Achievements are Plentiful for the PCHS Class of 2020

More than 430 Park City High graduates comprise the largest class to ever graduate from the school. And the Class of 2020 is leaving a legacy of some impressive achievements.

“These students have a passion for learning and the drive in pursuit of excellence that we expect of our entire student body,” said PCHS Principal Roger Arbabi. “Our community is proud of the achievements of these exceptional young adults as they move on to the next phase of their education.”

ACADEMICS

Jon Troxel and Siri Ahern are the class Valedictorians, and Eleanor Ball is Salutatorian.  Troxel, along with Lane Myshrall , were  recipients of National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. Only 23 graduates statewide received the scholarship.

Nearly 80% of this year’s graduate class plan to attend a two-year college or four-year university. Some of the places they plan to continue their education include: Princeton, Notre Dame, Baylor, Clemson, Villanova, Cal Poly, Colgate, UC Berkeley, William and Mary, Duke, UCLA, Dartmouth, and Tulane. Additionally, there will be Miners attending every Utah university and college this fall. Some graduates will be taking a gap year, working, entering the military, or serving missions.

PCHS was well represented in the Sterling Scholar Program with four winners and seven runners-up. Winners included:  Sydney LaPine, English;  Sydney Senn, Science; Annabella Miller, Skilled & Technical Science Education; and Mary Hurner, World Languages. Runners-up were:  Molly Gallagher, Business & Marketing; Gabriel Sherman, Computer Technology; Liam Hanrahan, Instrumental Music; Jack Skidmore, Mathematics; Siri Ahern, Social Science; Emma Sundahl, Vocal Performance; and Eleanor Ball, General Scholarship.

LEADERSHIP

The seniors have been led this year by  Laura Pederson, Senior Class President; and Noah Nasser, Student Body President. Lindsay Carreto and Edgar Pena served this year as Co-Presidents of Latinos in Action.

Lindsay Carreto has received the prestigious Ambassador Program Scholarship from Utah  State University. Only 30 students are selected. Lindsay will receive full tuition and fees for up to four years.

PCHS’s Parent-Teacher-Student Organization awarded the following scholarships: Ultimate Renaissance Miner, Paige Jones; Ultimate Sports Miner, Andrew Pederson; Resilience Award, Elena Polychronis; and Greatest Growth Award, Hannah Cunneen.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Winners of the inaugural Park City Student Service Awards are Jack Henry, Noah Nasser, Caroline Powell, Courtney Solomon, and  Alta Sweet Tabar who each volunteer at least 200 hours to community service.  This year’s seniors donated a combined total of 1,344 hours.

The National Charity League celebrated five graduates  who volunteered 750 hours combined to the Peace House, NAC, Youth Resource Center, Swaner Eco, Christian Center, Little Miracles, People’s Health Clinic, Summit Arts Council and Nuzzles. Those students are: Annie Sunderland, Kylie Farber, Taylor Farnell, Avery Lane & Caroline Haaijer.

Kataleeya Powers was named a co-winner of the 2020 Utah High School Big Sister of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah.

PERFORMING ARTS

Hannah Peers is the first-ever PCHS graduate invited to be a Joffrey Ballet School Trainee for the 2020-21 school year.

Congratulations to PCHS senior Tori Kenton who won a 2020 Utah High School Theatre Award tonight for Best Cameo in PCHS’s production of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.”

The community will gets its final glimpse of the Class of 2020 on July 31 thanks to Deer Valley Resort’s generous offer to partner with PCHS to host one last celebration for the graduates.

PCHS working with Deer Valley to Provide Graduates with Celebration

Park City High School is partnering with Deer Valley Resort to give the Class of 2020 a chairlift graduate celebration on Friday, July 31.

“Deer Valley has generously offered this opportunity and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Park City High Principal Roger Arbabi. “This will be an unforgettable experience for our students.”

“We were heartbroken that we were not able to celebrate our graduates this spring. Unfortunately, we had to wait to plan something for late summer to safely honor our graduates,” he said.  “It will be a Park City graduation backdrop no other PCHS graduate has ever had,” Arbabi said.

A schedule and more details will be released as soon as possible to allow for families to make plans.

“Deer Valley very much looks forward to celebrating the Park City High School Class of 2020 this summer with a well-deserved chairlift commencement ceremony on the mountain,” said Deer Valley Resort President and COO, Todd Shallan. “We are happy to be able to work with their school administrators and be a part of recognizing these students and their achievements through such a unique and memorable experience.”

In addition to the Deer Valley event, PCHS graduates have the opportunity to take photos at Dozier Field today and Saturday (May 29 & 30) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Three different photo backdrops will be available on the football field for graduates and their families. To ensure safety protocol, graduates have signed up in advance so that no more than five at a time are on the field with their families. High school staff will be on hand to cheer for their students.

