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Every student is capable of great things. As educators, we’ve seen students across all walks of life tackle all sorts of challenges, academic or otherwise. We’ve seen some students face academic disappointment, find grit, and achieve; we’ve also seen some students achieve their dreams from the get-go. Regardless of their expectations—and sometimes despite them—we know every student can do great things.

We want to celebrate students across the district. We contacted a few teachers for recommendations on students who achieve in any way, shape, or form. 

Kaitlyn caught the Communications Department’s eye after becoming one of the winners of the statewide “Because of an Educator” Video Essay Competition hosted by the Utah PTA. The Utah PTA invited Utah public school students to submit 90-second videos showcasing educators who significantly impacted their lives. Kaitlyn Hutchings, a student at Timpview High School, won one of the awards for nominating her track and field coach, Jaimie Ribera, highlighting Ribera’s influence on students’ lives. 

It’s a video made with heart, demonstrating just who Kaitlyn is: a creator, an athlete, and, above all, a thoughtful, unselfish person.

“Kaitlyn is a hard-working, dedicated student,” said Cinda Morgan, Timpview’s Scholarship and SEOP Facilitator. Cinda was the one who suggested she apply to the Utah PTA contest. “When I suggest students apply for a scholarship, she will do it… She is also a good friend to other students and is respected among her peers. It has been a privilege to work with Kaitlyn.”

A California native from El Dorado County, Kaitlyn jumped to Utah at the start of high school, unsure what might happen regarding sports and academics. She didn’t need to worry; nowadays, Kaitlyn’s a track and field sprinter with concurrent enrollment and AP credit under her belt.  

But it didn’t come easy—she’s worked hard and faced challenges. During her junior year, Kaitlyn encountered a low period in high school; challenging college classwork impacted Kaitlyn’s track performance, self-confidence, and mood. With the help of track coach Jaimie Ribera, however, she was able to bounce back.

Since then, Kaitlyn’s taken on several challenging courses, each delivering a unique reward for accomplishment. Kaitlyn says she’s learned a lot about handling her time; she can more efficiently chunk out difficult projects into manageable, bite-sized tasks. Yet despite her many achievements, Katilyn attributes much of her success to mentors, teachers, and coaches.

“I learned that I can do more than I thought I could. You just have to find the right people to teach you– to help you see your potential and who you can become. Jaimie, for example, has helped broaden my view and see that I am capable of doing so much more. Whether in track or academics, she’s helped me build confidence.”

There’s an unadorned selflessness in her words; she turned over any compliment we gave to others. Even when reviewing our first Utah PTA article, Kaitlyn expressed gratitude for the work, making a poignant comment:

“Recognizing the mentors, teachers, and people who change us for the better is important. More often than not, they go unnoticed, and their impact is taken for granted.”

Underneath it all is a student with a mindset for lifelong learning. Kaitlyn wants to learn and knows how to reach out to resources, mentors, and peers to better herself. She deserves the highest praise, and we’re so grateful for students like Kaitlyn who brighten our district.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei