Seldom do students and teachers practice gratitude and self-analysis like in our Latinos in Action...
Welcome, everyone, to the next episode of Provo City School District’s What’s Up With The Sup podcast. I am Superintendent Wendy Dau, and we have a great episode for you this week. We recently sat down with seniors at all three of our high schools to talk about teachers that have made an impact on their education, and in some cases, their lives.
But before we hear from our students, let’s go over our updates.
- Next week is Thanksgiving break. There is no school on Wednesday, November 22nd, through Friday, November 24th. We hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the extended break.
- As we enter the fall and winter seasons, we need to be prepared for inclement weather, and we would like to ensure that all parents are able to receive phone calls, texts, and And emails from the district during the week of November 13th through 17th, parents should have received emails announcing a test phone call, which was sent at two o’clock p.m. on Friday, November 17th. If you did not receive the test phone call or any of the preceding emails. Please contact your school. We hope that this test provides parents an opportunity to address any issues that may prevent them from receiving important communications from the district and will allow the district to better communicate with our families.
- Prepare to spread holiday cheer with Timpview High School’s Sub for Santa program. Starting after Thanksgiving break. On November 27th, 2023 and continuing through winter break until January 3rd, Timpview is teaming up with the United way and the food and care coalition to support families in our district. Whether you want to donate new gifts, contribute cash, or find more ways to join in, visit timpviewsubforsanta.weebly.com and make this season extra special for those in need.
- A reminder that the contest for students to design a Find Your Swing pin is officially here. Students can submit their best artwork representing the Find Your Swing theme from the book The Boys in the Boat for a chance to have their design become the pin. Artwork can be turned into their school’s main office by Wednesday, December 13, 2023. The individual whose design is chosen will receive $100 from the Superintendent.
- The next school board meeting will be a study session and business meeting on Tuesday, November 28th. Study sessions are held in board room one at the district office, and business meetings take place in the professional development center. Both meetings are open to the public and public comment is welcomed At the business meeting. Please check our website for the start times for both meetings.
- Look for the weekly video cast from me every Friday in the short video. I provide important information and updates about work happening throughout the district.
This week’s episode is a little different. We visited each of our three high schools, Timpview High School, Provo High School, and Independence High School, and sat down with some seniors to talk about teachers that made an impact in Provo City School District. We heard about a wide range of teachers from elementary school all the way through high school.
These teachers were positively impacting a student’s education, and we also heard stories of teachers forever changing students’ lives and how they view themselves. As you listen to these students, take a moment to reflect on a teacher that had a positive impact on your life. We likely all have one. Now, let’s go hear from our students.
Student 1: I’m Ashley Garcia. I’m in 12th grade, and I’m a student here at Provo High. I’m a senior, and I’ve been in the Provo City School District for literally forever because I went to Spring Creek Elementary, and then I went to Dixon Middle School. I would like to share my appreciation for some teachers. The first being Mrs. Hoffman. I’ve had her for AVID since freshman year, and she has always pushed me to do my best, motivated me, and believed in me. She’s like a school mom to me. The next is Mr. Dorothy. I want to thank Mr. D for his genuine kindness, and thank him so much for making my first scholarship possible. I’m super grateful. Mr. Sauerbier is up next. He made AP World History so fun, and I appreciate his good morning, Ms. Garcia greetings and his willingness to help me and how he would and still checks up on me. It means a lot. And then up next is Mr. McLean. He believed in me and still does and taught me the worst I could be told is no. That has changed my mindset for the better.
Student 2: My name is Miles Ng. I went to Dixon Middle School and I’m currently going to Provo High School. I had this science teacher, Mr. Lockwood, and he has been so… Awesome, really. His lessons were so engaging, he was constantly communicating with students, helping us to understand the lesson, and I think his class was just really fun. He was also in charge of the RPG club at the school, which I think he also started. It’s the role playing game club. He’s just so Passionate about the club you can tell. After I left Dixon Middle School, I started volunteering at the club. Mr. Wiederhold was my English teacher last year, as well as my creative writing teacher. Kind of similar to Mr. Lockwood, Mr. Wiederhold, you could tell he really cared about his class. He was always making sure that the students were paying attention. You could tell he had a great depth of knowledge about the subjects. I definitely say that we have been changed by the people who teach us and who help us to learn, uh, and gain knowledge. I feel like the process of gaining knowledge is probably, it’s a kind of change, and the person who helps facilitate that will affect that change in different ways.
Student 3: Hi, my name is Madison May, um, I’m a senior here at Provo High. I think probably one of the most impactful teachers I’ve ever had was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Arnie, at Lakeview Elementary. He was a really good example of teaching me, obviously, like helping me gain knowledge and learn. But I think more than that, it was like he taught me how to be kind to people regardless of the circumstance. That was a big thing I took from his class and from the person he was and the way he taught, the way he acted. I also really love Mr. Reid here, the woods teacher. He’s really helped me find a passion of mine, like in woodworking and carpentry. And I spend countless hours in there with him. Probably two of the most impactful teachers I’ve had. Another teacher I had in my sophomore year is Christie Nozawa. She was the chemistry teacher I had, and that was like a super, super hard class for me. It was like, took a lot of effort, and I didn’t do as good as I wish I had. But like, I learned a ton in that class, especially from her. Like, I learned a lot more how to dedicate myself, and how to really kind of put my best foot forward and focus on things and kind of prioritize. I think that was a huge takeaway that I still apply like every day from that class. Learning how to just work hard, dedicate myself and like, I don’t know, hold myself to like a standard that I know I can meet. I know what I’m capable of. I know the work that I’m capable of doing and That class and that teacher taught me a lot about that too, and I’ve definitely applied that still.
Student 4: Hi, I’m Jason Carter. I’m a senior here at Provo High School. Um, I went to Dixon Middle School before that, and before that I was at Westridge Elementary. The first teacher that comes to mind, um, is probably a couple years ago, Miss Beck. She was a computer programming teacher, and she taught me to love computers, computer programming, computer science, all that nerdy, nerdy stuff. And she was also just my genuine friend. I had a great time in your class. Besides that, I appreciated a lot of what Mr. Sauerbier did in my history classes. Taught me how to appreciate history and I especially loved taking Modern War Within. He was, he’s just a great guy and fun, fun to be around with. I would say in my AP World History class, it was one of the first AP classes I took and what Mr. Sauerbier taught me is that really that I can do the hard classes, I can do those hard things. I can train myself to be diligent in my studies, in my homework. With Ms. Beck in programming, I learned that I can make whatever I want and that I do have good ideas and be confident in myself. When I want to do something, I have the ability and tools to do that thing, that I’m capable.
Student 5: Hi, my name is Kimme Andelin. Um, I’m a senior here at Provo High. Um, some of the teachers who have made some of the biggest differences in my life, the first one I can think of is Mr. Wiederhold. He teaches AP Lang. And, um, he taught me how to be a better writer and how to be more confident in myself and that I can really write good and do hard things. Um, and then the other teacher you can think of is Mr. Wiser. He has taught me so much in like music and also to have just an appreciation for. I think Mr. Wiederhold has shown me that I can do hard things and I can push myself and do things that I didn’t think I could before. Mr. Wiser has helped me so that I can use all the skills that I’ve learned for the future and teach them to other people I know as well.
Student 6: Hi, my name is Heber White and I’m a senior here at Provo High School. Some teachers that have made a really big impact in my life are Mr. Wiederhold and Mr. Money. Mr. Wiederhold taught me AP Lang last year, and he, uh, taught me how to organize my thoughts, and how to show others the way I think, and do that in a good and, I guess, thoughtful way. And Mr. Money has worked way, way longer than he might be contracted to do so. He stays after school to help us. He has… Helped me through three different levels of welding and even this fourth year when there wasn’t a class offered He’s let me come in the shop and continue pursuing some skilled education Mr. Wiederhold taught me that I am a thoughtful person and that I can be thoughtful. A lot of the time in high school, I guess, people don’t really want to be portrayed as, like, deep thinking or taking everything seriously. But, he showed me that it’s okay to, you know, take things seriously when you should. And Mr. Money taught me that, um, working with your hands and working hard can be a lot of fun. He taught me that I can find my own ways to make money and has actually helped me in wanting to start entrepreneurship, maybe even in high school. And… Um, has given me that path going into the future.
Student 6: Hey, my name is Olivia Keleman. Uh, I’m a senior here at Provo High. And I went to Westridge for elementary school and Dixon for middle school. Uh, yeah, so when I was in fifth grade, I had this really good teacher. She was like new to the school and I think it was just different having her because she just like brought a new kind of energy. She was a younger teacher and she lived all around the U. S. And so when she taught stuff, it just was so interesting. And I was like, oh, actually I really enjoy like… Learning from you and the way that she presented stuff. It was like, oh, I actually enjoy cuz I feel kind of like before in school – I mean school’s good, but it was like, oh actually this is interesting. So it’s different and then in middle school. I had another teacher in seventh grade Mrs. Tippetts. She’s my science teacher and she was also so amazing. I remember she started out the year with like this this science, like, problem that we had to solve, and I remember just being like so, like, I actually was so interested, and I was like trying to figure it out the whole time, and I was like, I’ve never felt this, like, engaged before, and like, intrigued by something that could be outside of, um, just school, because science is everywhere. So Miss Soph, my fifth grade teacher, she taught me to be more confident in myself. She herself was confident, and she, like, when she would talk to her students, she just was like, bring them, like she would compliment that she found something good about every student and like would compliment them and like bring that out. And so I just feel like I gained more confidence through her. And then Mrs. Tippets, um, she taught me that I like science a lot and that there’s a lot of different, um, careers I could pursue, um, in a science major.
Student 7: Hi, my name is Clark Nielsen. I’m a senior here at Provo High. I went to Westridge Elementary School and then to Dixon and now I’m here at Provo. So one of the teachers that has made an impact on my life is Mr. Mitchell. He’s the video production teacher. I’ve loved his class so much, I’ve loved him and his personality and the things he has taught me while I’ve been in his classes. In video production, when he taught us how to use a high quality camera, where before I was using a really old DSLR, and a class where he taught us how to use it and how to mess around with settings and make your video look good and mess around with lighting. That was super special to me because I really felt like I was leveling up my, um, skills in video production. Something that I’ve been trying to do but haven’t had the opportunity to do and he made that possible. Mr. Mitchell has taught me how to be creative. He’s also taught me how a bunch of little small things can make a big great For example, you get a bunch of small short clips and, uh, once you put them all together and you add sound effects and you color code it and you do this, that, and the other to your video, the final product is something amazing that you were able to envision in the first place.
Student 8: Hi, my name is Joah Taimane Roberts and I am a senior here at Provo High School. I have many teachers. Mrs. Young. She really taught me to love art, nature, and everything a little girl should. And I appreciate her for keeping us at that learning age and not trying to go overboard. And then, once we moved here, I started out a little nervous. I was new. And so I met Mrs.Scott, my 6th grade teacher, who taught me to not be as nervous and to… reach out to people and be friends with everyone. Coach, or Mr. Anderson, who taught me to not be shy when it comes to laughing or to be understanding of other people. We’re all friends and we should act like it. At Timpview, Coach Anderson, Coach Izzy, and Mrs. Frye, who taught me a lot about myself and what I should do in the future, who I am as a person, who I am as a student and who I am as an athlete. I’m so grateful for them. And at Provo, I like to thank my uncle, Maka, who made transitioning here so much easier and I love him. They’ve taught me that I’m not perfect, and that I should leave a little space for improvement and for forgiveness. I’m always so uptight about how my grades are, or how do people see me, but my teachers have taught me that it’s like, let those little things go, and just grow.
Student 9: Hi, my name is Nea Kalama, and I’m a senior at Provo High. Um, the teacher that made a big impact for me was Mr. Aulava. Coming into… my junior year, it was my first year at Provo, and he was really welcoming and was really nice and helped me come into the school and feel welcomed here with all the students. Um, he taught me that it is a blessing to show my cultural standing and that I have a place in this world to show that I am part of a bigger culture than just myself.
Student 10: Hi, my name is Camilla Velez, and I’m a senior here at Provo High. Teacher here at Provo that’s made a really big impact on me would be Mr. Eady. I’ve learned a lot with him throughout DECA. I spent all three years with him and he just taught me a lot about myself and how to be a better performer. Since taking his class, I’ve learned a lot about myself and discovered that I want to go into business when I’m in college.
