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February 2019 | Vol. 6 Iss. 02




he macabre misadventures of a fictional household became a therapeutic tool for one South Jordan household after tragedy struck unexpectedly. Lily Featherstone, 11, is in sixth grade at Eastlake Elementary. She loves dogs and wants to be a veterinarian when she gets older. Lily and her older sister are just 21 months apart. Autumn Featherstone, 13, is in seventh grade at Copper Mountain Middle School. Autumn loves to draw and is considering a career in animation. As for now, she is looking forward to taking a theater class in the next academic term. “I like performing,” Autumn said. “I’ve done little plays with Up With Kids and Yellow Stage Door.” “We came and saw ‘Mary Poppins’ and Autumn wanted to do [a production at Midvale Main Street Theatre],” added Jen Folkman, Autumn and Lily’s mom. “It was good and I wanted to be in something that was [bigger than what I had done before],” Autumn said. She decided to audition for the final youth theatre production of the 2018 season at the Midvale Main Street Theatre’s Children’s Program, “The Addams Family Young@Part.” “She was auditioning, so I wanted to [audition too],” Lily added in a sing-song voice. “We had already gotten in,” Autumn said, referring to their status in the production when they lost their dad to suicide on Oct. 16, 2018. “It was unexpected and a shock,” Jen said. The last time Autumn and Lily saw him, he had dropped them off at theater practice. “At the time, he didn’t show any outward signs. He was not crying out for help at all. He had in the past, but in hindsight he was definitely struggling with bipolar disorder and I wish we would have gotten him help. In his right mind, he would never have chosen to do this to them,” said Jen. “After his mother took her life [4 years ago], things were not the same. That impacted him.” According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.” The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also reports suicide as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. According to Tammy Ross, owner of the Midvale Main Street Theatre, “I asked if they need to leave the show and come back and audition for another production, but Jen said they feel like they need this.” “The first day back they [the cast and staff] gave us a Build-ABear,” said Autumn.

Lily (right) and Autumn performed in “The Addams Family” in December. (Photo courtesy Jen Folkman)

“After that, they felt happy to keep coming back,” added Jen. “Theater is a place where you can find community when you feel lost,” said Ross. The girls were cast in “The Addams Family Young@Part” as ancestors of the unconventional family, who open the show by educating the audience about what it means to be a member of their household in “When You’re an Addams.” Lily is dressed as a deceased hippie, complete with flower crown made by her mom. Autumn plays a waitress who died after taking a fall at work, and wears one of her mom’s old name tags. The princess of darkness herself, Wednesday Addams, has found love and is about to introduce her “normal” boyfriend and his respectable family to her decidedly “different” clan. And if that weren’t enough, Wednesday confesses her love to her father—admitting their intention to marry—and begs him not to tell her mother. Desperate to maintain his daughter’s trust, Gomez Addams is faced with a nearly impossible task—keeping a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Hilarity ensues as the family prepares for one normal night inside the walls of their ghoulish mansion. “The girls have worked so hard to keep this show going the

way it should,” said Ross. “Obviously, you can tell when they’re sad or having a rough day, but it’s like they didn’t want to let the show down. They just got through it. I am so proud of them.” “I’m blown away by my kids’ courage. To watch your kids go through this is devastating. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. Being able to be there and support them is everything,” Jen said. “I love my girls. It’s nice to be needed.” Although they will miss singing, dancing, and seeing the new friends they made among the “The Addams Family Young@Part” cast members, the girls are ready to move forward. Lily is looking forward to learning to snowboard with her mom, since being involved in the production has kept them too busy to enjoy their favorite winter activities. Autumn will continue to ski. “We started out by getting through this minute by minute, then hour by hour, then day by day, and week by week. Next year will be better than this year,” said Jen. “Positive things will happen in our lives, and we’ll get to spend time more together.” If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-2738255. l

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February 2019 | Page 3


Women freeride and unite at ski resort


By Amy Green |

The South Jordan City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout South Jordan. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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Women enjoy talking together and with professional snowboarder Nirvana Ortanez (middle in blue) before the Women’s Ride Day dinner.

B hosted a Women’s Ride Day at Brighton Resort on Jan. 10. It was open to women of any skill level who registered. It was a day of snowboarding, complimentary barbecue, adventure films and a chance to ride top-of-the-line winter gear. Dinner and drinks were “on the house” for ladies who met at Milly Express lift for the meetup. is an online retailer that was formed by two guys in a Park City garage with a business dream. Since 1996, they sell specialty gear and clothing for a wide range of outdoor mountain sports. To start the 2019 year with style and ambition, Backcountry partnered with the Women’s Leadership Coalition to sponsor this relaxing day. It was for gathering women to shred up some sweet “gnar-pow” together (that’s old school for “gnarly powder man!”). Though after this event, gnar-pow is obviously a gender non-specific term. The point of the event was to inspire women who want to hit the slopes, to meet other women and try out the latest gear. Doing this can help women network and feel empowered in a male dominated sport. Marga Franklin, visual merchandising manager for Backcountry explained, “Our goal is to get people out there on the snow… sharing with other people who might be intimidated, but want to try. We have all the gear so they can come out.” Burton and Nitro were there to offer free

snowboard demos and the newest bindings. Brighton chefs served the ladies a hearty dinner of barbecued pork sandwiches and more. It was a tasty meal to replenish energy for taking more runs into the night. What’s not to enjoy, when there is good female company, food and snowboarding films starring talented women? Myllissa Pinchem attended. “I love how inviting everything has been. Coming out here today, everybody has been so welcoming. I’m a beginner and everyone was super nice letting us demo the boards. Having the opportunity like this and having other women that share the same passion is really awesome,” she said. Backcountry recognizes that women can benefit by meeting together in an adventure setting. The attendees agreed that women doing sports together is important. When businesses give back by promoting core passions, with women celebrated as a part of it, it sends a positive message. It is a message (for women who already love the outdoors) to feel equal in sports. It’s also a message to encourage women who are on the fence about trying new things. Nirvana Ortanez, a professional snowboarder, was there. “Look up events like this and just come. It’s the best way to get intimidation out of the way. We take time out of our schedules and travels to be here at these events, to really encourage women who might be intimidated,” she said. Ortanez has

been highlighted in TransWorld Snowboarding as a woman with some serious commitment and skill. Women are also popping out of the woodwork, with talent for filming and photography in snowboarding. Gill Montgomery, a freelance photographer, knew about the event because she shoots professional snowboarders and lives in the area. “Whenever there is a female event, I’m all about it,” Montgomery said. “It’s great because there are so many girls in the industry that never really get together. Events like this show girls, even younger girls (and girls not as confident in snowboarding), that there is a community — that we are very welcoming; that you can reach out and go to events like this and be comfortable and accepted.” When it comes to getting more involved in sports like snowboarding, Montgomery related, “It always seems kind of intimidating, especially as a female (you’re constantly second guessing yourself). You just need to find a group that you can ride with, and there really are other girls to shred with. Go out and get involved.” She recommended visiting a local ski shop for info, and paying attention to upcoming events. It was a day of sweet gnar-pow, and even sweeter intentions put into action by One can follow on Facebook to watch for more events at l

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You were just in a car accident, now what?


nless you’re one of the few anomalies in the world, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve experienced that sickening feeling when your car makes unwanted contact with another vehicle. We’re frustrated and disheartened. While we may want to crawl into a hole, we can’t. There are things to do and we’ve given you 10 to be aware of (in no particular order). 1. Have an emergency kit in your car. While this step comes before the accident occurs, it’s essential to be prepared. Whatever you kit entails, make sure it has a first-aid kit, flashlight, reflective triangles and a small (and simple) camera in case there’s been damage to your phone. We’re typically frustrated or frazzled after an accident and not inclined to rational thinking. Being prepared limits the possibility of forgetfulness. 2. Take a deep breath. Accidents are traumatic experiences. Taking a breath will shift focus from what just happened to what needs to be done next. 3. Get a status check on everyone in the car. Check with each passenger to see if they are OK. Have someone call 911 immediately if someone is injured or unresponsive. 4. Move to a safe location. Most insurance companies recommend relocating the vehicle to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as soon as possible after the accident. If

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the damage to the car is minor, this should be relatively easy. But if there are major injuries or questions about the safety of the car, leave it where it is, even if its blocking traffic. 5. Increase your visibility. Turn on your hazard lights and set out your attention items from the emergency kit—flares, orange cones, reflective triangles, etc. One accident should not lead to another. Take precaution to ensure other drivers on the road remain safe. 6. Stay calm. It is very easy to lose your temper in this situation, it’s human nature. Keeping your cool will keep the situation from getting worse. If it wasn’t your fault, it’s easy to want to let your emotions loose on the other driver. This will cloud your judgment and may lead to something that does not help the situation. You still need to exchange information. 7. Exchange insurance information. This is imperative. If you are to file a claim on your car, you will need the other driver’s information. Most likely, after an accident you are feeling jumpy or stressed. It means when you try to write down their information your handwriting will look like ancient hieroglyphics and, unless you are a cryptographer, will be unable to read it later. We live in the 21st century, take a photo of their information and take photos of the damage done to both cars. 8. Don’t admit guilt. Every insurance

company will tell you to do this. Even if you are at fault and it was you to blame. This could drive your premium up or even lead to you being sued. Let the police and insurance companies determine this. 9. Call the police. While some minor accidents don’t require a report to be filed, it’s up to the discretion of the drivers in the accident to call the police. Law enforcement can take statements, get information on injuries and property damage. Be sure to ask for a copy of the accident report. If there is a dispute, the officer will be an important testimony. 10. See a doctor. Depending on the in-

juries suffered or not, it is easy to skip this. A large financial situation has just happened with the car accident, you don’t want another one by seeing the doctor and jacking up your health costs. It’s important to consider it, or possibly speak with one. Adrenaline can be pumping after the accident and one might not notice the amount of whiplash to your neck. Symptoms can take 24 hours to appear. The warning signs include neck pain, stiffness, loss of motion in the neck, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and pain in the shoulders or upper back. It can be better to be safe than sorry. l

February 2019 | Page 5

Students arrange financial advice for teachers By Jet Burnham |


ifty percent of teachers at Herriman High School say their personal finances cause them stress. Half of them haven’t started any estate planning, while 20 percent still have large amounts of student debt. These statistics, collected by the school’s FBLA and DECA students, were the inspiration for the projects they have prepared for club competitions that challenge them to identify a problem in their community and creatively solve it. “When we were looking for a group of people for our project, we thought there wouldn’t be anyone better than teachers,” said Jacob Racker, a senior. Alexander Hill said students wanted to address the financial issues that lead to teacher shortages and teachers dropping out of the profession. “A lot of them want to teach; it’s just their finances are in the way,” he said. “We learned all these skills from business classes, but they don’t do anything if we don’t actually use them, so we’re actually using the skills that we learned in the classroom to help people.” The students’ solution was to arrange a financial wellness fair. Financial professionals were invited to the school to be available to talk to staff members about estate planning, retirement, general financial advice, investing, insurance and college savings plans. Elza Morgan, who teaches sewing and design classes at HHS, had been putting off estate planning, believing it would be stressful, complex and expensive. But she felt guilty when she thought of her two young children not being taken care of. “My husband being a police officer and this not being done has been a stressor for the last three years,” she said. The event took place at the school during school hours. Morgan was able to step out of her classroom, walk down the hall and meet with an estate planning representative. In less than an hour, she was able to get the help she needed. “It was pretty easy; that surprised me,” she said. And now that she has begun the process and had her questions answered, she isn’t stressed about it anymore. “I just feel so at peace,” Morgan said. The business students developed their project based on the information they collected by surveying the high school faculty and meeting with them in a focus group. “With teachers being so open about their finances and personal struggles, we were able to cater this event more toward their needs,” said senior Bailey Burgess. Students were glad to help their teachers. “It is turning the tables because teachers help us with almost everything,” said Burgess, who admits students can’t usually help teachers in return. “I’m just glad I could be

Page 6 | February 2019

part of this group to put on this event to finally give back to teachers that are well-deserved of this.” The ideas, arrangements and promotion of the event were completely student-driven, said business teacher Julianna Wing, who made sure all staff members were invited to participate. Students said the best part of the experience was when participants thanked them for the opportunity to improve their lives. Many told them they never would have gotten it done on their own. Topics related to planning for the future are intimidating for many people, said Robert Ulch, a representative from Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, who was invited to assist faculty members with funeral planning. “A lot of people have questions, but they just don’t know who to ask,” Ulrich said. “They realize this is a safe place to ask quesBusiness students feel proud of the event they coordinated to help their teachers. (Milie Benker/HHS) tions.” Hill said, according to survey results, help with retirement planning was the most requested service. While teachers have retirement benefits through the state, Ben Smed52% of teachers feel their retirement plan is adequate ley, retirement planning adviser for Utah Retirement System said many young teachers 50% of teachers don’t have any estate planning documents put off retirement decisions. He advised all teachers, no matter their age, to be familiar 50% of teachers say their finances cause them stress with their options. Racker said the project utilized the skills 20% of teachers still have large amounts of student debt they’ve been learning in their classes, such as financial literacy, promotion, partnering with 10% of teachers have more than $37,000 in student debt businesses, professional communication, networking and marketing. 16% of teachers couldn’t pay for an emergency costing more “In school, you’re always learning stuff, than $400 but you never really get to apply that to the real world,” he said. “This is a great oppor50% of teachers couldn’t pay for 36 months worth of expenses in tunity to get some real-world experience that an emergency you wouldn’t get in a classroom.” Students broke the event planning into 35% of teachers have a college savings for their children a focused project for each team to submit for the FBLA and DECA competitions they will 14% of teachers always follow a monthly budget attend this spring. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this 70% of teachers don’t have life insurance big of a project if we only had one group, so we just spread everything out,” said Hill. l

Survey Results

General Stats

Half of adults with debt have mental health issues People in debt are twice as likely to have major depression Only one quarter of employees have attained financial wellness More than half of employees who are financially unwell have poor financial literacy People in debt are 3 times as likely to have mental health issues 61% of stress comes from poor financial wellness Representatives from Diversify Investments provided teachers with strategies to make their salaries stretch farther. (Milie Benker/HHS)

30% of poor overall health is from poor financial wellness 43% of disengagement and distractions comes from poor financial wellness

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Who: South Jordan Residents Kindergarten - 6th Grade Students When: Monday, February 11th at 4:30 pm Where: Community Center, 10778 S. Redwood Rd. S outh JordanJ

February 2019 | Page 7

Bingham High’s Poulsen works with students to share heart healthy education By Julie Slama |


t was more than a competition for Bingham High’s Pepper Poulsen. Although Poulsen was trying to win the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute teacher 2018 My Heart Challenge, she also wanted to educate students to learn the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. As the 100-day competition began, she wanted to introduce more fitness and healthy options at the school. “I’d like to change the culture in our school, from adding more healthy snack options at faculty meetings to integrating the challenge with our HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) students and their competitions,” she said. What resulted was not that but students taking ownership for it, as some students wrote and performed their own rap song about healthy lifestyles. Three students were able to present to 13 other teacher participants and community members at the December awards ceremony. “It has changed me, my family and our Bingham family,” Poulsen said. “I now prep meals for the whole family. My husband has lost 50 pounds. I may still watch movies, but I’m on the treadmill getting in my steps as I do. I’ve added strength and weight training. My whole family is active and eating healthier. I’ve shared what I’ve learned with them as well as with students at school.” While Poulsen didn’t win the challenge, she feels the positive change.

“I’m doing more and have more energy than before,” she said. “It’s something I’ll be able to maintain.” That is the sentiment many teachers said, agreeing that they all were winners in improving their own health. Through the program, all the teachers received individual coaching and counseling from heart experts at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, talking to exercise specialists, dietitians, counselors and cardiologists. They were introduced to various exercises, which they might not be familiar with from yoga to boxing, and participated in weekly health assessments. Together, they exercised 46,194 minutes and lost 212 pounds. Their cholesterol levels decreased 14 percent, while their triglycerides dropped 32 percent. Through an increase of 18 percent of aerobic fitness, their body fat went down 19 percent. Other Jordan School District participants include Herriman High’s Dan McLay and Riverton High’s Robert Rooley. The overall winner was Taylorsville High School English teacher Kevin Harwood, who used the book, “The Jungle,” as a platform to have class discussions about prepared and processed foods. About 500 Taylorsville High students also listened to a Cornell University professor, whom Harwood arranged to come to classes and speak about the ethics of farming, protecting the forests and environment, and

Full Garage?

heart disease associated with a red meat diet. Harwood decided to take part in the challenge to be a more active grandfather. “For me, participating in the challenge was a wake-up call,” he said. “It got me thinking about what I’m doing and how it takes time to develop healthy habits.” Before the contest, Harwood admits he developed poor habits after running the 1994 St. George Marathon. He would eat weekly at a Mexican restaurant and would turn on Netflix instead of hitting a treadmill and eating fruits and vegetables. “I learned valuable information that transformed my life,” he said, adding that his family also participated, include the family dog, Daisy, who took him on 4-mile daily walks. The most improved award went to Mindy Wilder, of Corner Canyon High in Draper, who also received $1,000 for her school, along with a sash and crown. During the 100 days, she lost 44 pounds. Wilder not only got her physical education students and volleyball team to participate, but she also introduced yoga to nearby Crescent Elementary in Sandy in early November, getting six classes of third- and fourth-graders to become active. “Everything I learned, I took back to my ninth-grade class, including nutrition and exercise logs,” Wilder said. “They made a lot of progress. The volleyball team was very engaged and preferred fruit and vegetables over

snack foods. The elementary kids became more flexible as they learned something new. I learned little things that will make a lifetime change for me.” Other teachers shared what they learned to their classes and schools. At Jordan High in Sandy, Nicole Manwaring, who biked to work, had her school participate in tracking steps as well as having chef program students at the school prepare a healthy meal in December. She even got the preschoolers to learn to exercise while learning their letters, said Principal Wendy Dau. Murray High’s Keeko Georgelas worked with their school’s culinary arts students to hold a fundraiser dinner for heart research for Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, which could help pay living expenses for families of patients undergoing heart transplants. “I hope it becomes an annual event,” he said. “This impacted my life as well as students and faculty at Murray.” Kristina Kimble, of Alta High in Sandy, said it was easier knowing other teachers also were committed to the program. “I can email or talk to any of these teachers and know that we will continue to be supportive of one another,” she said. “It’s not over; it’s a lifetime commitment. We all succeeded in becoming healthier, so we all won.” l

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Valentine’s Day ideas By Michelynne McGuire |


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ere are some ideas and places around the valley for a Valentine’s date and some budget savvy ideas for Valentines. Romantic: Does your honey have to work on Valentine’s Day? That’s not romantic…but perhaps doing one sweet deed a day is the best way to make it up to your honey. Help them feel extra appreciated with one sweet gesture a day leading up to Feb. 14. Outdoorsy: Don’t let cold temperatures stop you from celebrating Valentine’s in the great outdoors. Dress warmly and try these ideas: Ice Skating: Gallivan Center, Ice Rink Hotline: (801) 535-6117. For more details check out their website: www.thegallivancenter.comSkiing: Some ski resorts offer retreats, spa specials and romantic dinners for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time. This website: helps you navigate different resort websites for information. Ice Castles: Journey to Midway and walk hand-in-hand around magnificent illuminated ice formations. www. Giving back: The hopeful animals at local animal shelters could use some love too.The Sandy Animal Services Department doesn’t need volunteers, but they do allow good willed people to visit and give the animals attention in their pet/play room during normal business hours. Sandy Animal Services Department is located at 8751 S. 700 West in Sandy. (801) 352-4450 Indoorsy: If you and your love opt out of crowds this year…perhaps, make a fun recipe together, cookies, cupcakes, or whatever your fancy… and then paint or draw one another to the best of your artistic abilities. Singles/miscellaneous: Sumo Wrestling! Yes, you can rent a sumo suit with some friends from Canyon Party Rental, LLC (801) 836-7700. For more information their website is: Relaxing: Massages. Many places offer couples massages. For seniors: “Draper’s best kept secret.” That’s according to Draper Senior Center’s office specialist Lisa Campbell. The senior center offers an array of fun things for seniors to do and socialize. And it is free for seniors aged 60+ and free for spouses under 60

if they are married to a member who is at least 60. It’s open to seniors living in all areas. There is a workout facility, classes offered and even a café serving generous portions at good prices. Their Valentine’s Day event, a ballroom dance Valentine’s party, will take place on Feb. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Come join in the dance and fun and celebrate “love day” with good music provided by the ballroom dance class and enjoy light refreshments. And on Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. Valentine’s entertainment will be provided by the non-profit organization Heart and Soul. For savvy savers: Bowling at All Star Bowling in Draper will be open, no reservations needed, first-come basis. It’s located at 12101 S. State Street in Draper. (801) 572-1122. Supporting a play at your local community theatre, Draper Historical Theatre has different on-going shows throughout the year, If you and yours are in the mood to laugh, look into a comedy club near you. Fancy Foodies and Desserts: If you’re a foodie and you plan to splurge on your sweetie by deciding to indulge and tantalize your taste buds in ambiance, La Caille a French restaurant in Sandy, is having a Valentines seven-course dinner for $150 per person, reservations required. They are located at 9565 Wasatch Blvd. in Sandy. (801) 942-1751 And is a simplified way to find a Utah Valentine’s Day Restaurant with open Reservations. Not feeling the crowds, Dairy Queen is having Cupids Cake, made from their traditional ice cream cake, perfect for sharing and it comes in the shape of a heart, a sweet treat for your sweetie that you can take home. Family: If you’re not already in touch with your inner child, perhaps taking the family to bounce around on some trampolines together will heighten your awareness; Airborne Trampoline Park is an amusement center in Draper UT. Their website states that they feature, “Wall-to wall trampolines attract jumpers of all ages to this complex with air dodge ball and foam pits.” They are located at 12674 Pony Express Rd. in Draper. (801) 601-8125 And if you’re not in Draper there

is another called Get Air Salt Lake in Salt Lake City. Teens and adult, budget friendly: The Draper Library is offering on Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. a tasting of chocolate and creating. You will get the chance to test your palate with chocolate sampling and create your own seasonal craft to go with. This is through the Draper Makers, they have a seasonal creation time to learn new techniques, the supplies are provided while quantities last. Registration preferred. The Draper Library is at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) Draper and is across from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Developmentally Appropriate: “All Ability Activity Very Fun Valentines,” Friday, first day of February at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Crafts and activities are designed for adults and teens with disabilities. “We have a great time, it’s the highlight of my month,” said Sarah Brinkerhoff, manager at the county library Draper. Registration is required. The Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 9434636 Kid friendly, family/friends and free: Valentine crafting, bring the kiddies to make a Sweet Penguin Magnet, on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1-4 p.m. You may drop in between one and four p.m. to make a sweet penguin magnet for Valentine’s Day. The crafting will take place in the children’s area; everything will be available to put together a magnet, while supplies last. Feb. 11, 7- 8 p.m. Family Draper Makers, no registration required, supplies provided while quantities last. Come and make homemade Valentines and quality time with family while creating seasonal crafts. Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 9434636 Whatever you plan to do, here’s one easy tip for fostering love and appreciation: During your time together, take a break from checking cell phones and focus on one another. Valentine’s Day is truly a day to be loving first and foremost to others and yourself. l

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Students welcome kindness campaigns in schools By Julie Slama |

South Jordan Middle School student leaders will lead a kindness week during February to connect with their peers through lunchtime activities and service projects. (Photo courtesy of South Jordan Middle School)


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

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will rise up by.” Simmons said the notes then were posted to spell out “Rise Up.” “We had students write that they will rise up by being kinder, by stopping bullying, by eating fruits and vegetables and more,” she said. That week, as throughout the year, students completed bingo cards that tied into the year-round theme as well as monthly focuses. In February, the focus was set to be Kindness Week. “It’s something we’ve done the past few years instead of Valentine’s week,” student body adviser Annelise Baggett said. “It’s after winter break, when there are few breaks in school and it’s not an exciting time and the weather is dark. Then right in the middle of it, kids are showing that people care and they can get through it all together. Kids can struggle with self-worth, especially this time of year, and in middle school when they are questioning who they are and want to be. Instead of going to social media for validation, Kindness Week connects them and helps form friendships.” Baggett said student leaders are motivated to connect with others through lunchtime activities, service projects and mini-lessons that are given to their homerooms. The activities include students posting notes in the hall of kind acts their peers are doing. “It delivers a big message when friends are noticing kindness at school, in the community in our homes,” she said. “Our big focus will be to connect with others and get them involved. We tell students the more you share your talent and help out others, the more validated you are and better you feel.” At nearby Bingham High, the largest student club is one where everyone is welcome: the Golden Gate Club. It first began as a club where all students felt accepted and welcomed and now is expanding to other schools in the area as well as the nation. “Our theme is to ‘make someone’s day,

every day,’ whether it’s smiling and saying hi or doing a simple act of kindness. It’s become a turning point for so many kids’ lives,” said school hall monitor Jo Ward, who helped start the Golden Gate Club two years ago. “It’s not an anti-bullying or anti-gang club, but a pro-social club that helps kids be included and accepted, which is what kids want.” Ward said that with a large school, students can be “lost in the cracks, so we don’t want them to feel alone.” Student members receive daily text messages, eat together at lunch and make sure everyone has someone to attend after-school activities with as well as help with school events. “We want everyone to feel like their family and other kids have their back. We see the difference — everyone watching out for one another. It’s changing the culture of our school,” she said. West Hills Middle in West Jordan added aspects of the club into its existing Be the Change program. “We’ve incorporated Golden Gate’s pledge and principles suited for middle school students as well as the practice to reach out and befriend another into the Be the Change program,” assistant principal Mike Hughes said, adding that last year they also incorporate five-minute mini-lessons into their curriculum. “Middle school and high school students want to belong, and with the support of their peers, it will help them determine success for their rest of their life and give them a positive outlook.” In the Daybreak community, Daybreak Elementary students also are taking part in a yearlong kindness push. Fresh off of being awarded a $500 Stand for Children grant for the national Middle School Kindness Challenge last spring, students are continuing to give positive messages of kindness throughout the school, said Wendy Babcock, who heads the school’s faculty kindness committee.

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“We need to teach kindness, and if we start with the young ones, they can teach the rest of us,” she said. “Schools need to teach it now. There are so many pressures that this generation has with technology that didn’t exist, so now we’re needing to teach them how to connect and show they care about each other, which they don’t get on Snapchat or texting. Students may be bullied, feel sad or isolated and those feelings can lead to further acting out or anxiety and mental health issues. Kids need to learn and practice how to play and make friends away from technology, and they need to learn kindness.” Daybreak began with Start with Hello, a weeklong program that addresses those concerns. Parents of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting victims introduced the program: “Social isolation is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. In fact, one study reports that chronic loneliness increases our risk of an early death by 14 percent. Furthermore, young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence, and/ or depression. As a result, many pull further away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/or choose to hurt themselves or others. Start with Hello teaches students the skills they need to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school.” The concept of the program teaches students that when they see someone alone, they can reach out and help simply by saying hello. “We had students invite others to recess, play on the playground and sit by new people at lunch. There was great effort to start new friendships,” Babcock said. “It also has helped as new kids move into the school; they’re making sure they are included and aren’t standing around.” In the late fall, the student council created challenges and posted them on flyers around the school. The Choose Kind challenge allowed students to tear them off and initiate the step of being kind and building a sense of community, she said. That then went into the next phase of the

kindness campaign, where students identified each other performing random kind acts and wrote them on paper light bulbs. Then, students posted those on a paper tree in each grade level’s pod, allowing students to “light our school with kindness.” “The faculty and staff spontaneously started writing down those they saw of each and started a light bulb chain around the office that then spread into all these trees full of lights. Identifying kindness really made a difference for our entire school,” she said. Currently, Daybreak students are performing 100 acts of kindness and promoting the phrase “when you see something, say something” into one of positivity and kindness. They also plan to take part in the same kindness challenge this spring. In White City, Bell View Elementary school psychologist intern Danielle Rigby introduced Start with Hello week in the fall since she was new to the school and trying to meet all the students. She used ice-breaker games and incorporated the campaign into their structured recess program. “We talked about being kind, being a friend and had students pledge they would say hello or make new friends,” she said. “Students would stop in the hallway, introduce themselves and use key words at recess and lunch. Seeing their kindness was really impactful.” The students also wore green, the program’s color, to show their support of being kind. As a reminder of their pledge, this spring Rigby plans to distribute green silicone bracelets that say, “Start with Hello.” She also is looking into getting the school a buddy bench, where students can invite those sitting on it to play at recess. “All schools need to have a kindness program,” Rigby said. “Initially, this all started from school shootings, but now kids need it. People are more inclined to internalize everything as it’s not as easy to look up around them or step out from themselves to show empathy. But this is teaching students the first step to show kindness when they see someone alone. We need this kind of positive uplifting.” At nearby Edgemont Elementary, stu-

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

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Brighton High students played Hungry Hippos to raise support for the Utah Refugee Center at their final fundraising assembly. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

dents, faculty and staff all took part in what was expected to be a 10-day Look for the Good campaign, but with sticky notes of compliments filling bulletin boards, they remained up for months. The national campaign was created by kids for kids and was led by the school’s student council. “The program teaches that everyone can respect one another and answer the question ‘what makes me grateful?’” Principal Cathy Schino said. “It’s an important question because it opens up your heart and shifts your thinking to others. It tells us to avoid that crabby voice inside that tells us we aren’t good enough.” Students also took turns standing on circles that asked, “What makes you grateful?” to share with others how someone made an impact on their lives and how they can help make a difference. “This gives them extra confidence to share, say something positive and be thankful,” first-grade teacher Joyce Acosta said. A first-grader in her class, Kody Brinkeroff, spoke up at the kick-off assembly that he felt safe and was grateful “because there are no bullies that do mean things to anyone at our school.” They also passed along cards that said “you matter” and shared the microphone at morning meetings talking about the positivity in their lives. Schino likes the shift in attitude to focus on gratitude. “If you look for the bad, we can always find it, but when we look for the good, and retrain ourselves to do that, then we can find that and lift ourselves up and give students the tools to lift up others.” Student council adviser LuAnn Hill said it helps to create a more caring environment. “It makes school a better place to be, with students showing kindness and expressing their gratitude,” she said. Last spring, after the Parkland, Florida shootings, Butler Middle School students wanted to show they cared, more than take part in the one-day protest, school librarian

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

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High school students learn gratitude, lend hand to community organizations By Julie Slama |


shy 5-year-old boy sat on his mother’s lap upon a throne, the center of attention of 2,300 Alta High School students. Draper Park kindergartner William Burton, who was diagnosed with leukemia one year ago in January, already has undergone monthly treatments that have included steroids and chemotherapy. He was the face of Alta High’s effort to grant wishes to children at the Make-a-Wish Foundation. High school students across the Salt Lake Valley reached out to community organizations this winter season to bring them joy and help, and at the same time, became grateful for what they have. William, the youngest child of Chris and Julie Burton, both who graduated from Alta, likes to play goalie in soccer and loves being buried in the sand. His wish is to go to Hawaii where he hopes to see sea turtles and dolphins. “This is a life-changer for him, for all of us,” Chris Burton said. “There are so many people who are reaching out, giving us support. It definitely lightens our spirits.” At the final assembly, which carried a Hawaiian theme, and students as well as Will’s family were taught a hula dance, Alta students learned the first high school to ever reach out to Make-a-Wish was theirs. “We love helping Make-a-Wish,” senior class vice president Braque Bunkall said. “We love children; they are so kind, sweet and loving. Will makes this more relatable for us so we can see the impact we’re making.” Bunkall said that through a variety of activities, from pingpong and spike ball tournaments to selling hot chocolate and performing odd jobs, students have helped donate funds earmarked for Make-a-Wish. As of press deadline, students raised $20,000, enough money to not only support Will, but also the wishes of four other children, with two more events to be held, said Principal Brian McGill. Nearby Jordan High reached out to help the Utah Refugee Center, as did students at Brighton High in Cottonwood Heights. Jordan High senior and student body officer over spirit Jeddy Bennett said they wanted to help answer a need. “We saw there was a need to help these people who have a lot less,” he said. “The Utah Refugee Center says there are 65,000 refugees in Utah and we have some at Jordan. They are humble about their situation and appreciate everything. We realize we have a lot more than they do.” To help raise funds for them, Bennett took part in several activities that were of-

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Bingham High School students brought in food items and then assembled snack kits for the Jordan Education Foundation’s principals’ pantries. (Photo courtesy of Bingham High)

fered, from spike ball to Smash Brothers tournaments or donating money to watch a holiday movie. Students also performed odd jobs, which was new this year, to raise funds through service. Many students shoveled snow from driveways, washed windows, wrapped presents, helped with organizing a book about family history, cleaned and did whatever chores to “show students care about those around them and want to be helpful.” Bennett felt the generosity of the community when he took a neighbor’s car to the carwash and found a sizeable donation for the effort. “I was very surprised when I received a $100 bill, but then there was another one folded inside. My mouth dropped to the floor,” he said. There were “dash for cash” activities, where students could earn a free hour-long lunch if they raised $1,000 in 20 minutes, which they were able to do a couple times. Jordan students also challenged — and lost — to the faculty in a basketball game. “We didn’t let them win,” Bennett said. “People would pay to change the course of the game, so someone could make a donation and we couldn’t play defense, or no stu-

dent government players could play.” That game alone raised $3,500 of the $15,238 the students donated, the most the school has raised in at least the past seven years, according to senior Gwen Christopherson, who is the student body vice president of service. “This is amazing for us,” she said. “I am so proud. We have students who aren’t as well off as some schools, but they were giving what they could.” Christopherson said $12,000 was given to the refugees, and with the remainder, student body officers, along with Latinos-in-Action, purchased food for Midvale students, who may not have much during the winter break. “It was cool to see that through this fundraiser, we had more kids become involved and come together because they wanted to help. We learned to be grateful for what we have,” she said. Brighton High students not only raised funds, but also decided to provide needed items for refugees, said junior Grace Bunker, who said the junior class brought soap and razors for the hygiene kits. “We exceeded our goal,” she said, adding that through her church, she has done ac-

tivities to welcome refugees. “It was a good cause because we have a lot of refugees in Utah.” Brighton students made 320 hygiene kits and gave more than 3,000 extra supplies and more than $9,000 to the Utah Refugee Center. In addition, student leaders would give service to various community groups to celebrate the student body serving the refugees. The service ranged from helping adults with disabilities and providing socks to the homeless to caroling or playing bingo at a senior center to helping with the Burrito Project and at the Utah Food Bank. “We wanted to not only make a difference, but to make a connection to our community,” said senior and student body vice president Kaitlyn Newitt. “We really feel that by providing service, as well as money and items, it is a more satisfying contribution to our community.” Utah Refugee Center volunteer Katie Graham thanked the students, saying their personal connection made the difference. “We’re thrilled at their participation with the refugees and our community,” she said. “They were able to deliver and bring the kits and support them at a Christmas event. They understood their need and helped to answer it.” Principal Tom Sherwood said he appreciated students being involved in the community. “It’s important that their focus becomes more community-minded and learn to give back at an early age,” he said. “They did a great job of becoming proactive and coming together to impact the local community.” Murray High students reached out to several organizations through the coordinating efforts of the student leaders. Working together with Latinos-in-Action, Gay/ Straight Alliance and cheerleaders, student government leaders involved students in several service activities, including writing letters to Utah and California firefighters, organizing and holding a party for children at the Boys and Girls Club in Murray and teaming up with the shop students to create blocks to donate to Primary Children’s Hospital, said student body officer adviser Jessica Garrett. A year-long project, under the direction of Murray High’s Peer Leadership Team (PLT), has been to include all clubs and groups on campus to raise money for Utah Health and Human Rights. Through schoolwide efforts, thus far, they have raised $685, including working together with the soccer team to hold a bake sale that made $200, said

