Awards and Nominations

  • Information

  • 2024


    UCET Outstanding Leader Award 

    This 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. 

    UCET24 Outstanding Leader – Melanie Durfee

    Achievement Specialist on the DT&L team at USBE

    Nominated by: Jim Stewart, Rick Gaisford, and Cory Stokes

    Melanie stands out as an exceptional leader in the field of educational technology. Over the past two decades, her dedication and expertise have significantly impacted how technology is used to enhance learning in Utah classrooms. Her journey began as a successful training specialist, teacher, and currently as an Achievement Specialist. Melanie possesses a deep understanding of educational technology and a remarkable ability to translate complex subjects into clear and accessible knowledge for educators.  Her decisions are driven by a genuine passion for the success of public education.

    Melanie’s leadership extends far beyond the classroom. She played a pivotal role in the development of the Regional Technology Trainer program, ensuring its continued success for years to come.  Additionally, she led the state-wide CyberCorps program, providing vital technology training to high school students.  Furthermore, Melanie actively promotes the Certified Educational Technology Leader Certification (CETL), both by obtaining the certification herself and by supporting others in achieving it. Melanie’s tireless work ethic and exceptional knowledge inspire all those who collaborate with her. She is a true champion for advancing the effective use of technology in Utah’s educational landscape.

    Melanie has many strengths. Two of her amazing abilities stand out. First, she constantly demonstrates the ability to bring people together to collaborate in furthering education through the infusion of technology in the classroom. For example, she has developed and led field trips and student technology fairs across multiple districts in the state for teachers and students to share, collaborate, and experience best practices for technology in the classroom. She always collaborates with students, teachers, and administrators across the state.

    A second amazing strength is her ability to analyze each situation with an understanding of how individuals are impacted. She is then frequently able to provide counseling and help to those she is working with. Through this ability and her willingness to engage, many of us have been positively influenced by her. 

    UCET Outstanding Coach Award 

    This award recognizes and honors an educational technology coach, library technology coach, instructional coach, or curriculum coach who has demonstrated outstanding coaching and leadership in implementing technology to support teachers to effectively use technology with students to engage them in learning, enhance learning with options that aren’t possible without the use of technology, and extend learning in ways that relate to the student’s real world and effectively meet their unique needs. 

    UCET24 Outstanding Coach – Toni Blattman

    Library Technology Coach, Granite School District, Kearns Jr. High

    Nominated by: Tricia Fenton, and Emma Sturdevant

    Toni’s dedication to teacher and student success is woven throughout the fabric of Kearns Junior High.  She tirelessly fulfills multiple roles: acting as a coach, mentor, and tech champion.

    As a coach, Toni observes classrooms, providing feedback on instruction, technology integration, and behavior management. She further supports teachers by facilitating data reflection in Professional Learning Communities and actively encouraging teachers to set goals and find solutions. Her commitment to coaching extends to mentoring first-year teachers, guiding them through school policies and various platforms.

    Toni spearheads the “Granite Champions Technology Challenge,” a program where she personally works with every teacher to establish technology goals, co-plan lessons, and observe implementation.  She fosters collaboration by hosting “Coaches Corner” at faculty meetings and actively shares resources through a monthly newsletter.  Her passion for technology extends to modeling its effective use for student engagement and learning assessment. Toni’s unwavering support and innovative spirit make her a true asset to the Kearns Junior High community.

    UCET Cache Valley Electric Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award 

    This award recognizes and honors a network technician, administrator, engineer, or systems operations specialist – someone who is essential to the education system, but is rarely seen or known about.

    UCET24 Cache Valley Electric Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award – Scott Harpster

    Systems Engineer, Southwest Educational Development Center

    Nominated by: Clint Stephens, UCET Past President

    Scott Harpster exemplifies excellence in leveraging technology to transform education, leaving a significant and positive impact on educational communities across local, regional, and statewide levels. As the engineer behind the implementation and maintenance of the open-source Library Management System, Koha, Scott has revolutionized the landscape of educational resource management in the Southwest Educational Development Center (SEDC) region, benefiting over 60,000 students across more than 100 Local Education Agencies (LEAs).

    Scott’s commitment extends beyond technical prowess; he actively involves the community in his initiatives, fostering partnerships with stakeholders to advance the integration of technology in education. In addition to his many other projects and initiatives, his collaboration with librarians to update and overhaul Koha demonstrates a profound understanding of the evolving needs within educational settings, resulting in improved access for students, streamlined workflows for librarians, and compliance with legislative mandates.

    Under Scott’s stewardship, the quality of education and work experience within educational institutions has been significantly elevated. With SEDC providing Koha’s services at no additional cost, as well as coordinating several cooperative consortium purchases, Scott has helped save districts and charter schools thousands of dollars annually, enabling them to allocate resources more effectively towards enhancing the learning experience for students.

    Scott’s dedication to professional development is evident through his active participation in conferences, seminars, and workshops. He shares his expertise generously, presenting at events such as Saintcon, TCC, Southern Utah Media Specialists (SUMS) Conference, and leading our monthly technology director’s group. His contributions extend statewide, where initiatives like Eduroam, Aspire & SIS integration, and efforts to improve broadband connectivity have catalyzed progress in education technology.

    Scott Harpster’s tireless dedication and innovative approach to technology integration have left an indelible mark on education, enriching the lives of students and educators alike. He certainly flies under the radar most of the time, which he prefers, but he is completely deserving of this award. His unwavering commitment to excellence and community engagement make him a deserving candidate for recognition.

    ISTE Making It Happen Award 

    This 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.

    Award recipients are educators who move forward and don’t look back, see students as real people, use technology in innovative ways to support learning goals, teach through relationships – inspiring, encouraging and nurturing. These educators also recognize that further change is necessary, but understand that it’s a process, realize that teacher empowerment is key to transforming learning, motivate through awareness and access to information, and expect success.

    UCET24 ISTE Making It Happen – Pam Turley

    Department Lead and Digital Coach, Nebo School District

    Nominated by: Charles Hanosek, Digital Coach, Nebo School District

    Nominating Pam Turley for this esteemed award is a privilege, as her illustrious career spanning 17 years within the Nebo School District has left an indelible mark on the landscape of educational technology. Initially embarking on her journey as a Science teacher in California, Pam faced formidable challenges without textbooks or conventional resources. Undeterred by the absence of modern aids like the internet or AI, she displayed unparalleled creativity, seamlessly integrating real-world experiences into her curriculum. Her ability to adapt and innovate, transforming impromptu encounters with critters into valuable learning opportunities, exemplifies her dedication to education.

    Despite taking a hiatus to fulfill her role as a devoted mother, Pam’s passion for teaching and technology remained undiminished. Upon returning to the classroom, she pursued a master’s degree in instructional design, emphasizing technology—a testament to her unwavering commitment to professional growth and excellence. Joining the Nebo School District as a Technology Curriculum Specialist in 2007, Pam embarked on a pioneering journey alongside Cory Little, crafting a vision for technology integration where none existed before.

    Together, they navigated uncharted territory, pioneering initiatives to equip classrooms with cutting-edge technology and empower educators with essential skills. Through collaborative efforts, Pam facilitated the procurement of grants and resources, revolutionizing teaching practices and enriching learning experiences across the district. Her instrumental role in introducing groundbreaking tools like document cameras, projectors, and laptops underscores her visionary leadership and foresight.

    Beyond the confines of her district, Pam’s influence extended statewide, fostering partnerships and alliances to advance educational technology in Utah. Her contributions to professional development, curriculum design, and technology integration have been recognized and sought after, earning her accolades as a respected educator and leader in her field.

    As an educator, Pam’s impact transcends traditional boundaries, extending to higher education institutions like UVU, where she imparts her expertise to aspiring educators. Her dedication to nurturing the next generation of technologically proficient teachers is exemplified by her tireless efforts in mentoring and coaching digital coaches within the Nebo School District.

    Pam’s commitment to advancing educational technology is further evidenced by her active involvement in professional associations like UCET, where she has served in various capacities, including president. Her unwavering dedication to lifelong learning and knowledge sharing is exemplified by her regular participation in conferences like ISTE, where she continues to stay abreast of the latest trends and innovations.

    In recognition of her transformative impact on education and unwavering dedication to the advancement of educational technology, Pam Turley is eminently deserving of this prestigious award. Her visionary leadership, innovative spirit, and steadfast commitment to excellence serve as an inspiration to educators everywhere, leaving an indelible legacy that will continue to shape the future of education for generations to come.


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

    Alpine School District – Vennie Della Cioppa

    10-12, Timpanogos High School, Orem

    Vennie consistently demonstrates a visionary approach to instruction, fostering innovative ways to connect and facilitate learning experiences. Her involvement in the TSA Club, Robotics Club, Advanced Programming, Esports Team, CyberPatriot team, and role as the Alpine School District Advanced IT Team Lead showcases her versatile leadership skills. Vennie’s dedication to exploring new methods of instruction and her commitment to creating a collaborative learning environment for all CS/IT students in the District make her an invaluable asset to any educational setting.

    Throughout the current academic year, Vennie Della Cioppa has showcased an exemplary commitment to leveraging technology for the benefit of student learning. Her role as the Alpine School District Advanced IT Team Lead speaks to her expertise in implementing innovative technological solutions. Vennie has consistently demonstrated effective use of technology in various capacities, from enhancing the learning experience in Advanced Programming to leveraging digital platforms for the Esports Team. Moreover, her creative integration of robots as teaching tools in the Robotics Club stands out as a prime example of hands-on, experiential learning. This unique approach not only makes programming more tangible and engaging for students but also instills a practical understanding of technology. Her adept integration of technology not only facilitates a more engaging and interactive learning environment but also equips students with valuable skills for the digital age. Vennie’s forward-thinking approach to education, as evidenced in her involvement with the CyberPatriot team, underscores her dedication to preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the modern technological landscape.

    Beehive Science & Technology – Jimmy Newell

    5th, Beehive Science & Technology-Elementary, Sandy

    Jimmy is an excellent teacher who excels at creating innovative and fun project based learning for his students. His focus is Math and Science and he makes his students love to learn. He brings in so many wonderful hands-on experiences so that students learn self-efficacy and grow in large leaps.

    Jimmy consistently finds and learns new technology to increase research and deeper meaning learning in his classroom. Currently, he is working on a hydroponics garden project with not only his own class, but also with 3rd and 4th grade. He is our go to for data implementation as well as training for our online Math program. 

    Box Elder – Brian Whitney

    10, Box Elder High School, Brigham City

    Brian started teaching three years ago after another successful career.  Since he has been in Box Elder School District he has taught 10th grade Language Arts.  Brian has brought a love and excitement to the ELA department that has created change and growth.

    Brian is part of the PCBL group in Box Elder.  He has found ways to give students choice in his classroom by providing self-paced lessons through the use of technology.  He has also created a platform where students can show competency through individual student strengths.  Brian has also learned the ins and outs of our online curriculum and now is used as a trainer in our district when other teachers have questions of how to use the curriculum.

    Cache County School District – Julie Kaster

    10, Sky View High School, Smithfield

    Julie is a secondary ELA teacher who is also a part of our Digital Teaching and Learning team. She is a member of the Utah GEG team. Julie has been involved with utilizing technology in the classroom for several years. 

    Julie leads the efforts of technology integration in her school and is always looking for ways to assist other teachers. This year she has been using software that promotes creativity in her classroom so that she can improve student learning. She is always looking for creative ways to enhance her ELA curriculum.

    Davis School District – Valerie Burgoyne

    7-12, Davis Connect 7-12, Layton

    Valerie exemplifies innovative technology use to propel student learning.  A leader in this area, she champions initiatives that leverage technology to demonstrably improve educational outcomes.

    Her effectiveness is rooted in her understanding of each student. Valerie tailors her tech-infused lessons to individual needs and preferences, maximizing engagement and relevance.  Her high-quality content captivates students, fostering a dynamic learning environment that encourages active participation.  Moreover, Valerie’s commitment to growth is evident in her pursuit of new tools and her willingness to experiment. This fearless approach keeps lessons fresh and pushes the boundaries of conventional methods, resulting in impactful learning experiences.  By combining tech leadership with strong relationships, engaging content, and a growth mindset, Valerie has become a true trailblazer in digital pedagogy.

    Garfield School District – Samie Ott

    5th grade, Bryce Valley Elementary School, Tropic

    Mrs. Samie Ott has effectively elevated the educational journey by seamlessly blending computer science methods with the curriculum and digital resources. Her innovative approach involves incorporating interactive simulations and cutting-edge tools, catering to diverse student needs, and enhancing the overall learning experience. Through this strategic integration of technology, Samie has made a significant and positive impact in the classroom. Students benefit from a dynamic and engaging learning environment that fosters deeper understanding and active participation. Samie’s commitment to leveraging computer science for educational advancement marks her as a pioneering educator, leaving an enduring mark on the positive influence of technology in the realm of learning.

    It’s clear that Samie has demonstrated exceptional innovation in education by seamlessly integrating computer science methods and digital resources into the curriculum. Her approach, which involves incorporating interactive simulations and cutting-edge tools, shows a commitment to providing a dynamic and engaging learning environment for students. Her use of technology has positively impacted student learning by encouraging deeper understanding and active participation in the classroom.

    Granite School District – Whitney Watson

    4th, Academy Park Elementary, West Valley City

    Whitney Watson has been teaching elementary school for 10 years, predominantly in 4th Grade. Whitney is both a grade level and a school leader. She has taken the lead of our Hydroponics Lab and has spearheaded quarterly challenges for our entire school. Whitney has a gift for organizing with the big picture in mind while taking care of all the little details that lead up to it.

    Whitney Watson is a 4th Grade teacher at Academy Park Elementary in West Valley City. She excels as an educator and uses technology masterfully in her classroom. Recently, each of her students published podcasts they shared with parents and families. Whitney skillfully incorporates new tech into her everyday teaching. Students in her classroom use their chrome books regularly to engage with assignments and interact with the world around them.

    She takes on new challenges and is willing to help colleagues to try new things and mentor them with other tools. 

    Iron County School District – Megan Meachum

    5th Grade, Enoch Elementary, Enoch, UT

    Megan is always looking for new and better ways to engage and empower her students. She has spent countless hours creating content in Canvas, has become a distinguished educator for Modern Classrooms and has been awarded many district micro-credentials in personalized competency based education and more. She is a rock star and I am glad we can recognize her hard work on behalf of students.

    She has created self-paced units for her students on Canvas in math and science and provides mastery based assessments. She is working hard to personalize her instruction and target it to the needs of her students.

    Juab School District – Kayla Goodman

    9-12, Juab High School, Nephi, Utah

    Kayla has taught Family and Consumer Science at Juab High School since 2015. Kayla teaches a range of CTE courses, including Foods/Culinary, Child Development, and Sewing. 

    She loves to work with teenagers and help them become resilient and self-sufficient. She believes that people are not their circumstances, so every student/person can learn in a way that is meaningful to them. She considers herself a “learning teacher” and is always trying to improve both inside and outside the classroom.

    In 2021 Kayla became a teacher-leader, specializing in Flexible Tools and Content. Students in her classroom benefit from her use of blended learning. By using technology as a tool for everyday instruction, Kayla can move around her classes and form relationships and meet each student where they are. Kayla completed the Modern Classrooms Project micro-credential and course and is working toward her Distinguished Modern Classrooms Educator credential. She enjoys using what she has learned to help other teachers lighten their workloads and better meet the needs of students.

    Jordan School District – Graham Bany

    10-12, Valley High School, South Jordan

    Graham Bany is an ELA/ESL teacher and digital technology coach at Valley High School in Jordan School District where he has been teaching for five years. As a classroom teacher, he has worked with students of all ability levels in almost every secondary grade level ranging from credit recovery summer school courses, honors classes, and as a Special Olympics coach.

    Graham is the definition of a ‘students first’ educator. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help his students learn and succeed. He jumped at that chance to donate his time during the summer to participate in a pilot, testing out an AI program that supports teachers and students. He went beyond what was expected, and began to use the AI program to revolutionize what was being done in his classroom. He has been unyielding in his determination to use the platform to meet every student’s needs. He has developed an expertise for AI prompting and blending AI chatbots into his lesson plans. He collaborates with district leaders to support the use of AI in the district and state. 

    Not only does his knowledge benefit his classroom and his students, he is eager and willing to teach any teacher about AI and how they can leverage it in their classrooms. He spends hours supporting and guiding teachers in his own building, and also drives to any school that asks to conduct training and workshops. Every teacher leaves a meeting with him feeling empowered, and excited to implement AI in new and exciting ways. He is a tech leader in his school, and a safe place for teachers to learn. 

    Logan City School District – Erin Dimond 

    4th, Wilson, Logan

    Erin Dimond, a seasoned educator with Logan City School District since 2012, boasts a diverse teaching background across various grade levels. Having taught first, second, and fifth grade literacy enrichment and extension, she brings a wealth of experience to her current role as a 4th-grade teacher. Erin is well-versed in educational methodologies such as Response to Intervention, Thinking Maps, Rigorous Reading, and Engagement by Design. Her extensive teaching journey reflects a commitment to fostering enriched learning experiences and staying at the forefront of innovative pedagogical approaches.

    Erin demonstrates a perfect balance of using good teaching practices and an updated and purposeful amount of technology. As she adapts to the new AI world she has grasped AI as a teacher assistant saving her time and helping her prepare lessons and as a student tutor which helps her reach each kid where they are. 

    Millard School District – Julianne Johnson

    SPED, Fillmore Middle School, Fillmore

    Julianne Johnson is a dedicated and compassionate Special Education teacher who has been busy shaping young minds at Fillmore Middle School. With a passion for inclusive education and a commitment to understanding the unique needs of each student, Julianne has become a valued member of the school. Julianne’s colleagues and students admire her for her unwavering dedication, patience, and ability to inspire. Her contribution to the field of special education extends beyond the classroom, making her a cherished educator and mentor in her community.

    Julianne has demonstrated exceptional skill in harnessing technology to enhance student learning, particularly in her role as a Special Education teacher. Her innovative use of interactive and game-based applications has been a game changer in her classroom. These tools have not only made learning more engaging and fun for her students but have also been instrumental in catering to a variety of learning styles and needs. Julianne has adeptly integrated these applications into her curriculum, ensuring that each student is both challenged and supported in their learning journey. Moreover, her use of assistive technology has been pivotal in ensuring that all students, regardless of their individual needs, have equal access to learning opportunities. This has included text-to-speech software, audio books, and customized learning programs, which have significantly improved the academic experiences of her students. Her efforts reflect a deep understanding of the transformative power of technology in education, particularly in the realm of special education.

    Mountain Heights Academy – Sara Layton

    12th grade, Mountain Heights Academy

    Sara Layton joined Mountain Heights Academy in 2010, where she created and designed multiple courses. She currently teaches English 12 and 2010, a concurrent enrollment course. She earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English and holds a secondary teaching license. Sara has a depth and breadth of experience, including consulting with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management (ISKME) in Education, serving as the American Board Teacher of the Year from Utah in 2015, winning a PBIS Digital Innovator award in 2017, and a sitting as a National Humanities Center Teacher Advisory Council member in 2018. 

    Sara has demonstrated exceptional dedication and innovation in integrating AI into her English courses. Her pioneering efforts as one of the first teachers to pilot AI in concurrent enrollment courses have provided invaluable insights to the AI Action Research Committee. Sara’s proactive engagement and reflection showcase her commitment to enhancing AI implementation in education. Her constructive feedback contributes significantly to the ongoing improvement of AI integration on both course and school-wide levels. Additionally, her collaborative efforts in preparing a presentation for the faculty exemplify her enthusiasm to inspire and involve fellow educators in embracing AI technologies.

    Nebo School District – Sam McGrath

    Payson High School, Payson, Utah

    Sam McGrath has a Master’s degree in education and has been teaching English in the Nebo School District for 10 years. He loves stories of any kind, whether from books, movies, podcasts, or even games, and is excited about what is happening in the world of AI right now. As a teacher, he has always tried to motivate students by making learning relevant and enjoyable, and loves trying new ideas in the classroom that will help him attain that goal.

    Sam routinely looks for ways to deepen student learning by having his students create using technology.  His enthusiasm and willingness to explore and try new things have inspired both students and colleagues. Sam’s pioneering spirit in integrating generative AI into the classroom has truly set him apart as a forward-thinking educator.

    North Sanpete School District – Bryan Holder

    9-12, North Sanpete High School, Mount Pleasant

    Bryan Holder is a secondary science teacher that strives to engage his students in learning through meaningful application of science practices. He teaches various subjects in science (Biology, Human Anatomy, Zoology, Genetics), but also heads up the high school’s competitive robotics club and Upward Bound programs. He has also dedicated time to improving the way the Utah Science Core is taught with other teachers across the state. 

    Bryan is really good at getting students to explore science concepts and ideas through the use of technology. Students express their learning through various multimedia applications. He has had students use stop motion to show molecules moving and DNA replication, video and slide presentations, and even some VR/AR interactive assignments, among others. 

    Ogden School District – Amber Davis

    7-9, Mound Fort Jr. High, Ogden

    Amber’s journey in education is as unique as her approach.  After years in special education, she transitioned to a challenging yet rewarding role: teaching in a behavioral unit.  Her background in animal training, coupled with immense patience and dedication, allows her to connect deeply with her students.

    Technology plays a vital role in Amber’s classroom. Recognizing her students’ creativity, she utilizes tools like Canva and Adobe Express to provide a safe space for self-expression.  She even introduces them to AI features, fostering a love for exploration.  Furthermore, Amber embraces new resources like Sphero robots, encouraging teamwork and critical thinking through collaborative coding activities.  These are just a few examples of how Amber seamlessly integrates technology to equip her students with essential life skills.  Driven by a genuine passion for her students and a constant desire to empower them, Amber ensures technology becomes a tool for success, not just in the classroom, but throughout their lives.

    Piute County School District – Priscilla Morgan

    High School Junction, Utah

    Priscilla was brought onto the teaching staff for Piute High School at the time of the pandemic.  She brings an enthusiasm to the classroom that is very engaging and inspiring to her students.  She graduated from Piute High School and with being an alumnus she brings the experience and knowledge needed to help the students of today learn valuable skills and techniques needed for today’s technological needs.  

    Priscilla is always pushing the envelope bringing new concepts and is never afraid to try something new and innovative.  She is always collaborating with fellow state teachers looking for new ways to bring the technology needed to the classroom.

    Salt Lake City School District – Kenan Brown

    Grades 7/8, Clayton Middle, Salt Lake City

    Kenan’s educational journey, spanning across the US, has ignited his passion for technology-driven learning.  His commitment started with a thorough exploration of the Microsoft Office suite, enabling him to craft interactive lessons.  This passion continued as he moved to Salt Lake City, where he has consistently expanded his digital classroom year after year.

    A cornerstone of Kenan’s approach is the complete digitization of assignments in Canvas.  This ensures uninterrupted learning even for absent students.  He not only provides downloadable materials but also embeds files to prevent lost work, while features like Student Annotations allow direct document editing.  Innovation extends beyond, with Kenan utilizing video platforms like Loom for model lessons and incorporating various applications like Nearpod, Newsela, and YouTube to enrich the learning experience.

    The positive impact is evident.  Digitizing lessons prevents students from falling behind due to absences, potentially saving them from significant grade drops.  Moreover, technology-aided reading tools within Canvas and other platforms have contributed to a rise in students’ reading scores.  Kenan’s dedication to digital learning empowers his students and demonstrably enhances their academic success.

    South Sanpete School District – Jordann Vaha

    9-12, Manti High School, Manti

    Jordann boasts an impressive 11-year tenure as a Secondary Language Arts educator. A proud alumna of Manti High School, she felt a deep calling to return and contribute to the community that played a crucial role in her own learning and growth. Holding a teaching degree from Southern Utah University and a Masters from Western Governors University, Jordann exemplifies her dedication to academic excellence. Beyond her professional achievements, she is happily married and is the proud parent of three children.

    Jordann is consistently driven to enhance technology integration in her classroom. Demonstrating a remarkable ability to adapt lesson plans, she seamlessly incorporates a variety of resources. Her approach encourages students to unleash their creativity while completing assignments. Known for her unwavering determination, Jordann persists until solutions are found, making her a reliable problem solver in her building. As an Apple Teacher and the designated lead for Canvas in her school, she has become the go-to person for tech-related challenges, showcasing her expertise and leadership in educational technology.

  • 2023


    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. 

    UCET23 Outstanding Leader – Darren Draper

    Director of Innovative Learning, Alpine School District

    Nominated by: Blaine Edman, Molly Chew, Melanie Hall and Camille Zollinger

    As the Director of Innovative Learning in Alpine School District, Dr. Darren Draper has been the district’s catalyst for innovation. He has spearheaded leveraging technology among teachers, benefiting thousands of students at the elementary and secondary levels. Dr. Draper has a vision of the impact of blending technology with best teaching practices and continually strives to offer professional learning opportunities to teachers within the district. He has led the Innovative Learning team in their pursuit to offer District Supported Solutions to teachers and students within the district. Additionally, he actively builds the capacity of the Innovative Learning Coaches he directs to increase their abilities to coach teachers at school sites and impact student learning. 

    Further, Dr. Draper is an educational leader statewide in regard to educational technology. He hosts and attends events such as C-Forum, presents at UCET, and actively contributes to collaborative communication to problem-solve issues districts throughout the state are encountering. He has a vision for education communities across the state to share best-technology practices, learn from one another, and ultimately enhance teaching and learning in schools. Darren Draper demonstrates his ability to develop a systemic plan aligned with shared vision for our large school district regularly. He researches the best digital supported solutions and resources for our schools to effectively utilize. He has been an integral part in continuously improving his professional practices but also ours as Innovative Learning Coaches. He exhibits constructive engagement and cohesive partnerships. He values independent voices, while balancing his own independent voice and positive authoritative support.

    Dr. Darren Draper is a remarkable example of the mission and purpose of UCET. He has been a leader in the promotion of Educational Technology in Utah for several decades and has influenced many thousands of educators. He has hired, supervised, supported, trained, and helped many of the past and present members of the UCET board as well as many of our USBE leadership. He is a connector for individuals from different entities, districts, and organizations across the state and has influenced many UCET participants and members in Alpine, Canyons, Jordan, and other districts.  

    UCET Outstanding Coach Award recognizes and honors an educational technology coach, library technology coach, instructional coach, or curriculum coach who has demonstrated outstanding coaching and leadership in implementing technology to support teachers to effectively use technology with students to engage them in learning, enhance learning with options that aren’t possible without the use of technology, and extend learning in ways that relate to the student’s real world and effectively meet their unique needs. 

    UCET23 Outstanding Coach – Bekah Jones

    Instructional Coach, Uintah School District-Uintah High School

    Nominated by: Machele, Christy, Tawna, Instructional Coach, UHS Principal, Uintah School District, Uintah High School

    Bekah Jones is a dynamic instructional coach and leader whose talents have enriched the lives of countless educators and students across Uintah School District. Bekah builds relationships and genuinely cares about others, she listens to understand and knows how to build trust, and Bekah is a technology titan. In the Uintah School District, the instructional coaching priority is supporting and mentoring provisional teachers. To best meet the needs of our new teachers Bekah created a District-wide mentoring course called PEAKS. This tool has been a successful way for our new teachers to meet expectations, have mastery experiences, and monitor their progress toward licensure. Additionally, it helps teachers in the APPEL program meet their requirements. 

    Jones also served on a district task force responsible for overseeing the adoption and implementation of the Canvas platform at the outset of the pandemic. She played an integral role in helping teachers complete a Canvas orientation course designed by the district to teach educators how to navigate the platform, create and publish courses, and develop proficiency with the technology. Bekah’s technology acumen is diverse.  She is the resident expert of SWIVL, Go React, Nearpod, Aspire Plus, State Benchmarks, and many other technology tools. 

    Bekah’s influence at Uintah High School helped us achieve double-digit growth in many areas on the Utah Aspire Plus Assessment.  She facilitated the use of benchmarks and helped teachers analyze data to inform and adjust instruction. She helped set up ACT prep courses and taught teachers how to use Utah Aspire Plus data to implement the use of complex text and improve rigor.

    Bekah’s impact is far-reaching and powerful. She has changed instructional practices District-wide, has supported and inspired provisional teachers on their journey to licensure, has helped move an entire District toward the use of a common LMS, teaches PD, and supports all educators and learners.

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

    UCET23 Cache Valley Electric Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award – BJ Peterson

    CUES Regional Network Engineer

    Nominated by: Paul James, Technology Director, Piute County School District

    Byron or as everyone knows him by BJ is the person who is responsible for many of the things that are in use today throughout the state.  Byron has been working at CUES since the late 1990’s. He spends hours upon hours in the systems needed for the school districts. He runs services at his office to allow the school districts central locations for servers to backup districts and also run financial software and systems used regionally. He is an amazing person and is more knowledgeable than anyone working currently in the school systems. Byron is an essential part of the district in the CUES region for making sure all the schools design and deploy the networks to maximize the resources needed for the needs of today’s student learners. He has the students in mind for every decision he makes and tries to keep all the districts on the cutting edge of best technology practices and deployments. Byron was involved in the very beginning of Utah’s Ednet system. BJ is the leader that is the exact copy of what this award is all about. He has spent the majority of his life providing the support and forethought of how schools should do the things with technology to provide the best possible example of what technology for learning should all be about. I know that without BJ and his knowledge and expertise I could not do my job at Piute. I know people from all over the state rely on BJ and his vast knowledge to keep things running for all schools.  Byron also volunteers his time to coaching soccer in his spare time at South Sevier High School.  He is an all-around asset to the schools and communities.

    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.

    UCET23 ISTE Making It Happen – Robert (Bob) Potts

    Education Technology Specialist for the Southeast Education Service Center (SESC).

    Robert (Bob) Potts supported Utah’s rural school districts and state-wide committees as an Education Technology Specialist for the Southeast Education Service Center. As a Technology Specialist, Bob had the opportunities to act as a technology communication conduit between the Utah Rural Schools Association, the Regional Technology Advisory Committee, Utah Education and Telehealth Network, Utah State Board of Education, and the Consortium for School Networking where he earned his Certified Education Technology Leader certification. Robert was responsible for organizing the Utah Technology Coordinators Council, and the Utah Winter Tech Retreat. He was dedicated to helping rural schools in Utah gain equity when it comes to education. Bob’s untimely passing in June, 2022 deeply impacted those who depended on his resources and support.

    Bob was proud of his community and was well known throughout Carbon County and Price, Utah, where he was born and raised. He supported the College of Eastern Utah and later Utah State University Eastern’s athletic programs as the university’s Game Management Director. Bob also volunteered for the Price City Fire Department and Hazmat Department for over 20 years.


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

    Alpine School District – Portia Ames, 2nd Grade, Greenwood Elementary, American Fork

    Portia Ames is an energetic and highly skilled second grade teacher from Greenwood Elementary in American Fork, Utah. She is highly collaborative and always willing to go the extra mile to be able to meet the needs of her students and fellow teacher team members. Every school needs a Portia Ames, as she always brightens every meeting, lesson, and day!

    Portia implemented blended teaching and learning with a few members of her team last year to improve literacy instruction. This year she helped to bring the entire team on board.  Currently, they have a team goal to implement self-paced Nearpod lessons for student practice days in math, so that teachers can pull together small student groups for specific instruction while the rest of the class receives feedback through Nearpod lessons. She is always looking for and coming up with other innovative ideas to implement in her classroom.

    Alpine School District – Jonathan Lindberg, Life Skills (Special Education), Lehi Junior High School

    Jon has been involved in human services for the past thirty years, the last eighteen of which have been as the small group life skills teacher at Lehi Jr. High in Alpine School District.  If Jon is not buried in paperwork, creating spreadsheets to streamline his work, or finding unique technological approaches to instruct his students, you can find him in his kitchen cooking, on a trail with his son exploring Utah’s mountains and deserts, or bouncing along a dirt road in his Jeep.

    Jon Lindberg is an innovative and inclusive teacher-leader in the Alpine School District and in the field of Special Education. This past summer, Jon spent his free time identifying and creating a solution for data collection, which has been tedious and time-consuming in the past. Not only did Jon use these resources with his students, but he also shared them with every Special Education educator in his district. This innovation has the potential to optimize data collection, increase teacher productivity, and simplify learning gaps for students with disabilities. His district and students are fortunate to have him on their team.

    Beaver School District – Patricia Stewart, 5th and 6th, Milford Elementary 

    Patricia Stewart is the 5th and 6th grade expert teacher when it comes to Science and Social Studies at Milford Elementary. Patricia wears many hats in our small district. She is continually improving her craft and has really “latched” onto using technology inside her classroom. She is not afraid to try anything out and is definitely not a quitter. She understands how technology can improve teachers’ efficiency and increase student engagement. She is an expert at Canvas, Nearpod, Google, and coding.

    Mrs. Stewart is using a model where students work through their assignments at their own pace.  Each unit is filled with videos from herself teaching to YouTube to pretty much any educational platform.  Students are given small snippets at a time so they stay engaged.

    Box Elder School District – Tom Little, 5th grade, Lakeview Elementary, Brigham City

    Tom has been teaching for 16 years.  He has taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.  He has evolved into a solid foundation at his school that teachers can turn to when looking for new and engaging strategies to teach.

    Tom has been working with a blended classroom to help students learn how to engage with computers and learning.  He has changed his classroom into a place where students can learn at their pace and gain as much knowledge as they want.  By changing his classroom, he has more time to intervene with students who need additional help or need an adult to listen to them.  He puts in extra time creating engaging lessons using Canvas, Nearpod, Lucid, and Scratch.  I recently found a training video from Lucid where Tom was sharing how he uses Lucid for the whole world to see.

    Cache County School District – Alison Ence, 9-12, Green Canyon High School, North Logan

    Alison has been teaching for nearly 10 years. She started out teaching Business and Marketing classes, but with a background in web design, wanted to change course and now teaches Computer Science classes at Green Canyon High School in North Logan, Utah. Teaching is her passion; she loves helping young minds grow.

    Alison is a leader of innovation and technology at Green Canyon. She collaborates with her administration to provide monthly trainings on effective use of technology in the classroom. She is always coming up with great ideas to engage teachers in learning how to utilize technology in her school. She is always researching and providing top quality professional learning for everyone at Green Canyon.

    Canyons School District – Jakob Swanson, High School, Jordan High, Sandy

    As part of his progressive nature, Jakob has added an AVID class to his schedule that motivates students to embrace college and career readiness. He is able to guide students through deep dives into ACT preparedness, and he helps his students find enjoyment and satisfaction from their accomplishments. On a regular basis, Jakob is able to identify students who need more instruction and then willingly gives of his time to re-teach and tutor these students until they have reached their goals.

    Jakob has been extremely influential in the success of the math department and the resulting positive reception from the community and students is due to his excellent leadership skills and his love of teaching. Perhaps Jakob’s most powerful trait as an educator is his ability to connect with his students. He inspires in them a passion for learning and a vision of their future adult lives that are founded on the important life skills he is teaching and modeling for them now. Jakob will have a long-lasting, positive impact on students’ math understanding, but more importantly he’s teaching students how to be better people.

    Davis School District – Adam Sturm, 8th grade, Shoreline Jr High, Layton

    Adam Sturm grew up in Star Valley, Wyoming. He then completed his bachelor’s degree in history education. Adam then went to Weber State University and completed his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. This is his 9th year of teaching in the Davis School district and his current assignment is teaching Civics, and US History 1 at Shoreline Jr High School. Adam has won the Best of Davis Award and has a huge love the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Adam has been part of our Leading Edge cohort that is for teacher leaders effectively using technology in the classroom. Adam is a Microsoft Innovative Educator and is a team lead for Social Studies within Davis school district. With a focus on learning and student growth Adam uses technology to enhance the learning experience for each and every student. Adam focuses on creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration with assignments and projects, using technology as a way to elevate what can be done with student work. Adam is also a great leader, always willing to share and learn with colleagues at the school or within the district. 

    Garfield School District – Beth Christensen, 4th grade, Escalante Elementary, Garfield

    Beth is the GCSD Innovator teacher of the year. She is an exemplary teacher: polite, creative, innovative, professional, and prepared. Beth has changed many lives in her classroom. Her dedication to innovative ideas in her class has been going on for many years.  She has been an educator for 36 years. 

    Beth changes the mindset, mood, and overall classroom setting to deliver and make the classroom more innovative. She thinks about her students as leaders, creatives, and inventors, too. She acts as a guide rather than teaching content and asking students to spill out information on a standardized test.

    This year, GCSD’s new Computer Science program, she was able to integrate several lessons using a CS/Tech tool named Makey Makey. With her inspiration and dedication to the projects, the students learned how to use computational thinking skills to problem solve, code, and analyze data from testing solutions by designing a device that converts energy from one form to another. In another lesson they created a piano using PlayDough that was programmed to play sound, also they designed a cardboard cutout guitar using tempera paint sticks. They use black lights that really popped under the lights. Students used Scratch coding to program the music for their guitars that were hooked up to their Makey Makey tool. 

    Granite School District – Tammy Curtis, 3rd grade, Hunter Elementary School, West Valley City

    Tammy Curtis is a very experienced teacher and is inspiring in her use of technology in her classroom. Uniquely, she has her technology endorsement and is one of the frontrunning technology users at the elementary school. She is using stop motion animation, Canvas, Pixel Art, Smart Boards, and so many other wonderful technology tools that enable her to engage and teach her students.

    Tammy is a master at identifying and utilizing new technology in her classroom. She has obtained many tech tools in an effort to enhance learning and help students to engage with technology in ways that are beneficial to their learning. She recently acquired Hue cameras which allow her and her students to animate math concepts, like arrays, in a way that helps students to animate, conceptualize, and interact with math in a new way. Additionally, she has found a fun mystery math program, using excel and Google Sheets, that allows the students to fill in a mystery picture by answering math questions! This is available on paper, but I have never seen it used on a Chromebook. These are just two of many ways that she is using technology in the classroom. Every time I go in her room, I learn something more and she is more than willing to teach and share so she can benefit as many students as she can.

    Iron County School District – Angela Harker, 4th Grade; Escalante Valley Elementary, Beryl

    Angela is the 4th grade teacher at Escalante Valley Elementary in Beryl, Utah. She has taught 4th grade for 7 years, but has worked at  EValley for 14 years total. She grew up in Northern Arizona and has lived in Utah most of her life. She has a wonderful husband and two amazing boys, who have grown to be outstanding young men. Angela and her husband own and operate a farm in Beryl, but Angela’s path has primarily been focused on teaching and furthering her education. She always knew that becoming a teacher would be in her future. Angela has earned a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, along with an ESL and EdTech endorsement. Angela is looking forward to many more years as an educator.

    Angela uses technology in her classroom to enhance learning in many ways, but she knows she has barely begun to skim the surface of what technology she can incorporate into her classroom. Angela is grateful to have one-to-one chromebooks and a class set of iPads. She uses an AppleTV an iPad for teaching the bulk of her lessons. She uses many different apps and programs to make her teaching life easier and organize the plethora of data that accumulates sin a classroom. Some of the programs she uses  are: MasteryConnect, Canvas, Planbook, Google Classroom, and Nearpod. Some of her favorite programs to use with students are iReady Reading and Math, Studies Weekly, Kahoot, and her new favorite Infini-D. She really enjoys the adaptive programs, such as iReady, that focus on the individual needs of the students. Her class also uses iMovie, green screen, MakeyMakey, Digital Breakouts, and Adobe Spark to complete various projects in Angela’s class each year. Angela loves to see the spark in her students’ eyes when learning is hands on, engaging, and fun; using technology is one of the tools that helps accomplish that spark.

    Angela’s principal, Allison Drake, also shared that Angela is always working to integrate multiple subjects as she teaches and uses technology to help her accomplish that task.

    Jordan School District – Kasey Chambers, 5th Grade, Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary, West Jordan

    Kasey has been teaching in Jordan School District for 10 years. She has always had a passion for technology in the classroom and has always been a school leader in implementing tech into school culture. Kasey is working on a Masters and Endorsement in EdTech, and is endorsed in Coaching. She has two little boys, one husband, and one dog. Kasey coaches teachers at Rocky Peak Virtual, and she spend their days coaching, problem solving, and inventing ways to do things virtually. Every day is a challenge and an adventure, and she is so proud to be a part of it.

    Kasey has used technology to enhance student engagement and learning by providing training and activities to be used online with students at Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary.

    Kane School District – Lance Peterson, Valley High School, Orderville

    Lance Peterson grew up in Lyman, Utah and currently lives in Orderville, Utah with his wife and 3 children. Mr. Peterson started teaching in August 2014 at Valley High School.  From the very beginning, he has become an integral part of the school in technology as well as other areas.  He is constantly helping teachers and students with technology needs, helping the learning outcomes in the school to excel.  He is constantly helping with projects at the school as well. 

    Mr. Peterson, along with his students, creates our entire yearbook each year from taking pictures, designing layouts, printing, and binding as well as providing digital copies to all of our students. He designs all of our sponsor banners and has created student athlete banners.  He started and has expanded our school broadcasting while involving students in filming, commentating, and other areas.  Mr. Peterson has been in charge of creating our school sportsmanship video for UHSAA with our students and they have won the 1A competition from the inception of the program. Mr. Peterson is also a lifelong learner and is constantly taking new courses and trying new things to better engage the students and to improve the school as a whole. We are very fortunate to have Mr. Peterson as one of our teachers.

    Juab School District – Kristen Nielsen, 4th Grade, Nebo View Elementary, Nephi

    Kristen has been teaching at Nebo View for 5 years. Kristen’s bachelor’s degree was in Social Science with an emphasis in family services. After substituting at the schools, she discovered a love for teaching and decided to become an educator. Kristen recently earned her Master’s Degree from Western Governors University. In her free time, Kristen loves to hike, travel, explore new places, and work on home remodeling projects.

    Kristen is always looking for ways to increase student thinking, learning, and achievement. Kristen uses digital standard mastery assessments to help students reach rigorous levels and demonstrate their understanding of new concepts. Kristen also uses Seesaw to communicate student learning to parents and as a way for students to demonstrate their learning and provide evidence of their learning.

    Logan School District – Juan Caballero Prieto, US History, Logan High School, Logan

    Juan is a born and raised Spaniard that grew up in the city of Seville, a city deeply rich and unique in its own history. Growing up in one of the most historical cities in the world inspired Juan to be a life-long student of history. He went on to earn double Master’s degrees in Ancient Civilizations and Secondary Education. For the last decade he has been an educator teaching history subjects, currently geography and world history courses. And he LOVES it!

     In addition to his career in education Juan is a published author of a fictional Greek mythology book called “Breathing: A Retelling of Greek Myth.” He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honor society and of Eta Sigma Phi. Which is a national Greek and Latin honors society and for which he has presented at several conferences. He manages the Facebook page Thinking Like the Ancients, where the philosophy of Greek and Latin thought is highlighted. Juan is fluent in several languages including English, Spanish, Ancient Greek and Latin, as well as French. He is currently learning Japanese.

    Juan is exactly what a parent wants in their kids teacher. Someone willing to use modern teaching strategies that are authentic in these kids real lives. Recently, Juan has started up a podcast called “The Munchies, With Mr C.” This Podcast is an unscripted, one take with Juan and his students centered on discussion about history. In the discussion you can clearly see that though Juan has a passion for history and for the podcasting idea, the students really are the center of these episodes. He has even identified ways to make the students really take charge of not only the discussion but also the editing of the podcast. Now, this is one small part of Juans teaching and something new to his classroom. However, it is the perfect example of who he is as a teacher. Someone who is trying to find and do new innovative things to better reach his students.

    Millard School District – Erika Nickle, 8th Grade, Delta Middle School, Delta

    Mrs. Nickle is an 8th-grade math teacher at Delta Middle School.  She is in her 3rd year of teaching at DMS and is doing an absolutely fantastic job!  Students love her class and are excelling.

    Delta Middle School has recently adopted Mastery Connect as they strive to personalize education for their students.  Mrs. Nickle has been crucial in this adoption and has served as a teacher leader in helping others build and administer Mastery Connect assessments. 


    Nebo School District – Karla Craner, 1st Grade, Meadow Brook Elementary, Springville

    Karla taught preschool in her home for 15 years while raising her 5 wonderful children. She began teaching in public schools 10 years ago. When she came back, she realized that she needed help learning the technology. She began with her Educational Technology endorsement to try to ‘catch up’ with her colleagues. 

    Karla said: “I love the confidence I see in my student’s eyes as they learn and grow with me.” Outside of school, Karla enjoys sewing and doing puzzles.

    Karla is constantly using technology with her first graders. She has created Blended Literacy Centers and Math Choice Boards to give her students more ownership of their learning. These allow her students to have choice over their path and pace as they learn and some of the activities she selects allows them to practice with feedback. While students are working on these, she is able to meet with small groups and individual students to help meet their varying needs. Karla has also incorporated the Computer Science Standards into her classroom. Her students like using the Code and Go mice to retell nursery rhymes and solve math problems. She has also created spreadsheets with conditional formatting to track student data and has involved her students in the process. They are motivated to work hard because they enjoy watching the colors change as she changes their score. Currently, she is working on creating Project Based Learning activities for her students. Her students have loved having choice in how they create a project. Karla is always learning and willing to try new things to help improve student learning.

    North Sanpete School District – Darcie Stansfield, 4th Grade, Fountain Green Elementary, Fountain Green

    Darcie has been teaching elementary school since 2018. She has been a standout educator and willing to learn new methods and techniques. She has been proactive in integrating technology into her classroom. She is great at coordinating with administration and working with her fellow educators.

    Darcie has taken a leading role in finding ways to connect robots to her curriculum. Although Darcie did not graduate from MIT with an Engineering degree, she has found the drive to learn new technologies and integrate them into her classes. She worked tirelessly with her administrator to organize two STEM-focused days at her school focused entirely on robotics. Reports on those events were overwhelmingly positive. Darcie Stansfield has taken initiative in a number of ways along with her focus on robotics.

    Ogden School District – Megan Coronado, Kindergarten, Bonneville Elementary, Ogden

    Megan is a kindergarten teacher at Bonneville elementary. Megan has her Level 1 Google certification and is working toward getting her EdTech Endorsement. Megan designs learning activities for her students that prove that “Kinder kids can use tech too.”

    There is a prevailing belief that kinder students can’t do as much with technology as older students. Megan is proving time and time again that Kinder kids can use tech too. Megan takes the time to design innovative digital learning activities that provide students with authentic experiences. Megan provides her students with the support and guidance to help even our youngest learners engage in active learning with technology. With digital tools like Canvas and Flip, Megan’s students record their own retells from the weekly reading and record their own weather predictions as meteorologists. There is no limit to the technological potential of Megan’s kinder students!

    Park City School District – Amanda Lawing, Kindergarten, Trailside Elementary, Park City

    Amanda Lawing is an educator with over 20 years of experience. She is currently teaching kindergarten in Park City, Utah. She has experience teaching preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Her field of specialization is Early Childhood Education. She is working on her technology endorsement so that she can integrate more technology into her everyday classroom. Amanda is married with two children who both graduated from Park City High School.

    Amanda is an innovative teacher who holds the belief that technology can enhance the learning of even the youngest student. She set out to improve her instructional technology skills in 2021 partially based on her experience with remote learning in 2020. She earned her Google Level 1 certification and is iPad badge certified. She was featured in a UEN PDTV entitled The 4Cs. Amanda created a Google Site that is an engaging digital portfolio showcasing some of her most impactful work with technology. Some examples are: creating a Flipped Classroom for math, using Pic Collage to reflect on a field trip to the zoo, using Hyper Doc to categorize living and non-living things, Canva created directions to log onto SeeSaw, and a Pinterest digital citizenship board. Additionally, Amanda developed a penguin unit saturated with technology. Students used Google Earth to locate where penguins live. They tapped into Google’s augmented reality to place a life size Emperor penguin in the classroom and have student pictures taken with the penguin. She utilized a digital escape room to explore what penguins eat and students used BeeBot robots to explore animal habitats.

    Most recently for parent conferences, students used Chatter Kids to animate a self-portrait telling their parents the highlights of kindergarten. The self-portraits were uploaded to SeeSaw and a QR code was created for each parent to access their student’s work. This is just a small sampling of the engaging and innovative applications of technology used by Amanda Lawing to help her students access content.

    Piute County School District – Tyrel Ivie, Piute High School, Junction

    Tyrel is an educator that had his sights set on teaching music in colleges.  He was derailed from those plans when he was hired to teach music at Piute High School.  Tyrel has a true love of teaching music and getting students to be excited and engaged about music.

    Tyrel is an amazing teacher with a deep understanding of Music and Technology.  He has been successful in many choir concerts with his use of technology to put on a show like none other around.  He has also been successful in building a state of the art music lab for his students.  He teaches music and composition with the aid of technology to give the students a real world experience in the music industry.  He is also the teacher that has successfully pioneered streaming at Piute High School to bring concerts, sports, activities, and more to the homes of those who could not be in attendance to the events.  He has built a student ran system for streaming all of these events. 

    Provo City School District – Mary Wade, 5th Grade, Provost Elementary, Provo

    Mary Wade has loved tinkering with “What-Ifs” for 8 years of teaching. From building a DIY smartboard using Wii remotes, to organizing a student stop motion film premiere, to training students to plan their own daily schedules, she’s always exploring new learning possibilities. The daughter of a school librarian, she adores children’s literature and believes in the power of stories & of students owning their stories. She can’t ever keep up with her students’ book recommendations, but she enjoys trying! She also enjoys biking, skiing, rock climbing, & traveling with her three kids & husband.

    Mrs. Wade has been at Provost Elementary going on three years. In those three years she has transformed her classroom from being a teacher centered environment to a student centered environment through flexible seating, student choice, and a completely innovative approach to learning.

    Mrs. Wade’s classroom is most definitely NOT a sit and get kind of classroom but rather an environment where students take ownership of their own learning. When you walk into her classroom you might see a student painting in the corner while others are reading a book in another corner, while others are practicing the skill they learned that day on the computer, while another group is at the front doing a workshop with the teacher.

    Mrs. Wade’s instruction is a perfect example of Provo City School District’s Flexible Learning approach, removing barriers to learning and promoting student voice and choice while ensuring high levels of learning.

    Salt Lake City School District – Casey Wohletz, KIndergarten, Edison Elementary, Salt Lake City

    Casey Wohletz is a kindergarten teacher at Edison Elementary, a title 1 school in the Salt Lake City School District. Mr. Wohletz is an innovator by implementing numerous technology best practices in his daily lesson planning. In his three years of teaching experience, he has gone above and beyond to master instructional tools such as Canvas and Nearpod. Mr. Wohletz demonstrates leadership through his innovation by training other teachers and staying informed on the current technology best practices.

    Mr. Wohletz demonstrates leadership through his innovation by training other teachers and staying informed on the current technology best practices. As a result of Casey’s impressive instruction, his students are constantly showing academic growth and proficiency.

    South Sanpete School District – Landon Burke, 9th grade,  Gunnison Valley High School, Gunnison

    Landon Burke has been teaching at Gunnison Valley High School for the last four years. He teaches English 9, an ELL class and helps students in the school’s math lab. His wife is also a teacher. They have a sweet daughter. Landon helps with football and track as an assistant coach. He has great communication skills and goes above and beyond what is expected with his students. He is a hard worker. He recently landscaped the yard around his home as well as building a shed on the property.

    Mr. Burke has learned the ins and outs of software to help ESL students. He is a pro at using Canvas and knows many tricks and tips to use this learning management system. Students in his class have been taught to use apps on their iPads to help them in English class as well as their other classes. His knowledge of technology and his passion for teaching go hand-in-hand. He is not afraid to try something new and he is always trying something new!

    Wayne School District – Austin Moore, Piute High School, Junction

    Austin teaches middle and high school science in our district. He started his career in business then made the switch to education. He works hard to provide authentic learning experiences for students and is eager to learn. Austin has been participating in the 3D-RST Project and incorporated technology to improve his teaching and the learning experience of his students. He is also the e-sports coach for our middle school which demonstrates his willingness to try new things to benefit our students.

    Washington County School District – Teresa Harris, 9th Grade, Pine View Middle School, St George

    Teresa is a Science Teacher at Pine View Middle School.  She is always trying to improve her practice as a teacher.  Recently she has earned her Technology, Teacher Leader, and Administrative endorsements.  She also serves as team lead and is on the school Digital Transformation Leadership team.

    Teresa is always seeking ways to innovate the learning experience that her students are receiving. Presently she is working with the digital systems of Canvas, PowerSchool, and Performance Matters to find the most effective ways to communicate student learning in an evidence/standards based format.  This information is helping her to be able to deliver targeted intervention and adjust her tier one teaching strategies when needed.  She is also giving feedback to her school and the district to promote big picture change.  Teresa’s students are fortunate to have a teacher who works so hard to give them the best educational experience possible.

    Charter or Private Schools

    Sydney Johnson, St. John the Baptist Middle School, 7th Grade, St. John the Baptist Middle School – Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, Draper

    Sydney Johnson has taught at St. John the Baptist Middle School for two years. In addition to instructing 7th grade Science, she has led the faculty in greatly improving digital learning instruction. Her commitment to technological support in the middle school has been imperative for both our teachers’ progress through the challenges of the pandemic and our students’ growth as digital learners.

    Sydney Johnson is passionate about helping kids learn how to better utilize technology as a learning tool. In her teaching, she incorporates innovative blended learning practices such as online discussions, research webquests, and creatively designed projects. Her students have grown to become responsible and highly effective users of technology in the classroom. Ms. Johnson is readily available to troubleshoot computer program issues and provide guidance about our school learning platforms: Canvas and Powerschool. She keeps faculty updated with technological changes and offers detailed tutorials on how-to operate the new programs. Several times a semester, she will communicate a “checklist” for faculty to ensure that they are completing all digital steps necessary and have the support they need to submit grades and instruct effectively with blended learning.

  • 2022


    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.


    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.

  • 2021


    Alpine  –  Suzy Baller – 4th Grade, Foothill Elementary, Orem – Suzy This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Suzy.pngenjoys the outdoors and hiking with her family. Suzy is in her second year of teaching. Suzy isn’t afraid to jump in and try new things. During the beginning of COVID, Suzy’s first year of teaching, she taught her whole team how to use Nearpod and move to online learning. Suzy helped her team create a digital plan for online learning that matched the scope and sequence of the regular curriculum. Suzy is innovative and looks for ways to engage her students with content in a meaningful way. One recent project in social studies included coding ozobots along the Mormon Pioneer trail. Students had to support their coding decisions by giving reasons for why pioneers would stop, turn, spin in a circle, etc. The students enjoyed using the ozobots and were pushed to think critically when determining how ozobots could tell the story of the pioneers coming to Utah.

    Beaver  –  Ian Spaulding – 9-12, Milford High School, Milford – “Jeep” Ian This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ian-1.pngSpaulding has served as a Business teacher in the CTE program at Milford High School for more than fifteen years. With enthusiasm, he took on additional Computer Science classes, attending several weeks of coursework throughout the summer and fall this year.   With the COVID-19 shutdown in the spring of 2020, plans for adding the CS classes were initially put on hold.  Jeep did not want this opportunity for his students to pass by and working with our curriculum partners, came up with ways to deliver the content of the course online or in-person as needed. This year, in a school of 250 students, Jeep has fifty students involved in meaningful CS content that meets the standards of CTE and our industry partners.  When scheduling became a problem for some students, he blended classes to allow for flexibility for in-person class time.  When language became a barrier, he encouraged students to work through coding problems in their native language and then apply their answers to the coding.  Jeep even has plans to work out future scheduling conflicts to ensure his students can finish the more advanced courses in our curriculum that will result in an industry recognized DOK4 level of understanding.

    Box Elder  –  Kelly Esplin – 2nd grade, North Park Elementary, Tremonton – We asked a few teachers to leave their “normal” classrooms and teach students in a virtual setting.  Kelly was worried at first because she did not feel qualified or that she would connect with the kids.  Kelly has integrated technology with her personality to reach all her students on a personal and educational level. Kelly looks for ways to use the tools she has to engage the students through interactive lessons.  She is willing to try new tools like Nearpod and Canvas to help the students learn at a high level and keep them engaged.

    Cache  –  Kim Jenson – 7th grade Language Arts, Spring Creek Middle This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is KellyBE-1.pngSchool, Providence – Kim is a veteran teacher in Cache County School District. She is a tremendous ELA teacher and has spent her career at Spring Creek Middle school. She is a tremendous leader and innovator within her classroom as she works to integrate technology into her classroom. Kim has tackled any problems and programs that have popped up and she has been an aid to many in her building. She has worked tirelessly to remain innovative and up to date with all of her students’ needs in our district. 

    Canyons  –  Megan Norton – Canyon View Elementary, Cottonwood Heights, 4This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Megan.pngth Grade – Megan started teaching at Canyon View Elementary in Canyons School District in 2018. This year, Megan has not only taken on the role as online teacher, but has also been the Online Learning Team Leader for the 4th Grade Online Teachers in her district. She has organized the online content and curriculum for her grade level and has been meeting with her team of teachers at least weekly to ensure that all teachers have the skills and materials necessary to be successful. Megan is a true leader when it comes to using educational technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintaining a positive learning environment while online is a very difficult challenge, but she continues to find innovative ways to keep her students stay motivated and engaged. Megan has created a seamless Canvas course where students can easily access and complete their work.  She creates videos to teach and clarify, provides lessons that encourage critical thinking, and provides feedback so students can learn from their mistakes. Megan provides varied types of formal and informal assessments for her students to check for understanding such as Canvas Discussion and Quizzes, Flipgrids, Nearpods, Virtual Presentations, Quizlet, Kahoot!, Quick Checks and Practice Buddies inside the Savvas Platform, Google LTI assignment integrations, and so many more. She is a true asset to the educational technology community, and as one parent explained “I feel many teachers could benefit from learning Mrs. Norton’s tried and true formula!”

    Carbon  –  Kyle Hansen – 4th grade, Castle Heights, Price – Kyle embraces This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kyle.pngtechnology and constantly seeks to improve his instruction using technology. He shares his findings with staff and helps anyone who needs guidance implementing technology hardware and/or software. Kyle is our “go to” guy and he is always pleasant and happy to help out in any way possible. In this year of uncertainty Mr. Hansen has strived to help each student not only hit his or her growth target for the year, but he is working to ensure that each student overcomes the decrease in learning that was experienced due to the spring dismissal. Starting on the first day of school, Mr. Hansen has looked at every day in the classroom as an opportunity to prepare the students for the future. Not only did he train students on how to use technology while they were at school, but he also worked to ensure that they knew how to access everything they would need access to should they be quarantined or should the school be closed due to a COVID outbreak. Almost every day throughout the entire year, Mr. Hansen has had at least one student in quarantine.  These students have been able to join with the rest of the class remotely and participate in the discussion and activities just like they were sitting in the classroom. Early in the year Mr. Hansen went on a quest to better utilize the technology we have in our district in order to help the students who are quarantined be able to participate in and receive quality instruction while quarantined. This quest has led him through multiple different phases of integrating the available technology. Mr. Hansen has labored to improve the learning of the students, faculty and staff of our school this year. He has tried to bridge the gap, whether it be in academic knowledge, physical distance, or technological understanding.

    Davis  –  Lori Pitcher – Kindergarten, Lakeside Elementary, West Point – This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lori.pngPeople at Lori’s school describe her as incredible and unbelievable. Lori goes the extra mile to fill in where needed, doing scatter-group tutoring and even bus duty. She is a Kindergarten teacher and this year also an Instructional Technology coach for Lakeside Elementary.  Lori was hired in her Kindergarten position at Lakeside Elementary in January of 2020 which meant only 2 short months of regular teaching before the pandemic soft closure happened. But she took it in stride and was able to pivot for her young students through the use of technology to help them not miss a beat in their learning. For the 20-21 school year she took on the role of Instructional Technology Coach as well as teaching Kindergarten. She has not only helped keep the learning relevant and personalized for her own young students, helping them to know what to do face-to-face and at home remotely, but she has also helped other teachers in her school to do the same. Lori has taken on training other teachers in her school to help their Canvas pages feel more uniform as a school to help parents with multiple students as well as helping teachers to use Canvas during everyday learning so that the pivot to remote is seamless. She sought out training, did research, tried and tested things out, and created a culture of continuous learning and improvement among her colleagues. Lori is a valuable asset to her faculty and school community and has made a positive impact on student learning.

    Duchesne  –  Melanie Thompson – Neola Elementary, Neola, 3rd grade –  This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture1.pngMelanie creates a 3rd grade English Language Arts Canvas course to be used by all online students throughout the district. It is amazing quality.

    Emery  –  Shellet Rowley – 3rd, Huntington Elementary, Huntington – This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture2.pngShellet has grown up in Emery county and she has taught Preschool for 8 years and 2nd, 3rd grades for 14 years. She has an ESL Endorsement and is an invaluable member of our district. She has been an innovator using technology in her classroom. She has also helped her fellow educators with technology. Furthermore, she had applied and got grants for the development of technology in her classroom. During the last year she has been an example of how to reach kids through technology and how to use technology to identify learning gaps. Shellet’s effort to go above and beyond shows up in her students’ performance and attitude. She is an amazing teacher!.

    Garfield  –  Tammi Bennett – Panguitch High School, Panguitch – She tThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture3.pngeaches Health but uses technology everyday in her classes. She also is using our new high tech “Z Space” 3D computer to teach Anatomy & other health classes.”

    Grand  –  JoLynn Torgerson – 5th Helen M Knight Elementary, Moab – has been a teacher for 9 years at HMK Elementary.  She has taught 5th grade for the past 4 years and 3rd grade prior to that. JoLynn has also been instrumental in becoming the first teacher at HMK who became paperless in the classroom and used 1:1 Chromebooks to instruct her students.  Jolynn uses these master skills to teach others at HMK. With the knowledge that Jolynn possesses about technology, she was able to quickly transition her students to remote learning with ease when schools shut down during the COVID closure.  Students were already familiar with Google Classroom and able to continue with their assignments without much of a transition.  Her classroom participation was one of the highest in the school. This high participation ensured that students were able to continue their learning while the school was closed.  As students returned in the Fall for a new school year, HMK offered one teacher per grade level to teach students remotely.  Choosing JoLynn to teach the remote learners in 5th grade was an obvious choice.  JoLynn has been able to successfully set up her technology using multiple monitors, the document camera, microphones and headphones to create as real of a classroom setting as possible. JoLynn interacts one on one with students, in small groups and as a whole class throughout the day.  She has demonstrated through several observations that she can teach just as well as an online teacher as she does in person.  Even with the challenges that do come up, she is easily able to fix or figure out what needs to be done in order to give students the best education possible.

    Granite  –  McKenzie Jackson – 5th grade, Lincoln Elementary, South Salt This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture4.pngLake – McKenzie Jackson is one of Granite School District’s stellar 5th grade teachers. She began working at Lincoln Elementary as a 6th grade teacher. No matter the grade level, she stands out as a natural leader among her colleagues and in the school as a whole. She is also currently part of the district’s Emerging Leaders Academy. In the 2020-21 school year, Ms. Jackson volunteered to be our 5th grade distance learning-only teacher. She was able to masterfully transfer her skills from being an engaging, masterful in-person teacher to being an engaging, masterful distance-learning teacher. At the beginning of the year, she set up rigorous expectations for her students for both asynchronous and synchronous Google Meetings. In doing that, she developed a strong classroom community from afar. She fostered her student’s leadership by facilitating a student-led and created digital newspaper and art club. Every step of the way, her students have been held to high standards both academically and socially.

    Iron  –  Cody Christensen – Language Arts, Launch High School, Cedar City – This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture5.pngCody Christensen embodies the motto of Launch High School, to “Innovate, Improve and Impress”. Despite being a highly qualified, and exceptional veteran teacher for over 20 years, he continues to push himself and those around him to innovate and improve every day. He has stood out this year to build a personalized competency-based curriculum that is chock full of choices for students, meaningful assessments, and application of knowledge to authentic local problems. He loves coaching students through these design projects, in particular with filming as he oversees the PBS News Hour team at the school. Cody has established a curriculum and blended learning tools that provide opportunities to personalize learning for students’ path, pace, offers choices, and includes their voice. Beyond that the key ingredient of his success lands with his ability to offer support and mentorship, primarily through his abilities to build and sustain positive relationships with students, in particular during a time of struggle for them, such as the pandemic.

    Jordan  –  Deanna Taylor – Digital Teaching and Learning Team – Deanna This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture6.pnghas been working with all of our online teachers in the district and been working overtime to help all of them.  She went above and beyond in helping teachers this school year.

    Juab  –  Manon Felos – 7/8 Grade teacher in Nephi – Manon teaches at JuabThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture7.png Jr. High School. She helps students make daily discoveries in Integrated Science 7, Integrated Science 8, and Alternative Science. Her students love her  enthusiasm and clever wit. Manon has developed robust digital interactive daily lessons, including videos, images, simulations, activities, and labs. She has created well thought out and organized Canvas pages and has utilized Zoom as a tool to engage students in thoughtful scientific discussions.

    Kane  –  Lisa Johnson – Kanab Middle/High Kanab, Grades 7-9, Lisa Johnson This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture9.pngis a veteran teacher in Kane School District with over 30 years of teaching experience.  She has taught Math and PE and has a very successful Math Counts team at Kanab Middle School.  Students love and respect her for her willingness to help and her concern for the students she teaches. Being a veteran teacher and retiring this year, this didn’t stop Lisa from jumping in both feet to implementing Zoom and assisting other teachers throughout the building.  She met with students on a regular basis and setup the necessary tools to meet individually with students as the pandemic first hit.  Her Canvas was setup in a clear way for students to navigate and I would get constant positive feedback from parents how easy it was for their students to keep up.  Every week, Lisa would send out a weekly homework/assignment schedule so both parents and students knew what to expect for the week. 

    Logan  –  Cami Player – 5th Grade, Woodruff, Logan – Cami is in her 4th This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture10.pngyear of teaching in the Logan City School District. Cami is passionate about humanitarian work and loves to mountain bike and be outdoors. Cami has completely owned Covid in their matchup this year. We knew this year was going to be tough and she took the challenge of Looming her lessons and Zooming with parents in stride. She has taken a district mandate of having a simple Canvas course and turned it into a great learning environment for all of her students. No small task when working with 10 year-olds! These things are in addition to all the things teachers are already asked to do in a normal year!

    Millard  –  Ashley Abbott – 4th, Delta North Elementary, Delta – Technology This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Picture11.pnghas always been a big part of Ashley’s classroom and the school closure brought her love for it to life.  Mrs. Abbott is always watching for the latest in education and the field-tested things teachers tried.  She starts every day with her schedule posted on Canvas.  This has ensured students are prepared in the event of another shutdown or they are placed in quarantine.  Her students and parents love the accessibility of the schedule and the math video Mrs. Abbott posts daily. Mrs. Abbott feels technology is the way of the world and it is teachers’ jobs to help them feel more comfortable using it. Mrs. Abbott was one of the first elementary teachers to organize here class with Canvas and has been instrumental in helping her peers integrate Canvas. She has also been able to provide her students with some stability throughout the COVID closures and quarantines through the use of video recording and Zoom meetings. Mrs. Abbott is always looking for the most effective, researched based programs, apps, and extensions and implements them with fidelity.  Her students love her class!

    Morgan  – Adam Christensen – 7th/8th grade at Morgan Middle School in Morgan – Adam has been teaching for 10 years; currently teaching 8th grade U.S. History, at Morgan Middle School. During the first week or so of the COVID pandemic Adam started thinking of how he could keep students engaged and keep their spirits lifted during the difficult time. Adam made on average one to two videos each week, giving a brief lecture and some instruction on their upcoming assignments.  In some videos he wore a goofy hat, in others he dressed up as a superhero. Adam got great turnout from his students in their online schooling.  Adam had many students and parents say that they looked forward to every new video; that it gave them something to look forward to as they logged in each day. Of course, he used a lot of other technology tools other than video production during the quarantine and since.  Nearpod for interactive slideshows, IXL is the tool that he used to measure if students were understanding content that was being delivered, and Quizlet for games and flashcards.  These and other online tools helped and continue to help him be able to deliver instruction and assess understanding of his students, both in-person and online. He was able to write a plan that would allow teachers to keep doing what they regularly do in their classrooms and that he and other teachers would train them on how to upload content online in our platform (Canvas and Google Classroom).  Adam also showed teachers how to record their lessons in class so they could upload the videos for online instruction.  Adam believes their online program has worked for the benefit of their students that have worked remotely this school year. Technology has definitely been a benefit to students in his classrooms, both online and in-person, this year.

    Murray  –  Anastasia Athens – 5th Grade, McMillan Elementary, Murray – This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is murray.pngAnastasia is a 5th Grade teacher who in her short tenure has proven to be an innovative, collaborative colleague.  She was recently featured on the NBC Today show with Willy Geist as she shared her experiences teaching in the Pandemic and the ability for our district to reach students with our LTE Network.  Struggling through spotty WiFi in their homes, students have had more success as of late connecting to her classroom now more than ever. Anastasia is a 5th Grade teacher who teaches students in person, students that are hybrid and students that are online in a synchronous environment.  Students join her math and language arts and science lessons at specific times and have the advantage of joining their peers for group discussion and discourse over Google Classroom and participate in the same assignments and lessons and conversations in real time.  This helps to maximize student learning and engagement during a pandemic year where learning had to be optimized in all learning modalities.  Students have been able to access grade level content in more engaging ways.

    Murray City  –  Gina Dansie – Grade 9, Riverview Junior High School, This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is murraycity.pngMurray – Mrs. Gina Dansie has taught at Riverview Junior High School for the past 13+ years.  She currently teaches AP Human Geography, world geography, and School Success at Riverview Junior High School and serves as the Social Studies Department Chair. Gina is a two-time participant of the competitive Driven2Teach field study, where she visited historical sites in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington D.C.  Since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, Gina Dansie has been at the forefront of discovering new technological tools and programs for our teachers.  She was the one that first learned about Zoom and trained several of our faculty on it over the weekend.  Her status as a Google Certified Educator has benefited us all as she has trained our faculty on innovative uses for Google Docs, Forms, Classroom, and especially Slides. She frequently shares her Canvas tips and tricks with not just our faculty and district, but also with nation-wide Canvas Educator groups on social media.  She has a passion for discovering new technology tools and is wonderful about not only sharing her resources with our faculty, but also patiently taking the time to train us in person or by recording tutorial videos. Through her innovations in digitizing her curriculum, her students have been able to learn valuable new technological skills.  Our students and teachers alike have benefitted from her expertise!

    Nebo  –  Neisha Coutlee – 5th Grade, Sierra Bonita Elementary, Spanish This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Nebo.pngFork – Neisha is in her fifth year of teaching. Neisha loves to use technology in her classroom and is not afraid to try blended learning strategies with her students. She also enjoys finding new digital tools to make her job easier and she is obsessed with anything Google. During soft closure, Neisha looked for a variety of opportunities to engage her students. One of the activities that she did to engage her students was creating a scavenger hunt. She would take a picture of something around the city and students would need to find where the picture was taken. They would report back on a Google Form and talk about it during their class Zoom meetings. Students loved being able to share where the picture was taken and students were excited to come to Zoom class to share. She also uses her class website to keep her students and parents informed about what is going on in her classroom. Her website has links to video tutorials that she’s created, as well as, links to the daily schedule with tasks. This school year, Neisha has started using a lot of blended learning in her classroom and uses the data from her digital formative assessments to guide her instruction. She uses Classkick to involve her in-person students, as well as, her students who are home on quarantine. Classkick allows her to move around the room and really work with individual students at their level. Neisha is definitely an innovative teacher in our school district!

    North Summitt  –  Julie Marsh  North Summit Elementary, Instructional This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is nsum.pngCoach – Julie Marsh taught for many years as a biology teacher in the high school. She also taught our TV Broadcasting class. Her technology proficiency is off the chart, and she has used that knowledge to become a better teacher and now to help others in her role as instructional coach. Julie Marsh has used technology to help our elementary teachers pinpoint reading deficiencies in their students. Julie has organized our reading program into an efficient process by thoroughly using data to drive teacher instruction. She groups our young readers and then trains teachers and reading aides on best practices. Our reading scores have gone way up over the past three years because of her innovation. During the pandemic our teachers and students have thrived because of the training and support that Julie has provided. She is completely deserving of this specific award because our district as a whole is in a better place technologically because of her and our IT director.

    Ogden  –  Kylee Shaw – 4th Grade, Hillcrest Elementary School, Ogden – This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ogden.pngKylee Shaw is a 4th grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary. She has been teaching for 4 years and is a Level 1 and Level 2 Google Certified Educator and is working on becoming a Google Certified Trainer while also pursuing her Educational Technology and ESL Endorsements. Kylee loves to spend time outside camping, hiking, kayaking, dirt biking, fishing, and anything that is in the sun! She enjoys reading, sewing, and making crafts as well. Kylee Shaw demonstrates the effective use of technology to positively impact student learning in a variety of ways. Her students are consistently engaged in rigorous tasks requiring higher order thinking skills. They can frequently be found collaborating digitally around activities, tasks, and assignments. These students purposefully use technology to gather facts, solve problems, and monitor their progress towards their goals. Kylee is leading the way in innovation in her classroom.

    Park City  –  Shelby Cornett – Grade 1, Jeremy Ranch Elementary School, This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is parkc.pngPark City – Since joining the faculty at Jeremy Ranch Elementary six years ago, Shelby has taught Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 3rd grade, including a Dual Language Immersion partnership. When Shelby is not focused on improving education for her students, she enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits. As PCSD determined it would be necessary to provide remote learning options for our elementary students this school year, leaders were concerned that we would have adequately prepared teachers who could take on this tremendous responsibility. Shelby has embraced her role as a remote teacher and very quickly shifted her assigned in-person class to a remote atmosphere.  Almost immediately, she created a class web page, sent pre-class invitations sharing expectations and details about the remote learning environment.  Shelby has gone out of her way to ensure that she created an inclusive classroom culture for her remote students and has engaged them with every program available to her to do so.  Families of students in Shelby’s remote class commented on a recent survey that they really appreciated the learning experience their students were having and believe “Ms. Cornett is amazing”.  It shows, because Shelby’s students have done very well and scored among some of the highest in growth and proficiency for their grade level on iReady Math and Acadience Reading.  We wish every teacher embraced learning opportunities in a remote setting like Shelby – she has been remarkable!

    Piute  –  Kami Gass – 3rd, Circleville Elementary, Circleville – Kami  has This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is piute.pngtaught special Ed, 6th grade and 3rd grade. Kami loves teaching, traveling and being a mom. Kami used technology to connect with her students daily. She created flipgrid videos for her class with a daily joke which helped motivate her students to reply to the joke and connect with each other daily. She used her bitmoji classroom to post daily videos, assignments, and instructions. Her class was fun, engaging and educational even while it was virtual! Kami has tackled any problems and programs that have popped up and she has been an aid to many in her building. She has worked tirelessly to remain innovative and up to date with all of her students’ needs in our district.

    Rich  –  Weston Taylor  Counselor, Rich High School, Randolph – Prior to his role as a counselor Mr. Taylor has taught C.T.E. courses in business, math, and science.  He is passionate about student learning and student success. In his current role, he has the opportunity to work with all the students in the district.  His commitment to excellence and his level of dedication is contagious; it has a very positive influence district wide. Mr. Taylor worked throughout the summer to develop a model for efficiently facilitating hybrid instruction in Rich School District.  Realizing that face to face instruction may be interrupted with potential soft closures or quarantines, Mr. Taylor wanted a seamless way to provide tier 1 instruction to those students who could not attend for regular face to face instruction. His model  allows classroom teachers to present the instruction to the students in the classroom, record that instruction through the interactive panel, upload the lesson, and post it to Canvas. The extra time required for teachers to record and post the tier 1 instruction is less than five minutes. Mr. Taylor worked hard, prior to the start of the school year, to inservice all teachers on the model.  He and the instructional coach have been available throughout the school year to help teachers and students be successful as they utilize the tool.

    San Juan  –  Kelli Keyes – San Juan High School, Blanding – Kelli has been integral in mentoring and supporting the entire SJH team in Canvas instruction.  She has worked one-on-one with teachers to help them get started and supported ongoing implementation throughout this year with integration of interactive software resources like Nearpod, screencast, group collaboration, etc. to enhance online engagement.  She has looked at alternative formats for organization of Canvas courses to align with district goals and required features including the team lead for implementation of Mastery Connect within Canvas platform.  She coaches others on the use of technology in remote learning as well as home learning.

    Sevier  –  Crystal Stott – 6th grade, Red Hills Middle School, Richfield – She teaches 6th grade math and language arts.  She has been teaching for four years. Crystal goes above and beyond to ensure that her students receive the best instruction possible.  Currently she teaches mostly in person students, but she also has students that are solely online.  She uses a swivl daily to record and zoom for her students.  She also is great and doing blended learning and incorporating things like Nearpod. She even pre-records things and works with students individually when she feels like they need extra instruction.                                 

    South Sanpete  –  Shonacee Bradley – 4th grade, Ephraim Elementary, This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ssan.pngEphraim – Shonacee Bradley moved to Sanpete when she was 5 just starting kindergarten.  She attended her K-12 school years in South Sanpete.  She taught one year in Spanish Fork before moving to her alma mater Ephraim Elementary.  She now teaches 4th grade. Her dream from when she was in elementary was to be able to come back and teach at the elementary she attended.  She is now living that dream. She loves technology and isn’t afraid to try new things, whether they fail or succeed. Shonacee is the type of educator that gives to all of those around her. She willingly shares resources she creates, most specifically, those that help others strengthen their technology skills. She is the go to person in her building for Canvas. In fact, when the pandemic hit, she helped third through fifth grade teachers beef up their Canvas courses to benefit students. She frequently sends technology tips and tricks to all of the staff at Ephraim Elementary. When someone asks for help with technology, she eagerly agrees. She makes daily math videos for her students so that no one gets behind if they need to miss a day or more of school. Her students know how to use technology to assist their learning and this is because Shonacee gives her knowledge to them.

    South Summit    Paula Carlson – South Summit Middle School – Math This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ssum.pngTeacher




    Tooele  –  Carolyn Pratt – Grantsville Elementary, Grantsville – Carolyn is in her 14th year teaching in the same town where she graduated high school, Grantsville  (Go Cowboys!). Most of that time was with 1st grade​, but for the last couple of years Carolyn has been teaching 2nd grade. She works in building leadership and fills the role of Teacher EdTech for her faculty. We are extremely lucky to have her on the team. When speaking with members of Carolyn’s team, the most frequent term used is “trusted”. When someone from her faculty needs ideas, help, or resources, ​they explain “the first stop is always Carolyn”. In her school, she is the primary influencer when it comes to the positive culture of teaching with technology that Grantsville Elementary is known for. At a district level, Carolyn is often consulted for input and feedback for decisions that will impact students, particularly the k-2 group, whom she strongly advocates for. In addition, she led her faculty in leveraging the online LMS platform Google Classroom in the year leading up to the Covid shutdown. Because of the previous work and trajectory of her faculty, they were in a better spot than many of our other schools when responding to the pandemic and the resulting changes ​towards a blended learning focus in the district. She is enthusiastic and willing to try things to create the best possible experience for students, even when it takes more effort.  Carolyn is very deserving of recognition!

    Uintah  –  Daniel Wells – Maeser Elementary, Vernal – Daniel is in his This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is uintah.png11th year teaching upper elementary, and has just accepted a supplemental position as a USD tech lead. He began his passion for practical technology use when troubleshooting computers as an adolescent. His fascination led to web support at America First Credit Union. It has been his pleasure to combine this technology support background with his current teaching role and works hard to effectively implement technology at his current school. Daniel has been a life saver for our school this year as we have learned how to teach digitally school-wide! I can’t imagine what we would have done without him. Daniel has provided PD for our teachers in staff meetings as well as helping teachers one on one. I can’t even tell you how many times I have heard teachers say, “Daniel helped me with…” and “Daniel showed me how to….” Daniel has been using Canvas to teach his class. His Canvas course has been a model course for our school to refer to as we have started using this learning management system as well as a model for other teachers in our district. He strives to effectively implement technology and regularly gathers feedback about his designs to make immediate changes as needed.

    Wasatch  –  Brady Tree  Wasatch High School, Heber, 9th Grade – Mr. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wasatch.pngTree has been a Math teacher at Wasatch High School for seven years. He has been instrumental in transforming the math department by improving student achievement through the use of technology. Brady has pioneered a math data collection system at WHS for students and teachers to track progress for each math standard. Additionally, he has facilitated a Tier III Math Intervention for students entering the high school below grade level in numeracy. Through the current pandemic school year, Mr. Tree has excelled in facilitating a blended classroom allowing for his hybrid and in-person students to successfully learn and continue to achieve. Mr. Tree has been the first teacher at Wasatch High School to successfully implement the use of classroom cameras to provide accessibility for in-person and remote learners, employ technology to allow students to track achievement by standard, utilize live instruction subtitles for EL student translation, and exemplary use of the Canvas LMS. Above all, Mr. Tree’s innovative leadership has provided a model blended classroom that his PLC and colleagues have successfully implemented, while continuing to improve student achievement.

    Washington  –  Michael Eves – Grades 6-7, Hurricane Intermediate, Hurricane – This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is washington.pngMichael Eves is a computer science educator for the Washington County School District. Michael Eves has helped the elementary schools in Washington County School District by working to develop a system for targeted intervention that provides detailed and timely intervention information. This data is used to inform instruction for all students and has helped identify learning gaps for students, especially those most impacted by the pandemic. The data is used daily by all elementary teachers to ensure each students’ learning needs are met. 

    Wayne  –  Stephanie Williams – Grades 6-8, Wayne Middle School, This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wayne.pngBicknell – Stephanie Williams has worked for Wayne School District for 16 years. She has worked at Loa Elementary as well as Wayne Middle School. She is part of the district Edtech Committee and is always striving to find ways to improve her teaching to benefit her students. At the Middle School she has taught a variety of classes including Science, English, Mindful Health, Coding and Digital Literacy. Mrs. Williams has always been good at integrating technology in her classroom. A few ways she has changed her teaching to benefit the students during COVID include: organizing her class into weekly modules on Canvas, integrating Nearpod lessons that can be done in class or remotely, and creating templates in Google Docs and Google Slides to help give students more specific directions as they try to figure out how to do school remotely.

    Weber  –  Shawn Potokar – 10-12, Weber High School, Pleasant View – This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is weber-1.pngShawn has been a staple of EdTech teaching and Learning in Weber School District his entire 20-plus year career. Currently, he is the video productions and Warrior TV teacher at Weber High School, but has taught everything from business to Photoshop. Shawn is an EdTech coach in his school, an Integration Specialist and Mentor for the District and regularly is called upon to provide EdTech training for other schools’ staff as well.  Shawn’s students benefit greatly from his innovative teaching style and his ability to always be on the cutting edge of digital teaching and learning. Mr. Potokar has always been on the cutting edge of technology–thinking of new and exciting ways to engage his video productions students. Shawn’s classes have moved to the next level during multiple Soft Closures due to COVID as students have had increasingly engaging online lessons, awesome online discussions and the opportunity to continue to create and collaborate, just in a digital format–from sharing files and commenting, to creating at-home videos to post, his students have continued to learn and he’s continued to hold high expectations, while keeping a careful watch for those who might not have access to the same technology.  In that case, he’ll carefully work with the student and figure out how to teach the same objective, while keeping each of their needs in mind.

