November 2015 | Vol. 15 Iss. 11
FREE Blessed Sacrament Students Make Outdoors Their Classroom By Julie Slama
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Page 2 | November 2015
Sandy City Journal
Blessed Sacrament Students Make Outdoors Their Classroom By Julie Slama
eventh and eighth graders at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School left their school building behind when they traveled to Wyoming Sept. 29 through Oct. 2 to step outside and make nature their classroom. Located at Grand Teton National Park, Teton Science School has been teaching about the natural world and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem since 1967. It is the third time Blessed Sacrament students have attended a four-day class session at the school. “Only five of our students had been to the Tetons before,” said Jeanne Lindmar, seventh- and eighth-grade science and physical education teacher. “For some of our students, it was the first time they had been to a national park, and it’s such a unique learning experience where our students learn leadership skills and become stewards who are responsible for the environment.” Lindmar said students learned how the
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem was formed 48 million years ago, and how the Teton mountain range was formed from glaciers. Students recorded notes about how Lodgepole pinecones disperse after a wildfire, and how several plants share the same root system, such as sagebrush or aspens. As they hiked on fourmile trails or sat in the fields to observe, the students saw deer, pronghorn, a fox, a bald eagle, a hawk, a black bear and elk — as well as heard them bugling. They learned about constellations, animal tracking, micro-organisms, pH balance, water pollution and fire and ecology, and kept sketches and notes in their field journals, she said. “It was a great lesson for them in cross curriculum, tying earth science and geology into other disciplines. Students sketched how the Teton moraine was formed and animals they saw. We saw a skeleton of an elk and
As part of their outdoor experience at Teton Science School, Blessed Sacrament eighth grader Kendall Neuman tries the low ropes course, supported by seventh grader Sally Trawick, on the left, and eighth grader Natalie Diller. Photo courtesy of Blessed Sacrament
Blessed Sacrament students discuss what they’re learning concerning the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while attending Teton Science School in Grand Teton National Park. Photo courtesy of Blessed Sacrament
they wrote how they thought they elk died. They learned about John Audubon and how he painted birds. They learned that many scientists and naturalists contributed in writing, photography, painting and art and then, students even wrote their own poetry,” she said. Lindmar said she plans to have students continue learning from this experience as they gaze on the Wasatch mountains, to learn how they are formed, or in writing assignments such as “Have you ever” and fill-in-the-blank with statements such as “hear elk bugling,” “seen a shooting star at the Tetons” or “made a new friends while hiking a trail.” When Blessed Sacrament teachers selected sessions for the students to learn, they also chose to include teamwork exercises, such as a low ropes course. “They had to communicate, problem-solve and be a team. We also did an activity where
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students pretended to cross hot lava and had to get across without stepping on the ground and could only use non-verbal communication. It challenged them to work together,” she said. This, and being free of any technology devices, allowed students to better appreciate and engage in the understanding of the Tetons’ geological mysteries, she said. “It brought it more to life than searching on a device for an answer. They took field notes, wrote journal entries of what they did, observed and learned, used the scientific method and sketched their findings and were totally focused in nature. They bonded and deepened their friendships. In 27 years of teaching, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. To see their faces and the enlightenment and joy from learning and being part of a team that takes care of each other is truly a blessing,” Lindmar said.
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Page 4 | November 2015
Sandy City Journal
World-class Theatre Groundbreaking in Sandy
By: Stacy Nielsen
he Hale Centre Theatre held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 16 on the 3rd floor of the City Hall building, near where the new 130,000-square-foot, $65 million theater will be built in Sandy. “The groundbreaking for the Hale Center Theatre was an impressive display of just how creative and accomplished the organization is,” Sandy City Council chairman Stephen Smith said. Those in attendance included co-founders Mark and Sally Dietlein, VP of Tait Stage Technology Gemma Guy, Sandy City mayor Tom Dolan, Salt Lake County mayor Ben McAdams and other dignitaries, like Utah’s attorney general Sean Reyes, to unveil the plans for this new world-class theater. Construction is now underway at 9900 Monroe Street, the site of the new theater, and is being led by Layton Construction. Beecher Walker Architects designed the theater, and it will offer two state-of-the-art stages: a 450-seat proscenium thrust theater for smaller productions and an approximately 900-seat theater-in-the-round with a technologicallyadvanced center stage. The proscenium theater is projected to open in Jan. 2017, and the center stage is expected to open in early summer of the same year. The theater will present more than 500 performances in 2017 between the two stages,
and then grow to more than 700 performances in 2018. The Hale Centre Theatre is moving to Sandy out of West Valley City because their current seating capacity does not meet their demands: they have performed at 100 percent capacity since 2004. Even with the expansion, the theater is committed to providing affordable, world-class family entertainment. The plans include ample legroom and plenty of bathrooms on every floor. The Hale Centre Theatre also revealed the details of its state-of-the-art design. The stage will be built by Tait Tower Technologies, the same company responsible for creating the impressive stages for Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, U2, Bon Jovi and other artists over the years. However, this theater will be unique and more complex due to all of the moving parts. The theater was able to raise approximately $15 million in pledges and donations as of the groundbreaking and expects to raise an additional $10 million in revenue. Sandy City is planning to put up an approximately $40 million bond to be paid back over the next 27 years to build the theater. The Hale Centre is a non-profit organization and gives back to the community by donating theater passes, to and providing tours for, hundreds of school children and
Elected officials, such as Utah attorney general Sean Reyes, attended the groundbreaking of the $65 million Hale Center Theatre in Sandy.
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non-profit organizations throughout the year. The organization is dedicated to providing “innovative, professional family theater and theater education that involves and elevates our community.” Since 2005, the theater has won 20 Best-of-State awards in Theater Group/ Director, Arts in Education and Professional Theater. “We believe the theater will be the jewel of our Cairns district. The location next to I-15 is a premier location, practically unrivaled in the state. It gives great visibility to the theater and is very accessible from north or south. Together with anticipated new residential, restaurant and hotel construction, the Hale Centre Theatre will be a key element of nightlife, and quality of life, in Sandy,” Smith said. The theater moving to Sandy is part of the Sandy Civic Center Area 30-year Development Plan to promote and encourage commercial partnership, to invigorate downtown Sandy and to embrace Sandy City as “the other downtown.” Sandy City adopted a resolution back in August to develop the 11.5 acres surrounding the theater, including the construction of a twolevel parking structure that will be protected from the elements and building another office building. “To have true downtown, you have to have certain elements associated with your community. We have Real Salt Lake,
Sandy City mayor Tom Dolan enjoys the entertainment, which was part of the Hale Center Theatre groundbreaking ceremony held on Sept. 16 at City Hall.
the Exposition Center, but we don’t have professional arts, and if you don’t embrace the arts then you can’t call yourself a downtown. The acceptance of the philosophy of ‘the other downtown’ means more restaurants, more
transportation opportunities, more tourism and more things to improve the quality of life in Sandy City,” Councilman Chris McCandless said. “When people come out to see the arts,
they want to have a special experience,” McCandless said. “And the Hale Centre Theatre will deliver just that.” l
Page 6 | November 2015
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Peripheral neuropathy is a result of damage to the nerves often causing weakness, pain, numbness, tingling and the most debilitating balance problems. This damage is commonly caused by a lack of blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet which causes the nerves to begin to degenerate due to lack of nutrient flow. As you can see in Figure 1, as the blood vessels that surround the nerves become diseased, they shrivel up which causes the nerves to not receive the nutrients needed to survive. When these nerves begin to “die” they cause you to have balance problems, pain, numbness, tingling, burning and many additional symptoms. The most common method your
doctor will recommend to treat your neuropathy is with prescription drugs that may temporarily reduce your symptoms. These drugs have names such as Gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta and Neurontin and are primarily antidepressant or anti-seizure drugs. These drugs may cause you to feel uncomfortable and have a variety of harmful side effects. The main problem is that your doctor has told you to just live with the problem or try the drugs which you don’t like taking because they make you feel uncomfortable. There is now a facility right here in South Jordan that offers you new hope without taking those endless drugs with serious side effects. (See the special neuropathy severity examination at the end of this article.)
Figure 1: When these very small blood vessels become diseased, they begin to shrivel up and the nerves begin to degenerate.
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Sandy City Journal
City Journals and Journalism
ity Journals creative director Bryan D. Scott knows the impact that journalists have on informing residents about the news happening in their communities, and that is one reason he decided to sponsor two high school students who desired to learn more about the profession at the High School Journalism Boot Camp held in August. “I love how newspapers can strengthen and build a community. Growing up in a small town, I understood at an early age the importance of local news in the community. In my professional career, it remains true that community news is a powerful source of information,” Scott said. Brianne Jensen and Hunter Benson, West Jordan High School students who both received the boot camp scholarship, attended the event hosted by University of Utah Student Media, the Signpost at Weber State University and the Statesman at Utah State University held at Weber State University with their advisor, Shauna Robertson. “They were the two who most wanted to go. They are both excellent students, highly involved in a variety of programs at our school, and are natural leaders. I knew I would be looking for editors, and this experience was helpful in showing who was really excited to be journalists,” Robertson said. Brianne, now a senior at WJHS, has loved
writing since she was a young child in a variety of formats, including poetry and stories. The experience at the boot camp helped her see that not only is journalism fun, but it is also important to keep people informed. “The main thing that I learned at camp is that you have to give the people what they want. You have to make them want to read your paper or website or whatever,” Brianne said. Hunter, also a senior at WJHS, wants to pursue a degree in journalism and communications while attending college. The boot camp experience helped her learn how to be a better writer and taught her how to use programs that are vital to the profession. “It was really fun. I think it [journalism] is a way to open yours and others’ eyes to new people and beliefs, and that’s really cool,” she said. Scott believes that all young adults should pursue a career that they are passionate about, even if there are a few setbacks along the way – especially in journalism, which seems to be a dying skill as other careers in social media and public relations become more popular. “Be ready for an uphill battle with a lot of dead ends and a paycheck that is less rewarding than the actual work. Always keep your eyes on the ball and understand your words can make a difference. If a photo is worth a thousand words, then a journalist is worth a thousand cameras,” Scott said.
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November 2015 | Page 7
Firemen Go Above and Beyond Call of Duty
n elderly woman who goes by the name “Bobby” explained how Captain Clint Stokes and fireman Howard Mendes went above and beyond their call of duty when it rained heavily in the middle of September. “I had called the day it rained so hard,
By Stacy Nielsen
called Station 35 and asked if they could bring me some sand bags,” Bobby said, as she was concerned about the water coming in the two windows on the east side of her house at the ground level. “They got here and we talked; it was raining like crazy, they had just left another job. They left to go get the sand bags and there was about 30 to 45 minutes between the time I started my washing machine and got to my stairs and went back down, and everything was soaking wet,” she said. That’s when she saw the firemen outside putting sand bags around her windows and noticed that the hose from her washing machine had flooded her basement. “The captain and his team came in and moved all the boxes out of the storage room and out of the sitting water. They were here for quite a while: I have two storage rooms that needed to be cleaned out,” she said.
Captain Clint Stokes. Photo courtesy of Sandy City Fire Department
They were able to pull the washing machine away from the wall and put the hose back, in addition to getting the storage boxes cleared out of the two rooms. “They helped me. There was no way I could have done that without them; they went
above and beyond their call of duty. I can’t thank them enough for them coming into help me do that,” Bobby said. Any time an emergency arises in the community, the Sandy City Fire Department does what it can to help.
Fireman Howard Mendes. Photo courtesy of Sandy City Fire Department
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Page 8 | November 2015
Sandy City Journal
The Future Governance of County Islands in Sandy By Stacy Nielsen
esidents who live in the unincorporated Salt Lake County islands and peninsulas will have the opportunity to vote in this year’s general election on whether or not to annex into an eligible city, or remain unincorporated, due to a change at the state legislature earlier this year. If residents live in a township, then they will vote whether or not they want to incorporate or become a metro township, as townships are not able to be annexed into a neighboring city. If residents elect to become a metro township, then the decision needs to be made whether or not to join the municipal services district. Metro townships have border protections, they can’t be annexed easily, they have their own governing board and they control their own land use. They are beholden to the county as a township and the county mayor is still their mayor. The townships that will be able to vote include White City, Copperton, Magna, Kearns, Millcreek and Emigration Canyon. There are 40 islands in the county, and of those islands, one is eligible to annex into South Jordan, another is eligible to annex into Cottonwood Heights and one has no current residents and therefore cannot be voted on, thus leaving the remaining 37 islands eligible to annex into Sandy City. “Sandy has always had a policy of selfdetermination: if you want to annex we will let you annex, but we won’t force it,” Korban Lee, the assistant CAO of Sandy City, said. A FAQ has been created and is available on Sandy City’s website to address the concerns of the residents of the unincorporated islands. Residents will also be able to use a Tax Comparison Calculator that was created by Sandy City and vetted by Salt Lake County, county consultants, neighboring cities and
Zions Bank to be accurate and provide a sideby-side comparison of taxes from the county versus those of Sandy City. Excel is needed in order to use the tax calculator. “If the cities annex in, then most would see a decrease in property taxes,” Lee said On Sept. 28, county island residents were also able to attend a town hall meeting, held at Eastmont Middle School, to gain the county’s perspective and address their concerns on whether or not taxes will increase or decrease, and what, if any, municipal services will change if they elect to annex into Sandy. The meeting included a panel representing the county council, Zions Bank, Salt Lake County Mayor McAdams and was led by the associate deputy mayor of Salt Lake County, Kimberly Barnett. One resident at the town hall meeting raised the question of whether the county has the ability to reduce the cost of police and fire. “It’s a budget decision; what quality of service depends on how much you are willing to pay and depending upon whether or not it’s a high priority,” Mayor McAdams said, also indicating earlier that “the municipal services budget is sound, but if we keep poking holes in the budget, we will lose the ability to provide services.” He later stated, “Salt Lake County will continue to provide services
if the Municipal Services District continues to hire us.” Residents in attendance received a copy of the Zions Bank Executive Summary of the fiscal analysis they completed, along with a detailed comparison chart of unincorporated county islands to provide information comparing the costs of municipal services based on the differing municipal structures and other provisional service methods. Zions Bank did not complete a study on each island. However, residents can compare costs for their own home on the calculator. For example, on page 12 of the Executive Summary there is a Tax Calculator Inputs Example with the average property tax and utility usage rates of Sandy City versus that of unincorporated Salt County: Sandy City average property tax and utility services rates total $657.23, while unincorporated Salt Lake County totals $773.92; the average rates for South Jordan total $893.38, versus $939.60 of that of the county; and Cottonwood Heights’ average rates are calculated at $613.85, versus $719.44 of that of the county. These calculations represent only what Zions Bank has found to be a “typical scenario,” and the values may go up or down depending upon individual calculations. “We want you to be happy to choose what
Sandy City Council, from left to right: Scott Cowdell, Dennis Tenney, Stephen Smith, Chris McCandless, Kristin Coleman-Nicholl, Steve Fairbanks, Linda Martinez Saville. Photo courtesy of Sandy City Council Offic
is best for you,” Mayor McAdams said, while the panel also echoed that they believe in the policy of self-determination, encouraging residents to vote in favor of what they feel will be best for them and their community. “Residents may choose to remain unincorporated, but future annexations are still possible,” Barnett reminded those attending the town hall meeting, when speaking of the ballot language and the upcoming election as they get ready to send in their ballots. Residents will receive a mail-in ballot, expected to hit homes on Oct. 5. The ballots can be mailed in and need to be postmarked the day before Election Day on Nov. 3, but can be dropped off at the eligible city recorder’s office on the day of elections. In order for an island to be annexed in, only a majority vote is needed, which is 50 percent plus one for each individual island. “The council views the question of annexation as very personal. As a city, we firmly believe in self-determination and have rarely annexed a property against the owner’s wishes. That said, we also believe there are substantial benefits to annexation into Sandy and invite all in the county islands to officially become a part of our city,” Stephen Smith, chairman of the Sandy City Council, said. To access the FAQ and the Tax Comparison Calculator, visit Sandy City’s webpage at: h t t p : / / s a n d y. u t a h . g o v / g o v e r n m e n t / administration/annexation.html. Residents will also find the complete executive summary from Zions Bank, ballot language, comparison charts, maps and an information toolbox on the Salt Lake County website at: http://slco.org/community-preservation.
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Where Mountain Meets Urban Happy Trails to You… Trails are an important part of our community, based on resident feedback from a comprehensive trails survey completed in March 2012. Key findings were as follows: The majority of Sandy residents use the current Sandy City trails at least a few times a year. Over a third use them at least a few times a month. Most residents (81%) expressed interest in investing in a formalized trail system for Sandy, indicating it was either probably or definitely worthwhile. The vast majority of residents (94%) feel that trails, pathways and green space are very important.
Receiving such a clear directive from our residents, we’ve spent considerable time and sought out resources, financial and otherwise, to help us work towards our goal of citywide trail connectivity. With that goal in mind, I’m pleased to highlight three significant trail improvements we are currently working on. Sandy Canal Trail We are now accepting bids for a key section of the Sandy City Canal Trail from 110th South to 114th South, at 850 East. This portion of trail is the first leg of the larger Sandy City Canal Trail that will eventually run from 8800 South connecting into Draper’s trail system connecting to
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Bonneville Shoreline Trail At its completion, we will have approximately 5 miles of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Sandy. Several years ago, we hired an independent landscape/ trails company to survey and determine the best alignment for the trail. We are, at present, working on an approximately 2.5-3 mile gap in the Bonneville Shoreline Trail from Hidden Valley Park to Bell Canyon Reservoir.
Dimple Dell With 630 acres, Dimple Dell is clearly an under-utilized recreational asset. As such, it is a top priority in our Trails Master Plan. It will cost roughly $3.5 million to build an asphalt trail running along the north rim from Granite Park to the TRAX line. Sandy City and Salt Lake County have been working diligently with stakeholders to find the necessary funds to complete this project. Over the last ten years, Sandy City has installed a tunnel under 1300 East, another tunnel under the TRAX line and made 700 East a bridge over Dimple Dell in order to expand the trail without affecting traffic flow.
BUILDING A FUTURE TOGETHER Linda Believes:
Success is making a difference in the community. That quality of life is a top priority. In putting citizens ﬁrst. In preserving open space and trails. In strengthening families.
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Dimple Dell Park. Improvements will include an asphalt trail, benches, a pedestrian light at the trail intersection of 112th South and a pedestrian traffic crossing at 114th South that is already installed and working.
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Page 10 | November 2015
Sandy City Journal
Sandy City Eliminates Use of Gas Chamber at Animal Shelter
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ouncilwoman Kris Nichols championed the ordinance unanimously passed calling for the elimination of the gas chamber as an acceptable form of euthanasia in Sandy City. At the council meeting on Sept. 1, Mayor Dolan expressed that his offices, too, are ready to move forward with the process to eliminate the gas chamber completely and recommended the council pass the ordinance. Residents of Sandy filled the meeting room at City Hall, expressing their overwhelming support and appreciation to the city for being leaders in eliminating the use of the gas chamber and hope it leads to the elimination of the gas chamber in the state. There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of animals that have been euthanized, and the quickest and most humane way is not by use of the chamber but by lethal injection, which takes approximately three to five seconds; whereas the use of a gas chamber may require up to 25 minutes or several attempts before the animal is put to rest. Police Chief Kevin Thacker assured the council that domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, are not being euthanized by way of the chamber, but rather wildlife, such as skunks, raccoons and other dangerous animals that are picked up by animal control. “We are not against getting rid of the gas chamber. We have developed and we are working with a transition team, and there are things that need to be done at the shelter to get ready for this,” Chief Thacker said. The city currently does not have
cages conducive to do the injections, and the shelter needs to be remodeled in order to accommodate the changes being implemented, but they are ready to move forward. The police department currently has four officers, but are needing an additional three officers that need to be trained to be police officers and then trained in animal control and services. Councilman Cowdell indicated that he “understands this can’t be done overnight and there has to be a transition and training time, but would like to see this happen as quickly as possible.” The estimated cost for remodeling the shelter, as well as the equipment needed, comes in at $30-$50,000 and is being funded by rollover funds and savings from the police department. Councilwoman Linda Seville, also in favor of eliminating the gas chamber, indicated that she “wants animal control to do it the right way. When changes occur too quickly, you make mistakes. Let’s do it the safest way possible and make sure the chief (of police) has everything needed to do this right.” Sundays Hunt, the Utah State director of the Humane Society, offered their assistance to help get the officers trained as quickly as possible. The city will receive an $8,000 grant from Arthur Benjamin, the founder of American Dog Rescue, in order to assist in training and material costs to the city, but it won’t cover everything that is needed. The ordinance passed with full support, calling for the elimination of the gas chamber as a form of euthanasia, and shall be effective as of Dec. 31, 2015.
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Lone Peak Elementary Celebrates Chinese Education Grant
one Peak Elementary students, staff and faculty celebrated being named a Confucius Classroom Oct. 21, with classroom presentations and a performance from guest Chinese acrobats. With the honor, the school receives an annual $10,000 grant from the Chinese educational ministry. The Confucius Classroom grant is a partnership between Draper Elementary, the University of Utah’s Confucius Center and the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, with the purpose to support Chinese dual immersion teachers, students and programs, as well as to promote Chinese language and cultural understanding, said Canyons School District dual immersion coordinator Ofelia Wade.
Chinese acrobats are part of the celebration for Lone Peak Elementary as they announce being a Confucius Classroom, which comes with a renewable $10,000 grant from the Chinese educational ministry.
By Julie Slama Lone Peak is one of six schools selected learning the language, students have improved this year for the grant-partnership. standardized test scores, increased cultural “Lone Peak was selected for its quality sensitivity, have better memory and problemprogram, and as long as they maintain that solving skills and increased classroom attention. education and propose ways funding can First-grade dual immersion teacher Diane enhance and improve Chinese education for Bringhurst, who has taught in the program for all students, the grant will continue to fund five years, said that the program also offers the program,” she said. students a challenge. First-year Lone Peak principal Tracy “The kids are smart and by learning Stacy said part of the grant this year covers Chinese, it stimulates their brain, and research 10 iPads and four Smartboards that will help shows that it will stimulate them with every in the Chinese-designated classrooms. subject,” she said. “These kids are capable and “The students will become more engaged feel successful when they study Chinese. That in their learning, and teachers can assess as they attitude is shared in other subjects, and they teach and give students immediate feedback,” feel like they can learn anything.” she said. “With the grant money being put into Bringhurst said that by learning Chinese, these classrooms, it opens up school funds to students are more prepared and have more be used for the rest of the school.” career possibilities in the future. And through Canyons School District dual immersion the technology provided with the grant, they’re programs offer a bilingual experience at a time more engaged in writing, reading and speaking. “The grant is a gift to all our students, when research shows young learners’ minds are developmentally best able to acquire a not just the dual immersion kids. Today, as second language. Their elementary instruction part of the grant, we have Chinese acrobats is spent in two classrooms, part with the performing. Everyone has the opportunity to English-speaking teacher instructing in English learn about Chinese culture this way, and by language arts, physical education, music and immersing ourselves with culture, we all feel art, and the second half with second-language connected,” she said. First-grade teacher Darlene Schultz said teacher instructing math, social studies, science, that they involve all students with the Chinese language and health. Research shows that in addition to culture throughout the year, with celebrations
for Chinese New Year and other activities. “We want all the students exposed to the culture and understand at a young age that we’re a global community,” she said. “These dual immersion students are learning more in first and second grade than some students are learning in high school, just by being immersed. By December, there will be no English spoken in their classroom and they’ll be able to understand and be able to do their assignments.” While these students springboard into advanced learning skills at an early age, teachers realized the students will be more proficient in the real world. “If they continue with studying Chinese, they’ll graduate with an associate’s degree while in high school. It’s giving them the extra challenge and opportunity,” first-grade teacher Claudia Peterson said. The school applied for the grant in late winter and learned last spring they were selected as a Confucius Classroom, but decided to hold off on the celebration until Stacy was appointed to oversee the school this past summer. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity for this school,” Stacy said. “These students, parents and teachers have been so welcoming. We’re just like a family.”
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Page 12 | November 2015
Sandy City Journal
Indian Hills Eighth Grader Mentors Make Sixth Graders Feel Welcome By Julie Slama
hen Canyons School District reconfigured their schools three years ago, bringing sixth grade to middle school and ninth grade to high school, former Indian Hills Middle School principal Floyd Stensrud had concerns. “I worried that the eighth-grade students might fall through the cracks when they became ninth-grade students, meaning that they would suffer academically,” said Stensrud, who now is the district’s planning and enrollment director. Working together with Alta High principal Brian McGill and district counselor Tori Gillett, they formulated a plan to coordinate and collaborate between the two schools. “We all felt strongly that a connection needed to be made between the two schools in order for our students to remain successful,” he said. So this year, Alta launched its LINK Crew, allowing upperclassmen to mentor its freshmen, and at Indian Hills, students, teachers and counselors introduced WEB, Where Everyone Belongs, which has eighth graders helping sixth graders, thus tying the program to hook the two schools together,
Stensrud said. “Teachers from both schools meet yearly to coordinate efforts and see each other’s world, so that there is a deeper understanding of academic and social needs that may have been missed otherwise, in addition to a mentoring piece that will keep the kids safe from bullying and establish a community of caring,” he said. Teachers Samantha Sirrine and Katie Falk head the mentoring training program at Indian Hills, along with counselor Melissa Jones and school psychologist Brandon Segura, who oversees student guidance. The program began last spring when these educators attended training. In the summer, they, in turn, trained eighth graders who welcomed the sixth graders during orientation in August. “Incoming eighth graders were identified by staff and faculty as being possible mentors and were sent letters, and many of our students saw ‘Come Get Caught in the WEB’ signs that invited students to learn what WEB was all about,” Sirrine said. “Some of the students who stepped up to be leaders were top leaders in the school, and some were students who
An eighth-grade Indian Hills WEB mentor interacts with the sixth grade, welcoming them to middle school. Photo courtesy of Samantha Sirrine
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may have been failing classes but wanted to make a difference.” Falk said that WEB has helped those students to become leaders, do better in class and set examples for younger students. “They’ve learned to take ownership of their role and communicate,” she said. “They’re wanting to change the culture of our school to make everyone feel welcome and accepted.” As part of the WEB program, eighthgrade mentors helped with sixth-grade orientation, from team-building activities to school tours. The students divided into groups and leaders created themes for their groups, from Hawaiian to Minions. “At first, many of them were shy and nervous and worried about having to call other students to invite them to orientation,” Sirrine said. With all the social media, Falk said it’s unusual for students to actually make calls with a phone. “It’s almost special for sixth graders to get a phone call now-a-days. We prepped the eighth graders for how a sixth grader would react, from being excited to feeling forced to attend orientation, but we realized these students could relate to one another better than we expected,” she said. During the orientation, Sirrine said it was good to watch eighth graders become school leaders. “They were so excited and it was fun to see their dynamics. They gave the sixth graders strategies how to survive middle school, such as not to share their locker combination and how to ask for help,” she said. During the year, the mentors will teach mini-lessons in school strategies, as well as offer community service and social opportunities. For example, the WEB program will be over the school recycling program and help National Junior Honor Society with peer tutoring. They also will help with the school’s kindness campaign and hold social events
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during the year. Sirrine also said that the mentors will check in periodically with the sixth graders. “When we hear of sixth graders who may be struggling with a class or some issue, we’ll have the mentors check in to see how things are going. Often, we learn that these WEB leaders can solve it on their own,or will go back and double check to make sure things are going OK for these younger students,” she said. Falk said that’s because often sixth graders feel more comfortable talking to their peers. “They’ve seen these students in the hall and feel more comfortable talking to someone their own age. We’ve had less issues at lunch as ‘Where do I go?’ or ‘What do I do?’ because these mentors are there, helping. Same with knowing how to find a class or open a lock or asking for help,” she said. At the same time as mentoring the sixth graders, Falk said these WEB leaders are learning to speak up, listen, build confidence, show communication skills, interact and collaborate with others, organize themselves and build life and social skills to become a well-developed person. “It’s a program about positivity and changing our school culture, and we’re already seeing that start,” Falk said. Stensrud said that to support the program, teachers Dave Selin and Ronald Halbert run an after-school program to help students who are at risk in three or more areas concerning attendance, grades and office referrals. “Parents are an integral part of this whole program. Without parental support, this after-school program would not fly. National Junior Honor Society students volunteer to stay after school and assist these students with homework. We had great success with this last year. This is a secondary part to the WEB program, but a very important part the teachers and I created before WEB came along,” he said.
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Altara Puts Some Magic in Annual Jog-a-thon
By Julie Slama
icking off the year with a Harry Potter wizard theme Aug. 26, Altara Elementary students put some magic and fun into their annual jog-a-thon as they hoped to raise $16,000 for Parent-Teacher Association activities and events this year. The Sept. 11 jog-a-thon allowed firstthrough fifth-grade students to run a course through the neighborhood, finishing in the back of the school, where kindergartners ran laps on the field.
Altara uses the funds for activities such as classroom parties, teacher appreciation, Red Ribbon Week, Reflections, Meet the Masters art program and others. They also awarded students certificates of completion, water bottles and kids coupons for free meals to local businesses. Top male and female finishers in each grade each received a gift card, and the top 10 fundraising earners could receive prizes such as a Kindle or an American Girl doll. There were
November 2015 | Page 13
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It does no good to have a terrific estate plan if, at the end of the day, nothing is left for the surviving spouse! Savvy seniors need more than just a will or a living trust. The Wall Street Journal reports that 86% of widows live in poverty after their life savings are spent for care of their spouse. You need to know what you can do today to protect yourself and your surviving spouse in the future. Altara kindergartners give teacher Mary Susan Johnson high-5s as they run a course on the school playground and get sprayed from parents as part of the school’s annual jog-a-thon. Students asked family and friends for pledges to help reach the school goal. Last year, students earned $15,700. “We encourage the students to run for the two weeks we’re in school before the joga-thon, and to get plenty of sleep and wear proper shoes,” PTA public relations chair Naomi Bizek said. “Through the run, we’re able to keep 100 percent of the money made in-house.”
random drawings for prizes for all students at a post assembly held in mid-October. Sharyle Karren said that the jog-a-thon started when she served as Altara’s principal, about 12 years ago. First-grade teacher Joni Richardson has participated every year until this year, when she had to sit out because of a knee injury. As of press deadline, the total amount of money raised this year was not yet finalized.
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Page 14 | November 2015
Sandy City Journal
The Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of its seventh annual Titan Awards, which recognizes leaders and businesses in the community who have set themselves apart, not because of their business strength, but for the way they have lifted and served those around them. The statewide award recognized individuals and companies for their economic impact, community service and leadership. Three local individuals were nominated by the committee to receive this yearâ€™s Titan Award. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Pat Richards, President and CEO of Select Health Larry Krystkowiak, Head Basketball Coach at the University of Utah These recipients were honored at the award ceremony that was held Oct. 7, 2015 at Little America. Merit Medical is the Titan Sponsor for this yearâ€™s event. Together, the winners cover a diverse range of promising business models that will tackle financial and community stewardship in areas such as global health, economic stimulus, charitable organizations and community involvement.
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November 2015 | Page 15
Blessed Sacrament School Theme, Club Tie Service Learning to Students
By Julie Slama
onored in mid-October with the National “It’s fun since our students can wear their for Life Straws, which allows people in third- having pure water. Students also will focus Promising Practice Award from the pajamas during this time,” she said. world countries to drink water through a water on creating clothing for children in need by Character Education Partnership based in In April, the student club, under the filtration system, West said. collecting pillowcases. Then, with the help of Washington D.C., Blessed Sacrament Catholic direction of teachers Melodie Franco and This past month, students collected community members, dresses will be made School incorporates its social justice theme Shelley Luna, plans to distribute blue ribbons canned goods and staples for the Carmelite from a pattern with each pillowcase. West hopes into its student club, as well as into school for World Malaria Day in April. Nuns. Each class will focus on a different 200 dresses will be sent to African countries. curriculum. “They’ll talk about what they can do to religious order and, at an all-school assembly, “We’ll talk about these issues during Blessed Sacrament director of continue helping, and review what they’ve the classes will present their research, she said. our religion classes, learning about the lack advancement Sonia West said that last year, done to make a difference. The students in this In November, students will create of education, lack of water, lack of clothing each student wrote about the importance of club focus on building awareness of the five and laminate about 250 placemats for the in these countries,” she said. literacy and included an illustration as part of its character traits of caring, respect, responsibility, Ronald McDonald House and the Veterans During the school’s Family Math and literacy peace pole project. Teachers discussed trust and family. Their activities will revolve Administration’s Fisher House, a place where Science Night, there will be a table that deals with students the importance of education and around virtue, action and the Saint of the military and veterans’ families can stay at no with clean water and water-born diseases, how many children around the world do not Month,” she said. cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. specifically malaria. At the booth, students have the opportunity to attend will create a Life Straw, learn school for a variety of reasons. about filtration and collect The student statements were donations to purchase Life then placed on poles that were Straws for those areas in need displayed with the school’s of clean water. Family Literacy Night. In March, the school The award the school will look at disaster relief received was its seventh. and highlight World Water This year, the school’s Day on March 22. They plan 45-member Community of to participate in Stop Hunger Caring Club is working with Now, packaging beans and rice the school’s theme of “poverty” into quart-size meals. to bring service learning to its “We hope to create students. at least 10,000 meals, and Throughout the year, the possibly work with neighboring afterschool club, which includes schools with this project,” she kindergarten through fifth-grade said. students, meets monthly to In April, the school perform activities that tie into will collect old sheets as part the schoolwide effort to help of helping South American make students aware of issues children with Operation Smile. concerning those in poverty. Students will cut out a doll For example, beginning pattern from the sheets. in September, the club started “We’ll make dolls with a postage stamp collection for hearts on them. These will be the Sisters of the Holy Cross. shipped to Virginia and then Students can place postage distributed by the doctors in stamps in a bin set up by the South America prior to the club throughout the year. When operations. They don’t want Blessed Sacrament Catholic School’s Community of Caring Club is working with the school’s theme of “poverty” and will give students a chance to help their community and they collect 15 pounds of stamps, any embellishments, but world through service projects. Photo courtesy of Sonia West they’ll send them to the nuns, rather to use them as a tool for who then sell the stamps to collectors to help All of the club activities tie into service “The students will illustrate buff colored understanding surgeries they may need to help with the Holy Cross Ministries to the Poor. In learning that is being taught in all the grades paper that we’ll laminate, and the Community them with cleft palates and others,” West said. the past, they’ve helped fund students to take at school, with each month having a different of Caring Club will trim and help deliver them,” She also hopes to schedule a local doctor high school exams in Bangladesh, provide emphasis on the year-long social justice poverty West said. who participates in Operation Smile to come dental and vision care in rural Virginia and focus. In December, students will work with and speak with the students. helped get science supplies for classrooms “We’ll focus on the cycle of poverty the student council to collect items for Candy By the end of the year, West said students that lack materials, West said. in Africa because there is disease, lack of Cane Corner at the Road Home. will refocus on their beginning-of-the-year As the year goes on, the club will clothing, shelter and food, as well as lack of “The student council will deliver the statements. participate in an eyeglass collection that will education, medical assistance, and many war- donations, along with wrapping paper, so “We’ll ask them again what poverty is, be sent to those in need in South America, and torn nations,” West said. parents at the shelter can select things their how their views of poverty have changed, in the Scholastic book pajama/book service At the beginning of the school year, each kids will want and be able to wrap them right how they feel they’ve helped and ask them project, which allows students to donate youth class wrote a class statement on poverty and there. Then our student council members will to rewrite their statements. We hope students and adult pajamas for the “Great Bedtime how the students can facilitate change. Next, tour the facility and see how it helps and serves gain a realization that we’re part of a bigger Pajama Drive.” In the past four years, children the art club will illustrate the statements, this population,” West said. picture and that this all adds up to a bigger, in need have received 250,000 pairs of pajamas, and these will be bound together in a literary Early in 2016, the school will focus on global community,” she said. l West said. magazine format and then sold to raise money clean water and diseases associated from not
Page 16 | November 2015
Sandy City Journal
Jordan Valley, Jordan High Students Bond With “Eagle Eyes” Technology By Julie Slama
or years, Jordan Valley teacher Kat Winch would try teaching her students who couldn’t verbally communicate or wouldn’t be able to move much in a wheelchair, and wondered if she was getting through to them. “The kids couldn’t tell me how they understood, and I know they were quite intelligent,” Winch said. So when The Opportunity Foundation of America introduced “Eagle Eyes” technology to Jordan Valley, a whole new world opened up to those students.
The device is a box about the size of a DVD case that is plugged into a computer. Electrodes are placed above and below, as well as on the sides of, the student’s eyes. They then generate a response when their eyes move up, down, left or right, making the cursor on the computer screen move accordingly, said executive director and founder Debbie Inkley. One of the first things students try is painting to understand how their eye movement is connected to what is happening on the screen. Then, students use Eagle Eyes through games, such as chasing and shooting at space aliens, which actually is a learning tool to help them master cause and effect, Inkley said. In time, students may be able to advance to programs that help them communicate better. The technology was developed at Boston College in 1994 and has undergone several advances. The Opportunity Foundation of America distributes the systems worldwide. Winch, who has a son who uses Eagle Eyes, knows it helps students and is amazed at what her students Jordan Valley students meet students from Jordan High’s peer now are able to accomplish. “Eagle Eyes shows how smart leadership team. The high school students will help Jordan Valley students with their “Eagle Eyes” system, a means for Jordan Valley they are and how they can show cause and effect, demonstrate how things students to interact with computers.
are connected and how they can make choices when they understand something,” Winch said. However, it isn’t just Jordan Valley teachers helping these students. Eleven Jordan High students who are part of the Peer Leadership Team have volunteered their time to help Jordan Valley students with Eagle Eyes and another similar program, called “Camera Mouse,” which allows students with the ability of some movement to move their heads to control the mouse. It’s the second year Jordan students have been involved. “Part of the magic is with these high school students. Jordan Valley students are gaining more than extra helpers: they’re realizing these peers can be their friends, and most of those students don’t have many friends. And Jordan high schoolers are learning to appreciate these students, realizing they are very bright, but just locked up in their bodies,” Inkley said. Earlier this school year, Jordan High students learned about the students and programs by placing the electrodes on their own classmates and testing the programs themselves. “I’m a little nervous about it because I have a neighbor who is autistic and I don’t want to trigger something that isn’t enjoyable for these students,” senior Syd Hyer said. “But at the same time, I’m excited and interested
in learning how these kids with disabilities do things differently as those kids with abilities. I think it will be a cool opportunity to learn how I can help.” Her classmate, senior Olivia Telford, said that she jumped at the opportunity to help. “It’s a really cool way for them to communicate and for me to be a part of how they learn,” she said. “I haven’t had that much of a chance to hang out with students with disabilities, but I’m friends with those who did it last year and they told me it is the greatest opportunity.” In addition to helping with Eagle Eyes and Camera Mouse, Inkley said Jordan High students will support Jordan Valley students with holiday parties and already have planned an ice skating event together for this winter. Jordan Valley achievement coach Clayton Reid said that through these activities, often high school students will pair up with Jordan Valley students, helping them at home with the Eagle Eyes program or just hanging out. “They fall in love with the students, so after high school, they’ll continue to work with them at their houses or hang out and come back to attend social activities here at our school. It opens up a whole new world for both students,” he said. l
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November 2015 | Page 17
Jordan, Alta High Theater Students to Present Fall Musicals
By Julie Slama
ordan High and Alta High theater and wonderfully composed. There’s students will take to the stage in absolute hilarious dancing and the script is November with two very different well-written. We wanted to pick something musicals. Jordan will present the satirical we’re passionate about to direct, and that comedy musical from 2001, “Urinetown,” enthusiasm was met and matched by the while Alta will perform the classic, students in the show,” he said. The leads of the musical are “Cinderella.” performed by seniors Coltin Winder as Jordan students will take the stage at Bobby Strong and Devon Preston as Hope 7 p.m. from Thursday, Nov. 12 through Cladwell. Saturday, Nov. 14, and again Monday, “This musical will attract the average Nov. 16 in the school’s auditorium, student, the mainstream audience, because 95 Beetdigger Blvd in Sandy. General it applies to everyone and it’s just fun,” admission tickets are $7 and are available he said, although cautioning that parental at the door or in the school office. The guidance should be considered for children musical is directed by Greg Larsen, with younger than 12. Lara Kimball as musical director and Alta students began rehearsing for Brandon Cressal conducting the orchestra. “Cinderella” in early September, but Alta students will perform Director Linze Struiksma says it’s not “Cinderella” at 7 p.m. from Thursday, Nov. 19 through Saturday, Nov. 21, and again on Monday, Nov. 23 in the school’s auditorium, 11055 South 1000 East in Sandy. Tickets are $8.25 advance purchase in the office or $9 at the door. Preceding the Nov. 19 show at 5:30 p.m., a gala in the commons area will take place where patrons can feel like they’re in the Alta High’s Shakespeare Team placed third overall at the Utah ballroom of the palace and Competition, Oct. 1-3. Photo courtesy of Linze Struiksma have their pictures taken with characters from the show. The $15 cost the typical Disney version. “We looked at ‘Cinderella’ and saw includes tickets to the show. a different view, a strong message that The plot of “Urinetown” is set in dismisses wishes and dreams and has the the future, where years of drought have fairy godmother telling Cinderella that lead to the banning of private restroom she needs to do something about what facilities and everyone is required to pay she wants. She needs to take charge of to use the facilities. The sinister villain her own life and make choices she can controls the racket and has the police control. A man doesn’t need to rescue and politicians in his pocket. However, her; she needs to rescue herself,” she said. a lowly worker from the poorest area of Struiksma said that message is one town leads a rebellion and falls in love she wants her students to embrace as well. with the villain’s daughter, who works “Nowadays, teens feel entitled and against her evil dad. think they deserve everything. I want “I understand that everyone will them to understand how through hard hate the name, but they make fun of it work, being genuinely thoughtful and in the musical: it’s done intentionally,” kind, they’ll learn what they want to feel Larsen said about the show that ran for successful and realize they are empowered three years on Broadway and won three to take control of their own lives,” she said. Tony Awards. “Once you get past it and The musical was chosen as a come, it becomes everyone’s immediate contrast from more recent shows Alta favorite. It shows how fun a musical can has performed, plus it gives more be with its comedy. It’s very entertaining opportunities to students wanting to and pokes fun at other shows.” perform in the musical, Struiksma said. Throughout the show, Larsen said there are parodies of other show tunes, There are about 100 students involved such as “Les Miserables,” “Guys and in putting on the show, 75 of whom are on stage, including the school’s ballroom Dolls,” “Hello Dolly!” and others. “The music is surprisingly beautiful team who performs a waltz in the palace. Sophomore Addie Wray performs as