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

PLT adviser Kim Parkinson. Nearby Cottonwood High students raised $6,500 to support the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Fund (SLVEF), a nonprofit organization that works with victims of violent crimes and domestic violence. “We did this by having a winter charity assembly where different talents performed, we auctioned off dates with our SBOs and cutting locks of hair from a student who has grown out his hair for over a year,” said adviser Amy Thomas. The winter charity assembly included performances from the dance company, jazz musicians, vocal duets, a solo bagpipe performance, Latinos-in-Action dancers and a male drill team. Students also donated decorated trees that were purchased during the school’s musical and at the scrimmage basketball game, and a competition was held where donations were collected during the students’ first-period class. Thomas said the local organization was chosen because it educated students about what the organization is and how it benefits

the community. “We like the money raised by our students to have in impact on people of our community,” she said. “(When) the director spoke to the students at the assembly and I think a lot of them really had their eyes opened as to what was going on. We also had a former victim of sexual abuse speak to the students and relate her experience with trauma and the lack of support she had while going through it. The SLVEF could have been a huge help to her and her family had it been around during her abuse.” In Midvale, Hillcrest High students raised more than $19,000, their highest ever, for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an illness that has affected some students and faculty members and their families. One of those is teacher and coach Natalie Moss, who was diagnosed days after she was born, said student body activities officer Tammie Tan. “She gave us a presentation and told us the life expectancy for someone with CF is about 38 years old,” Tan said. “Here she is wanting to do so much with her life and

having goals. It really touched us. It made us aware if we have the opportunity to help someone and donate to a good cause, we should be grateful we are able to do it.” Tan, who participated in the dodgeball tournament and ate dog food to help raise money, said many students got involved in this year’s activities after learning about the disease and how it had impacted their school community. Her classmate and student body treasurer Sydney Larsen said the all-day assembly started with raising $400 in the first hour and built upon each hour until it ended with $1,000. Students took part in activities from eating pies to licking peanut butter off of plexiglass. The annual favorite was donating money to save or shave classmates’ hair, said Larsen, who participated in the eat or wear mustard and mayonnaise activity. “We did these things to help raise and appreciate every dollar,” she said. Other activities included Hillcrest Idol; an auction where several businesses supported their efforts, donating items such as nail salon coupons, sunglasses and chocolate; and the drill team versus dance company basketball game where students could pay to change the outcome of the game. “At one point the drill team was playing on their knees and the SBOs subbed in for them. We broke so many basketball rules, but it was possibly the best fun I’ve had at Hillcrest,” Larsen said. “Even while having fun, we were able to instill a connection with our community and to work together for a common goal, to give to a cause.” In South Jordan, Bingham High students raised money through their annual holiday fundraiser, True Blue, for the Starlight Foster Program, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Jordan Education Foundation (JEF), which helped to benefit principals’ pantries. “We chose to work with these groups because they are all local and right here in our community,” student body officer of service Ashlee Webb said. “True Blue is all about coming together as a school and a stu-

dent body to do things that are bigger than us for the good of others.” Students raised the donations through door-to-door service nicknamed squad jobs, admission charged to their talent show, Mr. True Blue pageant, pay-to-play improv show, Zumbathon and True Blue dance tickets, as well as various activities held at lunch time. True Blue T-shirt sale proceeds also were earmarked to benefit their causes, she said. Webb said students wanted to help the Starlight Foster Program that works with local foster children and families to ensure safe family connections, as well as Make-AWish, where they helped a 3-year-old boy, who lives in South Jordan. “Because of everyone’s hard work, we were able to grant his wish of going to the theme parks in Florida,” Webb said. Students all pitched in to bring in a specific list of food items to go into weekend and snack kits for the principals’ pantries, she said, adding that Bingham was able to make more than 5,000 snack kits. “There is a principal’s pantry in every school in the district. It is a place where students can go who may not know where their next meal is coming from,” Webb said. “As a student body, with the help of the JEF, we were able to assemble over $21,000 worth of kits for the pantries on our school-wide Day of Service, held on Dec. 21. We also raised over $53,000 in physical monetary donations and 6,050 service hours as a school.” Corner Canyon High School students didn’t set a monetary goal this winter season to help others with the Tyler Robinson Foundation, said student body president Luke Warnock. “We just wanted people to give,” he said. “We know at Corner Canyon many of us live in a wealthy community, so we wanted to encourage students to give of ourselves what we can give, if it’s time or $3 or things, to benefit those who need help.” Money was collected from activities such as the students’ ugly sweater dance and a pingpong tournament, as well as raising



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Edgemont Elementary held its Look for the Good campaign to help students become positive and express gratitude. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

money through performing odd jobs in the community, he said. Senior and student body audo/visual officer Julia Tolk said students raked leaves, did dishes, watched children and hauled boxes to the trash during the busiest month of the year for many people. “It was so hard to fit it in our schedules at this time of year, but so worth it,” she said. “It ended up being fun and rewarding.” There also was a yard sale in the commons and student leaders auctioned off tickets to Utah Jazz games and to the Imagine Dragons concert. Instead of one huge goal for students to reach as a reward for earning a certain amount of money, Tolk said they had sevBreton Yates Elena Douglas M Woseth Angela Brimhall eral levels they could achieve, such as raise D.O. FAOCD M.D. FAAD Hadjicharalambous M.D. $15,000 to watch a movie in the commons, M.D. FAAD $30,000 to have the teachers switch spots teaching or $60,000 to get a school pet fish. “People were excited to get a fish and name it,” Tolk said. The money then would be donated to the Tyler Robinson Foundation, a foundation set up by a Brighton High parents in honor of their son who died of cancer, to help support pediatric cancer patients and their families. Shane Farr Michael R Swinyer Alisa Seeberger Principal Darrell Jensen said it has been P.A. -C P.A. -C F.N.P. -C two years in a row the school has donated to the Tyler Robinson Foundation. “They can see the value in it, how they Main Office: 1548 East 4500 South, Suite 202, Salt Lake City are able to touch their lives,” he said. “It South Jordan Office: 4040 West Daybreak Pkwy, Suite 200, South Jordan brings this close to home.” Not until the final assembly were the Phone: 801-266-8841 students made aware of their progress: $77,562.08, surpassing last year’s efforts of $63,000. “People were crying, feeling good they

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helped so much,” Tolk said. “It was just amazing.” Adults also pitched in this holiday season. For example, at Canyons School District, employees and others donated about $10,000 through a silent auction and donation drive benefitting students and families residing at The Road Home homeless shelter in Midvale. The money will be used to provide students with services and supports that aren’t covered by federal funding. Murray Board of Education member Glo Merrill was contacted by adults who lived in Draper who wanted to donate to students. They were joined by a neighborhood in Murray, Walden Hills, that decided not to give neighbor gifts this year, but instead bring warmth and joy to children, she said about the grassroots effort. “I thought that was nice and suggested they bring coats, thinking we may get about 10 to help children at Parkside, one of our Title I schools,” Merrill said. “We ended up with 110 coats. It was more than I ever imagined.” Merrill said that with the help of Murray Fire Department, the coats as well as some clothing and boots, were from children’s sizes to size adult extra large. Not only did Merrill and others help sort and distribute them at Parkside, but they also decided to share with women and children at The Road Home. “You cannot imagine how much a coat can help these children. One little girl put one on and said, ‘I look beautiful. I’m a princess,’” she said. “It’s remarkable how people in the (Salt Lake) Valley and our city are willing to come together to help give. It made me so happy.” l

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Daybreak student leaders extend helping hand to community By Julie Slama |

Daybreak student council students sort donations from their food drive. (Photo courtesy of Daybreak Elementary).


magine collecting 358 pounds of candy, 700 items of food, 200 stuffed animals and helping coordinate green ribbon and red ribbon weeks. And Daybreak’s student council isn’t done. The 23 sixth-graders also will lead the school through Kids Heart Challenge, White Ribbon Week and a book drive. “We want our students to learn and show kindness,” said teacher Tawna Pippin, one of the student council advisers. “We want them to reach out to soldiers, seniors and even their own peers to say hello and show they care. There are activities that we can help support every day.”

Pippen said Daybreak’s student council stands on three pillars — education, community and service — and their activities are centered around them. This school year’s efforts came after students collected 200 stuffed animals donated to Project Teddy Bear, which will be given to centers who provide prevention and treatment of child abuse through education, therapy and outreach. Students also participated in Souper Bowl of Caring to fight hunger and poverty and to benefit Jordan Education Foundation principal pantries. “We want them to focus on service, for that’s when they find joy, when they look out-

side themselves,” Pippin said. This year, they collected candy after Halloween for deployed soldiers. “The kids were bringing in candy by the bags,” she said. “We had a carload. It was quite the treat for those who serve.” They also collected about 700 food items through a food drive to benefit Jordan Education Foundation principal pantries through having students bring food items before the University of Utah–Brigham Young University football games and place them in piles for the team they wanted to win. “It was a fun announcement each morning with totals of food donated in honor of each school in anticipation of the big game,” she said about the competition that the pile grew daily in the front foyer of the school. Daybreak Student Council also helped with green ribbon week for pedestrian safety and red ribbon week for drug and alcohol prevention education week. “The students helped to coordinate different activities for different contests,” Pippen said. “There were pledges, such as say, ‘Boo to Drugs’ or a poster contest where they asked our crossing guards to select the winners, who received bike helmets. The students told jokes with the morning announce-

ments and made the weeks fun.” Student council also supported the school’s kindness week by sitting with people they didn’t know and talking to kids who weren’t in groups of friends. “We wanted our kids to express kindness to their peers as well as to those in the community and by giving of themselves, they can help everyone,” Pippen said. This year, sixth-graders took that kindness campaign to Sagewood at Daybreak senior living community and have talked to seniors and done activities with them each week. “They are great service-doers, setting up every single chair available for the Halloween Parade and helping put them away after, sorting fundraising cookie dough and other tasks as they come up,” she said. The year isn’t done. The student leaders are coordinating Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser for the American Heart Association, white ribbon week in internet education and a book drive for The Christmas Box House. “We are always looking for opportunities,” Pippen said. “There’s always service we can do.” l


