Teachers and Staff Honored at Retirement & Awards Banquet


The Carbon School District 2015-2016 retirement and awards banquet took place at the district offices on Wednesday evening.

Superintendent Steve Carlsen gave an opening welcome speech and thanked the Carbon School District food service program and the students of Helper Middle School’s FCCLA for serving dinner.

Many teachers were honored at the ceremony. First, the extra-mile awards were given. Mika Salas, principal of Helper Middle school, was presented with the administrator of the year award by Cyndy Daniels. Daniels had a lot of warm things to say about Salas, including the fact that she greets the students each morning as they arrive at school, always supporting them and the staff. She also spends time tutoring students when needed.

Robert Cox then presented the teacher of the year award, which went to Kim Williams. For the past ten years, Williams has worked in every school with kids that have autism. She has also spent time in their homes helping them with tutoring.

Melissa Swenson stood next, presenting not only the classified employee of the year award to Gloria Malmstrom, but also honoring her as she is retiring this year.

“Gloria is loved by every person that she meets,” Swenson stated, saying that students will stop in the office just to say hello to her. She has been a rock in the counseling office, according to Swenson, and the award is one that was well deserved.

The last extra-mile award went to LeeAnn Taylor for volunteer of the year. Aubrie Carpenter presented the award, stating that Taylor has assisted well in the STAR reading program. The program has helped 53 kids at Castle Heights this year. Carpenter spoke about one time in particular where Taylor brought an entire tea set to tutoring to help a student better understand what a saucer is.

Along with the plaques that were awarded to each person that was honored, their name goes on a plaque that is on a wall outside of Superintendent Carlsen’s office. Each winner also receives $300, with the exception of the teacher of the year, who receives $1,000.

There was a brief intermission in order to enjoy the dinner provided. Afterward, teachers retiring this year were honored.

Marilyn Ellis from Castle Heights Elementary was honored first. Ellis was first hired as an aide back in the early ‘90s at Castle Heights and worked her way up the ladder.

Next was Beth Gotfredson. Gotfredson is the food service school nutrition secretary and has been with the Carbon School District for 31 years. Administrative secretary Jolene Greenwood was honored after Gotfredson. Greenwood has worked at many of the schools in the district and has watched her five children and one granddaughter graduate from Carbon High.

Carbon High school teacher Dianne Gundlach has deemed her retirement as full-time play time and plans to spend every minute of it enjoying her life in Payson, Ariz. Suzanne Jensen with Mont Harmon Middle school has worked in the district for 29 years and thanked her fellow colleagues and students that made her teaching experience so amazing. Honored next was Leigh Ludington with Creekview Elementary School. Ludington has been teaching in the area since 1987, getting started at Petersen Elementary in Sunnyside.

Katherine Milburn with Bruin Point Elementary School is going to miss teaching.

“I am blessed to have been part of a unique professional team of teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff members at Bruin Point,” stated Milburn.

Debra Scovill, teacher at Castle Heights Elementary, stated her career began with the district in 1975. Last to be honored was Dan Taylor, teacher at Carbon High School. Taylor has taught a plethora of classes including geology, astronomy, biology, physics and more.

After the teachers were honored, Superintendent Carlsen stood and spoke once more and thanked all of the district staff for their hard work and dedication through the year.

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