New West Jordan principals excited for school year
Aug 21, 2018 03:15PM
● By Jana Klopsch
(Photo courtesy April Gaydosh)
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
Meet the new principals at West Jordan schools.
Abram Yospe, Principal at Columbia Elementary 3505 West 7800 South
Having taught at both Westland Elementary School and West Jordan Elementary School, Yospe said he is thrilled to be back in West Jordan.
“I have loved teaching students in West Jordan for 12 years, and I look forward to being able to help even more West Jordan students in my new role as a school leader,” he said.
Yospe is excited about meeting the students and getting to know the community. He plans to spread this enthusiasm and energy to students and faculty.
“I would like every student to boast about going to Columbia and every teacher to boast about teaching here,” said Yospe.
One focus for this school year will be building school spirit and pride. Yospe plans to celebrate with School Spirit Days, encouraging students to wear school colors.
Yospe feels his most important role as principal is to advocate for student learning.
“Every decision a principal makes should be in favor of what is best for student safety, growth and learning,” he said.
He expects students to come to school with a deep desire to learn and expects the West Jordan community to support them.
“I would love to see parents, grandparents and community members lining our halls, working with our kids on a regular basis,” said Yospe. “The more influence our students have from positive adult role models, the more likely they will be to succeed.”
Kathe Riding, Majestic Elementary 7430 South Redwood Road
Riding is excited to be the new principal at Majestic Elementary.
“Majestic is the best-kept secret in the district,” she said. She said the amazing teachers, office and support staff are dedicated to doing what is best for kids.
“I want each child to feel that he or she is valued and important,” she said. “I have always had one goal in my educational career and that is to help children learn and excel, so they can have choices in life, face challenges, embrace opportunities, and pursue their goals and interests.”
Riding is starting a few new traditions at Majestic to recognize students’ accomplishments, outstanding efforts, positive behavior, academic mastery, attendance, good choices and punctuality. Students who complete Honor Roll requirements and who demonstrate outstanding academic effort will be recognized during regular assemblies.
She expects students to be willing to learn and do their best. She asks parents to support and recognize their child's efforts in learning.
A Challenge Enrichment pull-out class will be provided for students who excel academically. Those who need extra support will receive support through individualized interventions based on student need.
“My focus is to help students make academic progress and create opportunities for them to learn social skills that will help them throughout their lives,” she said.
Riding will also be introducing PlayWorks at recess. The program engages students in learning games that are inclusive, teach conflict resolution and provide leadership opportunities.
“I enjoy the energy that comes from being around children and feel very fortunate to work with future leaders of America,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting you and working with you as we take your child on this all important educational journey. I feel a huge responsibility and obligation to ensure each child has every opportunity for success. I will strive to make sure your child feels special and enjoys learning.”
Bryan Veazie Copper Hills High School 5445 New Bingham Hwy
Veazie started his teaching career and later his administrative career at Copper Hills and now feels like he is coming home for his first position as principal, or as he calls it “lead learner.”
“I am so excited to be returning to the home of the mighty, mighty Grizzlies!” he said. “I feel as if this is where I belong.”
As principal, Veazie feels his role is to establish good relationships, create a culture of mutual kindness and to encourage teachers and students to do their best.
“I pursued administration because I wanted to expand my sphere of influence,” he said. “I wanted to have a strong impact and positive influence on more programs, more teachers, more coaches and most importantly, more students.”
Veazie values community support and wants people to know that he is passionate about education and working with youth. A focus for the year will be establishing a strong relationship of trust and cooperation with parents and teachers.
“I respect the role of the parents and appreciate their involvement in their children's education and their service to the school,” he said. “I appreciate the amazingly talented and truly invested faculty and staff.”
He is most excited to be an example to the students.
“I admire, respect and value the students of Copper Hills High School,” he said. “Through the halls of Copper Hills High School walk some of the greatest minds of our times, the future leaders of our communities and our nation. Our students are passionate about life and education and are fierce competitors and resilient individuals.”
