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Sandy teacher, principal recipients of school district awards

Nov 02, 2017 04:55PM ● Published by Julie Slama

Union teacher Drew Fosse recently received a Canyons School District Apex award. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Gallery: Teach [1 Image] Click any image to expand.

Union Middle School teacher Drew Fosse motivates his students to be engaged, participate and make connections in class by having fun rewards they can earn.

“When students are having fun, they’re wanting to learn more,” he said. “Kids are trying everything, working together and realizing they can take their learning to a higher level.” 

That was one of the reasons he was not only nominated for Canyons School District’s teacher of the year, but he received the award. 

“It’s my second year teaching in Canyons so it came as a huge surprise,” he said last spring. “When I was named Union teacher of the year, I was shocked. It was overwhelming when I was told I was being considered a semifinalist. They came in with a camera and observed me teaching. I couldn’t image anything more.”

In September, Fosse was honored as Canyons’ Apex award winner along with 12 other individuals and community partners who were recognized at the school district’s eighth annual Apex Awards Banquet.

Winners for the Crystal Award, which is the highest honor given by Canyons’ administration and board of education, were nominated by the public.

“We host this event every year to pay tribute to those in our community who have stood should-to-shoulder with us as we have worked to deliver a world-class education,” said Board President Sherril Taylor. “Whether your jobs are in a classroom or at the state capitol, you have taken to heart the sentiments that it takes a village to raise a child, that many hands make light work, that teamwork, as so eloquently stated by Andrew Carnegie, ‘is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.’”

Sandy is also home of the Apex award winner for school administrator of the year, Alta View Elementary’s principal, Karen Medlin. She, like her fellow recipients, will have her photo and details of her award hung in the district’s boardroom for the next year.

“I was very honored,” she said. “I had no idea until I got a phone call telling me about the award. It’s very humbling.”

Medlin oversaw Alta View Elementary’s new building progress from conversations in a boardroom to reducing playground facilities and dealing with bulldozers, while keeping the former school and, now, overseeing students at the new school building.

“There’s the saying that it takes a village to support a child. For me, as a principal, I surround myself with the wonderful support of a community, students, faculty and staff to make things happen,” she said.

In addition to serving as principal and overseeing the building of a new school, Medlin also is a member of the district’s implementation advisory committee, a group that identifies new initiatives for students.

“We look at what is current and what evidence can improve what we’re doing. We look at ideas and find the most successful way to implement them. We want to involve everyone, present ideas, get feedback before we try to implement anything. We want to help all our students be successful,” she said.

Medlin started as an assistant in the classroom, helping with reading and flash cards.

“I learned I loved it so much that it was what I wanted to do,” she said.

After earning her teaching certificate and teaching for a number of years, she said she knew she had to earn her administrative certificate.

“I had a vision I wanted to share,” she said. “I love what I do, touching the future and seeing the growth of so many of these amazing kids.”

Several other employees who serve in Sandy and for the entire district were honored, including External Affairs Director Charlie Evans, Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas, Student Support Services Instructional Specialist Susan Henrie, Peruvian Park Behavioral Assistant Erica Haugen and Bell View School Administrative Assistant Jennifer Bagley. 

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