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Cottonwood Heights Journal

New Brighton assistant principal shares advice for a new year in a new building

Aug 09, 2021 11:03AM ● By Julie Slama

New Brighton High administrator Jodi Roberts, who recently worked at Draper Park Middle, loves to support students; she is seen here supporting a student at a Michael Jackson dance-off. (Photo courtesy of Jodi Roberts)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Incoming Brighton High Assistant Principal Jodi Roberts has some advice for the new school community.

“First of all, you have to come to the realization that it’s not going to be finished (when the school year starts),” she said. “You think it’s going to be finished, and it’s not. So, once you get over that, and I got over that in my first opening of a school, and you let that expectation go, then you can be excited. Even though Brighton has been around for a while, there will still be new things, new traditions—even simple things like, we’ve never exited this building for a fire drill so then you have to figure out how are we going to exit all these kids safely for a fire drill. You get to be part of a lot of new things that maybe you don’t even realize that you’re going to be a part of.”

Roberts has opened Rose Creek Elementary and Hayden Peak Elementary in Jordan School District as well as Draper Park Middle School in Draper, where she has been serving as its assistant principal.

“When I found that I was going to Brighton, I was really excited. I wanted to go to a high school and I’m excited about Brighton’s brand new building,” she said.

Roberts, who recently had her son graduate from Corner Canyon High, said being at Brighton will help replace the void in her life where she used to take him to events and support him.

“I love to watch people do things that they love so that’s why I’m excited to go to a high school,” she said realizing that she could continue supporting other high school students. “I don’t want to play football and I’m a little too old to learn to play soccer. I’m really excited to go watch the kids do the things that they are really passionate about. To me, it’s really fun.”

She also added some new hobbies: beekeeping, starting a book club and a Bunco group.

“I got panicked when my son was leaving,” she said about her new activities. “I guess I started everything that starts with a B—even Brighton.”

Roberts replaces Mark Mitchell, who assumes her position at Draper Park Middle.

Roberts and Mitchell are just two of several administrative appointments the Canyons Board of Education approved for the 2021-22 school year.

Other appointments include:

• Elenoa Pua, who has been a charter school principal, will be East Midvale Elementary’s assistant principal, replacing Danya Bodell.

• Michelle Shimmin becomes the administrator of Canyons Online.

• Michelle Snarr, who has been Edgemont Elementary principal, is now Willow Canyon Elementary principal, succeeding the retiring Marilyn Williams. 

• Elcena Saline, who has been Sandy Elementary assistant principal, replaces Snarr as principal at Edgemont. Anne Hansen now is Sandy Elementary’s assistant principal, taking Saline’s vacant position.

• Doug Hallenbeck is CTEC’s principal, after serving as its assistant principal. It relieves Janet Goble, CTEC’s director, of the dual role of principal and director.

• Margaret Swanicke, who has served as Sunrise Elementary’s principal, now is Midvalley Elementary’s principal, replacing Tamra Baker, who is appointed Bell View Elementary’s principal.

• Angela Wilkinson, who has been East Sandy Elementary’s principal, now is Sunrise’s principal. Bryan Rudes, who has been Midvale Middle’s assistant principal, assumes Wilkinson’s duties. Texas educator Divya Nagpal comes to Canyons District as Midvale Middle’s assistant principal to replace Rudes. 

 • Wendy Dau, who has been Jordan High’s principal, is the Federal and State Programs in the Equity, Inclusion and Student Services director. She replaced the retiring Karen Sterling. Corner Canyon High Assistant Principal Bruce Eschler succeeds Dau as Principal of Jordan High. Juab School District’s Ken Rowley will replace Eschler at Corner Canyon.

• Chanci Loran, who has been Bell View Elementary’s principal, will become an Equity, Inclusion, and Student Services administrator. She replaces Colleen Smith, who will become Copperview Elementary’s principal after Jeri Rigby retired. 

• Mary Simao, who has been a Jordan High intern administrator now takes on the role of assistant principal at Jordan High.

• Jared Tucker, who served in the district’s responsive services department, now is an Alta High assistant principal, succeeding Garry True, who has retired.

• Former Alta High Assistant Principal Kelcey Kemp now serves in that role at Jordan High, replacing the retiring Jana Crist. Union Middle Assistant Principal Shelly Karren is replacing Kemp at Alta. Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal Ashley McKinney is replacing Karren and Copperview’s Carolee Mackay now is the Midvale Elementary assistant principal.

• Hillcrest teacher specialist Ari Tavo now is the high school’s assistant principal.

• Karlie Aardema, who has worked in the instructional supports department, now is Indian Hills Middle’s assistant principal, replacing Halley Nelson. Nelson is Butler Middle’s assistant principal, replacing Sara Allen, who transferred to Ridgecrest Elementary as an assistant principal. 

• Genny Poll, of the responsive services department, now is Butler Middle’s assistant principal, replacing Dan Ashbridge, who is now Midvalley Elementary’s assistant principal.

•Kalisi Uluave, from the Salt Lake School District, now is an Alta High assistant principal, replacing Kelli Miller, who left the district. 

•Amanda Parker, from the Jordan School District, is Albion Middle School’s assistant principal, replacing Sandy LeCheminant who has become an achievement coach.