Cinderella, while Prince Christopher is senior Erik Affleck. The fairy godmother is performed by sophomore McKenna Armstrong, the stepmother is senior Hannah Duncan and the step-sisters are sophomore Annie Cox and junior Michealann Acord. The show is choreographed by Lauralyn Koffard and music is directed by Adam Griffiths. Diana Hunt is the ballroom coach. “It’s a family-friendly musical that we know the community loves, and it’s sending inspiration to our students,” Struiksma said. Earlier this fall, both schools competed in the 39th annual Shakespeare Competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University. Held Oct. 1-3, the competition allowed high school students from around the nation a chance to present material from Shakespearean literature in various artistic forms and be judged by professionals in their fields. Alta juniors Kylan Goodwin and Bryce Jack took first with their scene Shakespeare from “A Comedy of Errors.” The ensemble presented director Emily Barker’s original script called “Entrances and Exits.” Barker said it took the “All the World’s a Stage” speech that goes through the seven ages of man. For each of the ages, she included an excerpt from another Shakespeare show. Their performance, as well as students performing in three monologues, two scenes and in the Tech Olympics, helped the school finish third overall. Alta competes with schools whose enrollment is similar — between 1,500 to 2,000 students. Jordan High, who was in its second year performing at the Festival, tied for 10th place in sweepstakes, fifth overall in monologues and 10th overall in scenes. They were competing against schools with more than 2,000 students. Eighteen students presented the ghost scene from “Hamlet” in the ensemble contest. “We used a lot of students made up as ghosts, so it was cool and kind of creepy,” Director Larsen said. “We’ve made huge improvements overall, and these students worked hard and have a lot to be proud of.” l
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Page 18 | November 2015
Alta Freshman Takes Tennis Title
er game belies her youth. Her poise suggests a veteran. But when 14-year-old Emilee Astle smashes her first serve and follows it with pounding ground strokes it is easy to mistake her for a seasoned senior. Astle, just a freshman on the Alta girls tennis team captured the State 4A number one singles tennis title at Liberty Park Oct. 10. She did it winning all state playoff matches in straight sets. “I was comfortable out there because of my training and my coaching,” Astle said. “I just entered each match looking to do my best.” Although Astle shows such maturity and
Alta’s Emilee Astle took home the number one singles tennis 4A championship this season. Astle is just a freshman at Alta. Photo credit Candace Bithell
By Ron Bevan
confidence on the court, she shows her age in her humbleness when off the court. It took her parents, Alan and Laura Astle of Sandy, to fill in some of the blanks of how she approached the state tourney. “Emilee had a goal going in that she wanted to win the state title,” Alan Astle said. “She knew it was pretty lofty, but she wanted to shoot high and then just do her best.” Astle is the youngest of four children in the Astle family, but the first to pick up competitive tennis. But athletic competition is no stranger to the Astle family; Alan played basketball for BYU and two of her older sisters played softball. Although the family has always played tennis for fun, it was piano lessons that pushed Astle toward the sport. “My piano teacher had two daughters that play college tennis,” she said. “They taught me how to play and got me into tournaments.” Astle began playing competitions in fifth grade and said she loved the excitement of the tournaments. As her abilities grew, so did her reputation in Utah. Prior to beginning school at Alta, Astle had reached the number one ranking in Utah for girls under 16 by the United States Tennis Association. She quickly grabbed the number one singles slot for the Hawks and led the team all season with an undefeated record throughout the pre season and all region matches.
“Astle easily became the leader of our team because she is so team oriented,” Alta tennis coach Camille Baird said. “She wants the team to succeed, not just herself.” She began the state title quest with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Hillcrest’s Jessica Rimmasch, then beat Maple Mountain’s Caroline Hickey with the same score. That set up a semifinal match with Skyline’s Veronika Polokova. “My semifinal match was a very good match,” Astle said. “We both played hard and the game had a lot of pace. She is a foreign exchange student from Eastern Europe and played like you see others from that area play.” Still, Astle took a 6-0, 6-3 victory to reach the finals. Waiting for her was a familiar face, Megan Austin of Timpview. Astle had faced Austin twice this season and handed Austin her only losses. “We had two close matches already and I knew I had to play my best game to beat her,” Astle said. Astle took the match and the title in straight sets of 6-2, 6-3. “She played two different styles of players in the semifinal and final matches,” Baird said. “The reason she is champion is because she is able to adapt her game from one type of opponent to another, from one who is a hard hitter to one who is able to move the ball around the court a lot. She reads the ball and her opponents well.” l
Sandy City Journal
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November 2015 | Page 19
Alta Football Looking Towards State Playoffs By Ron Bevan
t’s been a year of change for the Alta football team. A new coach, a new state classification and a new region all meant the Hawks would be meeting new challenges. But thus far the program has held up well. Although not leading its region, Alta is poised to make another state playoff bid, this time
in the 4A ranks. “Obviously the whole program is new for me,” Alema Te’o, Alta’s head football coach, said. “So I can’t compare the program now with what went on in the 5A ranks.” Te’o took over the reigns of the Alta program last spring. It is his first head coaching
Alta senior Braxton Kerr leads the Hawk’s offensive threat in its first foray into 4A competition. Kerr leads the 4A ranks in passing yardage this year.
gig at the high school level, but is known throughout Utah for his All-Poly football camps that have helped propel Utah athletes into the college and even pro ranks. “Coaching high school has been a lot of fun for me,” Te’o said. “Obviously everything is different than what I am used to doing, but I have enjoyed it.” Another struggle this year’s team had to overcome began two seasons ago. Corner Canyon opened its doors in 2013 and siphoned off students from Alta and Jordan. The biggest hit for the football team came in the sophomores that year, where nearly all the sophomore football team chose to stay together and go to the new school. In a sport that seems to rely heavily on upperclassmen at the high school level, the change two years ago left Alta with only 12 seniors this year. “We are a younger team than most out there, but we are holding up,” Te’o said. “I am excited for the future of our program. Next year all these younger players will have an edge on our opponents.” The Hawks haven’t been a pushover this season despite their youth. The Hawks are sitting in third place in Region 7 with a 3-2 region record. Alta’s only region losses have
come against 4A powerhouses Timpview and Provo. Along the way Alta has posted some runaway scores against Orem (61-33), Mountain View (49-7) and Timpanogos (69-7). And senior quarterback Braxton Kerr is leading the 4A ranks in passing yardage, completing 120 of 206 passes for 1,819 yards. He has thrown for 15 touchdowns. “Kerr is doing well for us,” Te’o said. “He is finding the right people to pass to and being patient in the pocket.” Kerr’s favorite targets are Zach Engstrom and Josh Davis. Engstrom, a sophomore, has hauled in 32 catches for 547 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Davis has five scores on 28 catches and 471 yards. Other favored targets include Hayden Harrison, London Rockwood and Landon Maxfield. But passing isn’t the only game for the Hawks. Davis has also carried the ball 167 time for 1,552 yards and 22 scores. Engstrom added five more touchdowns to his total on 47 carries of 467 yards. “We have evolved into more of a running team because of what Davis can do when he has the ball,” Te’o said. l
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November 2015 | Page 21
Send in the Clowns By Peri Kinder
t’s a time of natural selection. A season of mass hysteria. Wolves, disguised as sheep, travel in packs, attacking the weak, the inferior, the less adaptable. I’m not talking about the latest season of “The Walking Dead,”—but it’s close. I’m talking about the presidential campaign. Next November we’ll be electing a new president, then we’ll spend 4-8 years slowly pecking him/her to death. And while the election is still a year away, I’m already tired of hearing campaign speeches, bloated promises and intolerant views. Welcome to the Reality TV show political campaign landscape that’s a combination of “Survivor” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” I call it “American Idle: Washington, D.C.” Instead of selecting a world leader who won’t be ridiculed by the entire planet, we seem to be more focused on a celebridential popularity contest, electing a president who has the strongest handshake, the best suit or the whitest smile. The fact that Donald Trump thinks he represents this country with his intolerant, puffy-haired self-importance and insane
detachment from reality makes the back of my neck itch. I could list some of the dumbest things Trump has said, but it would be outdated before my column would be published. In a circus act of national proportions, the presidential candidates twist the issues with the help of our frenzied media who jump on every possibly scandalous topic like piranhas in a bloody river. We watch in horror as blooper reels blast through the Internet 24/7, and citizens become too fed-up (or lazy) to be educated about the real issues. The constant pandering to minority/ women/young voters is nauseating and obnoxious. This pandermania has included Hillary Clinton appearing as a bartender on Saturday Night Live, and Trump interviewing himself on “The Tonight Show.” I’m still waiting for the “Chris Christie/Marco Rubio American Ninja Warrior Challenge.” Candidates throw out terms like “equality” and “justice” in verbose sentences that make no sense, such as, “The idea of equal equality is mostly within our grasping fingers because justice.” Backpedaling, recanting, denying and
contradicting are commonplace in modern elections. Candidates often appear on news shows explaining what they “meant” to say. It seems voters don’t even expect ethical behavior from the president-to-be. Voters are nothing if not irrational—which is fine, because the candidates are also irrational. It’s no surprise there is big money behind each candidate. Political action committees (inexplicably deemed legal by the Supreme Court) literally purchase the new president. Millions of dollars are spent on TV ads, glossy mailings and social media campaigns, not to explain why you should vote for a candidate, but why you shouldn’t vote for their opponent. Mean-spirited, hateful speeches spew into the air, clouding the issues with their hazy pollution. As the presidential race continues weaning out the unpopular and the less pretty (leaving the populace with a candidate most likely to pose for a selfie with Kanye West), voters become desperate, feeling their voices are not being heard.
It’s like watching a remake of the “Wizard of Oz” with Clinton trying to prove she has a heart, Trump trying to prove he has a brain and everyone else screeching and flapping like a barrel of flying monkeys. If we’re lucky, a house will fall on all of them. There will definitely be a winner next November. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the voters. l
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The Gift of a Gift-less Holiday By Joani Taylor
t’s almost here: turkey time. I’ve always felt that Thanksgiving gets cheated. Before Halloween is even over, the stores cram their holiday sections with Christmas displays and have stooped to bribery by bargain, in an effort to get you out spending dough before you’ve had time to digest your dinner rolls. Poor Thanksgiving: it gets skipped right over. Thanksgiving is actually one of my favorite holidays. What other day of the year is it socially acceptable to stuff your face with potatoes covered in fat, yell at the television and sleep on the couch, all while enjoying the company of family and friends without the expectation of ANY GIFTS? Don’t misunderstand; I’m only a wee bit of a cheap, old scrooge. I love the light that shines in a child’s eyes when the jolly old man in a red velvet suit lands on the rooftop and sneaks a toy under the tree. Who can complain about a furry little barnyard animal that hides chocolate eggs under sofa cushions? But, it seems that entertaining kids with giving gifts is taking over our holidays. Now we have creepy-looking elves wreaking havoc on the house and leaving daily surprises for an entire month. There are leprechauns that deliver gold coins. And, this year a Halloween witch has made her debut. She steals your candy in the darkness of night and leaves a gift in exchange. What’s next: the 4th of July, gift-bearing Uncle
Sam? While I’d love to be the one to capitalize on the making of Tom the Turkey, who would gobble in on Thanksgiving eve to stuff a magic cornucopia full of candy feathers and toy pilgrims before popping himself in the oven, I’ll have to leave that one to the magic of the marketing pros. Until then, I am thankful that Thanksgiving is still a holiday that celebrates family without the expectation of presents. Joining together for a meal can take a toll on the wallet, though. Here are some tips for keeping the holiday eats big and cutting the budget to a minimum. Keep It Simple: Alleviate yourself of the feeling that you have to prepare everyone’s favorite.
Keep the popular favorites and get rid of the rest. My hubby loves a creamed corn casserole my grandmother used to serve, but no one else will touch it. So, I make it for his birthday instead. Shop the sales early: The best prices for Thanksgiving meal essentials start three to four weeks before the holiday. Watch the ads and start purchasing the essentials early. Look for free and discounted turkey promos. Most stores run them a couple of weeks before the big day. Clip the coupons: Pair your coupons with the sale items. If you’re a Smith’s shopper, check out a blog called Crazy4Smiths.com. You’ll find the unadvertised bargains, along with the clipable, printable and digital coupons for those items.
Maceys has coupons right on their webpage (maceys.com). Harmons has a secret coupon special every Tuesday on Facebook. And always check coupons.com for last minute printable coupons before heading to the store. Volunteer: Skipping your own Thanksgiving meal and volunteering to serve up the chow at shelters like the Road Home or SL Mission is a great way to kick off the season of giving. If the volunteer schedule is full, consider making care packages for the homeless and then deliver them to the shelters on Thanksgiving. Make your own decorations: Fancy napkin rings and centerpieces are expensive. Check your local craft stores for ideas on making your own. Have the kids get in on it and make some memories, too. You can find a weekly list of craft store coupons on coupons4utah.com/craftstorecoupons. Eating a dry turkey and unusual side dishes may not be the favorite of kids, but it is this giftless holiday that joins family and kicks off the season of sacrifice, love and compassion, and that is one heck of a gift. Note: Last month’s column had a notation about finding early movie previews at advance(d) screenings.com. There was a typo: the actual website is advancescreenings.com, without the “d”. l
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