Student 11: Hi, my name is Adriana Estrada Flores and I am a senior at Provo High School. I went to Dixon Middle School and Westridge Elementary. I’d say my Westridge, my 6th grade teacher, Miss Smith. She was a very caring person. She was very hard on us. She taught us how to be more prepared for middle school and high school life. Giving us deadlines and stuff to be prepared for not getting the easy life and things. She taught me that I can be a better person and not let other people’s opinions get to me. In middle school Ms. Ordaz helped me embrace my Hispanic culture and be a better person in like school and try harder. Mr. Aulava, he was for sure someone who made a huge impact from my freshman year since I transferred into his class. He made it easier to be in class when I didn’t want to be in class, and didn’t make me feel like I didn’t want to be there. Like lessons very interesting and he wasn’t a teacher that you had to make excuses around. I learned that I don’t have to be afraid to ask questions. Mr. Hernandez was another teacher that made a huge impact in my high school life. Mr. Hernandez for sure was a big impact on also on that. I shouldn’t be afraid to embrace my Hispanic culture as well and not be afraid to share my voice In that aspect. I learned that I don’t have to be a different person in front of others.
Student 12: My name is Joseph Fa Diaz. I’m a senior here at Provo High School. I attended middle school at Dixon Middle School and Lakeview Elementary. Uh, a teacher that had an impact on me and my learning and education. Lily Bueno. She taught me Portuguese back in elementary school. Now she came back here for my senior year and she was here last year for my junior year to teach again. So she’s kind of been with me throughout my entire life basically. And she just always nice, always trying to help me get my grade up, stays up late, works late hours the day and help me and work with me. And she works with her students really well and she’s just really nice overall. So she’s kind of taught me to be a better person. She’s showed me that I’m a procrastinator. So it kind of helps me to be better. Just cause a lot of stuff I turn in late. But over the years it’s gone really good. And these past two years I’ve been trying to be a better student overall. And kind of focus, get more locked in and things like that.
Student 13: Hello, my name is Tungai Lusa. I’m a senior at Provo High. I went to middle school at Dixon. And my elementary was Edgemont. A teacher that’s, uh, made a difference in my school career so far is Mr. Aulava. He’s, uh, made a difference by helping me learn about sports history and, uh, people in the Pacific, knowing my culture and where I’m from. I’ve learned that I can be slow getting up to the plate and, uh, a lot of the stuff I do, but as long as I get there and get it done, then I’ll be good.
Student 14: Hello, my name is Louisa and I’m a senior at Independence High School. The teacher I chose to shout out is Gina. She teaches English here at Independence High School. The reason why I chose her is because before I came to this school I wasn’t on the right track and she was able to push me and motivate me to reach my goals. There’s so many reasons why I’m grateful for Gina. I’m very grateful for her because she takes the time out of her day to stay after school with me and to help me get my credits built up. She taught me that I’m able to push myself, and I’m able to go through hard things even though it seems like impossible in the moment I’m able to do it still. I’m the first in my family to graduate in the United States, so Gina’s helped really push me to take pride in what I’m doing. I just want to say I’m very grateful for you and I’m grateful for all the sacrifices you’ve made for me and you helped me see that I can be a better person than what I used to be.
Student 15: Hi, my name is Kiara Campos, and I’m a senior at Independence High School. The teacher I want to give a shout out to is Bryce, because he’s so cool and chill. Yeah, you know, he’s a good photographer and everything, so, shout out to Bryce. I would say he made an impact because, I guess he just made coming to school funner, you know. And then, I like going to yearbook club, and then him helping us. Yeah, he’s taught me to be more social.
Student 16: Hi, my name is Angelica Alonzo and I am a senior at Independence High School. I want to thank Russell for being my teacher last year. Um, what he has said has impacted me this year as well and helped me get through the year. Where I am right now, he was really helpful to me last year. I was really behind on credits when I came to the school. And he helped me get forward cause I would always stress about school and he helped me calm down. He helped me de-stress. He said I shouldn’t worry about it as much as I do. Because in the end I’ll be okay. And I always did good work, and that helped me get through it. And that’s what I tell myself every day now, that I can calm down and take a break. He taught me that it’s important to take care of myself, and that it’s okay to relax, and not have to worry about every single moment in my life, and that eventually it’ll all be okay in the end. I just want to thank him for being a great teacher, because now I’m graduating, and I, I like to believe it’s because of him.
