Herriman Journal | August 2021

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rom much needed rest and relaxation to exploring a new culture to embarking on an adventure, summer is high season for travel and lots of Utahns are getting away in 2021 to make up for the travel restrictions of 2020. In a very informal Facebook poll in the Herriman Happenings Facebook page, we asked what type of travel Herriman residents have done in the past 6 months. Traveling by car more than 100 miles received the most votes at 101. Traveling by plane within the United States received the second most votes at 89. There were 23 votes for traveling by plane outside of the United States and there was 1 vote for not feeling comfortable traveling at all at this time. For some Utahns, travel never stopped and some have taken advantage of the travel deals earlier in the year. Jessica Wilhelm of Herriman relocated from Texas to Utah in January 2021. Wilhelm said, “The last six months for us has been a vacation-like experience. One cheap nearby destination was Vegas. Hotels were so cheap due to no shows going on so we stayed at Bellagio for less than $100.” Chuck Norton of Herriman said, “We went on a month-long RVing vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We visited Portland and Seattle and then Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for the Hiawatha bike trail!” While road trips were very popular, when flights first opened back up again in late 2020, plane passengers enjoyed Continued page 11

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August 2021 | Page 3

Herriman residents organize group to complete community service projects By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


hen a Facebook user took to the Herriman Happenings group to lament the state of one of its parks, Heather Garcia knew it was time to put her plan into action. Garcia, as a member of the city’s planning commission, had recently been discussing with her colleagues how they could be more involved in the community. One idea they came up with: create a Facebook group dedicated to organizing residents around good causes and volunteer service projects. So the complaints of some litter at J. Lynn Crane Park made for the perfect opportunity to get the group started. Just 24 hours later, a group of seven residents got together to tidy up the park. “I think we have a lot of people who are willing to help out,” Garcia said about the budding group. “There are a lot of people in our community who know we can’t expect the city to be responsible for everything. I think of it as us getting together and building our community.” The group of about 200 members has plans to accomplish service projects ranging from cleaning up weeds along the city’s roads to installing “tiny libraries,” a recently popular trend of building small receptacles in public spaces where people can borrow or leave books. For that, Garcia said they are looking for residents who would either like to host a library on their park strip or help build them. You can find and join the group by searching Herriman Community Service Project on Facebook. l

A group of volunteers who helped tidy up J. Lynn Crane Park. (From the Herriman Community Service Project Facebook group)

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August 2021 | Page 5

JATC students bring home gold, silver, bronze medals By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Tinh Nguyen and James Davies earned Silver in Web Design at the National SkillsUSA competition in June. (Melinda Mansouri/JATC)


ayla Basic brought home the gold for Utah and for Jordan District with her performance in nail design at both the SkillsUSA state competition in the spring and again in

the national competition this summer. Basic learned nail tech skills from classes she took at the Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers her senior year. She prac-

ticed her nail design for the competition for five months. “I think it was important to learn how much progress you can make by just working on something,” Basic said. “I think that’s why I did earn the gold, because I took so much time and effort, and, honestly, I was hard on myself when I was doing it, and I put my all into it.” Basic’s nail design stood out from the other competitors, many who created nail patterns, with her intricate images of the Santa Monica Pier, Golden Gate Bridge, beach, and lighthouse. Basic said the competition was challenging because of the time factor-- it normally took three hours to create her complex nail design—the competition gave her one. However, because it was a virtual competition this year, she said it wasn’t as stressful. She wasn’t surrounded by competitors in a foreign environment but in her JATC classroom, where she’d been practicing her design for months. She said placing at the top of the competition has given her confidence. Preparing for the competitions also gave her a much-needed boost this spring, when she was feeling low due to the pandemic and an unusual senior year.

“That was the one thing I did have motivation for so I really tried hard at it, and I’m glad I did because it got me out of that weird state,” she said. Basic’s nail instructor, Shannon Mechling, encourages her students to participate in competitions because they are a great opportunity for students to further their skills. “The competition arena is probably one of the best places to learn because competitors are not afraid of sharing tips, techniques, different things to do or try,” she said. Additionally, students get feedback from judges on ways they can improve. JATC web design instructor Melinda Mansouri requires her students to participate in competitions to help them develop work skills, as well as grit, determination and teamworking skills. “The students leave with better skills— they just walk out better web developers,” she said. “They just walk out with confidence that they didn’t walk in with. And anytime you are starting a skill set, that confidence, being able to really produce that in that amount of time, just changes everything about what’s next for them.” Mansouri noticed a difference in her students who weren’t able to participate in the

Enjoy a truly tacotastic time at the Herriman Taco Bell By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournal.com


here is a silly meme out there that says, “You cannot make everyone happy. You are not a taco.” However anyone who has visited the Herriman Taco Bell on 5088 W 134000 S and has had the pleasure of interacting with employee Justin Reynolds might disagree. In early July, a post raving about Reynolds’ outstanding customer service in the Herriman Happenings Facebook page garnered over 330 likes and dozens of comments praising Reynolds’ work ethic and friendly attitude as well as general compliments for the entire staff. The store’s Marketing Training Manager, Melissa Lambert, was overwhelmed with gratitude for the praise Herriman residents showered on her team. Lambert said, “This made my day. It has been stressful lately. My staff has been working a ton so we don’t run short. They truly are all amazing.” But one particular thing caught the attention of Herriman residents that uniquely belongs to 17-year-old Reynolds, who will be a senior at Herriman High School in the Fall. After exceptionally great service and ensuring orders are correct, Reynolds’ farewell phrase places the final cherry on top of an ideal fast food experience. Reynolds says to every customer, “Have a tacotastic day!” Reynolds’ signature adieu is a phrase

Page 6 |August 2021

that customers love and remember. This simple phrase is just one example that conveys his immense joy in his work and love for his co-workers. Clever quips aside, Reynolds’ work skills are impressive as he has an incredible memory and is quite skilled at multitasking. He has memorized the prices including tax for the entire Taco Bell menu and is able to group customers’ orders into combos in an instant, saving them some money. His sharp memory also gives him the ability to remember faces to recognize and acknowledge return customers. In a fastpaced work environment that keeps employees on their feet all day, Lambert also loves Reynolds’ ability to remain calm. Justin’s mother, Veronica Reynolds, said that Justin has been a people person ever since birth. She said, “He always makes me laugh. People just gravitate towards him and he makes them happy. He loves going to work and his co-workers are like family. He says he loves being at work almost as much as he loves being at home.” Although Justin is often found working the drive-through, he loves working a new role called “Bell Hop” where he goes outside, meets customers face to face, and takes their order via a tablet. He said, “I get to actually be there in front of the customer and communicate with them in person and not through a speaker box. They

can see my face and I can see theirs and it is just better.” Emily Taylor of Herriman said, “I too have had a wonderful experience at the drive thru with Justin. My husband and I always hope we get him when we order. I always know my order will be made right when he’s there. We even did the Taco Bell survey and put a good word in for him. We hope they gave him something for that!” Indeed, Taco Bell does reward their employees who get shout-outs from the surveys. Lambert explained that every time an employee receives a “Highly Satisfied” rating from the survey, they receive a poker chip. Employees can collect poker chips to redeem prizes. Reynolds has already redeemed two Amazon gift cards and is well on his way to redeeming more. Reynolds’ short-term goal with Taco Bell is to continue working there as much as he can and become a Team Trainer. His other interests include computers and plans to pursue a Computer Science degree in college. In a world where a lot of fast food jobs have high turnover and low employee satisfaction, the team at the Herriman Taco Bell gives their customers more than just quesadillas and burritos. They provide smiles, happy employees, good service, and a tacotastic experience. l

