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What will your Thanksgiving table look like this year? For some it will be the traditional table with turkey and all the trimmings. However, for others Thanksgiving 2020 will look a little different.

On this episode of the Supercast, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey talks to some students in the Prostart Culinary Program at Mountain Ridge High School. They share their ideas on how to reimagine the Thanksgiving meal, trading the traditional turkey and the number of seats at the table for something else. Listen as these talented student cooks and bakers share their culinary best.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent (00:17):
Welcome to the super cast. I'm your host superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. What will your Thanksgiving table look like this year? For some, it will be the traditional table with Turkey and all the trimmings for others. Thanksgiving 2020 will look a little different. On this episode of the super cast, we talked with some students in the ProStart culinary program at mountain Ridge high school. They share their ideas on how to re-imagine the Thanksgiving meal trading, the traditional Turkey and the number of seats at the table for something else. Listen, as these talented students cooks and bakers share their culinary best. We start with a visit to Kylie Anderson's virtual classroom. Zoomers

Kylie Anderson (01:02):
Hey, how's it going? Dr. Godfrey. Nice to see everyone. Thanks for letting me join your class this morning. Thanks for being here. We're excited. You guys are interested in ProStart.

Superintendent (01:16):
So tell me what's the assignment are we talking about today

Kylie Anderson (01:21):
Are basically re-imagining Thanksgiving. So, um, with COVID going on, most of our celebrations are much smaller this year. And so these students chose a protein, a couple sides, a roll, and one dessert, and just kept it super simple. And, um, they're basically able to take it wherever they want. So it's kind of their dream Thanksgiving menu.

Superintendent (01:46):
There will be three people at my house for Thanksgiving this year. So that's exactly what we have to do is reimagine Thanksgiving. Adrian, you just gave me two thumbs up. Let's hear about your re-imagined Thanksgiving.

Adrian (02:00):
Well, my Thanksgiving is kind of like while it's do , I've never really had a big Thanksgiving, but one of the difficulties I ran into this year was the fact that my dad has developed an allergy to salt. So he can't have that much without pretty much passing out. And then my step-mom is developing a sensitivity to gluten. So she can't have that either. So I had to do some research on how to make Thanksgiving Abel. So no one will get sick from whatever they eat. So I was able to find some recipes that have salt substitutes for Turkey it's in her butter Turkey, primarily uses Rosemary to replace the smell because it brings in that good flavor. And then along with a gluten-free pumpkin pie, which I wasn't sure how it would work, but actually it's pretty good.

Superintendent (02:52):
How did you make it gluten free pumpkin pie.

Adrian (02:55):
So pretty much instead of using Graham crackers, you crush up some crackers and then you added some seasonings along with that for the pie crust. And it turns out that in pumpkin pie filling there's really no gluten.

Superintendent (03:09):
Great. So you have made a custom meal for the allergies and difficulties that your family might experience if they ate traditional Thanksgiving fair. That's great. Um, how about you, Aaron?

Aaron (03:26):
So normally I have a very like traditional Thanksgiving, whole family, big gathering, Turkey, stuffing, everything. So I really had to rethink it because it's just going to be my immediate family that lived with me. So I did like a steak giving kind of. So steak will be the main dish I was going to do.

Superintendent (03:45):
Uh, now wait here coined a term. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I'm in love with that term. I want a shirt with that term on it. Will you say it again please? Stakes giving stakes giving. I think I'm too late to make my Thanksgiving Thanksgiving, but that is in my future. Okay, go ahead. Sorry. You just blew my mind.

Aaron (04:06):
Yeah, sounds really good. So I'm doing a rib-eye with a garlic butter. So cook that. And then, uh, for my sides, I was gonna do garlic roasted potatoes and corn salsa to like spice it up and then just some soft bread rolls. And I'm going to do a chocolate sheet cake with dessert with that chocolate ice.

Superintendent (04:24):
How many invitations have you had to Thanksgiving? Because I would imagine that the new one who heard that menu would want me to be a part of their day.

Aaron (04:31):
Just immediate family.

Superintendent (04:33):
Okay. Well, they are, uh, they're in for a treat. Yeah. Michael, how about you? What do you have planned?

Michael (04:41):
So I did more of a classic Thanksgiving. We actually raised the Turkey this year, so I just did a classic roast Turkey with Rosemary and garlic and onion with some lemon. And then my, the garlic mashed potatoes with a fruit salad. My mom always called it fluff. It's like a creamy, fluffy for a salad.

Superintendent (05:03):
I applaud you. I think that's really cool that you did it start to finish raise your own Turkey. That's very cool. Where did you find all these students? Ms. Anderson? This is, this is, uh, I, I'm only on the third student and I'm blown away by every single one of them.

Kylie Anderson (05:19):
They're very creative. They come up with a lot of great ideas. They're super dedicated. So I know all of this makes me rethink my own menu plan.

Superintendent (05:28):
Moving on. Olivia, tell me about your Thanksgiving plans.

Olivia (05:31):
Well, I kept it pretty traditional. My family just loves Turkey and we loved the leftover Turkey sandwiches. So I did a traditional roasted Turkey. And then for my size, we love Pat mashed potatoes. So I paired that with some garlic and some chives or my dessert. I chose to do a key lime pie. Not all of my family likes the same kind of pie. I don't like Apple. My sister doesn't like pumpkin. So we, I chose to spice it up. And it's me something different.

Superintendent (06:10):
Do you like getting to control a little bit? What pie everyone's going to eat? Guess what? It's, Keylime everybody, it's kind of a surprise to them, but they're going to eat it anyway.

Olivia (06:21):
Yes, they will. And like it.

Superintendent (06:23):
What do you make gravy for your mashed potatoes? Yeah. Um, usually I'm imagining it right now and I just need to imagine what type of gravy you have there, if you gravy, just, you know, the runoff and um, Oh yeah, we just do super traditional at my house. Okay. Olivia, do you make a, well, when you put the mashed potatoes on your plate, do you form a well or a volcano of gravy in the center to hold the gravy in and then strategically break the wall on the side of it so that it can flow onto your plate? The appropriate time you can't do it otherwise it's the way to do it. Thank you, Olivia, for backing me up on that, I, I feel very connected to all of you right now. Let me just say food connects people. And I feel very, I feel like I'm part of the group now because we're talking through it together. Tell me about your menu for Thanksgiving,

Adrian (07:28):
The traditional, but as, um, extra things. So for the Turkey, I classic Turkey. Cause we like to have leftovers, like Olivia said, and then for the corner for the staffing, I decided to do a Teresa cornbread stuffing. So instead of the bread, it's a jalapeno corn bread and there's spicy Territo in it. So it's not just one note. It's new flavor to Thanksgiving.

Superintendent (07:57):
That sounds awesome. I've never heard of half of these things that you're doing. Adrian, replacing salt with Rosemary. I mean right from the start I've I haven't heard of these things. There's a lot to learn. Okay.

Adrian (08:08):
From my other side, I dish, I did a Kayla and olive oil mashed potato. I have some people,

Superintendent (08:15):
Kale is angry spinach in my mind. Any dessert?

Adrian (08:21):
Yes. I actually tried making this dessert already at the caramel Apple cheesecake. My family loved it. It was super good.

Superintendent (08:30):
I think I've just got goosebumps, caramel, Apple cheesecake. Okay. This is, they all get an a right. Mr. Anderson. I mean, this is a work even just thinking about even the way they're describing it is a work. They do a good job. Okay. Jordan, tell us about your menu. No, we're going to be doing a smoked Turkey and then, um, my sides will be a stuffing and mashed potatoes. And then I will have pumpkin bread and

Adrian (09:11):
Mini cheesecakes. The dessert

Superintendent (09:14):
Mini cheesecakes. Yes. Wow. Like pop in my mouth. Mini cheesecake. I'm just trying to picture the size of the cheesecake. Are you solely responsible for this or is your mom or dad? Your sous chef? My dad. Your dad is your sous chef. So does he execute pretty well? What you tell him to do? What do you have planned?

Ariana (09:46):
So every year for Thanksgiving, my family's pretty small. So we usually go over to someone else's house and we have Thanksgiving with them. Oh, I'm cooking Thanksgiving with my mother this year. We plan on having a bit of a blended Thanksgiving. So it's going to be some traditional recipes from Mexico, from where she's from and some nutritional things from here that you would normally find. So we're going to have the normal oven baked Turkey, but, uh, I don't have, I don't have much yet, but I know for the dessert we're going to do, uh, some tamales, some dessert to my lists.

Superintendent (10:29):
So dessert tamales. Now, wait a second. You don't mean like hot tamales, like Mike and Ike type stuff. So how else can a tamale be a dessert? Tamale

Ariana (10:43):
Started like these, I guess, flower these breaded. Uh, it's difficult to describe.

Superintendent (10:53):
What's the filling?

Ariana (10:55):
Filling typically on and on with the one layer would be chicken and some sauce. Uh, but for a dessert one you would typically just put strawberries, pineapples, just, uh, sweet fruits.

Superintendent (11:12):
Yeah. I've had the, I've had the regular or as you would call it the savory tamale, but I have not had the dessert tamale before. That's uh, that's something else. Um, wow, that sounds fantastic. What are some of the other recipes from Mexico that you'll be using?

Ariana (11:32):
I'll probably be using a recipe to slowly a soup that is made in Mexico.

Superintendent (11:40):
I love the blended idea. Uh, an international Thanksgiving recipe list. That's an awesome Maddie. What's on your menu. Also pretty

Maddie (11:54):
Traditional cause my family likes to keep going. So yeah, well we do have a perfect week. And then for the first side dish, we have cheese potatoes. They are covered in like, like an onion crunch stuff at the top and like lots more cheese, lots of cheese, the dessert, we're doing a hot fudge cake with a vanilla bean, uh, ice cream on it. And then it's going to be covered in blueberries and blueberries.

Superintendent (12:27):
You were very precise in the way you described your dessert. You did not say it was going to be vanilla ice cream. You didn't say it was going to be old fashioned vanilla. He didn't say it was going to be French vanilla. You said it was going to be vanilla bean. Is that a conscious choice?

