Art City – Mara Kunzler
Mara Kunzler, second-grade teacher at Art City Elementary, grew up in Denver, Colorado, and is the youngest in her family with four older brothers. Her girl-hood dream was to be a school teacher, hoping to follow in the footsteps of her father who was a teacher and administrator. Mrs. Kunzler graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education from Brigham Young University. She has taught at Art City for eight years, and her team has wonderful things to say about her. Mrs. Kunzler thrives on being organized and dedicated. According to her colleagues, she is a team player, loves to laugh, and is always smiling. Mrs. Kunzler is married to Ryan. They are expecting twins in August.
Barnett – Lisa Leach
Lisa Leach has served as the Barnett Science Fair coordinator and the Student Art Gallery supervisor. Ms. Leach is innovative, creative, and works hard. Ms. Leach is the most optimistic person around. She is concerned about each of the students. Ms. Leach strives to make activities, lessons, and the atmosphere in her class and grade level the best it can be. Ms. Leach takes pride in being a Barnett Bulldog. She looks for ways to make the school a positive environment where kids, teachers, and parents enjoy coming each day.
Brockbank – Marcy Noorda
Since Marcy Noorda's first year in 2007, she has been an asset to the faculty and staff at Brockbank. Principal Alison Hansen says, “Marcy Noorda is a pleasure to watch teach. She helps each individual child reach his/her potential and is conscientious about helping each child reach a year's academic, emotional, and social growth regardless of whether he/she is the highest performer in the class or the student who struggles the most. Each child thrives in her classroom. She has a well-deserved reputation in the community of being knowledgeable, caring, and a hard worker. She is an example to all around her." Mrs. Noorda and her husband, Bryan, live in Springville and have four children.
Brookside – RuthAnn Roach
Ruth Ann Roach has been a teacher for 33 years and spends many hours outside of the classroom in service to the teachers as a representative of the Utah Education Association.
Canyon – Mina Money
Mina Money is a kindergarten teacher that has taught for almost 30 years. She is an exceptional, innovative, and creative teacher. Mrs. Money works long hours to ensure that her students have the best experience that she can provide. She is right on target when it comes to addressing individual needs—teaching, re-teaching, and enriching student learning. Mrs. Money is a great leader in the school and a wonderful team member. Mrs. Money and her husband, Ken, have four children. She loves her granddaughter, her family, and her kindergartners. She is a great friend and wonderful mentor.
Cherry Creek – Chelsey Bergera
Chelsey Bergera is described by her peers as a dedicated professional who loves to teach. Those that work with Ms. Bergera praise her for being a leader that works hard to support the kindergarten team. She is willing to share ideas with her team and is helpful in keeping the kindergarten teachers working as a team. She takes time to do extra work to generate new and creative teaching ideas which she willingly shares. “Chelsey is the kindest, sweetest teacher. She is so kind and patient to her students. She teaches them so many fun things in creative ways!” shared one of her teammates. “I believe it takes a special person to teach kindergarten and Chelsey is it!” stated another teacher. Ms. Bergera has been teaching for seven years.
East Meadows – Natalie Mecham
Natalie Mecham is organized and always looking ahead at curriculum. She is constantly evolving her teaching strategies by finding new ideas and innovative ways to help students understand. She has been a leader in implementing the new writing core and has set an example of integration for her colleagues. Ms. Mecham’s enthusiasm, hard-work, and dedication make her an outstanding team member and an incredible teacher.
Foothills – Jackee Turner
Jackee Turner began her teaching career 25 years ago, with the past five years of her career at Foothills Elementary teaching sixth grade. Mrs. Turner graduated in Elementary Education from BYU, and she also holds a master’s degree in Counseling. She is a loving and hardworking person who brings happiness and support to everyone she works with. Her team members can always count on her thoughtfulness and good humor to "lighten the load" of teaching. Students, parents, and colleagues all love and appreciate her dedication, her professionalism, and her willingness to serve and give so much of herself. Mrs. Turner is married to Kent Turner, and they are the parents of 7 children and 21 grandchildren.
Goshen – Renee Davis
Teachers like Renee Davis are one of the most valuable assets to our society. They stimulate the mind, heart, and soul. It is difficult to judge exactly where Ms. Davis’ influence stops in one's life. Her influence is, in fact, perpetual.
Hobble Creek – Linda Pugh
Linda Pugh is a second-grade teacher and reared in Kearns, Utah. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Pugh is married to Michael Pugh; and they are the parents of one son, Matt, and one daughter, Katie. Mrs. Pugh is a kind and loving teacher who is dedicated to her students. She is always trying new ideas and lessons to help them further their education and life skills.
Mapleton – Lynette Eddington
Lynette Eddington has been a committed educator for the past 27 years. Her dedication to the profession and to the children of Mapleton School is commendable. She has a keen love of learning and teaching that has rubbed off on both her students and fellow teachers. Ms. Eddington’s musical and creative talents have given strength to her third-grade teams over the years. She is also willing to listen and help other teachers. She has taught every type of learner and is an expert at problem solving with children. She gives her heart and soul to her classroom, students, and their parents.
Mt. Loafer – Robyn Kerr
Robyn Kerr is a second-grade teacher at Mt. Loafer Elementary. She is incredibly deserving of this award in so many ways. Robyn is an example to everyone. Ms. Kerr is never satisfied with her own teaching. She is always looking for a better or more exciting way to teach or to improve herself as a teacher. She makes every lesson fun and exciting, which makes learning an awesome journey for her students. Her students love her and are motivated to learn and achieve. Ms. Kerr sets high expectations for her students, and she teaches and inspires them to reach and achieve these expectations. Ms. Kerr touches the heart and mind of every student she teaches. She not only cares about her own students, but she loves and cares about all children.
Orchard Hills – Stephanie Wood
Stephanie Wood is a truly outstanding educator and person. She entered the education world five years ago when she graduated from BYU and became a full-time teacher. Ms. Wood grew up in Bountiful, Utah. She enjoys watching sports, reading, and playing games with her family. Ms. Wood is a wonderful example to her friends and coworkers as she works to go above and beyond anything that is expected of her. Her problem-solving skills and her knowledge of technology make her a great asset to her school. Ms. Wood lives for the success and happiness of others, especially her students. Wood cares deeply for each of her students and works tirelessly to help them to be successful. Although she is an incredible educator and has a great amount of success in the classroom, she is constantly searching for new, innovative ideas that will help improve her teaching and her students’ learning experience. When it comes to teaching, all of her thoughts and actions are directly connected to the educational, social, and emotional needs of her students. It is no coincidence that her classroom is a place where her students feel safe, valued, and successful. Her students love and respect her as their teacher and her coworkers appreciate and value her as their fellow-educator and friend.
Rees – Jeff Ballard
Jeff Ballard has done so much over the years for the students and faculty at Rees. Mr. B, as many students affectionately call him, has been a part of the Rees faculty for over 20 years and has worked tirelessly to help students learn. He goes above and beyond in his drumming program, the Rees African Drummers (RAD). The RAD group meets twice a week during Mr. Ballard's planning time. Mr. Ballard could be doing many other things, but he chooses to teach students extracurricular skills that they would never get otherwise. The students and teachers at Rees Elementary are lucky to have such a hard working, dedicated, and kind teacher as Mr. Ballard.
Riverview – Vivian Miner
Vivian Miner loves teaching. She’s been at it for 24 years--starting at Santaquin Elementary after graduating from BYU. Following Santaquin, she moved to Park Elementary. During this time, she earned her master’s degree in math. Then she made a difficult decision to come to Riverview Elementary. Riverview is so lucky that she made that choice. Ms. Miner spends lots of hours making sure her students receive the best possible education. Her students learn how to work hard and appreciate their education. A colleague said, “Just this last week, we went to a play for our field trip. A mother, of one of Vivian’s former students, came up to us and told Vivian how much she appreciated Vivian as her daughter’s fifth-grade teacher. The daughter loves Mrs. Miner as her teacher. I felt honored to be standing by such a remembered teacher. I’m so honored to have been standing by her these last four years. We have learned so much from this highly-knowledgeable teacher.” Vivian is married to Dean; and they have four wonderful children--Carol the oldest, then Emily, followed by Dean, and then came Allison. Vivian spoils her tremendous grandchildren.
Sage Creek – Shellie Graves
Shellie Graves, fourth-grade teacher at Sage Creek Elementary, is the mother of five and the grandmother of 15. Ms. Graves has taught at Sage Creek for 21 years and has touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of children. She is an amazing educator who plans her lessons meticulously. Ms. Graves also goes the extra mile to plan activities such as making ice cream, decorating haunted houses, digging for fossils in cookies, and making fossils. She is organized and is the scheduling “queen” at Sage Creek. Ms. Graves loves teaching and puts on plays with her students.
Salem Elementary – Theresa Holthaus
Salem Elementary fourth-grade teacher, Theresa Holthaus, goes above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis. She is dedicated and committed to improving our school as she teaches, challenges, and inspires her students. Ms. Holthaus dedicates herself to her students, faculty, and staff here at Salem Elementary. She is the mentor for our new teachers, and she always volunteers to help out when needed.
