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Benjamin Wood

Reporter, Health, education, environment

801-257-8715, bwood@sltrib.com


  • DATC graduates largest-ever class
    More than 400 students are expected to graduate from the Davis Applied Technology College on Thursday, the largest class in the school’s history. An a...
    Updated May 26 2016 09:34 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  AP file photo So far, challengers for Utah school board are outraising incumbents
    Newcomers vying for a seat on the Utah Board of Education are raising more campaign funds than their incumbent opponents, according to disclosure repo...
    Updated May 23 2016 12:14 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)    Andrea Hart, a 6th grade Humanities teacher at Ascent Academy in Farmington works with students during a recent art project. Analysis: Utah charter schools move millions of public dollars to the coffers of a few private companies
    Farmington • When 75 mph winds swept through northern Utah this month, Ascent Academy was left with broken windows, a damaged fence and no power. “We ...
    Updated May 21 2016 11:27 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  Tribune file photo)   Utah lawmakers convened on Capitol Hill Wednesday for interim meetings and a quick special session to restore vetoed education funding and consider an anti-national monument resolution. Utah lawmakers restore funding for education software and high school cooking program during special session
    Utah lawmakers hit a budgetary reset button on Wednesday, reversing a series of line-item vetoes and restoring $4.7 million in funding for online pres...
    Updated May 24 2016 08:08 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo)   Many Utah school districts are unfazed by new federal rules regarding bathroom accommodations for transgender students. Mount Jordan Middle School in Sandy has unisex-bathrooms located in every hallway. But Utah has joined a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration, saying the issue is one of federal overreach, not bathrooms. Many local schools are unfazed by Obama’s transgender bathroom order, though one Utah County board is threatening action
    Public school representatives along the Wasatch Front see little cause for concern after new nondiscrimination guidelines were released by the federal...
    Updated May 17 2016 07:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • New Utah history education standards will be released for public review
    After several months of delays, the Utah Board of Education voted Friday to release a proposed update to social studies and history education standard...
    Updated May 13 2016 08:30 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   James Madison Elementary School Principal Vincent Ardizzone eats corn on the cob during a school carnival Wednesday May 11, 2016. Honoring masters of reaching out beyond Utah classrooms
    It takes a village of educators — from volunteers to teachers to administrators — to raise a child through Utah’s school system. The 11 winners of the...
    Updated May 13 2016 11:11 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  Tribune file photo)   Gov. Gary Herbert delivers his re-election speech, backed by his family and wife Jeanette Herbert at the Utah Republican Convention, Saturday, April 23, 2016, at Salt Palace Convention Center. Utah guv tells education board ‘it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong’ — it’s time to move away from Common Core
    Utah’s Board of Education has agreed to end SAGE testing in high school and review its use of the Common Core State Standards — if lawmakers lend a ha...
    Updated May 19 2016 10:07 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Gov. Gary Herbert listens as House Speaker Greg Hughes speaks about SB296 at the Utah State Capitol in March. Gov. Herbert’s refusal to hold a special legislative session prompted a critical response from House Speaker Greg Hughes. Speaker Hughes scoffs at Utah guv’s suggestion that special session include SAGE test debate
    Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is hoping lawmakers will join him in ending SAGE testing for high school students, if not when they convene next week, then per...
    Updated May 19 2016 10:07 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   University of Utah graduates stand up and turn around in protest as Lynette Nielsen Gay receives an honorary degree from the during the annual Commencement at the Huntsman Center Thursday May 5, 2016. Graduating University of Utah protesters turn their backs on degree recipient
    Taylor Lay never thought she’d graduate from the University of Utah. Earning a degree is daunting, the Riverton native said, and the university’s Mil...
    Updated May 06 2016 08:09 am   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Four year old Joselinne Mendez works with her mother, Laura De La Cruz as they use the UPSTART computer software to do preschool at home, Thursday, April 21, 2016.  Lawmakers will meet next month in a special session to consider restoring funding for the UPSTART online preschool program. Educational software — and questions of bias, cost and efficacy — on Utah lawmakers’ minds
    Joselinne Mendez is refusing to do her schoolwork. Despite encouragement from her mother, Laura De La Cruz, who coos “Sí, puede” — “Yes, you can” — a...
    Updated May 05 2016 09:55 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |  Tribune file photo)   Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has come under fire from some for pitching a sort of speed-dating tactic with big donors, where he gives them face time to discuss their issues. Utah guv candidates Herbert and Johnson trade calls to end SAGE testing and Common Core
    On Wednesday afternoon, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson called for the end of SAGE testing in Utah schools. Not to be outdone, Gov...
    Updated May 21 2016 06:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • University of Utah honoree resigns from anti-LGBT organization amid public outcry
    Philanthropist Lynette Nielsen Gay will resign from the World Congress of Families amid backlash to her being selected to receive an honorary degree f...
    Updated May 03 2016 09:36 am   |     |   Share

  • Photography by Leah Hogsten Students and volunteers spruced up the landscaping, cleaned and improved playgrounds around Mountain View Elementary and Glendale Middle Schools April 30, 2016. Saturday, April 30, 2016, More than 7,000 Comcast employees, their families and community volunteers in Utah will assisted students and community members in need at 19 service projects at local schools, city parks, and The Road Home.  Utah Comcast employees join community volunteers for annual day of service
    For Sheryl Sweeten, a Comcast construction supervisor, the best day of working for the media company, “hands down,” is its annual Comcast Cares Day of...
    Updated Apr 30 2016 08:53 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy  |  Dixie State University  Artist renderings of a planned renovation to the Dixie State University stadium, which will be renamed Legend Solar Stadium after a $10 million donation. Dixie State University stadium changing name after $10 million gift
    This fall, the Dixie State University Trailblazers will follow Brooks the Bison onto the field of Legend Solar Stadium. In addition to a new mascot a...
    Updated Apr 29 2016 08:53 pm   |     |   Share