    Charter and Private Schools

    William Harlow  –  Beehive Science and Technology Academy. Sandy  – 7-9 and 12th grade. Mr. Harlow has been an integral part of our staff over the last 5+ years. He teaches Utah Studies, US History, Geography, AP Human Geography and American Government. He is also on our STT (School Transformation Team), RTI (Response to Intervention), College Mentor Leadership Program and Mentor Teacher. Mr. Harlow utilizes the Zoom polling and annotation features to get students engaged and discussing the topics at hand. He also starts class with a “Tell Me Something Good” Activity, where students can share for the first couple minutes of class a positive thing that is happening in their life. He also uses Canvas and Newsela to supplement his in-class work into an online platform. He really has done a great job of getting students engaged even in a trying year with the Hybrid model of learning that we are doing.

    Karin Petty  –  Hawthorn Academy West Jordan, West Jordan, – Mrs. Karin This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Karin-2.pngPetty is the CTE Director for Hawthorn Academy in West Jordan.  She teaches CCA, ECS and Digital Literacy for Hawthorn Academy students in grades 7 -9. As a teacher during COVID she has pre-record all of her lessons and posted them for students on Canvas. She utilizes Screencastify and Nearpod throughout her lessons. She has also incorporated Google Docs and Google slides and try to have students create interactive graphic organizers. She has also flipped her classroom so that students are progressing through the course on their own. This has allowed class time with the students to be more centered toward their individual needs. This flexibility allows students to work at their own pace and for her, as a teacher, to identify struggling students faster. The few times she has been absent, she has been able to set up zoom calls and email the link to her students. Students have been able to hop on during class and ask for one on one help even though she couldn’t physically be in the classroom. She also created videos for parents on how to access Canvas and how to troubleshoot common problems.

    Randy Booth  –  Itineris Early College High School, West Jordan – 10-12th This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is randy-2.pnggrade – Dr Randy Booth has been an integral part of our staff for 17 years. His expertise and innovation in sciences is wide ranging including biotechnology, chemistry, and physics. He is constantly trying new digital learning methods, showing other teachers how they improve learning and challenging himself to be an innovative academic leader and instructional coach. He was the driving force for the school to invest in Swivl robotic cameras to help better engage our online students. He pioneered their use, coached many others on how to productively use them.  He continues to lead by example the use of digital learning tools that enhance student engagement and learning. He has led numerous professional development sessions on software programs such as Canvas, Nearpod and Flipgrid to the point the staff now widely uses them because of his efforts.

    Heather Erickson  –  George Washington Academy, 2nd Grade, St. George This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is heather-1.png– Heather Erickson loves working with and teaching children. She began her career at George Washington Academy in 2011 as a Kindergarten teacher. Over the years, she taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. She takes on leadership roles and has earned her ESL and STEM endorsements. Heather is dynamic in the classroom and teaches in a fun and engaging way. She loves to play pickleball, basketball, softball and hike. She can always be found hanging out with her husband at Costco, Chick-fil-a, Cafe Sabor or eating chocolate licorice! Heather has gone above and beyond with utilizing technology to positively impact student learning. She quickly learned how to use the Canvas platform in order to assign work to students. She became the lead teacher in using Canvas and conducted multiple trainings for the teachers. Not only does she have a classroom of students she teaches face-to-face, but once a week, she utilizes Zoom to connect with her on-line students to check-in with them and build a relationship. Heather records every single lesson of the day as if her on-line students are right there with her. She smiles, interacts with the screen, and pauses for students to respond. She clearly teaches each lesson with a visual of the worksheet, a PowerPoint for the math meeting, and the book on the screen with her finger demonstrating directionality and word/print association during reading time. She manipulates her presentations so that her face is in the corner while she reads a lesson, shows pictures or explains difficult concepts. The students have loved her lessons and look forward to her activities every day. She utilizes her Iphone, Canvas, Zoom, Screencastify, and Google slides. She keeps her interactions simple and kid-friendly with minimal navigation which is appropriate for 2nd grade.

    ISTE Making IT Happen Award – Utah 2021

    Superintendent Sydnee Dickson

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SD.pngThe needs of the K-12 school system related to technology resources for blended and digital learning became even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Utah was forced to support a rapid transition to online learning in a matter of days before restarting school and learning for over 660,000 students. Dr. Sydnee Dickson, supported by the state’s Digital Teaching and Learning (DTL) grant program, led the state response with both federal and state funds to support professional learning in the effective use of technology and access to devices, tools, and the internet in homes and schools. Dr. Sydnee Dickson, Utah’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, is the tireless state leader and national exemplar in supporting educational technology efforts for schools, teachers, families, and students.

    Utah was positioned to quickly and effectively transition to remote learning thanks to many years of preparation and leadership from Dr. Sydnee Dickson. In 2015, the Utah state legislature called for the development of a master plan to improve classroom technology use. Under the direction of Dr. Dickson, the Utah State Board of Education convened local superintendents and technology directors, state board members, legislators, the governor’s office, and the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) to contribute to the Essential Elements for Technology Powered Learning. In the plan, Utah identified several components of effective technology integration and proposed a statewide DTL grant necessary for implementation, which became codified into law.

    With DTL, Dr. Dickson decided against a top-down approach, which would have involved the state board directing LEAs to use funds towards specified activities. Instead, USBE asked each LEA to conduct a readiness assessment and use that data to create a personalized plan. The state board did set some guidelines, asking plans to address, among other items, professional learning, digital citizenship, and specific metrics. But by empowering LEAs to create their own plans, Dr. Dickson ensured that they would each develop a sense of shared ownership alongside stakeholders.

    Data shows that Utah LEAs are prioritizing educator capacity. Administrators report spending DTL funds on professional learning, and much of the training is coordinated through our partners at UETN. USBE also offers pathways for educators to earn an educational technology endorsement, including the ISTE Certification program. According to grantees, DTL is transforming the classroom by reinforcing students’ agency and active learning strategies. This impact demonstrates that the culture of digital learning is changing in Utah. As shown by scenarios we’ve collected on educators’ technology use, they’re less concerned about the devices and more about the pedagogical methods for accelerating learning. Under Superintendent Dickson’s leadership, the DTL grant has now grown to $20 million annually, as legislators continue to see widespread participation and early evidence of impact. Superintendent Dickson has been a constant advocate for educators and opportunities for professional learning to support their acceleration toward digital instruction.

    It is clear that Superintendent Dickson is the state champion for learning for all students. She goes above and beyond as a leader, taking time to listen to students and teachers while balancing her leadership in policy and state education. She is often found on the #utedchat on Twitter on Wednesdays at 9PM, contributing to the Utah K-12 education community with ideas, kudos, and resources. She advocates and leads efforts for our teachers and students that extend beyond traditional education, such as with securing rapid COVID-19 tests and vaccines for the education community. Her tireless leadership provides a lighthouse for the state of Utah as we navigate these difficult times.

    Dr. Sydnee Dickson is truly an exemplary leader of technology in education and exemplifies the best of how to effectively lead change. She continues to lead, guide and share her vision of the positive impact technology can have to improve teaching and learning. She is the ultimate advocate for the equity of access to home technology connections including digital tools and resources. For these and many, many more reasons, the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) is pleased to honor Dr. Sydnee Dickson with ISTE ‘s Making It Happen Award. Dr. Dickson Made IT Happen for education in Utah.

  • 2020


    ISTE Making It Happen Award 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. 

    ISTE Making It Happen – Jim Stewart, UETN Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 

    For the past 18 years, Jim Stewart has been working directly supporting technology for all public schools, higher education and healthcare organizations in the state of Utah. He has 40 years of experience working in the technology profession.

    With an increased focus on using technology in the most effective ways to support student learning, a reliable, secure network and ample bandwidth are essential. 

    Jim has prioritized ensuring all schools across the state have access to robust Internet connectivity. With quality infrastructure in place, schools and classrooms have been transformed to facilitate the best experiences for students. USBE DTL Team recognizes Jim’s leadership as instrumental in providing teachers across the state opportunities to serve as architects of learning while providing students with a conduit to explore real-world concepts, interact with real-world experts, and analyze and solve real-world problems. These connected classrooms are keeping resources and materials current with the contemporary world, offering opportunities for more self-directed personalized learning experiences, and allowing teachers to facilitate active student learning. 

    UETN is a critical resource for Utah, providing the backbone that supports all the services and functions of our modern education system. Under the leadership of Jim, UETN’s collaborative efforts with USBE, LEAs, and Regional Service Centers have delivered and continue to support highly scalable, secure, and reliable networks. Their shared vision and planning enable current and future learning technology tools that enhance student learning to be leveraged in schools across the state of Utah.


    Ogden School District, Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist

    Nominated by: Adam McMickell, Director of Student Achievement, Ogden School District

    Ian Davey consistently demonstrates an ability to match visionary leadership with key organizational aptitudes that maximize learning outcomes and drive district-wide initiatives. Over the past year, Ian has led by example in his role as the district digital teaching and learning specialist by modeling a commitment to personal professional learning and inspiring many in the educational community to follow in his path. He lives his core values as a Google Certified Educator, Trainer, Innovator, and a Leader for Utah’s Google Educator Group. He was also one of the first educators in the state to be recognized as an ISTE Certified Educator and is currently coordinating efforts to establish this certification program in his district. 

    According to Ogden’s Director of Student Achievement, Adam McMickell, Ian’s commitment to excellence and his collaborative expertise are proven assets for the district and for the entire state educational community. He is a primary reason that Ogden district was recognized as a Google Reference District. Ian has welcomed educators from across the state to our district (face-to-face or online) and presents annually at the UCET conference. 

    As a district leader, Ian always plans well in advance and keeps himself on track by relentlessly monitoring his own actions in relation to each project’s proximal and distal objectives. He always keeps the students in mind and measures all project outcomes against student learning expectations. Through this work, Ian advocates for the students by developing district policy and procedural governance that aims to promote innovative practices and access to information while guaranteeing privacy and security for all students. Moreover, Ian effectively employs his communication skills to ensure that all stakeholders are fully aware of their roles/expectations throughout all stages of each project’s implementation. McMickell identifies Ian’s organizational dexterity coupled with his relentless pursuit of excellence as positively transforming Ogden School District’s culture and has advanced the learning community in delivering high-quality digital teaching and learning experiences. 


    Riverdale Elementary School in Weber School District, 2nd Grade Teacher and Ed Tech Coach

    Nominated by: Tabitha Pacheco, Director, Utah Teacher Fellows

    Taunya has a rich background in implementing technology in her class and school. Working with code.org since it went live in 2013, her second grade students understand computer coding and use it to program robotics such as Spheros, Makey-Makeys, and DoBots. Last year, Taunya added Arduino boards from BirdBrain Technologies and her students’ creations amazed teachers at the 2019 UCET Conference. In 2014, Taunya adopted Sugata Mitra’s concept of School in the Cloud and has students using the Self Organized Learning Environment format to research and collaborate big questions. Her students can research and present their findings like upper grade students by the end of the year. They use their knowledge to problem solve and collaborate with others face-to-face or through online collaboration with Skype in Education. Students learn in an active, hands-on environment where student thinking is valued and reinforced. Every student is held to high accountability. Her lessons are vibrant and use different methods to engage all levels of students. 

    Tabitha Pacheco, Director, Utah Teacher Fellows recognizes Taunya’s supports for learning in other classes and for fellow teachers. She works closely with other teachers to increase student success on a school-wide level and has been an active participant in PTA, Community Council, and district Leadership Teams. For the last 5 years, Taunya has coordinated free after school enrichment clubs for students focusing on STEM and the arts. The clubs are always full with a long waiting list because of the interactive learning and understanding of STEM education.  Currently, Taunya is the advisor for her school student tech team and the VEX IQ robotics teams. 

    In addition, Taunya is the school’s Ed Tech Coach and Project Lead the Way Lead Teacher. She helps teachers update practices and feel more confident using technology with students. She teaches staff during professional Development trainings, in small groups, and works one-to-one with teachers.


    Odyssey Elementary, Davis School District, 5th Grade Teacher

    Nominated by: Rachel Wright, 4th Grade Teacher, Odyssey Elementary

    Kayla, as a DSD Leading EDGEducator and pursuing her technology endorsement,  holds her students to high standards in not only using technology but also understanding the why and how behind classroom technology. Her students benefit from individualized instruction that meets them at their level, but also in learning life-long problem-solving technical skills that will prepare them for jobs that may not even exist yet. Rachel Wright, a fellow teacher at Odyssey, sees Kayla’s students use adaptive technology for centers, complete and submit assignments using Microsoft Teams and Canvas, use Minecraft to build problem-solving skills, and created posters to encourage students to be responsible digital citizens.

    Kayla has also taken a leading role in supporting fellow teachers in using classroom technology. She is known throughout Davis School District as a technology leader and risk-taker, who is willing to help others succeed in areas she has mastered. Kayla wants her fellow educators to be comfortable with and recognize the benefits of innovative teaching practices with classroom technologies. She offers her expertise in faculty meetings, optional trainings, and at district technology gatherings. Wright believes, Kayla sees everyone as capable of innovative practices, and does her part in helping them succeed!

    ISTE Making it Happen Winner

    • Jim Stewart 

    UCET 2020 Award Nominees

    Outstanding Leader of the Year Nominees

    • Aaron  Bodell, Utah State Board of Education, Education Specialist
    • Ian Davey, Ogden School District, Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist
    • Maxine Dee, Canyons School District, Ed Tech
    • Melissa Hamilton, Murray City School District, Elementary Teaching & Learning Director
    • Jennifer Moore, Windsor Elementary, Principal
    • Julie Mootz, Canyons School District, Oak Hollow ELementary, Principal
    • Jenna Olson, San Juan, Monticello, Principal
    • Richard Swanson, Farmington High School, Principal
    • Shanda Thornell, Canyon School District, Sandy Elementary, Educational Technology Coach
    • Chet Torgerson, Sevier School District, Technology Director

    Outstanding Teacher Nominees

    • Val Anderson, Utah Online School, Washington County School District, Teacher
    • Amy Beckert, Draper Elementary School, 4th Grade Teacher
    • Rachel  Bingham, Canyons School District, Bell View, 3rd grade Teacher
    • Kirt Brown, Iron County School District, Canyon View High School, Art Teacher and School Technology Specialist
    • Brandon Cornaby, Canyons School District, 7th grade science
    • Becca Esplin, Iron County, Fiddlers Canyon, 4th grade teacher
    • Taunya  James, Riverdale Elementary School in Weber School District, 2nd Grade Teacher and Ed Tech Coach
    • Lightel Parys, Butler Elementary School, Canyons, 4th grade DLI 
    • Mindy Van de Graaff, Canyons School District, Willow Springs Elementary, Visual Arts Brainbooster Teacher

    Outstanding Young Educator Nominees

    • Jeff Mortensen, Alpine School District, Innovative Learning Coach
    • Megan Norton, Canyons School District, Canyon View Elementary, 4th Grade Teacher
    • Dani Sloan, Instructional Technology Trainer, UEN
    • Kayla Towner, Odyssey Elementary, Davis School District, 5th Grade Teacher
  • 2019


    ISTE MAKING IT HAPPEN: Kelly Dumont, Canyons School District, Elementary Team Lead

    Kelly Dumont has been an educator for 30 years. He started his education career at the old Midvale Elementary in 1988. He later transferred to Southland Elementary and found a real passion for using technology in the classroom. While working on his Masters in Instructional Technology, he decided to become an Education Technology specialist for Jordan School District, and was given the opportunity in 1996.

    Among his many accomplishments working as an Ed Tech specialist for Jordan District, one of his greatest contributions was the introduction of a student film festival. The film festival gave students the opportunity to showcase their creativity through the use of video production. The Film Festival he started carried over to Canyons School District as well, where he currently is working.

    In his desire to promote education technology to both teachers and students, Kelly started a podcast called The Educational Mac. This podcast has listeners all across the country. His love for Apple products and the integration of technology in the curriculum led him to also become an Apple Distinguished Educator. This honor is held by 2,447 people worldwide as of 1994. He has presented in UCET, ISTE, Utah Rural School, and InstructureCon, just to name a few.

    Kelly’s unpretentious leadership, and determination to help other teachers has helped him always be recognized as a valuable participant on any team. He started as the Ed Tech team lead in the Canyons School District in 2009 when the new district was formed. He worked with both secondary and elementary teachers but always found his passion working with students in elementary schools. He spent many late hours editing video to have it ready for the daily school news broadcast.

    Kelly is a CETL leader, a Certified Educational Technology Leader and has helped with many of the COSN classes to ensure Utah leaders across the state of Utah have become Certified Educational Technology Leaders. This came at a critical time in our state, and Kelly was there to lead out.

    Kelly Dumont is one of the most unassuming and kindest educators. Everyone that knows Kelly loves him. Because of this and his love for teaching with technology, he has been setting trends across the state for years. It is with great honor and pride, that he receives the ISTE Making IT happen award today.


