Emery’s Neal Peacock Receives Top 2020 Teaching Honors


UEA/dōTERRA Excellence in Teaching Awards to be presented at the KeyBank ‘Superstars in Education’ Banquet

Press Release

Whether making moon-phase models with Oreo cookies or engineering and testing weather devices, sixth-grade students at Heritage Elementary School in Cache County School District love and remember fondly the activities created by teacher Mary Knight. All her math students have passed proficiency tests with an 80% or higher due to her diligent interventions and creative instruction.

Copper Hills High English teacher Stephan Haslam believes in the potential of his students and is devoted to giving them resources to achieve their goals. Haslam assisted in creating Utah’s only public high school writing center and founded the Utah Poetry Slam Invitational, which attracts about 400 students from 10 schools to attend workshops with local poets each year.

Utah history comes to life in Marsha Curtis’ classes at Vernal Middle School in Uintah County School District. Whether it’s going on a virtual pioneer trek or building books with hand-drawn illustrations, she is passionate about her curriculum and her profession. As a colleague writes, “she is truly a fiercely caring person whose warmth and caring has impacted hundreds of students in Vernal for the better.”

Knight, Haslam and Curtis are three of the 10 educators honored with 2020 UEA/dōTERRA Excellence in Teaching awards. The awards will be presented at the KeyBank Superstars in Education banquet later this year. Video profiles on each of the 10 winning teachers, produced by PBS-Utah, will be shown at the banquet awards ceremony and are available online at pbsutah.org/teachers.

Award recipients were selected based on their impact on individual students or groups of students. Each winner receives an award, a poster to display at their school and a check for $1,500, courtesy of award sponsor dōTERRA.

UEA/dōTERRA Excellence in Teaching award recipients for 2020 are:

  • Sharon Bergin, special education teacher at Monroe Elementary School, Sevier School District;
  • Marsha Curtis, history teacher at Vernal Middle School, Uintah County School District;
  • Heather Fairbank, kindergarten teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School, Logan School District;
  • Stephan Haslam, English teacher at Copper Hills High School, Jordan School District;
  • Amy Hilton, second-grade teacher at Willow Canyon Elementary School, Canyons School District;
  • Patty Johnson, sixth-grade science teacher at Cedar Middle School, Iron County School District;
  • Mary Knight, sixth-grade teacher at Heritage Elementary School, Cache County School District;
  • Neal Peacock, history and theater teacher at Emery High School, Emery School District;
  • Jesse Roberts, social studies teacher at Spanish Fork High School, Nebo School District; and
  • Dan Zaleski, fifth-grade teacher at Hurricane Elementary School, Washington County School District.

View award winner profiles, photos and videos

“This has been a particularly stressful time for our public schools, so it is a tremendous honor to recognize these outstanding teachers for the work they do,” said UEA President Heidi Matthews. “They are just a few examples of the remarkable educators serving students each day in public schools across Utah.”

The UEA has presented the Excellence in Teaching awards since 2000. Originally planned for May 2020, the KeyBank Superstars in Education Banquet will be rescheduled later this year due to COVID-19 concerns. KeyBank has sponsored the banquet since 2012.

“We are privileged to support the Utah Education Association as it honors our state’s educators,” said Terry Grant, President of KeyBank in Utah. “These exceptional teachers comprise a vital part of our communities by ensuring our children receive quality educations. Quality education helps our communities thrive and thriving communities benefit all of us.”

For the past four years, PBS Utah has partnered with the UEA to produce video profiles of the Excellence in Teaching Award winners. “The videos are a moving tribute to educators across Utah who are committed to ensuring Utah’s children receive a quality education. We are honored to be a part of these awards,” said PBS Utah Education Program Manager Elise Brimhall.

In addition, three awards for outstanding service to public education will be presented:

  • 2020 UEA Honor Roll Award to Marcy Loveless, for helping to address the needs of children in Carbon County through the Carbon Caring for Kids program;
  • Robert “Archie” Archuleta Human and Civil Rights Award to Salt Lake City School District teacher Chelsie Acosta, for work on the Justice and Equality for Kids Roundtable, the ACLU and the National Association of Multicultural Education; and
  • Elaine Tzourtzouklis Service to Association Award to Trudy Henderson, for her service in member advocacy, political action, leadership and coalition building.

About the Utah Education Association

For more than a century, the Utah Education Association has been dedicated to preserving and enhancing Utah public education. The UEA represents more than 18,000 active classroom teachers, retired educators, administrators, licensed educational support personnel and campus education students. The UEA has local affiliates in each of the state’s 41 school districts, Applied Technology Colleges, and the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

About dōTERRA

dōTERRA® International is an integrative health and wellness company and the world leader in the Global Aromatherapy and Essential Oils market. dōTERRA sources, tests, manufactures and distributes CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils and essential oil products to over eight million dōTERRA Wellness Advocates and customers. Through industry leading responsible sourcing practices, dōTERRA maintains the highest levels of quality, purity and sustainability in partnership with local growers around the world through Cō-Impact Sourcing®. The dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation®, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, offers resources and tools to global sourcing communities and charitable organizations for self-reliance, healthcare, education, sanitation, and the fight against human trafficking. Through the life-enhancing benefits of essential oils, dōTERRA is changing the world one drop, one person, one community at a time. To learn more, visit doterra.com.

About KeyBank

KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $156.2 billion at March 31, 2020. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,000 branches and approximately 1,400 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit key.com. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About PBS Utah

PBS Utah is Utah’s PBS station, providing the state with access to exceptional content that entertains, informs, and enriches viewers. PBS Utah airs PBS programming plus award-winning, locally produced documentaries and series. Recognized as one of the leading public television stations in the country, PBS Utah is committed to serving and engaging with the Utah community through its diverse productions, as well as its educational and outreach programs. PBS Utah is always evolving to provide Utahns with relevant programming and services while maintaining its core values of integrity, fairness, independence, education, and innovation. PBS Utah also provides three additional broadcast channels: WORLD, PBS KIDS 24/7, and Create. PBS Utah broadcasts from The University of Utah.

scroll to top