2022 Awards

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE UCET 2022 AWARD WINNERS!

UCET Cache Valley Electric Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award recognizes and honors a network technician, administrator, engineer, or systems operations specialist.

UCET22 CVE Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award   – Bryson Grygla

Computer Network Specialist /Network Architect in the Alpine School District. 

Bryson has worked closely with UETN to curate technical requirements for school districts, and has made these available through the UETN network. These resources have also been shared at multiple conferences this year, including a keynote presentation at the UTCC Winter Tech Retreat and the Utah ACTE conference. The keynote presentation was in partnership with Ken Garff Esports (a program of the Success in Education Foundation) who has provided grant funding to over 60 schools statewide in an effort to support the important work that is happening with esports, all scaffolded by Bryson’s ingenuity and dedication. Bryson has created documentation that helps schools throughout Utah, who are just getting started with esports, understand the backend setup and requirements. He has provided multiple content filtering configuration examples to schools who are new to this process, as well as sharing best practices he has implemented in Alpine. Bryson and his team have remained open and available to collaborate with districts to assist them in this process. Bryson’s motivation for investing so much time and effort into this process has been closely tied to the social emotional wellness opportunities it brings to students.

Having colleagues like Bryson with a problem-solving attitude has made all the difference in the CS/IT content area in Alpine. Teachers have felt more empowered to try new things and enhance their content. Our district has students who have won the Utah state title three years in a row for the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot competition. All because the cybersecurity teacher wasn’t afraid to ask for support in offering this opportunity to our students. 

To quote Alpine’s CTE director, Michelle Price: “Bryson already had a full time job and esports was added on top of that. He has taken this on and never missed a beat with his other responsibilities. He pushes the boundaries and allows us to try new and innovative things but student safety is always his priority. When other districts are saying “we can’t” Bryson is doing it.” 

UCET Outstanding Leader Award recognizes and honors a leader (principal, superintendent, school or district technology staff, regional technology trainer, etc.) who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education. 

UCET22 Outstanding Leader: Jeff Egly

Associate Director for the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN)

Nominated by: Jim Stewart, Kathy Webb, Rick Gaisford, Cody Spendlove, Charice Carroll, Kim Davis, Cory Stokes

Serving UETN for more than 23 years, Jeff Egly works tirelessly and is highly committed to ensuring Utah districts, schools, and higher education institutions are reliably and robustly connected to the Internet providing state-of-the-art education for students.

According to Jim Stewart, UETN’s CTO, “Jeff Egly is an extremely valuable member of our team. His technical skill set is impeccable, as is his work ethic. He is a very service-minded individual who takes a proactive approach in reaching out to stakeholders so that we can best meet their needs. His leadership has led us to a statewide education and telehealth network that is second to none. This wouldn’t have been possible without him.”

With his pivotal job at UETN, Jeff Egly, first and foremost, always supports teachers, students, and his co-workers. One of Jeff’s greatest strengths is his ability to bring people together to collaborate in furthering technology in education, not only at UETN, but for the entire state. He regularly carves out time to collaborate with educational  technology leaders, students, teachers, and administrators.

Jeff believes in sharing with Utah’s education community and is a strong leader in planning, supporting, and presenting in important statewide technology conferences including the SAINTCON leadership community, UETN’s Tech Summit, IVC Conference, and Winter Tech Retreat, as well as the CTO Retreat.  These are successful in part because of Jeff’s direct vision, commitment, leadership, and support.

Just a few examples of Jeff’s educational technology leadership in the state:

Jeff’s vision, leadership, and support is critical for the success of the statewide Interactive Video Conferencing (IVC) network. Jeff was the driving force at UETN to secure CARES Act funding to purchase expanded Webex licensing and the addition of Zoom licenses for educators throughout the state. Jeff leads Utah’s eduroam implementation, a unique wireless id for educators and students enabling use of their devices in any of the 1,600+ UETN sites. 

With his pivotal job at UETN, Jeff Egly, first and foremost, always supports teachers, students, and his co-workers.  He is truly a shining example of an effective Utah educational technology leader.

ISTE Making It Happen Award is given to a Utah educator, who over time has made a significant and broad impact on the vision and practice of Digital Teaching and Learning in the state of Utah.

UCET22 ISTE Making It Happen – Laura Hunter

Dr. Laura Hunter (she/her) is chief operating officer for Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) and station manager for public media station KUEN, providing robust broadband and broadcast services statewide. She is executive producer for over 280 innovative and award-winning videos, websites, and curricula. Hunter oversees the award-winning UEN.org website team, professional learning, media services and community engagement departments. Dr. Hunter holds a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a research focus on educational technology, Master’s Degree in Education, Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, certificates in Public Leadership from Harvard University, Non-Profit Leadership from Georgetown University, and Diversity Leadership from Furman University. She previously worked for the Utah State Office of Education and Salt Lake City School District and is a licensed teacher.

UCET22 INNOVATIVE TEACHER AWARD WINNERS

The Innovative Teaching Awards recognize teachers for facilitating student learning through innovative teaching practices using technology. Innovative Teacher submissions are by the district. 

Box Elder School District – Shizhong (John) Zhang, 10-12, Box Elder HIgh School, Brigham City

Dr. Zhang (John) grew up in China.  He did his graduate work at UFC and has now been with Box Elder School District for two years.  He started in 1st grade, where the kids loved working with him.  He is now our AP Chinese teacher at Box Elder High School.  Dr. Zhang loves to share his culture with his faculty through cooking.  He enjoys exploring Utah’s outdoors through hiking.Dr. Zhang (John) made the transition from teaching 1st grade to teaching AP Chinese at the high school.  In making the change, he has worked hard to create a blended learning environment for his students.  This year Dr. Zhang also had his students and many throughout the Chinese DLI program create videos for the Chinese New Year that he shared with the community both in-person and virtually so many could participate.  Dr. Zhang also spends time with the new 1st-grade teacher assuring that her Canvas course is adequate for 6-year-olds to use effectively.

Cache County School District – Eddie Faires, 9-12 Ridgeline High School, Millville

Eddie has taught for 11 years at elementary, middle school and now the high school level. He started his career as a PARA and then earned his teaching license through an Alternate Route to licensure. Prior to teaching he spent 24 years in the United States Air Force where he worked on designing Interactive Courseware for Medical careers. He currently teaches Robotics, Electroncices, CS Principles, Computer Programming 1 and 2, Business Office Specialist and Web Development 1. Eddie helps facilitate an AM STEM Automated Manufacturing course and is the VEX robotics coach. He is currently working on bringing a Game Development course to his high school. Eddie has gone above and beyond to adapt to everything that has been asked of him. He was hired close to the beginning of the school year and he not only embraced the new position, but worked tirelessly to receive all of the necessary endorsements. He is a great example to never stop learning. He recently completed a 900 hour certification course and is taking additional courses in Computer Science at USU.

Granite School District – Jessica Gygi, 2nd, Rosecrest Elementary, Millcreek

Mrs. Gygi has intentionally used technology to continue to build relationships and student capacity during the pandemic. She would frequently have 100% attendance on her Google Meets during distance learning, having prepared materials and prepped students ahead of time. She continued to connect to the community at large with virtual field trips to a local pizzeria, the Natural History museum and even a video message from Senator Romney. Parents were invited as guest readers via Zoom to continue volunteer opportunities. Mrs. Gygi has built her own capacity and the capacity of her students as she has introduced them to Canvas. This enabled students to switch to distance learning without significant disruption to their education. She has actively shared her knowledge of technology integration with her colleagues as they have collaborated on projects together. Parents have expressed their appreciation for the many ways Mrs. Gygi has integrated technology into student learning and provided opportunities for families to be a part of the process. Mrs. Gygi is truly an innovative teacher in every way!

Iron County School District – Kaylee Vogel, Kindergarten, Iron Online, Cedar City

Kaylee grew up in Price, and currently lives in Cedar City with her husband and two little boys. It is not unusual to see her squishing playdough and popping fidget poppers through meetings. Along with her kindergarten teaching assignment, she serves as the ICSD Online literacy specialist and helps lead the online outreach team in developing literacy skills. Kaylee has a unique challenge this year as the kindergarten teacher for our online school that was created in response to the COVID pandemic. She works tirelessly to find ways to provide our littlest learners with the same quality of learning experiences that our in person kindergarten students receive without being in the same physical space with them. She is constantly striving to find the most interactive age appropriate tech tool to provide her students with the foundational skills that they need to be successful for the rest of their educational experience. She can often be found running to students’ homes to deliver engaging materials for hands-on work ON TOP of the digital curriculum she develops for them. Regardless of the challenges or the new skills she must tackle, her happy enthusiasm never seems to be fazed.

Jordan School District – Kelli Cannon, 5th Grade, Ridge View Elementary, Herriman, UT

Kelli is an Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2, and a Nearpod Certified Educator. She recently completed her Educational Technology Endorsement. Kellie is on the Leadership of GEG Utah and was instrumental in getting GEG in Utah on the map again.  Her influence is helping teachers across Jordan School District to work on Google certifications and to share resources with one another.

 

 

Juab School District – Alynn Hansen, 5th Grade, Mona Elementary School, Mona

Alynn Hansen teaches the best 5th grade students in the state. She has been an educator in Juab School District since 2016 and is a graduate of Utah State University. She recently earned her STEM endorsement.Alynn has developed a personalized math intervention for all of her students. She uses Canvas to execute these interventions. Students in Alynn’s class receive instruction through a personalized path in Canvas that allows them to work at their own pace to develop the knowledge and understanding required to master each math concept. Students watch videos, learn vocabulary, work through i-Ready lessons, complete engaging practice lessons, and create a Show What You Know project to prove mastery of each skill. In this model, students have an ownership over their own learning and are proud of the work they produce. Students are able to show what they know in each math skill by creating a project that they like and look forward to. Alynn has created personalized path, place, pace, and choice for each of her students.

Logan School District – Mitchell Womack, 7th & 8th, Mount Logan Middle School, Logan

Mitch has spent the last few years in the Logan City School District as a 7th and 8th grade science teacher. He loves to investigate things, including the natural world through hiking and stargazing. Mitch Womack is a teacher dedicated to being part of a team and believes that one way his team can reach each student’s needs is through using the technology provided to them. Mitch truly believes that the success they have had with their students is due to the entire team and their efforts. But his teammates will be the first to say that he has helped them transform their teaching.

One of the major ways they use technology is to help in the RTI process. There are a few different ways that the team uses Canvas to meet student needs. Another way they use the technology provided is to create Mastery Paths on Canvas. This allows students to move through the material based on their proficiency. Mitch and his team are using their technology to make sure that each student reaches a level of understanding that will help them be able to create a positive future for themselves and their communities.

Millard School District – Jeremy Teeples, Social Studies, Millard High School, Fillmore

Mr. Teeples is one of our teacher technology initiators.  He has been instrumental in assisting other teachers implement technology into their curriculum.  Mr. Teeples is truly a lifelong learner and is constantly taking new courses and trying new programs to better engage his students; and it shows, his students love going to his classes! We have been fortunate to remain in person in our school district, yet have experienced unprecedented absences.  Mr. Teeples has made all of his coursework available online for those students unable to attend in person.

 

Nebo School District – Kyra Benson, Maple Mountain High School, Spanish Fork

Kyra Benson is a veteran teacher in her 20th year of teaching in Nebo School District. Kyra is a Secondary Special Education teacher, with endorsements in severe disabilities, Educational Technology, and Physical Education. He has used digital content that allows students to learn at their own pace and work towards mastery of content. He has also worked to help the school purchase updated textbooks that include digital resources.

 

 

North Sanpete School District – Cindy Galecki, 3rd, Fairview Elementary, Fairview

Cindy Galecki is a 3rd grade teacher at Fairview Elementary and has worked in the school since 2008. Her classroom utilizes multiple technologies including iPads, Chromebooks, Apple TV, Canvas, etc. She pushes the tech envelope and leads the way with technology in the classroom.

Cindy Galecki is an innovative teacher who enjoys finding new ways to implement and use technology in her classroom. Students benefit from her resourcefulness and ability to push the limits, often stretching her IT department’s ability to provide support. 😉 Remote lessons were challenging for everyone, but Cindy made it look easy, as she was already ahead of the curve. She is of great benefit to her school and district and a great example of what can be done with an innovative spirit.

Ogden School District – Jaci Durtschi, High School, Ogden High School, Ogden

Jaci is a Social Studies teacher at Ogden High School. She has a long history of participating in Digital Teaching & Learning PD in Ogden. She is a Level 1 and Level 2 Google Certified Educator, has participated in our EdTech Endorsement program, and is both a face-to-face and online teacher. She consistently integrates technology into the learning for her students, both in the blended classroom and for her online learners.Jaci has always sought out innovative learning strategies to support her students. Before the pandemic, Jaci was one of the most diligent teachers at finding the best technology tools and employing them to positively impact student learning. She constantly ensured that the tech used in the classroom was furthering the learning and not getting in the way of objectives. This included tools like Canvas and Google during both in-person learning and our online classes. During the pandemic, Jaci has continued to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in authentic, digital ways. Creation and collaboration are core to the artifacts of learning she has students develop using technology. Throughout every activity and interaction, Jaci uses the technology to both deliver learning but also build relationships with students. Her personalized approach ensures that students are supported and valued, regardless of virtual or in-person learning. Way to go, Jaci!

Park City School District – Summer Marshall, 6-7, Ecker Hill Middle School, Park City

Summer Marshall began her educational career in Park City School District as a middle school English Language Arts teacher in 2004. As an early adopter and innovator of technology, she soon became equally as passionate about technology as ELA. When PCSD moved to 1:1, Summer became a natural choice as a technology coach and transitioned to that position in 2011. She understands the life of a classroom educator but also how the effective use of technology to enhance and transform learning. She has the respect of everyone she works with and is a valued leader in the school and district.

During the 2021-2022 school year Summer Marshall transitioned from middle school Technology Coach to a Computer Science Integration Coach. In this new role, she supports teachers as we transition from an isolated to integrated CS model. The additional support  allows us to ensure fidelity throughout the implementation process and lead to measurable student outcomes.

One of the most clear and present challenges when it comes to CS in the K-12 space is teacher capacity. Cultivating quality CS educators for our future computational thinkers is a daunting task. A level of comfort with CS instruction can be developed by focusing professional learning efforts on pedagogy and content knowledge. However, professional learning must consider the school schedule, as well as the time demands it may place on a teacher. This has become even more evident during the pandemic years. It is also important, especially given the content area, to create some hands-on experiences for teachers to help them with content delivery in the classroom. Taking all of this into account Summer is able to offer additional support through coaching to content area teachers as they begin integrating computational thinking concepts. This is truly embedded professional learning for our educators.

Piute School District – Robert Thomas, Math and Sciences at Piute High School, Junction

Robert has been teaching Math and Sciences at Piute High School since 2010.  He also has developed the Robotics Club.  Robert also served our country in the Air National Guard.
Robert is a great teacher with making sure students are prepared and ready for classes by utilizing technology for lessons and collaborations.

 

 

South Sanpete School District – Jeanne Brady, 6-12 Ephraim Middle School Ephraim

Jeanne started her teaching career in Dugway.  She found her way to South Sanpete School District at Ephraim Middle School in 1999.  She has been here ever since.  She loves teaching and middle school students.  She is the mother of three. Jeanne has used iPads to their fullest.  She has created interactive eBooks for students to be able to access lessons and quizzes within the iBooks.  She teaches CCA FACS and art.  She is willing to try new things and if she gets stuck, she reaches out, so that her classroom can be a place where students feel successful. Hands-on teaching of classes for FACS is difficult in a COVID/remote learning world and yet Jeanne makes it work, and is successful. 

Washington County School District – Jared Bringhurst Physics and Chemistry Team Teacher with Aria Hadley-Hulet, Desert Hills High School, St. George

Jared Brignhurst has  always strived to provide a challenging and supportive environment for their students and push them well beyond the expected levels of excellence. 

The last 3 years Jared and Aria  have been working on establishing evidence based grading practices by developing proficiency targets, and clearly reporting all learning to those targets with students and parents.  This practice has helped to transform the way their students view learning and how they know when they get there. Great clarity has been brought by connecting the purpose of “practice” and its effect on the “evidence of learning”.  For the 2022-23 school year, Jared and Aria have been working with their Principal, and other Lead Teachers, to start to transform the way the entire school reports learning.  They have also helped several other teams of teachers  across the district start to make the shift as well.  They have taken a concept that is difficult to apply at the High School level, and created a process that is shifting the thinking of teachers and the learning of students.  

Washington County School District – Aria Hadley-Hulet, Physics and Chemistry Team Teacher with Jared Bringhurst, Desert Hills High School, St. George

Aria Hadley-Hulet has  always strived to provide a challenging and supportive environment for their students and push them well beyond the expected levels of excellence. 

The last 3 years Aria and Jared have been working on establishing evidence based grading practices by developing proficiency targets, and clearly reporting all learning to those targets with students and parents.  This practice has helped to transform the way their students view learning and how they know when they get there. Great clarity has been brought by connecting the purpose of “practice” and its effect on the “evidence of learning”.  For the 2022-23 school year, Aria and Jared have been working with their Principal, and other Lead Teachers, to start to transform the way the entire school reports learning. They have also helped several other teams of teachers  across the district start to make the shift as well. They have taken a concept that is difficult to apply at the High School level, and created a process that is shifting the thinking of teachers and the learning of students.

Wayne School District – Samuel Sorber, 9-12, Wayne High School, Bicknell, UT

Sam recently came from industry to become a science teacher in Wayne School District. He has brought innovative thoughts and has been amazing at implementing technology to personalize learning for students. He has used digital content that allows students to learn at their own pace and work towards mastery of content. He has also worked to help the school purchase updated textbooks that include digital resources.

 

 

Charter and Private Schools

Channing Hall – Jeff Meyers, 7th-8th, Channing Hall, Draper

Jeff Meyers is the 7th and 8th Grade Science teacher here at Channing Hall. He was previously a High School Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science and Computer Science teacher.  He is also a proud combat veteran of the US Army who served in the mountains of Afghanistan. Jeff earned his BA at American Military University and his Masters in Education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Jeff lives with his wife Kimberly and his 5 children (Liam, Brennon, Brielle, Ethan and Logan), 4 of which currently attend Channing Hall. Jeff is passionate about igniting exploration and innovation in the field of science and engineering.

During covid-19, while online, hybrid, or all in person, Jeff provides his students with opportunities to grow, explore, design, question, and invent through his hands-on learning, technology rich classroom. Students are engaged in science simulations and are able to explore a world of learning only available through these simulations. Students are continually engaged in science and engineering by developing problem solving solutions to real world problems and creating  tangible products through designing and bringing to life through 3D printing. Pushing kids to explore outside of the classroom, many of Jeff’s students place in the regional science fairs and have gone on to state and national science fairs. He also mentors our technology teacher and builds important learning connections that can be used in life. Jeff also took ownership of the 8th grade trip to MOAB, where students can apply and explore concepts in the natural world and bring those lessons back to the classroom and life.

Gateway Preparatory Academy, Enoch – Melissa Dolan, 2-6th grades

Melissa Dolan is a long-time educator and innovator at Gateway Preparatory Academy. She has been working to meet the needs of students for many years, and uses new ideas and technologies to make math and science engaging! Mrs. Dolan has incorporated several new applications to ensure that students are engaged with math and science learning, and that we have data to show their progress. She seeks always to blend technology with hands-on learning, and to provide students with a concrete understanding of what they are learning.

 

GreenWood Charter School, Ogden – Kylie Peterson, Special Education, 4-8

Kylie has been teaching at GreenWood for 6 years. They have lived in Utah their entire life and currently reside in Layton with their partner, son, 2 dogs and cat. In their free time they enjoy working with resin, reading, and collecting houseplants.

They currently hold a degree in both Health Promotion and Education and are working toward their Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Design from Weber State University.  Kylie lives a plant-based lifestyle and loves everything that Greenwood stands for.

Kylie has led our school in learning how to use technology in the classroom.  She uses technology to reach kids both in the classroom and online.  She has been hybrid teaching for the past 2 years and helped her students grow even when they can’t be at school.  She uses Google Classroom, Nearpod, Kami, her iPad, SWIVL and several other apps and devices to engage kids in learning.  She creates ways to give feedback to students and opportunities for them to show what they know in all kinds of engaging ways.

Monticello Academy, Highbury, West Valley City – Rhonda Russell, 4th grade

Rhonda has worked at Monticello Academy for 7 years as a 2nd and 4th grade teacher. She is passionate about reading, technology and expanding students’ curiosity about the world. She doesn’t believe in traditional seating or fluorescent lights and her classroom is an oasis that all who enter have a hard time leaving. Rhonda is always looking for new ways to use the existing technology that she has in an innovative way. She became a Google whiz not only getting her teacher certifications but taking so many of their tips and tricks and ideas and putting them into practice. She helped streamline the work that her team had to do during covid to create google slides for the kids that were user friendly and appealing. At a time where there was so much confusion, having that sense of professionalism and care in the small details went a long way. Students were able to continue learning through the pandemic with her right there with them. She utilized zoom in ways that were inspiring- she didn’t just ‘run class’ but she stayed available. She gave them opportunities using zoom that still let them feel connected and part of a community. They were all there working away but they were still given the chance to be a class. She is always trying new pieces of technology with her students but is a big believer in modeling failure. She is often heard saying “well that didn’t work” and has tips and tricks for all of our staff members when they struggle. She is quiet in her knowledge and though quick to share is slow to shine.

Summit Academy, Draper – Erin Hughes, 6th grade

Erin is a 6th grade teacher at Summit Academy in Draper. She is the Draper campus STEM Facilitator and is also currently earning her ISTE Certification. Erin has shown magnificent leadership on her campus and is constantly looking for ways to grow and improve in her own classroom, support those she works with, share her new discoveries, and take time to teach what she learns to others. She is an excellent example to all around her of what innovative means.

Erin is very self-driven and has found ways to support, not only her classroom, but herself and the entire campus at Summit Academy-Draper. She found ways to keep activities going during COVID and created a virtual STEAM Night for all families at her school. Other successes include: presenting a STEM tip monthly in staff meetings to her colleagues and admin, incorporating STEM into her classroom for students who are present and virtual through the Common Lit program, providing modern projects that can be done virtually and in person, and uses EduProtocols aligned with the virtual tool of Socrative.com to engage her learners.

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