Seldom do students and teachers practice gratitude and self-analysis like in our Latinos in Action...
Before the year closes, we say goodbye to some of our best teachers and staff. Those retiring this year shared much of themselves with our community.
We thank you for your longstanding dedication and will miss you dearly!
Tina Fluehe – Purchasing, District Office
Tina Fluehe has been an amazing procurement officer! She has been dedicated to ensuring that the purchasing process is done efficiently for all departments within the District. She has worked with districts across the state to make sure contracts used by all districts are competitive and usable. Tina’s influence throughout the District will be felt for many years, and her work will continue to influence our decisions. She has been passionate about making schools safe and beautiful place for the students and teachers of Provo City School District. She has been a sounding board and friend to many. Her expertise and enthusiasm for her job will be missed by those who knew her, and all will feel the changes she has made in the purchasing process in the future.
Connie Grange – Maintenance
Connie started work with Provo City School District on January 3, 1986, first at Farrer Junior High and then at Independence High School, where she worked in custodial for six years. When she left Independence, she moved to the woodshop and joined the maintenance team. Connie always remembered everyone’s birthdays and brought various cakes to celebrate. She made blankets for new babies or grandbabies and always brought treats for the maintenance guys. She organized potlucks to spice things up occasionally, and everyone enjoyed these gatherings. She made us all laugh with her sharp wit. Her most unforgettable memory while working in the District was when she was asked to go “fishing” in the boys’ restroom at Independence. Upon entering the bathroom, she found a goldfish in one of the urinals. Connie will be deeply missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with her.
Keith Rittel – Superintendent
Keith Rittel has been an educator in Utah, Washington, and Victoria, BC, Canada, for 39 years. For the last 11 years, he has served as the Superintendent of Provo City School District. Before taking the reins in Provo, Keith was Deputy Superintendent of Clover Park School District (Lakewood, WA) for four years. Previously, he served 11 years as a high school principal, four years at Kamiak HS (Mukilteo, WA), and seven years at Anacortes HS (Anacortes, WA). In 2004, he was honored to be elected Washington State’s High School Principal of the Year. Over the years as superintendent, he has helped the students, employees, and community members by stressing themes such as Hope and Urgency, The Provo Way, Time is Precious, Know Thy Impact, and The Kids We Have. Superintendent Rittel has been a positive force for students and the Provo Community. We are grateful for his dedication and service.
Rebecca Clark – Teacher, Amelia Earhart Elementary
Becky has worked for 31 years in the Provo School District, most of those years at Amelia Earhart. Becky is a great teacher who has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of students over her time here. She is well-loved by students, parents, staff, and the community. Becky cares about each student. She gets to know them and learns how they best learn. She is committed to helping each student reach their highest potential. She sees what they can do/become and puts in the work to help them get there. She can create high classroom management expectations, and she helps each student rise to that level. Her lessons are thoughtful, engaging, and well-paced. She knows how to use technology to increase student learning and is very clear in her instruction. Becky does a great job differentiating her instruction by embedding formative assessment and responding at the moment to the different learning needs of each student.
Carolene Cook – Teacher, Slate Canyon
After raising a family of seven children, Carolene Cook opted to renew her secondary education license in Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) from Brigham Young University years prior. Fortunately for Provo City School District and the Division of Juvenile Justice and Youth Services, the Slate Canyon School would be the only school she would work for as a professional educator for the next 11 years. Working with incarcerated populations is not the easiest teaching assignment, yet Carolene instantly developed a rapport with the students, faculty, and facility staff. In addition to the traditional FACS courses she taught over the years, she went on to become endorsed in General Financial Literacy. Eventually, she established a year-long Adult Roles and Financial Literacy curriculum which included cooking modules and the often imitated, never duplicated Slate Canyon Youth Center Infant Simulator Program. We wish her the very best moving forward.
Jeff Sanford – Maintenance
Jeff started with the District in August of 1988 as a bus driver. He attended BYU between bus runs, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1993. By then, he was doing maintenance over the summers and between bus runs in the morning. He fueled buses and checked their oil. Later, he did all the seat repairs for several summers. He also worked in electrical maintenance for a year and then did masonry, playgrounds, welding, and flooring projects around the District. In 2006, the maintenance person at Provo High, John Clark, retired, and Jeff applied for and got his job. For training, John showed Jeff how to fix a toilet flush valve, where the boiler room was, how to schedule heating and air for events, and introduced him to the head custodian. Then, at about 11:00 in the morning, John said, “Well, there’s a lot more I could show you, but you’ll figure it out.” Then, he got in his truck and left… and Jeff did figure it out.
