San Juan School District employees recognized with yearly awards

Shanda Winget, a language arts teacher at San Juan High School in Blanding, was named the Teacher of the Year on April 1 at the San Juan School District Education Foundation Teacher Appreciation Banquet.
Winget “epitomizes the essence of a Language Arts Teacher with her dedication, teaching strategies, and passion for literature”, according to Principal Ryan Nielson.
Nielson adds, “Shanda instills in her students the art of critical thinking, effective communication, and creative expression. Her enthusiasm creates a learning environment where students feel empowered, valued, and inspired to reach their fullest potential. We are extremely lucky to have Shanda here in San Juan.”
With the award, Winget will compete for the Teacher of the Year Award for the State of Utah.
She replaces Christine Rock, a Heritage Language teacher at Tse’Bii’Nidzisgai Elementary School in Monument Valley, who was the 2023 Teacher of the Year.
A host of hardworking teachers and employees were honored by the school district for their efforts at the banquet including the following

Blanding Elementary
Classified: Sheri Pugh
We are really grateful to have Sheri at Blanding Elementary School. She has positive
interactions with students and works to help make them feel safe at school. She is great with
the staff too. She is helpful and kind. Sheri always has a smile and is cheerfully looking for ways
to help. She is positive, consistent, and always willing to pick up added responsibilities to help
things run smoothly and she steps in when needed. Thank you Sheri!

Certified: Robert Turk
Mr. Turk has touched the lives of the majority of people in Blanding. Giving them life skills and
love of Science, History, Culture and Community. Mr. Turk won the San Juan School District
Teacher of the Year Award 20 years ago and has been providing high levels of teaching ever

Bluff Elementary
Classified: Ellisia Black
Ellisia has stepped up and done so much to help the Kindergarten class. She truly cares about
each student in the building. This caring shows in her support for helping them succeed in
academics and preparing students for our heritage language competitions and organizing the
Bluff Pageant each year. She is a valued asset to our school.

Certified: Nellie Tohtsonie
Nellie has done amazing with the students grades K-5 at BLuff school She helps students learn
more about their culture and language in the various activities. She took the 3-5th graders to
the Bear Dance. She also had a bunch of students participate in the Heritage Language Fair
and many of them brought back medals for their well prepared performance. Congrats Nellie!

LaSal School
Classified: Denise Klassen
Denise came out of her retirement to bring music classes to the students in La Sal. During her
time at our school, Denise has brought in outside performances, trained students to read
musical notes, and helped students learn a variety of instruments. La Sal students have
regaled parents with presentations of rhythm instruments, piano, harmonica, and even tongue
drums while under Denise’s supervision. Denise is positive and passionate about improving
student knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Monticello Elementary
Classified: Sheila Draper
In her role as an office aide, Sheila goes above and beyond by contributing significantly to
various aspects of school life. Sheila's versatility is truly commendable, and her commitment to
excellence extends beyond her designated duties. Sheila Draper's outstanding work ethic,
dedication to safety, and compassionate approach make her an exemplary candidate for the
Classified Employee of the Year at MES, embodying the spirit of excellence in every aspect of
her role.

Certified: Julie Bunker
Julie's commitment to fostering a collaborative environment is further underscored by her
generous sharing of veteran teacher insights, providing invaluable guidance to her colleagues.
In the classroom, Julie's creative and engaging teaching methods leave an indelible mark on
her students, creating an environment where they not only love learning but are also willing to
put forth their best effort. Her ability to infuse joy into the learning process makes her a
beloved figure among her students, and her impact as a great teacher is evident in the hard
work and dedication they consistently exhibit.

Montezuma Creek Elementary
Classified: Shaycie Yellowman
Every day Shaycie arrives at school with a smile and a positive attitude. She loves our students
and works tirelessly to support them and help each one reach their fullest potential. Shaycie is
a team player and jumps in to lend a hand whenever asked. She treats students with kindness
and holds high expectations of them, both academically and socially. Shaycie has earned the
trust and respect of both staff and students. Her hard work, friendliness, and compassion are
appreciated by all. We are truly grateful that she is a part of our MCES family. Thank you,

Certified:Francine Sam
Her passion for helping all students learn at high levels is inspiring. Not only is she teaching
students to read and write, she is molding critical thinkers and problem solvers. Francine has a
special way of building relationships with others. She goes above and beyond to increase her
professional expertise and mentors newer teachers to help them build their own capacity.
Francine is dedicated to her own students and she is highly invested in our school and the
community. She understands that children are our future and devotes her time to working
tirelessly on their behalf. Francine embodies our MCES core values and is a valuable member of
our MCES family. Thank you, Francine!

Tse’Bii’Nidzisgai Elementary
Classified: Darryl George
Darryl is an amazing worker. He is always willing to help. He understands the meaning of team.
He ensures that the school is clean and safe for students. He does all this with a smile and
confidence. His love for our community shows in his work. Congrats Darryl!

Certified: Richelle Sloan
Richelle works to keep her class and parents informed. She also leads and heads up our
student council. She connects with the students in their leadership roles. She considers others
and stays current with her training and educational Pedagogies. She is willing to do work where
it needs to be done.

Albert R. Lyman Middle School
Classified: Sue Ann Done
Mrs. Done is an integral part of ARL. She works tirelessly to support the students in our
building. Mrs. Done is always ready to help students. She works very hard to create strong
relationships with all students, and many of them look up to her as a mentor and person they
can trust. Mrs. Done always has a great attitude and gives everything she has to make sure the
students she works with succeed.

