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May 16, 2015

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Your Gifts at Work - PACE Update  

Doesn't every student deserve to reach their potential when it comes to learning?  Doesn't every student deserve to be challenged just a bit beyond their capabilities?


The new Program for Academic Challenge and Enrichment (PACE) Specialists are at work in each elementary school, helping to do just that! And while new programs always have growing pains, good things are happening. Here's a small sample of what happened in the month of January:

  • National Geographic Bee qualifier held at each elementary school (new activity for several schools)
  • Fridays: 2nd - 5th grade rotations devoted specifically to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based on Engineering is Elementary projects. For instance, 5th grade worked on MagLev vehicles, and 3rd grade is working on Simple Machines
  • Creativity/Whole Thinking lessons taught in Kindergarten  thru 2nd grade
  • Debate has begun for 5th grade students
  • Higher-level math programs such as M Cubed and Marcy Cook Math are being offered as enrichment opportunities for children who already know the concepts being taught in the classroom.

While this is just a small sample of what is happening in your school, it provides a snapshot of the PACE program. The PACE specialists are meeting weekly to exchange ideas and collaborate on solving challenges. Your PACE specialist will be happy to talk to you about what is going on in your school!

JRES: Paula Kruger

MEP: Kathleen Gibson

PPES: DeEtte Earl

TES: Marjean Johnston

PCCAPS Student Voices
Hear from students what PCCAPS,
a PCEF funded program, is to them.

The annual PCCAPS pre-registration parent info session is on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 6:30pm in the PCHS lecture hall.

Registration for RWE, the relay race voted Park City's Favorite Fundraiser, is now open!

Early-bird discounts thru 2/28

Teams of 5 - 10 people

4 legs are less than 3 miles each

Ragnar grants of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 to schools with highest participation

Go to to register today


All proceeds benefit PCEF and come back to our schools!


Teacher Spotlight - Tina Brunetti - McPolin 

In 4th grade, Tina Brunetti knew she wanted to be a teacher. But, she didn't start teaching until she was over 30. "I came from a very poor family, and there wasn't money for college. I got a job in high school that paid well, and stuck with that for a while. My father gave me some money to go to beauty school, and I enrolled in UNLV instead!"


"I've devoted most of my career to the underserved, because I know what those kids are going through. I majored in Elementary Education, and got a Masters in Special Education, because at that time, all the exciting ideas about differentiation and inclusive learning were coming from Special Ed."


After 17 years teaching all elementary grades and coaching teachers in the Las Vegas School District, Tina and her husband were ready for a change and moved to Park City. "I interviewed with Parley's Park and McPolin, and ended up teaching 2nd grade at McPolin for six years and taught 4th grade last year. This year, I moved to the Literacy Specialist position, and I hope to make a difference for the entire school."


"The difference working in a small district versus Las Vegas (the 5th biggest district in the nation) is night and day. One of my first days here, a parent walked in and offered to help. I froze! I didn't know what to do! Parents here value you. And the small size allows for close relationships with your colleagues. And, if I wanted to, I could make an appointment to see the Superintendent or a School Board member! That would never happen in a big district."


"It's amazing to me that innovative ideas actually get looked at and funded here. Having a resource like PCEF, a foundation that support teachers, is an unbelievable experience. The fact that a teacher can ask for money for an idea, and receive it, was unheard of to me until I came here."


When asked about the best part of her day, Tina says, "When, out of the blue, a child says, 'thank you for helping me.' They are so sincere! Or when they come back a few years, or even many years later, and tell me that I made a difference. It gives me the shivers! Being a teacher is more than a job - it's giving back to society."


Tina has numerous passions, some of which are sailing, scuba diving, skiing, writing, watching Downton Abby and spending time with her husband, Ron.


Summer Marshall - Ecker Hill 

Summer Marshall is the Technology Instructional Coach at Ecker Hill, and Jeremy Ranch, and taught 6th grade writing at Ecker for nine years before that. "I've known since I could talk that I wanted to be a teacher. I used to teach my stuffed animals! And, I've always been interested in technology in the classroom."


Summer graduated from Ft Lewis College in Durango. "My first teaching job was on the Navajo reservation, which I got thru my ESL Endorsement professor. It was a great learning experience. I had K - 4th grade in my classroom. I wrote a grant there that brought computers to the classroom. Here at Ecker, I was in one of the first classrooms to use the COWS (computers on wheels) and I got my Tech Endorsement the first year it was offered. When the Instructional Coach position opened up, I really wanted to try it.


"My job is to support teachers as they use education technology, trying to focus on education, not the device. I help them figure out the best way to use technology in the classroom, answer questions they have. And just like teaching kids, the best part of my day is when they have that 'aha' moment.


"For me, PCEF supports innovation, and dreams. I love working with adults, but I missed the kids. The GenYes class that PCEF funds is a student technology leadership class, and it's the only one of its kind in Utah. What's been wonderful for me to see, as a teacher, is that it's given a broad range of kids who might feel out of place a leadership role like no other in the school.


"The biggest difference working in this district, is that I'm not spending half my paycheck buying toothpaste and socks for my students! Kids have incredible opportunities here, like Dual Language or the Get Out and Play program. And, the collaboration with fellow teachers here is remarkable."


When Summer isn't busy with tech, she loves to camp, hike, and travel. Last summer she and her family took a six week road trip!

Leadership Park City, the Park City School District, and PCEF invite you to the 21st Community Leadership Lecture


Monday, March 16th, 7:00 PM  

in the Park City High School Lecture Hall

Admission is FREE


Leading with Heart and Soul - Dr. Paul Houston

Dr. Paul D. Houston has served as executive director of the American Association of School Administrators since 1994. He has established himself as one of the leading spokespersons for American education through his extensive speaking engagements, published articles, and his regular appearances on national radio and television.

Still need the perfect Valentine's date?  Your Valentine will LOVE going to the 11th annual Sweetheart Gala on February 13th.  It's an elegant evening of dinner and dancing to the big band music of the award-winning Varsity Jazz Ensemble.  There will also be silent auctions and an opportunity drawing.  Proceeds benefit the Park City bands.  To watch the video and purchase tickets, click on the video below: