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Introducing Provo’s Evening of Excellence – a prestigious event that annually honors the finest educators in the Provo City School District! This celebrated ceremony commends six exceptional educators: a principal, a classified employee, and four teachers. These outstanding professionals have demonstrated their unwavering dedication to enhancing the education of Provo’s students. Their peers nominated and recognized each of these deserving individuals at a formal dinner sponsored by generous local businesses and individuals.

This Teacher Appreciation Week, we encourage you to thank your educators, who have also played a critical role in shaping your life and future.

Raquel Macias Del Valle

Scholarship and SEOP Facilitator

Provo Peaks Elementary

Raquel wants to improve the lives of students and parents at Provo Peaks. She takes time with her kids to get to know them and what’s going on in their lives. When Provo Peaks gets new students who only speak Spanish, Raquel works with them to tell them all about our school. She builds positive relationships with them so they feel comfortable in a new place. The ELL students have thrived under her, learning not only English but also social skills, emotional regulation, how to function in a school environment, and love learning. 

Raquel works closely with our Title I coordinator to gather ideas and improve her instruction. She is always looking for new and improved teaching methods, researching to find the best practices, and is willing to have additional training. We are delighted that she is part of our faculty because she is genuinely interested in what is best for students.

Travis J. Cook


Slate Mountain School

Travis is the administrator over three separate, diverse campuses and yet manages to know individual students names. He is aware of each person and their background and actively advocates on their behalf. Student safety and well-being are his primary concern and the center of his decision-making. He is approachable, kind, willing to listen to questions, concerns, and feedback, and always supportive of classroom needs. Travis also listens to ideas, which helps unify all the staff and faculty. Despite multiple degrees, endorsements, and certifications, Travis has never really finished school. He has made lifelong professional development a priority. He takes every opportunity to glean the latest research, the best pedagogical approach, and the most effective means of teaching the unique population he leads. This leadership in learning and continual improvement inspires his team to improve, learn, and expand in capacity as well.

Kevin Paul Burnham

Math Teacher

Provo High School

Kevin cares about his students, especially those with special needs, and sacrifices his time to improve his curriculum and help his students. Kevin works daily to ensure that each student has every opportunity to succeed in his class, regardless of their circumstances. I often see him staying late to redesign his tests and assignments to accommodate his students’ needs better. He cares deeply for his students, genuinely believes in them, and is invested in their success. Kevin has a quiet personality, but he is willing to participate and help where he can. He has volunteered to help launch and coach the Esports team and is always ready to pitch in and help where needed. Kevin supports other teachers, often working on brainstorming ways to modify, update, or improve Canvas courses to ensure that all of the school’s math courses are taking maximum advantage of the resources for teachers and their students.

Johanna Jill Chausow

English Teacher

Timpview High School

Johanna works each and every day to provide her 9th,11th, and ELL Language Arts students with engaging, rigorous, and empowering learning opportunities. She is constantly working with students before, during, and after class to provide them with the support they need. It is clear from the way they engage with her that she has created a safe and welcoming environment for them. Johanna strives to improve professionally daily. She works hard to develop relationships with her colleagues to collaborate to help develop her own skills and, in turn, create the best opportunities for her students through rigorous and thought-provoking unit/ lesson plans. Recently, Johanna has provided our ELL students with a supportive Language Arts class which has provided many students with the opportunity to feel empowered by a subject they previously struggled with. She advocates for the students and teachers of Timpview and we are lucky to work with and learn from Johanna Chausow.

Carmen Williams

SPED Coordinator

Independence High School

As a special education teacher, Carmen goes above and beyond in helping her students know who they are. She dignifies them by providing them the opportunities, encouragement and support they need to graduate and prepare for education and employment after high school. She encounters some that will not engage or come to school. She visits them in their homes and connects with them. She is always on their side. Carmen is an educator that proves that the circumstances of students are not the sole predictor of their future. Carmen is relentless in ensuring each of her students has a high probability of graduation. Her efforts have significantly increased the students with IEP graduation rate and lowered the dropout rate at Independence High School. Her behavior and practice have even been studied to develop a pattern of practice and routines to be implemented at all high schools to monitor and support students with IEP to graduation.

David Sutherland

English Teacher

Timpview High School

Dave Sutherland is an extraordinary role model and inspiration to students. Dave believes in the power of literature to expand students’ vision and understanding of themselves and of their world. He trusts students–that they can read and comprehend at the highest levels and that they can have critical conversations based on that reading. He’s an outstanding writing instructor as well, improving students’ abilities to communicate and refine those communications. Dave has always been an exceptional teacher, mentor and collaborator. Dave has mentored more new teachers and student teachers than anyone else in our English department, inspiring new teachers to find their strengths and to believe in students. David Sutherland has been dedicated to students and the community at Timpview High School for 30 years. He has inspired our Timpview community with his dedication to excellence, passion for learning, and openness to reflection and improvement. All of the Timpview community benefits from his contributions and influence.

As we bid farewell to another awe-inspiring Evening of Excellence, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to the six honorees – the principal, the classified employee, and the four teachers. We commend them for their relentless pursuit of excellence in education and for inspiring their peers and students. Their selfless commitment to teaching and learning is nothing short of remarkable, and we can all learn a thing or two from their example. Once again, our sincerest gratitude to Provo’s Evening of Excellence honorees – may your passion for education continue to impact lives for many years to come!

We thank our sponsors for making our Evening of Excellence a reality:

Table Sponsors:

  • Brent Brown Toyota
  • Check City
  • Clarke Capital Partners
  • EsNet
  • Lub Doc
  • NuSkin
  • Savage Family Foundation
  • Sunroc

Plaque Sponsor:

  • Brava Award and Promotions
Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei