Community Says Goodbye to Old North Park Elementary

northPark3Former teachers, parents and students attended an open house at North Park Elementary in Roy, Utah last Thursday.  The event was hosted by current administrator, Joanne Hobbs and her faculty and staff members.  While construction workers hammered away at the site of the new North Park next door, the community said goodbye to Weber School District’s first and only circular school building.

Many stories were told that night: some from former teachers to former students, and others from moms and dads to their children.  Every area of the school was buzzing with busy chatter and scattered with happy faces.  One former teacher in attendance actually embarked on his teaching career the year North Park opened.  He enjoyed telling people his story – how North Park opened as a half circle instead of a whole, and how he started teaching that year not yet completing his teaching credentials.  (He still needed seven credits.)  Somehow he managed to finish his degree during year and reminisced of those times with a happy heart.  This delightful, retired teacher was reunited with one of his former students during the open house.  It was a touching moment.

In another area of the building, two former colleagues met up – later joined by one of the parents they knew from way back when.  It was a “Kodak Moment,” and they had their picture taken together in front of the teacher’s old classroom.  What fun!

History was revisited that night as guests wandered the circle perusing old articles and viewing pictures of the past.  It was a wonderful evening full of fascinating stories and fond memories. 

The students at North Park Elementary will be moving into a new school just north of the present building for the 2014-2015 school year.


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Facts About Utah's Core Standards

To better understand the facts about Utah's Core Standards here are some links that provide valuable information.    |

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T.H. Bell Junior Competes in the National Academic League Elite Eight


T.H. Bell Junior High competed in the Elite Eight round of the National Academic League’s National Tournament  on Wednesday, March 12, at the district offices.

The National Academic League (NAL) consists of four quarters where students are challenged in a variety of subjects such as math, English/language arts, science, social studies, and current-event problems.   T.H. Bell Junior High competed against South Charlotte Middle School via video conference in hopes of advancing to a spot in the final four. They were however, defeated at the buzzer in the fourth quarter falling 59-56 to South Charlotte, despite their best efforts.

According to Claudette Nielsen, the coach of the T.H. Bell NAL team, NAL is run just like any other sport. They have two days of tryouts and once the team is chosen, they practice every day throughout the season when there isn’t a game. Four of the students on the team are in their third year of NAL competition. Nielsen says she hopes that this continues to be a trend and the team continues to build year after year. “[These students have] worked hard not just this year but for three years now to get where they’re at.”

When asked if some of the questions were predictable to students from all of the studying they do to prepare for competition, Nielsen replied, “Not as much on the national level. On the district level, for those questions, there’s a big study guide, and we could predict those questions much better and that’s why you saw such high scores on the district level. On the national level, most of them were just random things, and if the kids knew it it’s because they learned it on their own most likely.”

With more than 2,100 topics at hand for students to learn, the T.H. Bell team went into the Elite Eight round excited and ready to win.  The first quarter consisted of short answer questions that players would answer in turn. The questions consisted of everything from coming up with the word “monosaccharide” based on a definition and then spelling the word, to figuring out complex equations.

At the end of the first quarter T.H. Bell was down 15-9 but caught back up by the end of the second quarter through teamwork. The students worked as a team to figure out questions regarding what makes up DNA, the size of wave lengths, grammar and punctuation questions, history questions, and geography questions. This brought the score to 24-27.

The third quarter had designated players on the team that had been working, during the first half of gameplay, to solve a real-world problem, present their opinions “in a presentation to U.S. Congress” on the pros and cons of having National ID Cards based on The Real ID Act of 2005 (H.R. 418). T.H. Bell presented their arguments role playing as a team of politicians and lawyers. Nielsen said that teams often do this because the presentation is all about presenting with a strong voice. Students prepared for this round, with the help of their English teacher, by coming up with mock prompts on various subjects and presenting them. Nielson, in regards to the third round says, “It proves that being smart is not just answering questions but also presenting.” They were judged not only their content, but their organization, critical thinking, and presentation. In this round, T. H. Bell and South Charlotte tied, bringing the total score to 45-48.

Things heated up in the fourth quarter as a one-on-one speed contest often turned into a free-for-all. In this round, players were answering more short answer questions such as, “How many dots are on a standard six-sided die?” and, “What is the number of milliliters in 7.654 liters?” Unfortunately, due to Charlotte’s possession of the question, T.H. Bell lost, at the end, in a buzzer beater question asking for the type of word used to describe other words. Charlotte’s player buzzed in with the answer, “adverb,” bringing the final score to 59-56.

Despite their loss, Neilson says she and her team are proud of themselves, as they should be. “I think NAL is such a strong program because it celebrates knowledge; it celebrates learning for the sake of learning,” Neilson said. “My students genuinely love to learn new things. Sometimes I’ll catch them coming in and they are just watching videos on history [or science] just because they want to. Also, they, especially my third-years, have become such great learners. They’ve been basically running practices themselves this year. They are great leaders too.  They are just the best and I really can’t say enough about them.”


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Get Ready for Kindergarten with Miss Bindergarten

miss-bindergartenEvery year over 2,000 new kindergarten students enter Weber School District elementary schools. These students are excited about being able to attend school for the first time and they are welcomed by the most wonderful, dedicated teachers you'll find anywhere in the world. During the next couple of months, we will have the opportunity to meet most of these students for the first time during Kindergarten Roundups being held at each elementary school. At these meetings, parents have the opportunity to learn about how they can help prepare their child to be successful in school.

This year one of our wonderful partners, The Treehouse Children's Museum, stepped forward to support these incoming kindergarten students by creating an Early Learning Initiative Committee. This committee has worked hard to create an activity book and plan some activities that will support school readiness skills. Through their efforts, every incoming kindergarten student will be given a copy of the Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten Activity Book, a book, a pencil, and a small book bag.

Throughout the newly created Activity Book, there are games and activities that grown-ups can participate in with the child. These activities can support children in developing many of the skills needed to start kindergarten ready to learn. The artwork for the project is by the well-known illustrator Ashley Wolff. In addition to this wonderful bag of material, each child that completes the activities will be invited to attend an event on August 16 at the Treehouse Museum to celebrate the beginning of school. Throughout next year, there will be activities to continue to support students, parents, and kindergarten teachers. Weber School District is excited to participate in this joint effort of making learning a priority in the lives of all students!


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Board Recognizes Media Specialist and CTE Secretary

The Weber School District Board of Education recognized faculty members from Orion Junior High and Roy High Schools at their meeting on March 5, 2014.

amy-hallAmy Hall from Orion Junior High School High received the I Love Teaching award for her determination to nurture students' love of reading. She has, according to Principal Nick Harris, made the library a place where students want to spend their time. Hall knows students by name, motivates them to find books they enjoy, and recommends more books to them based on their interests.

"In this age of digital entertainment, teen texting and social media, there are kids at OJHS choosing to read books," said Harris. "Thanks to Mrs. Hall's professionalism, great attitude, and ability to teach, right now, later tonight, and tomorrow, there are many many students with their noses in books."

Jodie Kohler, Roy High School's Career and Technical Education (CTE) head secretary, was the recipient of the Extra Mile award. Principal Gina Butters praised Kohler for going above and beyond her assigned duties. Kohler can take on many roles and is excited to take on many responsibilities within the school. According to Butters, she actively seeks work and gets others to do the same to keep Roy High School running the way it needs to.

"Jodie has that 'IT-FACTOR'," said Butters in her letter of recommendation for Kohler for the award. "She innately understands that the greatest satisfaction in life (and on the job) lies in helping others realize their own talents, gifts, and inner-personal magic. Her well-honed sense of humility and unselfishness make her the best team player a coach could have on his/her roster. You ask her to jump, and Jodie says, with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye, 'How high?'"

Weber School District would like to congratulate both winners on this achievement. We thank you for all you do to help make your schools and our district a better place to be!



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Roy High School Wins Culinary Honors

Roy High School has been named to the Hospitality 100 list of secondary school culinary programs in the United States for the 2013-14 school year. Each year, the Hospitality 100 list recognizes those secondary schools that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in culinary arts education.

This group of schools exhibits strong hospitality enrollment and influence in their community. The Hospitality list is comprised of high schools and tech centers that excel in the areas of culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and/or hospitality management. A team from the acclaimed National Center for Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University oversees the selection process for the Hospitality 100 list.

Mrs. Gaylene Greenwood is the instructor at Roy High and has demonstrated excellence as a culinary arts teacher for many years. She will launch a new "Pro Start" program next year and recently moved in to a newly remodeled facility.

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Weber Students Featured in STEM Campaign

Trenden Brown, Brenden Brooks, and AJ Luke, three Weber School District Students, all 9th grade students at T.H. Bell Jr. High, were recognized at the kick off for a major STEM media release by successful business leaders and the Governor Office of Economic Development.

As part of the eCybermission competition they met together wanting to find a solution to our energy dependence. From their brainstorming and observing the world around them they felt like the best solution would be for a waste water turbine to go into the pipes in homes so the water flow from showers, bath tubs and sinks would spin the turbine and create electricity out of otherwise wasted water.

The event included a presentation by former Space Shuttle Commander Charlie VP of ATK's Space Launch Division. He has spent over 900 hours in space and is now working on efforts to go to Mars. American Ride's Stan Ellsworth then introduced Governor Gary Herbert, who mentioned this STEM Media Campaign in his State of the State speech that just finished.

Trenden Brown, Brenden Brooks, and AJ Luke as well as Emma Duffin from Sand Ridge Jr. High worked on identifying MRSA in waste water treatment facilities along the Wasatch front, are all featured in this STEM Media Campaign. These Weber School District Students will be seen in several commercial and billboards throughout the year highlighting their accomplishments in STEM related projects.

The three boys were also spotlighted in a KUTV Channel 2 news spot that makes mention that they have been offered financial support by Alan Hall, a business investor in our community. With this financial support they hope to take their prototype to market.

Link to the KUTV Channel 2 spot:


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Awards Given to Bates Elementary and Roy Jr. Employees

At their last two meetings, the Weber School District Board of Education has recognized faculty, staff, and volunteers from Bates Elementary and Roy Junior High.

Ann Carter from Bates Elementary and Janet Howard from Roy Junior High received the I Love Teaching award for their determination, ability to be team players, use of data to drive instruction, their ways of getting to know students on a personal level and celebrating them. Kitty Barney, principal at Bates Elementary, nominated Carter, as well as the other two award winners from Bates. She praised Carter for her professional manner as well as her classroom's welcoming and positive atmosphere.

"Ann is a life-long learner and is always looking for ways to grow professionally," said Barney. "She is currently serving on our school's leadership team. Her co-workers look to her for new ideas and suggestions that she has tried in her classroom and is finding successful with her students. Ann carries herself in a professional manner in her appearance and speech. She is an excellent role model for her students and for the community."


Kirt Swalberg, who nominated Janet Howard for the award said, "Mrs. Howard is a team player. She is willing to do whatever is asked of her. She collaborates well with her English team as well as the school as a whole. She is a great asset and resource to our school. She is loved by students, staff, and parents."

Laurel Pendleton, a reading coach's aide at Bates Elementary, was the recipient of the Extra Mile award along with Grace Nielsen. Barney praised Pendleton for continuing to learn and improve herself as well as always being willing to go the extra mile especially when it comes to helping students reach the benchmark in the DIBELS testing program by having an understanding of the five essential reading components.


"Laurel always keeps first and foremost in her mind what is best for all students and then she works hard to make sure that every child is making progress," said Barney. "She does this by building relationships with each child that she works with. She believes in teaching the whole child. She understands that when children's basic needs are not being met, they can't learn. So she takes the time to make children feel safe and comfortable."

Grace Nielsen from Roy Junior High School, who also received the award, is described by the faculty and staff at Roy Junior High as their "little ray of sunshine." Swalberg, in his letter of recommendation for Nielsen said she is always taking on extra responsibilities such as helping with ESL, teaching options classes, etc. and spends much of her own time researching ways to help her students.

"Mrs. Nielsen is always looking for the good in others," he said. "She has a unique gift when it comes to helping students be accountable for their actions but at the same time, making them feel good about themselves and the challenges they are facing. We could not have a better person [at] Roy Junior to help any and all of us meet our full potential."


