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February 2019 | Vol. 13 Iss. 02


11-YEAR-OLD RUNNER WINS NATIONALS By Catherine Garrett | c.garrettt@mycityjournals.com


raper’s McKay Wells, 11, finished first at the USATF Cross Country National Championships in Reno, Nev. Dec. 8, crossing the finish line ahead of 358 other runners in the 11-12 age division. It was McKay Wells’ fifth appearance at nationals, having placed in the top four each year since he was 7. He has earned six All-American honors — and, therefore, that has come with the recognition — among more than 50 medals in cross country and track events over the past few years. “You never know who’s going to show up at nationals so you have to be on your toes all the time,” McKay’s father Jason said. “We know a lot of the other competitors and we felt like we would have been happy with a top five finish. But, it was snowy and muddy so that was to McKay’s advantage over some top runners from California. He had a dominant lead, passing these guys within the first kilometer of the 3K race.” McKay, son of Jason and Stacy Wells of Draper, has been running since he was 5 years old. His dad said he knew McKay could run fast so he entered the two of them in the Santa Clara (UT) Swiss Days 5K “to see if he could run that far.” “I’m thinking, ‘Hey, come run this with me,’ and then I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t get trampled, but then he just goes and takes off and left me in the dust,” Jason Wells said. McKay ended up finishing first in his age group and 28th overall while running a 21:41, which turned out to be under seven minutes a mile, beating his dad’s personal record. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was just thinking, ‘Holy smokes, McKay, you are amazing!’ I guess all that marathon and Ironman training I had done was no match for his raw talent.” McKay’s mother Stacy said she received a call from his school shortly after the 5K race asking about their “fast African-American kid” and put them in touch with the coach of a local youth cross-country team who invited McKay to the state USATF Cross Country championships the very next week. McKay ended up winning the 8-and-under state championship — as a 6 year old — but wasn’t old enough to compete at nationals that year. Later that spring, McKay began running with Quickfeet Track Club, under the coaching of Snow Canyon High School coach Justin Redfearn. “We tried the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meters and the longer the distance the higher he placed,” Stacy said. “He was a natural distance runner.” At the age of 7, he placed third at the USATF Junior

Draper’s McKay Wells won the 11–12-year-old national championship at the USATF Cross Country National Championships in Reno, Nev. Dec. 8. (Photo courtesy Jason Wells)

Olympics in the 1500 meters, and the next year he won the Hersheys National Championships in the same event. When McKay’s family moved from the St. George area to Draper three years ago, there were no youth running programs until former BYU runner — and Draper resident — Nan Kennard started Race Cats. The program is expanding with dozens of teams and hundreds of runners throughout the state. This past year, 68 Race Cats runners qualified for nationals. “She has done an amazing job building a program that has grown throughout the Wasatch Front,” Stacy Wells said. “Nan makes running fun for these kids and the program she is building is super impressive,” Jason Wells said. “She’s done an amazing job building and growing a youth running pipeline for Utah.” McKay also plays basketball and soccer year round,

with his parents continuing to encourage him to participate in cross country and track. Jason Wells called his son “a gamer” who is naturally fast. “McKay likes to have fun, so you’ll often find him running back a bit to talk with his friends while he’s running,” Stacy Wells said. “However, when he gets into a race, he goes all out. During a 1500-meter race he wasn’t feeling well and actually vomited on his third lap. Regardless, he finished with a PR.” McKay said, “I don’t really like to run that much, I just like to win.” He plans on defending his national championship in the winter and continuing to run as his schedule allows. “We just kind of go at his pace and let him go and do,” Jason Wells said. So, for now, the “fun-loving, lean kid” will keep on running. l

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C ITY OURNAL The Draper City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Draper. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.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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MOMS coming together to make a difference in the community By Michelynne McGuire | m.mcguire@mycityjournals.com


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he MOMS Club of Draper (Moms Offering Moms Support) is an organization about uniting stay-at-home moms and advancing the community through their work. The MOMS Club of Draper is a local chapter, from the larger organization known as International Moms Club. The website can be found at www.momsclub.org. Ayse Hannon is the president of the nonprofit MOMS Club of Draper. “Our main focus is to be a support group to stay-at-home moms,” Hannon said. The organization requires each chapter to complete at least one service project throughout the year that will benefit other children, women or families. But the Draper club’s leadership — made up of Hannon, Carissa Irving, Lori Cameron, Christa Hutchison and Suzanne Hogsed — and its other members take on more than one service project a year. The club also works as a liaison to those who have a charity they run, or a person that may know of a charity that could benefit from the support of the MOMS club. In 2018 during the holidays, the board members, club members and firefighters from Fire Station 22 worked collectively to make sure some families in need had a brighter season. When the MOMS had their event, called Kids in the Kitchen, they asked participants to make a treat in their home with their children, then hand-delivered the treats together to the firefighters at Fire Station 22. The treats were given as a gesture of gratitude for the firefighters’ continued hard work and persistence during the outbreak of fires in 2018. That experience propelled MOMS into their next service project, when the firefighters gave them a tour, talked with them, and informed them of a program the firefighters were hosting, called the Angel Tree program. “The Angel Tree giving project allows

community members to become subs for Santa,” said Hannon. Hannon noted that the program stems from the original concept established in 2014, known as the Lake Foundation with the Angel Tree Project. “This really sparked interest in our group, so we used group funds to complete the wish list of one entire family, and then our club volunteers dropped off items to fulfill stocking stuffers for all three families,” Hannon said. With the added assistance from MOMS, the program fulfilled more holiday hopes. Irving, vice president, commented on how the project had “such huge impact the fire department extended an accompaniment to deliver the gifts.” The MOMS are anticipating the commencement of their next project: to work with the South Valley extension of the Utah Food Bank, located at the Adventure Church in Draper, west off the I-15. This food bank feeds close to 4,000 families a month, and is always accepting canned goods and basic hygiene products. If interested in offering support or looking for support, the MOMS Club of Draper can be reached at drapermomsclub@gmail. com The MOMS Club of Draper appreciates when local organizations host free events for the MOMS club members, or their kids; they also can accept contributions toward one of their service projects or take ads in their monthly newsletter. If interested in joining your local chapter or perhaps starting a chapter in your own area, information can be found from the larger organization, International Moms Club at www.momsclub.org. For further information you can also check out their Facebook page: Draper MOMS Club.

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From left to right: Christa Hutchison, secretary; Carissa Irving, vice president; Ayse Hannon, president; Alexa Raynes, events coordinator; and Stephanie Rowan-Bailey, member. (Photo courtesy M.O.M.S Club of Draper)

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Summit Academy introduces maker class, named finalist in Samsung STEM contest By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


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The maker class preparing for their next challenge. (Photo courtesy Kelly Jeppson)


er students were excited and her principal was proud, but Kelly Jeppson was surprised. “Here I am this English teacher and I’m a finalist in a STEM contest,” she said about the competition designed to increase student interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Jeppson, however, led the push to introduce a maker class at Summit Academy’s junior high, which began this term. Eighteen students are enrolled, many of whom helped brainstorm ideas and gave input in the $2 million Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest application. “We needed to identify a problem in our community or our school community that we could use technology to solve,” she said about the proposal, which was due in October. “STEM is about team working and using the engineering design process to solve real problems. We came up with a lot of ideas, but ultimately decided to reduce waste in our lunchroom.” Outlining the main problems in their lunchroom, from using Styrofoam trays to excess food waste and how the students wanted to compost, re-use materials or develop new technology for the trays, were the concepts Jeppson used when submitting the idea. In November, she learned Summit Academy was one of 250 state finalists in the contest. Four other schools across the state were selected based on their creative and strategic proposals to solve issues affecting communities by using STEM learning. Each school received a Samsung tablet. Jeppson then submitted examples of class curriculum and lesson plans for the judges. “It’s given us a good jump-off point for our class. We can talk to other schools, research what’s been done, and see ways we can take a problem and come up with a

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solution. I am a believer in a maker space or environment, where students are learning, solving problems with their own hands,” she said. In late December, Jeppson learned Summit Academy’s project was not the state winner and wouldn’t advance to the next round. But, she said, she was urged to identify materials they would need for their project and apply for a Donors Choose grant. Through a link on Donors Choose, Jeppson learned about the Samsung national contest after Chevron matched her grant request. “I already have gotten some class supplies that total about $800 on Donors Choose,” she said about safety goggles, a cordless drill, Raspberry Pi single-board computers for computer science and other materials. In the classroom, Jeppson is ensuring students understand the engineering design process as they explore through project-based learning. Students started with understanding concepts. They held a paper airplane launch, and next will make a tower from spaghetti and marshmallows and an earthquake-proof building with popsicle sticks and other materials. In late January, they planned to create seedling pots out of recycled materials and distribute those with seeds at the school’s STEM fair. By the end of the term, they’ll be identifying their own projects to solve using technology, Jeppson said. “We’ll definitely apply for the Samsung STEM contest next year,” she said. “It’s been a great experience.” l

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World-renowned Irish violinist featured at Irish dance concert By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals.com


he Scariff School of Irish Dance celebrated a night of Celtic dance on Dec. 14 in Draper. The school, which has branches in Sandy, North Salt Lake, Logan, Lehi and Daybreak, is directed by Stephen Scariff. The evening showcased Irish dancers of all ages, and featured Scariff’s friend Máiréad Nesbitt on violin. Nesbitt, whose first name is pronounced like “parade” with an “m,” is best known from her time as a violinist with the group Celtic Woman. She came over from Ireland for the performance and accompanied several of the dances on her violin. “Mr. Scariff is one of my very best friends, and we worked in the Lord of the Dance show together,” said Nesbitt during a meet-and-greet session after the show. How Scariff ended up in Utah “is a long story.” “My brother taught here for seven years, and then he left to go back to Ireland and I took over the school,” Scariff said. The performance, “A Celtic Winter’s Night,” featured a full program with dancers of all ages. The dancers were mostly female, but there were several men and young men as well, including Dallen Smith. Smith is one of four dancers from the school who will compete in the 2019 World Championship Qualifiers in April. Stacy Lynch has been dancing with the Scariff School for 13 years, and sometimes