Maddie (12:42):
Yes.

Superintendent (12:44):
Why is it going to be?

Maddie (12:46):
I just has like a more rich flavor.

Superintendent (12:49):
That sounds wonderful. Bryce.

Bryce (12:52):
Sorry. I have a little nephew running around here. No problem, Bryce, this nephew I Thanksgiving will be actually nice. Let's see. So I don't really know a whole lot about like what actually we're doing. I just saw that I'm in charge of a dish. Um, and then the side that I am going to be making for my family's Thanksgiving is going to be a smoke Mac and cheese with the smoked Gouda and smoked cheddar. Hopefully I can put it on our smoker for a little bit. Um, and then the other one I did was butter bread pull aparts, uh, it's a recipe that I got from my aunt. Just get Rhodes rolls and put them into like a little bump pan drizzle, butter. I love when the name of food tells you what to do with it. Exactly. These are polar parts. This is what's happening. You will pull them apart.

Superintendent (13:45):
I can totally smoked macaroni and cheese. You can make it and then put it in the smoker. Yeah. So, so the way that I make it is me and my sister have done this Mac and cheese recipe. It's really easy. Um, and then what you do at the end is you pour, put breadcrumbs on the top and then toasted in the oven and then try to throw it in our smoker. But our smoker has been starting up recently. Yeah. Let me just say that sounds fantastic. And I Marvel at what every single one of you are doing. Stay with us when we come back, what is the ProStart program and what does it do for students hoping to pursue a culinary career? We'll find out next.

Commercial (14:38):
Hello. My name is Steven Hall. I'm the director of the Jordan education foundation. Every year. The Jordan education foundation together with magical volunteers helps provide Christmas for who might otherwise go without during the holiday season. While many things have changed since the pandemic, one thing does remain the same. That's our desire to help students India this year to major donations for Larry H. Miller charities, discover card, Kennecott, Rio Tinto, and many other individuals together with the support and the generosity of Walmart in South Jordan, we will provide Christmas for at least 400 students in Jordan school district. We need your support. We need you to help actually go to Walmart and collect the gifts that the students have chosen online. This will allow us to offer a safe perp side delivery for kids and their families. Join us in bringing smiles and love to students in need. During this holiday season, please sign up to volunteer, to shop for these students on December seven, eight, nine or 10, between the hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The left side, the sign up is J E F Christmas park, kids.org. There you can go and you can sign up as a volunteer and you can choose a date to shop, spread the word for others to sign up as well. Be one of Sandra's helpers this holiday season and provide Christmas for kids. Thank you so much from every one of us here at the Jordan education foundation,

Superintendent (16:29):
I'm here with ProStart students from mountain Ridge high school. Aaron, describe for listeners who may not be familiar with ProStart what it is.

Superintendent (16:39):
So Prostar is a foods class. It's the highest foods class that you can take in high school. So you first you have to take foods one and two, and then you take Prostar and ProStart is just really great class. You get to learn a lot of new skills, get to meet new people. You get to compete in a few different competitions and it's a really fun class. Uh, tell me about the competition. What does that look like? Um, so basically you have a team with knives from the kitchen. It's not like that. It's a cooking challenge where you, you make a dish, you make like the main dish and a side and a dessert, and then you compete against other ProStart schools. So we actually got fifth in state last year. That's pretty awesome for a brand new school in particularly first year. So I've watched a few, uh, cooking shows and, uh, they, some of them are more related to cooking and others are more related to a game show.

Superintendent (17:43):
But, uh, what type of, what is your competition look like? I've heard a little bit about it. Do you get a recipe that you then have to execute or do you have to come up with your own? How does that look? So we get to come up with our own recipe. We talk about as a team and there's usually, I think it was four of us with one, uh, one person outside of the ring that kind of just talks us through it and helps us and has the recipe in his hand or her hand. Um, and so you go against other schools and, uh, just compete with them and see who has the best dish is the person who's just reading the recipe, flipping out because they can't touch anything. I think that would be really hard. They can't touch anything so they can test taste.

Superintendent (18:31):
So say we like give them a spoon of something to try. They can test it, but they can not touch our food. We could get disqualified if they do. Okay. Um, do you learn about careers in ProStart related to food? Yeah, there's a lot of different careers that we get to learn about. We get to learn about like restaurant creators and like pictures, careers with, to do with food. And there's a lot of opportunities in the food industry. Are you looking at any of those opportunities for yourself? Um, I think it'd be pretty cool to work on a cruise ship and cook and get a trial. That would be nice in the future. Yeah, isn't really the way to go yet, but, uh, give it, give it a little bit by the time you're ready. Cruise industry will be ready for you. Yup. Okay. Sounds great. Um, Kezia, what made you want to take the ProStart class?

Kezia (19:30):
Um, I just really liked to cook and bake and I wanted to learn how to make more new things. I feel like I have expanded the list of things. I know how to make now.

Superintendent (19:42):
Did you, had you been cooking much before you took the ProStart class?

Kezia (19:47):
I love to bake. I like to bake a lot. And also it's between baking and cooking once I get bored of one or the other.

Superintendent (19:54):
Oh yeah. So what's your go-to baking or cooking if you were on Tik TOK and it said baking on one side and cooking on the other, which direction would you walk?

Kezia (20:03):
Probably baking

Superintendent (20:05):
The baking side. Okay. I got you. Um, what did, what do you, what's your specialty? What's your go-to what's your signature dish or signature creation?

Kezia (20:18):
I don't really have one. I like to make pies. That's one of my favorite things to make.

Superintendent (20:23):
Okay. Fantastic. Jordan, what made you want to take ProStart classes?

Jordan (20:29):
Uh, Kezia. She brought up the idea and then Ms. Anderson at her last year. So I thought it'd be fun to do it again.

Superintendent (20:38):
What do you like to make most to bake? Do you cook?

Jordan (20:42):
Um, I like cooking. So

Superintendent (20:46):
Tell me, um, now there are certain terms I've heard earlier. We were talking about this. Um, what are some of the things that you've learned in ProStart that you did not know how to do before?

Jordan (21:00):
Um, definitely like the knife cuts. We have went more into plating and need some flaws. The knife cuts. Yes.

Superintendent (21:10):
Knif cuts sounds a little redundant, but tell me what the knife cuts.

Jordan (21:15):
Um, it helps you like measure your food so you can cook everything evenly. So when we get told to have our potatoes cubed, we know what size we should have.

Superintendent (21:26):
Jordan, you mentioned plating. What, uh, what have you learned about plating?

Jordan (21:32):
Um, we've learned how, like how the odd numbers and keep it clean and simple. And there's many different ways. You can have a certain food look good just by the way you played it.

Superintendent (21:47):
Uh, there's the artistry to do drizzle stuffs and that sort of thing. Okay. And odd number. You put an odd number because that feels good on the plate.

Jordan (21:56):
Uh, it just looks good and it just makes everything complete.

Superintendent (22:01):
Okay. Very nice. Um, now, as you've been learning art, is there something that you have wanted to make that you haven't made yet? Like your, your white whale, your Mount Everest? Um, let's see. Aaron, tell me, what is your, uh, what's your white whale?

Aaron (22:21):
Um, it's called a baked Alaska and I've wanted to make it for awhile. I've just never gotten around to doing it. It's a kind of complicated dish, a dessert dish, a dessert fire involved. Is it you get a light it on fire once you're done. Is that really the appeal? Anything that's set on fire? Yeah, it's very pretty. Okay.

Superintendent (22:42):
So a baked Alaska is in your future perhaps. And how appropriate that Alaska is your white whale. Okay. Um, let's see. Kezia what is your Mount Everest? What is the thing you want to cook that you haven't made yet?

Kezia (23:00):
Um, I would have to say, I really want to make macaroons

Superintendent (23:05):
Macaroons. I do love a good macaroon and it seems like it would be very difficult. The cookie has to be so light.

Kezia (23:12):
Yes. Yeah. I've heard it's difficult,

Superintendent (23:16):
But have you tried it at all?

Kezia (23:18):
No, I haven't tried to make it yet. I want to, but

Superintendent (23:22):
Yeah, I see Ms. Anderson writing a list of these goals. So perhaps I would like to be invited to that class when, uh, when those, uh, come out that they, to Alaska macaroons, I'm all for that. Uh, Jordan, what is, what is your goal? What would you like to make that you haven't made yet?

Jordan (23:42):
Honestly, I'm down to make any pastries.

Superintendent (23:46):
So all desserts. Yeah. I did see pictures of each of you in your home kitchen and you're all smiling wide. When you're in your own kitchen, you all seem very happy. Is that kind of a happy place for you Jordan to be in the kitchen?

Jordan (24:02):
Yeah. That's where like, I feel like I learned how to cook and so just, yeah.

Jordan (24:08):
Good memories.

New Speaker (24:09):
What do you have on the stove there in the picture? Do you know?

Jordan (24:13):
Right then we were making caramels. So it probably is something to do with cars.

Superintendent (24:19):
Oh, very nice. Homemade. Carlos, my wife loved that. And Aaron, I saw you had a plate of chocolate chip cookies or, or a tray of chocolate chip cookies. Is that a specialty?

Aaron (24:30):
Uh, yeah, it's actually my great grandma's recipe. It's really good cookie.

Superintendent (24:34):
Oh, wow. And what's the secret ingredient. That's okay. You don't have to. Okay. I understand. I understand. I'll just have to try them for myself sometime. And, uh, Kezia you, we have a picture of you with a fantastic looking cake. Tell me about that.

Kezia (24:53):
Actually my, um, Carl Apple cheesecake from my Thanksgiving project. I tried that out before Thanksgiving and it was really good.

Superintendent (25:01):
That sounds wonderful. The caramel, Apple cheesecake, and I love the dessert thing. That's kind of developed through our conversation and, uh, I definitely think I'm going to be indulging in something inferior to what you guys make, but whatever I can get my hands on because now I can't get my mind off dessert sense of Thanksgiving. Uh, let's finish by just asking everybody what you're thankful for. Uh, let's start with you, Aaron, what are you thankful for? Um, just being able to have my family around for Thanksgiving, Jordan,

Jordan (25:33):
I'm really thankful for my family and my friends. Um,

Superintendent (25:39):
Kezia,

Kezia (25:40):
I would have to say just like my family and that I get to spend in quarantine with them.

Superintendent (25:47):
And Ms. Anderson. How about you?

Kylie Anderson (25:50):
I'm grateful for my family, food, and adventure.

Superintendent (25:55):
That's a great combination. Well, I'm thankful to have had the chance to talk with all of you. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I know your families will because they'll get to benefit from your skills. Thanks for joining us on another episode of the super cast, happy Thanksgiving. And remember education is the most important thing you will do today. We will see out there.

 

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They are bringing fire and life safety lessons to classrooms throughout Jordan School District. In this episode of the Supercast, we follow West Jordan City Fire Department Public Education Specialist Becky Steeneck into an elementary school classroom. It is where young students are learning about everything from fire safety to first aid, smoke alarms and much more. In this class, a fire truck is an important part of the lesson plan.


Audio Transcription

(00:17):
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. On today's show, we follow West Jordan City Fire Department, Public Education Specialist, Becky Steeneck into an elementary school classrooms. She's been bringing fire and life safety lessons to classrooms throughout Jordan School District. In this class, young students are learning about everything from fire safety, first aid to smoke alarms, and much more. Let's start with Becky Steeneck and some second graders at Fox hollow Elementary. Becky, thanks for being on the Supercast today.

Becky:
Thank you for having me.

Superintendent:
Becky, tell us about your role with West Jordan Fire. It's a pretty new role, from what I understand, even just in the last year or so.

Becky:
Yes. I started in August of 2019. So just barely a year that we've started this. My title is Public EducationSpecialist, so I am developing all of the programs and all of the curriculum that we use to teach the community about fire and life safety

Superintendent:
And teaching the community about fire and life safety involved schools, of course. And that's why we're here, but there are other aspects to your job as well. Can you tell us just overall, what are your responsibilities related to public education?

Becky:
Absolutely. So you're right. We do a lot of community classes. We're starting CPR, First Aid and AED training courses. We're also doing a Babysitting Academy where we'll teach young kids how to be effective babysitters. We teach them about childcare and first aid and how to protect themselves while they're babysitting and be safe. We are going to be restarting our CERT class. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. So we teach people how to prepare their households for disasters and how to help their neighborhoods and their communities when that kind of thing happens. We're also looking at starting next year, some Junior Firefighter Academies where kids will get to come to the station and learn how to be firefighters. We're also going to be starting some Spanish speakers Emergency Preparedness Courses. Teaching those in Spanish for Spanish only speaking citizens and teaching them CPR and emergency preparedness and things like that. So I'm just looking at kind of the needs of the city and what people need to know and what they need to learn in order to be safe.

Superintendent:
That's a wide array of educational options. And the one that stood out to me, I've heard of many of those, but the Babysitters Academy is interesting. It sounds like a series of novels for tweens. Tell me more about that. The Babysitter Academy. I did some babysitting in my day for a little money babysitting. Yes. Did all right. I probably could have used an Academy before I started doing that. So tell us a little more about that.

Becky:
Yeah. it's really great. We're really happy with it. So, it's a three hour course that we offer after school to kids 12 to 14 years old. We'll go through and teach them some basic First Aid and CPR in order to keep the kids safe. And then we talk about age appropriate activities for the kids, because we don't want babysitters just going in and turning on the TV and not playing with the kids. We teach them to bring in age appropriate activities for the kids that they're babysitting. We also talk about how to care for infants like diaper changing and swaddling and things like that. We also talk about how to keep themselves safe while they're babysitting, because we want to teach kids how to make this sort of a career for themselves so that they can save money to use for school or other activities. We want them to market themselves in a safe way so we teach them how to keep themselves safe when they're putting out flyers or marketing themselves for their business. Also, they're not putting themselves in any risk of danger.

Superintendent:
That sounds very useful. And something that if kids participate in, they'll have skills they can use in a lot of circumstances, not just babysitting.

Becky:
Absolutely.

Superintendent:
Well, like I said, you have a wide range of options. And if someone who's listening wants to sign up for one of those CERT trainings or Babysitters Academy, what would they do to sign up for that? Where would they go?

Becky:
So it's just on our website. So if you go to www.westjordan.utah.gov/public-education, we have all of our classes listed there. So you can look at the fees, look at the schedule and there's a registration form to sign up.

Superintendent:
Great. And those are rotating classes offered at regular times throughout the year?

Becky:
Yeah, absolutely.

Superintendent:
One aspect of what you do, of course, is visiting classrooms. And I was able to watch just a little bit of what you were doing there, and it's really exciting to see how engaged the students are. Tell us about what you cover in those classes and what are some of the activities that you do with the kids?

Becky:
Yeah. So for each grade I do a different topic. That we can kind of scaffold on fire and life safety learning. So for example, in kindergarten we talk about dangerous things. So we talk about don't play with matches, always wear your helmet when you ride your bike, things like that.

Superintendent:
So good advice.

Becky:
Exactly. Then first grade we talk about escaping your house when there's a fire and how to do that. Second grade, we talk about our job in the city and how they call 9-1-1. Third grade we talk about burns and how to keep yourself safe from burns and preventing those. Fourth grade, we talk about First Aid and we get to practice some of those techniques. Fifth grade, we'll talk about disaster preparedness and it's really great for fifth grade. We've partnered with Red Cross to deliver their Pillowcase Project. So we've got a lot of fun materials that we bring in the class and talk to them about preparing for disasters and getting themselves ready before that happens. And then sixth grade, we talk about science of happiness. So we talk about coping strategies that the kids can use and just how to keep themselves happy in kind of a hectic world right now.

Superintendent:
I love that. It's all calibrated for and adjusted for the right age group and for the grade that you're speaking with. Are there certain things that kids are susceptible to at particular ages that we want to help them avoid?

Becky:
Absolutely. We look at that when we develop our curriculum. So for example, we look at the CDC and all of their statistics on what certain injuries or illnesses happen to kids at certain ages. And then we develop the curriculum based on those injuries so that we can help prevent them at that age.

Superintendent:
That's really exciting to know that there is this deliberate effort from West Jordan Fire to say, Hey, we know that these are the risks that students of this age might encounter. So we're going to help educate them in advance to try to help prevent some of those issues from ever happening. Now you mentioned the Pillowcase Project. Tell more about that.

Becky:
It's the program that the Red Cross developed. They started it after Hurricane Katrina. One of their volunteers noticed that after the hurricane, kids were carrying around their belongings and their pillowcase because they didn't have anything else and everything they had was destroyed. So that's what started this program for them. So we'll go into fifth grade classes and we bring them a pillowcase and we let them decorate it. And we talk to them about area related emergencies or disasters. So for Utah, we are particularly susceptible to earthquakes and wildfires. So we talk about earthquakes and wildfires with them and when that happens and what you should do when that happens. And then we get to talk about preparing your emergency kit for that. So what things you should put in your emergency kit and how you should evacuate your house when these disasters happen.

Superintendent:
What are some of the interesting questions that you get from kids in classes? I'm sure that when you're meeting with students from kindergarten to sixth grade and they may not have talked with someone from the Fire Department before so you're going to get a lot of questions. So what are you hearing from kids in classes?

Becky:
Love to ask, what is the biggest fire that you've ever fought?

Superintendent:
Anything fire-related that you'd love to talk about?

Becky:
Absolutely, which is kind of funny because they don't realize that's not actually what we do for most of our job. We've done such a good job over the years of preventing fires from happening that only about 20% of our job is fire-related anymore. It's actually 80% medical. But kids love to ask about what the biggest fire is and how many fires we fight.

Superintendent:
When we come back, the firetruck arrives at Fox Hollow, and we talk with some students about their experience in the same class.

Jordan Education Foundation:
Hello. My name is Steven Hall. I'm the Director of the Jordan Education Foundation. Every year, the Jordan Education Foundation, together with magical volunteers, helps provide Christmas for students who might otherwise go without during the holiday season. While many things have changed since the pandemic, one thing does remain the same. That's our desire to help students in need this year. Three major donations from Larry H. Miller Charities, Discover Card, Kennecott Rio Tinto, and many other individuals, together with the support and the generosity of Walmart in South Jordan, we will provide Christmas for at least 400 students in Jordan School District. We need your support. We need you to help actually go to Walmart and collect the gifts that the students have chosen online. This will allow us to offer a safe curbside delivery for kids and their families. Join us in bringing smiles and love to students individually.

Really, during this holiday season, please sign up to volunteer to shop for these students on December 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th, between the hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The left side, the sign up is jefchristmasforkids.org. There you can go and sign up as a volunteer and you can choose a date to shop, spread the word for others to sign up as well. Be one of Sandra's helpers this holiday season and provide Christmas for kids. Thank you so much from every one of us here at the Jordan Education Foundation.

Fireman:
Do you guys all have your backpack for school?

Students:
This is our backpack.

Fireman:
Anyone tell me what this tool is. You know what it's called?

They called us the "Key to the City" because it can open up any door. Is this a tool that we use to open up doors that are locked or we can kind of break them open. How about this?

Students:
Axe

Fireman:
Right. What do we use this for?

Students:
Chop holes in doors or chop holes in the roof.

Fireman:
Why are we going to chop holes in the roof. It's kind of weird. Huh? Why? Shout it out. We want all that smoke to get out of the building. Right? We create a chimney. We just create a hole in the ceiling. We want all that smoke to get out that keeps it from getting trapped inside the house so that you guys can breathe longer if you're stuck inside.

Superintendent:
Who knows the difference between a fire truck and a fire engine? Okay. Right here. Tell me what's the difference?

Student:
The firetruck has a ladder.

Superintendent:
But which one of these is a fire engine?

Student:
That one.

Superintendent:
That's correct. What else did you guys learn in class today?

Student:
In the older days, they didn't breathe in so much smoke so they would get their beards wet with water and then they would suck them.

Superintendent:
They would suck on their wet beard to keep smoke out of their face. Wow. That is something I did not know for sure. What did you learn about calling 9-1-1 in class today?

Student:
That when you call 9-1-1, they'll like ask you a question  when you're calling them.

Superintendent:
How do you call 9-1-1 on a phone that's locked?

Student:
There is an emergency button that you would press, and then you call 9-1-1. You have to memorize your address, because they'll ask you what address you have. So you have to always memorize it.

Fireman:
Becky talked to you guys about not breathing smoke, right? What do you do to not breathe smoke? What do you do? You just yell it out. Get down low you guys, get down low, right? You don't want to raise that smoke. That goes up high. Do you guys got to get down low to get out of the house.  We have our air tanks. We have compressed air in this bottle, and then we have our mask that we wear so that we can breathe air.

Superintendent:
We're back with Becky. What do you like most about being in class with students?

Becky:
I love the interaction. I love getting to talk to the kids and hearing about their questions and concerns. I feel like that helps me build a better program to hear about what they're concerned about and what they're thinking about in their emergencies.

I also love getting to build a curriculum. That's helping the students be safer in their lives. So I like to see that the work I'm putting in to help prevent some of these disasters from happening. Seeing how that plays out with the students and how they take it in. I just love getting to know that I'm making a difference by helping these kids be safer.

Becky:
Although you don't always get the accolades when something doesn't happen, we normally pay attention to what does happen. That's really the focus is making sure these things don't happen in the first place. And it must be very rewarding to know that the kids are prepared for what, for a lot of things that may come their way.

Becky:
Yeah, I absolutely love it. Typically, after the class we get to have the fire truck come and the firefighters will do some interaction with them and show them different things on our fire trucks. And they'll ask them some of the questions that I covered in class, and it's very rewarding to see that the kids be able to answer so quickly. And so it's just very satisfying to know that they have this knowledge now and they're prepared for what comes next.

Superintendent:
Well, like I said, when I was in the class, I could just tell that you really have their attention. And they were very interested in knowing more. So we're thrilled to have you in our classrooms and really excited that students are getting this opportunity. I spoke with the chief and he said that his goal really is to make sure that every student that comes through West Jordan schools have had interaction with the Fire Department and has the skills to help prevent injuries and accidents, and know how to respond in an emergency. I think that's a great goal and we love that you're here helping meet that.

Becky:
Oh, we appreciate that. I mean, that's definitely the purpose of this position. We want every student in West Jordan to have this opportunity to get this information and to be prepared for whatever disaster or emergency comes upon them.

Superintendent:
Tell us what are some of the things that firefighters will point out to the kids when they have the truck here at the school.

Becky:
One of the big things that the firefighters talk about is their turnout gear. That's all of the fancy equipment that we wear when we go into fight a fire. We like to put that on and discuss it with the kids because often if it's the first time a kid has seen us in all of that gear, it can be kind of scary. And we don't want that because if we have to go into their home when it's on fire and rescue them and we don't want them to be afraid of us. We want them to come to us. So we put on all of that equipment to kind of get them familiar and comfortable with how we look and how we sound in the mask so that they feel a little more comfortable coming towards us if that emergency arises. And then we do have a little bit more fun showing the firetruck, showing some of our tools and going on the sirens and the lights and everything. So it's pretty fun for the kids. It's really the sirens and the lights are going to be the crowd pleaser.

Superintendent:
It makes a lot of sense that you would want them to be comfortable seeing a firefighter in the turnout gear. Because at that point you want them to trust the person in what can be an intimidating you.

Becky
Absolutely.

Superintendent:
Thanks for joining us on the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We'll see you.

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At just 9-years-old, Sam Gordon attracted the attention of people around the world in a video showing her racing down the football field, scoring touchdown after touchdown in a peewee football game. It was a video that went viral receiving more than 5 million views in just three days.

On this episode of the Supercast, we catch up with Sam Gordon, now a senior at Herriman High School. She talks about being named one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women in Sports Today” by Sports Illustrated and how she helped create the first Girls Football League in Utah. Find out what’s next for this talented athlete, known as a soccer and football phenom.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. At just nine years old, Sam Gordon attracted the attention of people around the world in a video, showing her racing down the football field, scoring touchdown after touchdown at her Peewee football game.

Video:
Without walking to the set, one of the newest national celebrities, based on our YouTube video of some amazing football highlights. Her name is Sam Gordon.

Sam:
I scored 35 touchdowns, got around 2000 rushing yards and made 65 tackles.

Video:
Touchdown after touchdown after touchdown, obviously it went viral.

Superintendent:
Receiving more than 5 million views in just three days. On this episode of the Supercast, we catch up with Sam Gordon, now a senior at Herriman High School. She talks about being named one of the most powerful and influential women in sports today by Sports Illustrated, just this month and how she helped create the first Girls Football League in Utah. Find out what's next for this talented athlete, known as a soccer and football phenom. We're here with Sam Gordon student from Herriman high school talking about the fact that she was just recently this month listed in Sports Illustrated as a part of the unrelenting. Now, the way they described this is the list of the most powerful, most influential, and most outstanding women in sports right now. That is really awesome. And we're going to come back to that Sam, but first, I want to talk about where all this started. Thanks for joining me today.

Sam:
Yeah, for sure. It a pleasure to be here.

Superintendent:
I'm going to pull up this highlight. You told me just before the interview that you haven't watched this video for awhile. There was a video that went viral. How viral did it go?

Sam:
It was like 5 million views in three days.

Superintendent:
It was took off. I remember watching it at the time and I don't think I knew at the time that you were a student in Jordan District. It just popped up in my feed because everybody was watching it. Is it all right? Well, so we pulled up the highlights. Are we going to see the run here that went viral?

Sam:
Yeah, so it was off of a kickoff and I got the ball and then it's just a lot of touchdown runs in a row, all compiled together. So that first season was really cool. That was against Luke Staley's team, which was awesome. First year playing football. And we're all a bunch of nine-year-olds that really don't know what we're doing. Just kind of got the ball and got a run.

Superintendent:
You appear to know what you're doing.

Sam:
A little bit of Sharks and Minnows taught me how to do this bit.

Superintendent:
Sharks and Minnows. Is that what the training was?

Sam:
Yeah. Since recesses are great. That was my go-to.

Superintendent:
Sharks and minnows. You heard it here first. That was what made her start. Once you get the ball, it looks like you're pretty relentless, like Sports Illustrated says. You just decide, I'm going to head for the end zone.

Sam:
And then this part of it is making some tackles, which was fun. I honestly kind of like defense better than offense. I think it's really fun to go out there and make a hit.

Superintendent:
So you like making a hit more than scoring?

Sam:
Both are awesome feelings, but sometimes defense has this extra adrenaline that comes with it. And you know, each play you get to talk with your D-line and kinda like make sure that your stopping them. And I think it's definitely very fun.

Superintendent:
Let's talk about all the things that have happened since that video went viral. That was really the start of all of it. And you've had a lot of opportunities as a result of that. Can you tell me some of the things that have happened?

Sam:
So after that YouTube video went viral, I got to go out and do a lot of cool things. My first was an interview with Good Morning America at like 5:00 AM in the morning. And after that, it kind of just took off. I got to go to New York and LA and then back to New York and do a lot of interviews, which was really cool. And then I got involved with the NFL and was able to do a Super Bowl commercial with them and some really cool stuff. And then later, that kind of led me into starting the Girls Soccer Football League and growing that with my dad and some other people I've been with that wanted to start one from the start and then more things at the NFL and interviews. It's kind of just been a lot and, but it's been really great experiences.

Superintendent:
That's amazing in a very short period of time, how old were you when those videos were taken? I was nine years old.

Superintendent:
So you were nine years old. That's a short time to have all of that happen. Who are some of the people that you've met? I was watching the Super Bowl. I didn't know you were going to be in that ad. And I saw that ad. I was amazed at all of the legends who were there altogether in the same place. Tell me some of the people that you've met that have been particularly exciting.

Sam:
So, I play soccer a ton and so I got to meet the US Women's National Team for Soccer, and that was a really cool experience. I got to go to a practice for the 49ers and meet all the team, and that was really cool. They're now my favorite team. Hung out with Roger Goodell and then, you know, for the NFL 100 commercial was hanging out with Saquon Barkley and Richard Sherman for about four hours as we filmed it. So met a lot of cool football players and a lot of cool athletes.

Superintendent:
And you got to attend the Super Bowl, correct?

Sam:
Yeah, I've been to three  Super Bowls, which has been pretty cool.

Superintendent:
I saw you watch the Super Bowl from the booth, if I'm not mistaken.

Sam:
Yeah. The, the first one I went to, I was with Roger in the booth and I remember our booth had security guards and then two booths down was Jay Z and Beyonce and they didn't have any. And I thought that was really funny.

Superintendent:
I've gone to barbecues with Jay Z and Beyonce, but never a football game. No, that's really exciting that you've been able to to be involved at that level. How was the Super Bowl different from other games, in terms of being a spectator at the event?

Sam:
The entire energy is just different. It's like the athletic event of the year, everybody's tuning into watch it. Especially the first one, the 49ers were in it and to see your team in the Super Bowl is something totally different. The atmosphere, the halftime concert, all of it is just, it's incredible.

Superintendent:
You talked about being on Good Morning America. They actually surprised you with something on that show. Tell everyone what that was.

Sam:
Yeah. So I think it was my second time being on Good Morning America.  I was in New York and they had this little box that was underneath a curtain and then they pulled it away and I was being held up, and then there was a Wheaties box with my face on it. That was such a cool thing for a little nine year old me to see.

Superintendent:
How many boxes of Wheaties with Sam Gordon on the front do you have? I would have a case of them, I think.

Sam:
I think I've got one. My grandma's got one and I'm not sure where the other ones went, but we definitely have a bunch of flat copies of the Wheaties posters.

Superintendent:
That's pretty amazing. Is Wheaties now your favorite cereal?

Sam:
It has been for a long time. What is your favorite?

Superintendent:
Favorite cereal?  Captain Crunch. Wheaties, it's been a long time, but maybe I need to revisit that. Were you playing soccer the whole time that you were playing football as well?

Sam:
Yeah, so soccer has always been a big thing for me and I want to play it in college. And football is something different because of the adrenaline and it's just an entire different sport, but I love them both.

