What’s a Typical Day Look Like in the Life of a School Psychologist?

School psychologists, as most people probably assume, work directly with students, but they also consult and collaborate with teachers and parents.

They evaluate students for special education services, but also for mental health supports and referrals. They help build positive school climates where all students feel safe and welcome. They ease the minds of worried parents, calm anxious students, and work with teachers to find creative ways to keep students interested in learning.

Every day is different, which means they have to expect the unexpected and recalibrate their day at a moment’s notice. In other words, there is no such thing as a typical day for a school psychologist.

Join us for National School Psychology Week, Nov. 8-12 as we tip our hats to these consummate professionals in recognition of the many hats they wear and the support they offer families and schools.

‘Best Day of the Year’ Canyons Education Foundation Surprises Teachers with Nearly $100,000 in Innovation Grants

As many people focused on Halloween fun last week, it felt more like the season of giving for 21 educators around Canyons School District.

Canyons Education Foundation board members and staff, District dignitaries, and even a city mayor, piled into a school bus laden with balloons and a big surprise for 16 teaching teams throughout the District: $97,000 in Innovation Grants.

“Foundation Grant delivery day is the absolute best day of the year,” External Relations Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards said. “It’s neat seeing when the money that the Foundation board raises makes it to the classroom and allows innovative teachers to do extra special things for their students.”

Innovation Grants are awarded annually thanks to generous donations, community partnerships, and support of donors via the Education Foundation’s annual golf tournament at Wasatch Mountain State Park. This year’s tournament raised $98,000.

Individual teachers or teaching teams may apply for funding from $1,000-$10,000. Foundation Board members review the applications — 29 were submitted this year — and award grants based on the project’s educational merit and innovation. Names and schools are redacted from the grant applications for the selection process.

Among the supplies, tools, and technology made possible by this year’s grants: a 3D printer, a powerful telescope, a sensory wall for preschoolers, robotics technology, audiovisual equipment, educational plastic brick sets, automotive and welding tools, coding education, and other STEM supplies and programs.

“After all the hard work the Foundation Board and staff put in all year, it’s wonderful to deliver the great news to grant recipients and to see the excitement and emotion on the faces of teachers and students,” Foundation Development Officer Denise Haycock said. “Getting on the ‘Fun Bus’ and giving out grants is one of the highlights of our year. It feels like we’re on the prize patrol.”

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room at Jordan Valley School when Donata Trussell, the school’s physical therapist, found out her grant request had been accepted. Thanks to a $10,000 grant, the special education program will receive two adaptive tricycles to help less-mobile students increase their mobility, range of motion, spatial awareness, strength, and coordination. The trikes really come in handy when students go on walks.

“Thank you. I can’t believe it!” an overwhelmed Trussell exclaimed while being awarded the grant in front of several students and staff. “I am speechless. We really need them. These older ones are falling apart. They are more than 10 years old. I wasn’t sure what we were going to do if one broke. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Foundation Board Member Bill Rappleye, of W.E.R. Enterprises LLC, and Midvale Mayor Robert Hale both gave heartfelt congratulations to Trussell.

“We’re really lucky to have you at this school,” Mayor Hale said.

“I am so touched by today and from visiting your school,” a teary-eyed Rappleye told Trussell. “I can feel the love you have for your students and school. Thank you.”

Teacher applicants who didn’t receive a grant this year are offered alternative options when applicable.

Congratulations to the 2021 Canyons Education Foundation Innovation Grant winners:

  • Christopher Brown, Lynda Mcbride, and Lauren Popp, fifth-grade teachers, Copperview Elementary: $5,403 for sphero robots
  • Randal Clark, fine arts teacher, Corner Canyon High: $9,106 for professional audio and video production equipment
  • Zachary Giddings, instrumental music teacher, Draper Park Middle: $1,959 for digital tuners for band and orchestra
  • RJ Green, Jonathan Kraus, Chris Mackprang, and Taylor Ouimette, Science Department, Corner Canyon High: $2,645 for a telescope
  • DaltonMagee, welding technician instructor, Canyons Technical Education Center: $3,620 for fabrication enhancements
  • Erin Nelson, career and technical education teacher, Corner Canyon High: $10,000 for robotics kits
  • Wendie Nielson, fifth grade teacher, Bella Vista Elementary: $1,849 for 3D printers
  • Tyler Perkins, automotive teacher, Brighton High: $9,786 for automotive shop modernization
  • Louis Sherman, language arts teacher, Diamond Ridge High: $9,997 for video and photography equipment
  • Benjamin Simmons, fine arts teacher, Mount Jordan Middle: $9,992 for digital methods for acoustic problems
  • Lyndsey Sjogren, third grade teacher, Sprucewood Elementary: $5,059 for a STEM-centric program that sparks creativity with circuit connections, design and engineer models, and code games.
  • Mark Snow, career and technical education teacher, Eastmont Middle: $3,165 for robotics kits
  • John Stefanic, science teacher, Eastmont Middle: $7,139 for brick sets that help with critical thinking, literacy, math, and social-emotional development.
  • Donata Trussell, physical therapist, Jordan Valley School: $10,000 for adaptive tricycles
  • Heidi Vincent, second grade teacher, Silver Mesa Elementary: $2,543 for math manipulatives
  • Courtney White, preschool teacher, Bella Vista Elementary: $3,798 for sensory wall

Formula for Success! Canyons District science teachers win state awards

A revered scientist from India, APJ Abdul Kalam, calls science “a beautiful gift to humanity.” That being the case, Canyons School District students are receiving that beautiful gift from the best in the industry.

That was made clear at the recent Utah Science Teachers Association awards ceremony. Sixteen science teachers from around the District received top annual honors from the UTSTA in five categories: biology, physics, earth science, high school department, and 8th grade.

Congratulations to the following teachers for discovering a formula for success in their classrooms and labs.

2021 UTSTA Teachers/Departments of the Year

Canyons School District winners

  • Vanessa Fravel, Corner Canyon High: Biology Teacher of the Year
  • Janice Spencer-Wise, Brighton: Physics Teacher of the Year
  • Alastair Wright, Diamond Ridge: Earth Science Teacher of the Year
  • Mindy Timothy, Albion Middle: 8th Grade teacher of the year.
  • Taylor AndersonVanessa FravelJanelle HanksGarrett HoneGeorge PechmannChris MackprangTaylor OuimetteDevin ShieldsSteve ReedJoshua CrammRJ Green, and Jonathan Kraus, Corner Canyon High: Science Department of the Year

In addition, four CCHS science teachers — Green, Ouimette, Mackprang and Kraus — were also just awarded an Innovation Grant from the Canyons Education Foundation. The $2,645.00 grant will fund a powerful telescope to help enrich course offerings.

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