Student 17: Hi, my name is Gabby Hall and I went to Canyon Crest Elementary, Centennial Middle School and I am now a senior at Timpview High School. The teacher that made an impact on my life was my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Heaton, who really taught me how to learn and made it fun for me to go to school. This teacher really helped me make friends and she had an environment in class where everyone was already just like so connected and she loved making activities out of her lessons and it just really made me enjoy the class time with her and my classmates. She helped me know that I was able to make friends pretty easily and that I was like a likable person and I was pretty nice so I was able to take that to advantage and make those friends and that I still have today. Thanks for the awesome fourth grade class.
Student 18: Hi, I’m Mikayla Grossarth. I went to Edgemont Elementary School, Centennial Middle School, and now I’m a senior at Timpview High School. The teacher I want to give a shout out to is Miss White. She’s super caring and loving for all of her students. You can tell that she really cares about how you’re doing, not just how your grades are, but also how your life is outside of class. And when you talk to her, you can just feel how genuine she is and how much she actually cares about you and that she’d really do anything for you. She teaches APUSH and GOV. Um, I took APUSH my junior year and I’m in GOV right now. Class is super interactive and she’s a great teacher. She always is willing to help those who are confused or behind. Um, she’ll make things work for your situation, like no matter what. If you go and talk to her, she’s more than willing to help you figure it out. Um, class is always super fun and we do lots of good activities that help us learn. So, my junior year of high school I had a really hard time and I was in her class. And I, I couldn’t go to her class for like a month. And when I finally came back she took me out in the hallway and just showed me how much she cared about me and how she was willing to help me. And she told me that like I had worked so hard earlier and so like now she was willing to compromise with me because she knew that I had been working hard and that it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t come to school and so because I like put in this effort and like really worked hard that she was willing to make life easier for me now. I’d just like to say thank you so much, like, you’ve made such a big impact on my life, and you are going to affect so many students, so, thank you.
Student 19: Hi, my name is Nelasoni Taoua. I went to Wasatch Elementary and Centennial Middle School, and I’m a senior at Timpview High School. The teacher I want to give a shout out to is Mr. Brown. He teaches English here at Timpview. He’s really uplifting towards the students, and that, and if he takes class, he’s really nice to you. It really helps you, whether it’s with his assignments or other people’s assignments. Yeah, very supportive. I played football, and he’d always ask me about how the games went, who our next opponent would be. Yeah, so we did a Socratic seminar, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s called. But it’s basically the whole class, we all have a big discussion about what we were learning in English. And it’s really good, because it prepares you for college, how college would be. And also interacting with your other classmates. Um, I learned that, well, when we were learning about English, like, we learned about history and everything. And I just learned that, like, he taught us about the American Dream. And I feel like that kind of relates to us and me. How, like, my future plans in life, how I need to work to get better in life. Thank you. You really helped my high school experience. It was very fun in your class. I wish you teached senior English.
Student 20: Hi, my name is Eliza Doxey. Um, I went to Edgemont Elementary and then Centennial Middle School and I’m a senior at Timpview High School. The teacher that had the greatest impact on me was Mrs. Taylor. She was my math teacher for my junior year of high school and I just love her. She just made the greatest difference for me because, um, she believed in me. She just showed me that, like, because math is not my best subject and she, and I, I was taking this college level math, math class and I was like this is not going to be easy so I was a little bit scared but um, she believed in me and she believed in each one of her students and she just made it feel like, like I, like it was possible for me to be successful in that math class and not just in math like she just she just helped me believe that like, um, I can be successful in life and with whatever I’m, whatever my goals are, um, she just helped me know that it is possible and that I can do it if I just put in the work. Thank you for helping me to believe in myself and thank you for being such an awesome teacher.
Student 21: Hi, I’m a senior here at Timpview High School and my name is Sadie Gerber. Um, the teacher that I would say has had the biggest impact on me is Mr. Whatcott, um, he teaches woods. And, um, the thing that I really admire about him is that he just makes everyone feel like, like they need to have the education. And that they deserve, um, to get the best education that they can. And he does this by giving one on one help and, um, explaining it as many times as you need in order for it to really stick. Even though woods is….like, something that might not be used through my entire life, but it has taught me so many lessons about how to, um, just like, keep working and keep trying even though I might fail a lot.
Student 22: Hi, my name’s Lucy Bailey. Um, I went to Edgemont, I went to Centennial, and now I’m a senior here at Timpview. Um, the teacher I want to give a shout out to is, um, Madame Petelo. She teaches French. Um, she’s just taught me a lot on how to work hard and, like, not give up. Um, and just taught me a lot about French culture, and I can tell that she really cares a lot about it.
Student 23: Um, hi, my name is Caleb Ngatuvai, and um, I went to Provo Peaks for Elementary School, then Centennial, and now I’m here as a senior at Timpview. So, one of the, like, most influential teachers for me was named Terry Francis. She was my fourth grade teacher. Um, that was the first year that I moved to Provo Peaks Elementary School. Um, and I was doing the, um, the CAS program, um, because my parents forced me to do it. But, um, once I got there, I kind of felt a little bit out of place. I didn’t really know anybody. Um, but this was supposed to be an accelerated program and she helped me realize that, um, there’s like so much more to learning than I had seen before and she’s just helped me grow so much, um, and now I’m able to take all these advanced classes and I have, um, really big dreams for the future. She just really helped me realize that learning is just like a really big priority for me. Before I just went to school cause my parents made me, but she helped me realize that learning can be fun. Like there’s so many more interesting things than you think at first. So many deep concepts that at first might not seem interesting, but later on you just want to explore deeply. And I think she just really helped me grow my passion for learning.
Student 24: Hello, my name is Izzy Garcia Medina. I, uh, went to elementary school at Wasatch Elementary, went to middle school at Centennial, and now I’m a senior here at Timpview High School. The teacher that impacted me the most, um, is Cassidy Baker. Um, she was very kind to me and she just cares about her students a lot. And she helped me get through some personal, like, family tough times that I was going through, um, in the three years that I’ve known her. And she has just been a big part of my life in academics as well as just our friendship. Well, she definitely gave me a little push to becoming who I am today. I was like a very shy person in middle school. With her help, she kind of just encouraged me to be outgoing and like being kind to everyone around me. And in addition to that, she also taught me to Like not give up on what I am passionate about because of some obstacles that can get in the way I love you baker. You’re the best. I am so sad that I’m gonna be leaving Timpview soon, but Yeah, you are amazing and never forget that.
Wendy: I don’t know about all of you, but I loved hearing each of these stories. You notice some common themes that are coming out from all of our students in Provo City School District. One is that our teachers really care about students and that that matters to our kids. Another thing that they really mentioned is that these teachers taught them that they were capable.
The teachers believed in them, even when they couldn’t believe in themselves and help them to realize that they could do more than they even thought of themselves. And the teachers helped them to reach their potential and even beyond. That’s just. A really amazing characteristic of teachers. That’s what teachers do.
They see the potential in their students and they help them realize that. And you see that echo throughout several of these stories. I also really appreciated the students that talked about teachers helping them Realize that they have skills that they didn’t know that they had prior, such as the ability to work with their hands, the ability to be a deep thinker, to recognize that they shouldn’t shy away from a challenge, but to take on that challenge and that they can wade through it and be successful, come out on the other side and And achieve great things.
I also appreciated that they valued the different perspectives of their teachers and what they helped them to understand about the world around them. And that they loved to have engaging lessons. They really do want to interact with their peers and with their teachers as they learn new things. And that when the setting is right, our kids love to learn.
They love to explore and to figure out things that they didn’t understand before. And so you see that throughout. So whenever we think about, you know, do teachers make a difference? This is just one little snippet. This is a tiny little snapshot of all of the teachers and the impact that they’ve had on students throughout our entire district.
And so I hope our teachers in particular feel. Very appreciated at this time of year when we’re trying to express our gratitude for all that we have.
Thank you everyone for joining me for this episode of What’s Up with the Sup. As always, all episodes will be posted on YouTube, the district website, and wherever you get your podcasts.
If you have any topics or questions you would like us to discuss on the podcast, please email us at email@example.com.
Next week is Thanksgiving. We hope that you are able to have an enjoyable, restful break. We will be releasing a short new episode next Friday, so be sure to join us as we hear from our district leadership as they express gratitude for the wonderful employees, students, and families of Provo City School District.
Until then, have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.