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The City Journals

Crestview’s Carly Donahue is Granite’s Teacher of the Year

May 29, 2022 01:35PM ● By Heather Lawrence

By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]

Friday the 13th turned out to be lucky for Physical Education Specialist Carly Donahue – it’s the day she was named GSD’s Teacher of the Year. Donahue splits her teaching time between Fox Hills Elementary in Taylorsville and Crestview Elementary in Holladay.

“District representatives, members of Donahue’s family and the Fox Hills student body were all in attendance when Donahue was surprised with the announcement at Fox Hills,” said Ben Horsley, director of communications at Granite School District.

“Donahue was chosen for her unwavering commitment to helping students live healthy lifestyles and progress academically,” Horsley said.

Donahue is originally from Montana and came to Utah during college to run track and cross country for the University of Utah.

“While at the U, I found my passion for promoting physical fitness and overall health,” Donahue said.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in 2012 and a master’s degree in 2018. She was awarded the Excel Teaching Award in 2020.

The day of the announcement, Donahue was led into the Fox Hills auditorium where staff, loved ones and cheering students were all waiting for her.  

Assistant Principal Kathy Hommes greeted Donahue and directed her attention to a big poster on the wall with Donahue’s picture and the words “Teacher of the Year 2022” above it. 

GSD Superintendent Richard Nye gave Donahue her award.

“One of the biggest honors that we could ever give is this [award] right here. This is Teacher of the Year.

“So out of the 4,000 teachers that we have [in Granite School District], Ms. Donahue is going to have the opportunity – and we’re so proud of her – to represent the Granite School District at the state level,” Nye said.

Donahue’s principal from Crestview came out to Fox Hills to watch her be recognized.  She spoke to the students about Donahue’s winning qualities, including how much she cares.

“Carly Donahue is happy, she is kind, she is smart and she loves kids. She loves each and every one of you and she does everything she can to make sure that you have a good day and a good experience in her class,” Winn said in her comments to the students. 

Winn also spoke to the City Journals about having Donahue at her school.  

“I am so excited for the announcement that Carly Donahue is GSD’s Teacher of the Year. She is truly deserving of this award. All of our students love Carly and love spending time in her classroom,” Winn said.

Winn said one of Donahue’s best qualities as a teacher is that she teaches interesting and applicable skills, and gives students opportunities to try new things.  

“Carly knows how to make students feel included and supported in meeting appropriate challenges. Carly is a great teacher and we are so happy that we get to have her at Crestview!” Winn said.

Donahue is now eligible to win Utah Teacher of the Year, which is usually announced later in the summer or early fall.

In a video of the surprise announcement that is available on YouTube, Donahue shared some of the ideas and teaching philosophies that have helped her succeed.   

“Whenever students walk into the room we always try to get active right away. I know that I am their first experience with physical activity, with P.E.,” Donahue said.

Donahue believes the attitudes kids develop in elementary school towards physical activity can continue throughout their lives, so she’s determined to make sure they are positive. She wants to give students a foundation for fitness that will continue throughout their lives.

“We do games, and we do drills and skills. When they get to junior high they know how to do different things so they can find what they’re good at, or something they like that they will continue to use,” Donahue said.