He will challenge students to set high expectations for themselves, to hold themselves accountable for achieving greatness, to advocate for themselves, to become a part of something bigger than themselves, to give back, to embrace diversity, to learn from others and to value and respect all.
“I need our students to know that they are enough, that they matter, that they have everything they need to succeed within in them,” he said. “I need them to engage, to buy in and to take ownership of their path to happiness and success.”
Veazie believes students can be part of the solution to many problems by treating everyone, including themselves, with kindness, consideration and respect.
Shauna Worthington, Principal at Oquirrh Elementary 7165 South Paddington Road
Worthington believes a principal's most important role is doing all the behind-the-scenes work that supports students, teachers and families.
“We all want to see students make progress as they grow up, and this happens best with a coordinated effort from a strong team of adults,” she said.
She plans to use this year to get to know the school and community.
“I first want to learn about the traditions we already have in place, and then I want to see what I can do to help enhance the experience our students and their families have at our school,” she said.
By understanding the school’s culture and history, she said she can create a plan to “ensure that its future is bright and full of possibility.”
Worthington is no stranger to West Jordan—the first eight years of her career, she taught in West Jordan.
She is a positive person who cares for others and works hard.
“I genuinely want to help people learn to love learning,” she said. “I think this work is most exciting when you help someone find new ways to take actions that improve their lives and the lives of other people around them.”
She expects kindness and hard work from her students.
“More than anything, I want them to be happy,” she said. “I also want them to find success by challenging themselves and doing things that are hard for them. I want them to have confidence in who they are and reach out to others in kindness. I want them to have big dreams and work hard to learn how to make them happen.”
April Gaydosh, Principal at Westvale Elementary 2300 West Gardner Lane
Gaydosh chose a career in education because she loves kids.
“I want to be a mentor and support for our students at Westvale,” she said. “I love being in classrooms, and I am a very active principal.”
She is looking forward to developing new and creative connections with students, families and the community.
“Building community/school relationships is one of my goals for the year, so my plan is to implement some fun activities that bring everyone together through the school year,” said Gaydosh. This includes traditions that are already in place as well as new ones.
“I will work hard to continue the great work that Westvale teachers are doing, while always looking for ways to improve,” she said.
Gaydosh is beginning the school year with the theme #WEareWESTVALE.
“It emphasizes that it's the people that make Westvale great,” she said. “Good people are our most valuable resource. We have to bring our A-game every day, because our kids deserve it.”
She plans to build school and classroom communities so that everyone feels like they are a part of the Westvale team.
“My most important role as principal is student safety and well-being,” she said. She also believes being a good listener is an important skill for a principal.
“Sometimes people just want to be heard,” she said. “I definitely want to hear feedback as we continually improve practices.”
Gaydosh also has a communication plan that includes regular updates on Facebook (Westvale Elementary), twitter (@WestvaleWolves) and weekly newsletters via email.
Jim Birch, West Jordan High 8136 South 2700 West
Coming to West Jordan High as principal feels like coming home for Jim Birch. WJHS is where he started his teaching career 30 years ago and where he served as assistant principal for eight. In this time, he has grown to truly care about the students.
“Each child who walks through our doors is one of my kids,” he said. “I will treat them with love and respect. I want them to be successful and feel that they are welcome and safe.”
He encourages students to be involved in school activities and clubs and the honorable school traditions.
Birch looks forward to getting to know the community better, to “learn the flavor” of the community so he knows how to best meet their needs. He encourages them to be involved.
“The community should know that WJHS is an outstanding school, with an amazing staff,” he said. “Get involved and come see for yourself the great things we are doing.”
Other new principals in the area include:
Cynthia Vandermeiden, West Hills Middle 8270 Grizzly Way
Kim Searle, Sunset Ridge Middle 8292 South Skyline Arch Drive