Utah education news

U. graduates its first class of future dentists

Tears streamed down Rachel Smith’s face as she paid tribute to each of her fellow University of Utah School of Dentistry graduates at Saturday morning’s commencement ceremony. Smith described inside jokes among students and faculty, challenging course work and human bonds that could not be matched — while thanking the school’s Director of Student Admissions Gary Lowder for putting the historic class all together. “I’m not sure how Dr. Lowder and the selection committee did it, but I don’t thin... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Vivian Lee wins praise, standing ovation from University of Utah medical school grads, speaker

As A. Lorris Betz took the stage Friday during commencement ceremonies for the University of Utah’s School of Medicine, he acknowledged he wasn’t the speaker most graduates expected to see. Betz, interim vice president of U. health sciences, took that job only after the resignation of Vivian Lee at the end of April. And he kicked off the U. medical school’s 2017 graduation at Kingsbury Hall with praise for her accomplishments and leadership during a six-year tenure. “[Lee] is one of the brightes... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Tooele High School website redirects to 'lingerie girls' page after domain lapses

Online visitors to tooelehigh.org won’t find the academic calendar for Tooele High School or info on Buffalo athletics. Instead, they’ll see galleries of young women posing in lingerie. After transitioning to a new web address, the high school’s old domain was purchased and held for “ransom,” according to a letter sent to parents and community members by Tooele High School principal Jeffrey Hamm. “We want you to know that every effort is being made into regaining access to the tooelehigh.org ...

SLC schools offers 9 percent raises, $44K starting salary to teachers

Utah’s race to pay teachers more money has a new leader in Salt Lake City School District. The district announced Thursday that teachers will receive 9 percent raises, with the salary for first-year educators increased from $39,954 to $43,887. Those salary figures are part of a tentative agreement with the Salt Lake Education Association, and are subject to ratification by union members and a final vote by the district school board. In a prepared statement, Salt Lake City Schools Superintenden...

Advocates: Utah sexual assault bill could harm victims

A Utah lawmaker is gearing up to run a bill that could require colleges give amnesty to sexual assault victims for conduct code violations related to alcohol and drugs and allow school officials to report serious assaults to police. But a sexual assault survivor and an advocacy group are pushing back against the measure, saying it wouldn’t stop schools from investigating many sexual assault victims. Turner Bitton, of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, says many assaults don’t involve alc... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

More Utah school districts approve pay hikes for educators

Administrators in the Davis, Murray and Alpine school districts signed off on teacher raises this week, adding to a cascade of new salary plans that will boost the pay for Utah’s public school educators next year. School board members for Davis and Alpine — Utah’s two largest school districts — voted Tuesday for compensation packages that include cost-of-living adjustments and the funding of scheduled salary increases, commonly known as “steps and lanes.” And on Monday, the Murray Board of Educ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Long and Winding Road: John Lennon-inspired musical bus visits Utah

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus visited Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. In its 20th year, the state-of-the-art mobile audio, video and live production facility — named after late Beatles member John Lennon — travels the country, offering young people career-informing tours of its studios and free digital media production workshops. Students learn how to write, record and produce original songs as well as music videos and documentaries, as part of the bus’s mission ...

Whooping cough outbreak at charter school driving uptick in county infections

Salt Lake County health officials hope summer break will run out the clock on a lingering outbreak of pertussis — or whooping cough — at the American International School of Utah. The outbreak was reported last month, when roughly a dozen cases of pertussis led to 30 unvaccinated AISU students being excluded from classes, and the school closing one day early for its annual spring break. But the outbreak has since spread to include 32 confirmed or suspected cases of whooping cough, said Salt La...

Trump, DeVos embolden Utah school voucher supporters

Emboldened by the new White House administration, the money man behind Utah’s ambitious voucher proposal that was crushed by voters a decade ago says there is a renewed appetite to expand school choice in the state. Overstock founder Patrick Byrne said the school vouchers movement has been rekindled in his home state now that his longtime acquaintance and fellow school vouchers advocate Betsy DeVos has been appointed education secretary by President Donald Trump. DeVos was in Utah on Tuesday at ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Murray School District chooses its first female superintendent

A woman will lead Murray School District — a first in its 111-year history. Jennifer Covington, principal of Hillcrest Junior High School since 2009, will step into the role July 1, according to a news release from the district. Covington has been a Murray educator for 23 years, starting in 1994 as a business and information technology teacher at Murray High School, then serving as vice principal for five years at Hillcrest Junior High School before being promoted to principal, the release said....

Planet discovery a lesson in persistence, BYU astronomy students say

Provo • A group of recent Brigham Young University graduates can already put “discovered a planet” on their resumes. A paper describing their first discovery, the planet KELT-16b, was published shortly before they completed their bachelor’s degrees at BYU this spring. They’re now training the Provo school’s next generation of planet finders. Kyle Matt, one of the team’s first members, describes KELT-16b as being larger than Jupiter, but located closer to its star than Mercury — so close that it ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Young and diagnosed with cancer; new Utah program aims to help

Marina Pimentel is a clear example of how life goes on — even after hearing you have cancer. Since being diagnosed last June and treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Pimentel started a new job, moved her mother to Utah, traversed the treacherous waters of health insurance and watched her little sister get married in their native Boston. Not an atypical year for a 26-year-old, Pimentel pointed out. She just happened to have cancer. But she also has someone assigned to help. “I really could have used ...

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praises alternative opportunities for Utah students

After touring the Granite Technical Institute, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised Utah’s education and manufacturing leaders for their “tremendous” partnership in creating vocational-training opportunities for students. DeVos held a roundtable discussion with government, school and industry representatives where she touted the Utah Aerospace Pathways program, which provides students with hands-on training in manufacturing and paid internship opportunities. “All of you coming together ...

Huntsman family, Koch foundation give combined $50 million gift to Utah State University's business school

Utah State University’s business school will expand its faculty and offer four times as many slots in its student scholarship programs, paid for by donations of $25 million each from the Huntsman Foundation and Charles Koch Foundation. University administrators were expected to announce the gifts during Saturday’s commencement ceremonies. The combined $50 million will be paid out over a period of 10 years, said Doug Anderson, dean of the Huntsman School of Business. “Thanks to the great suppo...

U. disputes Huntsman, says school doesn't owe money to cancer institute

The University of Utah has not withheld money from the Huntsman Cancer Institute, a school spokesman said Friday. With talks underway on new funding agreements between the U. and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, U. spokesman Chris Nelson pushed back on statements by foundation CEO Peter Huntsman that the institute has failed to receive its fair share of cancer hospital revenues. “First off, the university and Huntsman Cancer Institute are the same entity,” Nelson said. “I would dispute the way ...

Photos: SLCC graduates 4,700 students

Tatiana Pedroso waves to family on Friday before the start of commencement ceremonies for Salt Lake Community College at the Maverik Center. The college graduated 4,703 students this year, handing out 5,766 degrees. <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

SLCC grad, 80, proves that learning is lifelong

Candice Williams was slightly shocked when Jirapat Sakkaphun entered her office last fall to discuss an education at Salt Lake Community College. Sakkaphun, a petite 80-year-old woman from Thailand, wanted to join the college’s certified nurse assistant program after nearly two decades as an in-home aide to elderly and sick patients. Her will to help others led Sakkaphun to earn a nursing assistant certificate earlier this year. She’ll be among 4,703 graduates walking into a new future at the ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

U. recognizes 8,500 graduates

The University of Utah graduated more than 8,500 students in a ceremony Thursday at the U. campus’ Jon M. Huntsman Center. Graduates, who received 9,118 degrees between them, heard from keynote speaker Conrad Anker, world-renowned mountain climber, filmmaker, author, philanthropist and U. alumnus, who spoke about the importance of making human connections. University figures say nearly two-thirds of the 2017 U. graduating class are from Utah, 22 percent from other U.S. states and about 11 perce... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Huntsman Cancer Institute backers want more control over U.'s cancer revenues, care, hiring

Weeks before a divisive controversy over the Huntsman Cancer Institute erupted in April, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation sought more revenue from the University of Utah and enhanced powers for institute CEO Mary Beckerle, according to letters and documents. In March, the foundation drafted what CEO Peter Huntsman calls a “wish list” — a memorandum of understanding that reflected verbal agreements reached over months of discussions with U. President David Pershing, Huntsman said. Pershing had gen...