Monticello art teacher is Teacher of the Year

Shari Griffin, an art teacher at Monticello High School, is the 2020 Teacher of the Year for the San Juan School District. Griffin was honored for her work at a March 2 banquet.
Monticello High School Principal KC Olson said, “Shari Griffin is a valuable asset to our MHS team. As a member of our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team, she thinks outside of the box to foster a positive school culture at MHS.
“Inside of her classroom she supports school initiatives with fidelity. Utilizing a variety of teaching strategies, her students are always engaged as she passes her knowledge down to them.”
Griffin has taught art in Monticello since 2012. She has been involved in a number of projects in the schools and the community at large. A banners project highlights student art on banners attached to the light poles on Center and Main streets in Monticello.
Griffin now moves on to the Utah State competition for the Utah Teacher of the Year.
The Teacher of the Year in 2019 was Jamie Carling of San Juan High School.
A host of hardworking teachers and employees were honored by the school district for their efforts.
Teachers and staff from the Blanding schools who were honored include Sheri Pugh and Mindy Moulton at Blanding Elementary, Michelle Bradford and Randy Bouchard at Albert R Lyman Middle, and Catherine Bradford and Janna Rogers at San Juan High.
Teachers and staff from the Montezuma Creek schools who were honored include Micah Daniels and Kirsten Bean at Montezuma Creek Elementary and Valerie Harvey and J.J. Grover at Whitehorse High.
Teachers and staff from the Monument Valley schools who were honored include Patricia Bigman and Amy Reeve at Tse’bii’nidzisgai Elementary and Wenona Gray and Terri James at Monument Valley High.
Teachers and staff from the Monticello schools who were honored include Baylee Spence and Colleen Pehrson at Monticello Elementary and Katy Nebeker and Shari Griffin at Monticello High.
Honored for their work at Bluff Elementary are Kate Palmer and Emily Brown, while the La Sal Elementary honorees are Shannon Badger and Marjorie Haun-Storland. Marlene Smith and Lisa Wright are honored for their work at Navajo Mountain High. 
In the District Office, Kit Mantz, Rhea Laws, and Cheyenne Grover were honored. 

San Juan School District Employee Nominees (2020)
Classified: Sheri Pugh

As secretary at our school she is the first to deal with anything that comes her way. Sheri is always there and ready to offer her services. She is a pleasure to work with and always greets the students with a smile. She even puts up with our custodian 24/7. Sheri Pugh is a great selfless coworker who helps our office run like a well-oiled machine. We are grateful to have her at Blanding Elementary!
Certified: Mindy Moulton
As a Kindergarten teacher she is so engaging in her teaching practices that she has these kids moving from item to item soaking in the new aspects of learning. You see her being animated, using strange voices and puppets. She is also an advocate for her students. She is kind, professional, and thoughtful. She truly makes our school a better place and her influence is felt by her students, grade level team and the school as a whole.

Classified: Kate Palmer

Kate is a dynamite secretary who keeps on top of everything. She wears many hats so she is always running. She loves all the students and they know and feel her sincerity. She is always there to help the staff and does it with a positive attitude. Thanks Kate for showing a “Big Heart” for the students and staff at Bluff Elementary. We all think you are awesome!
Certified: Emily Brown
Her consistent encouragement, cheering on students, and celebrating the smallest success has spilled over to her students raising test scores and reaching their goals. Emily is truly dedicated to her students being successful and feeling good about themselves. She works well with parents and enjoys making home visits. The students in class love Mrs. Brown.

Classified: Shannon Badger

Shannon has a dual role at or school. She has taken on the formation of a brand new music program, something LaSal has never had before. Shannon is so flexible! She understands the evolving nature of reading data and fills gaps as quickly as the staff finds them. She is truly an amazing teacher.
Certified: Marjorie Haun-Storland
Marjorie was such a lucky score for LaSal Elementary. She effortlessly navigates the complicated SPED laws and communicates with parents in a way that lets them know how much she respects their position. She refers to herself as a “drill sergeant” and her students rise to the occasion! Marjorie picks up excited students and cheerfully returns exhausted ones! She takes on a leadership role easily amongst staff as well. Thank you Margorie.

Classified: Baylee Spence

Baylee Spence has been an extraordinary addition to the front office of Monticello Elementary School. She completes her daily tasks with kindness and efficiency. The parents have expressed that she is always willing to help them with any of their concerns and she does it in a calm and helpful manner. Baylee has made a lasting impression on the students, families, and staff of Monticello Elementary School that will last for a good time to come.
Certified: Colleen Pehrson
Colleen is usually the first teacher in the building in the morning and the last to leave the parking lot at night. She diligently and tirelessly works to ensure that every student in her class is reaching their maximum potential. She is continuously contacting parents and keeping them informed with the successes that their students are accomplishing and at the same time helping them set goals to ensure future success. Colleen is a vital component to Monticello Elementary School and we are lucky to have her on our team.

Classified: Micah Daniels

Micah Daniels is a wonderful asset to MCES. She has made tremendous improvements in our PBIS system and our overall school motto-incorporating Navajo philosophy and teachings to help our students. Micah has done an outstanding job working students through a Beauty Way based curriculum approach to life. She has been instrumental in creating a culture of ‘Proud of who we are’ and celebrating the good things around us. Thank you Micah for all you do!
Certified: Kirsten Bean
Kirsten has been a huge part of our School Leadership Team. She is the one that always asks for clarification - that leads to a deeper understanding and clearer picture of all present. She helps keep us focused on what is important and needed at the time. If she doesn’t know the answer, she will find it. Kirsten is very open to new things and is continually refining her practices to meet the needs of her students. Thank you for being part of our Montezuma Creek Elementary family/team!

Classified: Patricia Bigman

Patricia is a vital asset to the school and the increased academics of each of our students. She helps in the classroom, in pull out academic groups, in the cafeteria, and the playground building social skills and relationships with the students. She does an exceptional job in working with students at all grade levels with interventions and social skills. She has high expectations for her learners and helps them achieve those expectations! Congratulations Patricia Bigman!
Certified: Amy Reeve
Amy shows many qualities of a leader in the school as she has stepped up to be an amazing Q-tip teacher, mentor, trainer, and able to find solutions to struggles in the school processes and procedures. Her students are always on task and asking questions or help from their teacher. She makes learning fun for all her students!” We are so lucky to have Amy, and TES is a better brighter place with her here. Congratulations Amy!

Classified: Michelle Bradford

Michelle has worked to streamline the kitchen while making it a pleasant place for the other cooks to work with one another. She is patient with the students and always smiling as she greets and serve’s the students. This has brought about a positive change in our lunchroom. It is great to have Michelle as a part of our ARL family.
Certified: Randy Bouchard
Randy works diligently as our 8th grade Math teacher. Randy teaches his curriculum in a way that engages the students with the content and with one another to master the concepts. Randy has great patience with his students and he has earned their respect. He is a constant advocate for his students and seeks to improve the school for student learning. Randy is a huge asset to have on Team ARL.

Classified: Katy Nebeker

We are lucky to have Katy Nebeker on staff at Monticello High School. As a member of the SPED team, Katy works incessantly to support “her” students. Katy cares deeply about her student’s success and is committed to assisting them so they are successful in both school and life.
Certified: Shari Griffin
Shari Griffin is a valuable asset to our MHS team. As a member of our PBIS team she thinks outside of the box to foster a positive school culture at MHS. Inside of her classroom she supports school initiatives with fidelity. Utilizing a variety of teaching strategies her students are always engaged as she passes her knowledge down to them.

Classified: Wenona Gray

She is very patient and able to maintain a quality relationship with the students that helps them to learn. She is dependable and willing to help in any way that she can. She is a vital part of the success of our Sped Department. She also donates much of her spare time as a volunteer coach. We are lucky Wenona is on our team!

Classified: Catherine Bradford

Catherine has a wealth of financial knowledge. She has used her experience to enhance and improve her duties at SJH. Some of the qualities Catherine has brought to this position is diligence and quickness. She is on top of things in a hurry and gets it done NOW! She is an outstanding financial secretary.
Certified: Janna Rogers
Janna is an exceptional teacher and faculty member at SJH. She teaches Social Studies and Reading and is also the NHS Advisor. She is a member of San Juan High Schools Leadership Team. She has taken the lead in promoting character education throughout the high school. Janna is an awesome member of our team. Thanks Janna!!!

Classified: Valerie Harvey
As a Reading Interventionist, Valerie gets to know scholars and encourages them in just the right way where they work hard for her. She also does her best to implement the paraeducator training we provide, assist scholars with math & language arts skills during WIN Time, and fulfills her assigned duties with positivity. Additionally, she connects well with parents and has led a Parent Book Club for over a year now!
Certified: J.J. Grover
J.J. Grover consistently works strategically to develop and sustain a comprehensive program for academic, social-emotional, and career support to scholars at our school. He is adept at analyzing data to develop interventions and frequently makes recommendations that lead to a better support system for our scholars. Our school climate has also improved due to J.J. ‘s kindness, good listening, and visible empathy to all who enter our doors.

Classified: Kit Mantz

Kit has been in the district for many years wearing many different hats and he has excelled in all of them. He is extremely dedicated and professional in every way. In his present role of CTE Director/Adult Education Director, he has made huge contributions in even a very short time. He has set a vision filled with high expectations for all programs. He has written a number of grants to support this vision and helped utilize other resources as well. He has built strong support for his vision while working with other district staff. Change is happening right now in the present, and certainly CTE has never had a brighter future. Thank you Kit for all you do to lift student learning in San Juan.
Certified: Rhea Laws
Ms. Rhea has been working with the San Juan School District for over 30 years. Over these years, Rhea has helped budget over 1 Billion dollars in an effort to support educational advancement and learning in San Juan County. While a majority of her time has been occupied reviewing QuickBooks, making bank transfers, and answering budgeting and financial questions, she always found time to smile and offer a kind word of support. We love you Rhea, we thank you for your humble service to our wonderful students of San Juan School District!!
Certified: Cheyenne Grover
Cheyenne has been working on the implementation of the Native Youth Community Project for the past several years as an administrative assistant. She is always willing to lend a hand or learn something new. She has been a valuable member of the district office team!! Thanks Cheyenne!!!

Certified: Terri James

Terri is great at building relationships with students and holding high expectations. She also finds time to coach athletic teams and has been extremely instrumental in raising the bar both academically and in athletics . She contributes to a positive, safe, and supportive learning environment and is a team player. We are lucky to have her here at MVHS.

Certified: Marlene Smith

Navajo Mountain is honored to nominate Marlene Smith for the Teacher Recognition Banquet this year. Marlene supports both the special education department and school counseling department at Navajo Mountain. She is always willing to help and never afraid to learn new things. She is a valuable member of our team and we are honored to recognize Mrs. Marlene Smith.
Classified: Lisa Wright

San Juan Record

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