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Benjamin Wood

Education reporter, Health, education, environment

801-257-8715, bwood@sltrib.com


  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |  Tribune file photo)   House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, believes Utah has a good record and system for disclosing conflicts of interest and supports the requirement that every member vote for every bill when they are present. Some states allow members to abstain when they have a conflict. State probe of University of Utah operations likely after Huntsman Cancer Institute upheaval
    State officials are likely to probe operations within University of Utah in the aftermath of the firing and reinstatement of Mary Beckerle as CEO at H...
    Updated Apr 26 2017 02:30 pm   |     |   Share

  • Lindon charter high school named Utah’s best by U.S. News and World Report
    The best high school in Utah is Karl G Maeser Preparatory Academy, a Lindon charter school, according to rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News and Wo...
    Updated Apr 25 2017 10:29 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   University of Utah President David Pershing speaks with the media following a board of trustees closed executive session meeting over the recent firing of Dr. Mary Beckerle, the CEO and director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. A decision on her possible reinstatement is expected later in the day on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. In major reversal, U. reinstates fired Huntsman Cancer Institute CEO
    Mary Beckerle was reinstated Tuesday to her position as director and CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, under a new chain of command that has her r...
    Updated Apr 26 2017 12:10 am   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  Tribune file photo)    Students attend an  at Layton High School on April 7, 2016 as part of Utah’s dual-language immersion program. A state audit released Monday says up to $1.3 million in federal fund may have been mismanaged by the program, due in part to slopping accounting and poor oversight. Audit dings Utah’s dual-immersion program for mismanagement of federal funds
    Between 2013 and 2017, the Utah Board of Education potentially mishandled more than $1 million in federal funding for the state’s Dual Language Immers...
    Updated Apr 24 2017 11:20 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo)   Students in a Spanish class at Jordan School District’s South Jordan Middle School in 2015.  Some of the district’s teachers are unhappy with elements of a new salary reform package. Teachers sign off on salary changes ahead of votes in Salt Lake County
    Teachers in Jordan School District will have a choice between old and new after the district’s school board votes on a major overhaul of its salary sy...
    Updated Apr 24 2017 11:22 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Sasi Arunachalam and fellow Huntsman Cancer Institute employees and University of Utah faculty members staged a sign-waving, honk-and-wave across the street from the University of Utah Hospital during the third day of protests over the firing of Huntsman Cancer Institute director and CEO Mary Beckerle. Huntsman calls for ‘inept’ U. administrators to be fired over cancer institute CEO’s termination
    The already-public spat between the Huntsman family and University of Utah administrators broadened Friday, with Jon Huntsman Sr. calling for the U.’s...
    Updated Apr 22 2017 09:53 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Karen Huntsman, left, joins Mary Beckerle, acclaimed researcher at Hunstman Cancer Institute after she was unexpectedly fired from her post as CEO and director of the Institute. In an email sent Monday afternoon, Vivian Lee, senior Vice President of Health Sciences at the University of Utah announced the departure with no reason given. Huntsman says University of Utah ‘power grab’ is behind firing of acclaimed researcher from cancer institute top post
    Top Utah cancer researcher Mary Beckerle said she was going about her Monday activities when she opened an afternoon email from University of Utah Pre...
    Updated Apr 21 2017 10:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • Josh Aune  |  Courtesy   Neighbors watch as a home owned by Draper’s American Preparatory Academy is demolished Friday morning to make way for an emergency access route to the construction site of a new charter high school. American Preparatory Academy demolishes nearby house to open emergency route through Draper neighborhood
    Work began Friday on a permanent driveway linking Draper’s American Preparatory Academy to a public road, advancing a long-held goal for the landlocke...
    Updated Apr 14 2017 10:52 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy of Josh Aune  Residents near American Property Academy in Draper believe the school erected a fence to obstruct the view of a banner promoting a website critical of the school’s new high school construction. American Preparatory Academy’s neighbors say the school erected a ‘spite fence’ to silence critics
    Good fences may make good neighbors, but a recently erected construction barrier at American Preparatory Academy is adding to simmering tensions betwe...
    Updated Apr 13 2017 10:34 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Boarded-up Granite High School in South Salt Lake, Monday, March 14, 2016. The mayor has vetoed the latest plan to tear down the buildings and redevelop the site. District approves $2.5 million demolition of Granite High School
    The century-old Granite High School campus in South Salt Lake is facing its final days after a $2.55 million demolition contract was approved by Grani...
    Updated Apr 12 2017 10:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   A new Lincoln Elementary School under construction is taking shape just to the east of theold school at 1090 S. Roberta St. in Salt Lake City Tuesday April 11. For the last seven years, taxpayers in Salt Lake City have been paying to support neighboring school districts in Salt Lake County as part of an equalization program. But with the program ending this year, Salt Lake City School District is looking at retaining those tax dollars for its own construction needs.   I Salt Lake City schools hope to retain $8M in property taxes after equalization ‘quirk’ ends
    Property owners throughout Salt Lake County will face tax adjustments this year after a 7-year-old school equalization law expires. In most cases, th...
    Updated Apr 12 2017 08:12 am   |     |   Share

  • |  Salt Lake Community College  Actress Diane Guerrero, known for her roles in Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, will give the keynote address at Salt Lake Community College’s commencement ceremony in May. ‘Orange Is the New Black’ actress to speak at SLCC commencement
    Actress Diane Guerrero, known for her roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin,” will give the keynote address at Salt Lake Community C...
    Updated Apr 07 2017 05:32 pm   |     |   Share

  • 30 students quarantined after charter school with high vaccination opt-out rate hit by whooping cough
    Spring break came early at Murray’s American International School of Utah, but the holiday will be full of sick days for several students and faculty ...
    Updated Apr 08 2017 09:10 am   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo)   Students in a Spanish class at Jordan School District’s South Jordan Middle School in 2015.  Some of the district’s teachers are unhappy with elements of a new salary reform package. Midcareer teachers feel overlooked in proposed Jordan School District salary plan
    Teachers in Jordan School District got their first look this week at a proposed overhaul of educator pay, and not everyone is pleased. The Jordan teac...
    Updated Apr 07 2017 08:51 am   |     |   Share

  • (Tribune file photo)   The Book of Mormon first edition, 1830, on display at the LDS Church History Library in 2014. LDS and non-LDS scientists are saying that the ’Universal Model’ explanation for Earth’s creation, put forward by Dean Sessions, are untested and wouldn’t pass peer review. BYU and UVU scientists question research offered at a conference on the Book of Mormon
    An upcoming conference on Book of Mormon research and other LDS-related topics is generating backlash from university scientists, most of whom are the...
    Updated Apr 10 2017 02:00 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   American Prepatory Academy in Draper received approval to resume construction of its new high school campus. Construction ban lifted for Draper charter school
    American Preparatory Academy in Draper was given the green light Tuesday to resume construction of its new high school campus. The Utah Board of Educ...
    Updated Apr 04 2017 09:56 pm   |     |   Share

  • Regents hike tuition at Utah’s colleges and universities
    Utah’s Board of Regents voted unanimously on Friday to raise tuition by an average of 3.4 percent. The change will cost college and university studen...
    Updated Apr 01 2017 08:15 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   American Prepatory Academy in Draper received approval to resume construction of its new high school campus. American Preparatory Academy halts Draper school construction hours after order to do so
    Draper • Construction continued Thursday on a new American Preparatory Academy high school, in likely violation of permits issued by the Utah Board of...
    Updated Apr 04 2017 08:46 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Gov. Gary Herbert signs a series of education bills passed by this year’s legislative session in front of students body officers at Oquirrh Hills Middle School in Riverton Wednesday March 29. Herbert completes 2017 bill signings during visit to Riverton middle school
    Riverton • Before adding his signature to the final bills of the 2017 legislative session Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert donned a pair of rainbow-c...
    Updated Apr 20 2017 07:48 pm   |     |   Share

  • College tuition proposed to go up by 3.4 percent across Utah
    Students at Utah’s public colleges and universities will likely pay an extra $80 to $290 in tuition next year. Agenda materials released Tuesday show...
    Updated Mar 28 2017 08:42 pm   |     |   Share

  • No vote on teacher salary boost, reform as Jordan School District continues negotiations
    A proposed overhaul of Jordan School District’s salary system wasn’t finished in time for Tuesday’s school board meeting. But school board and union r...
    Updated Apr 01 2017 10:30 pm   |     |   Share

  • Member of the state charter school board resigns abruptly over scheduling conflict, says not tied to lawsuit
    Rob Enger, a member of the state charter school board since 2012, resigned abruptly Thursday in an email to his board colleagues. Enger’s resignation...
    Updated Mar 28 2017 08:32 pm   |     |   Share

  • Benjamin Wood  |  Salt Lake Tribune Teresa Reese, of Sandy, and Mike Weist, of Herriman, hold a mock press conference as mayor and governor during a community disaster simulation in Herriman on Saturday, March 25. Disaster simulation offers residents a trial run at community chaos
    At 4:48 a.m. Saturday, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook Mountain Town, USA, damaging roads and homes, knocking out power and cell phone service, and c...
    Updated Mar 26 2017 12:00 pm   |     |   Share

  • New concerns surface as Vineyard charter school reports on probation status
    Representatives of Vineyard’s Franklin Discovery Academy drew additional scrutiny on Friday as they gave their first report since the school was place...
    Updated Mar 24 2017 09:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah Charter School Board votes to stay out of Draper property dispute
    Utah’s state Charter School Board won’t take part in an ongoing legal dispute between Draper’s American Preparatory Academy and a neighboring industri...
    Updated Mar 24 2017 09:45 pm   |     |   Share

  • Dispute over Utah charter school property forcing question of eminent domain authority
    A Utah charter school group is asking the state charter school board to settle a longstanding property dispute through eminent domain. The board is s...
    Updated Mar 23 2017 11:27 pm   |     |   Share

  • Jordan School District eyes $10 million boost to teacher pay
    Teachers in Jordan School District are about to see more green for their time at the blackboard. Representatives of the district’s school board and e...
    Updated Mar 23 2017 09:33 am   |     |   Share

  • Salt Lake City School District commits to protecting privacy of undocumented students
    Members of the Salt Lake City School District board took a stand against the harassment and deportation of undocumented students on Tuesday, voting un...
    Updated Mar 21 2017 09:32 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |   Tribune file photo)   Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed an executive order to more closely vet state rules and regulations with an eye to reducing burdens on businesses and residents. Gov. Herbert signs more education, public lands, election bills
    Gov. Gary Herbert announced Monday that he has signed another 80 bills passed by this year’s Legislature — including some on federal lands, education ...
    Updated Mar 21 2017 03:17 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Logan Hall, left, Salt Lake School Distirct Peer Assistance Review supervisor, meets with one of the program’s mentor teachers Pat Draper at Bachman Elementary in Salt Lake City.  The teacher mentoring program has boosted staff retention rates but recently lost its state funding. The district plans to continue the program internally.  Draper, a teacher with 40 years of experience mentors Daniel Mills as he teaches his fourth grade class. After funding cuts, SLC schools hope to keep teacher mentoring
    Backman Elementary teacher Daniel Mills doesn’t mince words about his lack of teaching experience, limited to a year as an assistant educator and two ...
    Updated Mar 20 2017 11:05 am   |     |   Share