Page 8 | February 2019

Left to Right: Abby Whitchurch, Sarah Bromley, Lexi Farnsworth, Elle Deschenes, Mia Leonelli, Anna Hatch and Emma McFee of the Scariff School perform during the holiday concert. (Photo Courtesy Richard Lynch/ www.richimagesutah.com)

gets a funny reaction when she tells people what she does. “They usually say, ‘Wait, you do that?’ Irish dancing isn’t super popular in Utah. But if you know the world and you compete, you know a lot of the dancers in other states,” Lynch said. Lynch’s favorite dance of the night was “Distant Thunder,” which is performed a capella. “I love that number. It’s from the show ‘Riverdance.’ It showcases the power and variety of Irish dance when we use the hard shoes and make our own rhythms. When you don’t have the music you have to try harder to be all together,” Lynch said. Lynch attends rehearsals three times a week, learning new dances and polishing

some of the staple performance numbers. “One thing I like about Irish dance is that it continues on. In other disciplines dancers may peak at age 20. We have dancers at our school who are 6 all the way to people in their 50s,” said Lynch. Nesbitt, who also played for the school’s 2017 holiday performance and is booked for 2019, was gracious about joining the school for the evening’s performance. “It was my honor to be here in Utah with the students of Scariff School. This is my second time here, and I absolutely love coming here. It’s getting to be a tradition now for me,” Nesbitt said. “I love all the kids and of course my

Irish violinist Máiréad Nesbitt is best known for her work with Celtic Woman. She accompanied many of the dances during the Scariff School’s performance. (Photo Courtesy Richard Lynch/www.richimagesutah.com)

best friend Stephen,” Nesbitt continued. “We all know he’s an amazing dancer, he’s an incredible dancer. But he’s also an incredible teacher. It’s really my honor to be here.” The school also advertised the classes offered during their 2019 season to those in attendance. With its ties to the professional Irish dance world and the opportunity to dance with one of the most recognized violinists in the world, Scariff School may be one of the best-kept secrets in Utah for those who love Irish culture. l

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February 2019 | Page 9

Students told to follow their passions for possible professions at career day By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com reer.” First-grader Amelia Ray, who has a small white and gray spotted dog named Rainy, may have been the only one who didn’t raise her hand wanting to be an acrobat. “He’s really flexible, can do some cool tricks and he’s really disciplined,” she said. “I want to be a dogsitter when I’m older.” First-grade teacher Aimee Anderson said Career Day is beneficial, even to 6 year-olds. “This gives them great exposure to careers, some of which they may not have known existed,” she said. “We also learn how many of them help our community, which we will study next week.” Carpenter Nathan Hampton told other students how math was important, how carpenters are in demand in the workforce and how a general knowledge of construction is good for everyone to know. Then, he challenged them to use their skills to build a tower. Teacher Sarah Roberts said students may know about construction as a career, but not that carpentry is a specialty. “He can touch so many people through his work and they may not realize it,” she said. “This allows them to expand their minds how what they’re studying applies to career options.” Physical therapist Stephen Francis asked students to stand on one foot. “If you have problems with hearing, you could have trouble with balance,” he

said. “Sometimes, people don’t relate the two things. Balance even affects you when a car takes off too fast.” Although Francis said he enjoys his career, he suggested students try different things as they grow up to find something they love and then work hard to succeed. That, in a sense, is what Amy Balls did. She took her love of mountain climbing and skiing and children to become a climbing coach and a ski team instructor. “I moved here and turned what I enjoy and do with my kids into fun jobs,” she said. “I teach the basic skills for them to climb or to be on the ski team and it results in kids gaining confidence in themselves.” Fourth-grader Brody Zarbock said he appreciated learning about playing violin and teaching orchestra from Vanessa Crowshaw, but also listened keenly to the labor and delivery nurse, Lindsay Hickok, as he may want to become a doctor. Classmate Drew Crowshaw said he learned all about procurement from Paul England, but also learned it’s good to do what he likes. “I hadn’t thought of a career like his,” Drew said. “But I think I want to be like my dad, a businessman.” Oak Hollow also held its Career Day on Dec. 7. Willow Springs plans to hold its career day on April 19. l

Acrobat Lance Nielsen demonstrates a handstand to first-graders at Draper Elementary’s Career Day. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


y the time Lance Nielsen was done talking to a room full of first-graders, most of them wanted to join the circus. The acrobat and Aerobatics Circus Center owner turned his passion of gymnastics and diving into a career and shared the message with Draper Elementary students during the school’s Career Day. “I took what I loved and turned it into a career,” he said. “It’s not a job, but something I love to do and I get to do it every day.” Nielsen was one of about 20 speakers lined up for students to hear the last day of November. “There are so many amazing parents here who answered our call to speak about their careers and we have such diversity we’re introducing to children,” said organizer Chris Morgan. “Students already are learning soft skills at school such as punctuality, working with others, listening, com-

Page 10 | February 2019

municating, problem solving, that this is a way they can learn how those skills along with math, reading, science and more can translate into careers.” Nielsen, who was a diver at the Mayan restaurant before it closed and was an acrobat during Utah Jazz and Utah Blaze games, didn’t realize he could make his love for those sports turn into a career. However, Nielsen told students it’s just getting out there to perform. First, he uses math to ensure he performs the stunt in the right amount of space. He also ensures the equipment he’s using is safe and not in need of repair. He also studied muscles and how to maintain his health. “Just as a car needs gas, I need to eat healthy so I’m strong,” he said. “It takes a lot of practice and discipline. School teaches discipline and focus so it’s important you do what is taught and expected, because learning those skills can take you far in any ca-

Carpenter Nathan Hampton challenged first-graders to use their skills to build a tower at Draper Elementary’s Career Day. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Draper City Journal

Corner Canyon High’s Wilder named Most Improved in heart challenge, all teacher participants win By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


fter 100 days, Corner Canyon High teacher Mindy Wilder dropped 44 pounds. This helped her edge out competition with 13 other high school teachers across the Salt Lake Valley to win the Most Improved title in the 2018 My Heart Challenge, which helped her earn $1,000 for her school. However, all the teachers say they were winners in improving their own health. Through the program, all the teachers received individual coaching and counseling from heart experts at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, talking to exercise specialists, dietitians, counselors and cardiologists. They were introduced to various exercises, which they might not have been familiar with from yoga to boxing, and participated in weekly health assessments. Together, they exercised 46,194 minutes and lost 212 pounds. Their cholesterol levels decreased 14 percent while their triglycerides dropped 32 percent. Through an increase of 18 percent of aerobic fitness, their body fat went down 19 percent. Wilder, who already was familiar with healthy eating and lifestyle from being the school’s volleyball coach and physical education chair, made the effort to also share what she learned with students. “Everything I learned, I took back to my ninth-grade class, including nutrition and exercise logs,” Wilder said. “They made a lot of progress. The volleyball team was very engaged and preferred fruit and vegetables over snack foods.” She said her volleyball team also kept her on track through reminders and asking about her progress. Wilder also introduced yoga to nearby Crescent Elementary in Sandy in early November, getting six classes of third- and fourth-graders to become active. “The elementary kids became more flexible,” she said. “It was fun to see them take an interest and liking to trying something new.” Wilder is committed to continuing the program even though the challenge is over. “I learned little things that will make a lifetime change for me,” she said. She isn’t alone. She had the support of faculty members, some who joined her in the effort, including Principal Darrell Jensen. “I lost 35 pounds and I started earlier, but her commitment motivated others to join her in workouts and lead healthier lives,” he said. “She’s set a great example for our students and especially our student-athletes.” The overall winner was Taylorsville High School English teacher Kevin Harwood, who used the book The Jungle as a platform to have class discussions about prepared and processed foods. About 500 Taylorsville High students also listened to a Cornell University profesDraperJournal .com

sor, who Harwood arranged to come to classes and speak about the ethics of farming, protecting the forests and environment, and heart disease associated with a red meat diet. Harwood decided to take part in the challenge to be a more active grandfather. “For me, participating in the challenge was a wake-up call. It got me thinking about what I’m doing and how it takes time to develop healthy habits,” he said. Before the contest, Harwood admits he developed poor habits after running the 1994 St. George marathon and would eat weekly at a Mexican restaurant and turn on Netflix instead of hitting a treadmill and eating fruits and vegetables. “I learned valuable information that transformed my life,” he said, adding that his family also participated, including the family dog, Daisy, who took him on four-mile daily walks. Other teachers shared what they learned to their classes and schools. Pepper Poulsen, at Bingham High in South Jordan, involved students, who performed a rap at the December awards ceremony. At Jordan High in Sandy, Nicole Manwaring, who biked to work, had her school participate in tracking steps as well as having the chef program at the school prepare a healthy meal in December. She even got the preschoolers to learn to exercise while learning their letters, said Principal Wendy Dau. Murray High’s Keeko Georgelas worked with their school’s culinary arts students to hold a fundraiser dinner for heart research for Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, which could help pay living expenses for families of patients undergoing heart transplants. “I hope it becomes an annual event,” he said. “This impacted my life as well as students and faculty at Murray.” Kristina Kimble, of Alta High in Sandy, said it was easier knowing other teachers also were committed to the program. “I can email or talk to any of these teachers and know that we will continue to be supportive of one another,” she said. “It’s not over. It’s a lifetime commitment. We all succeeded in becoming healthier so we all won.” In Canyons School District, besides Wilder, Manwaring and Kimble, Brighton High’s Pace Gardner and Hillcrest High’s Jordan Hulet also participated in the challenge. l


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Corner Canyon High’s Mindy Wilder and Taylorsville High’s Kevin Harwood came away with Most Improved and Overall Winner titles, respectively, in the teacher 2018 My Heart Challenge. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)





February 2019 | Page 11

High school students learn gratitude, lend hand to community organizations By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

Corner Canyon student leaders revealed the amount students raised for the Tyler Robinson Foundation at their winter fundraiser assembly. (Photo courtesy of Corner Canyon High)


shy 5-year-old boy sat on his mother’s lap upon a throne, the center of attention of 2,300 Alta High School students. Draper Park kindergartner William Burton, who was diagnosed with leukemia one year ago in January, already has undergone monthly treatments that have included steroids and chemotherapy. He was the face of Alta High’s effort to grant wishes to children at the Make-a-Wish Foundation. High school students across the Salt Lake Valley reached out to community organizations this winter season to bring them joy and help, and at the same time, became grateful for what they have. William, the youngest child of Chris and Julie Burton, both who graduated from Alta, likes to play goalie in soccer and loves being buried in the sand. His wish is to go to Hawaii where he hopes to see sea turtles and dolphins. “This is a life-changer for him, for all of us,” Burton said. “There are so many people who are reaching out, giving us support. It definitely lightens our spirits.” At the final assembly, which carried a Hawaiian theme, and students as well as Will’s family were taught a hula dance, Alta students learned the first high school to ever reach out to Make-a-Wish was theirs. “We love helping Make-a-Wish,” senior class vice president Braque Bunkall said. “We love children; they are so kind, sweet and loving. Will makes this more relatable for us so we can see the impact we’re making.” Bunkall said that through a variety of activities, from ping pong and spike ball tournaments to selling hot chocolate and performing odd jobs, students have helped donate funds earmarked for Make-a-Wish. As of press deadline, students raised $20,000, enough money to not only support

