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The Utah PTA’s “Because of an Educator” Video Essay Competition called on all Utah public school students from grades K-12 to share stories of the educators who transformed their lives. Each video is a condensed, 90-second entry (or less) featuring only the student and their story. Entries poured in across the state– and of the many videos, Timpview High School student Kaitlyn Hutchings came out as one of the winners, nominating Timpview Track and Field coach, Jaimie Ribera.

It’s a testament to both the quality of our students and the value of our educators and staff.

Kaitlyn is a reader, a writer, an occasional artist, an athlete, and, above all, a considerate and kind human being. She heard about the competition from Timpview High School’s Scholarship and SEOP Facilitator, Cinda Morgan. Morgan has helped countless students find and earn scholarships over the years, and you can add Kaitlyn to the list. 

Kaitlyn jumped at the chance to spotlight her coach. Kaitlyn says that Ribera is a coach who makes space for her. She makes the school feel like home. To quote:

“Even though she coaches the distance team and I do sprints, Jaimie has taken me under her wing. She’s basically my mom away from home, always checking in on me physically and emotionally.”  

Kaitlyn’s video reveals that Ribera started supporting her during a low period in her high school life; challenging college classwork started affecting not only Kaitlyn’s track performance but her self-confidence and mood. And Ribera noticed.

“One practice she came over to me, sat me down, and said, ‘Tell me about your classes. Let me see what you’re seeing and feel what you’re feeling so I can best help you.'”

From that point on, Ribera was there to support Kaitlyn. Whether it was finding teammates or track alumni to help tutor, to routine check-ins on tests, grades, and more, Ribera helped Kaitlyn perform to the best of her abilities on the track and in the classroom, unfettered by the old stressors. Ribera’s support was the boost Kaitlyn needed to come out on top of her school challenges. And, just as important, Ribera instilled a desire in Kaitlyn to care for others, too. A good turn for a good turn. To quote Kaitlyn:

“I hope one day I can do the same for another person who is in the same boat I was.”

We’re so grateful for the staff in our schools, like Jaimie Ribera. It’s impossible to measure the effect they have on the lives of our students. It’s nice we have videos like Kaitlyn’s to remind us.

Thank you and congratulations, Kaitlyn, for a beautiful video.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei