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laysha Whitehead was introduced to powerlifting by a family friend and really wanted to give it a try. She now holds several state and national records. Her trainers call her “The Kraken” she comes out of nowhere and lifts heavy things. In fact, her school teachers tried to get her to lift some of their students. The first day her friends asked if she wanted to give it a try. “I said sure and I tried it out,” Whitehead said. “They (her trainers) said I had natural ability.” On her first trip to the gym, she deadlifted 135 pounds. “After that day we were told that in six weeks she could be setting records,” Alaysha’s mother Cindy said. “I was nervous the first time. There were a lot of people watching. I was excited and then after I accomplished it I was really happy and proud of myself,” Alaysha said. “I try to train four days a week for one to two hours.” She began training with Caughey’s Training and Fitness. She currently works with Big Mountain Barbell in Midvale. She currently holds state records in three age groups and weight classifications. “I was 15 when I started. It is a different sport and I have learned to like to try new things. I like to see how much strength I can build. I like to work really hard. Setting goals is very important. I have a goal to lift 300 lbs and it keeps me motivated to keep working out and Continued page 7

Alaysha says she was nervous with all the people watching her, but she still set a record. (photo courtesy of Cindy Whitehead)


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June 2021 | Page 3

Nine year old Clara Mae, 9, sings to help children in need By Linda Steele | l.steele@mycityjournals.com


lara Mae is a nine-year-old girl, who is gifted with a beautiful voice. Clara Mae was three years old when she started singing the National Anthem at Rad Canyon BMX races. “I started humming when I was born.” Clara Mae said. By age five, Clara was singing in childrens choirs. At age seven she sang for the Real Monarchs, the Western Stampede, Chamber West Awards Gala at the Maverik Center, USA BMX Nationals, and other local events. Clara loves the stage, and she recently performed as Young Elsa, in Frozen Jr. at the Sandy Arts Guild. Clara is a member of Rise Up Childrens’ Choir who sang before the pandemic with American Idol’s Taylor Hicks to help raise money for a mother battling ALS. This experience as well as watching her older brother raise money for Quarters for Christmas were some of the experiences that inspired Clara to use her YouTube channel for good. She wanted to bring more joy to the world with songs like “Almost There,” “Kind of Kings,” “Come Thou Fount,” etc., and raise awareness for great causes with songs like “Thankful” and other songs. Clara wanted to do something with her music to make a difference, she connected with Nurturing Nations organization started by Utah native Laura Belk. Belk built a school in Ghana to serve rescued children who are at risk of being trafficked. These children have special needs and are seen as a curse by their family who often abandon them. Nurturing Nations is run by volunteers, with 100% of the donations going directly to help the children. Clara attended their fundraising event and used photos and video from their event to add to her own music video. “I met Percy from Ghana who helps rescue the children and I got to write letters

Journals T H E

In April 2021 Clara was presented with the Youth Good Deed Award from the American Legion for her service in the community. (Photo courtesy Emily Robbins)

to them. I was excited to find a girl named Sandra for my family to help rescue, and I wanted other people to know how they could help.” Clara said. Sara Arkell, an accomplished Utah musician known as The Piano Gal, along with a generous volunteer film crew, were gracious enough to partner with Clara in making a music video singing “Thankful” by Josh Groban. The words of the song, “It’s up to us to be the change is a powerful reminder that together we can make a difference,” Clara’s Mother said.

“I want to help as many people with my videos, and I’m grateful for the Piano Gal and everyone who helped,” Clara said. Mrs. Jordan Valley Launa Christensen saw Clara’s video, she knew she wanted to help. Clara attended Launa’s musically-driven school called Little Learner’s Academy in West Jordan for three years and loved it. They both share a love for learning and music and set up a donation station at the school to raise funds for Nurturing Nations. A few months ago during the holidays, Clara and her friend Ian Turner used their




The West Jordan City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout West Jordan. For information about distribution please email brad.c@thecityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. 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. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

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music video of “When Christmas Comes to Town” to share a heart-warming story of giving and to raise money for KSL’s Quarters for Christmas. Clara raised $1,600 and True North Wealth in Utah generously donated an additional $1,000. “Quarters for Christmas are amazing, they help children get clothes for winter like coats, hats and gloves,” Clara said. She enjoyed sharing this story on KSL television and news radio and hopes the video will continue to raise money for these children in need. One of Clara’s most rewarding performances was during the pandemic. She sang the popular song “Tomorrow” for her schoolteacher and online for Summit Vista a retirement community near West Jordan. They loved her and went back to watch her Facebook video over 1,200 times. Clara spent hours singing over and over again with technical glitches to get this video to them because she knew how important it was for them to have something positive in their lives. Clara has goals set for her singing years ahead. She already has her next song planned for Summit Vista, and she is excited to sing for them in person very soon. West Jordan Stampede, Salt Lake Bees, and some other local events have asked Clara to sing the national anthem again this year. Clara will sing at the Chamber West Awards Gala again. In April 2021 Clara was presented with the Youth Good Deed Award from the American Legion for her service in the community. Clara Mae’s “Thankful” video can be found with the QR code found within this story by searching “Clara Mae Thankful” on YouTube. To donate to Nurturing Nations, visit www.Nurturingnations.org or text GIVE to (917) 924-68ll. l

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West Jordan City Journal

New bridge along Jordan River now complete By Linda Steele l l.steele@mycityjourals.com


he long awaited 24,000-pound metal bridge is finished. It replaced the old bridge that ran on the Jordan River Trail located at 7900 South 100 West. The trail is over 100 miles long from one end to the other, it connects from West Jordan into Midvale. This is a great trail for residents to recreate and be safe, there are no cars on this trail. The new bridge traveled 1,000 miles from Wheeler Lumber in Minnesota. It took a large crane and several crew members to put in place. This is a two-part construction project on the Jordan River Trail. The first bridge project started earlier in the year, with crews removing a small bridge and built a new bridge with a box culvert with asphalt built along the Jordan River Trail. The bridge connects from West Jordan to Midvale. The trail is important to West Jordan because it is regionally connected, people use the trail from all over. Residents will be able to cycle, walk, run on the Jordan River Trail and recreate in a safe manner. July 14 marked the ribbon cutting ceremony with West Jordan City officials in attendance. West Jordan Mayor Dirk Burton officiated the ceremony, riding his bike to the ceremony along the Jordan River Trail. “The bridge was an old wooden bridge beaten and worn, we put plywood over it several times to help keep it working because the trail is used a lot. I would ride my bike on the bridge several times, I wasn’t afraid to ride my bike on the trail, but you would get slivers from the wood, and it was uncomfortable to walk on.” Burton said. “To the south of the bridge will be the Big Bend and has a couple more years before it is finished, and make sure you are at the ribbon ceremony for the Big Bend.” Burton said. Soren Simonsen Executive Director Jordan River Commission was also in attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We are so excited [about]the replacement of the bridge, this has been one of our challenging areas for the past several years because of the maintenance that has been needed, and to see this beautiful bridge replaced and will be permanent for a long time.” Simonsen said. Simonsen added they work with all 16 cities that touch the Jordan River to create “an incredible recreation amenity.” There is some history to the building of the bridge along the Jordan River Trail. Councilmember Kelvin Green was in attendance. “The Sharon Steel side was the property behind the bridge. A mere 45 years ago the environmental protection agency had the site capped so arsenic and led from the old steel mill wouldn’t leak into the river. It took them 40 years to figure out how to build through the membrane that is protecting the water. Midvale is building a trail from the Zi-