Superintendent:
So what's next for you? You've a senior at Herriman High School. Where do you hope to go to school? What do you hope to play? What's next?

Sam:
So I submitted my early decision application to Columbia, so we'll see how that goes. And then hoping to go walk onto the soccer team up there, be in New York. My older brother's at NYU, so that'd be cool. Go to law school. I don't really know it's kind of up in there, but hopefully I'm pursuing girls tackle football and promoting that.

Superintendent:
Great. Now let's talk about the Sports Illustrated list. This is a very prestigious list. And as I described earlier, most powerful, most influential and most outstanding women in sports. Now to make that list is a great honor.

Sam:
Yeah, it's amazing reading some of the other women that I'm listed there with, and being a part of that is it's really a great,

Superintendent:
Great thing. I noticed that Serina Williams, Billie Jean King, Naomi Osaka, I'm a big tennis fan. Wife's been a tennis player since she was eight. But you're on a list with some amazing athletes there. Who are the athletes that inspire you?

Sam:
I think a big one for me was Abby Wamback. She was the player that invited me out to a practice when I got to meet the US Women's National Team. And the fight that she's had for quality for women in soccer, in the soccer world, and then along with just her toughness out on the field and as a soccer player. Watching her getting knocked down and getting back up was always an inspiration to me.

Superintendent:
I also wanted to ask you, I saw that you, after going viral, ended up being a speaker at a lot of distinguished events throughout the country. What are some of the themes that you talk about in those presentations?

Sam:
So when I was younger, a lot of it was just about me playing football with the boys and kind of my experience doing that, and my love for football and sports in general as I've gotten older. I kind of get a little bit more of a perspective on things and I can kind of see the inequality. And a little bit of what I've experienced and what we're still facing as far as the football world and getting women involved. I've got to speak a lot about that and then the challenges. And also just about girls loving football, being part of the girls' tackle football league and giving girls the soccer opportunity to play a sport that they really don't have a chance to anywhere else in the world. It's something special to be a part of, and so I've got to speak on that a lot too.

Superintendent:
So you have a lot of frequent flyer miles.

Sam:
Yes. built up my Sky miles.

Superintendent:
Wow. How has being involved in sports impacted your life and going viral and having these opportunities? How has that changed?

Sam:
I think sports have changed everything for me. Even if you don't become famous, I think sports in general are so great for kids. Building leadership and making friends and everything like that, all the great qualities that sports can give us. And then, I think being involved in all these other things. When I go to those events and I get to speak, I also get to hear other speakers and it's been really inspiring to hear other people's stories and you really get perspective on a lot of the things in the world. And also the fact that you can make a difference. And so by having this goal of wanting to give more girls the opportunity to play football and then starting this league and seeing it actually make a difference has been inspiring. And I really take that into my own life and tell other people, if you have something that you really believe in, work for it and it can happen.

Superintendent:
Stay with us. When we come back, we'll be joined by one of Sam Gordon's Girls Football League teammates.

Stacee Worthen:
Hello, I'm Stacee Worthen, Secondary Counseling Specialist for Jordan School District. Do you know all the ways our school district counselors can help you and your student school counselors play such an important role in our schools, they provide parents with resources to help guide their children in academics. They provide support with the mental and social wellbeing of students in our school. And if you were in the process of preparing a student for college, or just beginning, the conversation of higher education now is the perfect time to reach out to your child's counselor. We can assist with college applications and college readiness. I encourage parents and guardians to schedule an appointment and get to know your student's counselor together. Counselors and parents can help develop plans and strategies for students to succeed long after they leave during the school district. Reach out. We're always here to help. You can find us and learn more at counseling.jordandistrict.org.

Superintendent:
All right, we're back now with Sam Gordon and she's now joined by Molly DeLuca. Molly, thanks for joining us and being here. Tell me about your involvement in football.

Molly:
So I started playing football and I was about 12 years old. I was in seventh grade and I played soccer before and I needed to do something new. I  just wasn't happy playing soccer. It just wasn't my sport. And I joined on the Black Diamonds Team with Sam and ever since then, I've been playing every single year since seventh grade. And it's just been one of the biggest blessings in my life.  I've made so many friends and I've learned so much from it.

Superintendent:
So what do you like about football versus soccer?

Molly:
I guess it's a way to get my stress out. And I love hitting with all the pads. I dunno, it's just a good experience catching the ball and running, feeling like you did something like soccer. I never really got to feel that accomplishment, but with football, I do. I also met so many friends and it's just a great experience.

Superintendent:
I saw that you nodded your head when Sam was talking about loving defense. Do you prefer defense over offense because you get to knock some people around?

Molly:
Yes I do. I usually don't play the position to receive the ball and score, even though I still love offense. But defense, I like hitting people and like stopping them. It's a lot better in my opinion.

Superintendent:
What made you want to start football?

Molly:
Like I said before, soccer wasn't doing it for me. I was in fourth grade with Sam and when I saw that she was starting this new team, I thought that would be actually really fun to do. And it fit my body type, my social needs, everything. I was just like, yeah, let's try football. And I ended up loving it and I've keep playing every single year.

Superintendent:
Are you a senior at Herriman?

Molly:
I am. Yeah.

Superintendent:
So what's next for you? What are your plans?

Molly:
I'm planning on going to SEU. I'm not sure what I want to go into yet, but I kind of want to get away and start school somewhere a little farther than this area.

Superintendent:
For those who may not know what the rules are and how your football league is set, are the rules different from traditional football rules?

Molly:
Yeah, so we have a couple of different rules than traditional football. The biggest one is that we took out kickoffs and punt returns, mainly because that's where most injuries occur. And we really are trying to take out injuries as much as possible on our league. So we have just taken those plays out completely. The second one that we've done is we have an X weight basically. So girls over a certain weight limit can't be handed off the ball. They can still go out as a receiver, but they can't be handed off, mainly because we're still at a point where a lot of girls haven't played before. And so setting competition up against somebody who might be twice their size would be again, another risk for injury. So for right now, that's a rule we're hoping in the future we can take that away.

Superintendent:
What's your favorite secret play Molly that nobody knows about?

Molly:
I remember a few years ago we would we call it an orange wedge and we would all stand up straight and not even move and be really cool. We have a no play where we just stand up and pretend like we're running the ball, but we wouldn't. It threw off the other players a lot, and it was so fun.

Superintendent:
I'm wondering how I can integrate that into my daily set of plays. The orange wedge. Tell me that again. So that's when everybody stands up.

Molly:
Yeah. We make our U shaped, kind of like orange wise, like it says, and we kind of just block in the shape of an orange. It would just like throw the other team off beause we didn't have a specific hold to go through. it just pushed up yards, I guess. And it was actually really cool. And we scored a lot on that play.

Superintendent:
Have you seen some big turnarounds where someone was maybe reluctant at first and then wildly enthusiastic about the game, once they kind of had a chance to apply?

Molly:
I have definitely seen that. But you get a lot of girls that come out their first season and don't really know what they're doing and then did stayed in the league forever. I think a lot of girls gain confidence throughout the year in football. We have such a great community and we have people from a lot of different backgrounds, other sports, where you don't really get that same opportunity. And so I think when girls come out and they learn how to hit and they learn how to have fun. And it's a life changing experience for some of them. I feel like girls are also scared of getting hurt because it's a physical demanding sport. But once they learned to play, it's just like any other sport. There's physical demands in literally anything you play, but it's just a lot. It's really fun and they learn to love it.

Superintendent:
Thanks to both of you for coming to be interviewed for the Supercast. I really appreciate meeting both of you and best of luck in your future pursuit to post-graduation.

Sam and Molly:
Thank you.

Superintendent:
Thanks for joining us for another episode of the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We'll see you out there.

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Learning at-home in a virtual classroom is something some parents and students are still adjusting to in these unprecedented times. On this episode of the Supercast, we talk to two Jordan School District employees who are available every day to help with virtual classroom questions. They are working hard to lead students on a path to online learning success.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Hello, and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Learning at home in a virtual classroom is something some parents and students are still adjusting to in these unprecedented times. On this episode of the Supercast, we talked to two Jordan School District employees who are available every day to help with virtual classroom questions. They're working hard to lead students on a path to online learning success. We start with a friend of the show, someone who was featured last week about a unique way of connecting with kids, using an impressive Pez collection at Oprah Hills Middle School. Now Kimberly Navratil is working from home with a new assignment, Online Outreach for students and parents, unprecedented back to back guests spot. We have Kimberly Navratil back with us to talk about her current experience. In our last podcast, you were still at Oquirrh Hills back in February. Things have changed since then for all of us.

Kimberly:
Haven't they?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Kimberly, just a little bit, tell us about your new assignments for this year.

Kimberly:
So I am now in a very lucky situation. I felt blessed and fortunate to be working with online students. So basically, I'm a support for the schools. The schools are the support for the students and we kind of all work together as a team. Let's say there are students with issues who are having a hard time logging in or not understanding Canvas, how to work Canvas and are just having a hard time getting going. Teachers will fill out an engagement concern, and that concern comes to me. I try to see what I can do to get the ball rolling and get kids up and running and learning. And it's been really great.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, teachers are the first point of contact and schools are the first point of contact, but ultimately if they have been unsuccessful in making contact with the student is supposed to be learning online, that's where you come in. Correct?

Kimberly:
Correct. And it's been great because some of these teachers heard about me because I worked with another one of their friends, another coworker who is having a concern, and so they refer me to their coworker and then I'm getting concerns from other people and it's been great because I want to get the word out there. I want teachers to know that there's support and help for them, just like there's support and help for students and parents.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Support is really what it's about right now, because we're all in a difficult circumstance. We're doing things we haven't had to do before. And people need the help that they haven't needed before because of these these different circumstances. We're all going through the pandemic together, but supporting each other is how we'll make it and how we'll continue to provide a high level of education. Without revealing any personal details, what are some of the things that you've seen happening with students? Some of the circumstances they find themselves in and how have we been able to help.

Kimberly:
I would say maybe he number one is just learning. Like you said, this is near to all of us. So parents, students, we're all learning. I'm a parent myself with an online learner at home. And so we're all learning how to manage our time, how to schedule, but ultimately the learning of Canvas. Learning how to work Canvas, how to log in, how to submit assignments, how to log into Zoom class meetings for your elementary students. It's huge. And Spanish. I've come across a lot of parents who don't speak English. And so they're receiving emails or instruction and they're not translating them when I'm able to make contact with these parents. Luckily, I speak enough Spanish that I'm able to help them get started. And if I can't complete my translation all the way through, I find them help or support with someone who can.

And it's amazing how a lot of us have the same struggles. You have families with small children and I've had families with four small children. I've had families with five elementary school students and sometimes parents just need a sounding board. They just need someone to talk to because, like you said, this is new to all of us. Having someone to talk to someone to share your concerns or issues you're having, it's been fulfilling for me. I've cried with moms. Twice now, I've cried with moms. I mean, it's hard not to put yourself in their shoes. It's hard on the parents. It's hard on the students. It's hard on the teachers. It's hard on the schools. This is just a crazy time.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What are some of the things that you've been able to tell parents that have helped get them through things when they do call and they need to talk about it. You talked about the mechanics of just making everything work. Are there some approaches or mindsets that helped as well?

Kimberly:
Oh, definitely. The one thing that I kind of admit with all of the parents, the struggle is real. I mean, this is a real struggle and you're not alone. Everyone, whether they're willing to admit it or not, this is affecting them, and it is not easy. I know that boys struggle a lot more than girls. There's a lot of parents who say, "My daughters are great, but my son, he just can't sit still." Or we have students who have ADHD and they have a hard time sitting still, but there's health conditions at home that prevent them from going to school and learning in person. And I myself had a son with ADHD, so luckily I was able to share with them advice that I've learned from many teachers. He needed a fidget, like a squeeze ball, a stress ball, a fidget spinner. Another thing, a designated work spot for the kids has been helpful. Their own desk or somewhere they can go without distractions, not close to a TV. They're not close to their phones. Students have a hard time knowing that they're supposed to sit there for 30 minutes for a Zoom meeting or an hour, or they have a break for 10 minutes. And their concept of time is frankly all digital nowadays. And so they don't understand.

Superintendent Godfrey:
The other thing you brought up is, you know, sometimes we get the notion that because a student has chosen to learn online, that they're well-suited to learning online. And that's not necessarily the case, as you indicated in your own family. So that choice is because you're doing that for health reasons, even for someone else in your family, even if that isn't the easiest option for you. So we do have a mismatch sometimes that has to be corrected, and that's just creates some additional stress for everyone.

Kimberly:
Correct. I found lots of that. And then even if there isn't a health issue, I've I found we have children who are majoring anxiety, which leads me to a major point that I found is key. With online learning, as with anything in life, is communication. If teachers don't know what's going on, they cannot help. And I found that parents, if you're struggling, if your kids are struggling, if you're unsure, reach out to your teacher. Teachers that I've worked with are more than willing to help and excited and happy and truly willing to do whatever it takes to help get their students on board. And communication is just key. I think it's just a key reminder because communication is something that sometimes goes by the wayside when our bandwidth is already taken up with so many other things that we're trying to do, open communication with your teacher or your school counselor, or whoever your contact at the school is, is very important.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Kimberly, thanks for spending time with us. And thanks for everything you're doing to support students, teachers, and schools and families. I know it's making a big difference. So thank you. If they need to contact you and they need some support, how do they get ahold of you?

Kimberly:
Oh, that's a great question. I am here to help. So I would love to receive emails and I receive phone calls either way. I'm here to help. My email is kimberly.navratil@jordandistrict.org. And my phone number is (801) 567-8131. So feel free, reach out. We're here to help support. We're all in this together.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Thanks very much, Kimberly.

Kimerly:
Thank you.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Stay with us. When we come back, Online Learning Consultant Ammon Wiemers joins us to answer more virtual classroom questions.

Stacee:
Hello, I'm Stacee Worthen, Secondary Counseling Specialist for Jordan School District. Do you know all the ways during school district counselors can help you and your students? School counselors play such an important role in our schools. They provide parents with resources to help guide their children in academics. They provide support with the mental and social well-being of students in our school. And if you were in the process of preparing a student for college or just for starting the conversation of higher education, now is the perfect time to reach out to your child's counselor. We can assist with college applications and college readiness. I encourage parents and guardians to schedule an appointment and get to know your student's counselor. Together, counselors and parents can help develop plans and strategies for students to succeed, long after they leave Jordan School Districts. Reach out. We're always here to help. You can find us and learn more at counseling.jordandistrict.org.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're here talking with Ammon Wiemers about online classes and the online program here in Jordan District. Thanks for joining us Ammon.

Ammon:
Yeah, you bet.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Ammon is one of the many people who has worked very hard to get online education up and running any new way, very, very rapidly. We like to say that we, as a district, did what would have taken five years in five weeks because we prepared for a new school year very quickly. That's not to say that we didn't have online courses before. Of course we did, and I want to talk a little bit about that Ammon, but things had to change dramatically to offer options for teachers to teach online and for students to learn online. And I just want to express appreciation before we get started for the work you and your staff have done to make that possible. That was a huge leap forward.  And there are always bumps along that road, but you guys have done an amazing job of providing that very quickly and efficiently.

Ammon:
Yeah. Thank you. Really, the rubber meets the road in the classrooms though. And so we have just a tremendous army of teachers that are really doing things that we didn't think possible a couple of months ago and doing it daily. And if nothing else, that appreciation goes to the people doing it. The interacting with the students the most and giving the instruction. They're doing amazing things.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And I think the things that they're doing will continue to provide a broad variety of options to students, even after pandemic learning is over. And so things will shift when the pandemic is over, but I don't think we'll ever return to where we were.

Ammon:
Oh yeah, no doubt about that. And for good. And that's not something that we should say is a downfall.  We're making huge strides forward. Now we've been moving incrementally towards this and we just took a big, big step this year.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's a good way of putting it. We have been moving in that direction and Utah Students Connect is what we had in place previous to the pandemic. Can you just give a very brief description of what that looked like before this fall?

Ammon:
Yeah. So Utah Students Connect is a consortium of six districts who formed in 2011-12 school year was when we started offering online course options to students. We recognize that the limited number of students meant that we needed some help from our friends to be able to offer courses to as large a number of students as wanted to. And so we formed with some other districts that are our neighbors and formed, created some courses and we've offered online options for high school students at grades 9 through 12, since the 2011-12 school year. And that online program has been successful. And it's informed the work that we're doing with the virtual students this year.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And when did that was expanded, it was already a very successful program. I had you and other members of your staff online teachers before the pandemic come and present to the Board, the great pass rates and participation rates and high grades that students were receiving in online courses. You have really blown away, the records of other programs in the state. And so we had a robust program to start with, and then the pandemic came and we had to dramatically expand those offerings. And so we're still part of Utah Students Connect, but then we had teachers and students who requested the opportunity to teach and learn online. And then we recruited a lot of extra teachers who were fortunately willing to take that on and add some additional online classes to their schedule. And so Utah Students Connect still exists, but then we added to that other layers to accommodate student and teacher requests.

Ammon:
That's right. And I think that one of the challenges that comes with that expanding the program is understanding how the two are similar and how they're different. And I think that, understanding what the online or virtual classroom looks like in the district is important to be able to be successful in that we're expecting something and getting something else, it's frustrating. But I think that if we understand what we're signing up for, then we'll be more successful in that choice. And so maybe we can discuss what virtual learning, what that means, what it is that students can, what it is.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. And that's one of my questions for you. What are some of the misunderstandings out there that might be helpful to clear up? And like you said, everyone had different expectations coming into this, what virtual learning would look like. What are some of the misunderstandings that you've heard?

Ammon:
Well, there are two terms that I wish for once and for all we could do away with. And I think that those point to the misunderstanding. There's no such thing as a virtual student. Just like, there's no such thing as a virtual teacher. We have virtual classrooms, but in those virtual classrooms, we have real teachers and real students doing real work. And I think that when we understand it in that mindset, it's not so different than a classroom in the school. Students are still enrolled in their schools. They are still connected to the resources and the support at their schools. They just happened to be attending a virtual classroom, but they still have to stay connected. And this will qualify for any of the services, any of the support, and helps that are available for students who are enrolled in traditional classrooms, still afforded to them.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah, I think you're right. We can talk about virtual, online distance learning, and we use all those terms interchangeably. And it is helpful to focus on the language of a virtual classroom, but real people in that classroom. Are there other misunderstandings that would be helpful for us to discuss?

Ammon:
There, isn't a shortcut, right? And so I think that's important to understand. There's no shortcut in learning. Moving to a virtual classroom, doesn't make it easier. Because we're using a technology or a computer, learning is still hard work, teaching is still hard. And so I think that if we understand that teachers and students are willing to put in the work and it's a mutual association relationship. They're both interested in the success, they're willing to put in that hard work. And so we're not so distant. People may think we are not because we're not in a classroom, but we still can form relationships with the teacher and the teacher can with the students.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Ammon, thanks very much for joining us. I know it's very busy for you and your staff. I really appreciate everything you're doing again, and that you would take time to be on the Supercast. And we look forward to more great things with virtual classrooms with real students and teachers at any time.

Thanks for joining us on the Supercast. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you

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Prior to the pandemic, the first thing you would find walking into the front office at Oquirrh Hills Middle School was hundreds of PEZ candy dispensers on display in a huge collection that captured the attention of students and visitors alike.

Attendance secretary Kimberly Navratil has been collecting what is called the “candy with character” for years, using it to connect with students in a very sweet way. On this Halloween episode of the Supercast, find out what happens when Superintendent Anthony Godfrey stumbles upon the impressive PEZ collection and gets a taste of the quirky candy originally marketed as a breath mint.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. On this Halloween edition of the show, we share the sweet story of a Jordan School District employee, and her passion for Pez dispensers. Prior to the pandemic, the first thing you would see walking into the front office at Oquirrh Hills Middle School was hundreds of Pez candy dispensers on display in a huge collection that captured the attention of students and visitors alike. Attendance Secretary Kimberley Navratil has been collecting what is called "the candy with character" for years, using it to connect with students in a very sweet way. Find out why Kimberly loves her growing collection of Pez characters so much and what happens when I get a taste of this quirky candy, originally marked as a breath mint. We're here in the Attendance Office of Oquirrh Hills Middle School, and there's been a lot going on. It's really hard to find a little bit of down time here because it's buzzing and there's a reason it's buzzing. And that is Kim, who works here in the Attendance Office. I'll let her introduce herself.

