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The City Journals

New administrators to take helm in Sandy schools

Jun 21, 2017 11:45AM ● By Julie Slama

Midvale Middle School Principal Wendy Dau will become Jordan High School’s principal, replacing Tom Sherwood, who will become principal at Brighton High in Cottonwood Heights. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]
When students go to Jordan High School in the fall, they will see a familiar face as a former assistant principal is returning to the school as the new principal.
Wendy Dau, who currently is Midvale Middle School’s principal, will become Jordan’s principal July 1 as current principal Tom Sherwood will step away from his 13-year post to become the principal of Brighton High in Cottonwood Heights.
Not only is she looking forward to stepping back into familiar stomping grounds, but she is also welcoming some new changes.
“I’ve loved the diversity at Midvale Middle School and with the (new school) boundary changes, Jordan will become more that way,” she said. “I love how involved and welcoming some of our groups already are, but I know there’s a lot of work we can do to help with the transition, especially in supporting refugee families. We can see what is working at other schools and see what we can do to welcome everyone at Jordan.”
She said Jordan High teachers understand the needs to help every student succeed, especially those first-generation students who plan to attend college.
“The teachers have a desire to help students graduate. We have the AVID program that provides students the extra support they need to be successful. We have an extensive concurrent enrollment program and solid AP (advanced placement) courses. We want to expand our CTE (career and technical education) pathway as Jordan has the No. 1 students into the CTEC (Canyons Technology Education Center) program. We want to maximize our graduation rates and provide the needs for students’ paths to careers, colleges and training so they can do what they want to do,” said Dau, who is a former AP U.S. and European history teacher.
Current Principal Tom Sherwood said the five-year AVID program is nationally recognized for helping teach college skills and providing additional support to students. He said that it works well with Jordan teachers, who retain high-quality standards in the classroom but are genuinely concerned with the students’ well-being.
“Our Jordan kids are a tremendous group,” he said. “We have a welcoming culture that gains from the richness of diversity of every ethnicity and culture here. Our students are very grounded and respectful, and they take pride in their school.”
Sherwood said he will miss Jordan’s rich tradition and history.
“Some of our students now are fourth- and fifth-generation Beetdiggers who have such pride in their school and families come to support students from performing arts to athletics. With academics, we have presidential scholars and National Merit semifinalists and finalists, as well as extra-curricular activities and athletics, we’ve done very well. In the past 13 years, we’ve won titles in cross country, baseball, soccer, diving and football, which add to our 110-year history. I’ll miss this community.”
Community will be what Crescent Elementary Principal Mindy Robison will miss as she takes Dau’s post at Midvale Middle School.
“I like the parent support for our amazing kids,” Robison said. “We’ve made gains in our academics and our behavior. We have a very welcoming, inviting community and a positive school climate.”
The school community will be accepting of Albion Middle School Assistant Principal Camie Lloyd, who will replace Robison as principal at Crescent.
Other changes in Canyons School District Sandy schools include Sprucewood Principal Lori Jones becoming principal at Oakdale Elementary as current Principal Kierstin Draper will become Canyon View Elementary principal in Cottonwood Heights. Colleen Smith, who is principal at Parkside Elementary in Murray, will replace Jones at Sprucewood.
Eastmont Middle School Principal Stacy Kurtzhals will become a district special education department program administrator and Brighton High Principal Charisse Hilton will become Eastmont’s new principal.
New assistant principal positions include Steve Bailey, Alta High; Ryan Durrant, Jordan High; Sandy LeCheminant, Albion Middle; Shelley Karren, Union; Nate Edvalson, Eastmont Middle; and Brooke Rauzon, Sandy Elementary.