Welcome New Teachers
Welcome New Teachers!
American Heritage School 2012-2013
We are excited to announce new American Heritage School teachers for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.
Lilly Taylor, 3rd Grade Core. Lilly Taylor has devoted her life to children. She has over thirty years’ experience teaching in grades 1-4, and has recently been serving as a Clinical Faculty Associate (a teacher of teachers) for a partnership between BYU and the Alpine School District. Lilly and her five sisters were raised on a sheep ranch in Emery County, Utah. This is where her love of country, nature and animals began. Following high school graduation, she worked summers at Dugway Proving Ground, and in Bethel, Alaska to supplement an academic scholarship. She holds an Associates of Arts Degree from Dixie College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University, a Master’s Degree in diverse learning from University of Phoenix, and is currently certified in grades 1 through 8. She has been the recipient of the district Teacher of the Year, and Teacher of Excellence awards. As rewarding as those opportunities have been, her favorite time has been nurturing, teaching and learning from children. At BYU, beginning her classes with a hymn, prayer and spiritual thought, Mrs. Taylor fell in love with the opportunities she had to testify, daily, of the love of God for his children. Upon completing her assignment at BYU, Mrs. Taylor wanted to continue teaching in a way that would positively impact children not only academically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. American Heritage was a perfect fit. Mrs. Taylor and her husband, John, have raised 11 children and are welcoming their 16th grandchild this fall. They reside in Alpine, Utah. Three of their children have or are serving in the armed forces. Welcome, Mrs. Taylor!
Julie Arnold, 4th Grade Core. Julie Arnold was raised in Utah on a cattle ranch where she learned the meaning and love of hard work. After teaching upper elementary school for six years at American Heritage, she departed in 2010 for Central America where she and her husband served as Perpetual Education Missionaries. Two of Mrs. Arnold’s most cherished missionary assignments were teaching music to primary children, and teaching Book of Mormon Institute classes to students at San Carlos University in Guatemala City. While at AHS, Mrs. Arnold taught third and fifth grades, and she is very excited to be teaching 4th grade now, and particularly Utah History. Utah and American History has been Mrs. Arnold’s passion since she was very young. Mrs. Arnold served with her daughters as docents at This Is The Place State Park in the pioneer village where they shared pioneer demonstrations such as spinning and weaving while they told the Mormon Pioneer story. Mrs. Arnold had a unique and extraordinary experience when she and family members pulled a handcart from Winter Quarters to Salt Lake on the 1997 Sesquicentennial Mormon Wagon Train. Spending time with her five children and eight grandchildren is her favorite hobby. Mrs. Arnold loves teaching children, and is deeply grateful for the opportunity to be teaching again at American Heritage School, where she can share her testimony of the Savior and her love of His Gospel. Welcome, Mrs. Arnold!
Katelyn Smith, 5th Grade Core. Katelyn Smith was born and raised in Salem, Oregon in a large family. She has always had a passion for children, teaching, learning, American History, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mrs. Smith graduated from BYU summa cum laude with a degree in Elementary Education after completing a full-time mission in Sendai, Japan. She has experience teaching in two elementary schools (sixth and third grades) in connection with her program rotations at BYU, as well as teaching Japanese at the Missionary Training Center, and she comes with truly extraordinary recommendations from co-teachers, professors, and program directors. Mrs. Smith was chosen by the BYU McKay School of Education to serve as the commencement speaker at their graduation services this past year. Though she had offers to teach at other excellent schools, Mrs. Smith indicated in her application that she felt “immediately drawn to American Heritage” because in the course of her teaching rotations, she felt the urgency of incorporating the Gospel into her teaching – and knew that it was the one thing the students needed most. Mrs. Smith and her husband, Kyle, reside in Provo where Kyle is studying Civil Engineering at BYU. She loves to read, travel, sing, and cook. Welcome, Mrs. Smith!
Brigham Dye, 10th Grade Core. Brigham Dye is passionate about literature, history, mentoring, the Restored Gospel, and youth. Prior to joining American Heritage School, Mr. Dye taught History and English at Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy, where he served as Socratic Department Chair, Student Council Advisor, and Accreditation Steering Committee Member. Mr. Dye earned a master’s degree from BYU in instructional psychology and technology. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities with an emphasis in philosophy. Mr. Dye has published articles on topics related to technology in teacher training, museum education, and undergraduate mentoring. Mr. Dye served a mission in Colombia, and then married his sweetheart Kadee in the Provo Temple. When not teaching, he can be found playing with his three young children, camping with his Boy Scouts, tinkering in his garden, and running with his wife. His interests include nature writing, world religions, art history, photography, and foreign film. Mr. Dye is honored for the opportunity to work with students at American Heritage where he can tune hearts and hone minds for service to their families and communities. Welcome, Mr. Dye!
Ann Meeks, 11th Grade Core. Mrs. Meeks has been a teacher for over 20 years, most recently at Meridian (Orem), where she was the English Department Chair, taught 10th/11th Honors American Literature and Composition, and also served as the College Preparation guidance counselor and Standardized Test Preparation instructor. She has been attracted to American Heritage since she first attended American Heritage School’s Foundations Training in 2002, and more recently as she worked with AHS students in ACT prep courses, which she was invited to teach at AHS this past year. “As I stepped through the doors each month, I was continually amazed at the spirit I felt in the school,” she wrote. Prior to Meridian, Mrs. Meeks was a an ACT instructor for three charter schools, and conducted a private ACT Test Preparation service, which was used extensively by American Heritage School. Mrs. Meeks was the co-founder of Legacy Leadership Academy, a private liberal arts high school, and developed and taught literature and writing courses there. Prior to that, she taught at Bingham High School and Logan High School, where she was the College Preparation English 12 instructor, as well as the English 11 instructor (areas of emphasis included British Literature, American Literature, research, and composition). While at Bingham High School, Mrs. Meeks also taught journalism and produced with the students an award winning school newspaper. Mrs. Meeks obtained a BS in English Secondary Education with a minor in Journalism from Utah State University, and a Master of Science in Education from George Wythe University. She has a Level 1 Professional Educator’s License from the State of Utah with endorsements in English and Journalism. Mrs. Meeks and her husband, Jesse, are the parents of four wonderful teenagers. Both Mr. and Mrs. Meeks are high school teachers (Mr. Meeks is a science teacher). Mrs. Meeks is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, has been a leader for Boy Scouts of America for 10 years, and a 4-H volunteer leader for 10 years. She is very excited for the opportunity to work full time at American Heritage, and especially to work at a place where she can fulfill her two greatest passions in life: “the gospel and education.” Welcome, Mrs. Meeks!
Claira Wilson, Physics and AP Physics. Claira Wilson graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Physics Teaching and a minor in Mathematics. Mrs. Wilson fell in love with teaching while working as an undergraduate teacher’s assistant at BYU, fulfilling roles as a lab instructor, tutor, and grader. Mrs. Wilson is passionate about physics and math, and especially about teaching these subjects. Different from most physicists and mathematicians, Mrs. Wilson was one of a select few physics students at BYU to complete a specialized program focused on the skills and practices of teaching Physics and Math. Mrs. Wilson taught physics at Mountain View High School in Orem as part of her BYU program rotations. While at Mountain View, she was asked to teach independently of a mentor instructor, and carried a teaching load of three separate physics classes and physics levels, which she taught independently. Mrs. Wilson could have chosen to teach at any number of high schools, and has chosen to teach at American Heritage, where she is excited to have the blessings of incorporating the Spirit into her teaching. Mrs. Wilson comes from a family that understands education (her mother is also a teacher). While at BYU, she met and married Steven Wilson, a student finishing his Master of Accountancy. Welcome, Mrs. Wilson!
