Gregg Smith, history teacher at Maple Mountain High, has dedicated his entire adult life to the students he serves. This is apparent in the appreciation and affection that generations of students have for him, even decades after he was their teacher in school. He makes history come alive as he is a quintessential storyteller.
A quiet student in Smith’s class struggled with academics and peers. This student loved adventure much more than school. Smith invited him to become part of his ‘lunch bunch,’ a lunch-time gathering for at-risk students. Later in the year, Smith announced his annual plan for taking students on a summer survival trip into the Escalante desert (a program Smith ran for ten years). The quiet student was excited about the program but unsure. Smith encouraged him and even sponsored him to go. The trip changed the young man's life. The challenge built his confidence and self-esteem. He became a role model to many other teens and even helped with other groups. Just after graduation a tragic accident took this student’s life. His parents asked Smith to speak at the funeral because of the great influence he had on their son’s life.
View Video Profile by KUED: https://www.kued.org/uea-excellence-teaching-awards/2019
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Ten Utah educators to receive top 2019 teaching honors
UEA/doTERRA Excellence in Teaching Awards to be presented at the KeyBank ‘Superstars in Education’ Banquet
Excellence in Teaching awards during the KeyBank Superstars in Education banquet May 17 at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City. Video profiles on each of the 10 winning teachers, produced by KUED Channel 7, will be shown at the banquet awards ceremony and are available online at kued.org/teachers.
Award recipients were selected based on their impact on individual students or groups of students. Each winner receives an award, a poster to display at their school and a check for $1,500, courtesy of award sponsor doTERRA.
UEA/doTERRA Excellence in Teaching award recipients for 2019 are:
Charles Bell, Sixth-Grade Teacher at Granger Elementary School, Granite School District;
Lori Bullock, Resource and English Teacher at Pleasant Grove Junior High School, Alpine School District;
Jeannie Fernandez, Librarian at Fossil Ridge Intermediate School, Washington County School District;
Christa Green, Art Teacher at Grand County High School, Grand County School District;
Peter Haslam, Fifth-Grade Teacher at Wasatch Elementary School, Salt Lake City School District;
Elizabeth Julian, Kindergarten through Sixth-Grade Teacher at Boulder Elementary School, Garfield County School District;
Jon Lindberg, Life Skills Teacher at Lehi Junior High School, Alpine School District;
Gregg Smith, History Teacher at Maple Mountain High School, Nebo School District;
Laura Taylor, History Teacher at Riverton High School, Jordan School District; and
Randall White, Science Teacher at Valley High School, Jordan School District.
The UEA has presented the Excellence in Teaching awards since 2000. KeyBank has sponsored the banquet since 2012. For the past three years, KUED has partnered with the UEA to produce video profiles of the Excellence in Teaching Award winners.
“The UEA is honored to recognize these outstanding educators,” said UEA President Heidi Matthews. “They are shining examples of the great work happening in our public schools each day.”
“We are privileged to support the Utah Education Association as it honors our state’s educators,” said Terry Grant, President of KeyBank in Utah. “These exceptional teachers comprise a vital part of our communities by ensuring our children receive quality educations. Quality education helps our communities thrive and thriving communities benefit all of us.”