James Davis – Teacher, Innovative Learning
Jim Davis has served as an educator in Provo City School District for 19 years, first at Timpview, then at Provo High, and finally as a district Innovative Learning Specialist. As an English teacher, his fundamental goal was to help his students explore their passions while developing core skills in the English Language Arts curriculum. His use of self-directed student learning was critical in his ability to engage even his most reluctant learners. Throughout his career, Jim has demonstrated an inspiring growth mindset and a gift for mentorship. He has served as a teacher-leader throughout his career, mentoring and coaching new teachers and collaborating with his peers across disciplines to enhance instruction and, importantly, the work of PLCs. He took the leap to become an Innovative Learning Specialist because it provided a new challenge with new things to learn and because it provided a final chance to serve as a mentor to other teachers.
Rachel Krrushinsky – Administrative Assistant, Timpanogos Elementary
Rachel has been a fixture here at Timpanogos. Mrs. K, as she thoughtfully let us call her (because her name is so hard to say), has been the gear that has run this school for the last 24 years. She has been able to handle difficult parents, difficult students, and even difficult teachers and remain calm through it all – one of her best qualities. She seems to have all the answers to all the questions! And talk about MULTI-TASKING!!!!! We can’t even begin to count the number of shoes she has duct-taped together, glasses she’s repaired, and stuck zippers on coats she’s fixed. And then there are the copy machines she has endlessly repaired!!! She showed so much support for our school by decorating the office during the different holidays, Making it a welcoming place for the students – not to mention how much the teachers enjoyed it! While we know this is a much-earned retirement, Rachel will be greatly missed by our entire Timpanogos community.
Diane Cluff – Teacher, Provo High School
I want to express my admiration and appreciation for your hard work as a Provo City School District teacher. You have worked at PHS for many years and have given back so much to our community over a career spanning more than 30 years. Provo High School is a better place for the work that you have done and for the difference that you have made for your students. During your work at PHS, you have led out admirably as a FACS Teacher and have been an integral part of our school community Your experiences, demeanor, and leadership in partnering with UVU, BYU, and others have made a lasting impression and helped us develop a strong program that can continue as new teachers step into this role. Those who follow you will benefit immensely from this direction and from the relationships that you have built within our community.
Maria Thurston – Administrative Assistant, Provo Peaks Elementary
Maria Thurston has made a significant impact in multiple schools and thousands of students throughout her career as a head secretary. Her ability to understand the needs of both parents and teachers, as well as her friendly demeanor and sense of humor, make her a valuable asset to any school community. As a head secretary, Maria played a vital role in ensuring that the school’s daily operations run smoothly. Her experience and knowledge undoubtedly help her to anticipate and address potential challenges before they become major issues, which helps to create a more efficient and effective school environment. Maria is a great storyteller who can make people laugh. These qualities help to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere within the school, which has significantly impacted students, parents, and staff alike. She has touched the lives of countless students and families throughout her career.
Christine Durst – Media Specialist, District Office
Christine Durst has been a longtime fixture in Provo City School District! From 1989 to 2023, she served students and staff in several positions. She began her career as the first computer lab instructor at Canyon Crest Elementary in the District! She then worked as a very popular school librarian for eight years. Nine years ago, she came to the district office to lead the library media centers. She has been known to be innovative, positive, helpful, and child-centered in each position! As the district Library Media Coordinator, she has developed several popular programs, including the Provo Reads initiative, Battle of the Books, and Author Con! Christine knows the importance of relationships; she is a champion for the District’s librarians. Provo won’t be the same without Christine–she will be missed!
Norma Metz – Teacher, Sunset View Elementary
Norma Metz is a highly respected and accomplished teacher who students, parents, and teachers belove. She has devoted 36 years of her career to educating and inspiring young minds. Norma has been a teacher at several elementary schools throughout her career,and her dedication to her students and passion for teaching have earned her a reputation as an outstanding educator. One of Norma’s favorite quotes is “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.” This belief has guided her teaching philosophy throughout her career, inspiring her to help her students reach their full potential and achieve great things. We are immensely grateful for Norma’s many years of service, her unwavering dedication to excellence in education, and her inspiring commitment to her students.
Cindi Smith – Instructional Assistant, Rock Canyon
Cindi Smith is one of those rare individuals who makes you feel like you’ve won the lottery to have met her. She has worked in Provo City School District since 1994 – filling the special education rooms at Rock Canyon with light and calm. Cindi has taught as a special education aide, impacting hundreds of students with her kindness and patience. She took time each summer to provide tutoring for many as well, knowing that they would need extra help to keep progressing each year. All of her students knew that she loved them individually, and wanted them to be happy and successful. Thank you Cindi, for your dedication and love for your students and all of us!
