MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete School District Board received a $10,000 check from Lacey Rosenlof, a parent in the district who raised funds recently to promote suicide prevention awareness.
Rosenlof lost her brother to suicide in August 2020, and her family wanted to do something to bring the community together and prevent future tragedies. The family planned a co-ed softball tournament last October and raised almost $14,000. They wanted to find a way to give back to the community.
She called the State of Utah HOPE director (HOPE is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention group), who suggested she contact the North Sanpete School District administrator, Nan Ault, to get her suggestions. Ault told Rosenlof that the district wanted to bring in a noted presenter, author and motivational speaker, Dr. Jodi Carrington, but couldn’t afford the $10,000 to do it.
It was a perfect fit. Carrington will come spend Aug. 11 with district staff and teachers and hold an evening community lecture for parents. Topics will include suicide prevention, resilience, and other mental health challenges youth face. Her presentations are directed to give parents and teachers strategies for helping students “reconnect” when they go through troubling times, such as trauma, bullying and violence, challenges too many students face in today’s schools.
Carrington wrote a book called “Teachers these Days.” In her book, she says, “Teachers show up in different forms and in many chapters of a child’s life. Teaching is literacy and numeracy but, most importantly, it’s showing up with your whole heart. It’s walking kids—and yourself—through the hardest conversations about trauma, loss, grief, racism, or violence. As we work to piece together our education system in the fallout from a global pandemic, the focus must be on the teachers. If the people in charge—those teachers—aren’t okay, the students don’t stand a chance.”
Following the presentation, four members of the North Sanpete Middle School HOPE squad and school counselor Kami Millett talked to the board about their experiences in the program.
Another presentation was made by Heidi Stringham, with Snow College, who explained Snow’s upgraded programs for Tech education to the board. Courses include certified nurse assistant (CNA), welding technology, automotive technology, composites, emergency medical tech (EMT), industrial mechanics and manufacturing, construction technology and management, diesel technology, CNC machinist, nail technician and cosmetology, with courses upcoming for HVAC, business administrative assistant, digital marketing, precision agriculture and medical assistant.
“The plan is to have high school students start some of these career pathways and gain education and experience in technical arts that may lead to either associate degrees, or immediate internships and well-paying jobs,” Stringham said.
Scholarships are available and tuition rates have been lowered. “These courses let students get to hands-on, industry-connected jobs, and some programs are as short at one semester. Also, students may start programs as high school students at $5 per credit hour.
Finally, Jeff Ericksen, principal of the North Sanpete Middle School, shared test results with the board that showed the school is above average compared to the state averages, in its RISE (readiness, improvement, success, empowerment) test results.
Proficiency of students rose from 2018-19 to 2020-21, 46 to 55 percent in science and 44 to 49 percent in English language. Math percentage stayed the same at 46 percent.
Comparing the middle school to state averages, it is higher by 10.8 percent in math, 7 percent higher in math, and 5.7 percent higher in English language.Parent raises $10K to bring in presenter