Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Back row (left to right): Wynn Porter, Clint Spindler, Vanessa Fitzgibbon, Christy Opeta, Casey Kress, Dustin Nelson, Jared Small, Shane Heath. Front row (left to right): Lois Lovell, Gina Ruiz, Ronda Silva, Camille Hanson, Mark Thornton, Kenna Aagard. Missing: Aimee Perry, Erica Hatch, Thomas Trotter, Lidia Ordaz. (Courtesy of Tooele County School District)

August 21, 2018
School District announces new administrators for school year

As teachers and students returned to classrooms in the Tooele County School District today, the school district launched the new school year with a shift in 18 administrative positions.

TCSD hired five people from other school districts to fill administrative positions and shuffled 13 current employees to new jobs.

“Leadership matters,” said Scott Rogers, Tooele County School District superintendent. “The hallmark of a great school begins with great teachers supported by great leaders. Kids need both to grow and achieve. We are very strategic about moving people where they will succeed and we are thankful for all these wonderful educators who are part of our Tooele County School District family.”

The following information was provided by the school district:

New to Tooele County School District:

Vanessa Fitzgibbon – Dual Language Immersion Portuguese Director

Fitzgibbon, a native of São Paulo, Brazil, worked for the State Department in Washington, D.C. before coming to Tooele. She has actively supported and participated in the Utah Portuguese Dual Immersion program since its inception. Fitzgibbon has taught Portuguese in higher education for 25 years. She looks forward to getting to know parents and staff at the schools and district office.

Lois Lovell – Dual Language Immersion English Director

With 20 years in education, for the last five years Lovell was the Utah Dual Language Immersion program director and DLI English Director for the Canyons School District. Lovell will support the English partner teachers in TCSD’s dual immersion program. She is originally from Moroni, Utah.

“The people here are so kind and welcoming, and want to work hard to do what’s best for our students,” said Lovell. “I look forward to getting to know and working with the DLI English partner teachers here in Tooele County and building new relationships with my new colleagues.”

Aimee Perry – Curriculum Director

Perry, who grew up in Grantsville, comes to the Tooele County School District from the Davis County School District where she was the English language acquisition specialist.

“This is where I had the opportunity to complete my student teaching and first teaching assignment as a kindergarten teacher at Northlake Elementary,” Perry said. “It’s coming home for me both professionally and personally. I am excited for my own children to participate in the same activities and traditions that I did growing up.”

Mark Thornton – Assistant Principal Grantsville High School

Thornton comes to Grantsville from Copper Hills High School in Jordan School District where he taught both health and physical education. He has 11 years of teaching experience. 

He said he is excited to work with the staff and students at Grantsville High School.

Lidia Ordaz – Dual Language Immersion Spanish Coordinator

Ordaz worked most recently as the Utah Spanish Dual Language Immersion coordinator and DLI specialist in Ogden School District. She has been a Spanish DLI teacher and taught elementary school in Spain. 

“For me, being part of TCSD is an opportunity to share my skills and knowledge about the program, and to serve an area of Utah that it is rapidly growing and wants the best learning options for their community,” Ordaz said.

Former Tooele County School District employees in new positions: 

Casey Kress – Child Nutrition Director

Kress started in March 2008 as the Child Nutrition Director, formerly known as the food services director. He previously worked as a facilities manager and wellness coordinator for the Tooele County School District.

Wynn Porter – Assistant Director, Human Resources

Porter has worked for Tooele County School District for the past 31 years. He spent the last six years as the transportation director. He also taught at Harris Elementary, Rose Springs Elementary and was assistant principal at Willow Elementary.

“I look forward to learning my new position,” Porter said. “I’m excited to be able to take the knowledge I have from my previous work experiences to help assist new and veteran teachers with questions and licensure information.”

Clint Spindler – Tooele Education Foundation Director

Clint Spindler has worked for the Tooele County School District for three decades. His last administrative post was principal of Wendover High School. 

“I’m most excited about having the opportunity to continue the good work the Tooele Education Foundation does on behalf of students and staff in the district,” Spindler said. “I’m also looking forward to developing Ophir as a first-class outdoor education center and to expand resources that further the foundation’s mission.”

Kenna Aagard – Grantsville High School Principal

Aagard has worked for the Tooele County School District for the past 18 years. Most recently she served as assistant principal at Grantsville High School. Aagard has a passion for learning and education. She wants students to receive the best education, be prepared for college or trade school and become successful in life.

