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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Students to see new administrative faces as they return to school this fall

Aug 02, 2022 10:08AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

When students return to Union Middle School, they will see longtime Hillcrest High assistant principal Brenda McCann as their new principal.

Union’s Kelly Tauteoli, who has been the middle school principal since 2015, will work as a human resources administrator in Canyons School District.

“I'm recruiting the teachers for the secondary schools, so it has a step away from kids in that way, but I will have a big impact on kids in that I’m recruiting and hiring the best teachers,” she said a couple weeks after she packed her belongings where she was principal of the school that serves 850 students. “It's bittersweet. It really is. I’ve poured my heart and soul into a place that I care so much about and care about the outcomes for the kids and for the people that work there. The students keep me laughing all the time. Middle school students are hilarious, and tender and sweet—and I know that's not what people usually say about middle school kids, but they really are. I love the people I worked with and that's one of the hardest things, is to leave that amazing team at Union, the people that I love and respect so much.”


During her tenure, Tauteoli helped to build a caring community.


“It is just such a solid, wonderful supportive community. One thing I love about Union is, I love the diversity and how the community and the staff just wrap their arms around kids and support them. Just so many times, parents have come forward and said, ‘How can I help, what can I do, can I gather school supplies, can I pay for somebody else's yearbook?’ The staff just goes absolutely above and beyond for the kids at Union. Students are really getting a very caring community and support in every way at Union,” she said. “I hope that's a legacy that I've left and I know it will continue because the people that I worked with care about that too.”

Tauteoli also has ensured there are academic as well as social-emotional supports in place for students.

“We’ve really strengthened our academic supports and our students have done remarkably better on the state tests at the end of the year,” she said. “We’ve also worked heavily on mental health for students. The kind of pressures they face and the increase in anxiety, we’ve ramped up adding more check-ins with kids, creating a plan where we talk and share concerns, teaching life and social skills, adding staff to help. In general, in schools, we’re seeing more mental health issues, more anxiety, more depression, more social isolation, with kids, and you just never can have enough support in that area. They just think they need it. They need a lot.”

Part of Tauteoli’s time also has been meeting regularly with a construction team on the re-build of Union Middle, a position that now has shifted to Union alumna and now principal Brenda McCann, who helped with the construction process at nearby Hillcrest High.

“I had so much fun helping in the design process for Union; it was a fun thing for me to be able to be part of and they're doing a great job. I think Brenda has good experience on how to make a transition into a new building, so she'll do a great job when that happens at the end of the school year,” she said.

The new Union is set to open fall 2023.

Hillcrest High also has changes with two other administrators as longtime assistant principal Jan Hansen retired and assistant principal Quinn Linde moved to Murray High School as principal.

Linde previously had taught biology and been an assistant principal at Corner Canyon before serving at Hillcrest the past three years.

“I think from teaching, coaching and being an administrator at schools, I’ve learned that relationships are really at the heart of everything I’ve tried to do,” he said. “Seeing the potential in every student and helping them to reach their goals and potential has been something I’ve kind of prided myself on and it is what motivates me. I’m going to miss the staff, admin team and the student at Hillcrest and all the programs I was having the opportunity to build there. They’re just great kids and such a good community at Hillcrest.”

Jordan High assistant principal Dina Kohler; Katie Campbell, a Canyons School District multi-tiered student support specialist; and Andrew Yawn, a behavior specialist are joining the Hillcrest High administrative team.

Jordan High Athletic Director Jason Long will step in the shoes of Kohler for the Beetdiggers.

At Mt. Jordan, Brighton Assistant Principal Ryan Durant will serve as principal as Matt Watts will become a Canyons special education department administrator. Linda Hall, a special education specialist, also will become a special education administrator as current administrator Nate Edvalson will become the department’s director.

Current Special Education Department Administrator Tifny Iacona will become Glacier Hills assistant principal.

Jordan High Assistant Principal Mary Simao will become an assistant principal at Brighton and Corner Canyon Assistant Principal Sara Little will move to Jordan High to take Simao’s position. Corner Canyon counselor Misty Jolley will take Little’s current position.

Brighton High Assistant Principal Marielle Rawle will transfer to Corner Canyon High. She will replace Christian Cowart who, in turn, will transfer to Brighton.

Draper Park Middle Assistant Principal Randall Seltz will transfer to Mount Jordan Middle as an assistant principal. He replaces Sierra Segura who, in turn, will transfer to Draper Park.

Granite Elementary Principal Ronnie Mulqueen will serve as Draper Elementary principal, replacing Christy Waddell who is retiring. Bell View Principal Tamra Baker also is retiring. Edgemont Principal Elcena Saline will replace Mulqueen at Granite.

Instructional Coach Aimee Wagner will become Copperview Elementary assistant principal. She will replace Cassie Kapes, who is relocating to another state.