Uniquely Davis Newsletter
In depth with Utah's Teacher of the Year
Every person is a story. In the case of Carly Maloney, her story is not only about always wanting to be a teacher, but also to deliver that teaching in a way that exudes energy, enthusiasm and understanding.
Here's a look inside the classroom of Utah's 2024 Teacher of the Year, including perspectives from students who have grown to appreciate how she has affected their lives.
Students unity at America First Field
Donning big smiles and team jerseys, the student athletes brought the spirit of friendly competition to the America First Field. At the end of the day, a team from Northridge High was crowned as division champs!
Unified Sports is a unique inclusive program that merges players with and without intellectual disabilities into one team. This format encourages a balanced, competitive environment and fosters inclusion, understanding and friendships beyond the field. In addition to soccer, DSD students participate in co-ed basketball and track and field events during the year.
Davis Education Foundation launches Teen Living Center
We have amazing news to share with you about a new project that will transform the lives of our students and our community. The Davis Education Foundation and Davis School District, in partnership with other organizations, are launching the Teen Living Center, or TLC, a teen residential center that will provide housing stability and enriched support for students in crisis and experiencing homelessness.
The TLC will be a welcoming place for students who struggle with housing insecurity, which affects more than 1,600 students in our district. The center will not only offer a bed to sleep in, but also counseling, mentoring, life skills training and career guidance to help students achieve their academic and personal goals. The TLC will be operated by Switchpoint Community Resource Center, a nonprofit that has a proven track record of serving Utah’s homeless population.
We invite you to learn more about this innovative project that will make a positive difference in the lives of many students at onemoredoor.org. We also hope that you will join us in opening One More Door in '24. The TLC is part of our efforts to eliminate barriers to education and provide opportunities for all students. By giving them one more door to open, we are helping them unlock their full potential and contribute to a brighter future for our community.
We are thankful for your support and involvement in your child’s life and hope you will extend the same kindness to the students who urgently need this center. We are asking each parent to contribute $24 to this initiative. That’s just $2 a month! Imagine the collective impact we can have if we all chip in. Your donation will help us open one more door for our students and give them a chance to succeed in life.
Seeing it through: How a third grader inspires others to see their potential
Lucas is a typical 8-year-old who likes Disneyland, playing Minecraft and also happens to be a champion in the National Braille Competition.
In celebration of Global Blindness Awareness Month, this video is a tribute to Lucas and his accomplishments.
Lucas began to learn Braille in kindergarten and has excelled so much in the past three years that when he decided to enter the Braille Institute's Braille Challenge last March, he ended up doing remarkably well.
Lucas took 1st place in reading comprehension, spelling and proofreading and won 1st place overall in the apprentice category in the state of Utah.
His success in the state Braille competition qualified him to attend the National Braille Competition among 800 other students from the USA, the United Kingdom and Canada. Lucas placed in the top 50 at the national competition.
"If you believe that you can do something really hard," said Lucas. "Once you start you might feel like 'I can't do this,' but don't give up because as you practice it will get easier and easier... if something's hard you can do it."
Painting positivity at Foxboro Elementary
Foxboro Elementary School's 5th grade students took matters into their own hands when they noticed that the painted map of the United States on their playground had faded away.
Their principal, Jake Heidrich, and teacher, James Tomsik, decided to have the students write persuasive letters to the Davis School District superintendent requesting to have the map repainted.
"I hope students, above all, recognize that real leadership comes from getting involved," said Superintendent Dr. Dan Linford.
Northridge students crack the case in CSI final term project
Crime scene tape crisscrosses the lobby of Northridge High. Something has happened here and it's up to students in the CTE medical forensics course to find out what took place.
To solve the mystery, they will need to apply what they’ve learned about in class to process the crime scene. Through analyzing footprints, fibers, spatter patterns and other material clues, they will ultimately determine “whodunnit.”