Kimberly:
I'm Kimberly Navratil. I've been here about six years. I've been in a few other places here at the District, but now am here and loving it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
It's quite a place. And there are a ton of kids going through here. I was amazed at how many kids' names you know. They just walk up and you call them by name. How many kids names do you actually know?

Kimberly:
I don't know. I try to know them. I try to know a lot.

Superintendent Godfrey:
It's impressive because there was no cheating. You just knew people as they walked in. So what are some of the things that you help people with as they come in the attendance office? I'm not sure that people listening realize just the number of different issues that come through.

Kimberly:
We could write a book.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I'm sure you could.

Kimberly:
There are so many issues. Kids who've had water spill on them. Kids who are upset and need to call home. Kids are checking out, checking in. Kids who have been sent down by a teacher and need an excuse, to write an apology letter, all sorts of stuff. Deliveries for students.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So you really get to know what their needs are and what's going on at the school. Part of your success is the very inviting attendance office that you have set up here with hundreds of Pez dispensers, which really speaks to me because I have a few, but I am in the presence of greatness, because this rivals any collection I've ever seen. How many do you have? Do you know?

Kimberly:
I knew I should have known. I have close to a thousand.  They're not all here. Some of them are home.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So there's the permanent collection. And then there's a rotating collection. Is that right?

Kimberly:
Rotating collection. The holidays are rotating. So it's seasonal.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh yes. I see a section of Valentines hearts, clear hearts, lady bugs with parts instead of dots. Lots of variety.

Kimberly:
Always fun. And I get new ones all the time, you know? So there's always something different.

Superintendent Godfrey:
How does the Pez collection relate to what you do in the Attendance Office?

Kimberly:
Oh, it's a great conversation piece. Kids love it. Kids will come in and we can easily distract any kind of issue that's going on with, "Have you seen this Pez dispenser?" I show them my favorite one and how it shoots Pez literally across the room. And it distracts everyone from, you know, instantly something different than that.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So it provides a connection to kids and it calms them down and it just gives you something to talk about other than whatever issue they're dealing with. Right?

Kimberly:
Right, which is all the time when you're dealing with teenagers.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Right. If we think back to middle school, we can all think about how tumultuous that time was. All right. Well, can you take us on a little tour of the collection? It looks like Star Wars is a clear favorite is that right?

Kimberly:
Star Wars is the center. It's our central point, of course. And I've received them from different people and there's a meaning behind a lot of these different Pez dispensers and they have a special place in my heart, I guess.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, tell us about some of those.

Kimberly:
Well, I'll start with one of my absolute favorites, which is I have to grabbed it so you can see it. This Home Depot car and it's a Pez dispenser, but I didn't know it was. This cute, cute boy, when he was in seventh grade, he's now a ninth grader here, was standing in line waiting for me. It was crazy day. And he hands me his Home Depot car.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Which is about six inches long. It's like the NASCAR or Home Depot car.

Kimberly:
And, I'm said it's a car. Thanks Jeffrey. And he's like, yeah, yeah, it's a Pez dispenser. And I thought, no way. But sure enough, it's a Pez dispenser and it literally literally will shoot Pez across the room.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You can put candy in there?

Kimberly:
No, no, no, no. Most of these, no candy. I keep candy in the car so that you can share that can shoot.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Can you shoot it across the room and then someone catching it in their mouth?

Kimberly:
Yeah, yeah, we've done that.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Why does that not surprise me in the middle school? I'm not shocked at that.

Kimberly:
You just wind him up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it's just very boring and just pops up out of the hood.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I'm going to take that one. It just wouldn't be right for me to leave it there.

Kimberly:
Yep. So that one is one of my favorites.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I think that one is orange, which tastes like children's aspirin, I must say. Okay.

Kimberly:
You know, that's one thing. I do not even like the candy.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You don't like the candy?

Kimberly:
I don't even like that.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I was going to ask you what your favorite flavor is.

Kimberly:
Yeah. I don't like the candy.

Superintendent Godfrey:
My favorites is Cherry Cola in case you wondered. They have quite a few, quite a variety.

Kimberly:
Yeah, my student aides were telling us about the chocolate ones last semester. They  liked the chocolate ones. So they would come in here and they would eat the chocolate ones.

Superintendent Godfrey:
All right, well.

Kimberly:
So I'll, I'll take their word for it that the chocolate ones are good.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So the Home Depot car is the center.

Kimberly:
Yes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You have a Stranger Things, Snow White, Wizard of Oz, Scooby Doo, Lord of the Rings, Hello Kitty, Presidents of the United States. President Eisenhower.

Kimberly:
Yeah. I've got some really good ones. I've got Lincoln, which was just given to me about a month ago.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I mean, I like Ike, but I never thought that he would be featured on a Pez dispenser.

Kimberly:
Right? I've got George Washington. I've got the first ones. They, some of them just appeared on my desk one day.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. I was going to ask you that. Some of them just appear?

Kimberly:
Yes, some of them just appear and I have no idea who left them.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Once people find out that I'm a music fan and that I listened to records, I actually listened to them, then people bring me their collections as they are cleaning out the garage. So I assume it's the same way with this.

Kimberly:
It is the same way I do get, I get moms who bring me a Ziploc bag of those all the time. I try to collect them from anywhere I go. So I have like the state sports over there on the wall.

Superintendent Godfrey
Lots of baseball teams.

Kimberly:
From different places all over the country. Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So there are really subsets you can collect. I'm going to get all of the Star Wars are all of the baseball right now.

Kimberly:
Right. Or all of the Funko Pop Harry Potters that you know, someone started.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Harry Potter and Funko Pop and Pez combination just blows the collector's mind. I would say pop Pez. The pop has is that it's newer. X-Men too.

Kimberly:
I have Large Minion, and supposedly he talks, but I've never taken him out of his package.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh. Are you careful about keeping some in the package? Is that important to you?

Kimberly:
I am. So ones that are from other States, I try to keep in their package.

Superintendent Godfrey:
The ones from other States?

Kimberly:
Like the sports. If I have a duplicate, then I'll take one out. But if I don't have a duplicate, I try to keep it in its box.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Do you buy them from Pez? Do you buy them on eBay? Do you wait for the collection to grow as people bring them?

Kimberly:
People bring them. I have bought some on eBay. I have the Crayola. I have a Crayola package, which my daughter saw that on Amazon. And she said, mom, you work at a school, you need a Crayola Pez

Superintendent Godfrey:
I agree. I have to admire that. You've got Captain Crunch and you've got the Crunch Berry Guy. I mean, it's really something. And the KFC Colonel Sanders.

Kimberly:
I just got that for Christmas. Someone gave that to me for Christmas.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, Smurfs. Look, there's another level.

Kimberly:
And Disney villains.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. I brought a few, but I have that are extras that are Star Wars. Because I know Star Wars. It looks like that's your favorite. So I've got a few. Now I know that when you're collecting, sometimes the top might be the same, but if the, what do you call the main part of it. the stem or whatever color is different.

Kimberly:
Sometimes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Now I have one, but I don't think you have. This is a droid from the latest Star Wars Movie. Do you have this one?

Kimberly:
Oh, it's the green. I don't know, which one he is?

Superintendent Godfrey:
The newest, the brand brand new.

Kimberly:
I don't know. I don't know if I do have him.

Superintendent Godfrey:
All right, now you do. And then I just brought a bunch of others.

Kimberly:
That's funny.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I think we should see whether you have these in that form.

Kimberly:
That's hilarious.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yes. I know. Because even if there's any slight variation.

Kimberly:
He is gross!

Superintendent Godfrey:
He is the grossest I think I've ever seen. It's the Emperor, actually, meant that the actor who played the actor. He was cool. He was a much, much more palatable person.

You do. You do have him, but see what's the color.

Kimberly:
He is gray.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah, this is gray as well. Is that General Prophecy? No, this is General Grievance.

Kimberly:
Let's see. We've got, oh yeah, you do have quite the Star Wars. Don't you?  So some of these guys, you may have all of them. I'm just, I'll be pleased if even that one droid is one that you don't have. There's Yoda with a tan.

Kimberly:
Yes. I even have Yoda with a tan.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You even have Yoda with a clear head.

Kimberly:
I know it's that weird?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah.

Kimberly:
It's a weird collection, yes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Darth Vader with black. Ewok.

Kimberly:
Ewok. Oh, I think I have Ewok in a set, maybe, but when when we were talking about it once upon a time, guess what?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, my Captain Crunch. Wow. And I thought,

Kimberly:
No, you kept saying Captain Crunch. I I'm assuming that might be one of your favorite cereals. Sut you need a Captain Crunch.

Superintendent Godfrey:
My son and I tried to eat every variety of Captain Crunch. When Christmas Crunch came out, we systematically had every Christmas, French Christmas. Can have this one?

Kimberly:
That's for you. Yes. Yes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow. He will figure prominently in my office. That is fantastic. That's fun. Wow. Thank you. I'll continue the tour. Oh wow. Chick-Fil-A I'm sorry. I keep mentioning these random Pez dispensers and there's one with a gift card attached toit?

Kimberly:
I think it's empty, but yes, the Target one. I was looking for that and the mom found out and she got it for her.

Superintendent Godfrey:
There's a Geico Gecko one. Tell me about that.

Kimberly:
So, the Geico one is one of my favorites. It was from a student first name Justin. Justin was at Herrmann High School and I worked a lot with him. And his mom worked for Geico and she brought it into me at the end of the school year. Like thank you so much for working with my son. And that's always been special, but a few years ago he ended up passing away, which is awful. And so now that's like really special.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah.

