2018 Science Departments of the Year
Sand Springs Elementary- Layton, UT
Lisa Bodily teaches fifth grade at Sand Springs Elementary in Davis School District. She began her teaching career in 2003 and has been teaching fifth grade since 2010. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She has an ESL Endorsement, and recently earned her STEM Endorsement through Weber State University. She loves using 3D science practices with her students to encourage deeper thinking and understanding of science concepts, and working with other teachers to develop curriculum that engages students and makes them excited about learning. She recently began teaching Project Lead the Way at her school and loves the opportunities it gives her students to create, question, and learn while using science and technology skills. Lisa is passionate about integrating technology in her classroom and serves as the STEM/Technology Chair at her school. She organized, established, and runs the after school STEM/MESA club at her school and assists with the Lego Mindstorms program for fifth and sixth grade students. Lisa is looking forward to starting a Master’s Degree program in Educational Technology and Curriculum Integration. Lisa Bodily lives in Syracuse, Utah with her husband and two daughters.
Grant Hall arrived at a career in education from a profession in finance and as a small business owner. After doing volunteer work for an elementary school and being a substitute teacher, Grant spent 18 intense months at Westminster College and received a double Master’s Degree in Education and Teaching. Sand Springs Elementary in Layton then became his home as a 5th grade teacher. Grant accompanies the school choir and has been active in the Leading Educator Program with the Davis School District. Grant is privileged to be a part of an amazing group of teachers and a team that works to promote excellence and integrity in their students. Thank you to the USTA board for this honor of being an Outstanding Elementary Science Award recipient.
Terra Moss received her early education in Utah, Michigan, and had the opportunity to live abroad and attend the American School of Paris for two of her high school years. Terra earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Weber State University with a dual major in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. She was awarded Early Childhood Outstanding Student of the Year at her graduation. Terra has taught fifth grade for nine years at Sand Springs Elementary in Davis County. Eight of those years, she has taught the English side of the Spanish Immersion Program. While teaching, she has completed the coursework for a Reading Endorsement and is now completing her ESL Endorsement. She has supported and mentored at after school STEM programs like First Lego League and Mind Storms for four years. Teaching is Terra’s passion and it brings her great happiness to be a part of the growth and development of children and in preparing them to make a better future for us all.
My name is Michelle Cutler. I grew up in Sandy, UT and graduated from Alta High School. I attended Utah State University and after serving an LDS mission in the Canary Islands, Spain, I graduated with my degree in Elementary Education. Straight out of college I began teaching 5th grade and eighteen years later, I am still loving every second I have with my 10-11 year olds! Fifth graders are the best! I enjoy teaching all subjects, but I believe the best part of my job is watching confidence grow in my students through success! I truly believe they can reach any goal they set. In 2008, I earned my Master’s Degree in education and I also completed all of the requirements to become Nationally Board Certified. In my spare time I love to travel (especially to anywhere with a beach or Disney) and watch movies with my husband. I am also really enjoying preparing for our first baby arriving in August!
Melissa Skousen has taught 5th grade for 14 years and Spanish Immersion for 8. She has her bachelors in Elementary Education and Masters in English Language Learners. At Horizon elementary, a Title 1 school, Melissa Skousen volunteered many hours by directing choir, running club, after school program, jump rope club, and yearly musicals. She taught ESL classes to small groups of native speakers. At Sand Springs Elementary, she started, implemented and maintained the First Lego League and Mind storms teams since 2014. As a Spanish Immersion teacher, she has won numerous Awards with her students at state competitions. Melissa has been nominated at both Horizon and Sand Springs Elementary by parents numerous times for the state Golden Apple award and recognized for her outstanding contributions to her community. She is continuing her life-long learning by taking STEM classes and will complete her endorsement this year. Her husband of 21 years is her unsung hero and helps to raise their seven children. They have been foster parents and her children are all adopted, many of which have special needs. They have a very "special" and unique family which resides in Syracuse, Utah.
Ephraim Middle- Ephraim, UT
Tim Black was raised in Ephraim, Utah and now lives in Manti. When in grade school and Jr. High Teachers would have said I was a trouble maker. My Uncle was the principal of the school and my cousin was a teacher both made me pay for my bad deeds. I never dreamed or even thought of being a teacher. As I got older I went through lots of jobs, colleges, and rough times trying to find what I wanted to be in life for my profession. I spent four years in the Air Force and two years in the Army National Guard. After leaving the service I used the GI bill to become a Teacher because I realized I liked teaching people things. I graduated from Snow College with 2 associate degrees and in the top 10 % of the college. I then went to Weber State where I finished 2 years of College in just over 1 year and Graduated with high honors again in the top 10% of the college. I have worked in Ephraim Middle school 27 years and I served as part of the Utah State science coordination team for 15 years.
Valene Scott grew up mostly in Mission Hills California and Springville Utah. She has six brothers and sisters that are scattered throughout the United States.
Valene has been teaching science and math at Ephraim Middle School for 17 years. She taught fifth and sixth grade math and reading at Laura Reeves Elementary, in Silsbee, Texas, and before that, she taught preschool in Star Valley, Wyoming. Valene and her husband are the parents of six children and almost ten grandchildren. Her Bachelors and Master degrees are both from Utah State University.
She feels very blessed to teach with such great people in the science department at Ephraim Middle School. They have planned, conversed, shared thoughts and ideas that have been beneficial to them as a team and to their students. They have worked together for a long time. Valene feels that teaching science with a hands-on approach is fun and worthwhile! Valene is very grateful to be a science teacher!
Linda has taught science for 10 years at Ephraim Middle School. She attended and graduated Snow College and USU. Linda continued her education at U of U and even took one class from BYU. UofU was her favorite. Linda became interested in science from her Agriculture and FFA teacher in high school and the zoology/biology high teacher that took the class to the beach every other day to study tides, currents, waves, and ocean organisms. Being born and raised in California, science became Linda's passion at an early age. The crops, groves, grape vines, ocean and coastal regions, the famous California "4 seasons" of earthquakes, drought, fire and mudslide fascinated her in every aspect. 16 years ago, Linda married into a Professional rodeo company and now studies the DNA of bucking stock as a hobby. The rodeo company, known as Bar T Pro Rodeo, has been running for 65 years, started by great grandpa D.A. Swanny Kerby. They continue to breed and provide bucking stock for Western U.S Wilderness Circuit and Canadian rodeos, her daughters are trick riders, Linda teaches them the physics of motion in their stunts. The main contribution she has made to the EMS science program is through Science Olympiad. EMS science team has ranked in the top 10/40 in Utah for the last 7 years.
Lisa has lived in Ephraim for over 30 years. She originally planned on graduating in Nutrition, but after working as a paraprofessional at the local elementary school, changed her major to education and never looked back She and her husband, Brach, have five grown children and 14 grandchildren. Lisa enjoys passing on her love for science to her grandchildren by doing simple science experiments when they visit. Her hobbies are traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.
Woods Cross High School- Woods Cross,UT
Michele was born in Murray, Utah and attended school in the Granite School District. Michele graduated from Granite High School and is proud to be a Fighting farmer! After high school Michele attended Snow College on a leadership scholarship. Transferring to Salt Lake Community College after 1 year at Snow College, Michele graduated with her associates degree from SLCC. Continuing on to Weber State University, Michele finished her Bachelor degree in Physical Education and Chemistry teaching. Michele did her student teaching with Janette Duffin as her mentor teacher. Michele contributes much of her success to a great student teaching experience. Janette’s love of teaching was contagious. After graduation from Weber State, Michele stayed home for 12 years to raise her three boys. Michele and her husband, Mike reside in North Salt Lake, Utah and have raised their three boys there. All three of her boys have attended Woods Cross High School. Michele loves having her boys at school with her!
Michele is currently in her 4th year in the chemistry department at Woods Cross High School. Michele feels very lucky to work with colleagues that are willing to collaborate together to make the chemistry experience the best possible experience for all students. The chemistry department at Woods Cross is constantly working hard to adjust assignments and create more meaningful experiences for students. Michele contributes the department success to hard working students along with extra learning opportunities. She feels that the review sessions held each year after school before the end of level test are a great asset for the students. This is just one extra opportunity provided to students by the chemistry department.
Michele loves her job at Woods Cross High School and is grateful to work with great people there!
Janette Duffin has taught in Davis School District for 26 years – chemistry at Woods Cross High for 25 years, biology for 4 years, and one year of 7th grade at North Davis Jr. High. She has bachelor’s degrees in Theatre and Zoology with minors in Botany and Chemistry from Weber State and a master’s degree in Chemistry (Teaching) from the U of U. She loves to spend time with her husband Gregory, their four children and one grandchild. She also enjoys music, playing violin in two symphonies, reading, camping and waterskiing. She LOVES teaching chemistry!