, best of all, stores such as Smith’s usually put all of their festive items on sale the day after. That’s when I can go stock up on stuffed animals and heart-shaped candy for my loved one. l




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DraperJournal .com


Laughter AND




To Infinity and Beyond


s our country devolves into a 24/7 protest, people are casting their eyes to the stars. They’re either hoping for a) an asteroid to hit the planet, b) our alien overlords to save us from catastrophe or c) the chance to flee to Mars to populate (and eventually destroy) another planet. Life on this beautiful blue marble (or beautiful blue dinner plate if you’re a flat-Earther) has had a good run. We’ve evolved from being hunters/gatherers to being couch potatoes while creating technology that is certain to bring about our impending doom. Do we really need a talking fridge? But Mars! Oh, the possibilities! I envision a world where everyone lives in hexagonal domes, speaks in British-accented tones, and wears white flowing robes. That could be a problem. I can’t wear white, even when I’m not living on a planet covered in red dust. Every night I would look like a red chimney sweep. NASA wants to send the first humans to Mars in the 2030s, which creates an interesting predicament. I’ll be too old to populate anything, but every planet needs a wise old woman giving cryptic warnings to the younger generation. I could fill that role, assuming I survive the seven-month journey to the Red Planet. The possibility of relocating to the planet of war has become an animated

discussion in our home. Me: Would you want to live on Mars? Hubbie: Of course! Me: Wouldn’t you be afraid we’d die on the way there? Hubbie: Wait. You’re going, too? Seven months is a long time to give someone the silent treatment. Describing the flight to Mars, NASA uses magical terms like “transfer orbit” and “astronomical position” which I’ve learned are NOT part of the Kama Sutra. Voyagers traveling to Mars could lose fingernails, have spinal fractures and vision problems, and there’s always the chance you’ll upchuck in your spacesuit and suffocate after blocking the air system with your intergalactic vomit. So, there’s that. Once we land, we’ll spend a lot of time cleaning up abandoned movie sets that Abbott and Costello, Matt Damon and Santa Claus basically trashed during filming. But once that’s done, then what do we do? I guess people will build greenhouses and grow food. I won’t be on that crew because I can’t even grow mold. Others will install solar panels. Solar companies are already training door-to-door salesmen for the Mars market. There will be a team working on communications so we can keep up with our favorite Netflix shows and hopefully



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nights on Venus can last up to 120 days. Maybe then I could actually get eight hours of sleep. So, Mars it is. What if once we get settled, we find a prehistoric Statue of Liberty, buried in the red clay? We’ll discover that billions of years ago, people left Mars to travel to Earth because idiots were destroying the Red Planet. Like one of those giant leaps for mankind, only backwards. There’s no chance of me relocating to another planet. But I can still stare at the stars and watch Mars twinkle in the distance. I just hope it’s not flat like Earth. l


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591 Pioneer Road • Draper, Utah 84020 | 801-951-1300


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Draper Feb 2018  

Draper Feb 2018  

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