Cynthia Jacobson, a volunteer at the Elementary, received the Volunteerism award. She oversees the Ken Garff Road to Success reading program at the school. Jacobson plans activities throughout the year to encourage student reading such as moms and muffins, dads and doughnuts, a summer swimming party, and Superbowl and March Madness reading competitions.

"Cynthia is very organized," Barney said. She understands how to use technology. When the Ken Garff reading program went online, she was able to help calm the teachers' fears about one more thing they would have to do. She communicates directly with the teachers through emails, texts, and face-to-face conversations."

Barney also notes that all three of these women believe in teaching the whole child and commented on how fortunate Bates Elementary and Weber School District are to have them.

School Projects Made Possible by Sierra RV Donations

Last month Sierra RV donated $27,500 to three schools in the Weber School District for a Legacy of Liberty wall, iPads, and apps.

Sierra RV is owned by Carl and Geri Jensen and their son, Jared. Their family has students who attend Kanesville Elementary so when Principal Scott Zellmer sent out an email to the school's community introducing their new project, the "Legacy of Liberty" wall, the Jensens responded right away wanting to help. They donated $2,500 to Kanesville Elementary for the wall along with their donation of $12,500 to both Roy Elementary and Valley View Elementary School for iPads and apps.

Zellmer said that the donation allowed them to move forward with their project faster than they would have been able to otherwise. "It may have taken us months to raise the funds needed, but because of their grant, our community now has access to a great monument which not only tells liberty's story but also tells every person who enters this school what we as a community believes in," he said.

Over the past five years, the Jensen family has donated over $75,000 to Weber School District. For this particular set of donations, the Weber School Foundation matched part of Sierra RV's donations bringing the total donation to the schools to a grand total of $95,000.

Chris Zimmerman, of the Weber School Foundation, recognized the Jensen family as being long-time support of education. "The Jensen family and Sierra RV have been incredible supporters of education in northern Utah for many years," he said. "Their family-owned business recognizes the importance of education and of giving back to the community. The Weber School Foundation is proud to partner with such a great family and a great local company."

For more information on Sierra RV, visit

Graduation Standards Meeting

Utah State Office of Education has scheduled a meeting on “Graduation Standards” for Wednesday,  January 22, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at Orion Jr. High  Library (370 West 2000 North in Harrisville) and is seeking input  from parents on this topic.  Anyone who would like find out more about graduation standards and/or share input is invited to attend.

H. Guy Child "Creative Hands" Project

With the help of gifted artist Kathy Wilson, our students (approximately 500) have been participating in our "Creative Hands" Mural Project. Beginning in September 2013, Kathy has visited individual classes and has worked with students in creating and now painting a school mural.  

For us, our students needed an opportunity to learn the value of expressing themselves in constructive, creative ways and to learn cooperation, problem solving and gain a sense of community  and self worth through art expression.  

Our PTA’s goal was to implement a project that would help the children learn learn these skills through working together on a cooperative art piece. Our project has consisted of two phases, the first starting in September and the 2nd beginning in the last week of October. 

During Phase 1, our Kathy has volunteered her time Mondays and Fridays working with our students on smaller grade murals.  Here each student participated discussing what it means to be a member of a community and how they could be a strong contributor in positive ways.  We talked about various communities and then highlighted our own Ogden community.  Students then, through guided drawing and examples, created mosaic-style murals with animals, people, and other things that can be found locally in Ogden.  For example, some students drew and colored local animals such as bear, deer, ducks and more.  Other students drew bugs and butterflies, while still other drew skiiers, bikers, or people in hot air balloons.  These "paper-tiles" were then pieced together on beautiful backing and hung throughout the school.  

After completion of the grade murals, we began painting large scale murals from the images we created.  Kathy helped our students design and draw beautiful "Ogden" themed murals on two large canvases about 6 feet by 8 feet.  These two murals are a continuation of a larger picture and include area fields, mountains, animals, a river, an area school, hot air balloons, skiiers, snow boarders,  and more.  Parent volunteers have aided the process and all 500 students will be able to have painted or helped create the murals upon completion.

This week we have placed a huge emphasis on the completion of our murals, calling it "POWER WEEK MURAL PROJECT."  We have painted each morning from 9AM to noon with small student groups of 6-10 children, each for a designated time.  By the end of the school day on Thursday we plan to have the murals ready for a special Art Night/Reveal with parents and local community members to be held in the spring.  

