NSBA 2022 Magna Awards

Park City School District Earns Top Honor in 2022 Magna Awards Program for Equity Work

Park City, Utah, (Apr. 19, 2022): We are happy to announce that Park City School District is a National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2022 Magna Award winner. PCSD was recognized for its commitment to equity as a Silver Award winner in the 28th annual Magna Awards program. PCSD is one of 18 winners–three Grand Prize and 12 Silver Award winners–across the nation receiving this honor.

Sponsored by NSBA’s flagship magazine, American School Board Journal, the Magna Awards honor districts across the country for their programs that break down barriers to achievement for underserved students. PCSD was selected as a winner by an independent panel of judges.

Bright Futures & Big Dreams provides consistent, reliable, and sustainable support for traditionally underserved and first-generation language-learner students to receive in-the-moment preparation in academic content vocabulary to open the doors for dual enrollment and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

“The 2022 Magna Award-winning districts represent the enormous efforts of school leaders during the pandemic to continue to remove barriers for their underserved and vulnerable children,” said NSBA Executive Director and CEO Dr. John Heim.

PCSD is highlighted in the April issue of ASBJ. Read about PCSD award-winning program and the other winners at www.nsba.org/ASBJ.

Premios NSBA 2022 Magna 

El distrito escolar de Park City obtiene el máximo honor en el programa de premios Magna 2022 para el trabajo de equidad

Park City, Utah, (19 de abril de 2022): Nos complace anunciar que el distrito escolar de Park City es una Asociación Nacional de Juntas Escolares (NSBA)  Ganador del Premio Magna 2022. PCSD fue reconocido por su compromiso con la equidad como ganador del Premio de Plata en el 28ºprograma anual de los Premios Magna. PCSD es uno de los 18 ganadores, tres ganadores del Gran Premio y 12 del Premio de Plata, en todo el país que reciben este honor.

Patrocinado por la revista insignia de la NSBA, American School Board Journal, los premios Magna honran a los distritos de todo el país por sus programas que derriban las barreras para el rendimiento de los estudiantes desatendidos. PCSD fue seleccionado como ganador por un panel independiente de jueces.

Bright Futures & Big Dreams brinda apoyo constante, confiable y sostenible para estudiantes de idiomas tradicionalmente desatendidos y de primera generación para recibir preparación en el momento en el vocabulario de contenido académico para abrir las puertas a la inscripción dual y cursos de Colocación Avanzada (AP) .

“Los distritos ganadores del Premio Magna 2022 representan los enormes esfuerzos de los líderes escolares durante la pandemia para continuar eliminando las barreras para sus niños desatendidos y vulnerables”, dijo el director ejecutivo y director ejecutivo de la NSBA, el Dr. John Heim.

PCSD se destaca en la edición de abril de ASBJ. Lea sobre el programa ganador del premio PCSD y los otros ganadores en www.nsba.org/ASBJ.

Board of Education


For additional information, contact:  Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to BOE/Supt at lpearce@pcschools.us 

Board of Education Actions & Accomplishments – March 29, 2022 

by Erin Grady, BOE President 

The PCSD Board of Education met in a Special Session on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 2:00 P.M.  At the meeting, the Board of Education led a review of the financing plans for Ecker Hill Middle School, Parley’s Park Elementary School, and the Trailside Elementary School expansion/renovations which were not included in the November 2021 General Obligation Bond election. 

Throughout the Bond election, all six schools and projects were contemplated and described for the community. Three of the projects were selected to be funded through a General Obligation Bond, and three of the projects were referred to alternative financial options from private bank funding to capital campaign funds and donations or to secure funding through an alternative lease revenue bond. 

Currently, all projects are on time and on budget as we work through the planning phases with the Ecker Hill Middle School project beginning this summer and with Parley’s Park and Trailside beginning work next summer. We are also pleased that our Collective Commitments for Clean Energy are also running according to plan. 

In order to fund the three projects not included in the GO Bond, the Board of Education authorized its Local Building Authority to access an alternative revenue option in the form of a lease/revenue bond through a financial resolution at today’s session.  This financing product does not lead to a tax increase and is, instead, paid back from existing capital revenues.  For example, it is likely that the entirety of the Trailside expansion will be paid for with capital reserves. 

The alternate funding option through the lease revenue bond and its flexibility provides an opportunity to pay down debt earlier or to offset costs as we continue with local capital funding donations or campaigns. 

Both Bond Counsel and the District’s Financial Advisor were on hand to ensure full understanding of this finance option and encouraged the Board of Education to move forward with securing this option while interest rates remain favorable. Bond Counsel also described a similar approach in other districts across Utah. 

The next regular meeting of the Park City School District Board of Education will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 2700 Kearns Blvd.  The meeting is also live-streamed. 

The Building Authority will host a public hearing opportunity on Monday, April 25, 2022 at 6:00 P.M. The public hearing will also be live-streamed. 

Board of Education


For additional information, contact:  Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to BOE/Supt at lpearce@pcschools.us

Park City School District is committed to student safety.

The board was informed this morning that the Summit County Attorney’s office has filed charges against the Park City School District. The district is looking into the charges and will respond in due course through legal counsel.

We take these allegations seriously and as always prioritize the safety of our students so that they can reach their academic and social potential.

We ask that the public is respectful of the district administration and allows this process to play out before assuming any negligence or bad intent.

The board fully supports the Superintendent, her administration and all our staff as they continue to provide a safe learning environment for all our students.

PCSD Board of Education


For additional information, contact:  Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to BOE/Supt at lpearce@pcschools.us 

Board of Education Actions & Accomplishments-March 15, 2022

By Erin Grady, BOE President

PCSD Board of Education met on March 15, 2022 at our regular monthly business meeting. The meeting started at 3:30 P.M. at the District Office with a planned legal update for the BOE in a Closed Session.  

During the open meeting, we heard updates from PCEA and wish to thank our educators, staff and administrators for strong partnership as we tackle any issues that emerge together.  The Board appreciates the opportunity to meet on any number of topics from calendar planning to budget development input.

Dr. Mahon-Reynolds provided the Board with an update on the Coalition for Safe & Inclusive Schools. With participation from our administrators, educators, staff and community partners, we believe in the power to positively impact student outcomes and ensure a sense of safety and belonging for all within the Park City Schools. 

An overview of the master facility plan has us on time and on budget for our schools projects with a great opportunity to hit our energy efficiency goals.  

We received an update of the monthly budget development process as well as legislative impacts to the 22/23 school year. Currently, the budget includes the third year of a four year compensation plan that will include a planned truth in taxation increase in August 2022. 

Our strategic planning areas for budget priority include: 

Increasing Academic Achievement

Provide a Safe School Environment that Supports the Whole Child

Attract and Retain Outstanding Educators and Staff

Strengthen School, Family and Community Engagement

Ensure Fiscal and Operational Responsibility

Grade realignment planning and implementation for 2024-2025 school year

We have also  had an opportunity to hear about legislative updates – many of the approved Bills went through the last 24 hours of the session.  It will take some time to ensure all policy and practical implications of new legislation makes its way to our day to day operations. 

The Board of Education is so proud of our educators’ day to day accomplishments. Did you know that in the mid-year academic progress reports provided by the CAO, that ALL student groups are making expected progress and growth?  That is an amazing achievement, and we know how hard everyone is working to keep our students on track.  

Thank you to our educators and staff for keeping our students at the forefront of the critically important work that you do each and every day.


Board of Education Statement

Recent events at Park City High School and TMJH have reminded us that hate and bigotry still exist in all corners of our society. 

The use of hurtful language and symbols isn’t new in our community nor will it likely ever go away, and we must address and use each incident as a learning opportunity for our children, our parents, and our fellow community members. 

As many of you remember, several years ago we had racist graffiti at apartments on Kearns that was quickly painted over. Students and faculty rallied and showed support for our Latinx neighbors by boldly stating that this hate was unacceptable in our community. Today should be no different. 

Over the last couple of weeks, racist words and hateful symbols including a swastika have been displayed and drawn on our school campuses, harming and insulting our community. The reaction from the community has rightfully and appropriately been one of shock, anger and sadness. We feel these emotions alongside each of you.

In particular, to those who have been targeted by these hateful actions, we stand with you.  How we respond together will dictate how we move forward as a community in combating hate and bigotry. 

When our students use graffiti and words to spew hatred it must be a teaching experience dealt with by not only our schools but our entire community. 

In the past several days, many community members have reached out, some asking what they can do to help and how to support signaling their support recognizing that we are stronger together. Thank you.

Unfortunately, others have responded using harsh words of their own, personal attacks, and accusing the Superintendent and school board of being complicit in the propagation of hate. 

Equity and inclusion are not just buzzwords for our school district. All decisions we make are intentionally evaluated and analyzed through a lens of equity, inclusion, and belonging.  

The safety of our students and staff is a key tenet of education in our community. We will continue to investigate these incidents while also working to make this a learning experience for all that hate of any sort is not welcome in Park City.

Most importantly, as we move beyond these incidents of hate in our community, we must work together and in good faith with one another to combat hate, and not undermine or work against one another. 

Email campaigns and personal attacks and nasty comments on social media against the board and administration are misplaced, unnecessary, and further perpetuate division in our community. It feels particularly harmful given that the majority of the school board is in fact Jewish. 

We ask that if you have the bandwidth, the desire, the time, and the ability, to please reach out with ideas to share, offers of help to move along, and support to keep our community connected and working together. 

Let love fight hate and let’s do this together and rest assured that educating against hatred will always be a priority in Park City schools.

Andrew, Erin, Anne, Kara and Wendy

PCSD School Board 

Incident of Racist Language

To Our Park City School District Community,

A safe and healthy learning environment is an essential characteristic of effective schools, and every day at Park City Schools we seek to provide a safe and respectful learning and working environment for every student and employee.

When an incident of racist language, hate speech or negative messaging occurs, this action goes against everything for which our schools stand; it is completely contrary to our core values, vision and goals as a learning organization.  It is hurtful to all. 

Call to Action 

“It seems now more than ever that schooling can and should be designed to support young people of all identities and backgrounds as they self-actualize, realize their full potential and participate in a democratic society… [and that] schools today must focus relentlessly on the social-emotional, academic, and healthy identity development of every child” (PELP Note on Racial Equity in Schools, 2020).

We work to support students and staff who have been affected by incidents, and we want to assure every student and employee that we are committed to safety and well-being.

Any incident such as racist messaging is additional evidence of the pressing need in our schools, our community and our nation to find ways to talk constructively and respectfully about diversity, religion and race. 

I am encouraged by the efforts of our staff and students to lean into challenging conversations about race by creating a task force to further research, review and generate action plans that halt intolerant speech or behavior in its tracks; share how they are personally impacted by racism; and contribute to our work to provide schools that are safe, supportive, engaged, challenged and healthy – and where every student feels a sense of belonging.

I am appreciative of the offer of assistance that many of you have extended. Your input has informed the short term actions we’ve identified so far and will continue to shape our long term work, too.  

We are committed to ensuring schools where racism is not tolerated and is not ignored. This is significant work, and we have valuable assets available to support it: student voice and active student leaders; and effective relationships between school staff and students. 


Dr. Jill Gildea, Superintendent

Park City School District 


FEMA, Utah DEM Release Inventory of Unreinforced Masonry Public School Buildings

February 10, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, FEMA and the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management (Utah DEM) released an inventory of unreinforced masonry (URM) school buildings in the state. The inventory has been in development over the past decade to support state efforts to identify URM buildings of all types, which are at greater risk of damage in an earthquake compared to buildings constructed under modern building codes.

While this inventory represents a snapshot in time, it sets the stage for the next decade of important work among federal, state and local government and the communities they serve. This report embodies Utah’s vision for a better, stronger future. That future will happen through an orderly and thoughtful process of replacing or retrofitting URM schools and increasing seismic awareness.

The inventory was completed thanks to the collaboration of all 41 public school districts around the state. Through their coordination, we developed a more accurate and comprehensive inventory. Through their efforts, along with public cooperation, and support from the private sector, the inventory has been gradually reduced and will continue to be reduced over time.

Safer Schools Today

Sixty years ago, about 95 percent of schools were URMs. Today, that number is around 12 percent. This represents dramatic improvements to school safety. It also represents important investments by communities that have voted for bonds to rebuild or retrofit schools to mitigate earthquake damage. Utah should be proud of the progress already made. 

Even as recently as Wednesday, we learned that the Alpine School District has completed demolition of the Geneva School. The Provo School District announced that Dixon Middle School is scheduled to be replaced in 2024.

Across Utah, the URM project, conducted over the past decade, identified 119 school campuses statewide with URM construction. Just because a school is on the list, does not mean it is at an imminent risk of collapse. Validating and finalizing the statewide inventory of URM school buildings was the first recommendation and objective in the Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy, released by FEMA in March 2021.

The inventory will be available for download starting at 11 a.m. on February 10, 2022, at https://earthquakes.utah.gov

What project leaders and partners are saying

“The unreinforced masonry school building inventory has been an ongoing project for several years. Through FEMA’s financial support we have been able to work closely with school districts to complete the inventory and finalize the report,” said Kris Hamlet, director of the Utah Division of Emergency Management. “We believe this transparency will help unite communities and identify resources to eventually fix or replace the remaining buildings and ultimately keep our students safer.”

“It is extremely satisfying to see this report published. It has been a long time coming and represents an important step forward in making Utah more resilient to damage from earthquakes,” said Keith Koper, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations Director and chair of Utah Seismic Safety Commission. “The collaboration and unity displayed by state agencies, federal agencies, local school districts, and the private sector in producing this report is admirable.”

“Utah has always built a culture of vision, improvement, preparedness, and resilience. This report is the result of an enormous effort from many people who care about earthquake preparedness,” said John Crofts, Utah Division of Emergency Management Earthquake Program Manager. “It is the first step towards increasing earthquake safety in our schools. We hope that this report will support the continued efforts to preserve life, property, and the environment, and to help Utah become an even stronger, more resilient state.” 

What is Unreinforced Masonry?

Unreinforced masonry — construction using brick or block without reinforcing steel or rebar — was common throughout Utah until seismic building codes became more prevalent in the 1970s. Such structures can more easily succumb to the movement and shaking during an earthquake, posing a threat to building occupants as well as individuals outside in close proximity to the structures. There are an estimated 140,000 such structures across the state, which encompass a wide variety of buildings, from individual homes, to businesses, to schools and houses of worship. Modern codes now require masonry construction to include reinforcing steel.

FEMA and the state of Utah recognize the importance of mitigation in reducing exposure to future losses from disasters. The National Mitigation Investment Strategy — published in August 2019 — was developed to help the nation be more intentional about setting resilience and mitigation investment priorities to benefit the whole community. The Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy was selected as a pilot project for this national effort in recognition of Utah’s acknowledgement of a serious seismic risk and dedication to finding solutions. Both the URM school inventory and the Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy are available publicly at https://earthquakes.utah.gov.



For additional information:  lpearce@pcschools.us, Exec Admin Asst to BOE/Supt (435) 615-0225

Sterling Scholars


PARK CITY, UT  (February 1, 2022) –  Park City High School recently selected the Class of 2022 Sterling Scholars. The Sterling Scholar award goes to high school graduating seniors, throughout the state of Utah, who have demonstrated excellence in one of 16 categories during their high school career. Founded by Steve Hale, reporter for the Deseret  News, in 1962, the title Sterling Scholar was chosen to mean excellence in scholarship and distinguishing oneself in academics. 

This year’s winners are: 

  • Jessica Sutherland – Vocal Performance 
  • Debbie Hsu – General 
  • Kate Kehoe – Social Science
  • Zerin Robertson – Computer Technology
  • Jamie Forchic – Visual Art
  • Mira Terry – Skilled & Tech. Education
  • Kate Beal – English 
  • Noam Levinsky – Debate 
  • Abby Miller – Family/Consumer Science
  • Zane Jensen – Instrumental Performance
  • Lizzie Richardson – Dance 
  • John Trahan – World Language
  • Jack Goodman – Math
  • Jude Trahan – Business / Marketing
  • Ryan Skidmore – Science
  • Tyler Peabody – Ag. Science

Student awardees are recognized for their extraordinary academic achievement, leadership and participation in community service opportunities through their Utah public high schools. 

The selected PCSD students will compete in the Northeast Regional Competition against other Utah high school students on Monday, March 21st; the winners will be announced in an online award ceremony on the evening of March 28. 


District Logo


For additional information:  lpearce@pcschools.us, Exec Admin Asst to BOE/Supt

(435) 615-0225

Two PCHS Students Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

PARK CITY, UT (January 27, 2022) – Two Park City High School students were selected to sing at Carnegie Hall for the WorldStrides Honors Performance Series. 

Ali Kennedy, PCHS Senior, and Justin Zink, PCHS Sophomore, were nominated last year by the former PCHS choir director, Christin Abbott. The Honors Performance Series only invites 500 students of the nearly 10,000 student applications worldwide. 

Ali and Justin will join fellow student performers from the United States, Australia, Bermuda, China, Guam, and South Korea for a special performance at the world-famous Carnegie Hall, a venue that marks the pinnacle of musical achievement.

The finalists will come together in New York City for five days in February. They will have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other finalists, and get a taste of New York City. Two performances, an Honors Instrumental Performance and Honors Choral Performance will take place Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 6 respectively, and are open to the public. 

“After having performances worldwide impacted for over a year, we are excited to be returning to the stage at Carnegie Hall,” said Marion Gomez, Program Director for the Honors Performance Series. “Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing.”  

According to Eva Marble, PCHS choir and orchestra director, the program brings students together from around the world to collaborate. 

“I am proud of Ali and Justin for putting in the work outside of class for this program, ” said Marble. “They will have the opportunity to work with master conductors and will spend most of their time in New York rehearsing for their performance on Sunday evening.  Ali and Justin have been preparing for their performance for months. They have spent countless hours learning their music and training their voices to sing with the best of the best next week.” 

The Honors Performance Series was established to feature talented student musicians in a once-in-a-lifetime performance on stage at Carnegie Hall. This opportunity is made possible by support and nominations from music educators across the world.   Learn more by visiting www.honorsperformance.org and www.worldstrides.com.


For additional information:  lpearce@pcschools.us, Exec Admin Asst to BOE/Supt

Utah Legislature Terminates Summit County Mask Mandate

PARK CITY, UT (January 21, 2021) —  The mask mandate in Summit County has been terminated after the Utah House voted Friday in favor of the SJR003 resolution passed earlier this week by the Senate.

Per the Summit County Health Department Director, Dr. Phil Bondurant, “The ongoing Omicron surge has impacted every aspect of our lives at home, at work, in our schools and our businesses… Our advisory message has not changed because the best practices have not changed: stay home if you are sick…and wear a mask in public indoor spaces to protect the health of others.” 

Our community’s schools adhere to the best practice guidance provided by the CDC/UDOH and will continue the layered mitigation strategies in place that include: increased sanitization of frequently touched surfaces, airscrubbers, misting overnight, increased airflow with frequent filter changes, reasserting that those who are feeling ill or symptomatic remain at home for adequate quarantine periods, localized contact tracing and exposure notices, voluntary student/staff testing at Eccles Lobby from 7:15-9:15 AM on school days, encourage frequent handwashing and physical distance as we continue to navigate and mitigate impacts of COVID19 as a community.

PCSD is committed to the health and well-being of all our students, teachers, staff and families. Thank you for your understanding and support as we traverse this ever-changing situation. As a school district we remain focused on the whole child to provide an environment that keeps our students safe, supported, engaged, challenged, and healthy.