Special Education teacher in Blanding is district Teacher of the Year
Katilyn Lyman, a Special Education teacher at Albert R. Lyman (ARL) Middle School in Blanding, is the 2022 Teacher of the Year for the San Juan School District.
Lyman was honored for her work at a March 7 banquet.
ARL Principal Ryan Palmer said, "Mrs. Lyman is one of the most dedicated, passionate, and patient educators you will ever meet. She works incredibly hard to advocate for and support a very high-need student population.
“She is a committed member of the ARL leadership team and is willing to lead out in school goals and initiatives. Katilyn is an exceptional educator and ARL is fortunate to have her."
Lyman is completing her seventh-year teaching for the San Juan School District after teaching for two years in the Ogden School District.
Her seven years have been divided between being a classroom teacher at Blanding Elementary and a Special Education teacher at ARL.
Lyman now moves on to the competition for Utah Teacher of the Year.
The 2021 Teacher of the Year was Kristina Begay of Blanding Elementary School. Begay delivered an inspiring message to her peers about her 20-year journey as a teacher at the banquet.
A host of hardworking teachers and employees were honored by the school district for their efforts at the banquet.
Teachers and staff from the Blanding schools who were honored include Lyman and Rodney Kyles at ARL, Maydene Kaye and Linda Smith at Blanding Elementary, and Jonnie Imlay and Barkley Christensen at San Juan High.
Teachers and staff from Montezuma Creek honored include Mabel Martin and Juanita Becenti at Montezuma Creek Elementary and Lynda Golding and Sharmita Benally at Whitehorse High School.
Teachers and staff from Monticello honored include Carrie Black and Haley Burton at Monticello Elementary and Josh Keyes and Robin Garner at Monticello High School.
Teachers and staff from Monument Valley honored include Tammy Anderson and Thurman Cly at Tse’Bii’Nidzisgai Elementary and Jeff Fitzgerald and Samantha Mose at Monument Valley High School.
Guadalupe Hanson and Tammy Black were recognized as teacher and staff of the year for Bluff Elementary, while District Employees KD Perkins and David Brown were also honored.
Blanding Elementary School
Classified: Maydene Kaye
Blanding Elementary nominee Maydene Kaye "Maydene has been helpful in the kitchen. She does what she is asked to do and she is always willing to help others when they need help and she does an amazing job." Maydene loves being around kids and she offers valuable input from the kitchen. Thanks for being such a solid rock in that kitchen Maydene.
Certified: Linda Smith
Linda Smith was nominated the most by our staff for the tireless work she has put into her classroom. What makes her stand out is her undying commitment and faith in one of her students who is really coming around. He's learning, he's experiencing success, and he is beaming. She's been an amazing leader coaching people along this journey with him as she knows as a team they can be successful. She understands that this has been quite the team effort but her unwavering commitment is what is driving his success. Thank you Linda, we are glad to have you on our team.
Bluff Elementary School
Classified: Tammy Black
It is great to have Tammy at our school. She is amazing, our school building is always clean because of her. Tammy has a great work ethic and is always making sure the building is in tip top shape. She helps staff members with what they need help with and goes the extra mile to ensure safety and cleanliness. The students and staff love having Tammy at Bluff school.
One of the teachers said this, “Tammy is amazing at her job.” Thank you, Tammy!
Certified: Guadalupe Hanson
Lupe is a Kindergarten and a lead teacher. She came to Bluff school with a wealth of experience and knowledge within the teaching profession. Lupe has a great demeanor which is a wonderful asset for our school as she works with colleagues, students and parents.
She is a team player and leads by example. She is patient with her students and she never lets them see her sweat when kindergarten gets a little hectic. We are lucky to have her at Bluff school!”
Monticello Elementary School
Classified: Haley Burton
When you walk in the front door of MES you are greeted by Mrs. Haley Burton. She makes everyone who walks through those doors feel welcome and important. Haley is integral to the success of Monticello Elementary School. She helps all members of the MES team and provides them with the tools they need to administer instruction daily. She wears so many hats at school every day. Haley, in all seriousness MES is so lucky to have you and would not be the same without you.
Certified: Carrie Black
Carrie Black has contributed immensely to our school by developing core curriculum mapping for our 6th grade teachers and works on the district benchmark teams to create and align our district benchmark tests. Carrie is extremely helpful in assisting teachers through the initial years of teaching as a mentor. Her teacher teammate has been very grateful for her support through his first three years of teaching. Carrie, we are very lucky to have you with us here at Monticello Elementary School.
Montezuma Creek Elementary School
Classified: Juanita Becenti
Juanita's dedication to our community in Montezuma Creek is impressive. She's the hub of all communications and always helpful when we need her. She makes connections when we need to contact a staff member, parents, or student. She is professional and kind to everyone. Our school is very fortunate to have her on our staff.
Certified: Mabel Martin
Mabel is so positive in her daily instruction of Navajo Language/Culture.
Mabel is so involved with the students and such a loving teacher. Her passion for her native language and culture shows through her teaching and her relationships with her students. Students are always so happy to go to Navajo Class, and to find out what they will be learning about. She is a positive role model for our students and a great teacher. Thank you Mabel!!!
Tse’Bii’Nidzisgai Elementary School
Classified: Thurman Cly
Thurman is a workhorse. He is constantly looking for ways to help the teachers. When he is not busy, he finds something to do to help out. Thurman is dedicated to the students at our school. He has innovative ideas that really work with the students. We are impressed with his teaching and caring attitude toward our students. Thurman has been essential in helping the teachers at TES.
Certified: Tammy Anderson
Tammy is an incredible teacher and contributes so much to TES. She is always happy and willing to contribute fun ideas and lead out wherever needed. She makes everyone feel a part of the group and picks you up when you’re down. Her colleagues say she is always there for them and everyone matters!
Albert R. Lyman Middle School
Classified: Rodney Kyles
Mr. Kyles is such a major asset to the ARL community. Rodney has done so much for the students at ARL with constant Chromebook repairs, hot spot troubleshooting, and more. He is very responsive to the technology needs of the staff, and he keeps us all afloat. He is widely recognized and loved by students and staff alike. He goes above and beyond, and lifts others up in the process.
Certified: Katilyn Lyman
Mrs. Lyman is one of the most dedicated, passionate, and patient educators you will ever meet. She works incredibly hard to advocate for and support a very high need student population. She is a committed member of the ARL leadership team and is willing to lead out in school goals and initiatives. Katilyn is an exceptional educator and ARL is fortunate to have her.
Monticello High School
Classified: Robin Garner
Robin Garner works diligently every day to positively contribute to the success of our school. She makes sure that our ED-net classes run smoothly by coordinating with instructors in other buildings and communicating expectations clearly to our students. On top of this she has done a fantastic job capturing MHS’s key moments and using them in the yearbook that she creates with the help of her yearbook staff that she supervises.
Certified: Josh Keyes
Josh Keyes is extremely busy working in multiple roles in order to provide great experiences for Monticello Students. Josh has been invaluable advising multiple extracurricular activities, serving on the leadership team and directing our student government. In the classroom it is evident that his students learn at high levels. Mr. Keyes’s student growth scores frequently exceed the state average by a substantial margin. Monticello High School students are lucky to have him as a teacher!
Monument Valley High School
Classified: Samantha Mose
Samantha works diligently to meet the needs of the staff, the school, and the community as she manages fees waivers, prepares money boxes for athletic events, records financial records, completes monthly reports, etc. She is reliable, trustworthy, and timely when asked to complete tasks. MVHS is very lucky to have her as our financial secretary
Certified: Jeff Fitzgerald
Jeff has spent countless hours working with students and faculty to ensure people are in a healthy mindset at Monument Valley High School. Jeff supported the social-emotional needs of our school while preparing to pass our USBE Counseling Review. Jeff’s support is invaluable at MVHS and we feel lucky to have him as our school counselor.
San Juan High School
Classified: Jonnie Imlay
Jonnie is awesome! She is the first person that students see when they come walking into the Counseling Center. She never fails to smile, greet them, ask them how they are doing, and what she can help them with. The students feel her genuineness immediately and quickly begin to trust that help and support is available to them in the Counseling Center. We all love her and don’t know what we would do without her!!
Certified: Barkley Christensen
Barkley knows his students. They love to go to his class. He makes it fun and is passionate about history. One student said, “He is a good storyteller with history and I love his class. I love the way he teaches.” Barkley is very professional, he is a great coach, but an even better teacher. We are so grateful for all he does for SJH!
Whitehorse High School
Classified: Sharmita Benally
Sharmita is always ready to tutor any scholar needing assistance in math. She continually finds creative and articulate ways to communicate the math content in a way that scholars really understand. In fact, during WIN Time, she provides specific intervention and practice to deepen math learning for the scholars assigned to her. Additionally, Sharmita helps freshmen to pass all classes the first time by arranging for tutoring throughout the quarter.
Certified: Lynda Golding
Some scholars think of Ms Golding as grandma and her colleagues recognize her true wisdom as an educator of many, many years. Throughout the pandemic, she helped the Special Education Staff find safe ways to tutor in person and creative ways to help scholars through google meets and phone calls. It is largely through her efforts that more than 80% of scholars with an IEP are on track for Promotion or Graduation.
District Office -
Classified: KD Perkins
Kd Perkins is an outstanding team member in the Special Education department. Kd works to ease that burden by being a support and resource for them. She knows the ins and outs of many different systems that help educators develop high-quality plans for our students. Kd values relationships and works to build and sustain them with our teachers and staff. Kd’s professionalism, experience, work ethic, and kind heart are invaluable in her role. Thank you Kd!
Classified: David Brown
The world of Educational Technology is vast in its scope and complex in its application. David works very closely with teachers and administrators to meet the many different complex programs necessary to provide high levels of support. His ability to understand the complexities of technology coupled with his desire to provide the best possible experience for end-users is a huge strength and a major drive in his pursuit for learning and integration of technology. He continues to learn about the needs of teachers and students in classrooms and how technology works and interacts with the broader educational needs.