Page 12 | February 2019

Will, but also the wishes of four other children, with two more events to be held, said Principal Brian McGill. Nearby Jordan High reached out to help the Utah Refugee Center, as did students at Brighton High in Cottonwood Heights. Jordan High senior and student body officer over spirit Jeddy Bennett said they wanted to help answer a need. “We saw there was a need to help these people who have a lot less,” he said. “The Utah Refugee Center says there are 65,000 refugees in Utah and we have some at Jordan. They are humble about their situation and appreciate everything. We realize we have a lot more than they do.” To help raise funds for them, Bennett took part in several activities that were offered, from spike ball to Smash Brothers tournaments or donating money to watch a holiday movie. Students also performed odd jobs, which was new this year, to raise funds through service. Many students shoveled snow from driveways, washed windows, wrapped presents, helped with organizing a book about family history, cleaned and did whatever chores to “show students care about those around them and want to be helpful.” Bennett felt the generosity of the community when he took a neighbor’s car to the carwash and found a sizeable donation for the effort. “I was very surprised when I received a $100 bill, but then there was another one folded inside. My mouth dropped to the floor,” he said. There were “dash for cash” activities, where students could earn a free hour-long lunch if they raised $1,000 in 20 minutes, which they were able to do a couple times. Jordan students also challenged — and

lost — to the faculty in a basketball game. “We didn’t let them win,” Bennett said. “People would pay to change the course of the game, so someone could make a donation and we couldn’t play defense, or no student government players could play.” That game alone raised $3,500 of the $15,238 the students donated, the most the school has raised in at least the past seven years, according to senior Gwen Christopherson, who is the student body vice president of service. “This is amazing for us,” she said. “I am so proud. We have students who aren’t as well off as some schools, but they were giving what they could.” Christopherson said $12,000 was given to the refugees, and with the remainder, student body officers, along with Latinos-in-Action, purchased food for Midvale students, who may not have much during the winter break. “It was cool to see that through this fundraiser, we had more kids become involved and come together because they wanted to help. We learned to be grateful for what we have,” she said. Brighton High students not only raised funds, but also decided to provide needed items for refugees, said junior Grace Bunker, who said the junior class brought soap and razors for the hygiene kits. “We exceeded our goal,” she said, adding that through her church, she has done activities to welcome refugees. “It was a good cause because we have a lot of refugees in Utah.” Brighton students made 320 hygiene kits and gave more than 3,000 extra supplies and more than $9,000 to the Utah Refugee Center. In addition, student leaders would give service to various community groups to celebrate the student body serving the refugees. The service ranged from helping adults with disabilities and providing socks to the homeless to caroling or playing bingo at a senior center to helping with the Burrito Project and at the Utah Food Bank. “We wanted to not only make a difference, but to make a connection to our community,” said senior and student body vice president Kaitlyn Newitt. “We really feel that by providing service, as well as money and items, it is a more satisfying contribution to our community.” Utah Refugee Center volunteer Katie Graham thanked the students, saying their personal connection made the difference. “We’re thrilled at their participation with the refugees and our community,” she said. “They were able to deliver and bring the kits and support them at a Christmas event. They understood their need and helped to answer it.” Principal Tom Sherwood said he appre-

ciated students being involved in the community. “It’s important that their focus becomes more community-minded and learn to give back at an early age,” he said. “They did a great job of becoming proactive and coming together to impact the local community.” Murray High students reached out to several organizations through the coordinating efforts of the student leaders. Working together with Latinos-in-Action, Gay/ Straight Alliance and cheerleaders, student government leaders involved students in several service activities, including writing letters to Utah and California firefighters, organizing and holding a party for children at the Boys and Girls Club in Murray and teaming up with the shop students to create blocks to donate to Primary Children’s Hospital, said student body officer adviser Jessica Garrett. A year-long project, under the direction of Murray High’s Peer Leadership Team (PLT), has been to include all clubs and groups on campus to raise money for Utah Health and Human Rights. Through schoolwide efforts, thus far, they have raised $685, including working together with the soccer team to hold a bake sale that made $200, said PLT adviser Kim Parkinson. Nearby Cottonwood High students raised $6,500 to support the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Fund (SLVEF), a nonprofit organization that works with victims of violent crimes and domestic violence. “We did this by having a winter charity assembly where different talents performed, we auctioned off dates with our SBOs and cutting locks of hair from a student who has grown out his hair for over a year,” said adviser Amy Thomas. The winter charity assembly included performances from the dance company, jazz musicians, vocal duets, a solo bagpipe performance, Latinos-in-Action dancers and a male drill team. Students also donated decorated trees that were purchased during the school’s musical and at the scrimmage basketball game, and a competition was held where donations were collected during the students’ first-period class. Thomas said the local organization was chosen because it educated students about what the organization is and how it benefits the community. “We like the money raised by our students to have in impact on people of our community,” she said. “(When) the director spoke to the students at the assembly and I think a lot of them really had their eyes opened as to what was going on. We also had a former victim of sexual abuse speak to the students and relate her experience with trauma and the lack of support she had while going through it. The SLVEF could have

Draper City Journal

been a huge help to her and her family had it been around during her abuse.” In Midvale, Hillcrest High students raised more than $19,000, their highest ever, for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an illness that has affected some students and faculty members and their families. One of those is teacher and coach Natalie Moss, who was diagnosed days after she was born, said student body activities officer Tammie Tan. “She gave us a presentation and told us the life expectancy for someone with CF is about 38 years old,” Tan said. “Here she is wanting to do so much with her life and having goals. It really touched us. It made us aware if we have the opportunity to help someone and donate to a good cause, we should be grateful we are able to do it.” Tan, who participated in the dodgeball tournament and ate dog food to help raise money, said many students got involved in this year’s activities after learning about the disease and how it had impacted their school community. Her classmate and student body treasurer Sydney Larsen said the all-day assembly started with raising $400 in the first hour and built upon each hour until it ended with $1,000. Students took part in activities from eating pies to licking peanut butter off of plexiglass. The annual favorite was donating money to save or shave classmates’ hair, said Larsen, who participated in the eat or wear mustard and mayonnaise activity. “We did these things to help raise and appreciate every dollar,” she said. Other activities included Hillcrest Idol; an auction where several businesses supported their efforts, donating items such as nail salon coupons, sunglasses and chocolate; and the drill team versus dance company basketball game where students could pay to change the outcome of the game. “At one point the drill team was playing on their knees and the SBOs subbed in for them. We broke so many basketball rules, but it was possibly the best fun I’ve had at Hillcrest,” Larsen said. “Even while having fun, we were able to instill a connection with our community and to work together for a common goal, to give to a cause.” In South Jordan, Bingham High students raised money through their annual holiday fundraiser, True Blue, for the Starlight Foster Program, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Jordan Education Foundation (JEF), which helped to benefit principals’ pantries. “We chose to work with these groups because they are all local and right here in our community,” student body officer of service Ashlee Webb said. “True Blue is all about coming together as a school and a student body to do things that are bigger than us for the good of others.” Students raised the donations through door-to-door service nicknamed squad jobs, admission charged to their talent show, Mr. True Blue pageant, pay-to-play improv

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show, Zumbathon and True Blue dance tickets, as well as various activities held at lunch time. True Blue T-shirt sale proceeds also were earmarked to benefit their causes, she said. Webb said students wanted to help the Starlight Foster Program that works with local foster children and families to ensure safe family connections, as well as Make-AWish, where they helped a 3-year-old boy, who lives in South Jordan. “Because of everyone’s hard work, we were able to grant his wish of going to the theme parks in Florida,” Webb said. Students all pitched in to bring in a specific list of food items to go into weekend and snack kits for the principals’ pantries, she said, adding that Bingham was able to make more than 5,000 snack kits. “There is a principal’s pantry in every school in the district. It is a place where students can go who may not know where their next meal is coming from,” Webb said. “As a student body, with the help of the JEF, we were able to assemble over $21,000 worth of kits for the pantries on our school-wide Day of Service, held on Dec. 21. We also raised over $53,000 in physical monetary donations and 6,050 service hours as a school.” Corner Canyon High School students didn’t set a monetary goal this winter season to help others with the Tyler Robinson Foundation, said student body president Luke Warnock. “We just wanted people to give,” he said. “We know at Corner Canyon many of us live in a wealthy community, so we wanted to encourage students to give of ourselves what we can give, if it’s time or $3 or things, to benefit those who need help.” Money was collected from activities such as the students’ ugly sweater dance and a ping-pong tournament, as well as raising money through performing odd jobs in the community, he said. Senior and student body audo/visual officer Julia Tolk said students raked leaves, did dishes, watched children and hauled boxes to the trash during the busiest month of the year for many people. “It was so hard to fit it in our schedules at this time of year, but so worth it,” she said. “It ended up being fun and rewarding.” There also was a yard sale in the commons and student leaders auctioned off tickets to Utah Jazz games and to the Imagine Dragons concert. Instead of one huge goal for students to reach as a reward for earning a certain amount of money, Tolk said they had several levels they could achieve, such as raise $15,000 to watch a movie in the commons, $30,000 to have the teachers switch spots teaching or $60,000 to get a school pet fish. “People were excited to get a fish and name it,” Tolk said. The money then would be donated to the Tyler Robinson Foundation, a foundation set up by a Brighton High parents in

honor of their son who died of cancer, to help support pediatric cancer patients and their families. Principal Darrell Jensen said it has been two years in a row the school has donated to the Tyler Robinson Foundation. “They can see the value in it, how they are able to touch their lives,” he said. “It brings this close to home.” Not until the final assembly were the students made aware of their progress: $77,562.08, surpassing last year’s efforts of $63,000. “People were crying, feeling good they helped so much,” Tolk said. “It was just amazing.” Adults also pitched in this holiday season. For example, at Canyons School District, employees and others donated about $10,000 through a silent auction and donation drive benefitting students and families residing at The Road Home homeless shelter in Midvale. The money will be used to provide students with services and supports that aren’t covered by federal funding. Murray Board of Education member Glo Merrill was contacted by adults who lived in Draper who wanted to donate to students. They were joined by a neighborhood in Murray, Walden Hills, that decided not to give neighbor gifts this year, but instead bring warmth and joy to children, she said about the grassroots effort. “I thought that was nice and suggested they bring coats, thinking we may get about 10 to help children at Parkside, one of our

Title I schools,” Merrill said. “We ended up with 110 coats. It was more than I ever imagined.” Merrill said that with the help of Murray Fire Department, the coats as well as some clothing and boots, were from children’s sizes to size adult extra large. Not only did Merrill and others help sort and distribute them at Parkside, but they also decided to share with women and children at The Road Home. “You cannot imagine how much a coat can help these children. One little girl put one on and said, ‘I look beautiful. I’m a princess,’” she said. “It’s remarkable how people in the (Salt Lake) Valley and our city are willing to come together to help give. It made me so happy.” l

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February 2019 | Page 13

Students welcome kindness campaigns in schools By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

First-graders show how they can “sprinkle kindness” around Daybreak Elementary. (Photo courtesy of Daybreak Elementary)


hen identical twins Lucy and Ellis Herring created the video “Rise Up” as sixth-graders last year, little did they know their entire student body in middle school would be watching it. The video inspires students to “rise up” above bullies and negativity and to show kindness. “It is just amazing and impactful,” PTSA adviser Julia Simmons said. “The students in the video had different demeaning labels on their arms. The message was so powerful. Even as an adult, I feel at times there are labels on my arms, as other adults can be unkind or make me feel insignificant.” That video helped kick off a yearlong school theme, “Rise Up.” “We wanted to bring positivity to our school and awareness that oftentimes, people feel alone and need to feel connected,” Simmons said, adding that student leaders welcomed students to school, giving them high-fives. Simmons said oftentimes those who aren’t included can struggle with anxiety, depression, drugs or other issues. “I see the world changing with the internet and social media. There’s a lot more bullying on sites than we realize and students are connecting to those on their phones, not to each other. Often, if people are depressed, anxious or nervous, they’ll pull out their phones and isolate themselves more. We need them to connect in the present, to become a friend, to talk to people in a conversation, not on Snapchat,” she said. South Jordan Middle is one of several schools that is introducing kindness cam-

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paigns at its school to welcome, connect and include students so they don’t feel isolated or anxious, which experts say can lead to destructive behaviors. However, South Jordan Middle didn’t stop with just watching the video. Students set personal goals by completing the sentence, “I will rise up by.” Simmons said the notes then were posted to spell out “Rise Up.” “We had students write that they will rise up by being kinder, by stopping bullying, by eating fruits and vegetables and more,” she said. That week, as throughout the year, students completed bingo cards that tied into the year-round theme as well as monthly focuses. In February, the focus was set to be Kindness Week. “It’s something we’ve done the past few years instead of Valentine’s week,” student body adviser Annelise Baggett said. “It’s after winter break, when there are few breaks in school and it’s not an exciting time and the weather is dark. Then right in the middle of it, kids are showing that people care and they can get through it all together. Kids can struggle with self-worth, especially this time of year, and in middle school when they are questioning who they are and want to be. Instead of going to social media for validation, Kindness Week connects them and helps form friendships.” Baggett said student leaders are motivated to connect with others through lunchtime activities, service projects and mini-lessons that are given to their homerooms. The activities include students posting notes in the hall of kind acts their peers

are doing. “It delivers a big message when friends are noticing kindness at school, in the community in our homes,” she said. “Our big focus will be to connect with others and get them involved. We tell students the more you share your talent and help out others, the more validated you are and better you feel.” At nearby Bingham High, the largest student club is one where everyone is welcome: the Golden Gate Club. It first began as a club where all students felt accepted and welcomed and now is expanding to other schools in the area as well as the nation. “Our theme is to ‘make someone’s day, every day,’ whether it’s smiling and saying hi or doing a simple act of kindness. It’s become a turning point for so many kids’ lives,” said school hall monitor Jo Ward, who helped start the Golden Gate Club two years ago. “It’s not an anti-bullying or anti-gang club, but a pro-social club that helps kids be included and accepted, which is what kids want.” Ward said that with a large school, students can be “lost in the cracks, so we don’t want them to feel alone.” Student members receive daily text messages, eat together at lunch and make sure everyone has someone to attend after-school activities with as well as help with school events. “We want everyone to feel like their family and other kids have their back. We see the difference — everyone watching out for one another. It’s changing the culture of our school,” she said. West Hills Middle in West Jordan added aspects of the club into its existing Be the Change program. “We’ve incorporated Golden Gate’s pledge and principles suited for middle school students as well as the practice to reach out and befriend another into the Be the Change program,” assistant principal Mike Hughes said, adding that last year they also incorporate five-minute mini-lessons into their curriculum. “Middle school and high school students want to belong, and with the support of their peers, it will help them determine success for their rest of their life and give them a positive outlook.” In the Daybreak community, Daybreak Elementary students also are taking part in a yearlong kindness push. Fresh off of being awarded a $500 Stand for Children grant for the national Middle School Kindness Challenge last spring, students are continuing to give positive messages of kindness throughout the school, said Wendy Babcock, who heads the school’s faculty kindness committee. “We need to teach kindness, and if we start with the young ones, they can teach the rest of us,” she said. “Schools need to teach it now. There are so many pressures

that this generation has with technology that didn’t exist, so now we’re needing to teach them how to connect and show they care about each other, which they don’t get on Snapchat or texting. Students may be bullied, feel sad or isolated and those feelings can lead to further acting out or anxiety and mental health issues. Kids need to learn and practice how to play and make friends away from technology, and they need to learn kindness.” Daybreak began with Start with Hello, a weeklong program that addresses those concerns. Parents of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting victims introduced the program: “Social isolation is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. In fact, one study reports that chronic loneliness increases our risk of an early death by 14 percent. Furthermore, young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence, and/or depression. As a result, many pull further away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/ or choose to hurt themselves or others. Start with Hello teaches students the skills they need to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school.” The concept of the program teaches students that when they see someone alone, they can reach out and help simply by saying hello. “We had students invite others to recess, play on the playground and sit by new people at lunch. There was great effort to start new friendships,” Babcock said. “It also has helped as new kids move into the school; they’re making sure they are included and aren’t standing around.” In the late fall, the student council created challenges and posted them on flyers around the school. The Choose Kind challenge allowed students to tear them off and initiate the step of being kind and building a sense of community, she said. That then went into the next phase of the kindness campaign, where students identified each other performing random kind acts and wrote them on paper light bulbs. Then, students posted those on a paper tree in each grade level’s pod, allowing students to “light our school with kindness.” “The faculty and staff spontaneously started writing down those they saw of each and started a light bulb chain around the office that then spread into all these trees full of lights. Identifying kindness really made a difference for our entire school,” she said. Currently, Daybreak students are performing 100 acts of kindness and promoting the phrase “when you see something, say something” into one of positivity and kindness. They also plan to take part in the same

Draper City Journal

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find it, but when we look for the good, and retrain ourselves to do that, then we can find that and lift ourselves up and give students the tools to lift up others.” Student council adviser LuAnn Hill said it helps to create a more caring environment. “It makes school a better place to be, with students showing kindness and expressing their gratitude,” she said. Last spring, after the Parkland, Florida shootings, Butler Middle School students wanted to show they cared, more than take part in the one-day protest, school librarian Jennifer VanHaaften said. After seeing a Facebook post about doing 17 acts of kindness, Butler students jumped on board to pledge to build a positive sense of community at the Cottonwood Heights school. Then, they participated in random acts of kindness. “We saw a group of girls post uplifting notes on the lockers of 900-plus students. Kids introduced themselves to new friends and sat together at lunch. They were giving smiles and high-fives. Middle school can be a hard time for some students and our students brought a positive light to our school,” VanHaaften said last spring. At nearby Union Middle School in Sandy, the kindness effort began by a student who realized positivity was needed, said Principal Kelly Tauteoli. “She got it going, just by putting sticky notes on lockers,” she said. That evolved into the school’s third annual Kindness Week during March 25–29. In the past, students have posted compliments about each other on the windows, provided service, said hello to others in the hallways and around school and continued with the sticky note campaign. “I think it’s life skills that schools learn through academics, but students also are members of the community and they need to understand we all have differences and need to work through conflicts and learn life skills that create a safer, welcoming environment that is kind,” Tauteoli said. Alta High Principal Brian McGill agrees. “We need to have a climate where students feel a connection with one another and the school with kindness, caring and compassion,” he said. Both the annual Kindness Week and the introduction the past few years of the Hope Squad and Link Crew. have helped to make the Hawk community more welcoming, McGill said. “We’ve worked hard to create a positive culture where students find support and look out for each other.” l

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kindness challenge this spring. In White City, Bell View Elementary school psychologist intern Danielle Rigby introduced Start with Hello week in the fall since she was new to the school and trying to meet all the students. She used ice-breaker games and incorporated the campaign into their structured recess program. “We talked about being kind, being a friend and had students pledge they would say hello or make new friends,” she said. “Students would stop in the hallway, introduce themselves and use key words at recess and lunch. Seeing their kindness was really impactful.” The students also wore green, the program’s color, to show their support of being kind. As a reminder of their pledge, this spring Rigby plans to distribute green silicone bracelets that say, “Start with Hello.” She also is looking into getting the school a buddy bench, where students can invite those sitting on it to play at recess. “All schools need to have a kindness program,” Rigby said. “Initially, this all started from school shootings, but now kids need it. People are more inclined to internalize everything as it’s not as easy to look up around them or step out from themselves to show empathy. But this is teaching students the first step to show kindness when they see someone alone. We need this kind of positive uplifting.” At nearby Edgemont Elementary, students, faculty and staff all took part in what was expected to be a 10-day Look for the Good campaign, but with sticky notes of compliments filling bulletin boards, they remained up for months. The national campaign was created by kids for kids and was led by the school’s student council. “The program teaches that everyone can respect one another and answer the question ‘what makes me grateful?’” Principal Cathy Schino said. “It’s an important question because it opens up your heart and shifts your thinking to others. It tells us to avoid that crabby voice inside that tells us we aren’t good enough.” Students also took turns standing on circles that asked, “What makes you grateful?” to share with others how someone made an impact on their lives and how they can help make a difference. “This gives them extra confidence to share, say something positive and be thankful,” first-grade teacher Joyce Acosta said. A first-grader in her class, Kody Brinkeroff, spoke up at the kick-off assembly that he felt safe and was grateful “because there are no bullies that do mean things to anyone at our school.” They also passed along cards that said “you matter” and shared the microphone at morning meetings talking about the positivity in their lives. Schino likes the shift in attitude to focus on gratitude. “If you look for the bad, we can always

February 2019 | Page 15

Principals put the ‘fun’ in fundraisers By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


iss a pig? Become a human ice cream sundae? Camp on the roof? If it motivates students, count most elementary school principals in. And count in the students. “The kids were really excited, cheering, clapping, squealing louder than the pig,” said Draper Elementary Principal Christy Waddell, who dressed as a farmer and kissed a pig Nov. 9 to celebrate her school raising $26,000 at their annual fun run. “It wasn’t that bad. I’d say less gross and not as slobbery as kissing a dog.” Waddell, who said she’s taken a pie in the face and has been a human ice cream sundae, said this was her favorite: “It didn’t get as messy.” She’s a believer that “doing something different and unusual” motivates students. She said her custodian even has helped out by dressing up as a fairy to inspire students.

