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West Jordan Journal

16 facts about 16-year-old Falcon Ridge Elementary School

May 06, 2024 11:38AM ● By Jet Burnham

A vibrant new mural is unveiled at Falcon Ridge Elementary School’s 16th birthday celebration. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

1. Falcon Ridge Elementary School opened July 27, 2008 with 735 students. At that time, the west side was exploding with growth. Enrollment this year hovers around 680.

2. The school community celebrated the school’s sweet 16th birthday with a party held April 4. Current and former students and staff mingled and a new mural, designed by BTS art specialist Jessica Brinton, was unveiled. The colorful mural, painted on the wall of the gymnasium/cafeteria, represents the school’s spirit of service, kindness and collaboration with its message “We rise by lifting others.”

3. The Falcon Ridge Elementary school motto “Together We Are More,” and the accompanying school song written by a student, haven’t changed in 16 years.

4. Four original staff members are still working at the school: former second grade teacher and current academic interventionist Kim Reynolds, front office secretary Jill Williams, and fifth grade teachers Shanda Sorensen and Carolyn Videtich. “The culture is amazing,” said Videtich, when asked why she’s stayed all these years.

5. Sorenson said one of the reasons she’s stayed is the great school leadership. “I've had amazing principals to work for that have really included everybody in a community,” she said. In the past 16 years, Falcon Ridge Elementary has had four principals: Karen Thomson, Paul Bergera, Michelle Peterson and Theresa Christensen. In her first year at Falcon Ridge, Christensen was chosen as Jordan District Elementary Principals Association’s 2021 Rookie Principal of the Year. 

6. Falcon Ridge Elementary has a 1:1 technology to student ratio and is a STEM-focused school. Students explore science, technology, engineering and math with hands-on activities led by a specialist in a weekly class rotation, and can continue the fun after school at STEM Club. Fifth-graders develop projects for the school’s annual STEM Fair.

7. Musical school traditions include the Crescendo Choir for students grades 2-6, an annual Christmas sing-a-long, and musical Veterans Day and Patriotic Programs.

8. Upper grade students show what they know at Monster Math competitions and the school Geography Bee.

9. Falcon Ridge is a Golden Gate Kids school. Character values are also taught with the Second Step Character Education program.

10. A variety of after-school clubs are offered each year. Previous years included ballroom dance and coding. This year’s club options are Chess Club and STEM Club.

11. A school-wide recycling program is operated by students who collect paper and cardboard from each classroom every two weeks.

12. Student leadership opportunities include serving on the Student Council and volunteering as a Peer Leader. Peer Leaders organize group games at recess. “The peer leaders try to involve everyone,” Sorenson said. “They motivate the kids to all get up and come play.”

13. Falcon Ridge students host a school podcast, JR Falcon Podcast, in which they discuss topics such as favorite movies and snacks. They interview fellow students and faculty members to introduce their listeners to new perspectives and get answers to their questions.

14. Fifth-graders participate in an annual 5K race as well as a winter service project.

15. A wellness room—with cozy bean bag chairs, mood lighting, books and games—provides a space for students to chill out and calm down. The school also has a full-time psychologist.

16. A group of parents petitioned the school board to build Falcon Ridge Elementary. “They tackled and found a solution for every issue the district presented,” Christensen said. “The community’s perseverance paid off and Falcon Ridge Elementary was built. It has been incredible to see the amazing amount of service and participation in the community. It was a hard-fought battle for the school and it has been a pride for the community ever since.” λ