WestJordanJournal .com

West Jordan is entering a neW era:

The long awaited 24,000-pound metal bridge is finished. (Photo courtesy West Jordan)

ons Bank’s operation center and Midvale will build a trail from the east side of the river to connect with the new bridge to Gardener Village track station.” Cynthia Bee, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District Outreach Coordinator was in attendance at the ceremony. Bee is helping residents be aware of their water use. Globalscapes is being taught to the public. Using Globalscapes will help support the river by conserving water. “Seventy-five percent of water is used by homeowners for landscapes,” Bee said. “It is the obvious place to make changes and get

away from all lawn landscapes. Homeowners can make small changes, like flipping a park strip, this will help support the river, by using less water, and will help preserve our water supply. Residents can stop using unfettered water, and still have a beautiful yard, and use the right techniques, and that is what we are teaching.” Residents can learn how to landscape their yards online at localscapes.com. These online classes will show you the best way to landscape in Utah. This website will show you how to design your yard, create waterwise park strips and irrigation workshops. l

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June 2021 | Page 5

Gardner Village celebrating a 41-year legacy By Linda Steele | l.steele@mycityjournals.com


ardner Village was once a single flour mill built in 1877. The mill is listed on the National Historic Register. Now it is a shopping, dining and event destination. The village is a fun place to plan activities for your family, parties or just go to wander and shop. Archibald Gardner was a Scottish immi-

grant and an original pioneer that settled in Utah in 1847. Gardner and his family established the roots of the mill on the west side of the Jordan River. Horse teams hauled logs from Bingham Canyon to build the first flour mill in 1853. Twenty years later the original mill was moved, and a larger mill was built. Now the historic flour mill and its silo are Ar-

chibald’s Restaurant, CF Furniture & Design, the beginnings of Gardner Village today. The mill was passed to many owners over the years. Eventually, it was left vacant. Entrepreneur Nancy Long with her retail experience wanted to turn the mill into a furniture store. Nancy worked long and hard to change the mill, and her hard work came to fruition of Country Furniture and Gifts (now CF Home) it opened in 1980. A decade later, her dream of making a restaurant came to pass with the opening of Archibald’s Restaurant in 1990. Joe Long, Nancy’s son, along with a hard-working staff helped Nancy by looking for historic buildings. The buildings were moved to the Gardner property. Historic cabins, homes and a train stationer were donated. The Gardner Village is on the National Register of Historic Places and received the 1987 Utah Heritage Award the most improved comproperty was renovatmercial building. (Photo courtesy Gardner Village) ed to re-create the nos-

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talgic village, with a stream that runs through the village, brick-lined paths and covered bridges. By taking time to walk through the village and see the historic artifacts that are still in place is a great experience. Gardner Village is on the National Register of Historic Places and received the 1987 Utah Heritage Award the most improved commercial building. Nancy Long’s vision continues to guide Gardner Village. Joe Long Nancy’s son and her daughter Angie Gerdes are the owners of Gardner Village. They are working to keep their Mother’s vision alive. “With new event spaces and venues, there are sure to be many exciting changes in the future,and we can’t wait to share them with you,” Joe Long said. A great history of Gardner Village started with a mill back in 1853. Now a beautiful village to enjoy great nostalgic experiences for family gatherings, shopping and Christmas events, in addition to soccer, scavenger hunts and a WitchFest in the fall. Gardner Village is located at 1100 West 7800 South, West Jordan, Utah. Go online at www.gardnervillage.com and find out about joining their email club and leasing opportunities. l

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West Jordan City Journal

Continued from front page trying to get better,” Alaysha said. Powerlifting is not a well-known sport. Many of her friends ask questions and want to know more. “One friend came to a competition with me and I could share my experience,” she said. Her grandmother was apprehensive at first when she heard what she was doing. She was worried her granddaughter would turn into a hulk-like character. “She is learning flexibility and how that can help her,” Cindy said. “I spent time at the gym just watching. She is learning core strength and ways to stay healthy. It was shocking that she wanted to go to the gym the first time. I had to tell my mom to come watch. If you ran into my daughter you would never know that she is a powerlifter.” She tried traditional sports like soccer but found that allergies prohibited her from enjoying it. “We really wanted to learn about healthy life,” Alaysha said. All of her current records are held by the Worlds Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL). In October 2020 she singularly deadlifted 215.8 pounds and also bench pressed 115 pounds, both are national records for her age group. Powerlifting is governed by federations and each federation uses different

Alaysha Whitehead has been nicknamed “The Kracken’ by her friends, she appears from nowhere and lifts heavy things. (photo courtesy of Cindy Whitehead)

classifications for ages and weights. WADBL uses age groups until the athlete gets to 25 years old. “I saw a 90-year-old woman lifting at worlds,” Cindy said. Alaysha is the daughter of Jerry and Cindy Whitehead and has three brothers. She may compete again in October but plans to serve a mission for the Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and may be gone by then. When she returns she plans to attend Utah Valley University. She hopes to earn bachelor’s degrees in English and creative writing. She said powerlifting will always be something she enjoys. She graduated from Itineris Early College High School in West Jordan where

she served as public relations officer in the National Honors Society. Her teachers and school administrators have been very supportive. “I have learned what it takes to stay healthy and add strength. I think it is unique and different. It has made me more confident,” Alaysha said. l

City Journals Economic Overview

Utah Employment Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels By Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank Senior Economist


ne year after the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic began, Utah’s economy has emerged as one of the strongest in the nation. Utah’s unemployment rate in April was 2.8%, down from 2.9% in March and nearly as low as it was before the pandemic. Utah is now tied with South Dakota and Nebraska for the lowest unemployment in the nation. Utah also has the second-highest job growth in the nation, ticking up 2.5% in the last 24 months. This is just behind Idaho’s job growth of 3.9% in the same time period. In fact, Utah and Idaho are the only two states that have added jobs in the last two years. Utah added 35,600 jobs over the past two years, with professional and business services (+15,700) leading the growth. Other sectors that saw notable gains were construction (+11,900); trade, transportation and utilities (+9,800); financial activities (+8,800); and manufacturing (+6,900).

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However, the government (-10,500); leisure and hospitality (-7,600); and natural resources (-1,400) sectors have all lost jobs in the past 24 months. While the strong job market and low unemployment are very positive for Utah, our state is once again struggling with a labor shortage. Simply put, there are not enough people in the Utah labor force to meet demand for workers. If this continues for too long, it could constrain potential economic growth, especially for smaller companies that must compete with larger employers for these workers. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A.


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June 2021 | Page 7

Council to consider adopting new watering ordinance By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


ordan Valley Water Conservancy District presented to West Jordan City Council why large, sweeping lawns are outdated and unhealthy for the state’s future. “We’re looking at a 75% increase [in population] within JVWCD [service area] between now and 2065,” Bart Forsythe from JVWCD said. “This assumes a slow to moderate growth in the west bench.” “I can only do so much with my yard,” Councilmember Chris McConnehey said. “But, when I drive by [schools] and churches and city parks and I’m wondering how much of an impact I’m really having with my own couple of thousand square feet.” Of the outdoor water used, “⅔ are homeowners, ⅓ is commercial/institutional,” Forsythe said. “If homeowners were to adopt water efficiency in their yard there would be [a] significant reduction.” “The study concluded that there is enough water to meet the needs of JVWCD’s existing service area,” Forsythe said. “So long as new construction conforms to a series of water efficiency standards.” “We’re in a position where we can

be proactive,” Matt Olson from JVWCD said. “We can learn from other states. It’s frequently the case [in other areas] where water providers have had to take drastic and extreme emergency measures to meet the demands of a growing population. Now we’re experiencing very similar conditions. “ Their suggestion for ordinances for new construction in the city is “35% max on lawn, put it in a central open shape,” Olson said. They also suggest prohibiting turf in park strips and narrow areas less than 8’ wide, or on steep slopes. For commercial use they recommend, “...lawn is less than 20% of the landscaped area (except active recreation,” Olson said. “We’re not anti-turf,” Forsythe said. “We just think that turf needs to be installed in areas that are smart. Turfgrass seems to be the default. We think that’s where it needs to stop.” Since 1948 the average temperature in Utah has increased by five degrees, contributing to the increased water consumption. City Council will consider adopting This is an example of a yard that exchanged lawn space for a seating area and planting beds. (Image courtesy new water ordinances in June. l JVWCD)

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West Jordan City Journal

Construction at City Hall


By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com

There are some minor changes to the outside of West Jordan City Hall. “The City is performing routine maintenance on the building’s stucco,” Tauni Barker, communications officer, said. Earlier this year city council discussed potential indoor remodeling, but nothing is happening yet. “Korban [Lee, Chief Administrative Officer] has been working on plans for possible future renovations for the interior, but any changes are probably several years out,” Barker said.

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West Jordan to launch new city website in July

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f you think West Jordan City could do better with resident communication, you’re not alone. Resident Brandy Wright suggested a new website. Resident Julie Ann Bonifay suggested an emailed newsletter and an Instagram account. The city has an Instagram, but it hasn’t been updated since 2019. In July this year, a new city website will be launched. “The new site will launch with simplified navigation and an emphasis on resident and customer priorities,” Tauni Barker, communications director, said. “Previously, the website was organized by department, which means a resident would need to know exactly what department was in charge of a particular function.” The website will work on desktops, smartphones and smartwatches. July will also be the launch of a texting program that will allow residents to communicate quickly with the city by sending a text. “West Jordan residents will be able to text the City to report issues and/or concerns,” Barker said. “Texts to the City may include a picture, description and other information. Residents will also be able to opt-in to notifications from City Hall.” A newsletter, with news and information, will be emailed out bi-weekly to those who sign up on the new website. Sometime this summer, “Community Engagement Department is looking to expand its hours to accommodate resident inquiries and in-person bill pay through 6 p.m.,” Barker said. “There are some additional things we’re working on behind the scenes, but it’s probably a bit too premature to share those projects,” Barker said. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, city council meetings were broadcast on YouTube

and available to watch live, as well as after the fact. Residents could watch but not participate remotely. Within weeks of the state shut-down, West Jordan started remote council meetings where each council and staff member could participate from their own houses. Residents were able to call in by phone or use Zoom to participate in the meeting, as if they were in council chambers. As restrictions ease, some cities are returning to pre-pandemic style meetings. West Jordan, however, is keeping the “Zoom Room.” “If I wanted to protest...I’d have to drive here, wait here for citizen comment, wait for the item to appear,” Alan Anderson, city council-manager, said. “Now I can … log in via Zoom and it’s as if I was in the room.” There are additional monitors in council chambers, a new lectern with a touch screen, you draw on the screen. All of this was purchased with CARES act money that was granted to the city in 2020 to help with communications during the pandemic. “If I wanted to protest...I’d have to drive here, wait here for citizen comments, wait for the item to appear,” Anderson said. “Now I can … log in via Zoom and it’s as if you were in the room.” “Everybody has an opportunity to participate in their local government.” Agendas are now published 10 days before the next council meeting, rather than the weekend before. “One good thing the pandemic has taught us is we can do things differently,” Anderson said. “It’s an opportunity to do things better.” “Zoom will be part of the city lifestyle for a number of years.” The city pays just over $5,000 a year for Zoom meetings, but this includes all city use, not just for the City Council. l

West Jordan City Journal

South Valley School outstanding graduate: Daring to try new things By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


aden Jentzsch has tried a lot of new things this year—like tasting a strawberry for the first time. “Learning is important,” said the 22-year-old, who is graduating from South Valley School’s post-high program for students with disabilities. “There’s different stuff that you can learn every day. I try new things like new recipes or things I’ve never tried before.” Jentzsch joined a new class at SVS this year after spending three years in the same one. His new teacher, Codee Flores, encourages her students to try new things each day to prepare them for life after graduation. “It gives everyone an opportunity to branch out, to find something they might like,” Flores said. SVS Principal Rita Bouillon is impressed with Jentzsch’s positive attitude and growth. “I have seen his confidence grow so much over the past two years,” she said. “I believe [his teacher’s] confidence in him has transferred to him, allowing him to feel more confident in what he has to say, what he accomplishesand his willingness to try new things like food, jobs, and friendships.” Jentzsch said trying new things is becoming easier. Flores is proud of his willingness to try new experiences even when he is

Jaden Jentzsch has learned gardening skills this year working in the South Valley School greenhouse. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

nervous about them. “We learn something new every day,” she said. “It might be something small, but for Jaden, every new thing he takes it to heart. Every new day is just an exciting adventure for him.”

His next new adventure is applying and interviewing for a job. Jentzsch was diagnosed with autism at a young age. He is passionate about sports and keeps track of all the high school sports stats. When he attended Herriman High School, he

was the team manager for the HHS boys’ basketball team for his junior and senior years. He has remained an honorary manager for the team. l

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June 2021 | Page 11

Itineris outstanding graduate: Scholarship success By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


illie Powell graduated from Itineris Early College High School with a 4.0 GPA and 41 college credits and is headed to the University of Utah with her tuition and expenses paid for by five scholarships, valuing $155,350. Powell applied for a total of 15 scholarships, starting late in her sophomore year. She had a lot of support and encouragement from her parents and from the faculty at IECHS; students are required to apply for eight scholarships during their senior year. IECHS Director of Students Jeff Bossard said because all students apply for scholarships, a high percentage of them receive them. Half of last year’s class of 110 seniors received scholarship offers, totaling $3.6 million. By mid-May of this year, 61 of the 109 seniors had reported scholarships totaling a combined value of over $3.1 million. “I think it’s just become so commonplace at my school, that is not out of the norm when kids apply and win scholarships,” Powell said. “It’s just an expectation rather than something extra.” Most of the scholarships Powell applied for were academically based but she also sought scholarships that played to her other strengths. During her four years in high school, she was involved in student government, National Honors Society, worked as a

Tillie Powell received $155,350 in scholarships. (Photo courtesy of Tillie Powell.)

science lab tech at the school and volunteered at a local hospital. “A lot of my extracurriculars were things that I was interested in,” she said. “But I also knew, in the back of my head, that I needed to

get engaged in order to become a competitive applicant.” IECHS academic counselor Laura Porter said there are scholarships available for students with a variety of interests and skills--

there’s a scholarship for creating a suit or a prom dress out of duct tape and for writing an essay about how you would survive a zombie apocalypse. Porter said Powell is a self-motivated student who took the initiative to look for many scholarships on her own. “She takes ownership over her education and she’s got the power to change her future and to go after the things she wants,” Porter said. “She’s got that academic knowledge, and the maturity and confidence to move forward.” Powell tried for scholarships even when she knew her odds were low. She was surprised when she was awarded two competitive and prestigious scholarships, the Daniels Fund Scholarship, which only 10% of applicants received, and the Quest Bridge National College Match Scholarship, which awarded 6,885 scholarships from among 18,500 applicants. While some scholarships only required her to send in her test scores and transcripts, others took much more time and effort. For the Daniels Scholarship, Powell wrote four essays and a resume and completed an extensive questionnaire and interview process. The Quest Bridge National College match program was her most time-consuming; she wrote two major essays and eight

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short answer essays. Ultimately, she didn’t match with her top school choices through the program but it did cover the application fees for all 16 schools she applied to, which amounted to more than $1,000. Most applications asked for personal statements, which was a skill Powell said she Provided by Alicia Duffin, Scholarship had to develop. Coordinator at West Jordan High School “I feel like it’s hard to write about your• Don’t wait until your senior year. There self,” she said. “That’s something that I had are so many opportunities available if to get over in applying for scholarships and you are willing to take the time to look for college. I had to learn how to frame myand apply. self in a way that felt authentic.” • Treat applying for scholarships as a Sometimes the writing prompts were part-time job. Check your school webjust odd. site for scholarship announcements and “I had to write about my arch-nemesis, talk to your school counselor or college real or imagined, which I thought was kind access advisor about opportunities. of a weird prompt,” Powell said. • Use a personal email on your scholarSome of the scholarships she received ship applications--your school email were for financially deserving students, account will be deleted once you gradwhich Powell does not identify as. uate. “Honestly, I had a very privileged up• Don’t overlook small scholarships--evbringing where I don’t feel like I’m low inery little bit helps. come,” she said. “But when you look at the • Keep a copy of everything you submit. huge expenses for college, I think lots of You might be able to reuse the same esstudents that maybe don’t think they qualify, say topic. would qualify.” • Get involved in service and school acPowell has advice for students who want tivities-- it opens so many doors. to be competitive scholarship applicants: • Read application directions carefully, Start preparing early to earn good grades, double-check everything, and make test scores and to be involved in your school sure your applications/essays look neat and community. Don’t overlook local scholand well thought out. arships, which are less competitive than nationwide scholarships. l

Tips for applying for college scholarships

West Jordan adds three members to new diversity committee By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com

West Jordan City Council added three members to the new Diversity Committee, bringing the total of members to nine. The new members are Brandy Khan, Tyrone Fields and Christopher Arbizu. “What we’re doing is establishing a diversity committee, not a minority committee, Councilmember David Pack said. “Comprehensive and varied. Race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, education, profession, socioeconomic status, religion, representation from all four districts in the city.” For more background on the diversity committee https://www.westjordanjournal.com/2021/05/12/356211/ west-jordan-city-organizes-a-diversity-committee


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801.254.5974 West Jordan City Journal



JUNE 2021

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

M AYO R ’S M E S S AG E I am happy to share my Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget proposal for consideration by members of the City Council and the residents of West Jordan. This is the second budget I have prepared as Mayor and the first budget that is balanced as proposed, in a number of years. The year 2020 was unlike any other. A global pandemic caused unemployment, housing insecurity, and economic distress in all cities across the world, while a natural disaster and protests created difficulties closer to home. Because we were conservative and judicious in our management practices through these challenges, the City of West Jordan finds itself in a relatively stable financial position. This year we will continue on a fiscally conservative path. Though sales tax is extremely tricky to estimate, given the unusual fluctuations of the past year, we are moving forward with a budget that estimates sales tax revenues from pre-pandemic sales tax receipts and assumes a modest 3.5% growth. This year total budgeted general fund expenditures are $60,553.00. Minor increases made possible through moderate growth in revenue will be dedicated toward the following initiatives: • Further stabilizing the budget, as the community rebounds from recent economic challenges • Maintaining critical infrastructure and improving community spaces, including continued development of Maple Hills Park and Ron Wood Park • Continuing to develop customer service and operations efficiencies, utilizing best practices and investments in technology • Taking care of our existing workforce with the reinstatement of cost of living and performance increases. I am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished, given the challenges that have occurred in my short time as mayor. With your help we’ve made vast improvements to the city’s financial outlook, sought and received millions of dollars in outside funding to offset infrastructure costs, rolled back planned fee increases to residents and vastly improved administrative efficiencies. The future of West Jordan is bright!

West Jordan’s Western Stampede is this July Bulls, horses, riders, and rides – the Western Stampede is returning to West Jordan this year after it was canceled last year due to the pandemic. The event has been held in the city for more than 65 years. “We are so excited to hold this event this summer,” said West Jordan Mayor Dirk Burton. “Western Stampede brings the community together and provides an opportunity for us to bring non-residents into our city.” The Western Stampede is July first, second, and third. It is full of rodeos, carnival rides, parade floats, fireworks, food trucks and more. Tickets are on sale now – buy them online at westernstampede.com

Dogs in Cars - Tips from our West Jordan Animal Shelter • Please make sure your dog cannot jump out of a rolleddown window or out of the back of a truck. • If the temperature is above 70 degrees F, leave your pups at home. It is too hot for them to be left in a vehicle. • If your dog likes to go for car rides make sure they are never left unattended in a vehicle, so they do not accidentally lock themselves in. • Car accidents do happen, when your pup is in the car during a car accident they could run away. It’s a good idea to make sure they are microchipped or wearing some form of identification.


Mayor Dirk Burton

WestJordanJournal .com

June 2021 | Page 15



West Jordan Names New Western Stampede Rodeo Royalty Morgan Ivie said there isn’t one word to explain how she felt when her name was called as the Western Stampede’s new Rodeo Royalty Queen. “I was so shocked,” Ivie explained. “All the other girls did so amazing, I was happy, I was excited. All I could think was how fun it’s going to be this summer to be with my first and second attendants.” Along with Ivie, two other young women will be representing the City’s rodeo this summer. Rylei Voorhees was named 1st attendant and Piper Maxwell was named 2nd attendant. For almost all the contestants, this was not their first rodeo. Ivie has been named queen in the past, as well as competed in Rodeo Royalty for more than a decade. But this win is a major accomplishment for the 15-year-old. “I grew up Rodeo Queening,” Ivie said. “I’ve been through various royalties, but this is my very first PRCA title. This is very exciting for me and I’m excited to see where it takes me.” Ivie comes from a family of Rodeo Queens, she has three older sisters who have competed and won in other Rodeos. One of her sisters was crowned the Western Stampede Rodeo Queen nearly 10 years ago. “I remember attending the Western Stampede Rodeo back in 2011,” laughed Ivie. “I remember loving it, and my sister absolutely loved this rodeo and the city.” You will see Ivie and her horse Remmy, alongside Voorhees and Maxwell this summer. If you see them, stop them for a chat. These young women worked hard to earn these new titles.

Page 16 | June 2021

West Jordan City Journal



Have you heard? WJPD has a designated Exchange Zone

West Jordan now has a designated exchange zone in front of the Police Department. It is now one of the many cities that offer a safe place to exchange items purchased online, meet for child custody exchanges, and other instances that may require surveillance.

WHAT IS AN EXCHANGE ZONE? A designated area that provides citizens a space to exchange items that were purchased online and allows families with visitation rights to make custodial exchanges. The area is under 24-hour surveillance and may offer residents some peace of mind.

