2019 Mr. Miner Pageant set for Valentine’s Day

Park City High School’s annual Mr. Miner Pageant is set for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Eccles Center. This year’s mock pageant will follow the theme of “Men of Romance.”

The young men compete is several categories including character modeling, talent, GQ modeling and response to an interview question. This year’s contestants are Ben Agnew, Isaac Foote, Charlie Lowsma, Cris Mora, Liam Occon, Carl Prior, Judd Ricks, Christian Stockwell, and Marco Zanetti.

“The Mr. Miner Pageant is known for being a funny, light-hearted event,” says Ashley Mott, Dance Company director. “This year’s theme is ‘Men of Romance,’ because it’s being held on Valentine’s Day.”

This year’s talent portion will include singing, playing live music, and dancing. The pageant is judged by Park City High faculty and administrators, as well as community volunteers.

The pageant is organized and coordinated by Dance Company, Dance Company 2, and the stage crew class.

Audience members will have the opportunity to buy ballots, for $1 a piece, and cast them in the lobby to vote for their favorite contestant.

Tickets are $10 if purchased in advance (from a dance company member or Mr. Miner candidate), or $12 at the door. The Mr. Miner Pageant is the primary fundraiser for Park City High’s dance program.

Girls Swim Team Wins Another Region XI Championship

Park City High Swim Team Co-Ed
The PCHS Girls Swim Team won a consecutive Region XI Championship this weekend.

Park City High has added another regional championship to its list of accomplishments. The Girls Swim Team won the 2019 Region XI Swimming Championship for a consecutive year and the Boys Swim Team finished second.

The Miners hosted the meet his past weekend at the Park City Aquatic Center and competed against Juan Diego, Bonneville, Ben Lomond, Ogden, Tooele and Stansbury High Schools.

“Park City had a great swim meet with many swimmers posting their season best times and locking in crucial places/times to qualify for state,” said Head Coach Mike Werner. “Individual swimmers that placed first and second earned automatic invitations to the 4A state championships.”

The Miners will compete Feb. 8-9 at the 2019 Utah 4A HS State Championships at Brigham Young University.

Board Meeting Summary | Jan. 22, 2019

Board Member Appointed

The Board of Education appointed Wendy Crossland to fill the District 3 vacancy left by Petra Butler. Crossland is a middle school humanities teacher and Advancement Associate for Community Outreach for the Park City Day School. She will take the Oath of Office on Feb. 26. See full press release here.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea expressed appreciation to board members for attending the Utah School Boards Association meetings in December and the USBA state conference earlier this month. She also recognized the board for receiving USBA’s designation as a Master Board.

Park City High ELA Program Proposal

Park City High Principal Roger Arbabi and faculty members presented an English Language Arts program that rearranges course offerings instead of creating new ones. Beginning next year, once sophomore students have completed a semester of the required Sophomore Academy, they will have the option of taking semester ELA classes of their choice. This program will maximize student choice and allow students to choose the classes that are of interested to them. ELA classes will fall into three categories: Academic Literacy, Literacy of Citizenship, and Literacy of Enrichment. The State Office of Education has reviewed the program and commended the high school for its plan.

Lacrosse to be Sanctioned UHSAA Sport

Boys and girls lacrosse will become a sanctioned sport next school year by the Utah High Activities Association. Athletic Director Jamie Sheetz estimates it will cost $105,000 to start the program started at Park City High (i.e., coaching stipends, equipment, officiating, travel, etc.). Lacrosse, which will be a Spring sport, will play 16 games with four playoff games.

PCEF Teacher Grants Report

The Park City Education Foundation awarded 31 grants to classroom teachers this year totaling $89,614. Grant requests included general themes of dual-language immersion, special education, Makerspaces, and capital expenditures, including flexible seating. The board expressed appreciation to donors and the Park City Education Foundation.

2019-20 Calendar Approved

The board approved the 2019-20 calendar. Classes begin two days earlier on Aug. 20, and end on June 2. The calendar includes one fewer day for Fall Recess, the semester ending prior to Winter Recess, and a full two-week Winter Recess. The district will plan the 2020-21 and 2021-22 calendars by the end of the school year. Moving forward the board will adopt calendars three years at a time.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 2005: Board of Education Power and Duties

– Policy 2015: Advisory Committees

– Policy 2025: Electronic Board Meetings

– Policy 2030: Board Policy Development

– Policy 2045: Board Member Compensation

– Policy 7061: Shared Leave

New Board Member Appointed for District 3

Wendy Crossland
Wendy Crossland

The Park City School District Board of Education has appointed Wendy Crossland as the new board member for District 3. She replaces Petra Butler who stepped down Dec. 31.

Crossland is a middle school humanities teacher at the Park City Day School and also serves as Advancement Associate for Community Outreach at the school. Proficient in Spanish, she lived in Bogotá, Colombia, for seven years where she taught English and social studies. Crossland is also co-founder and co-race director of TedDriven, an organization that raises money for cancer research.

She holds bachelor and a masters degrees, and earned a juris doctorate at Seattle University School of Law.

“It is such an honor to join the Park City School District Board,” says Crossland. “I look forward to supporting Dr. [Jill] Gildea and working with this dedicated Board committed to ensuring that all students receive a safe, equitable and inspired learning opportunity in Park City School District. I am excited and grateful to have the chance to work really hard on behalf of the critical and important mission of the district.”

Crossland will take the Oath of Office during the next Board of Education meeting on Feb. 26.

PCSD Selected for Utah’s First Cohort in Personalized, Digital Learning

Park City School District has been selected to participate in the state’s first cohort for Leadership in Personalized and Digital Learning (LPDL).

The cohort offers a team of district leaders an opportunity for job-embedded professional learning to prepare the LEA for personalized learning. District leaders will participate in the program that features face-to-face opportunities to work with trained facilitators and other state leaders from the Utah Education Network and the Utah State Board of Education.

“This is a perfect fit for our district,” said Traci Evans, interim Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “It is exciting to be on the forefront of personalized, computer-based education.

Nine districts and three charter schools are part of the first cohort. The first meeting is Jan. 14 in Salt Lake City.

The purpose of the cohort is to build a deeper understanding of personalized learning, to assist participating districts in creating their Digital Teaching and Learning Plan, and to learn about new collection tools to drive decisions for personalized learning.

‘Informance’ to Highlight Park City High’s DC2

Dance Company 2Park City High’s Dance Company II  (DC2) will present its annual “Informance,” an informal and informative performance that features their work of the past several months. Two shows are set for Jan. 15, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., in the Eccles Center’s Black Box Theater.

This year’s Informance presents the six universal human emotions through dance: happiness, sadness, fear, contempt, surprise, and anger. The 19 dancers will present 10 pieces, all embodying one of these six emotions.

“DC2 has worked together to create, choreograph, and perform their Informance in order to share their knowledge and love of the art with friends, family, peers, and the community,” says Ashley Mott, DC2 and Dance Company director.

Mott said each student has been assigned a specific responsibility, from choreographing the dances, marketing the performance, creating videos to accompany their pieces, and establishing the show order.

“The dancers have worked tirelessly both inside and outside the classroom, finding time for a major production to their busy schedules,” she said.

There is no charge for the performance but donations will be accepted to help support the dance program.

Board Meeting Summary | Dec. 18, 2018

Board Member Recognition

The board recognized Vice President JJ Ehlers for her four years of service and Petra Butler for her two years of service.

Superintendent Report

At the request of the board, Superintendent Jill Gildea is working on leadership transition and the district’s organization structure. Working within current budgetary parameters, as well as full-time equivalents, she will make recommendations as part of budget development process. The district will use a search firm to help identify qualified finalists for Cabinet-level positions.

Education Master Plan Update

Chris Guarino with NV5, the district’s owner representative for master planning, updated the board on the work of the Steering Committee, Learning Leaders Forums, and the next online community survey.  Ongoing updates are posted on the The Future of Learning website. The current community survey is available here.

Calendar Committee Update

Trailside Elementary Principal Carolyn Synan, a member of the district calendar committee, presented the final two 2019-20 calendar options. A survey of district employees overwhelmingly (73%) selected the Option B calendar because it allows for a longer Winter Break. The board will adopt a 2019-20 calendar at its January meeting and will consider the committee’s Option B at that time.