Leslie Zuber – Special Education Teacher, Centennial Middle School
Leslie is a staple at Centennial! She has taught for 19 years in the behavior unit, self-contained classes, mild/moderate classes, and worked as our Special Education teacher leader. She is a member of our Student Support Team, and her input is invaluable. She understands behavior so well, but she also always considers each student as a unique individual. She has the highest expectations for all students and truly believes they can achieve their highest potential. She works hard to help the students believe that about themselves as well. Leslie has also mentored countless new teachers and is truly the best mentor anyone could ask for. Her love for her students is apparent in all she does, and she is truly an expert at working with them. She has been a resource for teachers, students, parents, and administration over the years. She will be sorely missed, but we are excited for her in this new adventure.
Sarah Combs – Special Education Teacher, Sunset View Elementary
Sarah Combs has been an outstanding Special Education teacher who has dedicated 30 years of her career to making a positive impact on the lives of her students. Her passion for teaching and commitment to her students have earned her a reputation as an exceptional educator. Her unwavering belief that all children can learn has inspired her to go above and beyond for her students, always seeking new ways to support their growth and development. Her knowledge and skills have served her well over the years, enabling her to make a meaningful difference in the lives of her students and their families. Throughout her career, Sarah’s passion for teaching, commitment to her students, and dedication to excellence have made her an invaluable member of our educational community. Her legacy of making a positive impact on the lives of her students will be felt for years to come.
Karl Golding – Teacher, Provo High School
I want to express my admiration and appreciation for all of your hard work as a teacher in the Provo City School District. You have had the privilege of working in several locations, and have given back so much to our community over a career that spans more than 30 years. Provo High School is a better place for the work that you have done and for the difference that you have made for your students. During your work at PHS, you have led out admirably as a CE Teacher and an integral part of our Math Department. Your experiences, demeanor, and leadership in partnering with UVU have made a lasting impression and helped us develop a strong CE program that can continue as new teachers step into this role. All of us at PHS will miss you as you begin a new journey and chapter in your life.
Amy King – Teacher, Rock Canyon and Spring Creek Elementary
Amy King is a phenomenal Special Education teacher at Rock Canyon Elementary. She has taught in Provo School District since 2008, and taught in Alpine before that. Her students always know how much they’re loved and how precious they are. Her management skills are terrific. The classroom climate and environment are very warm and inviting for all students. She always keeps her cool when things get challenging. Her teammates feel supported and cared about personally because of how she treats them. Amy also has developed a wonderful relationship within our faculty. Parents of her students love and trust her to provide the support their children need to be successful. Amy is a team player. She has led our special education team at Rock Canyon with cheerfulness, collaboration, engagement, and a deep level of care for everyone she interacts with. Amy is a real credit to our profession, a model teacher. She is well liked and respected by her cohorts, staff and our community. We will miss her at Rock Canyon.
Ron Twitchell – Director of Assessment, Data and Research, District Office
Ron Twitchell has many years of exemplary service in education. With 35 years of experience in the field, Ron has made significant contributions to education, both as a classroom teacher and as district-level support for teachers and instruction. In addition to his formal education, Ron has actively shaped educational policy and curriculum development. He has worked with the State Office of Education for Utah on developing the State’s Core Curriculum and has served on various committees, demonstrating his dedication to improving educational standards and practices. Ron’s contributions to the field of education go beyond the academic realm. He has been a respected leader in the Provo Education Association, serving as its president for three years. He has also coached track and field, wrestling, and girls fast pitch softball. Ron’s commitment to education, his expertise, and his dedication to professional development and leadership are commendable. He has made a lasting impact on the field of education through his years of service, and his contributions are truly appreciated by his colleagues, students, and the community.
Ty Robinson – Teacher, Provo High School
I want to express my admiration and appreciation for all of your hard work as a teacher in the Provo City School District. You have had the privilege of working at PHS for many years, and have given back so much to our community over a career that spans more than 30 years. Provo High School is a better place for the work that you have done and for the difference that you have made for your students. During your work at PHS, you have led out admirably as a Science and have been an integral part of our Science Department. Your experiences, demeanor, and leadership in partnering with UVU, BYU, and others have made a lasting impression and helped us develop a strong program that can continue as new teachers step into this role. All of us at PHS will miss you as you begin a new journey and chapter in your life. Students and parents will miss your kind and gentle demeanor and the life lessons that you taught in addition to the Science curriculum.