WHERE IS THE EXCHANGE ZONE? In front of the West Jordan Police department – 8040 South Redwood Road, West Jordan UT 84088. There is a designated spot for cars to park and make an exchange.

COUNCIL CORNER Summer is approaching and this year is likely to be a very different summer than last. Some planned events we are looking forward to this year, are the Western Stampede, rodeo, carnival, parade, farmers market, food truck roundups, demolition derby and the monster truck rally, as well as barbeques with family, and a summer of activity. The Council wishes to thank those residents who participated in the General Plan survey that concluded on April 30th. The survey questions will help guide the General Plan Committee in developing the City’s General Plan document. The final version should be ready by the end of the year. The General Plan provides guidance and direction on land use, parks and open space needs, transportation, housing, trails and more. The General Plan Committee falls under the City Council and the Council has a General Plan Subcommittee to assist them. Council Member Kelvin Green, who chairs the subcommittee, stated, “That the 15 residents on the General Plan committee are very committed and we appreciate all the time and work they are putting into reviewing the plan. Knowing that the plan guides what we do for many years to come, it is important to have residents like them, with passion and a desire to do what is best for the City long term.”

Interestingly, approximately 50% of the survey respondents were in the south west quadrant (District 4) of the City. Watch for more details as the committee reviews the data for inclusion. The last General Plan from 2012 is available on the City website. Another busy Council Subcommittee is the Land Use Subcommittee, chaired by Council Member Chad Lamb. This committee meets with staff monthly on Land Use applications and provides input regarding decisions that will come before the full Council. Council Member Lamb stated, “It is important that this subcommittee participate early in the process to provide input as the development runs through the design and engineering process.” We hope you have a happy and healthy summer!












4 p.m. Jordan Landing

bit.ly/WestJordan 7 p.m.

Neighborhood Clean-up Event – June 12 West Jordan is hosting another neighborhood clean-up day, allowing residents to dump their trash for free. WHERE: Public Works – 7960 South 4000 West WHEN: 7 AM – 3 PM









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7 AM – 3 PM

Veterans Memorial Park







West Jordan City Hall

bit.ly/WestJordan 6 p.m.










• • • •



4 p.m. Jordan Landing


bit.ly/WestJordan 7 p.m.

The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 Join the conversation! (801) 569-5100 West Jordan – City Hall www.wjordan.com

4 p.m. Jordan Landing

West Jordan Police Dept. 8040 S. Redwood Rd. West Jordan, Utah 84088 801-256-2000 801-840-4000 Dispatch

Tree Limbs Shrubbery Grass Clippings Building Materials

• • • •

Furniture Limited Appliances Household Items Any Green Yard Waste

Please do not bag green waste as the plastic bags are not acceptable green waste.

WHAT IS NOT ACCEPTED? • • • • • • • •

Sod, Dirt, rocks Treated Wood Animal Waste Construction Debris Lithium-ion Batteries Anything with Freon Hazardous Materials Batteries

• • • • • • •

Tanks, Drums, Barrels Refrigerators Mattresses Box Springs Railroad Ties Concrete Toxic or Flammable Materials

• • • •

Tires Dead Animals Liquid or Septic Loads Abandoned or Discarded Automobiles, Motorcycles, Scooters, and Motorized Vehicles

Regular and green waste dumpsters are available for residential use. Dumpsters are not for commercial use. For information on proper disposal of household wastes, please contact Trans-Jordan Cities Landfill at 801-569-8994. For questions about the event, call West Jordan Public Works at 801-569-5700

Copper Hills High outstanding graduate: Serving ceaselessly By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


hen schools and businesses shut down in the spring of 2020, many people slowed down, but Megan Astill became busier than ever, spending her time serving others. “If I see somewhere I can help, I don’t want to sit idly by and hope someone else will step up to and take the initiative for change,” she said. “I want to do everything I can to spread positivity and create unity within my community. I think service is the best way to do that.” Astill looked around her and realized residents at nearby Sunridge Assisted Living and Memory Care would be lonely because visitors were not allowed. She started writing cards for them and invited her friends and the youth in her neighborhood to help. They prepared goodie bags for each of the 70 residents and decorated the windows of the building, something they’ve continued to do for holidays and seasons throughout this past year. “I wanted to make sure these seniors in my community felt loved and remembered, giving them a reason to smile during these difficult times,” Astill said. “I would want someone to do the same if my grandparents were living there.” CHHS Sterling Scholar Adviser Kyle Jensen is impressed with Astill’s determination to serve others. “With all this great grit and understand-

Megan Astill has coordinated several service projects for the residents of Sunridge, such as making Christmas stockings. (Photo courtesy of Megan Astill.)

ing and hope, Megan single-handedly organized a drive to take care packages to people in a nursing home,” Jensen said. “She did it without being asked, without any encouragement from others, she just saw need, she had all this energy and skill and potential, and she just did it.” Once school began, Astill continued to make sure the residents were not forgotten. She organized students in her floral design class to prepare potted spider plants with positive messages, FCCLA club members to sew and fill stockings, and National Honors Society members to make colorful Valen-

tine’s Day cards, all of which were delivered to Sunridge residents. “In true Megan fashion, she had the idea, organized the supplies, set up the dates and followed through with the service of her own accord,” FACS teacher Julie Gambles said. “She has a true love of service to friends, family and the community. She saw a need and made a difference.” Astill documented over 100 hours of service to earn a service honor cord for graduation. This year at Copper Hills, she was named October’s Grizzly of the Month, a Heisman Hall of Fame Scholar, the Family

and Consumer Sciences Sterling Scholar and the Female Student of the Year. She also received the Gail Miller Community Service Award. Despite all her time spent serving others, Astill still managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA. “One of the things that impresses me the most about Megan is how well-rounded she is,” Gambles said. “She wants to learn everything. She works hard at everything she does and does everything. She is self-motivated, hardworking, independent, articulate, generous, creative and kind.” In addition to academically rigorous classes, Astill took classes to broaden her skills including intro to auto, floral design, sports medicine, foods, and marine biology. “I value self-reliance and am now able to be more independent in basic car maintenance,” she said. “I am now able to confidently change tires, brakes, and oil.” Astill has loved her high school experience at CHHS. “Working hard in school and extracurricular activities [have] brought me a lot of satisfaction, happiness, and opportunities for the future,” she said. “Getting involved in clubs and creating relationships with faculty and fellow students has been so fun and meaningful. Here, I have learned to work hard and lose myself in service.” l

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WestJordanJournal .com

June 2021 | Page 19

Copper Hills High Outstanding Graduate: Accomplished artist and academic By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

C 2021 EVENING S ERIES Amphitheater Parking: 495 East 5300 South Ticket Info: 801-264-2614 or www.murray.utah.gov June 4 ................................. Les Miserables, Movie Sing-Along June 5 ................................................... Murray Concert Band June 17-19, 21-23 ........................ Disney's The Little Mermaid June 26 ...................................................... Murray Symphony

LUNCH CONCERT SERIES * Tuesday at Noon in Murray Park Pavilion #5, FREE June 1 - BD Howes ...................................................... Acoustic June 8 - Vaudeville Nouveau ................................... 50's - 80's June 15 - Wasatch Jazz Syndicate ........................ Jazz Quartet June 22 - Riding Gravity .............................. Surf & Rockability