It has been an amazing work in progress and we enthusiastically look forward to its completion.With the help of matching grant funds from Utah PTA's Art Council, our PTA has been able to sponsor such a fantastic project thanks to the generous support of artist Kathy Wilson, who has kindly given of huge amounts of time and of her beautiful talents to enrich the lives of  our students.  

We are so happy ALL of the students at H. Guy Child have been able to benefit from this project!






Valley Elementary Teacher Awarded KSL Teacher Feature

Carol Stoker, a third grade teacher at Valley Elementary, was awarded the KSL Teacher Feature. Stoker is known for her compassion and love for her students. In their letters of recommendation for Stoker, parents shared stories of how she cared individually for each student that entered her classroom and made each one feel special.

As part of winning the Teacher Feature, Stoker was honored with a plaque from Zions bank, an overnight stay at the Anniversary Inn, dinner at the Roof Restaurant, and a pair of season tickets to Hale Centre Theater. She and the other weekly winners of the KSL Teacher Feature will be invited to attend the end of year banquet at the Roof Restaurant in Salt Lake City and will be considered for a grand prize; a 2-year lease on a new Nissan vehicle.

For more information on Carol Stoker and the KSL Teacher Feature, please visit


Dedicated Transportation Department Buses Thousands Every Day

Recognizing the incredible responsibility our transportation department takes to ensure the safety of Weber School District students, we want to thank them for their commitment as they make sure every student, all 13,500 of them, are transported safely each and every day. Drew Wilson, Executive Director of Transportation said, "Their dedication does not go unnoticed and we know that their work is appreciated by students and their parents all year long."

Keeping a pupil transportation operation running smoothly can be challenging in and of itself, and harsh environmental conditions such as heavy snow or rain, fog and other types of inclement weather can throw a wrench in the gears if everyone isn't prepared for it. That's everything from making sure that the tires are good, windshield wipers are working, the defroster is working, the heater is working, etc. These are all problems that can lead to serious issues, and it's our mechanics that make sure all is well.

And then, it is our school bus drivers who ensure students arrive to school safely and on time. They get up early to inspect their busses to make sure they are ready to transport our precious cargo. They are friendly and helpful and make sure each student feels safe and warm.

Then there is the office staff that supports the mechanics, bus drivers and schools to ensure all is running smoothly. Sue Morgan, supervisor of the transportation department, makes sure all 139 bus routes are covered, field trips are staffed and buses are up and running.

Thank you to all our employees including, bus drivers, assistants, mechanics, office staff, substitutes, etc., who continue to do a fantastic job transporting our students each day. Your contributions to our department's goals of being professional, knowledgeable and efficient are truly appreciated.

December Recognitions

On Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 at the Weber School District Board of Education meeting, the board recognized a special employee and group of teachers with the Extra Mile Award and the Expectations Plus Team Award.

Michelle Huff, registrar at Fremont High School, was the recipient of the Extra Mile award and was nominated by Principal Rod Belnap for her outstanding compassion for students and parents, leadership and positivity.

"Mrs. Huff goes above and beyond the call of duty to fill in where needed no matter what her role, willing to stay until the job is done and parents' needs have been addressed to their satisfaction," said Belnap in his letter of recommendation for Huff. "She guides parents and guests to the people and places they need to go, understanding the intricate workings of the school and facilitating their needs. She is positive and always puts student and parent needs before her own."

The first grade team at Green Acres Elementary, was awarded the Expectations Plus Team Award. The team, made up of Astrid Cowlishaw, Rose Empey, and Loene Hill, was recommended for the award for their ability to adapt to change while mastering many new things that come their way with new situations.

In her letter of recommendation for this team, principal of Green Acres Elementary, Lisa Gilstrap, said, "Astrid, Rose, and Loene extend their Expectations Plus Teaming abilities to the rest of the school community as well. Together and individually they make our school a wonderful place with their support of faculty events, fundraising, PTA activities, arts facilitation, reading club and steering committee."

The district wishes to congratulate all of the recipients and thanks them for helping make Weber School District a great place for students.