Sierra Bonita – Erin Creamer
Erin Creamer teaches first grade and came to Sierra Bonita from Rees Elementary where she also taught first grade. She has been teaching for eight years. She has been a huge motivator on the first-grade team this year as they set up the new school. Mrs. Creamer's team calls her supportive and always willing to help with a smile on her face. The entire staff at Sierra Bonita is appreciative of her positive attitude and her willingness to go the extra mile. Mrs. Creamer says she has wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a little girl and has found it to be a very rewarding experience. Mrs. Creamer lives in Spanish Fork with her husband, four sons, and Daisy – the dog.
Spanish Oaks – Jerika Terry
Jerika Terry has been teaching third grade for the past three years. She graduated from Brigham Young University. The teachers on her team have commented on how well planned and organized she is. She demonstrates professionalism by having a positive attitude and a great relationship with her students, the parents, as well as the teachers on her collaborative team. She cares about each individual student in her class and is willing to help in any way she can to meet the needs of each one. Ms. Terry has expressed that she is very appreciative to be teaching at Spanish Oaks and that she loves her job and working with the students and staff here.
Spring Lake – Sherry Heelis
Sherry Heelis has been a vital part of Spring Lake Elementary since its opening in 2002. She works with pre-school students that have special needs. She is willing to help and share her knowledge with others. She works with many students that have different needs with great care. Ms. Heelis is a great example of a dedicated educator. She is dedicated in preparing students to come to school. She prepares both parents and students. She is loving, patient, and kind. She is knowledgeable and is a great resource to teachers and parents. Ms. Heelis shows an outstanding level of professionalism in her specialized area of special needs. She puts in long hours working with students who have difficulty functioning in the world. She is an example of a true master teacher.
Taylor Elementary – Courtney Corbin
Courtney Corbin has been at Taylor Elementary for five years as a fourth-grade teacher. She has served our school as a member of the D.A.R.T. team and fourth-grade team leader. Mrs. Corbin lives in Santaquin with her family. She is married to Will; and they have two children, Addison and Jace. She has a laugh that makes others happy. She is the kind of teacher who is always willing to help another. Mrs. Corbin is truly excited about education and has the ability to cultivate that excitement in her students by incorporating fun activities into her lessons. She possesses the unique skill to quickly build strong relationships with her students. Before and after school, she can often be found surrounded by students whom she previously taught. Mrs. Corbin takes pride in being a teacher at Taylor Elementary and looks for ways to make it a positive environment for students and staff alike.
Carli Jarvis, fourth-grade teacher at Westside Elementary, is described by her peers as an extraordinary educator. She is great with students, and they are responsive to her teaching style. Ms. Jarvis teaches with “pizzazz.” All of the students in the fourth grade enjoy participating in her lessons and discussions because she teaches in a way that everyone can understand. Ms. Jarvis uses voices, songs, and actions to ensure that her students learn important information. One peer mentioned, “I am grateful to work with Carli. She is a wonderful teacher, team player, and friend.”
Wilson – Nadine Kay
Nadine Kay has been teaching first grade at Wilson Elementary for over 16 years. Many of her colleagues agree that Ms. Kay is well organized, a good leader, a great teacher, shares ideas, works long hours, and loves her students. Ms. Kay’s students love her too. When the students grow up, they still come back to visit her and give her hugs. Her wisdom and expertise shows in her careful lesson planning and intervention goals. She is caring and sensitive to her community and the culture at Wilson. Ms. Kay is a great example of what it means to be an exceptional teacher.
Diamond Fork Junior – Maria Lewis
Maria Lewis has taught at Diamond Fork since the school's opening in 1997. Ms. Lewis is known for her dedication to her students and her positive demeanor. A fellow teacher observed, "Maria is always positive and upbeat. No matter what challenges she is facing away from school, she is always positive, smiling, and a fun to be around. She is a person you can visit with and know that she is sincerely interested in what you are saying and how you are feeling." Ms. Lewis' knowledge and experience in teaching health is a great asset to the school. Another teacher commented, "She is always willing to share ideas and to help in developing new lessons and activities to teach a point. Her many talents make it so that she is a real asset to our school and to our department. I feel very fortunate to have worked so closely with Maria."