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Elk Ridge Middle to present “Fiddler on the Roof” By Julie Slama |


ince this past fall, about 100 Elk Ridge Middle School students have been gathering after school to learn songs, dances and how to memorize. They also have been collaborating, accepting feedback and learning to accept each other even if there might be differences. It’s not an after-school club but rather rehearsals for this month’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” “Very few middle schools perform a full musical, so our goal is to have the students be learning and enjoying what they are doing while bringing the community a quality show,” said Director Rebecca Schmidt, who teaches at Elk Ridge Middle School. “Our kids are dedicated and hard workers, so when they come to a scene, many of them already have learned their lines and worked ahead. I’m really impressed with their commitment.” Students will perform “Fiddler on the Roof” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7 through Saturday, Feb. 9 in the school auditorium, 3659 West 9800 South. If needed, an additional performance will be added if the tickets sell out. Tickets cost $3. The show features ninth-grader McKay Maynes as Tevye, ninth-grader Ashley Romrell as Golde, ninth-grader Holly Snow as Tzeitel, ninth-grader Lyndsey Hunt as

Page 18 | February 2019

Students at Elk Ridge Middle School prepare to perform “Fiddler on the Roof” in early February. (Photo courtesy Elk Ridge Middle School)

Hodel, eighth-grader Rebecca Rios as Chava, eighth-grader Cade Poulter as Motel, ninth-grader Boston Pond as Perchik and ninth-grade Jack Rose as Fyedka. Joining Schmidt directing is student director Bingham High sophomore Sara Applegate. The stage manager is ninth-grader Aubrey Robertson, and choir teacher Keith Goodrich oversees the choreography and music. The Tony-Award winning musical is about Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives. Tevye learns he must cope both with the actions of

his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love instead of having arranged marriages, especially as each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of their Jewish faith and heritage. At the same time, Tevye and the family must cope and adapt with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village. “I picked ‘Fiddler’ because there is a good message about versatility and family as well as a lot of leads and parts for the ensemble,” Schmidt said. “I wanted the students to realize even in the face of opposition, they can overcome difficulties. With our community having refugees, it’s message is relevant, and that’s a discussion we have.” For more than 12 weeks, students have learned choreography, music and blocking in addition to memorizing their lines. In addition, 35 students who make up the tech crew have worked on building pieces of the set. “We had 160 audition, had call-backs and narrowed it down to about 100,” Schmidt said. “It was fun to see after a couple weeks how comfortable they became and confident in what they were doing. It’s really neat to have them learn about different culture and places but also to apply what they’re learning to today. I’m excited to see them perform it.” l

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Monte Vista welcomes new principal By Julie Slama |


ith the new elementary set to open in Herriman in the fall, Meredith Doleac departed Monte Vista Elementary for the challenge, leaving the door open to welcome Nan Ririe. “I am thrilled, excited and nervous as I begin this new journey but fully believe by working together, we can accomplish much,” she said about her first appointment as principal. Since last July, Ririe has been serving as assistant principal at Blackridge and Foothills elementary schools, both in Herriman. “I started later than most, waiting until my [three] children graduated from high school,” she said about earning her Bachelor of Science from Utah State University and her master’s degree and administrative license from Southern Utah University. “I love learning new things and challenging myself to stretch beyond what I thought possible.” In addition to her three grown children, she has seven grandchildren, three of which are immersed in Chinese dual immersion in Canyons School District. Monte Vista Elementary offers dual-immersion education in Chinese.

Ririe has taught at Sunrise Elementary in Sandy, Hayden Peak Elementary in West Jordan, and Rose Creek Elementary in Riverton. The last three years before becoming an assistant principal, she was a Brigham Young University facilitator at Rose Creek. “I love to walk around in the lunchroom establishing relationships with the students; it’s one of the highlights of my day,” she said. In her free time, Ririe and her husband cheer on the University of Utah Utes, and she is a Los Angeles Dodger fan. “Last year, we went to opening day at Dodger Stadium; (it was) so much fun,” she said. They also explore national parks in the Western United States. “We have been to all five national parks in the state and enjoy exploring the beauty of the state,” she said. Doleac was principal at Monte Vista the past seven years. Monte Vista, built is 1977, serves about 825 students and is a Leader in Me school, which teaches students to learn leadership and build positive character traits. l

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February 2019 | Page 19

Principals put the ‘fun’ in fundraisers By Julie Slama |


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Principal Aaron Ichimura was a good sport to take a pie in the face by an Elk Meadows student after the students raised more than $20,000. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


iss a pig? Become a human ice cream sundae? Camp on the roof? If it motivates students, count most elementary school principals in. And count in the students. “The kids were really excited, cheering, clapping, squealing louder than the pig,” said Draper Elementary Principal Christy Waddell, who dressed as a farmer and kissed a pig Nov. 9 to celebrate her school raising $26,000 at their annual fun run. “It wasn’t that bad. I’d say less gross and not as slobbery as kissing a dog.” Waddell, who said she’s taken a pie in the face and has been a human ice cream sundae, said this was her favorite: “It didn’t get as messy.” She’s a believer that “doing something different and unusual” motivates students. She said her custodian even has helped out by dressing up as a fairy to inspire students. “We don’t have students earn junk. We prefer to do things that will get them excited. And most students respond. We had more students return envelopes with donations so they could see me kiss a pig,” she said, adding that she ran some with the students during the fun run. Waddell isn’t alone. This year, Woodstock Principal Brenda Zimmerman, in Murray, also kissed a pig as a reward for her stu-

dents when they raised $11,700, surpassing last year’s mark by $4,000. The money will be used for structured physical education equipment, safety equipment, field trips, books and for other programs. “It was warm, gross and wet, but he’s so cute,” she said afterward. “I’ll do about anything to make them smile and laugh. Kissing a pig totally worked for them to bring in more money.” Paraeducator and PTA member Kay Forbush said it’s part the idea and part the person involved that makes it successful. “It’s different and the kids are having fun,” she said. “The kids love animals and the principal hams it up for this and it’s a winning combination for them.” PTA member Robyn Ivins said Zimmerman has sung karaoke in front of the school to inspire students, and former principal Yvonne Pearson played the part of a superhero who was locked up in her office unless students met a reading goal, she’s walked the plank, and even had honey poured on her head before adding Honey Nut Cheerios to inspire students. “They’re willing to have fun and it sets the mood of the school so the students are more willing to become involved,” she said. Two years ago, Liberty Elementary Principal Jill Burnside and members of her staff

in Murray School District allowed students to turn them into ice cream sundaes, complete with syrup, sprinkles and whipping cream after a successful fun run fundraiser. Last spring, students raised more than $15,000 to make the school have a 1:1 ratio of Chromebooks and technology. Their additional motivation? Watching faculty and staff in a food fight. “It was fun to watch all the teachers grab food and throw it,” said now third-grader Samantha Boss. “It got us wanting to do well to see that the teachers would do a real silly thing for us.” Often PTA presidents and members are involved in either the motivation idea or in taking part. At Edgemont Elementary in Sandy, the top incentive for the fun run was to take silly string to Principal Cathy Schino, said Jeannine Cardenaz, who is the fundraising chair along with Katherine Wojnowski. “We wanted something fun and unique, but not mean,” Cardenaz said. “Everyone loves silly string so it was perfect. It definitely helps when we tell students that the principal is willing to do something fun. They get excited and really motivated.” Schino took the silly string in stride, even dancing around after being decorated with it. “It’s very fun, soft, gooey and slippery, which made it fun to dance,” she said Nov. 5. Sandy’s Park Lane Principal Justin Jeffery used his Texas background to ride a mechanical bull to celebrate his students reaching $18,000, which in addition to supporting several PTA activities, also will go to support teachers with supplies to reduce the amount of out-of-pocket costs they incur, he said. “Riding a bull for them is a fun celebration of their achievement, but it’s also an interactive opportunity for them to see me and faculty do something to honor them,” he said, adding that he has been duct-taped to a wall, slept on a roof, had his hair temporarily dyed and taken a pie in the face. “I stopped doing the pie when one girl said ‘even though you said it’s OK, I don’t want to pie you.’ We want it to be fun for them without being humiliating or unsafe.” However, what might not work at one school works for another. Elk Meadows Principal Aaron Ichimura, in South Jordan, allowed students to throw pies, the sixth annual motivator, after the students raised more than $20,000. “He’s the best principal,” PTA President Dara Evans said. “He’s so engaged and the kids love him. He is motivated to make each of them feel special, even singing happy birthday to them on his ukulele.” Evans said there are several incentive levels for students, but the whipping cream pies are entertaining and don’t cost much money, so they don’t “eat up the profit.” Another inexpensive reward for students

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OPEN ENROLLMENT Musically based Preschool & Private Kindergarten 2 hour, 3 hour, and ALL DAY instruction classes available Ridgecrest PTA President Marci Cardon and Principal Julie Winfree receive letters in a bucket from students before sleeping on the school roof to celebrate students reaching their fundraising goal for a new sound system and technology devices. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Woodstock Principal Brenda Zimmerman posed with a pig after giving it a kiss as a reward for her students when they raised $11,700 for safety equipment, PE equipment, field trips and other activities. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Ride ‘em cowboy! Park Lane Principal Justin Jeffery waves to students before he gets bucked from a mechanical bull in a school assembly to celebrate his students earning $18,000 to help with PTA activities and support classroom supplies. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

is sleeping on the roof, which Ridgecrest Principal Julie Winfree and PTA President Marci Cardon did at the Cottonwood Heights school this fall. “I talked to other principals who have done it and got the idea of sending down a bucket so students could write notes to us,” she said. “We read those by flashlight that night and they were the cutest notes. The kids had such a great time doing that. We even ordered pizza and when it was delivered, it was sent up in the bucket.” Ridgecrest students raised about $30,000 from their fun run that paid for a

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new sound system, helping the school get to 1:1 on technology in addition to helping pay for field trips, class parties and before- and after-school programs. “I think they were excited that we were sleeping on their roof,” Winfree said. “If a principal is more willing to do something, then they’re more willing to do their part.” At Alta View Elementary in Sandy, Principal Scott Jameson allowed students to create him into an ice cream sundae and he had fun with it, wearing a mask, snorkel and flippers. l

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February 2019 | Page 21

Miners face tall order in Region 4 basketball By Josh McFadden |


hen a high school boys basketball team wins 10 games during non-league play, and those are the fewest among its league rivals, you know it’s a tough region. Welcome to Region 4 action, Bingham. The Miners posted a solid 10-5 mark during pre-Region 4 games. One of those losses came at the hands of team from California at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, Dec. 20. The team’s other four losses during this stretch all came by single digits. One defeat came Dec. 8 against undefeated American Fork, a fellow Region 4 opponent. However, that contest was played during the Utah Elite 8 tournament, so it is considered a non-region game. Bingham will face American Fork twice in league action: Jan. 22 and Feb. 8 The Miners’ 10-5 mark during this span of games was the worst among Region 4 teams. But don’t let that fool you; Bingham has had some stellar performances. Plus, Region 4 boasts some of the state’s most impressive teams. Heading into region play, American Fork was 14-0, Pleasant Grove and Westlake were 12-2, and perennial state power Lone Peak was 10-4. The Miners secured some noteworthy victories before the Region 4 battles commenced. Perhaps the most eye-opening win came

Bingham boys basketball, competing in the vaunted Region 4 of basketball, won 10 games in non-region action. (Photo/Pat McDonald)

in the Utah Elite 8 on Dec. 7 when the Miners handed defending 5A champion Olympus a rare loss. The Titans had gone undefeated the previous year, winning most games by at least 30 points. However, Bingham held the potent Titans to just 57 points in a fourpoint victory. It also got 15 points and five rebounds from Luke Tueller and 14 points and four assists from Myles Youngblood in the big win.

The Miners also went 2-1 at the Tarkanian Classic, getting by a team from Tennessee, 71-64, and a team from Wisconsin, 6257. Bingham also routed Cape Coral, Florida, 69-50 on Dec. 21. The Region 4 slate began Jan. 18 at Lone Peak where the Miners fell 58-69. Only one of the five teams in the small Region 4 will miss out on the postseason, but the Miners know it won’t be easy finishing in the standings above the talented competition. Last season, Bingham finished third with a 3-5 record, but all the squads appear to be improved from a year ago. The Miners opened region at home Jan. 22 against American Fork, getting knocked off 74-85. Bingham plays each team twice, culminating with a Feb. 19 game at Westlake. Tueller leads the team in scoring at more than 12 points an outing. He’s the only player averaging double digits, though Jordan Toscano (9.3 points per game) isn’t far behind. Youngblood scores nearly eight points a game, and Peyton Jones, Ethan Langston and Tyler West each contribute around six points a game. Bingham has played well on defense, allowing just 54 points per game. Only three of the team’s first 15 opponents managed to score at least 60 points. l



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Page 22 | February 2019

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Bingham swimmers progressing as region and state meets loom By Josh McFadden |

The Bingham swim team is gearing up for the Class 6A state meet.


ll the hard work in the offseason, all the early morning practices and all the regular season meets lead up to the big finish in high school swimming: the state swim meet. If previous performances have any indication, the Bingham swim team could be a factor in the postseason. The Miners have fared well on both the girls’ and boys’ sides as they prepare for the region meet and the Class 6A state event, which will take place Feb. 7–9 at Brigham

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Young University. Head coach Rachael Kankamp is optimistic about her team’s chances once the swimmers get into the pool with other competitors across the state. She said the boys and girls have improved as a unit during the season. “I am happy with the season so far,” she said. “The swimmers are ahead of where they were at this point in the season last year. That is a good sign they will perform well at re-

gion and at state.” Not only have the swimmers worked hard on their technique and skills—which has paid dividends in cutting down times and winning races—but Kankamp said everyone has had the proper mindset in practices and meets. She believes if everyone does the little things in and out of the pool, the team should achieve its goals. “The kids have had a great attitude and have been putting in the work every day,” she said. “Granted, there are always ups and down, but overall, they have been great. From here on out, the swimmers need to continue to put in the work and push themselves. They need to make sure they are taking care of their bodies, eating right, getting plenty of sleep and staying healthy.” Kankamp highlighted the efforts of a trio of swimmers. She is particularly pleased with Logan Johnson, Kamree Kelley and Jake Truman. Johnson has taken on the challenge of swimming in different events this season. He has added the breaststroke in the medley relay and also swims the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke—both of which are new to him. Kankamp said he hasn’t complained about the new assignments. As for Kelley and Truman, Kankamp has loved the way they have worked hard and displayed a positive attitude.

“[Kelley] has stood out due to her work ethic,” Kankamp said. “She put in the work over the summer, and it has shown thus far this season. Each day, she is one of the hardest workers on the team and never complains. She has already achieved lifetime personal bests. [Truman] has stood out with his leadership. He has stepped up and taken a leadership role on his own. He is one that you can go to when you need something to be done. It has been unexpected, and he has been great.” Kankamp said her fondest moment of the season so far was when the team participated in the Judge Invite. At this meet, almost every swimmer had a best time in at least one event—if not two. “They had a great time and swam well,” she said. Now, as the season winds down and the boys and girls get ready for bigger challenges from some of Class 6A’s top teams and swimmers, Kankamp needs her pupils to stay hungry and continue to push themselves to be the best they can be. “The biggest challenge is keep the team motivated to continue to work hard,” she said. “They have long days and sometimes get bored with swimming back and forth. We have been able to keep every swimmer invested and continue to work toward their goals.” l

February 2019 | Page 23

After slow start, Bingham girls basketball gets on a roll By Josh McFadden |

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Page 24 | February 2019

Bingham’s Ameleya Angilau (No. 12) attacks the basket in a game earlier this season with Kasia Higgins (No. 13) looking on. (Photo by Pat McDonald)


t’s not about how your start but how you finish—at least that’s what most coaches will tell you. The Bingham girls basketball team hopes that’s true as the 2018–19 campaign rolls on. Bingham had some struggles early on. After winning its opener in lopsided fashion over Hillcrest on Nov. 27, 72-37, Bingham dropped four in a row, five of its next six and six of next eight. Two of those losses came during the famed Tarkanian Classic tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dec. 19–22. At this point, the Miners were 2-6 and were getting close to starting league play in one of the state’s most competitive, talented regions. No one panicked. Bingham proceeded to reel off four straight wins to bring its record to 5-6. All four of these victories were by at least 14 points, including a 74-32 shellacking of Juan Diego on Jan. 4 on the Soaring Eagle’s home court. The Miners also blitzed Viewmont 6343 on Jan. 3 and concluded the Tarkanian Classic with a 63-38 triumph over Castle View, Colorado. The most important win, however came Jan. 10 when the Miners defeated Pleasant Grove 62-48 in the Region 4 opener. Maggie McCord dominated with 21 points, and Jaycee Lichtie added 13 in the 14-point win. Bingham also got 11 points from Ameleya Angilau, as Bingham gave Pleasant Grove

just its third loss of the year up to that point. The Miners were especially effective at the foul line, where they converted 18 of 22 shots. Bingham had the game well in hand as the fourth quarter began, leading 51-31. Pleasant Grove made a modest run in the final few minutes, but the Miners were never seriously threatened. The Miners then hosted Westlake on Jan. 15 and Lone Peak on Jan. 17 (both after our press deadline) before playing at American Fork on Jan. 21. Bingham faces all four Region 4 opponents twice, ending Feb. 7 when it entertains American Fork. As long as the Miners can avoid a lastplace finish in the league standings, they will once again return to the state tournament. Last season, the Miners advanced all the way to the Class 6A state championship where they fell to Fremont 61-47. Bingham in the postseason has been like death and taxes: a certainty. The Miners haven’t missed the state tournament this century. McCord and Lichtie have formed a potent duo this season. McCord, a 5-foot-8-inch senior averages 15.2 points per game. Lichtie, a 5-foot-11-inch junior is second on the team with a 10.4-point average. Angilau, a junior, chips in around seven points a game, while fellow 11th-grader Samantha Holman is just below seven points a game in scoring. l

S outh Jordan City Journal

South valley regions set up for next season By Greg James |


Only $10 Registration for Spring League open now! Herriman basketball will find themselves playing against familiar opponents next season after the UHSAA sets realignment. (Greg James/City Journals)


n December, the Utah High School Activities Association released its final determination for region alignments for the upcoming school year. “I personally would like regions to stay set for four years,” Herriman Athletic Director Brad Tingey said. “It gives us a chance to establish some rivalries, but I think we have been treated fairly. We have been hurt playing teams from Utah County as far as attendance. Being located so close develops better fan support. The new region puts us with more natural rivals.” The realignment committee consisted of 16 members, including an athletic director, a representative from each classification in the state, a private school, charter school and six board of trustee members. The committee received current enrollment numbers on Oct. 1 and arranged each school into six classifications. The committee delivered a first consideration in October for schools to evaluate. Mountain Ridge was considered a bubble school in the 6A classification. Bubble schools were allowed to argue which of two classifications they should join. After consideration they chose to move into 5A. “The new regions for 2019–20 are going to be a great challenge for our programs,” Copper Hills Athletic Director Darby Freeland said. “We have some good rivalries formed with Bingham and Herriman. Adding East and West presents a new element as, they have had good success.” The 2019 alignment for Region 3 will include Bingham, Copper Hills, East, Herriman, Riverton and West. Mountain Ridge High School will compete in Region 7 against Alta, Jordan, Lehi, Mountain View, Orem, Timpanogos and Timpview. Providence Hall and Summit Academy will continue to compete against each other in Region 13. RSL Academy competes in Region 15. “I think the rivalries are important,” Riverton Athletic Director Dan Henderson said. “That is when the students actually attend the games because they are important to them.” The UHSAA oversees 109 state champi-

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onships over 10 boys and 10 girls sanctioned sports. Executive Director Rob Cuff emphasized the importance of balance in its regions at the board confirmation meeting. “We wanted more like schools in each region,” Cuff said in an open meeting about alignment. “It minimizes risk, especially in football. Some say it is watered down, but now we have similar schools playing each other. There is not a big difference in school size.” The committee uses two factors in its decisions: enrollment and free lunch applications. Cuff said the committee looks for things that can be measured to make alignment decisions. “There are 51 different high school associations around the country, and there are 51 different ways to work this out,” he said. “There are states that use the success factor in determining regions. We have not felt that is the way we want to do it yet. Some want it that way; others don’t. I have heard mixed feelings on some of our regions like Region 2 (Cyprus, Granger, Hunter, Kearns, Taylorsville, West Jordan), but we feel this is a group of like schools, and it may not be the strongest, but it is competitive.” Some have argued that the qualifications for state tournaments should be changed to allow more competitive teams into the state playoffs. “I think it is unfair that some better teams sit at home during playoff time,” Herriman head boys basketball coach Scott Briggs said. “Maybe the region champions should get a bye into the tournament and then the lower place teams play-into the tournament. I am not sure how to do it, but we need to look at it.” There is a motion for the UHSAA to analyze its playoff formats. Currently, the top four teams in each region qualify for the state tournament. In 2019, Region 1 will have eight schools, while the other three regions in the 6A classification each have only six. The UHSAA is scheduled to analyze the enrollment and realign its members in 2021.l

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February 2019 | Page 25

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A large crowd watches on at the Region 2 swim finals last season, many successful swim programs have added access to pools making it easier to train their participants. (Greg James/City Journals)


here are five and soon to be six high schools in the Jordan School District. They have only two swimming pools (soon to be one) among them for practices and swim meets. The coaches and participants are losing the Marv Jenson facility in South Jordan and currently use JL Sorenson in Herriman. Some of the participants are becoming frustrated. “It is disappointing when the district spends millions on other sanctioned sports but not as much on swim,” Herriman head coach Michael Goldhardt said. Other coaches have seen their programs diminish also. “I think as we look around at our schools, we see a big decline in the swimming programs,” second-year West Jordan swim coach Tim Pollock said. “We are down to about 18 swimmers this season. I was on the West Jordan swim team in 2008. Ten years ago, we won the state championship and had at least 45 swimmers. There are times when half my kids can’t make it to practice because of transportation or other issues.” The Jaguar swim team, in conjunction with the school district, rents practice time at the Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center across the street from Kearns High School. Pollock said not having a local pool changes the makeup of his team. “It definitely affects us,” he said. “There

are no youth programs in the area. Swimming needs kids that have experience from a young age. The local club teams have strong high school teams nearby. Of my 18 kids, only six have ever swam before. Only one did a youth program. We are lucky to use Kearns, and they have been fantastic to work with, but we share the pool space with Kearns and Copper Hills at the same time.” The Granite School District is rebuilding Skyline and Cyprus high schools pools, each at the cost of about $4 million. “I am not sure if Jordan District needs to be in the pool building business,” Pollock said. “I think the cities should look into building a useable facility, not just for recreation but for competitive swimmers. I think that would be a positive step forward.” Jordan School District board member Darrell Robinson has been championing the swim teams’ cause. He presented his ideas to the school board in late 2017. “This is a big need for our community,” he said. “It is something that we need to take care of. I posted it on Facebook and got 32,000 hits. By far, the swimming community feels under-served. My kids don’t swim very well because we don’t have access to pools close by.” Swimming pools can be longtime purchases. They can last 50-60 years. The school district is trying to decide if building the pool or searching for usable space is its most desirable solution, according to Robin-

son. Opposition to the idea claims the yearly operating costs could be expensive. “It is interesting, from what I have seen, the yearly budget is about $100,000,” Robinson said. “It’s not as bad as I expected. I think sharing the pool and raising money through rental fees and city contributions could be the way to offset some of that cost. This problem comes from decades of neglect, and we have learned we cannot put a pool by every school.” Swimming is a life skill that has a value that cannot be attached. Robinson hopes to help swim teams increase participation and skill level. “It would be tragic if we had a football team without a football field or a basketball team without a court,” Robinson said. “If we are going to build these comprehensive high schools, then we need to offer the facilities to match it. If we want to do away with that then we should not offer the programs. This has become a high priority to the board, and it is changing every day. We have lots of options. Some could be done sooner, but we want to make the right decision because it lasts for decades.” As for this season, the teams will continue to share space and work to become better. My team is dropping times and getting better,” Pollock said. “We hope to get better and increase our numbers.” l

S outh Jordan City Journal

Local volleyball club sponsoring Olympic dream By Catherine Garrett |

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


ative Utahn Melissa Fuchs Powell’s journey from prep All-American to collegiate indoor and beach volleyball player is simply continuing. As a professional beach volleyball player, the 24-year-old now has her sights set on the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. And despite just playing with one partner in the sport, it will take a village to get her there. Local volleyball Club GSL is helping to sponsor Powell in her pursuit. “I’m a dreamer, I chase my dreams and I have received some help to do that and I sense that in Melissa,” Club GSL owner Warren Van Schalkwyk said. “She is a great competitor and, like many top-tier athletes, she has all the skill sets in a great volleyball player. But, the thing you immediately notice about Melissa is her competitiveness and drive. She goes after it to make things happen and she doesn’t sit back and hope for it to. I’m absolutely willing to support that drive.” Powell is the daughter of former Brazilian professional volleyball players Ray and Val Fuchs and has been living and breathing volleyball her whole life. Even though she felt she was much better at basketball growing up, she knew she had more support in volleyball. “It’s like a culture for us – in Brazil it’s soccer or volleyball,” Powell said. “Watching my siblings play really helped me develop an understanding for the game until I gained my own love for it. It’s not who I am, but it’s a reflection of who I am.” The 2012 5A MVP who led Pleasant Grove High School to the state title followed her brother Phillip, who played at BYU, and her sister Becca, who played at Utah and Weber State, with her own talents into the collegiate ranks. She began at Central Michigan for one year before playing at Houston Baptist to be closer to where her family had relocated. It was there that she started play-

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

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


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

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February 2019 | Page 29

Behind the Grind(er)




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

the ratio of the amount of espresso to the amount of product. Depending on your taste buds, some drinks might suit your wallet better than others. For example, the espresso quantity in a latte and a mocha are equivalent, but there can be as much as a $1 difference between the drinks. For chocolate lovers out there, it’s worth it to get the mocha. But for customers focused primarily on caffeine, a latte would be the way to go. For espresso drinks, one of the main considerations is size. If there are three size options for a single drink, it’s important to ask how many shots are going in each size. At a popular corporate coffee shop, there are three size options for espresso drinks — the equivalent of a small, medium and large. Here’s the big secret: there’s generally the same amount of espresso in a medium and a large. The difference comes down to the other products: milk, flavoring, water, concentrate, tea. Anytime I visit a coffee shop, I always order the equivalent of a medium, because there are more espresso shots than a small, but less product to dilute the espresso (and add more calories) than a large. Subbing is a secret trick. Many coffee shops will charge 50 to 75 cents for extra shots, additional flavorings, or a milk substitution. If you order something like a vanilla hazelnut latte with coconut milk and an extra shot, you’ve just added $2 to your

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

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Life and Laughter—Cold Snap


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


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



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

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February 2019 | Page 31

Profile for The City Journals

South Jordan Journal February 2019  

South Jordan Journal February 2019

South Jordan Journal February 2019  

South Jordan Journal February 2019