Student Fees

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the work being done on defining academic fees by a State Board of Education task force. The board will need to look at fees related to special academic projects and programs and establish maximums per fee and an aggregate maximum for total participation; which includes extracurricular fees related to travel, lodging, food, etc. The fee schedule has to be adopted by April 1, so the board will be discussing this issue in the coming months and allow time for public comments.

Policies Adopted

– Policy 3000: Shared Decision Making

– Policy 5010: Inventory Control and Use of Equipment

– Policy 5025: Student Transportation for School or District Activities

– Policy 7031: Social Media (new)

– Policy 7160: Orderly Termination

– Policy 9025: Student Wellness

Policy Retired

– Policy 5005: Building Access

Public Comment

– Parent Shannon Schemmer commended the board on the district calendar options and offered suggestions for future calendars. She also commented on the proposed wellness policy and said she is hesitant to ban options and choices for older students and believes they are capable of making their own choices when it comes to healthy foods.

– Parent Christie Worthington said the wellness policy does not allow for students to have choices. While she feels the policy has good intent, she said it is too restrictive.

– Parent Laurel Bartmess said the district calendar has too many breaks and she prefers a longer year. She also said, referring to the wellness policy, that food should not be used as an extrinsic reward.

– Janae Ridge, executive director for EATS Park City reiterated research and recommendations with input from community members. EATS hopes the district will shift the culture and eliminate food rewards.

Parent Kelly Manning believes parents, teachers, and administrators should advocate for students’ health and nutrition needs. She asked the board to consider the elimination of food rewards as a recommendation not policy.

– Teacher Melissa Bott shared examples of why it is important to allow food in classes. She said it helps teachers be creative in their teaching and learning experiences.

– R.J. Owen, Child Nutrition Services Director, asked the board to respect the work of the committee who revised the wellness policy and vote on the policy as it was originally presented. Owen suggested the wellness committee review the comments from the community that surfaced during the policy posting time period.

Park City High to Host Robotics Competition Tomorrow

Saturday,  Dec. 15, will be all things robotic at Park City High School as the Robotics Club hosts a Robotics Tournament for teams from Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

The event, held in the Main Gym, begins at 11 a.m. with the opening ceremony and matches will begin directly afterward. A lunch break is scheduled from 12:15-1 pm.  Matches will resume at 1 and continue until approximately 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the east Eccles lot (entry is only through the doors next to the gray mailbox). The public is invited to attend.

Park City High has several robotics teams who compete. Team Checkmate 12384 was the only PCHS team that competed earlier this month at West High High School in Salt Lake City, placing five times and winning the Innovative Award. The team also competed this month at a tournament held at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.

The club meets every Tuesday after school. For more information visit their website.


McPolin’s DLI Students Create Class Mural Honoring Human Rights Leaders

Fifth-grade dual-immersion students in Joe Dvorak’s Spanish class at McPolin Elementary have been studying the human rights and farmworkers’ movements the past few months. As part of their study, they created a class mural.

The students painted the mural of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, American labor leaders and civil rights activists who co-founded of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.

Thanks to the generosity of parent volunteer Nikki Keye, the students spent the past month creating the artwork. Keye has an extensive background and degree in art. She visited the class every week teaching the students how to make the various components of the mural.

This week, students produced a google drawing with links to videos explaining their contributions to the mural. See the mural and learn more from the students here


District Adds Propane School Buses to its Fleet

Park City School District is celebrating the holidays early this year with the delivery of two new propane school buses.

Rich Eddington, Director of Transportation, said alternative fuel is now a reality in the school district. “We are starting with only two buses to see how propane handles in the snow and cold weather.”

Propane buses are more economical to purchases, $125,000 per propane bus versus $159,000 for a diesel bus. “About 10 percent of buses sold nationwide are now propane,” Eddington said. “Propane is the best alternative fuel for our district.”

The district is in the process of installing its own tank at the Transportation Department. Propane gas averages $1.41 per gallon, much less expensive than diesel. “We want to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and the environment,” he said.

Propane buses are quieter, start in 50 below zero temperatures, heat the cabin quicker, and are one of the industry’s most popular because of their lower cost and safety features, according to Eddington.

Buses 32 and 33 are currently assigned to routes that transport students to Trailside Elementary, Ecker Middle, and Treasure Mountain / Park City High Schools.

The district is in the process of upgrading and updating its bus fleet, and is applying for state and federal grants to help offset the costs for new alternative fuel buses.