Gail Long, Middle and High School Math. Mrs. Long has an innate love for learning and teaching. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, with a minor in education, from the University of South Florida. She received her master’s degree, graduating with honors, from Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has significant classroom experience at the junior high, high school, and college levels, including with the Saxon Math curriculum. Mrs. Long has recently been serving as a math instructor for the AHS Home and Distance Education program. One of her greatest strengths is connecting with her students in the classroom, which she even managed to do over the Internet and by telephone. Mrs. Long includes a variety of activities in her classroom and has successfully received grant monies for math manipulatives, computers, and robotics. She and her husband John have three children and six grandchildren. Gail has worked with youth and adults in both the Church and community. She has a passion for preparedness and has taught whole wheat cookery, canning and dehydrating classes at Colorado Mountain College, and participated in community preparedness fairs. She enjoys collecting fabric, sewing, designing quilts, and eating chocolate. Welcome, Mrs. Long!
Current faculty members that applied for and received the following assignments for the 2012-2013 year include:
Cindy Tolman, 5th Grade Core. Mrs. Tolman has been a truly outstanding core teacher and math specialist at American Heritage School since 2005, and has been serving as an upper grade math specialist for the past year. She graduated from BYU with University Honors in Communications in 1990, and was valedictorian of her high school. The daughter of a military officer, Mrs. Tolman has lived in more than a dozen states and cities (and one foreign country). Before her children arrived, she worked in accounting, government, law, and education. Mrs. Tolman is a natural with teaching, both at school and in the home. When her children were young, she taught a home-school group, and she has taught nearly every level of Saxon math. She also has a gift for the “tutorial method” and connects with individual students in an extraordinary way; as a math teacher, she explains concepts simply and clearly and is dedicated to helping her students succeed. (Her students frequently report that even though math isn’t their favorite subject, it is their favorite class!) Mrs. Tolman is active in the AHS community, including with the Master Teacher Development program, entrance examination design and administration, and Distance Education. Mrs. Tolman and her husband David are the parents of two daughters, Aja and Hannah, both of whom have attended American Heritage School. Mrs. Tolman is a trained accompanist and organist, and she loves old movies, classic literature, beautiful music, animals and nature, her family and friends, and everything that is “virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy.” Thank you, Mrs. Tolman!
Jan Parker, Elementary Art (Grades K-5). Mrs. Parker has been serving as the interim elementary art teacher at American Heritage since Heidi Boden had a baby earlier this year. Jan Parker was born in Morristown, New Jersey, and raised in Summit, New Jersey. She attended BYU in the fall of 1974, where she graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration. She worked at the BYU photo studio for three of those years. She has worked as a Graphic Designer for Conant Associates and in Interior Design at Ethan Allen until starting her family of six children – 3 boys and 3 girls all grown and now living in Utah, New York City, Virginia, London (England) and the youngest serving a mission in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For the past 16 years, Mrs. Parker has lived in Alpine, Utah. She started oil painting eleven years ago with a group of other artists and found her artistic passion. She does commissioned oil paintings and works on many commercial murals in locations such as the American Fork Junior High Library, where she did a “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme. In addition to art, Mrs. Parker also loves to quilt, cook, read, travel when she can, and she looks forward to serving a mission someday. Mrs. Parker feels very blessed as a single woman with almost four grandchildren, and two lovely sisters that live in Alpine, and Burley, Idaho. Mrs. Parker has an abiding testimony in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and cherishes her membership in the church as well her relationship with the Savior. Thank you, Jan!
Stephanie Bigelow, P.E. (Grades 5-8). Stephanie Bigelow has been serving as the interim PE instructor at AHS since April. She graduated from BYU with a degree in history, and is passionate about physical education. More than that, she is passionate about American Heritage and the Principle Approach to education. Mrs. Bigelow and her husband, Rob, have been parents at American Heritage for over a decade. All five of their children have attended or are currently attending the school. Born an raised in southern California, she met Rob at BYU near the end of her junior year in a blind date. Mrs. Bigelow has been a reliable and beloved substitute teacher at American Heritage, and loves the education American Heritage provides her family. She loves children, and enjoys helping them to love learning. Mrs. Bigelow is excited to work permanently with our students in the PE department. Thank you, Mrs. Bigelow!
Welcome, New Teachers!