“I am excited for this opportunity to be the principal at Grantsville High School,” Aagard said. “We have amazing staff and students. I look forward to watching our students learn and excel in the classroom and have the opportunity to showcase their talents in a variety of extracurricular activities.”

Camille Hanson – Settlement Canyon Elementary School Principal

Camille Hanson has been in the education system for the past 27 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, reading specialist and instructional coach at Stansbury Park Elementary. Hanson said she loves students and the dedicated staff who help students learn and grow.

“Not only do I love kids and working with them and seeing them every day, I love being a lifelong learner,” Hanson said. “I strive to stay on top of what is most relevant and current to make sure students get the best education possible.”

Erica Hatch – Stansbury High School Assistant Principal

Hatch has been in the education system for nine years. For the past eight years she has been teaching English at Stansbury High School, including advanced placement and concurrent enrollment classes. She loved her teaching role but looks forward to this change.

“I am excited to work in a new capacity at the school,” Hatch said. “Building relationships with more students and teachers and being mentored by the awesome administrators I am lucky enough to learn from.”

Shane Heath – Grantsville High School Assistant Principal 

Heath was the Grantsville High School Athletic Director and part time assistant principal. He has been in the education system for 15 years. Heath said he is excited to continue to work with the students and staff at GHS.

“It is a great place to work,” Heath said. “The teachers and staff make it enjoyable to be here every day.”

Christy Opeta – Tooele Junior High School/Middle Canyon Elementary Administrative Intern

Opeta has been in education for 15 years. Opeta previously taught at Rose Springs Elementary School. She is excited to have the opportunity to intern as an administrator at Tooele Junior High and Middle Canyon Elementary.

“I love working for Tooele County School District,” Opeta said. “I love the small community feel, making connections, and getting to know so many people. I believe we have a great support system in our academic and social community. The relationships I’ve built with students, parents, and colleagues are irreplaceable. I’ve worked with some great people that truly care about our students.”

Gina Ruiz – The Early Learning Center Principal/Director

Ruiz has worked in the Tooele County School District for a total of 25 years. The last five years Ruiz has served as principal at Stansbury Park Elementary.  

“I am excited for this opportunity to be the new director of preschool programs because my passion has always been in early childhood education,” Ruiz said. “Nothing is more rewarding than knowing you played a crucial role in the early development of a child. Parents are often so thankful for what we, the teachers, do for children, but in reality we are the ones benefiting from teaching their children.”

Jared Small – Tooele High School Assistant Principal

Jared Small has spent 17 years in the education system and was Tooele County School District’s 2014 Administrator of the Year while serving as principal of Clarke N. Johnsen Jr. High. He has also worked at Grantsville High, Tooele High, and Tooele Junior High schools.

“This will be my second time working at Tooele High School so it’s like coming home,” Small said. “What makes me most excited is working with students and helping them be successful.”

Ronda Silva – Stansbury Park Elementary Principal

Silva just completed an internship as an administrator at Grantsville and Willow Elementary schools. She will now be the principal at Stansbury Park Elementary. Previously, Silva served as an instructional coach at Rose Springs Elementary for 11 years. Overall, she has worked in the education system for 27 years.

“I am excited to make a positive impact in the lives of students, parents and teachers. I love to see students growing, learning, and being successful,” Silva said. “I am originally from Tooele County and I am happy to have the opportunity to work with and give back to the community I grew up in.”

Thomas Trotter – Willow Elementary and Grantsville Elementary Administrative Intern

Trotter has been in the education system for seven years, six of which have been with the Tooele County School District. Last year he was an instructional coach at Rose Springs Elementary and before that he taught fourth grade at Middle Canyon Elementary.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the students, parents, and teachers of Grantsville Elementary and Willow Elementary,” Trotter said. “I hope to grow and mature as a school leader as I work with and learn from two excellent examples of what a principal should be.”

Dustin Nelson – Transportation Supervisor

Nelson has been with the Tooele County School District since 2007. He most recently was the head custodian at the Community Learning Center/Blue Peak High School.

“I am excited to bring new ideas to the transportation department while getting the chance to work with a variety of new people,” Nelson said. “Tooele County School District is a fantastic place to work and I am excited to continue my career with the greatest district in the state.”

 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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