Tacotastic Justin with one of the store’s delicious delights. (Karmel Harper/City Journals)

Herriman City Journal

SkillsUSA 2020 competition, which was canceled due to COVID-19. They were less confident heading into their spring internships. This was one of the few years any of Mansouri’s students have qualified for nationals, which only accepts one team from each state. And it was the first year she had students finish in the top 10. James Davies and Tinh Nguyen earned Silver in Web Design. Together, they designed and coded a website from scratch in just 12 hours, a project Mansouri said would normally take 50 man hours. The two-member team also earned gold at the region and state competitions, where their final scores were well above the second and third place winners, said Mansouri. “These are amazing kids,” Mansouri said. “They just have such skill and talent. It’s exciting for me to send them out and see what happens next. I’m always watching to see what they’re doing post graduation.” For more information about JATC classes available to add to high school schedules, visit jordanteach.org.

Medalists for the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference:

Layla Basic, Gold in Nail Care James Davies and Tinh Nguyen, Silver in Web Design Kaitlin Beck, Top 9 award in Customer Service

Medalists for the SkillsUSA Utah state


James Davies and Tinh Nguyen, Gold in Web Design Jesse Gavino and Daniel Gross, Silver in Web Design Eternity Draper, Bronze in Pin Design Ethan Stott, Bronze in T-Shirt Design Hayley Arnold, Gold in Criminal Justice Kaitlin Beck, Gold in Customer Service Brock Lauitzen, Gold in Fire Fighting Giovanni Mammano, Silver in Fire Fighting Bryton Orgill, Bronze in Fire Fighting Dannon Sumsion, Gold in Job Skill Demonstration O Kari Barclay, Silver in Job Skill Demonstration A Kelsie Rowe, Bronze in Job Skill Demonstration A Katelyn Andrus, Bronze in Job Skill Demonstration O Lily Watterson, Bronze in Job Interview Ezekial Tatum, Gold in Barbering Sarah Eddwards, Silver in Cosmetology Layla Basic, Gold in Nail Care Jessica Hernandez Sandoval, Silver in Nail Care Brogen Astle, Gold in Welding Sculpture Forest Curtis, Silver in Welding Sculpture Taylor Wood, Zach Smith and Troy Dailey, Silver in Welding Fabrication l Layla Basic used the nail care skills she learned in her JATC classes to win state and national competitions. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Mechling.)


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RSL Academy U-15 team wins major tournament By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


he Real Salt Lake Academy program is developing some of the best young soccer players in the country, right here in Herriman. The organization’s U15 team (players younger than 15) recently took home the championship trophy for the MLS NEXT Cup Tournament. The tournament pitted 32 MLS-affiliated developmental teams against one another at the FC Dallas soccer complex in Frisco, Texas. The RSL Academy team entered the tournament as the 31st seed, based on their performance in their regular season competition. In their first match of the tournament, they took down the No. 2 seed, Orlando City SC, by a score of 3-0. They stayed hot on offense in the second and third round, scoring five goals apiece against Total Futbol Academy and Sockers FC. Then their defense took them the rest of the way, as they didn’t allow For Real Salt Lake, the development of young talent at RSL Academy and the Real Monarchs, both headquartered here in Herriman, is key to the success of the organization. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

a single goal to either the San Jose Earthquakes in the semifinal or to the Philadelphia Union in the final. Forward Axel Kei was awarded the Golden Boot award for the tournament, given to the most prolific goal-scorer in a given competition. He led the way with five goals. The success of the team is even more impressive when considering the hurdles that they have had to go through. First, since this is the Academy’s youngest age group, this was a brand new team; players who had never played together before. Additionally, their progress was hampered by COVID-19, as the pandemic limited the amount of games they were able to play against other academy teams prior to this tournament. However, the team had the advantage of being led by a coach with many years of MLS Academy experience in Andrew May. “I think it was a good surprise for us. Not having a good year in terms of number of games, we

were pleasantly surprised that a lot of players stepped up, played outside their comfort zones if you will and really showed their quality throughout the tournament,” May said. According to May, the weeklong tournament was definitely the largest stage for any of the players on the team, about a quarter of whom are local to Utah. While it’s certainly not guaranteed that any of the players will make it to the highest level and compete at Rio Tinto Stadium for the RSL first team. But that is the ultimate goal of the academy program. “I think this club has a history of producing homegrown players,” May said. “We just want to keep progressing. We like to think that the future is bright. They still have a few more years in our academy. This is a good stepping stone for them.” A few of the RSL players who have come through the Academy program include Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad and David Ochoa. l

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Herriman City Journal

Jordan District opens a new chapter in literacy education By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


tudents in Jordan District schools will be learning to read in a whole new way this fall using a new curriculum based on the science of reading. With this more balanced literacy approach, students learn to recognize letter sounds and letter patterns and then decode them within words. “I feel like it’s the piece that we’ve been kind of missing for a while—how to teach them the basic skills in the most logical sequence,” second grade teacher Laurie Ferrini said. For the last several years, children have been taught to read more by guessing than by identifying. The focus was on comprehension and wasn’t effective for many kids. “We just created a lot of guessers,” said Mandy Thurman, a district Elementary Language Arts consultant. “Now we’re really trying to give them the phonics skills so that they can come across a word, and even if they don’t know what it is, they can use these skills, and now they’ll know [how to read it.]” In addition to a focus on phonics skills, the new curriculum also introduces direct assessments that reveal specific holes in a child’s skills and provides targeted interventions to fill them. The district has increased funding this year to provide additional aides (with increased hours) to work with students in daily targeted intervention groups, using curriculum-provided materials to address students’ specific needs. “I’m excited for kids to read,” said Michelle Lovell, a former kindergarten teacher who works for the district as a K-3 language arts consultant. “There’s nothing I want more

than to know that all of our kids are leaving third grade with the reading skills that they really need, that we’re not letting any students by without giving them those skills.” The intervention time, which will be held for 30 minutes each day, will also benefit students who are proficient readers. “Often we’ll spend so much time focused on the kids that are struggling, that our kids that are really needing more challenge become unengaged and bored,” Thurman said. “And so we’ve been working with the Gifted and Talented department so that those kids get what they need as well in terms of extension and enrichment.” Educators at Heartland Elementary have been piloting the curriculum for two years and have seen measurable performance gains on reading assessments. “Last year for the first time ever, we saw kids maintain—or even go up—by the middle of the year,” Heartland Principal Buddy Alger said. “They were acquiring skills faster than they really ever had on the measures that are in [the state reading assessment.]” Ferrini credits the new phonics and targeted intervention programs for the gains her students have made. “Using the [curriculum] as a screener really is a good diagnostic of what they’re missing,” Ferrini said. “So it really takes the guesswork out of what they’re missing and where they need help. It’ll point you in the right direction, so you’re really saving a lot of time. This tells us right away and we can get started on that intervention quickly.” Reading aides at Heartland also reported increased student confidence.

Heartland Elementary teachers have seen improved ready skills in students with targeted intervention reading groups, a part of the new literacy program. (Doug Flagler/Jordan School District)

“There’s power in knowledge and seeing kids being empowered by that knowledge,” Alger said. “It’s been really powerful and inspiring for our school.” “As a teacher it’s exciting to see kids want to read,” Ferrini said. “They’re excited to read and to go to their groups to read and to learn the new skill that they’re working on. They’re taking ownership of their own reading now.” Teachers said parents will notice a difference in how their students are reading at home. “What parents will see is that their students are able to do more problem solving in their reading,” Heartland first grade teacher Amy Harvey said. “They’re going to be able

to use the patterns that they have learned in the classroom when they sit down to read at home. They can break words apart and sound it out and they will be able to do that on their own.” Parents will see less of a focus on guided reading levels, reading comprehension passages, memorizing sight words, and sounding out words one letter at a time. Rather, students will learn the different types of syllables, how to predict what sound a vowel will make, and hand gestures to help identify patterns within words. Parents are encouraged to continue to read to and with their children often. Equally important, said Lovell, is for parents to continually expose their children to new experiences and places to help them build vocabulary and background knowledge. “You do that by talking to kids, having great conversations, reading with kids and taking them to explore places,” she said. Thurman said kids can read words but can’t truly comprehend what they read without having a basic understanding of what things are. “If they have solid word recognition and decoding ability, and they fully understand the language, and they have lots and lots of background knowledge and a high vocabulary, that’s really what will make reading comprehension,” Thurman said. The new curriculum launches this fall. Every K-6 teacher in the district received two full days of training over the summer to understand the science of reading and learn the curriculum tools. Thurman said it’s part of Superintendent Anthony Godfrey’s vision for the district to ‘be united, be intentional, be curious.’ “It’s the first time in my career of 19 years that I feel like we are united as a district, where every single teacher will have two days worth of training on all of these parts and pieces,” Thurman said. l

Students will become independent decoders through a new way of teaching reading skills in Jordan District classrooms. (Doug Flagler/Jordan School District)

HerrimanJ ournal.com

August 2021 | Page 9

Little Free Libraries provide different personal connections to a community By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournal.com


ndrew Carnegie said, “A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” Carnegie’s belief that a free library gives people the chance to educate and lift themselves regardless of wealth and status is exhibited in his accomplishment funding and building 2,508 public libraries in his lifetime. Inspired by the 20th century titan of industry, Todd Bol and Rick Brooks of Wisconsin set a similar goal to build libraries. In 2009, Bol built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother who was a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and installed it on a post in his front yard where neighbors and friends could “take a book and leave a book.” It was such a success that Bol built several more and gave them away. In 2010, Brooks and Bol established the name “Little Free Library” and the first official Little Free Library was installed on a bike path in Madison, Wisconsin that summer. Within a few months, thousands of people had seen the library and Brooks and Bol continued to give away Little Free Libraries that included wooden signs engraved with official charter numbers. By the end of 2012, the same year Little Free Library became a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, the pair surpassed Carnegie’s library count of 2,508 as they established over 4,000 libraries Lindsey Lyman of South Jordan is celebrating the 5-year anniversary of her Little Free Library. Lyman installed her library as a birthday gift to herself, needing something

Utah author Michelle Edge loves to donate her books to Little Free Libraries including this one in Herriman. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Edge.)

positive to focus on while undergoing fertility treatments. Shortly after Lyman erected the structure, the doorbell rang and there were overflowing bags of brand new books ranging in different age groups and genres. It also included a gift card worth several hundred dollars for the purchase of more

Michelle Peterson of South Jordan gifted a Little Free Library to her mother in memory of her aunt who passed away in May. A custom plaque was provided by LittleFreeLibrary.org. (Photo by Michelle Peterson.)

Page 10 |August 2021

Visit Lindsey Lyman’s Little Free Library located at 10846 South Tahoe Way in South Jordan. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Lyman.)

books. Lyman said, “I cried big happy tears as I knew that our journey with our library was going to be a positive one.” To this day, the benefactor is anonymous. Five years and two adopted children later, Lyman has met so many wonderful people in her community as well as discovered awesome new books from visiting other neighborhood Little Free Libraries every Friday with her kids. Lyman also does regular reading programs and challenges for her library guests and is celebrating their milestone anniversary with newly designed bookmarks, stickers, popsicles and prizes. The success of the Little Free Library program runs on an honor system embracing the “take a book, leave a book” mindset. People are welcome to take as many books as they please and they can either return them or keep them forever as long as they replace the books they take. This mentality not only fosters a constant turnover in titles by providing book diversity but also promotes neighborhood connection via the shared experience of reading the books together. The Little Free Library program offers exposure to local authors and gives them the opportunity to share their work with the local community. Michelle Edge recently moved to South Jordan from Georgia and has published four children’s books which she has written and illustrated herself including a series entitled, “The Adventures of Sissy Dog” which are rhyming books. Based on the true stories and imaginative adventures from her

childhood, her books are available for sale on Amazon and in Target and Walmart. Edge loves to drive around town and donate her books in Little Free Libraries. Edge said, “I’m a big advocate for literacy, especially now that we live in a world where verbal socialization and mingling is on the back burner. I love it when locals walk up to me in public and recognize me from a book I put in their community’s box. It’s a way for me to connect with people. I’m a huge advocate for parents spending quality time with their kids, especially since my books are targeted towards children learning how to read.” Edge has donated her books to Little Free Libraries in Daybreak and Herriman. To date there are over 100,000 registered Little Free Libraries in 108 countries worldwide. The Little Free Library website (www.littlefreelibrary.org) includes an interactive map that allows you to input your zip code and locations near you will pop up. To the traveler, it is a wonderful way to enjoy a book provided by a local resident, perhaps in a country and culture that is new to you. When Mark Brown visits the Daybreak area he rides his bike around the neighborhood to visit the Little Free Libraries to get his reading material for their stay. Brown said, “I love this program and thank those who donate.” If you would like to start a Little Free Library in your neighborhood and get more information on how to build one, visit www. littlefreelibrary.org. l

Herriman City Journal

Continued from front page half-filled flights and room to spread out, often with entire rows to oneself. Today, airlines are booking to full capacity and airports are just as busy as they were pre-pandemic. However, masks are still required at airports and in airplanes. Destinations such as Hawaii still require a 10-day quarantine for visitors to the islands unless they file for a quarantine exemption by either providing a negative COVID-19 test or uploading their vaccination card to the Safe Travels Hawaii website (travel.hawaii.gov). Even Hawaii residents who travel outside of Hawaii must undergo the same protocol upon their return to Hawaii. Herriman’s Ginger Healy said, “We love to travel and we are getting our revenge on 2020 for having to cancel our trips.” Healy has recently been to Washington DC, Southern Utah, Alabama, and Iceland. In June 2021, when the Healy family traveled to Iceland, COVID-19 protocols were quite strict. Visitors to Iceland must be fully vaccinated, which the Healy family was, or consent to being tested every few days. Upon arrival

in Iceland, they were required to show their proofs of vaccination and be tested as well. They were required to quarantine at their hotel until the test results came a few hours later. Before they traveled home, they were required to test again and show proof at the airport prior to flying home. Healy said, “We had the choice of testing at an Icelandic facility or doing a home test. We bought the home test and tested at our hotel. We received the results and presented them at airport.” While the travel industry and tourism are ramping back up again, it is recommended that you do your research on travel restrictions and requirements such as COVID-19 tests, vaccination requirements, and mask protocols. While mask wearing in Utah has subsided in general, many tourist destinations still require them, especially in indoor spaces. Knowing expectations, protocols, and restrictions will make for a much more enjoyable trip. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices for travel recommendations by destination. l

Never-Ending Network Evolution, Are All Broadband Providers Up for the Challenge? By Bryan Thomas, VP Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region

Working and learning remotely for the past 15 months brought unique circumstances for all of us to navigate in several areas, and central to it all is having access to a reliable, secure internet connection. The pandemic posed the biggest technological test in the history of the internet. When offices and schools closed in March 2020, internet traffic across the U.S. surged by 20 – 35 percent, as millions of people transitioned to working, learning and consuming all of their entertainment at home. Now our communities are transitioning back to working from offices or making hybrid work arrangements, and schools are planning to reopen their doors beginning in August. A flexible, continuously evolving network staying ahead of customer demand is critical. The success of a network hinges on three factors: decades of strategic investment, continuous network innovation, and the best team in the business. Investment In the last three years alone, Comcast invested $389.6 million in technology and infrastructure in Utah, including upgrades to our network. Since 2017, Comcast devoted more than $15 billion nationwide to strengthening and expanding our network – including building more than 33,000 new route miles of fiber, which is like driving from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine more than 10 times. Every two and a half years, the company has added as much capacity to the network as it has in all the previous years combined. One of the greatest advantages of our massive network is we already pass 60 million homes and businesses with a powerful, fiber-dense network, and we have the ability to quickly, surgically, and efficiently add additional fiber and capacity when and where it’s needed. Because of our continuous investment in our network, we can often complete targeted upgrades in weeks rather than months and years. We have a proven track record of completing network upgrades and improvements ahead of schedule, and delivering the performance our customers need well before they need it. Innovation Continuous innovation throughout every part of a network is key. Comcast is a leader in the 10G initiative, which leverages new standards and technology to dramatically increase internet speeds. The technology lays the groundwork for network operators, like us, to deliver multigigabit download and upload speeds over connections already installed in hundreds of millions of homes worldwide. Meaning, we can deliver multigigabit speeds to homes without the need for massive digging and construction projects. With this technology, Comcast can continue to deliver ultra-fast service today, while simultaneously building capacity for future needs.mAnd with decades of experience, Comcast is advancing network virtualization and data access to cloud-based technologies for greater performance, increased reliability and easier upgrades. Simply put, we’re able to meet the needs of tomorrow – today, and continually improve the customer experience by delivering faster speeds, greater capacity, and more dynamic connected experiences. Team Support In addition to investing billions in building and evolving our network, Comcast engineers, artificial intelligence scientists, and cybersecurity experts across the country are continuously developing and deploying new technologies to protect our customers and ensure our network can meet emerging threats and challenges. We have a team of cybersecurity experts scanning the network for threats and actively defending our network and our communities. Our teams are made up of elite talent working at every level of the network from software and artificial intelligence at the core, to the best field teams laying new fiber and upgrading the network year-round in all conditions. New network entrants who don’t have a plan or resources to support never-ending network evolution, cybersecurity protection, and hardening may put customers who rely on them at unnecessary risk. As the country shifts yet again, home and business internet connections remain essential for video calls, education, healthcare access, workforce development, streaming entertainment, and more.

The Wilhelm family of Herriman at the Hoover Dam in early 2021. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Wilhelm)

HerrimanJ ournal.com

At Comcast, we remain relentlessly focused on connectivity, to deliver the smartest, fastest, most reliable network to the communities we serve – keeping you connected to more of who and what you love.

August 2021 | Page 11

Herriman local set to release first album By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

The cover of Herriman local April Kerr’s debut full length album, “Headspace.”


n the fourth grade, April Kerr was assigned to write a poem. She chose to write one about World War II because her grandpa was a soldier. Then all on her own, she added a melody to it and started singing. A song writer was born! Now, she is set to release her debut fulllength album, “Headspace,” this summer. The album contains 10 songs she’s written over the course of the last three years. While the collection of songs share common themes, they’re not all necessarily related to one another. That’s why Kerr’s sister suggested “Headspace” for the title of the album, because it’s “just things that happened in [her] head.” While the album is Kerr’s first full length release, it’s likely that many Herriman residents might have already heard her perform. She recently performed two songs from the album at the Herriman Live talent show. She’s also been a regular at Hale Center Theater over the past four years, performing in such shows as Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Christmas Carol, Seussical the Musical, Freaky Friday and A Tale of Two Cities. She was also active in Herriman High’s theater program during her time as a student. In fact, Kerr’s connection to musical theater has been a big influence on the sound of the forthcoming album. She also listed Sarah Bareilles, Carole King, Lizzy McAlpine and Gavin James as some of her musical inspirations. “Headspace” is notable for Kerr in that

Page 12 |August 2021

it represents the progress she has made not only as a performer, but as a recording professional as well. For her first EP released in 2018, she worked with Noise Box Studio in Provo to produce it. “I just had to come in and play my songs. [They] did all the recording and mixing,” she explained. But after recently graduating from Utah Valley University with a degree in commercial music production, she decided it was time for her to produce her own album. “I decided, this is my senior year, I should be doing this on my own. I shouldn’t be paying other people to do it when this is what I’m studying,” she said. As a test run of sorts, she and a friend, Kyle Olsen, produced a Christmas music EP this winter. That success gave her the confidence to go through with producing her own full-length album, which she has been working on this spring in the home-studio of a former professor. “This is the first project I’ve done that’s really just me, from start to finish,” she said. The album is expected to be out by the time this paper hits Herriman mailboxes. You can support Kerr by listening to the album on any streaming platform or even better, by going to a promotional concert she’ll be playing at the Draper Historic Theater on Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are just $10 and attendees will also be able to buy physical copies of the album. l

Herriman City Journal

Western is proud to announce our new physician: Dr. Wray's practice encompasses all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology with special interests in minimally invasive surgery, contraception management, menstruation, perimenopausal and menopausal care.

Mustang soccer kicks off


Photo by Justin Adams

nya Briscoe lines up a cross during a playoff game in 2020. The Herriman High girls soccer team returns this August a year after winning the region championship. The Mustangs’ only region loss came in a shootout to Bingham. Herriman kicks off the 2021 edition on Aug. 3 at Real Salt Lake Academy and starts region play on Aug. 31 at home to Copper Hills.

Schedule Aug. 3 at RSL Academy Aug. 5 at Jordan Aug. 10 vs Taylorsville Aug. 12 at Westlake Aug. 17 at American Fork Aug. 19 vs Woods Cross Aug. 31 vs Copper Hills Sept. 2 at Bingham Sept. 7 at Mountain Ridge Sept. 9 vs West Jordan Sept. 14 at Riverton Sept. 16 at Copper Hills Sept. 21 vs Bingham Sept. 23 vs Mountain Ridge Sept. 28 at West Jordan Sept. 30 vs Riverton

Adam Wray, D.O.

Undergraduate Education: University of Utah Medical Education: A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Residency: Michigan State University McLaren Hospital, Lansing Medical Licensure: Utah Professional Societies & Certifications: American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Junior Fellow American Osteopathic Association

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Awarding winning teacher gets teens thinking


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Jim Bentz is recognized for exemplifying the Athlos Pillars of Performance: Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character. (Photo courtesy of Jim Bentz.)


thlos Academy junior high language arts teacher Jim Bentz was one of three educators selected from Athlos schools nationwide to receive the Athlos Distinguished Educator Award. “He’s a very rigorous teacher who puts a lot of time and attention into making sure that students are getting a top-notch education,” said Mandy Kartchner, director of Athlos Academy charter school in Herriman. All of Bentz’s 16 years as an educator have been spent at private and charter schools where he feels he has more freedom with his teaching methods-- because Bentz is not like most language arts teachers. He doesn’t expect students to diagram sentences, or to create an introductory sentence before they begin writing a paper or to complete digital reading comprehension assessments. He expects them to develop critical thinking skills, to glean meaning from a text and to apply what they’ve learned in other contexts. One of his favorite tools is Socratic Circling, which is a student-led discussion. “The nice thing about doing a Socratic Circle discussion is I’m not up there at the front of the room, telling them what they have to say,” Bentz said. “I’m right there, with my sleeves rolled up, and I’m just one of them.” He said when a Socratic Circle takes off, a lot of learning takes place. “Kids are bringing up new points, kids are answering questions for other kids, kids are working together,” he said. “You see the little gears turning. Kids are going into detail--and not just detail about the book--but they’re making connections to their lives.” Bentz creates opportunities for students to create connections by collaborating with other teachers. He timed his class’s study of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” to coincide with history teacher McKay Jones’s unit on the American Revolution. “We made it work so that I’m talking about the Constitution and the amendments to the Constitution at the same time that he’s

talking about the Seven Rules of Animalism,” Jones said. As both topics explore the establishment of governments, the teachers stepped back and watched their students make connections between the two. Bentz is always aware of what time period Jones is covering in his class. He will read excerpts from books in his class which support Jones’s curriculum, such as “Red Badge of Courage” during the unit on the Civil War. “He has a catalogue of a million books in his head,” Jones said. Jones, a teacher with just two years of experience, is impressed with Bentz’s dedication to teaching and to his students. “He loves the kids and is dedicated to really helping them beyond just English,” Jones said. Bentz has nicknames for every student. He knows what their interests are and shows up to their games and recitals. Jones said Bentz sets high expectations for his students and then patiently helps them reach those expectations. “Everything I do, from ongoing professional development to advocating for kids, is driven by a humble desire to see young people become smarter, better human beings,” Bentz said. Bentz’s background is in business marketing, where he relied on reading and writing skills. When he realized that employees who were recent college graduates couldn’t be trusted to write memos or to read and comprehend contracts, he decided to become an English teacher to ensure kids develop those skills. Bentz said his job as a teacher is similar to his job in marketing. “I guess you could say I’m still selling,” Bentz said. “I’m still selling literature and the importance of good books. I’m still selling the absolute necessity for being able to communicate clearly in the environment and the culture that we’ve created here in the 21st century. But I also just enjoy my customer base more than I did in 16 years of business. At heart, I’m really just one of them.” l

Herriman City Journal

U of U, SLCC break ground on new joint campus in Herriman By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


epresentatives from the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College gathered in Herriman on July 15 to break ground for a new campus that the two institutions will share. The $57 million campus will be built along Sentinel Ridge Boulevard, to the northwest of Zions Bank Stadium and RSL Academy. It’s expected to be finished by 2023. Future students will be able to work on an associate’s degree through SLCC as well as a bachelor’s degree through the University of Utah in fields such as teaching, health care, information systems, business, social work, criminal justice and engineering. “It’s been no secret that this southwest quadrant of Salt Lake County has been growing and growing fast,” said SLCC President Deneece Huftalin at the groundbreaking ceremony. “In the face of this growth, higher education officials, state lawmakers, local municipality governments and local education leaders all knew that providing current and future residents with affordable access to higher education would be critical.” Huftalin said the land for the new campus was acquired by the state 10 years ago, with the thought of building some kind of higher education facility there. Then for the last five years, they have been more actively “dreaming and planning” for what the space could be. Throughout that time, city leaders have been doing everything they could to make the dream a reality. “This has been a long, long time coming. It’s been tough to get all the pieces in place over the last 10 years,” said City Councilman Jared Henderson. According to Henderson, the city has spent “millions and millions” of dollars on infrastructure improvements like water and roads that were required if the project were to ever materialize. For the city, it was a bit of a leap of faith to invest all that money, not knowing for sure if it would ever pay off. Henderson said he even gave up hope at moments, and wondered if the city should use the money for other purposes. But through the efforts of city officials and staff, everything came together and the investment paid off. Rep. Candice Pierruci, who represents the Riverton and Herriman area at the state legislature, said she’s excited for the opportunities that residents of the area will have to start or continue their education close to home. “What I especially love about SLCC is that it’s a place for first-time opportunities but also second chances in education,” she said. “We’re going to see people fresh out of high school coming here and we’ll

HerrimanJ ournal.com

Government and education leaders, from both the state-wide and local level, break ground on a new joint-campus to be shared by the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

“This has been a long, long time coming. It’s been tough to get all the pieces in place over the last 10 years.” – City Councilman Jared Henderson also see those moms who took time off, but they’re coming back in their 40’s to finish off their degree. I’m really excited about both stories that we’re going to see here.” The campus will not only be a source of educational opportunity for locals, but also a much-needed employment center for this part of the valley, noted Henderson. l Herriman City Councilman Jared Henderson speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new campus to be built in Herriman, just northwest of Zions Bank Stadium. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

August 2021 | Page 17

After an opening 2019 season that saw the program finish 0-11, Mountain Ridge turned it around in 2020 finishing 4-5. The Sentinels will hope to improve upon that record as it embarks on a new region moving from 5A to 6A. Nearby rivals will now be region foes such as Herriman and Riverton.

