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Sandy Journal

Sandy schools to see change of leadership this fall

Jul 31, 2018 03:32PM ● By Julie Slama

Incoming Alta View Principal Scott Jameson presents certificate to Altara Elementary students when he was principal there in 2010. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected] 

When students walk through the doors of Alta View Elementary this fall, they won’t be greeted by the same principal who has welcomed them since 2013. Former Altara Elementary principal and Albion Middle assistant principal Scott Jameson will be there — probably with a joke ready to share. 

“I’ve enjoyed telling jokes in the morning,” he said. “I’m a goofy guy, but I love having students start the day with a smile. My motto is to ‘work hard and have fun.’ I want students to enjoy their learning experience.” 

Jameson, who replaces Karen Medlin who is retiring after serving 40 years as an educator, is one of several Canyons School District administrators reassigned to new positions this fall. 

“I’m here for the kids,” Jameson said. “I’ve been duct-taped to a wall, had pies thrown in my face, dyed my hair, been a clown riding a unicycle and will do about anything as long as it doesn’t kill me to help student achievement.” 

That includes having students paint his car — twice — and driving it that way. 

“I’ll miss my students here at Albion and the faculty and parents. It’s the people and the relationships I’ve had the last five years that are the hardest to leave, but now after serving in a middle school, I’ll be an even better elementary school principal and know how to help them develop good habits that will help them retain what they’ve learned and prepare them for secondary education.” 

Missing students is what Medlin says is the hardest part about retiring. 

“I love what I’ve been doing,” she said about her lifelong career. “What makes a difference is making connections.” 

Medlin’s career began at Jordan Valley School, but “even then, I realized I’ve had a bigger vision for students than just the classroom.” 

Through several administrative positions as well as serving on district committees, including the implementation advisory committee that identifies new initiatives for students, Medlin has impacted both teachers and students. After helping with the building of the new Alta View Elementary that opened last fall, she was awarded with the district’s APEX award as Administrator of the Year. 

“I’ve worked hard to support teachers and have them take a lot of ownership to be the experts in the classroom,” she said. 

She recommends to administrators making changes this fall to “listen to the community, to the teachers and to the kids. Ask a lot of questions so you know what is going on.”

Hillcrest High assistant principal Justin Matagi will replace Jameson at Albion Middle School as assistant principal. 

“I began teaching as a middle school teacher so I’m looking forward to returning to that level,” he said, adding that being a middle school administrator will allow him to have more evenings to spend coaching his own children in their sporting events. “I’m going to try to instill in them (Albion students) the value of learning from every class and developing good student habits. I want them to love learning and to continue to be engaged in their class and at school.”

Matagi said he will miss Hillcrest’s caliber of students and the amazing opportunities he has had accompanying students at competitions — most recently, with the instrumental groups tour of San Diego.

“It’s fun to listen to them make college plans and ask me to impart words of wisdom,” he said. “But Albion has a much smaller student enrollment, so I’ll get to know students in a more intimate setting. I’m excited to be a part of a new school, meet students and learn their traditions.” 

The other Sandy administrative appointment is East Sandy Elementary achievement coach Lori Reynolds being hired as Sprucewood Elementary principal, as current principal Colleen Smith will become a Canyons School District Responsive Services Program administrator. 

Other district-wide appointments include Brighton High Assistant Principal Matt Schelble being reassigned to replace Matagi at Hillcrest; current East Midvale Elementary Principal Justin Pitcher being reassigned to replace Schelble; current Murray School District’s Viewmont Elementary Principal Matt Nelson being hired to replace Pitcher; current Midvale Middle School achievement coach Sara Allen replacing Butler Middle School Assistant Principal Jody Wihongi, who is retiring; current Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal Matt Watts replacing current Midvale Middle Assistant Principal Kip Carlsen, who has accepted a position in Granite School District; and current Canyons District Responsive Services specialist Ashley McKinney replacing Watts.