North Sanpete School District honors ‘Teacher of the Year’

MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete School District has selected Cindy Johansen, an English and choir teacher for the past 25 years at the North Sanpete Middle School, as the district “Teacher of the Year.”

Johansen will move on to be considered for the Utah Teacher of the Year. She was chosen from a pool of eight outstanding teachers selected from each school in the district. The honored teachers were each selected by their own school. Here are the winners and the school they teach at:

Photo courtesy Nan Ault
The North Sanpete School District named their “Teacher of the Year” among eight outstanding candidates selected from each school in the district. The honorees are (from left to right): Nicole Atkinson, Fairview Elementary; Cindy Johansen, Teacher of the Year from North Sanpete Middle School; Jenna Larsen, Mt. Pleasant Elementary; April Anderson, Pleasant Creek; Diane Cheney, North Sanpete High School; Tim Syme, Moroni Elementary; Jessica Parkes, Fountain Green Elementary; and not pictured is Katherine Hansen, Spring City Elementary. 

North Sanpete Middle School and District Teacher of the Year

Cindy Johansen has been teaching at the middle school for 25 years. She teaches seventh grade English and choir. Her co-workers describe her as hard working, caring and fun, while still having high expectations for her students. She truly cares for each one of her students. She is currently working towards her Master degree while being employed fulltime.

“Miss J [as the students call her] is famous. All of her students love her,” said Principal Jeff Ericksen. “She has a knack to create a loving educational environment balanced with a toughness and high expectation to help students find their potential.”

Fairview Elementary

Nicole Atkinson has been teaching at Fairview Elementary for the past three years. She spent one year teaching fourth grade and the past two years has been spent in first grade.

“The minute Nicole’s students step into her classroom, they feel valued, cared about and confident,” said Principal Allynne Mower. “First graders take ownership of their learning and behavior in her classroom with consistent routines, high expectations, and lots of positive praise. She is a joy to have at school and we are lucky to have such an amazing educator.”

Mt. Pleasant Elementary

Jenna Larsen has been teaching at Mt Pleasant Elementary for four years and is teaching the fourth grade. She is a grade level team leader and a school leadership member.

“She has been an awesome staff who helps other teachers and staff with technology curriculum, and other issues,” said Principal Rena Orton. “She is always willing to help me with things I need help with. She is always working hard to meet the needs of her class as well as working as an online teacher for the district fourth grade this year. She is amazing and we love working with her.”

Pleasant Creek

April Anderson has been teaching Biology and Earth Systems for three years. She puts the spark in Pleasant Creek being the only female teacher.

“She always has a smile on her face and we couldn’t roll without her,” said school secretary Kathy Ericksen.

North Sanpete High School

Diane Cheney has been with the district for 27 years and at the high school for 16 years. She teaches Special Education at every grade level, and has come to be renowned at North Sanpete for her knowledge and proficiency in Math.

“Her big heart has made her a mom to not only her family, but all the students as well,” said Principal Christy Straatman.

Cami Hathaway, her long-time friend and colleague said this about Diane, “It is awe inspiring to take a moment and think about the number of lives Diane has made an impact on through her work here over the last couple of decades. She has dedicated so much time and effort and love to her students. I truly feel like I have had the opportunity to learn from one of the best. She’s taught me so much.”

Moroni Elementary

Tim Syme has taught for 16 years in the third and fourth grades; 14 of those years have been at Moroni Elementary. He has earned both an ESL and Math endorsement and he has completed the coursework for a Reading Level 1 endorsement. He is currently in the process of completing a Master’s degree.

“Mr. Syme is loved at Moroni Elementary and by the community and is well known for his teacher voice, love of Pepsi, and the annual breaking of the yardstick on a desk [for fun],” said Principal Stacey Peterson. “He is dedicated to students and their learning and also to helping his colleagues. Mr. Syme will be transferring to Mt. Pleasant Elementary at the end of this school year and he will be missed by the whole Moroni Community.”

Fountain Green Elementary

Jessica Parkes has been a teacher for five years and worked for two years at Fountain Green Elementary in the second grade.

“Jessica is a great team member to all the staff,” said Principal Robyn Cox. “She walked in and was an instant member of our family. She is kind, attentive, organized and easy to work with. We love her and hope nobody ever steals her from us.”

Spring City Elementary

Katherine Hansen has taught at Spring City for three years and teaches fifth and sixth grade Language Arts. She is a very dynamic person. She has a love for learning that is infectious in her classroom and has a creative flair that helps her present information in an understandable way. She takes initiative to learn and uses new strategies for her classroom.

“Katherine has volunteered her time to help students in after school activities, such as crochet and other crafts,” said school secretary Bobette Lindow. “Katherine is a great teacher and an awesome part of our staff.”