  • A screenshot from the video for ’Trash,’ the debut single from Tyler Glenn’s first solo effort. In solo release, Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn metaphorically and literally renounces LDS Church for LGBT teachings
    In March 2014, Tyler Glenn proclaimed on the pages of Rolling Stone that he was proud of his life as a gay man, his career as a musician and his Mormo...
    Updated May 16 2016 02:57 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Mayte Rodriquez smiles as Clay Newman reads here answer to a question as they attend Indgrid Campos’ AP Spanish class at Layton High School, in Layton, Utah Thursday, April 7, 2016. The first cohort of students who enrolled in Utah’s dual immersion programs are now reaching the age where they can take high school AP language courses for college credit. As Utah’s first dual-immersion students are prepping for college, so is their language program
    Layton • Layton High School sophomore Mikelle Argyle doesn’t consider herself fluent in Spanish, but she feels confident about taking the AP Spanish t...
    Updated Apr 30 2016 10:23 pm   |     |   Share

  • University of Utah removes references to anti-LGBT groups from bio of honorary degree recipient
    During commencement ceremonies next week, the University of Utah will award honorary degrees to four people: businessmen Kem Gardner and George Smith,...
    Updated Apr 28 2016 12:24 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Second graders at Wasatch Peak Academy in North Salt Lake play a clapping-attention excercise to help them listen and concentrate.   A new report by the Utah Foundation says that charter schools receive less funding than school district schools, but charter advantages make it difficult to determine if the funding is inequitable.   Report: Utah’s charter school kids get less funding than traditional students
    Utah spends $683 less per pupil every year educating charter school students than their traditional school district peers, according to a report relea...
    Updated Apr 27 2016 10:51 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy  |  Provo School District  Provo High BYU purchases Provo High School property for $25M
    Brigham Young University will expand its footprint by 25 acres after purchasing the property currently occupied by Provo High School. Provo School Dis...
    Updated Apr 26 2016 08:52 pm   |     |   Share

  • SLC school board chooses Arizona educator as new district superintendent
    Alexa Cunningham will claim the top job in Salt Lake City School District this July after a unanimous vote by the district’s school board Monday night...
    Updated Apr 25 2016 10:09 pm   |     |   Share

  • UEA elects Park City educator as next union president
    Utah’s largest teachers union has chosen its next leader. Heidi Matthews, a media specialist in the Park City School District and a 28-year educator,...
    Updated Apr 25 2016 08:00 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Paiute Tribal members, Circleville residents, Utah Division of State History, and LDS Church History representatives gather at the town park Friday April 22 for a dedication ceremony for a new memorial recognizing the men, women and children of the Koosharem Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe killed during the Circleville Massacre in late April 1866.  ‘Forgotten’ massacre of Utah Paiute group recalled with new monument
    In late April 1866, Mormon settlers in Circleville arrested and disarmed a band of Paiute Indians. After shooting captives who had attempted to escape...
    Updated Apr 22 2016 10:29 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah family weighing lawsuit after diabetic woman with Down syndrome expelled from educational program
    The family of a woman with Down syndrome is pushing back after she was expelled from an educational program for adults with disabilities. For the pas...
    Updated Apr 22 2016 11:11 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   BYU students walk into the Marriott Center before the Commencement Services Thursday April 21, 2016. BYU grads encouraged to keep an ‘eternal perspective’ and avoid exes, pornography
    Provo • Bountiful native Benjamin Merrill said Thursday that it felt like both forever and no time at all since his first day of classes at Brigham Yo...
    Updated Apr 21 2016 11:06 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy  |  Noel St. John  Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has reached an agreement with legislators that will undo his vetoes cutting funds for some programs without a veto-override session. Herbert sidesteps veto override, agrees to special session to restore Utah school funding
    Utah’s lawmakers will vote next month on whether to restore roughly $4.7 million in education funding that was cut through line-item vetoes by Gov. Ga...
    Updated Apr 18 2016 06:51 pm   |     |   Share

  • Vote to change name of Utah education office postponed after point, cost questioned
    What’s in a name? A lot, or a little, according to a debate at Friday’s state school board meeting. Board members considered and ultimately postponed...
    Updated Apr 16 2016 07:09 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Maria Olsen and Josh Graham, attended West Ridge Academy, a youth residential treatment center based in West Jordan. Friday, February 12, 2016. Sparring continues over Utah charter school linked to treatment center for troubled youths
    A new charter school linked to a residential treatment center for troubled youths generated more debate between Utah’s top school boards on Friday. Du...
    Updated Apr 15 2016 09:35 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah school board to consider new social studies standards this week
    A proposed update to how history and social studies are taught in Utah will get its first hearing by the state school board this week. The board’s Sta...
    Updated May 13 2016 03:23 pm   |     |   Share

  • Candidates for Salt Lake City district superintendent to meet with the public next week
    Three finalists for the top job in the Salt Lake City School District will make their final pitches to the school board next week. The superintendent...
    Updated Apr 13 2016 08:24 pm   |     |   Share