LIBRARY SUMMER SHORTS * Wednesday at 1 PM in Murray Park Pavilion #5, FREE

June 2 ............................................. Magic Show, Paul Brewer June 9 ........................................... Scales & Tails Animal Show June 16 ................................................................ Mad Science June 23 .......................................... DJ Juggling & Magic Show June 30 ......................................... Woody & Jessie, Characters

CHILDREN MATINEE SERIES * Thursday at 2 p.m. in Murray Park Pavilion #5, FREE

June 3 - Just Jumpin' .............................................. Jump Rope June 10 - Spiderman ...................................... Karate & Photos June 17 - Ballet Folklorico ................................... Las Americas June 24 - Ballet Center Utah, Inc .......................... Ballet Dance

FAMILY NIGHT S ERI ES Bring the Whole Family Young and Old! The 2nd Monday of every month at 7 p.m., FREE Murray Senior Recreation Center (#10 E 6150 S – 1/2 block west of State) June 14 – Pick'ee Out the Stingers .................. Bluegrass Music

STOP IN FOR STORIES * Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday at 11 a.m. in Murray Park White Gazebo, FREE Murray City Library sponsored Storytelling * Location may change This program has received funding support from residents of Salt Lake County, SL County Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP), Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and Museums & National Endowment for the Arts.

Page 20 | June 2021

opper Hills High School Sterling Scholar Adviser Kyle Jensen is impressed with this year’s sterling scholar candidates. “They’re so impressive, they drive me to want to be better because I have to match them,” he said. Jensen said CHHS’s Visual Arts Sterling Scholar Mimi Tran, who was selected as state runner-up in her division, is kind, friendly, extremely humble and one of the most accomplished sterling scholars he’s ever worked with. Four of Tran’s paintings were accepted and showcased in the Springville Museum of Art Annual All-State High School Art Show in 2020 and 2021. One of the pieces was the first oil painting Tran ever created, which earned her a scholarship to the Masters Academy of Art and an invitation to the state capitol. Oil painting is Tran’s favorite art medium, but because of the high costs of the materials, she only tried it for the first time in her AP art class last year. “Artistically, Mimi fell in love with the medium right away—after that, her art took off like a rocket,” the AP art teacher Allan Ludwig said. “One of her artistic strengths is the attention to detail. She always strives to, not only do her best but to continually make improvements. She’s a great student who is kind, level-headed and a joy to work with.” Jensen said Tran’s growth over the past few years is because she seeks out critiques in order to improve. “The first thing I noticed about Mimi is her fearless expression of individualism, but also her thirst for feedback,” he said. Tran said her family dynamics shaped her to be independent and unafraid to make and learn from mistakes. Her mother immigrated to the U.S. with no knowledge of the culture or language, so Tran struggled to develop language and social skills. At a young age, Tran learned to draw pictures to help her communicate with others. “I then developed a love for art because it helped me connect with people despite language barriers,” she said. “I took that skill and kept working on it until today. I hope I can further my talents so I can speak to even a wider range of audience.” Tran was pleased to be selected as a sterling scholar and recognized for her hard work in art, academics and service. She maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking multiple advanced placement courses, concurrent enrollment and honors classes. Her academic performance placed her in the top seven percent of her graduating class. Tran has also been involved with the student club HOSA, a health career organization that holds competitions and social activities.

Top: Mimi Tran is an outstanding artist and student graduating from Copper Hills High School. Bottom: Mimi Tran’s first attempt at an oil painting earned her a scholarship to the Masters Academy of Art and an invitation to the state capitol. (Photo courtesy of Mimi Tran.)

“This organization has given me a great opportunity to do amazing service projects, be a great leader, and win some medals along the way,” she said. Tran volunteers as a tutor at her church, teaching Vietnamese classes to children. She has also been an active member of the National Honor Society. NHS Adviser Brittany Maloy has been impressed with Tran’s character, scholarship, leadership, and service.

“She is generous with the service she gives, going above what is expected and earning extra service hours every term,” she said. Tran’s future plans include a career as a pharmacy technician or pediatrician, getting three cats, and traveling the world to try new foods and learn new languages. “I would also love to explore ceramics to make a weird-looking pot one day,” she said. l

West Jordan City Journal

West Jordan High School outstanding graduate excels at everything to lift himself and others By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


anuel Gomez works hard to make sure people don’t just see his wheelchair and mistakenly underestimate his abilities. “I can’t do the same things people can do,” he said. “I can’t run or walk and so I’m motivated to level the playing field. I want to be the best and do the best I can do. If I can’t do something, I’ll be better at something else.” Gomez has excelled in everything he’s done as a student at West Jordan High School. He’s an outstanding student, active in school organizations, an asset to the athletics program and well-respected by his peers and teachers. WJHS Assistant Principal Sterling Hunt said Gomez is one of WJHS’s most accomplished scholars and one of the best students he’s ever worked with. “Januel’s physical limitations have had zero impact on his ability to excel academically and to foster meaningful and lasting relationships in our school,” he said. “He’s a sharp, capable and creative student. He adds to the intellectual rigor of his classes. He excels and does quality work in everything that he’s involved in. He has left a lasting mark on our school, its students, and our community.” Gomez is graduating from WJHS with a near-perfect 3.987 GPA, having completed Jag Academy, an accelerated learning program, and eight advanced placement courses. He was selected as WJHS’s Math Sterling Scholar and advanced to the state finals of the prestigious competition. “I can’t even name his strongest subject,” said Gary Erickson, WJHS hall monitor and football coach who assists Gomez daily. “He’s strong in everything. He doesn’t let his handicaps hold him down one bit. In fact, it’s almost to where it makes him stronger. It’s not stopped him from anything he wants to do.” Gomez applies his analytical mind and exemplary math skills to improve athletics systems. He has created databases and spreadsheets to help the track and field team. He is currently creating a mathematical system to standardize scoring for the World Dunk Association. He plans to get a double major in business and data science and hopes to use data analytics to improve healthcare management systems to make hospitals more efficient. Gomez has spent a lot of time in hospitals-- he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, a degenerative disease, at 18 months old. His family moved from Puerto Rico to Utah to get the medical treatments that would save his life. Many of the treatments he has received have led to a more nuanced understanding of the disease and a better prognosis for children born with it.

WestJordanJournal .com

Murray 2021

FUN DAYS SATURDAY, JULY 3rd ROTARY CLUB COMMUNITY BREAKFAST 6:30 - 10:00 am - Murray Park $6 Adults/$4 Child (12 and under) SUNRISE SERVICE 7 am - Murray Park Amphitheater Patriotic Address Sgt. First Class, Retired Layne Morris Music by Murray Concert Band CHALK ART CONTEST 6 am-2 pm 5K AND KIDS RACE Both races begin and end near Constitution Circle, Murray Park 8 am - 5 K Race, 9 am - Kids Race Ages 4-9 $20 early registration until June 18 $45 registration June 19-25 $10 for Kids Race by June 25 Register online at mcreg.com by June 25 - No day of registrations! CO-ED DOUBLES OUTDOOR VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT 8 am- 5 pm - Softball Field in Murray Park $30 per team - Adults, Youth, Parent/Child Divisions Register online at mcreg.com by July 1 - No day of registrations! PARADE 8:30 am - Begins at Fashion Place Mall - ends at Murray Park Grand Marshal, First Responders ACTIVITIES 10 am-4 pm - Car & Bike Show (behind swimming pool) 11 am-4 pm - Food Trucks & Game Booths 1 pm-2 pm - Bingo 12 pm-4 pm - Park Center Hours 12 pm-6 pm - Aquatic Center Hours

Januel Gomez, pole vaulting coach for West Jordan High School, poses with the trophy after his pole vaulters swept the region championships in May 2021. (Photo courtesy of Januel Gomez.)