Certified: JJ Squires
Mr. Squires has been one of the quiet cornerstones at ARL for many years. He works incredibly
hard to support students and help them reach their individual reading goals. He provides a
structure and consistency that creates a positive learning environment. Mr. Squires has high
expectations, and pushes students to be their best. He is solution oriented and an integral
team player on our school leadership team. Mr. Squires has faced some personal challenges
this year, but he has not lost his focus on giving his best to the students he teaches.

Monticello High
Classified: Cortney Montella
Cortney Montella, is an exceptional janitor at MHS, due to his outstanding dedication and
positivity. His unwavering commitment creates a welcoming atmosphere, benefiting students
and staff alike. When faced with challenges, Cortney approaches his duties with a can-do spirit,
inspiring others. Cortney's support for MHS extends beyond his role, evident in his attendance
at events like "The Sound of Music" with his family. His selfless contributions exemplify the
transformative impact of positivity, making him a deserving candidate for recognition.

Certified: Reed Anderson
Mr. Anderson is a remarkable educator and mentor. He infuses his classroom labs with
contagious enthusiasm and boundless creativity, engaging students with learning experiences
Mr. Anderson’s unwavering commitment renders him an asset to the school community,
enhancing the quality of MHS teaching and learning environments and our extracurricular

Monument Valley High
Classified: Elouise Wilson
Elouise is always polite and kind to our students and staff, is a resilient worker, a solid team
player, and has a terrific sense of humor. She has been a great team member within our School
Community Council and has done many additional activities to help our students. We are
proud to have her on our team at MVHS. Thank you for all you do for our community!

Certified: Harrison Miles
Harrison Miles has strongly advocated student academic achievement and responsibility here
at MVHS this year. He has demonstrated exceptional leadership with his instructional prowess
ensuring strong student learning and retention takes place daily, has been a positive vocal
colleague with numerous professional development ideas, and has been our head volleyball
coach putting in numerous hours after school to help student/athletes improve. Harrison has a
strong work ethic and we have heard numerous times within the classroom “Thank you” in
response to answers received from his students. Harrison has high academic standards and
expectations in the mathematics classroom and our students are performing at a high level.
Well Done.

Navajo Mountain High
Classified: Genevieve Atene
Geni has the spirit and attitude of service and helping out wherever she is needed. White little
notice, she accepted the responsibility of running our first ever pageant this year. Geni also
acts as a driver picking up our bus students in the morning and taking them home at night. She
is willing to help out wherever needed and can be counted on to complete her work quickly
and accurately.

Certified:Todd Smallcanyon
Todd is willing to take on and complete any assignment asked. He is constantly looking for
training to help improve his craft and knowledge. This year, Todd has willingly taken on new
classes he has not taught before and displayed his ability to learn. He is usually the first person
in the building and the last person out. He truly cares for the students, their success and the
staff.. He embodies every aspect of what an educator should be.

San Juan High
Classified: Annette Adams
Annette works tirelessly with students each and every day to make sure they reach their full
potential. She knows and understands her students and where they are with credit recovery
and pushes them to get things done. Students appreciate her hard work and dedication. She
has made a huge difference at SJH. Annette has an amazing way to connect with students and
truly cares for each and everyone of them. Thank Annette for making a difference.

Certified: Shanda Winget
Shanda is a Language arts teacher here at San Juan High School. She epitomizes the essence of
a Language Arts Teacher with her dedication, teaching strategies, and passion for literature.
Shanda instills in her students the art of critical thinking, effective communication, and creative
expression. Her enthusiasm creates a learning environment where students feel empowered,
valued, and inspired to reach their fullest potential. We are extremely lucky to have Shanda
here in San Juan.

Whitehorse High
Classified: Darrell Lameman
Darrell Lameman is dependable, goes above and beyond, and consistently cleans the spaces to
which he is assigned AND looks for additional spaces that need cleaning attention. He provides
extra assistance to help us get meals to scholars, provide access to the school for community
events, and restock restrooms during events. Sometimes, he even flexes his hours to help us
with the heavy clean up after big events.

Certified: Kolby Tsosie
Kolby Tsosie is eager to learn best practices for the classroom and also, working with scholars.
He consistently implements aspects that develop Assessment Capable Learners. Additionally,
he is committed to developing scholar voice and facilitating processes whereby the scholar
voice is heard and honored. There are multiple (and new) events occurring because Kolby is
boosting scholar confidence, in and out of the classroom!

District Office-
Jeanna Grover
Jeanna Grover’s exemplary dedication and leadership has significantly impacted student
success through Career and Technical Education. Her unwavering commitment to advancing
opportunities, supporting improved teacher success, and expanding current programs has
elevated our CTE programs throughout the district. Her profound impact resonates not only
within our school community but also in the continued success of each individual student as
they continue on their journey of career, post-high school education, and life! We applaud your
sincerity, positivity, and exceptional leadership. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to
the growth and prosperity of our students, schools, and communities.

Conan Benallie
It takes a lot to get students to and from school or to the many different activities all across the
state, and Conan is involved in all of it. He is always willing to step up and do what needs to be
done for the benefit of students. Whether he is coordinating activity trips, working on routes
and reports, or taking a last-minute trip, he is always there when needed. He works hard to
communicate with everyone involved to help resolve issues that always arise. Conan is a
valuable member of Team San Juan and we are fortunate to have him. Thank you for all you do

San Juan Record

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