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Union Middle’s Mary Anderson named Utah middle school principal of the year
School recognition » She says the honor belongs to her entire faculty for bringing up reading skills.

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"Basically it’s just staying on top of them, and we’re seeing success," Anderson said. "We have an average of at least a 1-point GPA increase."

Principal Paula Logan of Midvale Middle School said Anderson devotes a lot of time and effort to help not just students but colleagues as well.

At a glance

Mary Anderson

Selected by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals as 2013 middle-school principal of the year.

Graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree and Brigham Young University with a master’s.

Began teaching at Alta High School, where she coached gymnastics and taught math, in 1978.

Assistant principal at Hillcrest High School and Riverton High School.

Became Union Middle School principal in 2005.

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"Mary has earned the respect and trust in others, and she’s always wanting to help," Logan said. "We have eight middle schools in the district, and she’s seen as a principal leader."

Tamra Baker, Canyons District school performance director, has known Anderson for 10 years.

"Mary is that unusual blend of someone who is super organized … but has a human touch and a great sense of humor," Baker said. "You just enjoy being around her."

Baker said Anderson’s work is especially notable because Union Middle School has a lot of students who come from disadvantaged or challenging backgrounds.

"Mary has a clear vision," Baker said. "She’s done an amazing job building interventions for struggling students."

In the fall, Anderson will attend a workshop in Washington, D.C., and compete for national middle-school principal of the year, sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, but she’s not thinking about that.

"My thoughts are really not there," Anderson said. "My thoughts are just plucking along with my school, my kids and my teachers."

The true celebration, she said, is not her receiving an award.

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"Every year we get more and more kids reading at grade level, and that’s a huge celebration" Anderson said. "Let’s just keep doing what we’re doing."


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