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National leader honors support professionals
by LOUISE R. SHAW
Nov 28, 2014 | 190 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lily Eskelsen Garcia (right), president of the National Education Association, thanks Terry Davis, head custodian at Odyssey Elementary, for his contribution to education. 
Photos by Louise R. Shaw|Davis Clipper
Lily Eskelsen Garcia (right), president of the National Education Association, thanks Terry Davis, head custodian at Odyssey Elementary, for his contribution to education. Photos by Louise R. Shaw|Davis Clipper
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WOODS CROSS — Even before Lily Eskelsen Garcia was named Utah Teacher of the Year in 1989, even before she became president of the National Education Association this year,  she knew how important every person who crosses a child’s path can be to their education.

Garcia knew that when she started her career working as a salad lady at a school in Box Elder County.

“I understood that I had a little role to play with helping  kids with nutrition,” she said, and she would talk to them as they came through the line and encourage them to make nutritious choices.

Her efforts to teach even as a salad lady are not unusual, she said.

“Our support staff take this very, very seriously – and they should,” she said. “Anyone who has contact with these kids has a chance to make an impact on these kids.”

Garcia, who is now based in Washington, D.C., came to Utah during American Education Week last week after visiting Nashville, Tenn., on Monday and before going to San Antonio, Texas on Thursday. 

Wednesday, Nov. 19, was Education Support Profesionals Day, and she used it to praise those who work behind the scenes to help students.

The day began for Garcia and her team when they greeted bus drivers dropping students off at Odyssey Elementary in Woods Cross and presented them a hot breakfast in a box.

“We told them we couldn’t do what we do without you,” she said, and the reaction each got from each bus driver was tears.

The driver she spoke with said that while the children express thanks, it was the first time any adults had said thank you. 

“She had never really been sure if the ‘big people’ understood how she sets the tone for the kids’ days,” said Garcia. “She understood her role. They’re the first person the kids see at the beginning of their school day.”

Besides honoring bus drivers, Odyssey Elementary students held an assembly where sixth graders presented laurel wreaths to those who work in the lunch room or help with technology or medical needs, specialists in music or physical education, and those who do custodial work or oversee activities on the playground.

“Education support professionals make a huge contribution to education,” said Laura Montgomery, president of the National Council of Education Support Professionals, who was visiting Utah from her home in Arkansas. 

“Without our contribution to education and the specialized things we bring to the schools, they would be disfunctional,” she said.

Local leaders have long promoted the role of every district employee in educating children.

“Everyone is an educator,” said Bryan Bowles, district superintendent, even plumbers who fix the leaks so that students can remain in school. “Everyone’s contribution is to help students learn.”

Tamara Lowe, president of the Davis School District Board of Education, concurred.

“I feel like any time a student meets with an adult, that adult is a teacher by example and by being there to help students.”

 

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Local Angel Tree helps those in need
by MELINDA WILLIAMS
Nov 28, 2014 | 220 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODS CROSS CITY’S Angel Tree, on display at city hall. 
Photo by Melinda Williams | Davis Clipper
WOODS CROSS CITY’S Angel Tree, on display at city hall. Photo by Melinda Williams | Davis Clipper
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WOODS CROSS — Christmas brings with it the joy of seeing a child’s face light up as they open a gift.

Not all children have that joy, but Woods Cross City has worked for more than 15 years to brighten Christmas, not only for children, but for families in the community through their Angel Tree program that often provides the only Christmas some of these families will have.

“The people of Woods Cross are so generous,” said Leola Mikkelsen, who has coordinated the Angel Tree program for the past eight years. “I mainly do it for the kids.

“Each year there are so many angels, that I wonder if they all will be picked up, and each year they are,” she said. “It’s so amazing to me that every year they’re all taken care of.”

The Angel Tree is in the foyer of Woods Cross city hall and is filled with angels, each containing a request for a gift and other pertinent information such as the person’s age and size.

“We ask that they not ask for anything too expensive,” Mikkelsen said.

Requests range from toys for youngsters to gift cards, to clothing and sometimes even personal care items like combs and brushes.

This year, Mikkelsen said, there are more than the usual number of requests for socks. Other top requests are for winter coats, boots and sweatshirts.

So far, Mikkelsen has requests from 19 families. Requests are made to the city through local bishops of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but anyone in need who is not affiliated with the church may call the city offices at 801-292-4421 to request help through the program.

“We go through the bishops, because they cover the whole city,” Mikkelsen said.

Individuals, families, church groups, businesses and others have all stepped forward through the years to take care of the families in need.

Those interested in helping out may stop at the Woods Cross city office, 1555 S. 800 West, pick out an angel or two and sign up to buy the requested gifts. Those gifts must be returned, unwrapped, to the city office by Dec. 5.

 
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Crime Briefs: Man sentenced to jail time
by MELINDA WILLIAMS
Nov 28, 2014 | 186 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Federico Urquijo
Federico Urquijo
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FARMINGTON — A man who pleaded guilty to second-degree felony robbery in October has been sentenced to serve 200 days in the Davis County Jail.

Federico Urquijo was sentenced to the jail time last week during a hearing in 2nd District Court. As part of the sentence, the 20-year-old  will be allowed to go to work and school while serving his time. He must also serve three years probation with Adult Probation and Parole and pay $200 in restitution.

Urquijo was arrested in May after another man, Joel Martinez, 19, confessed to robbing a Syracuse Dairy Queen in April. Urquijo supplied the gun used in the robbery.

Another part of the sentence is that Urquijo have no contact with Martinez.

Urquijo was originally charged with first-degree felony aggravated robbery.


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Movie Beat: Eddie Redmayne brilliant in “The Theory of Everything”
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Nov 28, 2014 | 290 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Still courtesy of Focus Features
Still courtesy of Focus Features
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Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and suggestive material

Written by Anthony McCarten, based on the book by Jane Hawking

Directed by James Marsh

Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis and more

Grade: 

As much as we might like to believe otherwise, sometimes love isn’t the most powerful force in the universe.

That’s the heartbreaking truth behind “The Theory of Everything,” the new film based on a memoir written by Stephen Hawking’s wife, Jane. Though the trailers make it out to be a sunlit, inspirational epic about one couple’s courage conquering ALS, in reality it’s a meditative, deeply emotional look at how people rebuild themselves after the world shatters.

The story is basically summarized on Hawking’s Wikipedia page, beginning at college in the 1960s, a little before the ALS and Hawking’s first big theory hit, and continuing through being named a Companion of Honor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1989. The movie only skims the barest surface of the science, and while that’s disappointing it’s a natural side effect of Jane’s memoir being the filter. Human lives are the focus here, not time and space. 

In Eddie Redmayne’s hands, however, Hawking’s life comes through brilliantly. Though his previous roles have done little to distinguish him from the crop of handsome, interchangeable young actors flitting around Hollywood these days, he captures Hawking so brilliantly that there were times I forgot it was only a performance. 

He excels at the physical aspects – Redmayne’s body seems to collapse over time, much as Hawking’s did under the weight of ALS – but his ability to capture Hawking’s internal life is almost more important. The script belongs to Jane, filtering everything from her perspective, and often the only thing we get of Hawking’s inner thoughts and feelings is what Redmayne shows on his face. It’s both joyous and absolutely heartbreaking by turns, and if he doesn’t win an Oscar for his performance he was robbed. 

Though her role is both quieter and more expansive, Felicity Jones also does excellent work as Jane.  She carries the character through her initial optimism and courage through the weight of responsibility and the quiet creeping bitterness, a minutely detailed study of love changing and dying but never quite turning to hate. 

Even though the script is hers, leaving her the pivot point of all the quiet, emotional moments, in some ways it’s a thankless role. We’re conditioned as audiences to think that the beloved spouse of a genius or hero should always be devoted, that the spouse who doesn’t hold true automatically becomes the villain. That love is worth nothing unless it manages to be everything.

But life … well, life is rarely that absolute. The seasons change, science changes, things grow and die and the universe itself shifts moment by moment into a future we only barely understand. To think that love is any different is childish. The truth is that even the most beautiful things die, no matter how much we might wish it otherwise.

Does that mean, though, that they never deserved to live? Though it faded, Jane’s love gave Hawking the hope he needed to live through some of the worst parts of a disease that otherwise might have destroyed him. It changed the world while it lasted. 

What better legacy is there to leave behind? 

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Crime Briefs: Layton man sentenced for attempted sodomy
by MELINDA WILLIAMS
Nov 28, 2014 | 273 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mario Alberto Sanchez-Gonzales
Mario Alberto Sanchez-Gonzales
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FARMINGTON — A Layton man was sentenced to serve 15 years to life in the Utah State Prison charges of attempted sodomy of a child.

Mario Alberto Sanchez-Gonzales, 29, was in 2nd District Court last week where he heard his sentence on charges related to the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl.

Sanchez-Gonzales pleaded guilty to attempted sodomy upon a child in August. The Davis County Attorney’s office agreed to dismiss two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child for his guilty plea.

The mother of the victim called police in March.When police arrived at the home, Sanchez-Gonzales met them, telling them he had done “bad things,” according to a probable cause statement.

He was booked into the Davis County Jail and has remained there since.

The abuse had been going on for two years, according to police.


 

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