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Sandy Journal

Sandy City Youth Council honors outstanding Sandy teachers

Jun 28, 2018 02:03PM ● By Julie Slama

Area teachers were honored by Sandy City Youth Council students for making an impact on their lives. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Arnett)

By Julie Slama | [email protected] 

For Jordan High junior Logan Homer, learning doesn’t have to mean pouring over the books in a strict classroom environment. 

“Teachers have a big impact on students’ lives,” he said. “My physics teacher, Mr. (David) Morrill, is one of them. He really engaged me.” 

Homer said “he did some crazy things, but what he did motivated students. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Every time I went into his class, he inspired me and made me want to think I want to study physics.” 

For his inspiration and engaging teaching method, Homer honored Morrill as one of Sandy City Youth Council’s outstanding teachers. He was one of six Sandy teachers recognized with a plaque at the council’s 24th annual Teacher Appreciation Dinner. 

The event was coordinated by volunteer youth council teacher appreciation dinner coordinator Marsha Millet. 

“It’s a special night where teachers are being honored by their students,” she said. “For many of these teachers, they have never been honored in years of teaching and if they have, few have ever been selected by their students who have been directly impacted by their teaching.” 

The evening’s events included remarks by Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, who recalled how teachers impacted him, she said. 

“He spoke about the importance of honest and good characters and how that is also learned from teachers,” Millet said. 

The event, which honored 11 teachers and coaches, was supported by four city council members: Steve Fairbanks, Linda Martinez-Saville, Chris McCandless and Zach Robinson. 

Council co-mayor Megan Okumura welcomed teachers, and members Alex Cheng, on piano, and Abby Murri, on violin with her mother accompanying her, provided entertainment. 

Students paid tribute to their teachers, including youth council member Gabby Marz, who honored Jordan High’s Carrie Earl. 

“In other classes, it seems as if ‘discussions’ are premeditated talking points with no actual intention of challenging the mind,” she said. “Mrs. Earl has taught us to be critical yet respectful thinkers. We don’t need protection from differing opinions because Mrs. Earl has taught us to respectfully engage in constructive conversation utilizing critical thinking. In doing so, her students will leave her classes capable of civil discussion. 

Other area teachers who were recognized included Jordan High’s Brandon Cressall and Rachel Hardy; Alta High’s Chad VanOrden; Park Lane Elementary’s Susan Homer; American Preparatory Academy’s Amanda Larsen; Hillcrest High’s Katie Bullock, Kenneth Herlin and Austin Hilla; and Brighton High’s assistant swim coach Jordan Fletcher. 

Okumura said it’s important to honor teachers. 

“As a future educator myself, I find teachers to be very under appreciated yet very needed,” she said. “I can thank every teacher I’ve ever had for shaping a part of who I am today because they have such an impact on our lives. It’s important that teachers are recognized not just by their students, but by the city as well to show that all the hard work they’re doing does not go unrecognized or unappreciated. Without teachers, our world would be a lot darker place.”