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Each year at division commencement ceremonies, Rowland Hall proudly honors faculty who have demonstrated exceptional teaching and mentoring

Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award 2019

The Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award is presented to one faculty member at Rowland Hall each year who demonstrates excellence in teaching, serves as a mentor to others, and contributes to the Rowland Hall community. This award was established through an anonymous gift to the school in honor of Mr. Jones' dedication to the faculty when he was a trustee and chair of the Board of Trustees.

Fifth-grade teacher Sarah Button is a beloved teacher in the Lower School. Her charming rapport with her students is long lasting, and her love for each student is evident. She understands best practices for delivering a meaningful, engaging, and joyful curriculum and her students show her the utmost respect.

Sarah contributes to our community in many ways. She has been instrumental in implementing our Strategic Plan and understands the importance of each of its components. She has been invaluable in her role as ombudsperson. This year, she partnered with two other colleagues as they led our faculty on a one-year journey through the book Onward, which focuses on cultivating emotional resilience in educators.

Rowland Hall proudly honors Sarah Button with the Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award.

Sumner Family Faculty Awards

The Sumner Family Faculty Award is given each year to an outstanding faculty member in each division who has demonstrated a love for teaching and excellence in their field. The award symbolizes the Sumner family's high regard for Rowland Hall's faculty. Congratulations to the following 2018–2019 recipients.

Beginning School: Camilla Rosenberger, 3PreK teacher

Camilla is a committed, joyful team member whose love and admiration for Rowland Hall's youngest learners shines through her smiles and conversations with them. She is a comforting presence to these small people in their difficult moments, and she encourages them to stretch themselves and be their best—artfully adapting her teaching to each learner. She is a wonderful colleague: her insightful—sometimes delightfully subversive—wit is a treat, and her infectious laugh can be heard down the hallway. She works hard to be the teacher her students need, learning all the time from colleagues, summer reads, podcasts, conferences, and more, always reflecting on how she could be more effective.

Lower School: Dave Sidlow, second-grade teacher

Dave's coworkers describe him as calm, collaborative, and supportive. Always open to new ideas, Dave engages in a collegial team relationship and is a great listener. In the classroom, students benefit from his natural enthusiasm and joyful sense of humor. His classroom environment is inclusive, safe, and inviting place where students feel free to share opinions and make mistakes. He respects and honors each of his students as individual learners. He does an excellent job of keeping students excited and engaged. In return, it's clear that his students will do almost anything for him.

Middle School: Allison Spehar, co-director of dance, musical theater teacher, and director of community programs

Modeling what it means to be a lifelong learner, Allison Spehar has embraced every opportunity to grow—from joining professional-learning communities, to taking online courses, to attending and presenting at conferences. Allison's influence extends beyond the Middle School, working with faculty, staff, students, and families in all divisions on our equity and inclusion initiatives. She is a leader in this work within the wider independent school community as well, sitting on the planning committee for the annual People of Color Conference. Allison is a student-centered educator and has been a key part of the continued development of the advisory and community programs in the Middle School. Whether interacting with advisory groups, supporting students in the Arts and Ensemble program, working backstage or in the sound booth during a performance, or choreographing and writing scripts for this year's phenomenal Imagining Alice performance, her passion for creating meaningful connections with students is apparent. Allison's boundless energy is only matched by her dedication and commitment to our students and her craft as a student-centered, dynamic teacher.

Upper School: Lauren Carpenter, health teacher

Lauren Carpenter has taught and coached thousands of Rowland Hall students throughout her career. Lauren is a tour-de-force department of one, designing and teaching Rowland Hall's signature health and wellness curriculum for three decades, steering students through the essential learnings of adolescence and growing into adulthood with authority, creativity, openness, and sensitivity. One colleague said: "Lauren is unflappable. She approaches things with a positive mindset and a desire to create a warm, trusting, safe classroom environment." And another: "I have so much respect for the kind of honest conversations she manages with our students, and the tools and knowledge she gives them to be responsible for their own well-being, to respect and even protect others."

Respected and appreciated by her colleagues, a true friend to many, Lauren represents the best in education and the best of Rowland Hall: a caring, kind, inquisitive, articulate, creative teacher and lifelong learner.

People

2019 Cary Jones and Sumner Family Faculty Awards

Each year at division commencement ceremonies, Rowland Hall proudly honors faculty who have demonstrated exceptional teaching and mentoring

Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award 2019

The Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award is presented to one faculty member at Rowland Hall each year who demonstrates excellence in teaching, serves as a mentor to others, and contributes to the Rowland Hall community. This award was established through an anonymous gift to the school in honor of Mr. Jones' dedication to the faculty when he was a trustee and chair of the Board of Trustees.

Fifth-grade teacher Sarah Button is a beloved teacher in the Lower School. Her charming rapport with her students is long lasting, and her love for each student is evident. She understands best practices for delivering a meaningful, engaging, and joyful curriculum and her students show her the utmost respect.

Sarah contributes to our community in many ways. She has been instrumental in implementing our Strategic Plan and understands the importance of each of its components. She has been invaluable in her role as ombudsperson. This year, she partnered with two other colleagues as they led our faculty on a one-year journey through the book Onward, which focuses on cultivating emotional resilience in educators.

Rowland Hall proudly honors Sarah Button with the Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award.

Sumner Family Faculty Awards

The Sumner Family Faculty Award is given each year to an outstanding faculty member in each division who has demonstrated a love for teaching and excellence in their field. The award symbolizes the Sumner family's high regard for Rowland Hall's faculty. Congratulations to the following 2018–2019 recipients.

Beginning School: Camilla Rosenberger, 3PreK teacher

Camilla is a committed, joyful team member whose love and admiration for Rowland Hall's youngest learners shines through her smiles and conversations with them. She is a comforting presence to these small people in their difficult moments, and she encourages them to stretch themselves and be their best—artfully adapting her teaching to each learner. She is a wonderful colleague: her insightful—sometimes delightfully subversive—wit is a treat, and her infectious laugh can be heard down the hallway. She works hard to be the teacher her students need, learning all the time from colleagues, summer reads, podcasts, conferences, and more, always reflecting on how she could be more effective.

Lower School: Dave Sidlow, second-grade teacher

Dave's coworkers describe him as calm, collaborative, and supportive. Always open to new ideas, Dave engages in a collegial team relationship and is a great listener. In the classroom, students benefit from his natural enthusiasm and joyful sense of humor. His classroom environment is inclusive, safe, and inviting place where students feel free to share opinions and make mistakes. He respects and honors each of his students as individual learners. He does an excellent job of keeping students excited and engaged. In return, it's clear that his students will do almost anything for him.

Middle School: Allison Spehar, co-director of dance, musical theater teacher, and director of community programs

Modeling what it means to be a lifelong learner, Allison Spehar has embraced every opportunity to grow—from joining professional-learning communities, to taking online courses, to attending and presenting at conferences. Allison's influence extends beyond the Middle School, working with faculty, staff, students, and families in all divisions on our equity and inclusion initiatives. She is a leader in this work within the wider independent school community as well, sitting on the planning committee for the annual People of Color Conference. Allison is a student-centered educator and has been a key part of the continued development of the advisory and community programs in the Middle School. Whether interacting with advisory groups, supporting students in the Arts and Ensemble program, working backstage or in the sound booth during a performance, or choreographing and writing scripts for this year's phenomenal Imagining Alice performance, her passion for creating meaningful connections with students is apparent. Allison's boundless energy is only matched by her dedication and commitment to our students and her craft as a student-centered, dynamic teacher.

Upper School: Lauren Carpenter, health teacher

Lauren Carpenter has taught and coached thousands of Rowland Hall students throughout her career. Lauren is a tour-de-force department of one, designing and teaching Rowland Hall's signature health and wellness curriculum for three decades, steering students through the essential learnings of adolescence and growing into adulthood with authority, creativity, openness, and sensitivity. One colleague said: "Lauren is unflappable. She approaches things with a positive mindset and a desire to create a warm, trusting, safe classroom environment." And another: "I have so much respect for the kind of honest conversations she manages with our students, and the tools and knowledge she gives them to be responsible for their own well-being, to respect and even protect others."

Respected and appreciated by her colleagues, a true friend to many, Lauren represents the best in education and the best of Rowland Hall: a caring, kind, inquisitive, articulate, creative teacher and lifelong learner.

People

Explore More Faculty Stories

Sarah Button with students

The annual Marquardt Award enables one or more members of Rowland Hall's faculty to pursue an in-depth professional development experience. The Marquardt Award was established in 2011 through a generous gift from Bob Marquardt, father of three Rowland Hall alumni and a former long-time trustee and board chair. This annual gift funds extraordinary professional development opportunities or learning experiences, proposed by faculty members, that will benefit the school as a whole. Recipients are chosen by school administrators.

Last summer, fifth-grade teacher Sarah Button was granted the Marquardt Award to attend Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators: An Intensive Residential Institute with Elena Aguilar. In the fall of 2018, Sarah began to lead a professional-development group based on Aguilar’s book Onward, and thus attending the retreat was a prime opportunity for her to advance her ongoing work in this area, which benefits our entire learning community. Read on to learn about how the experience impacted and inspired her.


2019 Marquardt Award Reflection
By Sarah Button

My four days at Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators: An Intensive Residential Institute were, in a word, transformative. Our time was made more intimate by grouping us into what they called home groups. My group consisted of three additional educators: an administrator, an instructional coach, and a specialist. Having home groups allowed the 46 participants—from all over the country—to know each other more deeply, and it enabled all to be vulnerable as we each shared stories, perspectives, and insights.

Building psychological safety happens when people listen, stay curious, are honest, and uphold confidentiality with one another.

I was prepared to be inundated with information, research, findings, and time to plan for the 2019–2020 school year. What I wasn’t prepared for was the gift of time to write, reflect, and truly practice how to bring resilience into daily routines—more specifically, learning and practicing the importance of sharing stories with others. When we build time for storytelling into our faculty meetings (a practice Lower School Principal Jij de Jesus has let me lead for each of our monthly meetings so far), we lay the foundation for building effective teams that contribute to psychological safety. Building psychological safety happens when people listen, stay curious, are honest, and uphold confidentiality with one another. We also learned to understand how the cycle of an emotion can be interrupted, and how when you understand emotions you have empathy for others and it is much less likely for you to oppress another. Lastly, as a participant, we practiced coaching for resilience using several frameworks. 
 
     ACE: a framework for coaching for yourself or others
     A: Acknowledge and accept emotions.
     C: Cultivate compassion.
     E: Expand the story.
 
     RAIN: for dealing with difficult emotions
     R: Recognize what’s going on; name the emotions.
     A: Allow the experience to be there, just as it is.
     I: Investigate with kindness.
     N: Non-identify with whatever is going on. You are not your thoughts, stories, emotions.
 
     REI: for addressing cognitive distortions
     R: Recognize.
     E: Explore the impact.
     I: Interrupt: Is there any other way to look at this? Is there any evidence to suggest that this way
     of thinking isn’t entirely true?
 
Each day at the retreat started with a choice of yoga or meditation under the redwoods. To begin, we each set an intention—a practice I’ve begun this school year with my students—and after each activity, we took time to envision how each practice/idea could be used in our individual places of work. Each day also consisted of must-dos—things we were encouraged to do no matter what during our stay, such as sitting by the fire pit with at least one other person. We were also presented with may-dos each day, such as watching the sunrise through the trees.

The work on how to cultivate emotional resilience in educators was the primary purpose of our time together. Most attendees had not led Onward professional-development sessions at their home institutions, and thus, I was called upon to share how we at Rowland Hall created our group last school year. People were appreciative of how we approached the work.

Ultimately, our hope is that increasing emotional resilience among adults at Rowland Hall will create a stronger learning environment for students, and we can model the skills and behaviors we hope to see from everyone in our community.

The retreat was also an opportunity for me to collaborate with colleague Lori Miller, who was a participant in our Onward professional-development work last year and my fellow ombudsperson for the Lower School faculty. As ombudspersons, we have served in the way the role has been written to be a neutral third party between faculty and/or administration when a problem has risen to a level that needs intervention. Over the years, our work has morphed into serving as a sounding board for faculty to see if they need a formal ombudsperson to sit in on a meeting. As a result, the majority of our work is now facilitating communication between colleagues. When a colleague approaches me regarding an issue, I ask if they just need to vent, want to practice what to say to a colleague, or if they need to have a formal ombudsperson meeting. This is why this retreat was so critical to our work: it gave us the tools to practice facilitating communication and coaching our colleagues around emotions and resilience.

At the conclusion of the retreat, I felt renewed in all aspects of life and prepared to bring this work back to our faculty and staff. Lori and I have collaborated with our third Onward co-leader, Jodi Spiro, to facilitate work during our three professional growth days this school year. In addition, Lori and I are participating in monthly Onward video conference calls with the other participants of the institute to share ideas, strategies, and questions as we each try to transform school culture at our respective places. Ultimately, our hope is that increasing emotional resilience among adults at Rowland Hall will create a stronger learning environment for students, and we can model the skills and behaviors we hope to see from everyone in our community.

People

Student leans on lockers in hallway.

After several years of success in the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing (AiC) awards program, 2020 marks Rowland Hall’s winningest year yet—the capstone of which is our first national winner, junior Katy Dark.

Katy is one of 40 high schoolers tapped from a pool of 4,700 applicants to receive the highest AiC honor this year. She and the other winners will receive cash, prizes, and a trip to the Bank of America headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, to celebrate and network in early March.

