Due to Coller Industries Incorporated’s continual support and donations, we were able to be a part of the “Excel Evening of Honors” on April 13th. Granite Education Foundation presents awards each year to exceptional teachers and administrators working in their district.
It all starts with the smallest of donations: TIME.
Since Granite Education Foundation’s inception in 1988, educator recognition and support has been a key priority. The Excel Awards are a prestigious honor given to the top 10 educators of Granite School District and has been sponsored by Granite Education Foundation since the beginning. Students, administrators, parents and colleagues nominate educators that exemplify the values of Granite School District.
“Watching the videos of each teacher and their stories and how they make a difference in the kid’s lives was the best part of the evening,” Hannah, Customer Service Manager and Coller Industries Incorporated, said.
Being a professional educator isn’t an easy job. Sometimes it can even be a thankless job. But, thanks to these amazing teachers and administrators, public education continues to excel.
Each year, GEF supporters gather to recognize outstanding teachers, administrators and community members whose personal commitment and contribution impacts 68,000 students in the Granite School District. The Excel Award is bestowed upon nine teachers and one administrator that have been nominated by school administrators, colleagues or students.
Here are the 2018 Excel Award winners.
Congratulations to these incredible educators!
Leah Tarrant – Taylorsville High School
Lori Lindford – Bennion Elementary
Jill Thackeray – Skyline High School
Jodi Larson – Upland Terrace School
Stephanie Varoz – Crestview Elementary
Amy Winder – Elk Run Elementary
Katie Pearce – Rolling Meadows Elementary
Brandon Kerby – Cyprus High School
Janice Wayman – Hartvigsen School
Archer Birrell – Hillside Elementary
These individuals are then put through a rigorous review and observation process by experienced education specialists who ultimately identify 10 teachers and administrators from all over the district. In mid April, up to 300 individuals from Granite School District, supporting businesses, community members, and local leaders gather to recognize and honor these 10 winners in the Night of Honors a dinner and award ceremony.
As Coller Industries makes generous donations each year to the foundation, we were able to attend this gala not only as distinguished guests but also as an award presenter. After explaining Coller Industries to the attendees, Hannah proudly presented Archer Birrell, a 3rd-grade teacher at Hillside Elementary, with his Excel Award.
While our role is small in comparison to each of these educators, we are beyond happy that we get to take part in this fantastic award opportunity. In a nutshell, “We donate money for clothes and shoes for the kids in the Granite School District. Then we get to honor these great teachers for their excellent work by presenting the award on behalf of Coller Industries and the Granite Education Foundation,” Hannah said.
Each Excel Award recipient received a sculpture, designed by local Utah sculptor Matt Glenn. This sculpture comes in two parts. The bottom portion has the four Granite Education Foundation hand icons from their logo. Each hand symbolized educate, give, volunteer and advocate. The top portion is a student’s hand reaching for a teacher’s hand. This piece is also reversible so that the teacher’s hand is extending up toward the student’s hand.
“Educational awards, such as the GEF Excel Award, are awesome because children are the future,” Hannah said. “Teachers are important and deserve this recognition for what they do for our children.”
And, we agree. These teachers are very deserving of this prestigious award. We want to thank these teachers and all the others who work endlessly for the welfare of our kids. You all make a huge difference!