From his experiences with his disease and from working with his brother, a professional athlete, and his friend, an Olympic trainer, Gomez became an expert on athletic performance and injury recovery. He began doling out advice to injured athletes in online forums and then creating exercise regimens for WJHS athletes. Then Gomez was asked to help WJHS’s varsity quarterback who had torn his meniscus. Instead of surgery, the athlete followed the rest and exercise plan Gomez prescribed, and recovered to play out his senior season and be named MVP. Gomez regularly advises student athletes and helps them recover from minor injuries. He is also the pole vaulting coach for the track team and his application of mathematics and kinesiology vaulted the team to the region championships this spring, where they won first and second place. Gomez serves his school and communi-

ty as a member of Latinos in Action, National Honors Society and as a math tutor for his peers. He said because he receives so much help, he wants to give back whenever he can. “People are always helping me,” Gomez said. “Every day, at least 10 people help me out, from picking up my pencil that I dropped or filling up my water bottle—because I can’t do those things. And so every day I get service and I feel like I want to pay back that service and so that’s what I try to do every day when I coach and I tutor.” WJHS students and staff have been the beneficiaries of his kindness. “Januel is an outstanding person,” WJHS teacher Natalie Nielsen said. “He is always smiling, treats all his teachers and the students with the utmost respect, and he is honestly a joy to have in any classroom. His humble attitude and good heart will be missed when he graduates this year.” l

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Students get out of their seats and into the action of learning By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


herry Powell’s fourth-grade class had read about the body’s circulatory system. They’d seen pictures of it and had it explained to them. And then they went to their dramatic arts class and they became the chambers of the heart and the red blood cells, moving through the circulatory system and exchanging cards representing oxygen. “This helped them understand how the blood picks up oxygen and how one side of the heart pumps the blood in and the other pumps it out,” Powell said. “They also were able to comprehend the “circle” part of that system.” Powell said when students have lessons like this with Hawthorn Academy’s dramatic arts specialist Tori January, they are attentive and engaged in learning. “I know the kids remember her lessons because she involves them with music, body movements, acting, etc.,” she said. “I love it because I am able to refer back to her lessons and review. That is when I see the kids start moving or humming.” January creates activities that get students out of their seats and put what they’ve Kindergarteners re-enacting a scene from the story “The Little Scarecrow Boy” during a dramatic arts learned in their social studies; language arts, class. (Photo courtesy of Tori January.) and science classes into action. “Whether we are studying Indigenous She collaborates with teachers to create “When the kids can get up on their feet and do something, it really cements it in their activities that supplement the academic cur- Americans, or learning how to get along with one another, she has them role play and get riculum or reinforce social skills. head,” January said.

into the real action,” third-grade teacher Patti Zimmerman said. First-grade teacher Ronni Blair meets regularly with January to plan lessons based on the academic standards. “She always can tie in and bring in another perspective and experience for the students,” Blair said. “She is always energetic, fun, knowledgeable and prepared.” January gets silly with the younger students-- the kindergartners love when she plays dumb, and they get to be the expert-but she also knows how to engage older students in developmentally challenging ways. When sixth-graders were studying space, she engaged them in a role-playing scenario in which she played the CEO of the solar system who needed to downsize. Students developed a character representing a space object and, using what they’d learned in science class, campaigned to remain in the solar system. One student portrayed a black hole, dressing in black and speaking with a sucking intake of air. Another dressed as a star--in glitter and sequins--and took on the persona of a glamorous superstar. “It’s great to see how creative they are,” January said. “I find joy in seeing where they’re going to run with it.” Similarly, January asked fourth graders

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to represent a system inside a body and complain to the brain, played by January, how the person was making unhealthy choices. They had to present, from the organ’s perspective, how the habits (eating too much sugar) were affecting them (developing cavities) and propose a solution (stop eating sugar, brush us.) January encourages students to explore history from the perspective of the people who lived it, such as when the fourth graders study the pioneers coming to Utah. “We can read the history books and know they came, and why they came, but I want to put them in that decision moment,” she said. “I want them to see the pros and the cons because we make decisions based on information. Right now, we’re looking back in history. We know all the information. But they didn’t have all the information at that time.” Older students participate in “dinner table debates” in which students discuss topics, such as women’s suffrage, from different perspectives. Using the facts they’ve learned in social studies, students discuss options for taking action. Fifth graders were very perceptive of the different issues at play, said January, such as when a student said she wouldn’t support women’s suffrage because it wouldn’t affect her voting rights as a black citizen. “This lesson is a perfect example of why I get excited about creative drama,” January said. “Their confidence to take what they

understood about private citizens initiating change and apply it to a scene was exciting to watch.” January loves her job at Hawthorn Academy, especially since she doesn’t have to give students a grade, just confidence. “I don’t have to make a judgment call on how well they did or put a label on whether or not they can be creative” she said. She believes arts education provides a complete education. “Arts education isn’t fluff,” she said. “Arts education in all forms gives children the confidence to learn the subjects in-depth.” l



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June 2021 | Page 23

Judo a gentle self-defense for all By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com


he word judo consists of two Japanese characters, ‘ju’ which means gentle and ‘do’, which means the way. Judo, therefore, means the way of gentleness. Beyond learning self-defense and physical prowess, they learn how to control their feelings, emotions and impulses through a moral code. “Judo is a grappling sport,” Rocky Mountain Judo Sensei Ken Barlow said. “I got into judo with my dad many years ago. I started when I was about six years old.” Barlow is a fourth-degree blackbelt and has certifications in teaching vision-impaired athletes and teaches anyone that wants to participate. He has even had several autistic students. Invented in 1882 by Jigoro Kano in Japan. He participated in jujutsu and did not find it practical. Judo’s most prominent feature is its competitive element. The objective being to throw or takedown an opponent. “We can teach ages five up to 90 USA Judo has a vision-impaired program and I went through and got certified. We can teach by handclaps and use different rules. They learn to be like any other student,” Barlow said. “Some of our autistic students see how we learn and they accept contact. The families have been incredible. Our DoJo (the hall where martial arts are practiced) caters to

Page 24 | June 2021

families.” Learning to protect yourself is one aspect of the judo class. The club also participates in competitions. May 15-16 many members of Rocky Mountain Judo traveled to Reno, Nevada to participate in the senior nationals. Nationals is considered the largest tournament in the United States. “There are five to eight competitions in the valley. Sometimes we travel into Idaho,” Barlow said. “Judo cannot be done alone. You have to count on somebody. We are here for each other or we would not be able to do this.” Barlow has anywhere between 25-30 athletes participate in his weekly classes. His master Sensei is Chian-Liu Chen. He is 90 years old and still participates weekly in trainings. “We always have time at the beginning of class for fitness. We learn how to fall, do exercises to improve our stamina, push-ups and all kinds of stuff,” Barlow said. After fitness training, the class is divided up into age groups and skill levels. “I have a parent that her kids just started a few months ago. She had no idea what judo even was. The kids love it. We have people from all over the place that come and want to learn,” Barlow said. l

Students at Rocky Mountain judo competed at the Junior Nationals in March of this year. (Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Judo)