“It definitely helps when we tell students that the principal is willing to do something fun. They get excited and really motivated.” — Edgemont Elementary PTA fundraising chair Jeannine Cardenaz

“We don’t have students earn junk. We prefer to do things that will get them excited. And most students respond. We had more students return envelopes with donations so they could see me kiss a pig,” she said, adding that she ran some with the students during the fun run. Waddell isn’t alone. This year, Woodstock Principal Brenda Zimmerman, in Murray, also kissed a pig as a reward for her students when they raised $11,700, surpassing last year’s mark by $4,000. The money will be used for structured physical education equipment, safety equipment, field trips, books and for other programs. “It was warm, gross and wet, but he’s so cute,” she said afterward. “I’ll do about anything to make them smile and laugh. Kissing a pig totally worked for them to bring in more money.” Paraeducator and PTA member Kay Forbush said it’s part the idea and part the person involved that makes it successful. “It’s different and the kids are having fun,” she said. “The kids love animals and the principal hams it up for this and it’s a winning combination for them.” PTA member Robyn Ivins said Zimmer-

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man has sung karaoke in front of the school to inspire students, and former principal Yvonne Pearson played the part of a superhero who was locked up in her office unless students met a reading goal, she’s walked the plank, and even had honey poured on her head before adding Honey Nut Cheerios to inspire students. “They’re willing to have fun and it sets the mood of the school so the students are more willing to become involved,” she said. Two years ago, Liberty Elementary Principal Jill Burnside and members of her staff in Murray School District allowed students to turn them into ice cream sundaes, complete with syrup, sprinkles and whipping cream after a successful fun run fundraiser. Last spring, students raised more than $15,000 to make the school have a 1:1 ratio of Chromebooks and technology. Their additional motivation? Watching faculty and staff in a food fight. “It was fun to watch all the teachers grab food and throw it,” said now third-grader Samantha Boss. “It got us wanting to do well to see that the teachers would do a real silly thing for us.” Often PTA presidents and members are involved in either the motivation idea or in taking part. At Edgemont Elementary in Sandy, the top incentive for the fun run was to take silly string to Principal Cathy Schino, said Jeannine Cardenaz, who is the fundraising chair along with Katherine Wojnowski. “We wanted something fun and unique, but not mean,” Cardenaz said. “Everyone loves silly string so it was perfect. It definitely helps when we tell students that the principal is willing to do something fun. They get excited and really motivated.” Schino took the silly string in stride, even dancing around after being decorated with it. “It’s very fun, soft, gooey and slippery, which made it fun to dance,” she said Nov. 5. Sandy’s Park Lane Principal Justin Jeffery used his Texas background to ride a mechanical bull to celebrate his students reaching $18,000, which in addition to supporting several PTA activities, also will go to support teachers with supplies to reduce the amount of out-of-pocket costs they incur, he said. “Riding a bull for them is a fun celebration of their achievement, but it’s also an interactive opportunity for them to see me and faculty do something to honor them,” he said, adding that he has been duct-taped to a wall, slept on a roof, had his hair temporarily dyed and taken a pie in the face. “I stopped doing the pie when one girl said ‘even though you said it’s OK, I don’t want to pie you.’ We want it to be fun for them without being humiliating or unsafe.” However, what might not work at one school works for another. Elk Meadows

Draper Elementary Principal Christy Waddell, who dressed as a farmer, kissed a pig Nov. 9 to celebrate her school raising $26,000 at their annual fun run. (Photo courtesy of Draper Elementary)

Principal Aaron Ichimura, in South Jordan, allowed students to throw pies, the sixth annual motivator, after the students raised more than $20,000. “He’s the best principal,” PTA President Dara Evans said. “He’s so engaged and the kids love him. He is motivated to make each of them feel special, even singing happy birthday to them on his ukulele.”

“It shows kids that principals are involved in the schools and want to help them be successful.” — Alta View parent Christa Nielsen

Evans said there are several incentive levels for students, but the whipping cream pies are entertaining and don’t cost much money, so they don’t “eat up the profit.” Another inexpensive reward for students is sleeping on the roof, which Ridgecrest Principal Julie Winfree and PTA President Marci Cardon did at the Cottonwood Heights school this fall. “I talked to other principals who have done it and got the idea of sending down a bucket so students could write notes to us,” she said. “We read those by flashlight that night and they were the cutest notes. The kids had such a great time doing that. We even ordered pizza and when it was delivered, it was sent up in the bucket.” Ridgecrest students raised about

$30,000 from their fun run that paid for a new sound system, helping the school get to 1:1 on technology in addition to helping pay for field trips, class parties and before- and after-school programs. “I think they were excited that we were sleeping on their roof,” Winfree said. “If a principal is more willing to do something, then they’re more willing to do their part.” At Alta View Elementary in Sandy, Principal Scott Jameson allowed students to create him into an ice cream sundae and he had fun with it, wearing a mask, snorkel and flippers. Alta View parent Christa Nielsen appreciates the effort. “It shows kids that principals are involved in the schools and want to help them be successful,” she said. “They want them to be motivated.” Second-grader Brooklyn McRae was excited. “I was so excited for him,” she said. “He got really messy with lots of confetti and whipping cream and the red syrup.” Jameson said he didn’t mind. “I’m up for anything crazy because I really believe it helps a ton,” he said. Jameson is true to his word. In the past, students have painted his car, ridden a unicycle dressed as a clown, been slimed, been duct-taped to a wall, eaten bugs and taken a pie to his face. “It’s all pretty good, and it helps get the majority of students reading, learning, or doing well at their fundraisers,” he said. “And that’s what we’re here for, helping students be successful.” l

Draper City Journal

Corner Canyon High adds new classrooms, expanded lunchroom By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

Crews work on Corner Canyon High’s classroom wing expansion, which should open to students fall 2019. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


n August 2019, Corner Canyon High School will have 24 additional classrooms and an expanded lunchroom to accommodate the enrollment of 2,300 students. “Our teachers are sharing classrooms so this will ease that accommodation,” Principal Darrell Jensen said about the school that was built for 500 fewer students. “I’m looking forward to the cafeteria wing so there will be more seating for students. It will allow the commons area to have more room for school events.” Construction on the five-and-one-halfyear-old high school began in fall 2018, made possible with the voters’ 2017 approval of the $283-million bond, which also will include new school buildings at Hillcrest High, Brighton High, Union Middle, Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementaries, a new West Draper Elementary, a new White City Elementary as well as extensive remodeling at Alta High. Corner Canyon’s construction cost, which also includes a maintenance shed, are estimated at $10 million, Canyons School District Business Manager and Chief Financial Officer Leon Wilcox said. By early winter, the walls were going up on the northern classroom wing and were anticipated to be poured in the southern classroom wing as well as the cafeteria foundation. During the winter months, Jensen said exterior windows, sheeting and drywall were scheduled. Wilcox said the painting, carpentry and cabinetry should be completed this spring. “By June, we want the floors to be finished and put in the doors and hardware,” Jensen said. “We’ll go over the final punch list in July so we’re ready for school in August.” For the most part, Jensen said there have been no mishaps with construction and the community has been supportive.

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“When they first started the demolition of the vestibules, we could feel the school shake those four days, but that’s been about it,” he said, adding that with rerouting student traffic they added more time to allow students to get to class on time. The 12 additional classrooms per wing will mostly be used as traditional classrooms with one serving as a photo computer lab, Jensen said. Since there is no plumbing needed in those rooms, Jensen expects the project to be on time. All the classrooms will be wired for technology, he added. “The classroom wings should give us about 13,000 more square feet,” he said. The original building design was created to add more classrooms to the wings, if necessary, Wilcox said. Although the plans allowed for the possibility of 32 classrooms, Wilcox said that after talking with school and community members, the Board of Education decided on 24 rooms. Wilcox said the original architect, Curtis Livingston, with Curtis Miner Architecture, is working with Hogan Construction, the original construction company, on the project. In the cafeteria, about 4,700 square feet will allow for more student seating. To ensure student safety, students have practiced fire drills using different emergency exits. Construction crews also have taken part, Jensen said, and have kept sidewalks clear for foot traffic. “Everything has been straightforward and on time,” he said. “It should go smoothly. Students should see an expanded school come fall.” l

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Home Health Care: Assisting people with their health care needs while they remain in their own home is what home health care is all about. Home Health Care services are provided under the supervision of your physician and are available 24 hours a day. The type of services provided by home care vary but may include some of the following: • Nursing assessment • Medication management and teaching Wound care • Diabetic instruction and care • Dietary teaching • Bowel and catheter care • Drawing blood damples • I.V. therapy • Tube feeding • Pain control/management • Rehabilitation services • Transfer and gait training • Strengthening exercises • Emotional support • Financial community resources counseling Someone may receive home health care in any place you call home. This may include your own home, your relative’s home, retirement centers and assisted living centers (some restrictions apply with home health aide services). Home health care has

even been provided in hotel rooms when a patient is staying locally to recuperate before returning home. A patient may decide to stay locally after surgery and then return home to another city. Home health care may be provided in both places as long as patient continues to require skilled care and remains homebound. Home health care is paid by a variety of sources. Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance companies and social services organizations cover qualifying home care services. Home health care requires a physician’s order unless a person is paying privately for home health aide services. After getting an order from a physician, a nurse may assess the prospective patient’s eligibility for home health care. Home health care is for people who can manage safely in their homes. If a patient lacks the proper facilities, the ability to get meals or does not have a regular support system, a different level of care may be needed. This may include assisted living centers or skilled nursing facilities. Hospice: Hospice assists individuals, their families and/or caregivers, achieve the best quality of life through physical, emotional and spiritual care during a life-limiting illness. Hospice patients choose to focus on cares directed toward comfort,

not a cure for the illness. Hospice is comprised of health care professionals and volunteers who together form a caring community helping individuals and their families facing a life-limiting illness. It differs from traditional medical interventions by providing support and care for persons in the last phases of illness so they can live as fully and comfortably as possible with life-affirming dignity. A patient on hospice does not have to be “home bound,” and is encouraged, if able, to get out and participate in activities and functions they enjoy. Hospice is for all age groups, including children, adults, and the elderly. The vision of hospice is to profoundly enhance the end of life for the dying person by ensuring access to exceptional quality care. The services provided by a hospice agency include the following: • Doctor and nursing services • Skilled professional pain and symptom management • Emotional, spiritual, financial and bereavement support services • Medications related to the life limiting illness/comfort • Home health aide • Short-term inpatient care to manage symptoms