“I’m ecstatic that I’ve gotten the privilege to win the national award,” Katy said, adding the recognition for pursuing her passion has left her stunned. Katy has applied for the AiC awards three times; in 2019, she won an honorable mention from the NCWIT Northern Utah Affiliate.

In addition to Katy’s national win, the NCWIT Northern Utah Affiliate gave senior Ellie Nichols and juniors Maddy Eatchel and Yuchen Yang AiC honorable mentions. Teacher and alum Ben Smith ’89 earned the Educator Award.

In addition to Katy’s distinction, our local affiliate gave senior Ellie Nichols and juniors Maddy Eatchel and Yuchen Yang AiC honorable mentions. And after an honorable mention last year, computer science (CS) teacher and alumnus Ben Smith ’89 secured our affiliate’s Educator Award for his steadfast support of young women in computing.

NCWIT’s Award for AiC honors women, genderqueer, or non-binary high schoolers for their computing-related achievements and interests. Winners are picked for their aptitude and aspirations in tech and CS—as demonstrated by their computing and leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for college.

Not only is Katy committed to pursuing a computing career, she’s already using her knack for the subject to make a difference in her community. She’s been teaching coding to students—primary at-risk Latinx youth—at Salt Lake City’s Dual Immersion Academy since the school lost funding for CS in 2018. Read our story on her President’s Volunteer Service Award. Now, Katy hopes to make her program permanent through a combination of grants and fundraising.

“I’m honored to have Katy as one of my students,” Ben said. “She is deserving of the NCWIT national award because she has taken her interest in and passion for technology, cybersecurity, coding, and computer science and found ways to bring that passion to students who would not ordinarily have the opportunities that she has had. She is selfless and dedicated to making the world a better place.”

Ben started encouraging his students to enter the AiC awards in 2014. Since then, 13 Winged Lions have earned a collective 18 awards, including one win and two honorable mentions at the national level. On top of that, Ben won two educator honors at the affiliate level. Under Ben’s leadership, Rowland Hall has been committed to ensuring all students—especially young women, who are underrepresented in computing careers—feel welcomed and supported in CS. That effort shows in our classes: in January, Rowland Hall earned the College Board's 2019 Advanced Placement (AP) CS Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in our AP CS Principles class. Out of 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, 818 won the award. We're one of only two in Utah.

stem

teacher talking to students in class

The Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) recently named debate teacher Mike Shackelford the 2019 Speech Educator of the Year—a Distinguished Service Award given primarily for Mike’s work strengthening debate programs not just here at Rowland Hall, but across Utah.

I'm grateful that my job allows me the opportunity to get involved in the larger debate community and make a difference for more kids in the state.—Debate Coach Mike Shackelford

“I'm grateful that my job allows me the opportunity to get involved in the larger debate community and make a difference for more kids in the state,” Mike said. “My mentors—Ryan Hoglund, especially—taught me the importance of giving back early in my career.” Ryan, our former debate coach and current director of ethical education, won this service award in 2007. 

Mike explained that school activities like debate depend on countless acts of service, from volunteer judges to late-night transportation and beyond. “Everyone is working so hard that it seems selfish not to do my part,” he said. “I also love matching the passion and work ethic that my students put into the activity.”

Match, he has. Since he joined Rowland Hall in 2007, Mike has taken on an array of leadership roles and accumulated several prestigious awards:

  • Utah Debate Coaches Association (UDCA) Chair of the Elementary and Middle School Division (2017–present)
  • UDCA Chair of the Novice Policy Committee (2016–present)
  • National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) State Educator of the Year for Utah (2017–2018)
  • NSDA National District Chair of the Year (2016)
  • UDCA Policy Debate Coach of the Year (2014)
  • National Debate Coaches Association Executive Board (2013–2015)
  • NSDA Chair of the Great Salt Lake District (2011–2016)
  • UHSAA Speech and Debate Representative (2009–2015)

Rowland Hall Athletics Director Kendra Tomsic nominated Mike for the award and confirmed his dedication to debate. “Mike’s classes are full of enthusiastic debaters who feed off his energy and knowledge,” Kendra wrote in her recommendation letter. “He loves working with students in a competitive environment and it shows.”

For the Shackelfords, debate—and the friendly competition thereof—is a way of life: Mike's wife, Carol, won this award six years ago while coaching for Bingham High School. "Now I'm even with her, which feels great," Mike joked.

Mike is the eighth Rowland Hall employee to receive one of these awards.

The UHSAA started their Distinguished Service Awards program in 1987 to honor individuals for their contributions to high school activities. Mike is one of 17 Utahns to be honored this year, and he’s the eighth Rowland Hall employee on record to receive one of these awards. View a list of past recipients in our article on band director and music teacher Dr. Bret Jackson, UHSAA’s 2018 Music Educator of the Year.

Debate

2019 Cary Jones and Sumner Family Faculty Awards

Each year at division commencement ceremonies, Rowland Hall proudly honors faculty who have demonstrated exceptional teaching and mentoring

Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award 2019

The Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award is presented to one faculty member at Rowland Hall each year who demonstrates excellence in teaching, serves as a mentor to others, and contributes to the Rowland Hall community. This award was established through an anonymous gift to the school in honor of Mr. Jones' dedication to the faculty when he was a trustee and chair of the Board of Trustees.

Fifth-grade teacher Sarah Button is a beloved teacher in the Lower School. Her charming rapport with her students is long lasting, and her love for each student is evident. She understands best practices for delivering a meaningful, engaging, and joyful curriculum and her students show her the utmost respect.

Sarah contributes to our community in many ways. She has been instrumental in implementing our Strategic Plan and understands the importance of each of its components. She has been invaluable in her role as ombudsperson. This year, she partnered with two other colleagues as they led our faculty on a one-year journey through the book Onward, which focuses on cultivating emotional resilience in educators.

Rowland Hall proudly honors Sarah Button with the Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award.

Sumner Family Faculty Awards

The Sumner Family Faculty Award is given each year to an outstanding faculty member in each division who has demonstrated a love for teaching and excellence in their field. The award symbolizes the Sumner family's high regard for Rowland Hall's faculty. Congratulations to the following 2018–2019 recipients.

Beginning School: Camilla Rosenberger, 3PreK teacher

Camilla is a committed, joyful team member whose love and admiration for Rowland Hall's youngest learners shines through her smiles and conversations with them. She is a comforting presence to these small people in their difficult moments, and she encourages them to stretch themselves and be their best—artfully adapting her teaching to each learner. She is a wonderful colleague: her insightful—sometimes delightfully subversive—wit is a treat, and her infectious laugh can be heard down the hallway. She works hard to be the teacher her students need, learning all the time from colleagues, summer reads, podcasts, conferences, and more, always reflecting on how she could be more effective.

Lower School: Dave Sidlow, second-grade teacher

Dave's coworkers describe him as calm, collaborative, and supportive. Always open to new ideas, Dave engages in a collegial team relationship and is a great listener. In the classroom, students benefit from his natural enthusiasm and joyful sense of humor. His classroom environment is inclusive, safe, and inviting place where students feel free to share opinions and make mistakes. He respects and honors each of his students as individual learners. He does an excellent job of keeping students excited and engaged. In return, it's clear that his students will do almost anything for him.

Middle School: Allison Spehar, co-director of dance, musical theater teacher, and director of community programs

Modeling what it means to be a lifelong learner, Allison Spehar has embraced every opportunity to grow—from joining professional-learning communities, to taking online courses, to attending and presenting at conferences. Allison's influence extends beyond the Middle School, working with faculty, staff, students, and families in all divisions on our equity and inclusion initiatives. She is a leader in this work within the wider independent school community as well, sitting on the planning committee for the annual People of Color Conference. Allison is a student-centered educator and has been a key part of the continued development of the advisory and community programs in the Middle School. Whether interacting with advisory groups, supporting students in the Arts and Ensemble program, working backstage or in the sound booth during a performance, or choreographing and writing scripts for this year's phenomenal Imagining Alice performance, her passion for creating meaningful connections with students is apparent. Allison's boundless energy is only matched by her dedication and commitment to our students and her craft as a student-centered, dynamic teacher.

Upper School: Lauren Carpenter, health teacher

Lauren Carpenter has taught and coached thousands of Rowland Hall students throughout her career. Lauren is a tour-de-force department of one, designing and teaching Rowland Hall's signature health and wellness curriculum for three decades, steering students through the essential learnings of adolescence and growing into adulthood with authority, creativity, openness, and sensitivity. One colleague said: "Lauren is unflappable. She approaches things with a positive mindset and a desire to create a warm, trusting, safe classroom environment." And another: "I have so much respect for the kind of honest conversations she manages with our students, and the tools and knowledge she gives them to be responsible for their own well-being, to respect and even protect others."

Respected and appreciated by her colleagues, a true friend to many, Lauren represents the best in education and the best of Rowland Hall: a caring, kind, inquisitive, articulate, creative teacher and lifelong learner.

People

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