Mapleton Junior – Jo Edan Parker
Jo Edan Parker works with a unique group of young children from all over Nebo School District. She exemplifies total dedication to them and is an advocate for her students – whom cannot speak for themselves. Ms. Parker prepares them with life skills. Along with teaching her students reading, writing, and arithmetic, she prepares them for their entrance into society. Ms. Parker goes beyond the extra mile for and in behalf of “her kids.” Because transitioning plays such a major part of the student’s life, every month Ms. Parker organizes a field trip to give her kids exposure to outside the classroom experiences. She will take them to the mall where they have experience buying things and interacting in crowds. She takes them to restaurants where they learn manners when eating in public. She provides fishing excursions and bowling field trips where she takes each student and a number of peer tutors several times a year. The words of one grateful parent expresses the true substance of what Jo Edan is all about, “Her success cannot be measured by test scores, academic praise for her students, or any acknowledgement on a scholarly level. Her reward is measured by the students who now have the ability to function in a school setting that was, before meeting her, considered an impossibility, and this mother’s heart is truly grateful for her.”
Mt. Nebo Junior – Amber Capell
Amber Capell has teaching in her blood. Mrs. Capell’s mother, a teacher at Payson High School, has been an example for her, even though at first, Mrs. Capell decided she did not want to become a teacher. She tried other things like computer programming and dancing in Las Vegas, but in the end she could not escape the call of teaching. Mrs. Capell is now married and has two children of her own. From school, she tells her family stories about her "other" 200 kids. She loves teaching and is very good at it.
Spanish Fork Junior – Coach Whites (Jeff Nelson)
Coach “Whites” (Jeffrey Nelson) got his nickname from having almost pure white hair until he was ten years old. His brother also started calling him “Whites” after baseball player Whitey Ford. Mr. Nelson has been teaching at Spanish Fork Junior High for over 20. He first started out as a resource teacher, then he taught physical education. In addition to his teaching duties, Coach Whites has been an assistant baseball coach and sophomore football coach at Spanish Fork High School for over 20. Mr. Nelson consistently develops great rapport with his students because of his bigger-than-life personality and sense of humor. One colleague said of Whites, “Don’t let looks fool you, Whites is a very smart person and always has great ideas about how to handle kids. He is a good classroom manager.” Coach Whites loves the outdoors, hunting, camping, farming, and horseback riding. He is married and has three children and two grandchildren.
Maple Mountain High – Kathryn Crandall
Kathryn Crandall has been teaching for 22 years, with her first 19 years at Springville Junior High. She feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to join Maple Mountain from its beginning three years ago. She has enjoyed every class that she has taught, but she has especially enjoyed service learning and clothing classes. Mrs. Crandall married her kindergarten sweetheart, Calvin Crandall, who is a full-time rancher in Springville, Juab County, and Bridger Valley, Wyoming. They both graduated from Springville High and Utah State University. They have four children, three boys and one girl. Mrs. Crandall’s hobbies include sewing, snowmobiling, scuba diving, and ranching with Calvin. The reason she chose teaching as a profession was because of the inspiration of her sewing teacher. She loves watching students learn and develop talents.
Payson High – Dave Rockwood
David Rockwood has been teaching and coaching at Payson High School since 2003. He is the PHS cross country, track, and field coach. He is also the head coach of the all-star track and field team for the state of Utah. Rockwood teaches psychology, AP psychology, and developed the popular sport psychology program at PHS. Mr. Rockwood believes the program is popular because of its appeal to students in all performance venues. “It is a popular because it works. Applying the lessons from class makes a real difference in the athlete's ability to perform well. There is a real hunger for success, and students find that this class helps them achieve it. It is mostly used in sports, but applies to any performance activity, dance, music, etc.,” Mr. Rockwood said. Mr. Rockwood recently received national attention in US News and World Report in the article “Teachers Publish Their Own Textbook,” for his book, “Closing the Gap: Applied Sport Psychology for High School,” published in 2009, now being used in locations worldwide.
Spanish Fork High – Deon Youd
Colleague and friend, Ann Dart, said this of Deon Youd when presenting the Crystal Apple award, "She is consistently reaching her potential and fulfilling her educational goals.” Ms. Deon’s intellectual abilities are evident to all of us as we see her continually searching, reading, studying, and learning new things. Ms. Deon is definitely a life-long learner. Ms. Deon is known as a creative and innovative teacher who is willing to go the extra mile and take on a lot of added responsibilities to help make SFHS the outstanding school it is. Ms. Deon is an influence for good, a positive example, and a tremendous asset to our school; and she is richly deserving of this Crystal Apple honor.
Springville High – Susan Langford
Susan Langford has been teaching math at Springville High for the past seven years. “I love SHS because of the tremendous spirit among the student body,” said Ms. Langford. Ms. Langford’s favorite quote, written by Kurt Hahn, is, "There is more in us than we know. Perhaps if we can be made to see it, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.”
“I love it when my students have been struggling with a concept for awhile and the light bulb in their head finally flips on and they get it,” said Ms. Langford. When she’s not at school, Ms. Langford enjoys gardening, sewing, and quilting.