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Sandy Journal

Students Have a Red Carpet Moment

Sep 28, 2015 01:51PM ● By Rhett Wilkinson

Students at Sandy Elementary look on as part of a “red carpet” event to start the school year. Photo courtesy Jennifer Toomer-Cook

By Rhett Wilkinson

One had paper. Another had the real thing.

But for Sandy’s Mount Jordan Middle and Sandy Elementary schools, respectively, or any of the other schools in the Canyons School District, it didn’t matter what type of red carpet was rolled out. It marked a celebration of the first day of school.

At Mount Jordan Middle School, students high-fived folks as they moved down the red carpet and hugged teachers from the previous year. They got a district pencil, Principal Julie Mootz said. Families district-wide were also invited to attend and act as “paparazzi,” a spokeswoman said.

The district’s 29 elementary schools and eight middle schools participate in the events. The district enrolls nearly 34,000 students in 46 schools.

It was Mootz’s first year participating in the seven-year-old event. Sebastien Levitre, her teacher of the year, even donned the costume mascot of Ace the Eagle, she said.

“It was so neat,” Mootz said. “It was just a warm – literally warm – welcome back to school.”

At Sandy Elementary, students were excited to “chit-chat” on a day that can be one of two things: nerve or excitement, Principal McKay Robinson said.

“One thing we were trying to do is calm those nerves,” he said. “It’s a fun little thing to… get excitement up with the new school year.”

Another thing that Robinson and principals tried to do: send a reminder that students go to school to be “career-ready” when graduating. They wore graduation gowns.  

“We believe preparation starts here – even with preschool-age (students),” Robinson said. “That’s where it all begins.”

Both principals talked about the important of creating a culture of success, with the red carpet event function figuring into that. Also, the Canyons Board of Education last month hosted a community celebration to cut the ribbon on the new school and open its doors for public tours, a spokeswoman said.