Sentinel football returns in a new region Photos by Justin Adams

Schedule Aug. 13 vs Olympus

Sept. 3 at Sky View

Aug. 20 vs Granger

Sept. 10 vs Westlake

Aug. 27 at Wasatch

Sept. 17 at Copper Hills

Sept. 24 at Bingham Oct. 1 at West Jordan Oct. 8 vs Riverton Oct. 14 vs Herriman

The Sentinels take down Olympus in their first game of the season last year. Mountain Ridge opens its 2021 schedule against Olympus again, this time at home on Aug. 13 at 6 p.m.

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Herriman City Journal

The Sentinels join an all-new region and classification this year as they move up from 5A to 6A. The new region is more geographically friendly though as all five opponents fall in the same school district: Herriman, Riverton, Bingham, Copper Hills and West Jordan.

Young program back after year of progress Photos by Justin Adams

Aug. 17 vs Cedar Valley Aug. 19 vs Westlake Aug. 24 at Farmington Aug. 31 at Northridge Sept. 2 vs Corner Canyon Sept. 7 vs Skyridge

Schedule Sept. 14 vs Bingham Sept. 16 vs Copper Hills Sept. 21 at Riverton Sept. 23 vs Herriman Sept. 28 at West Jordan Sept. 30 at Copper Hills

Oct. 5 at Bingham Oct. 12 vs Riverton Oct. 14 at Herriman Oct. 26 vs West Jordan

Mountain Ridge High School’s volleyball team went from 12-19 its first year in 2019 to 20-10 in its second year. The Sentinels earned the No. 11 seed in 5A last year falling to Park City in the second round.



HerrimanJ ournal.com

August 2021 | Page 19

Photos of the Month Photos by Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


ake sure you’re following the Herriman Journal on Instagram to see

more photo highlights of everything happening throughout the city. l

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimmillion people are living er’s 6.2 or another dementia. Alzheimer’s is a brainwith disease that causes 6.2 million people are living with a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are Alzheimer’s diseaseEvery in the United 10 warning signs and symptoms. individual may experience Alzheimer’s disease in the United one States. or more ofOver these signs in a different degree. If you notice any 34,000 people in Utah of them in yourself or a34,000 loved one,people please see in a doctor. States. Over Utah

alone. This disease kills more people

10 SIGNS OF This disease kills more people alone. each year than breast cancer and ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

eachloss year 1. Memory that than disruptsbreast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and is the daily life prostate cancer combined, and is the 2. Challenges in planning or 4th leading cause of death in Utah. problem solving 4th leading cause of death in Utah. 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, More than 104,000 people in Utah More than 104,000 people in Utah work or at leisure 6.2for millionsomeone people are living with Alzheimer’s provide living 4. Confusion withunpaid time or care disease in the United States. Over provide unpaid carepeople for insomeone living34,000 place Utah alone. This disease kills withunderstanding Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is 5. Trouble more people each year than breast cancer with Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is visual images and special and prostate cancer combined, and is the widespread and can be devastating to 4th leading cause of death in Utah. relationships widespread and can be devastating to 6. New problems with words families. More than 104,000 people in Utah proin speaking or writing families. vide unpaid care for someone living with 7. Misplacing things and Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is widelosing ability to Forthemore information, aboutto families. spreadto and learn can be devastating For more information, to learn about retrace steps Together we can work to findor a cure support groups or other resources, 8. Decreased or poor and ultimately have our first survivor! support groups or other resources, or judgment Join the fight and lend your to to get from helpwork immediately contact thevoice 9. Withdrawal or this critical cause by attending the to get help immediately contact the social activities Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There Alzheimer’s Association’s free 24/7 are eight Walks throughout the state 10. Changes in mood Association’s Alzheimer’s free 24/7 of Utah: and personality Helpline at:

Helpline at:

The Utah Warriors pulled off a dramatic and impressive victory over the LA Giltinis, the top ranked team in Major League Rugby, in their final home game of the season.

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800-272-3900 800-272-3900 or visit our website at: or visit our website at: www.alz.org/utah www.alz.org/utah For more information or to get help immediately contact the Alzheimer’s Association’s Togetherfree we24/7 can work Together we can work Helpline at:

to find a cure to find a cure and ultimately have our first survivor! 800-272-3900 and ultimately haveRegister our first survivor! at: orJoin visit our thewebsite fight at: and lend yourtoday voice to www.alz.org/Walk Join the fight and lend your voice to www.alz.org/utah this critical cause by attending the this critical cause by attending the Page 20 |August 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There are eight Walks throughout the state

The Herriman Arts Council put on a great production of ‘Newsies’ last month. Many residents reported that it was the best show they’ve seen yet on the Butterfield Park stage.

Herriman City Journal


To advance community, business, & civic-related interests to ensure continued improvement in the way of life. VISION STATEMENT:

Through volunteerism & leadership, our members bridge community and business—together we are stronger. BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP:

Resources, Networking, Education and Advocacy. SUSTAINING PARTNERS: • Riverton Hospital • Herriman City • Hello Story • Bluffdale City • Expand Business Solutions • BP Media • The City Journals

CONTACT: Susan Schilling 801-280-0595 susan@swvchamber.org

CHAMBER NEWS RIBBON CUTTING July was national Parks and Rec month. Herriman City celebrated by deploying the Yeti to various city parks throughout the month.

The Southwest Valley Chamber welcomed SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY OF UTAH at the long-awaited groundbreaking of the SLCC and U of U campus in Herriman. The site is near 14400 South and 4000 West and is 30 acres. The land was donated about ten years ago by Sorenson Legacy Foundation. Herriman has already developed the infrastructure and the campus will be welcoming students in 2023. It will serve more than 2,000 students in its first year and nearly 7,000 by 2025. Students who study at the campus will be able to earn an associate degree from SLCC and then attend the University of Utah to earn a bachelor’s degree, all at one location. Programs that will be offered are in high-demand industries, including teaching, health care, information systems, business, social work, criminal justice, engineering, and mathematics. Essential student services for both schools will also be available, including admissions, advising, disability support, financial aid, transfer support and tutoring. We also officially welcomed UCCU to Herriman. Grayson the branch manager welcomes you to come and visit him. It is great to have another option for your financial needs.

Government and education leaders gathered in Herriman for a ground-breaking ceremony for a new joint-campus to be shared between the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College.

UPCOMING EVENTS The Southwest Valley Chamber meets monthly for an AFTER-HOURS NETWORKING event. This is held the 2nd Thursday of each month at Redemption Bar & Grill. This starts at 4:00 and the cost is what you personally order. All are welcome to attend. WOMEN IN BUSINESS is up and ready for you to meet and connect with other likeminded women. FRIDAY CONNECTS is here—every 3rd Friday! Looking for ways to meet business professionals? Looking for a way to present your business to others? Looking for a RESULTS-oriented business relationship networking group? Three chambers of commerce have teamed up to bring you a speed networking phenomenon! Friday Connections provides an opportunity to connect at the speed of networking! Meet and take advantage of business connections on the 3rd Friday of every month from 8:30 - 10:00 am. The Real Monarchs fell behind 2-0 against New Mexico during the first half, but fought back for a dramatic 3-2 victory.

HerrimanJ ournal.com

swvchamber.org August 2021 | Page 21

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Fire crews work to extinguish the flames that engulfed the roof of Early Light Academy on June 24. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Schmidt)

Theater company seeks community help to restore fire damaged theater by Alison Brimley | a.brimley@gmail.com


round 5 p.m. on the evening of Thursday, June 24, fire crews were called to the campus of Early Light Academy, a K–9 charter school in South Jordan. The roof of Early Light Academy’s theater facility, home of the local Kensington Theater Company, had caught fire. First responders worked quickly and were able to contain the fire to the exterior of one section of the roof, said Stephanie Schmidt, Early Light Academy’s executive director. It appeared that the fire had been caused by lightning. Fortunately, no one was on the school’s campus at the time of the fire, so no one was harmed. And though the fire damage was contained to the roof, reports Kensington Theater Company’s website, the large amount of water used to douse the flames into the stage area soaked the lighting, curtains, sets, flooring and more. Today, the project of cleanup and restoration is nearly complete. This included repairing the fire-damaged roof, as well as removing water and debris and drying the interior of the theater. “We are confident that all cleanup, restoration, and construction work will be completed before school begins mid-August,” Schmidt said. Currently the school doesn’t have a clear idea of how much the repairs will cost. However, they are working closely with their insurance and contractors to ensure that the cost is fair and will be covered by their insurance company. Kensington’s website reports that they’ve seen an “overwhelming response” from community members hoping to help restore the theater. The best way to do so is by purchasing a “legacy seat.” Legacy seats can be purchased for $75, $150, $225, or $300 and each one allows donors to put their names on the chair of their choice in the theatre. So far, Kensington has sold a few legacy seats but hopes to sell more. Schmidt said, “Their theater family has been quick to help by rolling up their sleeves; they’ve been cleaning and

HerrimanJ ournal.com

doing simple repairs to theater equipment so we can use it again soon.” Kensington Theater Company has its origins in 2007, when the Daybreak Community Council, in response to the requests of residents, put on “The Wizard of Oz.” That production involved over 200 community members and sold out many performances. Some “Wizard of Oz” cast members then proceeded to form Daybreak Community Theatre, an independent community theatre. South Jordan City soon embraced the company, which then became South Jordan Community Theatre. Seven seasons later, the company moved into a new location, on the campus of Early Light Academy, and changed its name to Kensington Theatre Company (named for Kensington Gardens, where Peter Pan was performed for the first time.) Early Light Academy and Kensington Theatre Company have worked together since 2009. But after the academy built a new junior high, at the beginning of the 2015–16 school year, Kensington began to use the theater space for their performances. “The theater was designed to be a stellar performing arts space that includes an orchestra pit, a fly system, an expanded stage to hold a large cast, and stadium seating,” Schmidt says. And Kensington has made many improvements to the school’s theater facilities too. “The school is able to use Kensington’s equipment for the school’s performances and daily operations. Kensington supports the school’s theater program in various ways, and Kensington provides valuable opportunities for students to get experience working on their performances.” Before the fire, Kensington had just closed its run of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Their Teen Theater Boot Camp had a recital scheduled for June 25—the day after the fire. The recital was moved to Mountain Ridge

While the fire on the roof was quickly contained, the water used by fire crews caused extensive damage to the interior of Early Light Academy’s theater facilities. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Schmidt)

High School, who kindly allowed the company to use its theater space at the last minute. Other scheduled performances will be able to proceed as usual. Kensington’s next production, “Urinetown,” will take place in ELA’s Black Box Theater, which was untouched by the fire. “Princess Academy” is scheduled to begin shows in December. “Early Light Academy appreciates and wants to publicly thank the fire department for responding immediately and doing such a great job of putting the fire out,” Schmidt said. “The school and Kensington Theatre Company appreciate the support and encouragement they have received from the community.” l

August 2021 | Page 25

Herriman football returns to the gridiron Photo by Justin Adams


erriman High football returns this August on Aug. 13 where the Mustangs will travel to Logan to take on Sky View. Herriman’s home opener comes the following week against West before completing its non region schedule against Skyridge, Westlake and Kearns. The Mustangs went 6-6 a year ago losing to Skyridge in the second round.

Schedule Aug. 13 at Sky View Aug. 20 vs West Aug. 27 vs Skyridge Sept. 3 at Westlake Sept. 10 at Kearns Sept. 17 vs Bingham Sept. 24 at West Jordan Oct. 1 vs Riverton Oct. 8 vs Copper Hills Oct 14 at Mountain Ridge

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Herriman City Journal

3 new schools offer virtual learning By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


indergarten teacher Lacy Abouo reluctantly took an online teaching position last year. Now, after an eye-opening and successful school year, she has requested a full-time position to teach virtually. Abouo will be teaching at the new Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary School, which, along with Kelsey Peak Virtual Middle School and Kings Peak High School, comprise Jordan School District’s Virtual Learning Academy. “This online program is going to really blow a lot of people out of the water because it’s going to be incredible,” Abouo said. “The kids learn and grow—it’s truly inspiring.” The virtual schools, opening this fall, offer personalized, flexible learning with both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) options to meet students’ needs. Rocky Peak Elementary Principal Ross Menlove said the past 18 months of online education have been a learning experience for educators. “We’ve learned that with the right conditions, the right students, and people making the right choices, virtual learning works extremely well,” he said. “Teachers and students can work very well together online and they can build great relationships. We’ve learned that kids are learning and progressing. Kids are doing the work that they would do in a building and being able to do it just as well virtually.” Abouo said with good organization and parent support, she was able to provide a complete kindergarten experience for her virtual students last year, with plenty of fun and hands-on learning as well as social and emotional skill development. “My students who came to class every day, and did the activities with their parents, skyrocketed—almost all of them are above kindergarten level,” she said. Even her virtual students who had poor attendance were ahead of their in-person counterparts during summer school sessions. She said this is be-

cause virtual classes can cover more content with less time wasted during transitions, such as waiting for students to gather supplies or to settle into a new task. The virtual academies will rely heavily on technology but not just for the sake of using technology, said Menlove. “Each tool that we use is evaluated, it’s respected, it’s determined if it’s good for kids or not,” he said. “At the end of the day, there are teaching practices that take priority over the technology tool. We focus on learning and the student impact more than the tool.” Abouo uses virtual activities, tools and games to teach a variety of concepts. “It is such a rich learning environment that they don’t even realize they’re learning,” she said. Abouo likes that with virtual learning, she can personalize assignments and activities catered to each student’s specific needs and abilities. Her favorite part of online teaching is the unique ways she has been able to connect with her students. Through virtual oneon-one “lunch dates,” she learned what was going on in her students’ lives. “Because they had their computer, they’d walk me around their house,” Abouo said. “So I’d get to meet grandma and she’d tell me her favorite food. Then they’d walk to their kitchen and show me all their favorite foods. So it was like I was a part of their family.” Abouo said private virtual break-out rooms allowed her to support struggling students in ways she couldn’t in an in-person classroom. “I don’t always have the time or the availability in a classroom setting because I have 35 students, all needing my attention,” she said. “But online, you have these little periods where you can pull kids and talk to them individually. It was magical.” Third grade teacher Ami Anderson also

A Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary School teacher prepares for a Harry Potter-inspired lesson. (Doug Flagler/Jordan School District)

taught online last year and applied to teach at Rocky Peak Elementary this year. She loves the flexibility of a virtual classroom which allows her to meet students’ needs individually, whether they are on grade level, gifted, or have special needs. “It gives me the opportunity to help these kids learn the best way they know how to learn, and then to give them that social component that they really need,” Anderson said. Building strong relationships with students and creating a good classroom community are priorities for Anderson. “I’ve taught 25 years and one thing that is consistent every single year is students need to feel connected within the classroom, and they need to feel safe,” she said. “If they do that, then they flourish.” With virtual classes, she uses small group virtual breakout rooms before and after class time for informal interactions—

Ross Menlove demonstrates a virtual elementary classroom experience for community leaders on May 7, 2021. (Jet Burnham/ City Journals)

HerrimanJ ournal.com

chatting and playing games—to allow class members to get to know her and each other. The pandemic-driven online teaching of last year is different from the Jordan Virtual Academy curriculum, which was developed by Jordan District teachers, said district spokesperson Sandy Riesgraf. One aspect that was missing from past virtual formats was in-person, hands-on learning opportunities. Virtual Academy students have the option to participate in group projects, science labs, art, music, P.E. and other learning activities held twice a week at learning centers housed at Hidden Valley Middle and Majestic Elementary. Like traditional brick and mortar schools, the three virtual schools each have their own identity, principal and staff, community council, PTA and resources, such as a school psychologist. For more information, visit connect.jordandistrict.org. l

Students are engaged and on task in Lacy Abouo’s 2020-21 virtual kindergarten class. (Photo courtesy of Lacy Abouo.)

August 2021 | Page 27

August Open House will present framework master plan for The Point By Mimi Darley Dutton | m.dutton@mycityjournals.com


he Point will hold an Open House Aug. 12 to announce a framework master plan for the 600 acres of state-owned property that has been touted as a once in a generation project. After hiring internationally renowned firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill last December, much of 2021 was spent developing the plan with multiple public input opportunities. The Point also announced the hiring of Scott Cuthbertson as Director of Operations. “The Open House is an opportunity for us to roll out the framework master plan for the site. We want people to be able to see how their input has been transferred into plans and how the pieces come together,” said Alan Matheson, The Point’s executive director, who said they’ve listened to more than 10,000 people in the process thus far. “People will see a vibrant, future-focused community that tries to improve the quality of life for people in Utah.” According to Matheson, the main components of the framework plan are innovation, future-focused transportation, an emphasis on sustainability, and places for people to gather to enjoy entertainment and open space. Where innovation is concerned, Matheson said public and private sector partner-

ships will work to solve some of society’s challenges such as air quality, changing climate, advanced energy innovation, biotechnology, life sciences, and potentially cyber security. He anticipates cutting edge research will take place at the site with “incubators and accelerators that help take those ideas to market.” Future-focused transportation plans include transit throughout the site so that people living and working there can have but won’t need more than one vehicle. It will feature Gold Standard Bus Rapid Transit with designated rights of way, signal prioritization (traffic lights change to keep the special buses moving) and raised platforms. “It will be like light rail on rubber tires,” Matheson said. There are also plans for an autonomous circulator to move people throughout the site without a car and the possibility of “air taxis” or people-moving drones. “We’re building a community for coming generations, not just for today, so we have to set our sights on what will be, not just what is,” Matheson said. Approximately 140 acres will be used for an open space and trails system. Features include a central park for public gatherings, a river to range trail connecting the Jordan River Parkway to the Wasatch Mountain

trails that simultaneously provides habitat for wildlife, and a series of “green connections” for people to use for walking, biking, scooters, and whatever the future might bring. Regarding sustainability, the framework master plan works to reduce emissions and employs practices and designs that lend themselves to low-energy and low-water use. With the housing crunch, the plan is to provide a range of housing for various incomes and backgrounds to create mixed neighborhoods. Housing will include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and apartments. By providing a variety of housing options, they hope that people can both live and work at the site. “We call this a framework plan because it’s not a final plan. It gives direction to our next steps but has built-in flexibility to accommodate changes in the economy, technology and other circumstances,” Matheson said. The current prison inmates will be moved in roughly one year to the new correctional facility. That will be followed by demolition, remediation, site preparation and backbone infrastructure such as major roads, water systems, trails and parks. Matheson anticipates vertical development

Scott Cuthbertson, a real estate professional with experience in multibillion dollar projects, has been hired as Director of Operations to lead development efforts for The Point. (Courtesy The Point)

to begin in 2024 or 2025. “We’ll start seeing some buildings go up. That will be exciting as this public vision becomes reality.” Cuthbertson was chosen as Director of Operations after a national search with more than 130 applicants. He’s spent 15 years working on major development proj-


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Herriman City Journal

ects around the world and he founded Sterling Capital Partners headquartered in Salt Lake City. He holds degrees from Brigham Young University, Georgetown University and the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. The Point’s Aug. 12 Open House will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Fred House Training Academy, 4727 Minuteman Drive in Draper. The public can participate in-person or via The Point’s YouTube channel during scheduled Open House hours. A recording will be posted online following the event. l

In advance of the August Open House announcing a framework master plan, The Point provided this visual of what the public can expect. (Courtesy The Point)

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rom much needed rest and relaxation to exploring a new culture to embarking on an adventure, summer is high season for travel and lots of Utahns are getting away in 2021 to make up for the travel restrictions of 2020. In a very informal Facebook poll in the Herriman Happenings Facebook page, we asked what type of travel Herriman residents have done in the past 6 months. Traveling by car more than 100 miles received the most votes at 101. Traveling by plane within the United States received the second most votes at 89. There were 23 votes for traveling by plane outside of the United States and there was 1 vote for not feeling comfortable traveling at all at this time. For some Utahns, travel never stopped and some have taken advantage of the travel deals earlier in the year. Jessica Wilhelm of Herriman relocated from Texas to Utah in January 2021. Wilhelm said, “The last six months for us has been a vacation-like experience. One cheap nearby destination was Vegas. Hotels were so cheap due to no shows going on so we stayed at Bellagio for less than $100.” Chuck Norton of Herriman said, “We went on a month-long RVing vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We visited Portland and Seattle and then Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for the Hiawatha bike trail!” While road trips were very popular, when flights first opened back up again in late 2020, plane passengers enjoyed Continued page 11

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