West Jordan City Journal


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Grizzlies find some magic in state playoffs By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com


ven with a new coaching staff and a team that had hardly played together the boys soccer team at Copper Hills still managed to pull off a first-round state tournament victory. “It was a little rough on us,” first-year Grizzly head coach Sean Terry said. “We started out strong and had some chances. Like most of this season, we have been creating good chances we just need to finish.” The Grizzlies hosted Kearns in the first-round of the state playoffs, May 14. Kearns capitalized on an error and penalty to score the first two goals of the game, but the home team fought back and came away with a 3-2 victory. Senior Issac Rollins scored the game-winning goal but sophomore Ben Kump had a redirect header that tied the game and swung momentum in the Grizzlies’ favor. “We had to work our way out of a hole, but they did not stop and fought hard,” Terry said. “I was really happy tonight with Ben Kump. He is a sophomore that is coming on. We have been waiting for him and all his hard work is finally starting to click.” On defense, the Grizzlies deploy a formation with three defenders, not very

we are

common in high school soccer. This helps them lock down the attack of their opponents and create opportunities offensively. “Danniel De La Cruz is the rock in the middle. He reads the game very well. He steps to balls and is very fast. He makes smart decisions and having him back there with Brady (Birrell) is incredible. Brady is the motor and Daniel sets the tone,” Terry said of his defenders. In goal senior Tim Arauzo had five shutouts, even though he was not even going to try out before the season began. “He (Arauzo) didn’t even come out until a week before tryouts. We did not even know him until then, he is amazing. He makes great stops. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a kid that has as quick of reactions. He has kept us in games,” Terry said. Scoring goals was a widespread chore for the team this season. Four players had multiple goals, Terry pointed out that was a strength of the team. “We didn’t have one kid leading the charge,” he said. Junior Enoc Figueroa was injured for the team’s first-round match. Terry called him the go-to guy on offense. He scored five goals this season as did Rollins. Trevor Johnson and Maz Gutierrez also netted

several goals. Their first-round victory advanced them into this season’s third match-up against Bingham. “It will be a fun game, hopefully, the third time’s the charm. We know what we need to do. I feel like we played two different games this season. We just couldn’t put them away. We lost to them in penalties, for the players there was no reason that either of us left the game without a win. It is taken away in penalty kicks,” Terry said prior to the second-round matchup. The Grizzlies would go to penalties for the third time this season against the Miners. Having won the first encounter before dropping the return leg at home, Copper Hills would lose 5-4 in a shootout to Bingham. Terry has coached for five seasons as an assistant and keeper trainer at Copper Hills. He took over this season as the head man. “I am proud of these kids. It is a new staff with a brand-new system. With Covid-19 last year the core of this team had never played together. They found a way to adapt to this new system. We have had ups and downs and they have not quit one time this season,” Terry said. l


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West Jordan City Journal

Winning is catching on with West Jordan softball By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com

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First Friday Networking June 4, 2021 All-Star Entertainment 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Izzy Knight anchored a young pitching staff for the jaguars this season, two freshmen and two sophomores spent time in the circle. (Greg James/City Journals)


est Jordan’s girls’ softball team earned a chance to host games in the first round of the state tournament. For a young team, its coach hopes it is an accomplishment that could lead to more success in the future. “We have had a winning season for the first time in a long time,” third-year head coach Jocelyn Kaufman said. “We have improved a lot and we are starting to make a good name for our program.” In 2019 the Jaguars won seven games, 2018 only four. This year they have a 13-9 record and finished fifth in the Utah High School Activities Association’s Region 2. “I think we have four solid pitchers. Our hitting has improved. We have worked on making better swings and that has helped,” Kaufman said. Freshman Isabella Knight has anchored the pitching staff made up of underclassmen. “Our entire team is pretty young. We have only two seniors that start, one has been hurt for a while,” Kaufman said. “I feel like we can advance and make a statement in the tournament.” Knight threw 74 innings for the Jaguars and logged 107 strikeouts. Freshman Olivia Haroldson only walked six batters while pitching in six games. The other two pitchers on the staff, both sophomores, Tatum Ballard and Erica Ozur combined for 36 strikeouts in 35 innings. Lacie Christensen leads the team with a .396 batting average. Senior Morgan Borran knocked in seven runs with two triples. Knight leads the team with four home runs and 46 runs batted in. “Tatum is a player I can count on. I play

WestJordanJournal .com

her anywhere, mostly outfield, she performs well. Izzy has a great rise-ball and throws really hard. As a freshman she is throwing harder and will get better and better,” Kaufman said. West Jordan took on Hunter in the first round of the state tournament. In the first game of the best-of-three series they lost 8-4 in extra innings. It was a hard back and forth battle. The Jaguars were able to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh but allowed five runs in the top of the eighth for the loss. (games two and three were after the press deadline) “I feel like we have improved a lot since we played them last. We struck out too many times against them. We have been working on protecting with two strikes and laying off the high pitch,” Kaufman said. “We need to show that we can beat teams and build our confidence.” West Jordan ended the season ranked 16th by the UHSAA rating performance index. The format for the state tournament has changed this season. The higher-rated teams earned byes into the super regionals. The lower-rated teams begin by playing best of three series. The winners advance into super regions with the same format. Those winners advance into an eight-team double-elimination tournament to determine the state champion. “They have worked really hard. We are very young and hosting a tournament game is going to be great for us. If we don’t go as far as we hope the other teams better keep an eye out for us in the years to come,” Kaufman said. l

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Please visit us at www.westjordanchamber.com or call at (801) 970-3671 or email us at info@westjordanchamber.com 8060 S 1300 West, West Jordan 84088 June 2021 | Page 27

Copper Hills finishes runner-up in region track and field Photos by Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


thletes from Bingham, Copper Hills, Herriman, Jordan, Riverton and West came together to compete at the 6A region three track meet May 12-13 at Jordan High. A first-place finish on the girls’ side (with 199 points) and a second-place finish for the boys (155 points) powered Bingham High School to the overall region championship, with a total score of 354 points. The Miners were followed in the final standings by Copper Hills (272), Herriman (263), Riverton (207.5), West (164.5) and Jordan (105). l

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laysha Whitehead was introduced to powerlifting by a family friend and really wanted to give it a try. She now holds several state and national records. Her trainers call her “The Kraken” she comes out of nowhere and lifts heavy things. In fact, her school teachers tried to get her to lift some of their students. The first day her friends asked if she wanted to give it a try. “I said sure and I tried it out,” Whitehead said. “They (her trainers) said I had natural ability.” On her first trip to the gym, she deadlifted 135 pounds. “After that day we were told that in six weeks she could be setting records,” Alaysha’s mother Cindy said. “I was nervous the first time. There were a lot of people watching. I was excited and then after I accomplished it I was really happy and proud of myself,” Alaysha said. “I try to train four days a week for one to two hours.” She began training with Caughey’s Training and Fitness. She currently works with Big Mountain Barbell in Midvale. She currently holds state records in three age groups and weight classifications. “I was 15 when I started. It is a different sport and I have learned to like to try new things. I like to see how much strength I can build. I like to work really hard. Setting goals is very important. I have a goal to lift 300 lbs and it keeps me motivated to keep working out and Continued page 7

Alaysha says she was nervous with all the people watching her, but she still set a record. (photo courtesy of Cindy Whitehead)


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West Jordan Journal | June 2021  

West Jordan Journal | June 2021  

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