Kimberly:
Knowing that that was from him. The Chick-fil-A is from another student, Tenishia. That was really cool too. I mean, it's kind of fun. It gives me a bond or connection with these kids, you know. I go home and sometimes it's so crazy and stressful and just so fast paced that I don't even have a minute to think, but the majority of it is when I go home and II tell my husband, "Oh my goodness, you should have seen this kid today."

Or, you know, this kid finally opened up to me or this kid got sent down because he was in trouble. But I made him write an apology letter to his teacher and he actually did. And it was cute. And it's just so neat, the difference that these kids make in our lives. And and it's just so wonderful. We have a wonderful Special Ed, a couple of classes here. One of them, their homework is everyday to come and say hi to me from their teacher. And it's just so much fun. It's a very fulfilling job, you know? I leave here many nights with my heart full with kids who are just incredible and make a difference.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. You probably don't look at the clock much during the day.

Kimberly:
Time does fly. The only time we look at the clock is when a kid needs to leave at this time. Did we get them out of here on time?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Making sure they get checked out because the time's going slow.

Kimberly:
What class are we in? But other than that, the time just flies, really fast, really fast.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Stay with us. When we come back, as Principal, Donna Hunter talks about her role in turning Kim into the front office Candy Company.

Stacee:
Hello, I'm Stacee Worthen, the Secondary Counseling Specialist for Jordan School District. Do you know all the ways during school district counselors can help you and your students school counselors play such an important role in our schools? They provide parents with resources to help guide their children in academics. They provide support with the mental and social well-being of students in our school. And if you were in the process of preparing a student for college or just beginning, the conversation of higher education now is a perfect time to reach out to your child's counselor. We can assist with college applications and college readiness. I encourage parents and guardians to schedule an appointment and get to know your student's counselor together. Counselors and parents can help develop plans and strategies for students to succeed long after they leave Jordan School District. Reach out. We're always here to help. You can find us and learn more at counseling.jordandistrict.org.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're in the Oquirrh Hills Middle School Attendance Office with the five attendance aides.

Students:
I'm Bailey. I'm Carson., I'm Jackson. I'm Orson.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What made you want to be an attendance office aid?

Students:
Kimberly did. I did it last year and I loved it. So I wanted to come back.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What did you love about it?

Student:
I think it's a fun class and I like Kimberly. I like to help out the school with stuff and it's just nice. All the people are really nice. So I just kept doing it.

Student:
I had a friend who was in this class last year and I heard that it was really fun, so I wanted to try it out. And I've been in here earlier a few times and Kimberly's really nice. So he's right. It's fun.

Student:
So I am at the office because Kimberly was, and she's a really nice person and I thought it would be nice to come down here.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Show us in the spirit for our school and to have some fun with other people.

Student:
Awesome. I thought it would've been fun and Kimberly was super nice.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Everyone says that. She's nice. That's definitely it. What do you guys think of the Pez?

Student:
It's really coo how many she has.  I've thought about how long has she collected them for, because she has a ton.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I think she has quite a few. Even from the last 10 years. Do you guys ever eat the candy?

Student:
I don't. I just kind of keep them to really look at

Superintendent Godfrey:
Do you have a favorite Pez?

Student:
I do. I like the crayon ones.

Superintendent Godfrey:
The Crayon ones, which color in particular?

Student:
I probably liked the purple.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. I was liking the orange. So we split the set effectively. How about you? What's your favorite?

Student:
I think I like the Star Wars ones a lot, just because I'm a really huge fan of Star Wars.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. I love the Star Wars ones too. I that's where I collect a little bit is with the sStar Wars ones.

Student:
I like the Star Wars ones too. My favorites are the giant ones that she has. I didn't even know those existed and I think they're pretty cool.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Let's open a Pez snap. It that it snapping back? It makes that noise when you're loading it. Let's load it with some candy. Should we try the sugar cookie? That way you can try it. All right. We're going to open up the sugar cookie. Now there's a real trick to it. If you don't like the candy, you're probably not very good at loading it or are you just tense? So you have to pull the whole body out. And then if you open up the full side of the candy wrappers. Good. Right. You can get them all on hand, but otherwise they go all over the floor. Oh, that does. It's bursting with fruit flavor. Wow. Smells good. How could you be sad and smell that? It can smell good. Yeah.

Student:
I'll give the kids candy sometimes. I'll pull it out and say here.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Can I look at what you have? Cotton candy. I've never tried it. Cotton candy flavor. Orange lemon. Oh, and there's a sugar cookie. What's this one sugar cookie candy. All right. Let's try it again. All right. We're fully loaded. All right, let's try it. Let's try the sugar cookie there and do a taste test. Oh wow. It's like, I can taste the frosting too. Okay. I'm going to have another one. Wow. That sugar cookie is actually pretty good. You sure you don't want to try one?

Kimberly:
Wow. Maybe I'll try one. No, no, no. Oh my goodness. It's not bad.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Taste like the Pillsbury dough boy. Like the rolled up holiday theme. That's what it tastes like, a snowman picture in the middle.

Kimberly:
Yeah. It does taste like that. So where did the idea for collecting Pez come from?

Kimberly:
I held back because everyone I work with has heard me answer because this is a huge question that almost everyone asks me. You know, first they say, is this some weird obsession you have, you know, and what does your husband say?

It started out as a white elephant gift from Donna, who's my current principal now. But we used to work together 10 years ago at Herriman High School. And there were three Pez dispensers in there with a few candy. I put them on my desk because I'm thinking, who gave me these because I have no idea where they came from because there was no signature on it or who it was from and put them on my desk. And next thing I know, people started bringing them in saying, "Oh, you collect Pez. Here you go." And before the week was gone, I was collecting Pez dispensers. They were just being brought in from kids from teachers.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Is it kind of like having one hit song and you're only known for that song and you get kind of tired of playing that in concert? Does it get old being the Pez girl sometimes and I'm sure it is for everyone around me?

Kimberly:
Well, no, I think it's okay.It's funny. It's definitely a conversation piece. And  it really has built bridges. It really has. It's been a great conversation piece and something for kids who just need to talk about something. Or even parents come in and we take a trip down memory lane and next thing you know, they leave and we're BFF, you know, we've had our whole Pez connection.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Yeah. Are there Pez conventions or do you travel?

Kimberly:
Just this last year I think I've reached the level of maybe I'm interested in attending.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow. Wow.

Kimberly:
My brother lives in Philadelphia and there's one like two hours away from the Pez Museum. I think it's in New Hampshire and Connecticut. It's in Connecticut. Sorry. And they sell Pez there, but it's also a museum. And so I told my brother, next time I come to see you, I'm gonna rent a car and go visit the Pez Museum.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow. We may need to do another Supercast episode when you've done that.

Kimberly:
I will let you know.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That said, that's quite remarkable. We're here with the Principal of Oquirrh Hills Middle, Donna Hunter. Donna has been an educator in a lot of different settings and at a lot of different levels. And now Principal of Oquirrh Hills. And I understand you are the person who started this whole Pez business. Tell us the story.

Donna:
Well, it was kind of an accident because what do you usually do with white elephant gifts? I re-gift them. You throw them away. You give them to your kids or whatever. But apparently I must have touched her heart because she put it up on her desk. And all of a sudden they started multiplying and people kept bringing her stuff. And before you know it, she's running out of space and we couldn't believe it. We laughed about it a lot. And it was really fun. And then she left Herriman. She came here and I walked in one day and she was in the front office and it was like this whole great big Pez display that was so impressive. And she says, "Yeah, you started this". And it just has kept going. And now every one of us, we look for Pez dispensers that she's challenged us to find. Now it's defined or something she hasn't seen before. And for some reason we can still come up with more. I don't know who designed the Pez, but they're genius. Absolute genius. Right?

Superintendent Godfrey:
I agree. I was very proud that I was able to find some that she doesn't have, particularly Star Wars. So I felt good. Tad bit jealous on that.

Oh wow. You now you have some bobble heads. Okay.

Donna:
I do. I have bobbleheads and I have other gifts that kids gave me and then toys that I've stolen from my children.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Is it hard to collect in the shadow of Kimberly?

Donna:
You know, I don't know. I don't even want to try to compete with that because the kids have stopped giving me stuff, except for a hard time. They give me a hard time all the time, but they'll never stop giving stuff to Kimberly because everybody loves her.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. That's no surprise. What's the impact that Kim has on the culture of the school.

Donna:
You mean besides being my guardian angel, she's amazing. I will tell you that she she works so well with kids. They know that they can come see her for a piece of candy. She always gets something out of them for it. They have to be respectful. And she is so kind to parents when they call in with somebody who has a child that is sick. Oh, I how's he doing? You know, we've missed him. And she knows everybody. If I don't know somebody, Kimberly does. And I mean 1300 favorite children, but I don't know all of their names. And I swear to you, she knows everybody.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We witnessed that as I was standing in the office. Just kid after kid came in and she called them by first name, like right off the bat.

Donna:
And that is so valuable. Not only for me, but for the community. And she has recruited people to work here. She has helped. It is so valuable because not only is she part of her school community, she's part of our community and to be able to employ people that are in our area that know our kids makes it even that much more effective. I think she's got a lot of skin in the game.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Have you seen an impact on how kids interact with her and how welcome they feel?

Donna:
You know what? They just know that she's fun. What serious adult wouldn't have a wall full of Pez? Right? Immediately that gives you the clue, that she's going to be friendly and she's going to be fun. And she lives up to that. It's the way  to be approachable. When you see all this molded plastic behind you, with 99.9% sugar in them. That helps. It makes it so this is not a scary place. This is a fun place. It's a welcoming place. And those Pez are going to go down in history. They are part of her legacy. I don't know when she takes him down for the summer, the place looks so bare because she catalogs them during the summer.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You make sure that they're all there. Wow. So she rotates them in and out.

Donna:
Well, they're a made of a durable plastic, so they'll probably outlive us all.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, I'm thinking there is probably at least a thousand here. I can only imagine.

Thanks for joining us on a special Halloween edition of the Supercast. That'd be Halloween. And remember. education is the most important thing you will do today and we'll see you out there.

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