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Respite services 24-hour on-call doctor and nursing availability • Dietary counseling • Physical, occupational and speech therapy as needed to enhance quality of life • Trained volunteer services • Medication management and education • Standard durable medical equipment • Medical and incontinent care supplies • Bereavement follow-up Assistance with accessing community resources, preparing medical directives, medical power of attorney, medical treatment plans and funeral planning Like home care, hospice services are paid for in a few different ways: Medicare (Part A), Medicaid, Health Insurance, and Private Pay. Additionally, Hospice services can be provided in patients’ homes, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, assisted living centers, residential care facilities or wherever the patient calls home. l

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Page 18 | February 2019

Draper City Journal

Corner Canyon swimmer breaks school record By Catherine Garrett | c.garrettt@mycityjournals.com more because of how nice and personable she is to her teammates. She is so talented in many different activities and could be intimidating to others, but she is quick to make friends and show that she genuinely is interested in others. So while I have had swim-

mers as talented as Rivers in the past, she is unique in her ability to make connections with her teammates and bridge that gap of potentially being intimidated by her talents.” (Photo courtesy Keith Bangerter) l

Corner Canyon junior Rivers Johnson broke the school record in the 200 individual medley on Jan. 3. (Photo courtesy Keith Bangerter)


orner Canyon High junior Rivers Johnson swam the 200 individual medley in 2:18.76 Jan. 3 at Cottonwood High School, breaking the previous school record that was held by 2017 graduate Kate Miller, who is swimming collegiately in Colorado. The All-State swimmer is also the school record holder in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and some relays. “It was a great performance and something that she has been aiming for several years,” said Corner Canyon swim coach Patrick Thurman. “I’m happy for her add-

ing her name again to the record board. The individual medley is probably the toughest race to compete in because it requires a great deal of ability in all four strokes, and it also requires the mental and physical training to handle a middle distance race. If a swimmer can do an IM well, a swimmer can do everything well.” Thurman looks to Johnson as a leader on his large squad. “Rivers’ talent and ability in the water is incredible and she is one Corner Canyon junior Rivers Johnson swam the 200 individual medley in 2:18:76 on Jan. 3 breaking the of the best swimmers in the state,” he said. previous school record. (Photo courtesy Keith Bangerter) “But she is admired by her teammates even

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Corner Canyon girls basketball ranked high in state By Catherine Garrett | c.garrettt@mycityjournals.com

Corner Canyon is off to a 14-4 start this season and is currently ranked second in the state in 5A. (Photo courtesy Mark Woods)


he Corner Canyon High girls basketball team has started off the season 14-4 and currently holds a No. 2 ranking in 5A statewide, with three of its four losses to out-ofstate teams at preseason tournaments. The Chargers began the season in the La Jolla Country Day School Sweet 16 tournament and went 2-2 against tough teams from California and Arizona, including 18th-ranked Millennium, Arizona. In that matchup, the Chargers were down just two points entering the fourth quarter and ended up losing 49-39. “I think that game taught us that we can hang with anyone and that we need to not doubt ourselves,” head coach Jeramy Acker said. Corner Canyon’s wins in their first tournament were over Canyon Springs, California 57-53 and Mater Dei, California 52-25. Back home, the Chargers won its next four games against Maple Mountain, East, Woods Cross and Highland — by an average of 20 points. Following two losses to Soda Springs, Idaho 63-60 and Copper Hills 56-46 in its own Winter Classic in mid-December, the squad defeated Layton and Box Elder in close games before a double-digit win over American Fork 65-52. In Region 7 matchups, Corner Canyon has defeated

Page 20 | February 2019

Jordan 62-39, Brighton 59-20, Timpview 65-50, Alta 73-37 and Cottonwood 67-25. “We’ve been playing better than I anticipated with having a majority of our varsity players from last season graduated,” Acker said. “We’re in the best place mentally and physically as we’ve ever been here.” Two-time First Team All-State guard Kemery Martin and two-time Second Team All-State forward Jaeden Vaifanua continue to lead the Chargers on the floor with the pair averaging 36 points and 15 rebounds a game. “They have definitely been our production leaders, but this year they have also taken on more responsibility with the cultural aspect of our program as well,” Acker said. Martin said she is trying to “just play and have fun” in her last year of high school ball while Vaifanua has focused on being a solid, consistent teammate. “I think the stats I put up are needed to help win games, but everyone on the team has been a huge help to what we’re trying to do to win and strengthen the program as a whole,” Vaifanua said. Seniors Megan Astle, a 5'6" point guard, and Alex Wright, a 5'7" small forward, are also starting contributors for Corner Canyon and “alternate as third leading

scorer,” according to Acker. Senior Marissa Wicherski is also providing depth down low for the team. “She’s a selfless, hardworking big who gives us an additional post,” Acker said. Acker said the preseason has helped everyone settle into their roles as they try to consistently improve. “We’ve learned that we have to take care of our own team in preparation and then trying to play our best regardless of who we play,” Acker said. “We’ve let some games slip away this year so we are really trying to focus in on playing for four complete quarters.” Martin said the squad has been progressing and growing through the first several games of the season. “Each game there has been something to get better and learn from and we have been taking advantage of that,” she said. Vaifanua feels the Chargers lost some games they were in control of, but the team’s current five-game winning streak has come because they have “pulled together.” “We know what works for us as a team and we just need to keep getting better at those things,” she said. Also on the Chargers squad this season are senior Marinn Duncan; juniors Abby Kleinman, Zoe Nielsen, Maggie Ramos and

Tricia Tanner; sophomores Baylee Bodily and Alexa Orten; and freshmen Natalie Newton and Kira Rhay. Acker is being assisted on the coaching staff by Andie Nicholes, Heather Humble, Brian Vaifanua, Christie Duke and Lexi Gagon. With Corner Canyon being 4-0 early on in region play, Martin and Vaifanua agree the team needs to put out the same effort each game regardless of the opponent. “It’s really important for us as a team to not change the way we should play because of the level of competition,” Martin said. “We need to be a good, steady and consistent team so when it comes to state, we are ready for whatever hits us.” “The key for us is to not overlook any of the teams we’re about to play,” Vaifanua said. “It’s important we play our best against every team in our region in order to be successful before state.” Acker is stressing the need to stay healthy and competitive to continue success on the court this season. “Off the floor, our goals beyond basketball are really to teach these girls to lead and be strong and powerful members of society as they leave us,” he said.

Draper City Journal

Juan Diego boys basketball tops in 4A By Catherine Garrett | c.garrettt@mycityjournals.com


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The Juan Diego Catholic High School boys basketball team has won 11 of its 12 games this season, including two wins over 6A schools in Herriman and Bingham. (Photo credit Mikelle Marston)


he Juan Diego Catholic High School boys basketball team has gotten off to a hot start this season winning its first six games by an average of more than 20 points. Its only loss in an 15-1 record came Dec. 20 against Rangeview, Coloorado 59-44 at the Tarkanian Classic on its way to the consolation championship at the tournament. Since then, the No. 1 ranked Soaring Eagle squad won its next four games by three points or less — including a 51-46 overtime win over Herriman and a 43-42 victory over Bingham — before defeating Tooele 51-43, Stansbury 41-36, Ben Lomond 66-48, Park City 69-36 and Ogden 82-30 in its first region games. “We have had a great start to the season,” head coach Drew Trost said. “We have had big wins over Herriman and Bingham and also played very well down in Las Vegas at the Tarkanian Classic.” Senior guard Rai Tinirauarii is leading the team in scoring with more than 18 points and five rebounds a game. “He is one of the very best players in the whole state and he is showing that on a nightly basis,” Trost said. Tinirauarii said the team has become closer as the season has gone on. “We’re not just teammates, we are a family,” he said. “We’ve accomplished a lot of things on and off the court. We also have overcome some challenges in games that will definitely help us in the future and as the season goes.” Seniors Lawson Roe, who averages seven points a game, and Kalthom Kur, who gives Juan Diego five points and six rebounds a game, have also been key to the team’s success so far this season. “Our three seniors have been doing a great job of leading the team while our young talent has truly stepped up to the challenge of varsity basketball and even excelled,” Trost said. “Kalthom has been solid as a rock in the post for us while leading the team in rebounds,” Trost said, noting that the 6'5" forward had the offensive rebound and “made a beautiful jump hook at the buzzer” in Juan Diego’s win over Bingham 43-42 Dec. 29. “That was something I am sure he

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will never forget and truly a testament to all of his hard work over the years.” Sophomore Talon Valdes has “stepped into a starting role and is playing excellent,” according to Trost. The 5'10" point guard is averaging eight points and has hit “several clutch baskets at the end of games” for Juan Diego. Also on the JDHCS team this season are juniors Kemari Bailey, Gai Laurbong, Wesley Rasmussen, Tamatoa Rezzouq, Nae Roy, Gabe Soto and Lorenzo Soto; sophomores Justice Brusatto, Rangi Colombel, Jag Gill-Martin, David Kinneberg, Lucas Mates, Matt Rohden and Maui Roopinia; and freshmen Nelson Arapa, Nick Ceballos, Moises Diaz, Harevaa Hatitio, Nick Kimball, Dallas Larson, Eric Puhetini, Maoake Tahiron, Diego Valdez, Evan Wigton and Drew Wyatt. Trost is being assisted on the coaching staff by Joe Colosimo, Hector Marquez, Jonathan Schrieber and Trevor Carlston. The keys for continued success throughout region play, according to Trost, will be rebounding and smart ball-handling. “Our defense has proved to be excellent, but we need to really clean up our turnovers as mental mistakes have cost us,” he said. “We also need to be more consistent rebounding the ball. I just think we can be relentless on the boards but we have not consistently done that this year yet.” Tinirauarii said the team is focusing on Trost’s philosophy of “Defense, Effort and Attitude” in the second half of the season. “If we want to be successful, we need to play for each other and not for ourselves.” Juan Diego has held home court steady over the past few years with a 37-game home winning streak. “This is a tribute to the hard work of our players and the great environment that our student section, cheer team, drill team, band and staff create for us every night at home,” Trost said. “We were pushed to the brink this year against Herriman and Bingham. Our guys work very hard year-round and it sure is nice to see it pay off for them.”