    Rick Gaisford says” It is with great pleasure that I nominate Jared Covilli for the ISTE Making IT Happen award for 2019.” Jared is an instructor with the UEN Professional Development department and specializes in teaching strategies for classroom integration of technology such as Google tools, geospatial learning, social media, and digital devices. Jared’s background is in secondary education where he was a Language Arts teacher at the secondary level. He received his Bachelor’s degree in English and his Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from the University of Utah. Besides his work at UEN, Jared is also an adjunct faculty member of the College of Education at the University of Utah, where he teaches technology integration classes to undergraduate students. Jared served as the president of Utah Coalition for Educational Technology for 2011-2012 and currently serves on the UCET board, He helps moderate #UTedChat and has been a driving force in organizing multiple Edcamp Utah events Finally, on his own time Jared is the author of two books, Going Google and Classroom in the Cloud. Jared has successfully helped thousands of Utah educators gain skills and knowledge on how to effectively use technology in teaching and learning. He has been involved with numerous organizations both in the state and nationally to promote and instruct on successful use of digital teaching and learning resources. Currently, he is involved with ISTE as a member of their affiliates organization sharing the great things being done here in our state. Jared exemplifies what this award strives to recognize:

    • Jared uses available technology now and shares with educators around the state
    • Jared moves forward and doesn’t look back.
    • Jared sees those he works with as real people and works to elevate their practice.
    • Jared teaches through relationships, inspiring, encouraging and nurturing. There are thousands of educators around the state that would attest to this.
    • Jared recognizes that further change is necessary, but understand that it is a process. He also helps educators to know this.
    • Jared realizes that teacher empowerment is the key element to technology integration and strives to make this a reality for all those he works with.
    • Jared expects success. There are educators around the state that have benefitted from his expectation of success as they have successfully implemented technology into teaching and learning.
    • Jared motivates through awareness and access to information and has spent countless hours of his own time writing and teaching to share what he has learned.

    Jared both meets and exceeds the qualifications for this award.

    OUTSTANDING LEADER: David Long, Logan School District, Technology Director

    According to Logan District staff, “David is an amazing educational technology leader.  David has made an incredible impact on how we, as technology professionals and educators, support and effectively implement technology to enhance the learning environment in the classroom.  He is definitely one of the most effective and influential technology leaders in the state.”    

    Frank Schofield, Logan District Superintendent, says Dave has a clear vision of how technology can be used to enhance teacher performance and student learning. He recognizes the positive disruption that occurs when educators are aware of the potential impact of technology, then receive the necessary support to apply technology in focused, deliberate ways.

    Just a few examples of David’s educational technology leadership in the state:
    UETN Board Member
    David provides brilliant leadership through his role as a UETN board member since 2014.  As a board member, he has been highly effective helping move forward UETN and statewide initiatives such as eduroam, SAINTCON leadership track, CTO planning retreats, acquiring licensed wireless spectrum and the creation UETN Technology Advisory Committee (TAC).
    Certified Educational Technology Leader Certification (CETL)

    In 2013, David become the first Utah CETL in the state of Utah.  Soon after passing the exam, David started working closely with other educational technology professionals in the state to help them gain this certification as well.  We now currently have over 40 CETLs in the state and this can be directly tied to Dave’s leadership and support of the statewide CETL program.

    OUTSTANDING TEACHER: Sumeyra Gul, Beehive Science and Technology Academy, Charter School

    Sumeyra encourages a new generation of students– with a strong emphasis on girls–to become involved in information technology. She is a computer science teacher and is heavily involved in extracurricular activities at Beehive, one of Utah’s leading STEM schools for the past several years. Beehive was named an Apple Distinguished School for 2017-2019. Sumeyra currently oversees the school’s two CyberPatriot teams—one coed, and the second one that’s all female.  CyberPatriot is a national program of the Air Force Association. Last year’s women’s team won first place in Utah. She also oversees the Girls Who Code Club and is involved in Beehive’s College Mentorship and Leadership Program.

    According to Beehive’s director, Hanifi Oguz, “Ms. Gul is an innovative teacher who learns emerging educational technology and implements this technology in her classes. She also helps support and train fellow teachers to increase the student learning across the school. She has been a pioneer in implementing some creative teaching and learning tools, and in helping other teachers to learn from her best practices through professional learning communities and training. She shares her expertise with other school teachers by inviting them to her classroom and workshops.”

    OUTSTANDING YOUNG EDUCATORS: Alberto Herraez and Mario Herraez, Canyons Creek Elementary, Davis School District

    Twinning is winning with the Herraez-Velazquez brothers from Salamanca, Spain who came to Utah several years ago on a scholarship to teach. Mario teaches 1st grade and Alberto teaches 6th grade at Canyon Creek Elementary School, where their students are part of the Spanish/English Immersion program.

    Mario says “If we take a look at this evolution throughout the last decades, it becomes clear that education has moved from learning out of books to hands-on and student-centered learning approaches. We want the students to experience the learning by using VR in our classes. Our students are immersed in their learning.” Mario was awarded a grant to purchase a full cart of Google Expeditions and applies virtual reality (VR) technology in almost all of his lessons and is leading the implementation of this technology in the district.

    Alberto says “I truly believe that the content needs to be taught in a meaningful context. We need to give students a reason to care about their progress and also a purpose. By implementing a PBL approach, students will use the content to develop projects and solve problems that are challenging. The project is not the final goal of the learning process, but instead, it is the vehicle in which students reach the final goal to improve students’ language skills.” Alberto is known for his application of PBL within his classroom. He was recognized by Microsoft (MIE Expert of the month) for implementing successfully this approach and for mentoring many teachers who wanted to start using PBL in their own classes.

    Alberto and Mario also were selected to participate in the Leading EDGE program from Davis School District. They have presented their projects at several events such as: Davis School Technology Conference, C-forum, TCEA conference (San Antonio, TX), NCCE conference (Seattle, WA) and US Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert community meetings. They have been selected to represent the state of Utah and the U. S. at Microsoft E2 Education Exchange E2. Only 30 educators from the USA have been invited.

    UCET 2019 Award Nominees

    ISTE Making it Happen

    • Jared Covili
    • Kelly Dumont

    Outstanding Leader of the Year

    • Keri Greener, Box Elder School District
    • Cory Henwood, Iron County School District
    • Kent Larsen, South Sanpete School District
    • David Long, Logan School District
    • Hanifi Oguz, Beehive Science and Technology Academy
    • Trevor Powell, South Sanpete School District

    Outstanding Teacher

    • Alley Chai, Granite School District
    • Thomas Erekson, Alpine School District
    • Sumeyra Gul, Beehive Science and Technology Academy
    • Patricia Helquist, San Juan School District
    • Summer Marshall, Park City School District
    • Lisa Rogers, Channing Hall

    Outstanding Young Educator

    • Brad Gannon, Park City School District
    • Alberto Herraez, Davis School District
    • Mario Herraez, Davis School District
    • Sally James, Piute County School District
    • Allison Northcott, Alpine School District
  • 2018

    Congratulations to the following UCET Award winners announced during the opening session of the #UCET18 on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the University of Utah.                                      


    Nominated by Rick Gaisford, USBE

    Sarah is the perfect example of why this award was created, to recognize an individual that in the performance of her job activities leads and inspires change and really makes it happen. For the past 2 years Sarah has guided the Utah Digital Teaching and Learning Program.  From day 1 her goal was that this DTL program would impact every district, school teacher and student in the state. Currently 40 of 41 schools districts and over 40 charter schools are participating. During the initial application time Sarah spoke with or visited districts and schools all over the state offering advice and encouragement. Now hundreds of schools and thousands of students all over Utah are being impacted by the work she has led. She has deftly created a community around the DTL program that includes educators, state and local leadership, policymakers and others all working to make this program successful. As a career educator I have never seen someone make such a profound impact and lead such monumental change in such short amount of time. Sarah Young has made IT happen here in Utah and for efforts in leading the DTL program, and has earned in every way this award.

     OUTSTANDING LEADER: Tim Smith, Cache County School District

    In the words of Cache District’s Superintendent, Steve Norton, “Tim Smith is an outstanding member of our leadership team here in the Cache County School District. I have never, in my educational career, seen anyone make a greater impact on a district than Tim has made on this district.”  One of the tasks Tim took on when he was first hired as the technology leader for Cache District was to work closely with UETN to provide a district technology evaluation for his own district’s technology department.  Based on its success, the evaluation soon became a service that many of the other districts have asked UETN to provide. Because of Tim’s leadership in this area, many districts see technology department evaluations as an absolute necessity and they have become a normal practice.   Over the last couple of years, the Cache District has been very effective in supporting and running CyberCorps,  a program that provides training to high school students who in turn provide technology training and support in their school. Not only has Tim provided leadership for this in his own district, but has been instrumental in developing this into a statewide project.  He played a major role in writing the grant that provided funding for CyberCorps in 22 schools throughout the state. Tim’s work ethic is inspiring to all those that associate with him.  He works long hours to ensure educational technology is meaningful and relevant, not only to his district, but to the entire state. He is a true educational technology leader.

     OUTSTANDING  EDUCATOR : James Rees, Provo High School

    James Rees is an exceptionally accomplished artist who is also a remarkable teacher. He continually pushes his professional practice through the creative exploration of technology and consistently evaluates his own teaching practice.  An example of a current approach of technology use in his classroom is a digital storytelling project where students share immigration experiences and explore the question, “Who is an American today? He currently uses video conferencing to bring professional artists into the classroom where they interact with his students.  Recently he had a guest juror Facetime into the classroom to critique and award prizes for an in-school art contest. This innovating use of technology breaks down the barriers of the classroom walls and literally connects students to ‘real world’ experiences which expands their knowledge and furthers their understanding of the arts into a wider arena.

    OUTSTANDING YOUNG EDUCATOR: Dave Horan, Freedom Elementary School

    In the words of his administrator, “Dave Horan is the best person for this award because of his hard work and dedication to the success of his students.  The technology that he uses inside the classroom is only integrated if its purpose matches his essential learning outcomes of the students.” His influence as a technology leader is not limited to his own classroom. On a school level, he is in charge of coaching other teachers in appropriate and effective use of technology, working with school teams and hosting such events as Tech Tuesday. He has had on impact on the entire Alpine District by helping to develop the Technology Standards which are used district-wide. On a state level, Dave is a frequent presenter at conferences, an active participant in #utedchat and #4thedchat, and a member of the Hope Street group, an education advocacy organization. With his active social media presence, @downrightdave constantly shares the positive things happening in his classroom with the larger community.

    UCET 2018 Award Nominees

    ISTE Making it Happen

    • Cherie Anderson, Granite School District
    • Aaron Brewer, San Juan School District
    • Camille Cole, Canyon School District
    • Blaine Edman, Alpine School District
    • Gloria Kelly, Utah Online School
    • Haley McCall, Jordan School District
    • Mashell Stott, Provo School District
    • Sarah Young, USBE

    Outstanding Leader of the Year

    • Krystle Bassett, Juab School District
    • Tony Campbell, Washington School District
    • Darren Draper, Alpine School District
    • Chad Duncan, Provo School District
    • Heather Goodwin-Nelson, Utah Virtual Academy
    • Bret McCabe, Provo School District
    • Ed Mondragon, Granite School District
    • Lynn Raymond, Weber School District
    • Keith Reidford, Granite School District
    • Wendy Rush, Utah Virtual Academy
    • Tim Smith, Cache County School District
    • Travis Thurston, USU
    • Sue Winkler, Davis School District

    Outstanding Teacher

    • Tina Crofts, San Juan School District
    • Jordyn Dixon, Jordan School District
    • Nathanael Gardner, Jordan School District
    • Dave Horan, Alpine School District
    • Taunya James, Weber School District
    • Stephanie Leffler, Granite School District
    • Margaret McAndrews, Granite School District
    • Haley McCall, Jordan School District
    • Ryan Oldroyd, Jordan School District
    • James Rees, Provo School District
    • Nicole Reitz-Larsen, Salt Lake City School District
    • Becky Rendell, Jordan School District
    • Judy Rose, Provo School District
    • Sam Thompson, Park City School District
    • Deidre Tyler, SLCC

    Outstanding Young Educator

    • Chelsey Beck, Nebo School District
    • Maddy Bragg, Nebo School District
    • Ruby Fisher, Jordan School District
    • Dave Horan, Alpine School District
    • Jordann Vaha, South Sanpete School District
  • 2017

    Congratulations to the following UCET Award winners announced during the opening session of the #UCET17 on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the University of Utah.                                      


    Rick is the Educational Technology Specialist at USBE, and has worked for decades at the state and national level. His reputation is impeccable.  He knows and is well respected by key national and state leaders.  He truly loves teaching an learning.  And to top it off, his personality is easygoing and fun. 
    For the past several years, Rick leveraged his knowledge and was essential to the conception, crafting and documentation with districts to bring about the state Digital Teaching and Learning master plan.
    Rick has served on the board of SETDA (State Educational Tech Directors Association) including a stint as the board chair where he interacted with national leaders promoting best practices of technology integration.

     OUTSTANDING LEADER: Cody Spendlove, Alpine School District

    Cody Spendlove is the Ed Tech Curriculum Director in Alpine. He is the essence of leadership excellence. He is a champion of Alpine’s teachers. He knows how to get folks in the boat and pulling the oars in the same direction. Working in Alpine District, Cody also benefits the state, He knows how to communicate about the role of public education and the value of ed tech.  One of the best things about Cody is that he is always willing to take time to talk and think through the tough ed tech issues Utah is facing at the district, region and state levels.
    Cody earned his CETL (Certified Educational Technology Leader) three years ago. It’s a national certification. The past two years he’s been mentoring other Utah ed tech leaders and helping run the Utah CETL cohorts program where others are earning their national certification. He also helps conduct National CETL trainings.

     OUTSTANDING  EDUCATOR : Ben Smith, Rowland Hall

    Ben kindled a passion for Computer Science at Rowland Hall after completing his masters in Instructional Design and Education Technology at the University of Utah. Several years ago, the CS offerings were limited and disconnected and Ben saw the opportunity in working with stakeholders throughout the school to begin to formulate a schoolwide CS curriculum.  
    Ben was instrumental in forming a Computer Science track including AP courses and a Joy of Computing course. He has also developed an Arduino for Middle School course in which students explore the Internet of Things by creating projects using Arduino microcontrollers. This curriculum has been so successful, Ben has presented it in regional conferences over the last several years.
    Ben was also integral to securing grant funding for a redesigned learning space which became the Middle and High School Makerspaces. Through Ben’s guidance, the space became a fruitful laboratory for design, creation, and innovation.

    OUTSTANDING YOUNG EDUCATOR: Ashley Lennox, Draper Elementary

    Ashley Lennox is an outstanding young educator who combines creativity, technology use, classroom management, and superior teaching skills to create a classroom where all students learn and achieve. Don’t let her easy-going nature fool you — she is a skilled educator who knows how to reach each individual student. Ashley is first in line to write grants, implement new technology, and combine the tools she receives to improve her pedagogy and focus on educational priorities. For example, right now in her classroom Ashley has a Chromebook lab, iPads, an iPod Touch lab, a Sphero lab, and Makey Makey kits. Unlike in some classrooms, these tools don’t just sit. Ashley uses these resources masterfully to engage her students in the curriculum in new ways and push beyond the traditional walls of the classroom. She also happens to have exercise balls for chairs, an iguana, a chameleon, a turtle, and an altogether interactive classroom and teaching style that encourages students to think, problem solve, and create. When entering her classroom, what becomes instantly obvious is the passion Ashley has for teaching and learning and the love she has for her students. She motivates, encourages, and inspires.

    UCET 2017 Award Nominees

    ISTE Making it Happen

    • Ben Smith, Rowland Hall
    • Rick Gaisford, USBE
    • Bri Pela, Provo School District
    • Deborah Morgan, Sevier School District
    • Dallas Gledhill, Provo School District

    Outstanding Leader

    • Courtney Johnson, Alpine School District
    • Jamie Hagan, Wasatch School District
    • Bret McCabe, Provo School District
    • Brett Zabell, Wasatch School Disrict
    • Sarah Weston, Mountain Heights Academy
    • Cody Spendlove, Alpine School District
    • Tim Smith, Cache County School District
    • Sam Mitchell, Granite School District
    • Joe Keddington, Good Foundations Academy

    Outstanding Teacher

    • Kim Parsons, South Sevier School District
    • Landon Ashcroft, InTech Collegiate High School
    • Keenan Hart, Iron County School District
    • Kelly Witkowski, Odgen School District
    • Staci Rodriguez, Salt Lake City School District
    • Richard Peterson, South Sanpete School District
    • Wendy Radke, South Summit School District
    • Daniel Potter, Alpine School District
    • Matt Hiatt, Provo School District
    • Angie Frabasilio, Washington County School District
    • Cindy Butterfield, South Summit School District
    • Scott Brady, South Sevier School District
    • Ben Smith, Rowland Hall High School

    Outstanding Young Educator

    • Jeremiah Tijerina, Dixon Middle School
    • Matthew Rhees, North Sevier Middle School
    • Amanda Lotine,  Old Mill Elementary School
    • Ashley Lennox, Draper Elementary School
    • Jordann Vaha, Manti High School
    • Danae Huizenga, Canyons School District
    • Stuart Baggaley, Edith Bowen Laboratory School
  • 2016

    Awardees were announced during the Opening Session of the #UCET16 Conference on Thursday, March 17, 2016, at the University of Utah.

    Award Winners

    Crystal VanAusdal crop Crystal VanAusdal – UCET Outstanding Teacher of the Year (Math Department Chair, Mountain Heights Academy). “Crystal is a dedicated math professional intent on leveraging technology’s promise to improve education…. Comments from her teachers center around Crystal’s ability to calmly solve problems, competently lead the department, and dynamically innovate in a high-tech online setting. While in this role Crystal has organized multiple professional development opportunities for her teachers.  She also leads department meetings twice a month via Google Hangout where brainstorming on how to improve the math courses occurs.  Whenever Crystal finds a new pedagogical technique or technology tip that works she quickly shares it with her teachers. She is a beloved leader and colleague who collaborates and seeks win-win solutions.” 
    Durrant cropped

    Guy Durrant – UCET Outstanding Leader of the Year (District Technology Director, Dagget School District). 

    Guy is a modest and earnest educator who has earned an excellent reputation throughout the state and the education technology community for his strong leadership and support of technology use in public education. He is a valued mentor to many….

    Guy selflessly shares what he has learned from experience and is truly an expert in the field.  When technology directors in the NUES region or the TCC post a question to the listservs, Guy is among the first to respond with a suggestion or solution.  Guy is also an advocate for small rural districts and is not afraid to stand up and 

    maria jones cropped

     Maria Jones– UCET Outstanding Young Educator of the Year (Educational Technology Specialist, Canyons School District). “

    Maria is an inspirational leader. Having led several critical projects for the Canyons District, she consistently exhibits leadership for digital citizenship and a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning and productivity….

    Without question, her high quality work as an Ed Tech Specialist has positively impacted every teacher and interested parent in the Canyons District, demonstrating that Maria undoubtedly understands, selects and uses applications effectively to design, develop and evaluate authentic learning opportunities and projects.”

    Carl Lyman_161b

    Carl Lyman, Making IT Happen (USOE , Information Technology Specialist)  

    For a decade, Carl has organized and conducted IT training around the state and effectively advocated for student involvement and certifications in IT. He personally has 4 industry IT certifications. He was an advocate for computer science before it was “cool” to code. Utah’s economy will benefit from his leadership to help students get interested, get skills and get jobs in IT. He’s a great collaborator with his peers nationally, at the state office, and with universities, LEA and charter schools. He has navigated around all the inertia, brought people together, and did the hard work to get Utah public education on the path to building an in-state IT workforce. This patience, perseverance, advocacy and can-do attitude are the hallmarks of Carl’s career in Utah..”

    UCET 2016 Award Nominees

    ISTE Making it Happen

    • Jordan Crane, Wayne School District
    • Camille Cole, Canyons School District
    • Paul Sweat, Wasatch School District
    • Jessica Moody, Granite School District
    • Tyler Howe, Granite School District
    • Carl Lyman, USOE

    Outstanding Leader

    • Jordan Crane, Wayne School District
    • Darren Draper, Canyons School District
    • Kelly Justin, Wasatch School District
    • Guy Durrant, Dagget School District
    • Sue Sorenson, Logan School District
    • Rachel Thompson, Alpine School District
    • Stephanie Mondragon, Granite School District

    Outstanding Teacher

    • Crystal VanAusdal, Mountain Heights Academy
    • Shannon Robertson, Wayne High School
    • Michele Brees, Copperview Elementary
    • Kristin Homer, Sandy Elementary
    • Judd Sweat, Rocky Mountain Middle School
    • Heather Nelson, East Meadows Elementary
    • Melinda Welch, Utah Online School
    • Summer Johnson, Utah Online School
    • Christine Ferrin, Deerfield Elementary
    • Melissa Maxwell, Treasure Mountain Jr. High
    • Tara Criddle, Utah Online School
    • Gloria Kelly, Utah Online School
    • Kim Parsons, South Sevier Middle School
    • Alison Wendel Bennett, Hartvigsen School
    • Candace Collins, Granite School District
    • Kari Myers, Utah Online School
    • Carolyn Black, Utah Online School
    • Annette Pond, Utah Online School
    • Chelsea Penney, Utah Online School
    • Mindy Taylor, Utah Online School
    • Meagan Johnston, Utah Online School
    • Jeremy Ralphs, Cache County School District
    • Brandon Kerby, Kearns Jr. High
    • Kimberly Mendenhall, Fort Herriman Middle School

    Outstanding Young Educator

    • Magon Bowling, Wayne High/Middle School
    • Maria Jones, Canyons School District
    • Valarie Anderson, Utah Online School
    • Jared Moody, Enterprise Elementary
    • Jen Larsen, Utah Online School
    • Treena Tui’one, Olympus Jr. High 
    • Jacob Cope, Fort Herriman Middle School
  • 2015

    Awardees were announced during the Opening Session of the #UCET15 Conference on Thursday, April 2, at Herriman High School.

    Award Winners

    Glen Andersen – UCET Outstanding Teacher of the Year (Washington County School District, Teacher Grade 5) “ Every time I am in Mr. Andersen’s classroom, it strikes me that THIS is what education is about, THIS is what every child deserves.  He understands how technology can individualize and inspire learning in students. I often see his students deeply engaged in work on their ipads whether responding to their classmates or teachers in writing, creating movies, practicing math skills, taking an assessment, or working on a class project.  Our profession needs more “Mr. Andersens”; he not only understands what he needs to do in order to be successful in the classroom, he willingly shares his expertise and passion with all those around him.”

    Jared Ward – UCET Outstanding Leader of the Year (Canyons School District, Educational Technology Specialist) “Jared makes technology accessible and less intimidating to virtually every teacher he works with.   He has helped teachers at Brighton and Jordan High become excited about using Canvas, Chromebooks, iPads, and other technology.  Through his persistent and compassionate teaching, he helps even the most resistant teachers understand how these tools can make their classrooms better and help their students be more engaged.”

    Kyle Hansen – UCET Outstanding Young Educator of the Year (American Leadership Academy, Teacher Grade 5)  “Kyle has an enthusiasm for learning.  He has the ability to engage students, parents, administrators and fellow teachers in collaborative growth and creating a community of learners.  Daily, he strives to make learning fun.  Throughout all activities, he tries to bring out the best in each student he works with by actively involving them in instruction, transforming the students into collaborative community members and engaging learners at all levels.”

    Robert Gordon – Making IT Happen (Canyons School District, Secondary Ed Tech Team Lead)  “Robert skillfully empowers administrators, teachers, and students in their effective use of educational technology by always looking for engaging ways to teach such use. In spite of his ability to fix most of the problems people bring to him, Robert’s first priority is consistently to teach his “students” – with kindness and tact – to solve their own problems, using current technology and instructional skill.”















    UCET Nominees 2015

    UCET Outstanding Teacher of the Year 

    • Glen Andersen – Washington County School District, Teacher Grade 5
    • Geri Carr – Salt Lake City School District, Teacher Grade 1
    • David Faires – Alpine School District, Teacher Band
    • Nathan Jenkins – Iron County School District, Teacher Grade 4
    • Gloria Kelly – Washington County School District, Teacher
    • Carol Nef – Davis School District, Educational Technology Specialist
    • William Shumaker – Alpine School District, Teacher Grade 4
    • Ginny Watts – Canyons School District, Teacher Grade 2
    • Alli Weaver – Canyons School District, Teacher Grade 3

    UCET Outstanding Leader of the Year

    • Jeri Bankhead – Canyons School District, Educational Technology Specialist
    • Jordan Crane – Wayne School District, District Technology Specialist
    • Canda Mortensen – Alpine School District, Vice Principal
    • Carol Nef – Davis School District, District Technology Leader
    • Desirae Roden – Washington County School District, Assistant Principal
    • Sue Sorenson – Logan City School District, Principal
    • Jared Ward – Canyons School District, Educational Technology Specialist
    • Travis Wilstead – Washington County School District, Principal

    UCET Outstanding Young Educator of the Year

    • Mary Baker – Washington County School District, Teacher Grade 1
    • Greg Cox – Logan City School District, Teacher Grade 4
    • Steve Eves – Washington County School District, Teacher Grade 5
    • Ashley Fricker – Canyons School District, Teacher Grade 5
    • Kyle Hansen – American Leadership Academy, Teacher Grade 5
    • David Horan – Alpine School District, Teacher Grade 4
    • Maria Jones – Canyons School District, Educational Technology Specialist
    • Nick Smith – Canyons School District, Nick Smith

    Making IT Happen Award

    • Landon Ashcroft – InTech Collegiate High School, Teacher Engineering
    • Robert Gordon – Canyons School District, Secondary Ed Tech Team Lead
    • Mariann Marchant – Cache County School District, Reading Specialist
  • 2014

    Awardees were announced during the Opening Session of the #UCET14 Conference on Thursday, April 1, at Murray High School.

    UCET Nominees 2014

    UCET Outstanding Teacher of the Year 

    • Sharon Moore – Salt Lake City School District, Teacher Grade 4
    • Lance Peterson – Wayne School District, Teacher & School Technology Supervisor
    • Lisa Wadzeck – Canyons School District, Teacher

    UCET Outstanding Leader of the Year

    • Suki Cannon – Granite School District, Technology Coordinator
    • Jordan Crane – Wayne School District, District Technology Director
    • Cody Plumhof – Washington County School District, Web, Media and Conference Coordinator
    • Jason Stanger – InTech Collegiate High School, Principal

    UCET Outstanding Young Educator of the Year

    • Derek Larson – Washington County School District, Teacher

    Making IT Happen Award

    • Sharon Moore – Salt Lake City School District, Teacher Grade 4

    UCET 2014 Awardees

    • UCET Outstanding Teacher of the Year: Lance Peterson – Wayne School District, Teacher & School Technology Supervisor
    • UCET Outstanding Leader of the Year: Cody Plumhof – Washington County School District, Web, Media and Conference Coordinator
    • UCET Outstanding Young Educator of the Year: Derek Larson – Washington County School District, Teacher
  • 2013

    2013 UCET Outstanding Leader of the Year

    Dan Johnson is the director of Edith Bowen Laboratory School on campus at Utah State University. Kurt Johnson writes, “Dan has been the architect behind curriculum design that emphasizes technology integration and has created several programs that engage students and parents in powerful experience-based learning opportunities. He is particularly interested in creating opportunities for students to form meaning from the experiences they have.”

    “In his time at EBLS Dan has helped create an infrastructure to address today’s rapidly changing educational climate. Key elements of his approach include:

    • innovative technology practice based on proven educational practice
    • Shared leadership to leverage individual skills and talents
    • Professional development for all faculty and staff
    • The use of electronic tools for collection and reporting of student performance and growth and
    • Using informed, research based decision making for technology purchases.”

    Dan is also heavily involved in fostering both traditional and individualized professional development for his staff, creating daily team and weekly school planning time, integrating 300+ preservice teachers, and played a critical role in the creation and implementation of over 13 different technology based programs.

    Presented by Tricia Jackson on March 8, 2013

    2013 UCET Outstanding Educator of the Year

    Superintendent Burke Torgerson writes, Flora Hallows “ …has always been a forward thinker, and consumer of technology. She was one of the first in the district to request and use a Smartboard, and from day one, has spent the time necessary to prepare and use that technology in her daily classroom instruction. She also encouraged the purchase of a mobile Lap top computer lab and pioneered its use in her daily classroom instruction. The same is true of her IPAD initiative. She spends many hours of her personal time learning to master the technology, and then incorporating it into her classroom. Further, she learns the technology so well on her own, she is then willing and able to teach, assist, and become a resource for her colleagues.”

    Mary Bray continues, “ After attending the 2012 UCET conference, Flora Hallows returned to Wayne Middle School and started a plan for 1:1 initiative with iPads. After getting the approval she spent many hours this past summer getting this program going. She facilitated teacher trainings each Wednesday night, taught classes to parents and helped write our district iPad policy. Flora facilitated the training of all students on the iPads as well as getting itunes, google docs and icloud set up. All this was accomplished in addition to the many hours she has put in as an English teacher at Wayne Middle School. She has conducted numerous school trainings as well as district trainings for teachers on the use of iPads and smartboards. She has put in many extra hours to improve the quality of instruction and the use of technology for all students.”

    Presented by Kelly Dumont on March 8, 2013

    2013 UCET Outstanding Young Educator Award

    Ashley Webb is an outstanding young educator. Sarah Weston writes, “During the past four years, Ashley has taught at the Open High School of Utah, written six different courses, presented at various conferences and has worked and collaborated on a variety of projects. In each area Ashley excelled, and often went above and beyond in effort. Parent and student feedback of Ashley’s courses include her personal touch, connecting with students, and learning a lot of engaging, interesting things, preparing them for 21st century life after high school.”

    “Ashley creates engaging lessons for her students and pushes them to excel. She loves teaching with technology and teaching students how to analyze, learn, and explore with technology. She has a thirst for learning and incorporating new technologies into her classrooms. The technology tools course that she wrote for our school helps prepare our students for life in an online high school, as well as gives them technical skills that will assist them in the professional world.”

    Presented by Guy Durrant on March 8, 2013

    2013 ISTE Making It Happen Award

    Jeff Murry is a programming genius. Fortunately for the students, teachers, and administrators in the Canyons School District, he is a genius who loves supporting education. In addition to his other duties in the District IT Department, Jeff has developed an innovative web-based program that has revolutionized how student data is gathered, distributed, and analyzed.

    The program is known as Data Dashboard. Three years ago Jeff introduced it to Canyons School District educators as a “one-stop shop” for viewing testing, demographic, and other information, like CRT test scores and attendance records. Jeff writes all the programming and maintains the site himself. Data Dashboard provides educators quick access to District-wide, school-wide, classroom, or individual student data, based on their level of security access. Data can be sorted based on a variety of parameters, like grade level, school year, ELL or Special Education status, can be viewed as lists, charts, and graphs, and can be exported as pdf and Excel files.

    Jeff is friendly, fun, and always willing to help his colleagues, as evidenced by his willingness to take suggestions that make Data Dashboard something that will work well for all educators. He is encouraging and positive and always willing to answer questions and teach those who do not know as much as he does about computer programming.

    Presented by Katie Blunt on March 8, 2013

Outstanding Leader of the Year

This award recognizes and honors a leader who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education. Nominee can be a principal, superintendent, school or district technology staff, regional technology trainer, etc. The one stipulation is that the nominee is not a PK-12 classroom teacher. They may have a teaching certificate, however their current position is not as a classroom teacher. 

Nominations close on Friday, February 2, 2024.

Innovative Teacher Award

The Innovative Teaching Award recognizes teachers for supporting student learning through innovative teaching practices using technology.  “Innovative teaching” employs teaching practices that are new or novel within the context of virtual or in-person classroom teaching that contribute to increased student learning. This award honors exceptional and innovative educators and raises awareness and exposure of the outstanding work being done by classroom teachers through innovative technology practices to create positive learning spaces for their students.

The criteria for the Innovative Teaching Award include:

  • Full time classroom teacher in 2023-2024 school year
  • Innovativeness/novelty in approach
  • Evidence of contribution to student learning

Nominations are due from each district on February 2, 2024. One teacher in each district will be recognized as a UCET Innovative Teacher for 2024 at the UCET conference on March 19, 2024. They will also receive one free conference registration as well as receive a $100 gift card.

Note: There will also be several awards for the Charter and Private Schools category for Innovative teachers. 

Each District may nominate one UCET Innovative Teacher. 

Outstanding Coach of the Year

This award recognizes and honors an educational technology coach, library technology coach, instructional coach, or curriculum coach who has demonstrated outstanding coaching and leadership in implementing technology to support teachers to effectively use technology with students to engage them in learning, enhance learning with options that aren’t possible without the use of technology, and extend learning in ways that relate to the student’s real world and effectively meet their unique needs.  The one stipulation is that the nominee is not a PK-12 classroom teacher. They may have a teaching certificate, however their current position is not as a classroom teacher. One coach will be chosen from all nominations for the state.

Nominations close on February 2, 2024.

UCET Cache Valley Electric Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award

This award recognizes and honors a network technician, administrator, engineer, or systems operations specialist who has demonstrated a significant positive impact on technology use in education locally, regionally, statewide, nationally, or worldwide. This person has involved the community in the initiative or program to facilitate partnerships with business and/or legislative initiatives to advance the use of technology in education.

Nominations close on February 2, 2024.

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