The activity is the final term project for Northridge’s unique science class. Taught by Stacey Howell, students learn about chemistry, biology and physics through hands-on activities that prepare them for future careers in crime scene investigation, laboratory studies, law enforcement and medicine.
Building community through friendship by District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Fidel Montero
Davis School District is a large place. It would certainly take time to drive from the southern end of the district to the northern boundary, as well as from the eastern to the western. When you look at our numbers, we are one of the largest organizations in the state of Utah across any industry. We have the privilege of educating over 70,000 students and employing over 10,000 individuals. Those numbers are remarkable. Equally remarkable is the district's focus on helping every child feel a sense of belonging and community in every school. As the newest member of our superintendency team and a newcomer to the organization, I've been asking myself a simple question over the past year: How do we build community in such a vast and diverse place?
This past May, I had the opportunity to attend ten high school graduations, and I was fortunate to gain insights directly related to my question. Being new to the community, I did not anticipate the personal connections that I would experience in these settings, and how they would become a vehicle to teach me important lessons about community.
My first insight about community came while sitting at the Northridge High graduation and realizing I was sitting a few rows away from the eldest son of a childhood family friend. The young graduate resembled his father, was filled with remarkable energy, and appeared ready to embark on his journey into the world. In a text exchange after the ceremony, the graduate's father wrote, "He understands the importance of friends and that we do not make it in life without them."
At the same graduation, I received an unexpected text from a nephew telling me he was there to support a family member on his father's side. That family member turned out to be the young lady who led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the ceremony. This graduate is also the granddaughter of another dear family friend who was a lifelong mentor and brother to my father-in-law. The two shared a friendship and connection, having been born on the island of Tahiti and both having raised their families here in Utah. In an instant, I went from feeling like an outsider to feeling deeply connected to our community. As fate would have it, in this one graduation, I was reminded that meaningful friendships are the core of building community. Friendships do not develop overnight, but daily acts of kindness are deposits that can lead to lasting relationships.
On the final night of graduation week, I attended the Woods Cross ceremony. I must admit that after four days of ceremonies, I was a bit tired. However, any fatigue I initially felt quickly transformed into excitement as I received yet another text about a graduating senior. While sitting on the stage, witnessing the graduates march into the event center, I read the following message on my phone: "Hey, I did not know you'd be at graduation today. My son is graduating! He's got that Big Jeff energy."
When I was approximately the same age as our high school graduates, I met a dear friend named Jeff while doing service in Texas. Jeff not only became a close friend but also felt like family. When I moved to Utah after our service, his family embraced me as one of their own.
Eleven years after we first met, we tragically lost Jeff after a long battle with mental health issues. His passing was incredibly difficult for everyone who knew him, as few of us understood the pain he was experiencing internally. Over the years, I've stayed connected with Jeff's family and watched them build families of their own. Embracing Jeff's nephew as he received his diploma at this graduation was an unexpected gift.
In this young graduate from Woods Cross, I saw the same smile that had shown me so much kindness nearly thirty years ago. Once again, I was strongly reminded that friendships and relationships are the most powerful sources of community building. These relationships can also be the source of challenges and struggles at times. Friendships are never perfect, but they are the bonds that, even through difficulties, can shape our lives for the better.
Building community in our schools is not always easy. Human relationships are complex and do not always develop as we would hope. However, in the messiness of striving to create places where every child belongs, the exchange between two people who care for each other is paramount. I invite you to consider the role of friendships in your own life. I invite you to discuss with your child what type of friend they are and how they can continue to build friendships that will last a lifetime.
I also invite each of us to consider whether we are seeking to increase our circle of friendship or drawing a boundary on who we let in. My family and I have been the recipients of wonderful friendships over a lifetime spent with kind people who allowed us into their lives. This past graduation season taught me that Davis School District is filled with amazing individuals who extend themselves to others every single day. The size of our district can certainly be a strength when you amplify the potential for connection in so many different spaces and with so many individuals. May our friendships continue to grow stronger and our circles grow ever wider.