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Valentine’s Day ideas By Michelynne McGuire | m.mcguire@mycityjournals.com

Abbey the Cavapoo poses with a homemade Valentine’s Day card wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day. (Michelynne McGuire/City Journals)


ere are some ideas and places around the valley for a Valentine’s date and some budget savvy ideas for Valentines. Romantic: Does your honey have to work on Valentine’s Day? That’s not romantic…but perhaps doing one sweet deed a day is the best way to make it up to your honey. Help them feel extra appreciated with one sweet gesture a day leading up to Feb. 14. Outdoorsy: Don’t let cold temperatures stop you from celebrating Valentine’s in the great outdoors. Dress warmly and try these ideas: Ice Skating: Gallivan Center, Ice Rink Hotline: (801) 535-6117. For more details check out their website: www.thegallivancenter.com. Skiing: Some ski resorts offer retreats, spa specials and romantic dinners for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time. This website: www.skiutah. com helps you navigate different resort websites for information. Ice Castles: Journey to Midway and walk hand-in-hand around magnificent illuminated ice formations. www.icecastles. com Giving back: The hopeful animals at local animal shelters could use some love too. The Sandy Animal Services Department doesn’t need volunteers, but they do allow good willed people to visit and give the animals attention in their pet/play room during normal business hours. Sandy Animal Services Department is located at 8751 S. 700 West in Sandy. (801) 352-4450 Indoorsy: If you and your love opt out of crowds this year…perhaps make a fun recipe together, cookies, cupcakes, or whatever your fancy…and then paint or draw one another to the best of your artistic abilities. Check out Painting with a Twist and Color

Page 22 | February 2019

Me Mine for some indoor painting activities for a date. Singles/miscellaneous: Sumo Wrestling! Yes, you can rent a sumo suit with some friends from Canyon Party Rental, LLC (801) 836-7700. For more information their website is: www.canyonpartyrental. com For seniors: “Draper’s best kept secret.” That’s according to Draper Senior Center’s office specialist Lisa Campbell. The senior center offers an array of fun things for seniors to do and socialize. And it is free for seniors aged 60+ and free for spouses under 60 if they are married to a member who is at least 60. It’s open to seniors living in all areas. There is a workout facility, classes offered and even a café serving generous portions at good prices. Their Valentine’s Day event, a ballroom dance Valentine’s party, will take place on Feb. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Come join in the dance and fun and celebrate “love day” with good music provided by the ballroom dance class and enjoy light refreshments. And on Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. Valentine’s entertainment will be provided by the non-profit organization Heart and Soul. Fancy foodies and desserts: If you’re a foodie and you plan to splurge on your sweetie by deciding to indulge and tantalize your taste buds in ambiance, La Caille, a French restaurant in Sandy, is having a Valentine’s seven-course dinner for $150 per person, reservations required. They are located at 9565 Wasatch Blvd. in Sandy. (801) 942-1751 And www.opentable.com is a simplified way to find a Utah Valentine’s Day restaurant with open reservations. If you don’t want to deal with crowds, Dairy Queen is having Cupid’s Cake, made

from their traditional ice cream cake, perfect for sharing and it comes in the shape of a heart, a sweet treat for your sweetie that you can take home. Family: If you’re not already in touch with your inner child, perhaps taking the family to bounce around on trampolines together will heighten your awareness. Airborne Trampoline Park is an amusement center in Draper. vTheir website states, “Wall-to-wall trampolines attract jumpers of all ages to this complex with air dodge ball and foam pits.” They are located at 12674 Pony Express Rd. in Draper. (801) 601-8125 And if you’re not in Draper there is another called Get Air Salt Lake in Murray at 5546 Van Winkle. Teens and adult, budget friendly: The Draper Library is offering on Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. a tasting of chocolate and creating. You will get the chance to test your palate with chocolate sampling and create your own seasonal craft to go with. This is through the Draper Makers, they have a seasonal creation time to learn new techniques, the supplies are provided while quantities last. Registration preferred. The Draper Library is at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) Draper and is across from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Developmentally Appropriate: “All Ability Activity Very Fun Valentines,” Friday, February 1 at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Crafts and activities are designed for adults and teens with disabilities. “We have a great time, it’s the highlight of my month,” said Sarah Brinkerhoff, manager at the Draper Library. Registration is required. www.thecountylibrary.org The Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Kid friendly, family/friends and free: Valentine crafting, bring the kiddies to make a sweet penguin magnet, on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1-4 p.m. You may drop in between those hours to make a magnet for Valentine’s Day. The crafting will take place in the children’s area; everything will be available to put together a magnet, while supplies last. Feb. 11, 7- 8 p.m. Family Draper Makers, no registration required, supplies provided while quantities last. Make homemade Valentines and spend quality time with family while creating seasonal crafts. Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Whatever you plan to do, here’s one easy tip for fostering love and appreciation: During your time together, take a break from checking cell phones and focus on one another. Valentine’s Day is truly a day to be loving first and foremost to others and yourself.


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Draper City Journal

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

Welcome to Draper City! HONOR THE BLUE

“Display a sign of honor” for Our Draper Police officers during the month of February. Put “Blue Lights” out on your porch or garage at home during February. If you want a sign to display in your business just call (801-553-0928 ext. 101) or Email wrappleye@ integraonline.com and we will bring one to you and pick it up at the end of February. Take the pledge to “Honor the Blue” this February!

Graystar 4th West Apartments Manager receives Patriot Award for her support of an employee serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve

Left to right: Utah ESGR Executive Committee Bill Rappleye RECIPIENT Graystar 4th West Apartments Manager Veronica Hernandez SERVICE MEMBER USNR E3, Giselle Robles

Draper Chamber serving the Draper Business Community Since 1994

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www.draperchamber.com DraperJournal .com

February 2019 | Page 23

Local volleyball club sponsoring Olympic dream By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

Former 5A MVP Melissa Fuchs Powell is now a professional beach volleyball player and has her sights set on the 2028 Olympics. (Photo courtesy Melissa Fuchs Powell)

ative Utahn Melissa Fuchs Powell’s journey from prep All-American to collegiate indoor and beach volleyball player is simply continuing. As a professional beach volleyball player, the 24-year-old now has her sights set on the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. And despite just playing with one partner in the sport, it will take a village to get her there. Local volleyball Club GSL is helping to sponsor Powell in her pursuit. “I’m a dreamer, I chase my dreams and I have received some help to do that and I sense that in Melissa,” Club GSL owner Warren Van Schalkwyk said. “She is a great competitor and, like many top-tier athletes, she has all the skill sets in a great volleyball player. But, the thing you immediately notice about Melissa is her competitiveness and drive. She goes after it to make things happen and she doesn’t sit back and hope for it to. I’m absolutely willing to support that drive.” Powell is the daughter of former Brazil-

ian professional volleyball players Ray and Val Fuchs and has been living and breathing volleyball her whole life. Even though she felt she was much better at basketball growing up, she knew she had more support in volleyball. “It’s like a culture for us – in Brazil it’s soccer or volleyball,” Powell said. “Watching my siblings play really helped me develop an understanding for the game until I gained my own love for it. It’s not who I am, but it’s a reflection of who I am.” The 2012 5A MVP who led Pleasant Grove High School to the state title followed her brother Phillip, who played at BYU, and her sister Becca, who played at Utah and Weber State, with her own talents into the collegiate ranks. She began at Central Michigan for one year before playing at Houston Baptist to be closer to where her family had relocated. It was there that she started playing beach volleyball as well as indoor and she played both over the next three seasons. “Ever since I was young, everyone said

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Mike Daniel who help find high level athletes to play with her. “One of the things I noticed with Melissa’s videos is that she’s often alone,” Van Schalkwyk said. “I asked her about that and she said it is difficult to find people to practice with and that is where we are trying to help in addition to sponsoring some of her gear and providing her some money monthly for tournaments.” Van Schalkwyk credited Powell for her drive to go after success in a sport that favors those who can play on the beach yearround. “It’s very brave for a girl from Utah – where we only have two and a half months of beach weather – to even have the courage to break into this sport,” said Van Schalkwyk. The 5’11” player realizes the odds she’s up against and isn’t backing down. “I’ve always been doubted,” she said. “Volleyball has taught me to not give up when things get hard so I plan to keep training and keep pushing and keep moving towards my goals. It’s always worth it to go after what you dream of and I want to help inspire others to know that too.” Powell said she is grateful for the support she receives and also noted her husband’s “100 percent backing” in helping her follow her dreams. The reality for a professional beach volleyball player is that money is needed for travel, tournaments, gym memberships, gear and apparel and she is continually seeking all the help she can get. “I’m having a ton of fun,” Powell said. “We get to go to beaches all around the world and I can continue to play volleyball. Playing beach is very easy on your joints so you can play it for longer.” Powell is scheduled to compete in India, Brazil and Thailand over the new few months, the next leg on her Olympic journey. l

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my style was more of a beach volleyball player,” Powell said. “As I tried it, I realized that I really, really liked playing beach. I started getting pretty good at it and the more I played, the more I knew that I could pursue it professionally if I wanted to.” Following her four years of indoor eligibility – and now married to BYU football player Riggs Powell who she met in Houston – she returned to play her final season of beach volleyball in the spring of 2018 at the University of Utah. In her first professional beach volleyball tournament in Austin, Texas in May 2018, she and partner Jessica Wooten finished 45th. She has since played with two other partners – Victoria Dennis and Allison Spurrier – and has risen in the rankings to her current standing – 133rd – with a goal to break into the top 30. This past fall, Powell tried out for the P1440 tour, founded by three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, and received a spot which provided her free training throughout the four-month pro-league series. “That has really helped jumpstart my career where I could start getting recognized more around the beach volleyball community,” Powell said. “It’s important to get more exposure as I try to move up.” Van Schalkwyk said he simply noticed Powell’s Instagram page recently and realized her name seemed familiar as she had been one of the top players in the state. As he saw her goal of being an Olympian, he decided to reach out to her and see how he could help. “Our mission at Club GSL is to be a support for every individual and help them achieve their personal goals in volleyball,” he said. “I knew what Melissa was going after fit within that mission statement.” Powell trains with Van Schalkwyk and

