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May 16, 2015

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Your Gifts at Work - Elementary Visual Art (EVA)   

You've given an art education to 1500 elementary students this year

"My heart broke as I watched the new little boy in my son's class try to figure out what was going on. He spoke no English, and I could see he was on the verge of tears each day when I dropped my son off. At the end of his first week, I volunteered in the EVA art class. He was all smiles, happy as could be, able to navigate in a subject that transcends language!" - McPolin 1st grade parent.


EVA provides elementary visual art instructors at Parley's Park, McPolin, and Trailside Elementary Schools. (Note: Jeremy Ranch has its own parent-run art program.) With EVA, 1,500 students now have art lessons as part of their school curriculum. They explore the principles of art such as symbolism and collage, and learn about artists like Salvador Dali, Claude Monet and Leonardo da Vinci.


The idea first blossomed when parents, the Kimball Art Center, and PCEF became deeply motivated to create a school art program, as Elementary Art had been eliminated from the public education budget many years ago. EVA Art Specialists are entirely funded by PCEF, with curriculum provided by the KAC. With EVA, students enjoy professionally taught art classes within the school day. 


Art is a critical piece to developing the whole child. And, children are responding! A first grader at Trailside said this about art class "It's fun and makes me feel confident" while another student says the best part about art is that " art we never make mistakes." Special thanks to Zions Bank for providing funding support. 


Watch this short video featuring teachers and students talking about EVA. Thank you for your support!

It's Fun!  
It's Healthy! 
It's a Giant Community Party
that Raises Money for Our Schools!  
It's Running with Ed on May 16th!  

It's time to register your team for the relay race voted Park City's Favorite Fundraiser! All proceeds come back to your schools and fund School Grant programs. This year we funded over $200,000 in School Grants, which we can only do with YOUR participation! Teams of 5 - 10 people make it easy for anyone to do. Four of the legs are less than a 5K! Run with your kids!



It's a great deal with an amazing swag bag that includes a RWE shirt, parties at every exchange, and a Rockin' Finish Party with live music, food and beverage, kids activities, and sponsor giveaways. And, just by signing up, you can help your school win the $5,000, $3,000, or $2,000 Ragnar Grant!


Most of all, you won't want to miss the incredible camaraderie and celebration vibe that makes this one of Park City's must-do events. Go to to register by April 3rd. Check out our short video, too!


Thank you to the RWE Sponsors, who ensure all money raised goes back into our schools!     


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.

Teacher Spotlight - Debbie Kulig 

Debbie Kulig is McPolin's EVA Art Specialist.  EVA is a program funded by the Park City Education Foundation and is collaboration with the Kimball Art Center. 


Originally from Pennsylvania, Debbie started her career as a scientific researcher in Washington, DC.  But Debbie loved and had a passion for art so when she moved with her family over 20 years ago to California she decided to became a docent at the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento.  After becoming formally trained in Disciplined Based Art Education by The Getty Museum, she created and wrote a K-8 art curriculum for her children's school.  Soon after, Debbie began teaching art to children.  She has taught every age from PreK to 8th grade.  


Debbie moved to Park City 2.5 years ago when she and her husband decided to retire, and started as the EVA Art Specialist for McPolin this past August.  "Art and teaching are my passion," says Debbie. "The best part of my day is when the kids come up and say, "This is awesome!"  Just the other day, a little girl came up to me and said, "This is the best day that I have ever had."  When you can add joy to a kid's day - that is the best reward."


"I love McPolin.  I've taught in a lot of schools so I have a really good perspective to know that this is a nice school! The teachers are fabulous.  The kids are great.  I feel like I have tons of support, all the way up and down the line.  I also have my own art room!  And, it's packed to the gills with supplies." 


Debbie and her husband enjoy the four seasons of Park City, "California's two seasons of sun and rain are no fun! And, my newly married daughter lives in Salt Lake City, where she has taught 4th grade for 8 years. So, we are glad to be here!"


Teacher Spotlight - Bret Hughes  

Bret is a Music Teacher at PCHS, teaching percussion, assisting with Band and Marching Band, and somehow fitting in being a Technology Instructional Coach for the faculty as well. He earned his degree in Music Education at the University of Wyoming, and came straight to Park City.


"My mom was a teacher, but I hadn't given teaching a lot of thought. I was majoring in music, and I knew that with a Music Education degree I would have a better chance of getting a job. Chris (Taylor, PCHS Band Director) was helping the Wyoming band department my junior year, and convinced me to student teach for him at PCHS. I loved it and Chris told the administration we CANNOT lose this guy! I didn't interview anywhere else!


"The biggest difference teaching in Park City, compared to what I see when we compete, is there is a culture among the students to not settle for mediocrity. The kids want to be good, and aren't afraid to work hard to get success.


"My favorite part of my day is when the kids say thank you. They actually say thank you when they leave class! I certainly never did that. I never heard any kid do that before I came here. The coolest moment of my career so far was last year, when the Advanced Percussion Class took 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place at the most prestigious state competition. And then the Intermediate Percussion Class took 4th & 5th place! The best part was seeing the kids' reaction. They took it with humility and were grateful for the feedback."


When asked about what PCEF means to him, Bret replies, "PCEF has always been a great sounding board. We can ask them, is this worth our time pursuing; is there a way to do this? They are a great resource, not only financially, but in helping promote the growth of our program through social media, word of mouth, and their events. They help us problem solve, and think out of the box."


In his spare time, Bret spends time with his fiancée (EHMS English teacher Laura Morrow,) playing golf, playing in the Utah Wind Symphony, and doing sound and light production. He was awarded '50 band Directors Who Make A Difference' by School Band & Orchestra Magazine. Today he leaves with his Advanced Percussion Class for the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival, an audition only festival, and the authority when it comes to rigor and prestige in the music community.