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Utah educators win inaugural Sorenson Legacy Awards for arts education
Education » Nineteen educators, administrators and volunteers were chosen based on their work providing arts education in Utah public schools.


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Gold helps students write and record engaging school announcements and serves as master puppeteer in a Literacy Night show. She is central to school carnivals, an annual musical, Peace Builder activities and an after-school story telling club. She conducts the annual Storytelling Festival, which helps students gain confidence in their public speaking and presentation skills.

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Duchesne County School District

Michele Catten, arts volunteer

Catten expanded a volunteer effort in her child’s class into an arts curriculum for 40 classrooms in the Duchesne County School District. She created a volunteer team of mothers to help teach art in East Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School. To guide volunteers and teachers, she has written dozens of lesson plans that integrate art with academic objectives in the Utah Core Standards for math, science, social studies and reading.

Christine Dye, visual arts instruction, Roosevelt Jr. High School

When a tsunami hit Japan in 2011, Dye saw an opportunity to help her students learn about a different culture and experience the value of giving. Her class began folding cranes, each drawing a $1 donation from the community and a piece of clothing from Osh Kosh BGosh. The project spread to the whole school and more than 2,500 cranes were folded. Proceeds were sent to Kitakami Middle School, attended by many students who were orphaned during the tsunami.

Granite School District


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Cindy McCandless, elementary arts integration, Morningside Elementary

McCandless integrates arts into her teaching in a variety of ways: she leads daily yoga exercises, uses dance in connection with her curriculum and has students demonstrate their learning through art. She culminates each year with an opera performance by her first-graders, who select the topic and write the music and lyrics.

Jana Shumway, dance instruction, William Penn Elementary

Shumway reinforces curriculum through dance, encouraging reluctant students and providing a safe haven for learning through movement.

Paul Watson, music instruction, Wasatch Jr. High

Watson creates an atmosphere where students want to learn. He tells great stories, he is motivational, and he creates curriculum that inspires students.

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