In a few weeks, graduates will be sent a Senior Tribute video. Graduates are uploading their pictures for this video highlighting their high school experiences. The PCHS Student Council provided a keepsake embroidered blanket that has been distributed to each senior in the Class of 2020. The Student Council is still accepting donations here.

Principal Arbabi and the PCHS staff thank the Park City community during this time. Due to their generous support, each senior received a sign in their yard and other recognition. “Thank you for inspiring them to finish the school year strong,” he said.

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For more information contact:

Principal Roger Arbabi, rarbabi@pcschools.us, 435-645-5650

9th Grader’s Playhouse Design is Finalist in Architectural Competition

Will Fleming

Treasure Mountain Junior High 9th-grader, Will Fleming, is a Grand Prize finalist in the inForm Architecture Student Playhouse Design Competition. The competition, open to K-12 students along the Wasatch Back, was to see who could dream up the best playhouse.

The rules?

– Maximum size of 10’x10’x10′

– It should inspire active play and/or learning. Designs should have a theme or design concept.

– Design by hand, computer model, physical model, or use all of these.

Will learned about the competition from his Park City High construction teacher Jordan Ulrich who assigned the design as part of his Intro to Construction Technology class.

“I had a lot of fun with it, and mostly designed it for myself,” said Will. He used Sketch-Up Online, a web-based computer modeling software to design his 3D-model playhouse.

His teacher Mr. Ulrich said this was a great alternative to hands-on learning during social distancing. “I am so proud of Will for his accomplishment despite the challenges associated with online learning and a project like this,” he said.

The community will be able to vote for Fleming’s design on social media. That link will be posted via the district’s social media channels in the coming days.

“This assignment was the highlight among all the challenges of the pandemic,” said his mother Ebony Fleming. “He hasn’t been to see his friends or go to school, so this assignment was a blessing. He really enjoyed it. He took his time and designed it the way he wanted to.”

Mr. Ulrich’s classroom is supported by donations to the Park City Education Foundation.

Two PCHS Seniors Receive National Merit Scholarship

Today (5/13/20) the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced two Park City High seniors have been awarded its National Merit $2,500 Scholarship. Only 23 graduates statewide received the scholarship.

Lane Myshrall

Park City High’s National Merit Scholarship 2020 winners are:

– Lane E. Myshrall who plans to pursue a career in civil engineering

– Jon H. Troxel who plans to pursue a career in applied mathematics

Jon Troxel

The scholars were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors.


Four PCHS Seniors Win Sterling Scholar Awards at Regional Level

Four Park City High seniors were named winners at last night’s (May 7, 2020) 48th annual Sterling Scholar awards ceremony for the Northeast Region. In addition, seven PCHS seniors were also named runner-ups. Students competed with top students from 18 high schools.

 Each student is required to present a portfolio of work in a specific category, be interviewed by judges, and advanced at the high school and finals levels. From finalists in each of 16 categories, and one overall Sterling Scholar winner is selected.

PCHS Sterling Scholar winners include:

– Sydney LaPine: English

– Sydney Senn: Science

– Annabella Miller: Skilled & Technical Science Education

– Mary Hurner: World Languages

PCHS runner-up awards include:

– Molly Gallagher: Business & Marketing

– Gabriel Sherman: Computer Technology

– Liam Hanrahan: Instrumental Music

– Jack Skidmore: Mathematics

– Siri Ahern: Social Science

– Emma Sundahl: Vocal Performance

– Eleanor Ball: General Scholarship

The Deseret News and KSL Broadcast Group developed the Sterling Scholar program to focus attention on outstanding high school seniors. The purpose is to recognize them publicly as well as award cash scholarships and tuition waivers from participating institutions.

Sydney LaPine
Sydney Senn
Annabella Miller
Mary Hurner

Addressing Students’ Emotional Needs During School Dismissal

By Elias McQuaid | Psychologist, Park City Learning Center

Children of all ages may have strong feelings and emotions during or after disasters or emergencies like the COVID-19 outbreak. Some children may react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. Reactions will also be unique to each child depending on their exposure and their history or experiences.

Children react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with a disaster calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Elias McQuaid, Psychologist

The emotional impact of an emergency on a child depends on a child’s characteristics and experiences, the social and economic circumstances of the family and community, and the availability of local resources. Not all children respond in the same ways. Some might have more severe, longer-lasting reactions.

The following specific factors may affect a child’s emotional response:

– Direct involvement with the emergency

– Previous traumatic or stressful event

– Belief that the child or a loved one may die

– Loss of a family member, close friend, or pet

– Separation from caregivers

– Physical injury

– How parents and caregivers respond

– Family resources

– Relationships and communication among family members

– Repeated exposure to mass media coverage of the emergency and aftermath

– Ongoing stress due to the change in familiar routines and living conditions

– Cultural differences

– Community resilience

As a school district, we want to help our students and families as best we can during these stressful times. There are several things we can do to help our students and they include:

– Stay calm and reassure your children.

– Talk to children about what is happening in a way that they can understand.   Keep it simple and appropriate for each child’s age.

– Provide opportunities to talk about feelings and practice relaxation strategies.

– Engage in whole family stress relief activities.

– Don’t neglect regular exercise and movement. Regular exercise has many benefits—it builds strength and cardiovascular health, releases endorphins, and improves sleep, all of which lead to decreased stress and anxiety. Even short bursts of movement offer benefit, and moving as a family offers a feeling of connection, which has also been linked to reduced stress. So, join your children in a quick game of tag or a living room dance party when you’re short on time; and shoot hoops, take the dog on a long walk, or find a family-friendly bike trail when you have more time for longer stress-relieving outdoor recreation.

What Not To Do

– Expect children to be brave or tough.

– Make children discuss the event before they are ready.

– Get angry if children show strong emotions.

– Get upset if they begin bed-wetting, acting out, or thumb-sucking

Common Reactions

The common reactions to distress will fade over time for most children. Children who were directly exposed to a disaster can become upset again; behavior related to the event may return if they see or hear reminders of what happened. If children continue to be very upset or if their reactions hurt their schoolwork or relationships then parents may want to talk to a professional or have their children talk to someone who specializes in children’s emotional needs. Learn more about common reactions to distress:

For infants to 2 year olds: Infants may become more cranky. They may cry more than usual or want to be held and cuddled more.

For 3 to 6 year olds: Preschool and kindergarten children may return to behaviors they have outgrown. For example, toileting accidents, bed-wetting, or being frightened about being separated from their parents/caregivers. They may also have tantrums or a hard time sleeping.

For 7 to 10 year olds: Older children may feel sad, mad, or afraid that the event will happen again. Peers may share false information; however, parents or caregivers can correct the misinformation. Older children may focus on details of the event and want to talk about it all the time or not want to talk about it at all. They may have trouble concentrating.

For pre-teens and teenagers: Some preteens and teenagers respond to trauma by acting out. This could include reckless driving, and alcohol or drug use. Others may become afraid to leave the home. They may cut back on how much time they spend with their friends. They can feel overwhelmed by their intense emotions and feel unable to talk about them. Their emotions may lead to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents/caregivers or other adults.

For special needs children: Children who need continuous use of a breathing machine or are confined to a wheelchair or bed, may have stronger reactions to a threatened or actual disaster. They might have more intense distress, worry or anger than children without special needs because they have less control over day-to-day well-being than other people. The same is true for children with other physical, emotional, or intellectual limitations. Children with special needs may need extra words of reassurance, more explanations about the event, and more comfort and other positive physical contact such as hugs from loved ones.

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Content Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html

Additional Resources

The Emotional Impact of Disaster on Children and Families https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/disasters_dpac_PEDsModule9.pdf

“Coping After a Disaster” children’s book https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/readywrigley/documents/RW_Coping_After_a_Disaster_508.pdf

Home Management Strategies for Panic Disorder https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/home-management-strategies-for-panic-disorder/

Three Ways for Children to Try Meditation at Home

Helping Children Deal with Change and Stress https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/helping-children-deal-with-change-and-stress

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Disasters and Other Traumatic Events: What Parents, Rescue Workers, and the Community Can Do https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/helping-children-and-adolescents-cope-with-disasters-and-other-traumatic-events/index.shtml

McGuire Family Foundation establishes first-ever Student Service Award

Park City students have been making an impact in our community and throughout the world for many years through the volunteering they do. Now, for the first time, students will have the chance to be rewarded for their efforts with the Park City Student Service Award, thanks to the Park City-based McGuire Family Foundation.

The Park City Student Service Award aims to honor students in grades 9-12 who are committed to making a difference by volunteering their time to non-profit organizations in Park City or elsewhere. This award is not attached to grades or participation in a club — it is purely a volunteer service acknowledgement.

Award certificates will be given to students who meet the criteria of 50+ hours of community service from April 15, 2019, to April 15, 2020.

Seniors who meet the criteria and have completed 200+ hours of community service over the past four years will earn a service honor cord for graduation. The top senior honoree will receive $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit organization of his/her choice.

The deadline to apply is April 15. For more information contact Katie McGuire,kmcguire@mcguirefamilyfoundation.org, or Pepper Elliot at Park City High, pelliot@pcschools.us.

Full details and application available here in English.

Detalles completos y solicitud disponibles aquí en Español.

Career & Technical Education Celebrated This Month

For nearly a century, Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs across the United States have focused on equipping students with technical and life skills to help them become productive citizens. Now more than ever, CTE programs are needed to help ensure the strength of our workforce, global competitiveness, and the economic health of the nation.

Students and faculty in Park City School District are celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, Feb. 1-29. The theme for 2020 is “Turn Your Dream into a Career.”

In conjunction with CTE Month, Feb. 27 is designated as Digital Learning Day. Every day is a digital learning day in Park City schools. Elementary students begin computer coding classes in elementary school. The PCCAPS program at Park City High, helps students develop 21st Century Skills through working on real-world projects for companies and organizations. Project types fall within the industry fields of engineering, coding, business solutions, health sciences, digital design and primary education. And this year, the dual-language immersion students began programming Ozobots for storytelling.

CTE Month provides schools with an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE prepares students for college and career. Students who participate in CTE obtain the academic knowledge, technical and workplace skills to compete in a global economy. Enter any of our CTE classrooms and you will immediately observe the rigor, relevance, and skills CTE courses offer our students

CTE courses have the potential to jumpstart a students’ career by preparing them for postsecondary education and training in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations. Currently, there are 58 CTE Career Pathways in the State of Utah.

For more information about CTE programs in Park City School District, contact a CTE teacher, academic counselor, or CTE Director Lyndsay Huntsman, lhuntsan@pcschools.us.

PCCAPS Adopts Industry Workflow Language to Help Students Aquire 21st Century Work Habits

By Rachel Pittard, PCCAPS Coordinator

Students need a tool for understanding good work habits for the 21st Century. In fact, students aren’t the only ones who need such a tool. Any organization with production goals and stakeholders needs a workflow structure to effectively convert ideas, desires and solutions into tangible products. 

At PCCAPS, Scrum has been adopted as that workflow system for students, instructors, mentors and business clients. Scrum solves many work habit problems, while at the same time, training students on industry workflow language they will inevitably encounter. Scrum is also a lucrative and in-demand project management career field most have never heard of. By implementing Scrum, students are able to assure clients of progress, roadblocks, and project deliverables.  

What is Scrum? Scrum is an agile project management system which was developed here in Utah by software industry leaders, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwabera. Scrum facilitates team collaboration on complex projects. Companies which have adopted Scrum or other Agile workflow systems include Spotify, Salesforce, Delta, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Adobe, Nokia, Siemens, BBC, CNN, General Electric, Bank of America, and many others. 

How do you teach students Scrum? Legos, of course. Supported by a classroom grant from Park City Education Foundation, Treasure Mountain Junior High teacher Ben Mueller piloted an innovative lego-based Scrum lesson for his ninth-grade Exploring Computer Science class during Fall 2019 semester. 

The goal is for student workgroups to collaborate on the construction of an entire town made of legos. They are given a backlog of specific requests from citizens of the town, such as a specific number of single family homes, a mansion for the mayor, trees, animals, retail shops, restaurants, hospital and transportation infrastructure. Students plan their work (sprints) in advance by estimating the time it will take to build each backlog item and by prioritizing the order of the tasks. Time allocated for each sprint is determined by the instructor. At the beginning of each sprint, students self-lead a stand up meeting in which each member answers three questions:

— What did I work on last time? 

— What do I plan on doing next? 

— What roadblocks, if any, are in my way of completing my tasks?

Each sprint is planned, which provides students with the opportunity to self discover and solve operational issues that may be delaying progress. In the end, students prioritize a complex set of tasks and collaborate to efficiently produce a single town using legos. 

On day one of the Spring 2020 semester, Mr. Mueller replicated the lesson for PCCAPS students at Park City High School. The Scrum workflow has been adopted as the operating system for student projects in order for them to experientially develop high-demand, 21st Century skills. 

About PCCAPS

A member of the national CAPS Network, and supported by Park City Education Foundation, the Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies (PCCAPS) is an elective for Park City School District 11th and 12th graders. Student experience is guided by the principles of Project Based Learning (PBL), a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

January's Counselor Connection: Attendance and Why it Matters

“Attendance Works,” an organization whose mission is to “advance student success and help close equity gaps by reducing chronic absence,” cites the following:

– Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year.Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month (20 days) of school.

– Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or are held back.

– Research shows that missing 10 percent of a student’s school days, which is considered “chronically absent” (18 days in PCSD) negatively affects a student’s academic performance.

– When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.

– By 6th grade chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Read the full issue of January’s Counselor Connection here. English | Spanish