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Draper City Journal

Draper Historic Theatre’s “The Spitfire Grill” to serve up laughter and tears By Katherine Weinstein | katherine@mycityjournals.com fire Grill” has grown on her over the years. “It is a really unique score for a musical,” she said. The musical styles in the songs range from folk-rock to bluegrass to more conventional Broadway-style ballads. The instrumentals include mandolin, guitar, fiddle, accordion, piano and cello. “The music sort of scratches at your heart and burrows in,” said Aspyn. Jen Spongberg, who plays Effy the town gossip, noted that this production of “The Spitfire Grill” is “a big move” for Draper Historic Theatre as it differs from the theater’s usual offerings in its intimacy and overall mood. “It will likely pull in a different crowd,” she said. “Everyone will take away something different from this show.” Draper Historic Theatre’s production of “The Spitfire Grill” by James Valcq and Fred Alley will be presented Feb. 15, 16, 18, 22, 23 and 25 as well as March 1, 2, and 4 at 7 p.m. There will be a matinee performance on Feb. 23. For tickets and more information, visit the Draper Historic Theatre webEffy, the town gossip (Jen Spongberg), interrupts Caleb Thorpe (Nathan Metcalf) and Sheriff Joe Sutter (Josh Durfey) as they have coffee in Draper Historic Theatre’s site at www.drapertheatre.org or call 801“The Spitfire Grill.” (Photo courtesy Bailey Loveless/Draper Historic Theatre) 572-4144 during the run. Draper Historic Theatre is located at 12366 South 900 East “Heartfelt.” “Engaging.” “Poignant.” Percy who seeks to make a new start in Gil- two years ago as a student at Southern Utah in Draper. l These are words used by drama critics to ead, Wisconsin, following a stint in prison. University. She says the music in “The Spitdescribe the musical “The Spitfire Grill” Gilead has seen better days and is nearly a when it opened Off-Broadway in the fall of ghost town. Percy ends up working at the 2001. The musical, which tells the story of titular diner run by a sharp-tongued widow a young woman’s extraordinary impact on named Hannah. When Hannah breaks her the citizens of a rural town, is a contrast to leg and needs to sell the diner, Percy probigger Broadway spectacles with its small poses a raffle in which people can submit an cast, folksy, bluegrass-tinged score, and essay, along with a $100 entry fee, explainhomespun plot. Draper Historic Theatre will ing why they want to buy it. present “The Spitfire Grill” Feb. 15 through Soon essays and bids are coming in March 4. from all over. While the people of Gilead “People won’t know how much they were initially wary of Percy, they gradually need this show until they see it,” said actor open up to her. The stories of the townsAndrea Chapman, who plays the talented people, their secrets, sorrows and struggles cook Shelby Thorpe. “It’s going to click on are revealed. Percy herself is a survivor of some level with you,” echoed Nathan Met- abuse but her presence in the town is transcalf, who plays her gruff, veteran husband, formative. Chapman explained, “EveryCaleb. Jordyn Aspyn, who plays the lead body changes because this girl comes to role of Percy, described the show as “heart- their town.” Josh Durfey, who plays Sheriff warming, full of laughter but also sadness. Joe Sutter, noted that the show is not only It is very real.” about the power of redemption for the charSummarizing what the show is about is acters, but for the place as a whole. “Percy no simple matter. The overriding theme is brings such a spark to the town,” he said. about redemption and forgiveness but also This production of “The Spitfire Grill” the importance of friendship, the emotional is very much a labor of love for the director scars left by loss and abuse and the personal and cast members who have found aspects cost of serving in the military. Ashley Ram- of their own personal lives reflected in the sey, who plays diner owner Hannah Fer- stories of the characters. “It is a cathartic guson, summed up her take on the show’s show,” said director Eldon Randall, who themes as, “No mistake is so big that you fell in love with the musical 12 years ago can’t come back from it. We can learn to when he saw it at Utah Shakespeare Festilove again no matter what has happened.” val. This will be Randall’s fourth time diBased on the 1996 movie starring Ellen recting it. Burstyn and Marcia Gay Harden, “The SpitAspyn is reprising her role as Percy at fire Grill” is about a young woman named Draper Historic Theatre, having played it

DraperJournal .com

February 2019 | Page 25

Behind the Grind(er)




Krazy Cleaning Reliable Cleaning for your Home Bryan / Jazmin Garcia

ver wonder what the best bang for your buck is at the coffee shop? Let’s take a journey through my years working as a barista at local and corporate coffee shops. As a customer, you have all sorts of options to get your caffeine fix: drip coffee, espresso drinks, teas, iced blended drinks, cold brews, etc. Let’s focus on drip coffee. Drip is a coffee shop’s equivalent to what you make at home in your coffee pot, just on an industrial scale. We’ll grind the beans, measure out the correct amount, throw that in a filter, make sure the brewer is set to pour the correct amount of water, and hit a “brew” button. If you’re looking for something simple, drip coffee is the best deal at any coffee shop. Depending on the size, and if you’re going to use your own cup, drip coffee is priced anywhere from $2 to $4. Or, if you plan to hang out, most shops will offer “to stay” refills for a reduced price. However, most of us don’t want to get plain drip coffee when we visit a coffee shop. Usually, we desire something fancier, something with espresso. The options for espresso drinks are vast: doppios, lattes, flavored lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, cortados, macchiatos, mochas, flat whites, dirty chai lattes, blended drinks and signature drinks. Instead of detailing every one of those, I sug-

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gest focusing on the most important factor for making your important morning decision: the ratio of the amount of espresso to the amount of product. Depending on your taste buds, some drinks might suit your wallet better than others. For example, the espresso quantity in a latte and a mocha are equivalent, but there can be as much as a $1 difference between the drinks. For chocolate lovers out there, it’s worth it to get the mocha. But for customers focused primarily on caffeine, a latte would be the way to go. For espresso drinks, one of the main considerations is size. If there are three size options for a single drink, it’s important to ask how many shots are going in each size. At a popular corporate coffee shop, there are three size options for espresso drinks — the equivalent of a small, medium and large. Here’s the big secret: there’s generally the same amount of espresso in a medium and a large. The difference comes down to the other products: milk, flavoring, water, concentrate, tea. Anytime I visit a coffee shop, I always order the equivalent of a medium, because there are more espresso shots than a small, but less product to dilute the espresso (and add more calories) than a large. Subbing is a secret trick. Many coffee shops will charge 50 to 75 cents for extra

shots, additional flavorings, or a milk substitution. If you order something like a vanilla hazelnut latte with coconut milk and an extra shot, you’ve just added $2 to your drink price. Instead, you might want to find a drink on the menu that already has coconut milk (check the specialty drinks) and sub out whatever flavor that drink has for your desired flavor. Sometimes, it’s worth pricing out where your favorite drink would be cheaper if you subbed products, and where it would be cheaper just to ask for the additional flavor. Last, but not least, please tip your baristas. I know that seems contradictory. You say, “Wait, we are going to save a few extra cents on a drink just to spend more money by tipping?” Yes, but hear me out. Even if the baristas won’t admit it, or even when they are trying hard to be objective toward customers, they’ll remember who tips well. If you tip your baristas, they’ll make sure to treat your drink with a little extra love. l

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Draper City Journal

Life and Laughter—Cold Snap



n the lovely, winter song, a family travels over the river and through the woods to visit grandma. It sounds idyllic, with everyone bundled in fur robes as a happy, prancing horse carries them through snow drifts. I call bull-shenanigans. Winter travel is never that picturesque. My winter driving dread usually starts around 5 a.m. when the snowplow drops its blade outside my bedroom window. First, I want to murder the snowplow driver. Second, I want to burrow in the blankets and not get out of bed until Easter weekend. I don’t know if there’s one inch of snow or three feet, but I know stupid drivers will hit the streets soon, causing mishaps and mayhem. Once I’m ready for work, I jump in my car where the faux leather seats have frozen over like a glacial lake and the steering wheel is now made of solid iceberg. I shiver uncontrollably as I crank the heater up and run through my wide vocabulary of cold-weather swear words. Jack Frost isn’t nipping at my nose; he’s chomping my entire face. Utah drivers are always encouraged to drive smart and read up on winter safety tips. Of course, no one does that, so freeways turn into demolition derbies on ice. Some advice includes: • Never mix radial tires with other tires (because those radial tires are anti-social as

Laughter AND



hell). • Keep the gas tank at least half full. (Hahahaha!) • Steer where you want to go. (This seems like a trick suggestion.) • Have blankets in your car. (I always carry at least seven blankets. Even in the summer.) • Don’t try to walk if you’re stranded. (I don’t try to walk when I’m not stranded.) • Tie a bright cloth to the antenna so help can find you. (Antenna? What are you driving? A 1975 Impala?) • Steer into a skid. (That’s usually what gets me in trouble in the first place.) • Have snacks available. (I did an inventory in my car and found 17 half-full bottles of water, 35 pounds of graham cracker crumbs, 14 brown apple slices, a half-eaten taco and 143 chicken nuggets. And a longlost Snickers bar, which I ate immediately.) • Don’t be stupid. (I guess this tip was for the driver next to me, wearing his ball cap backward, trying to wipe the snow off his windshield by slapping his shirt across the glass.) But it’s not just car travel that gets messed up in the winter. Flying becomes a nightmare straight from Hotel Antarctica. If you travel by plane, there’s a good chance your flights will be cancelled due to bad weather. But first, you have to pass the

TSA agent, who’s as smug as Vladimir Putin in a crocodile-wrestling competition. He insists I take off all my layers of clothing, including but not limited to, two cardigans, a vest, a parka, a couple of blankets, four scarves and a coat. Once past security, if a blizzard stops air traffic, you’ll be staying in the airport because no airline gives a small bag-o-peanuts about your comfort. You’ll end up sleeping across four chairs with armrests, trying hard not to kick the person snoring next to you. Even if it’s your husband. After boarding, I look at the snow through the tiny oval windows, watching workers de-ice the plane. That always inspires confidence. (As a side note: are there still air marshals on flights? I wish they’d identify themselves so I could have them arrest the parents of the child who kept throwing pretzels in my hair.) We’ve come a long way from horsedrawn sleighs, but it would still be very thoughtful of grandma if she lived somewhere warm.




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