Utah College Application Week begins today at Park City High School

More than 90 percent of middle school students say they plan to go to college, yet only two-thirds of students actually end up attending. If you are the parent of a high school senior, the week of Nov. 6 is an important one — Utah College Application Week (UCAW). The goal of this event is to provide every Park City High School senior with the opportunity to complete at least one college or university application during the school day.

Throughout this week, counselors place special focus on students who will be the first in their families to attend college, low-income students, and students who may not have considered applying to college.

UCAW will take place in the high school’s College & Career Center within the Counseling Center. Some colleges waive application fees during UCAW.  If students qualify for free and reduced lunch, and wish to apply to a college that does not accept fee waivers, the counselors, with the generosity of the Park City Education Foundation, have additional financial support available.

There are specific times available for students needing help with college essays, scholarships, and financial aid.  Out-of-state college applications are also available.

For more information, contact the PCHS Counseling Center.

Here is the schedule:

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Elementary artwork to be featured at Saluting Our Heroes Luncheon in Salt Lake City


Student artwork from three Park City elementary schools will be featured this month at the Saluting Our Heroes Luncheon at the Grand America on Nov. 15.  The National Ability Center (NAC) and Kimball Art Center (KAC) partner each year for the event.

The Park City Education Foundation and KAC provide grants to three schools for visual arts education: Trailside, McPolin, and Parley’s Park Elementary Schools.  Each school has one art educator, and receives the same lesson plan. Even though instructions are similar, interpretations vary, which make it so dynamic.

The Elementary Visual Arts (EVA) lesson for October featured the art of Romero Britto. Each elementary school student created a Romero Britto inspired drawing for the luncheon.

The luncheon honors military men and women, while building awareness of the needs of returning service members. The event highlights opportunities and resources available in Utah to assist veterans as they transition back to civilian life. This year’s keynote speaker is Martin Frey,  the first person to successfully climb the world’s Seven Summits and sail the Seven Seas.

Park City schools to honor local veterans


Several schools in Park City School District will celebrate Veterans Day by honoring the service of local veterans.

Treasure Mountain Junior High

Now in its eighth year, Treasure Mountain Junior High’s veterans assembly is planned for Friday, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. at the Eccles Center. The program, which is centered around “How Can I Honor my American Military Heroes?” will include the presentation of the colors by the Honor Guard from Hill Air Force Base, student Kaia Swanson singing The National Anthem and accompanied by bagpipes, and a patriotic slideshow presentation. Three veteran awards will be given to Special Ops soldiers, six students will be honored for their essays on patriotism, and four students will be honored for their patriotic art.

Parley’s Park Elementary

Major Jen Eaton, public affair officer for the Utah Air National Guard Joint
Force Headquarters, has children attending Parley’s Park Elementary. Each year she organizes special Veterans Day and Memorial Day visits to classes. This year Brig. Gen. Christine Burckle, Commander of the Utah Air National Guard (UTANG), will speak at the school on Nov. 10.  She is the first woman to be promoted to the rank of 1-star general in the Utah Army or Air National Guard and the first woman to command the UTANG. She will be speaking about Veterans Day and patriotism is general terms, plus
addressing the importance of diversity and inclusion.  Brig. Gen. Burckle will speak to the dual immersion third grade classes first thing that morning, and will talk to first grade classes after lunch.

McPolin Elementary

McPolin Elementary will host a Veterans Day Assembly on Nov. 10 at 8:30 a.m. in the lunchroom. The program will include a flag ceremony, songs by the fourth and fifth grades, a performance by the school choir, and a presentation on “What is Veterans Day.”

Trailside Elementary

Trailside Elementary is having a Veterans Day Reception at the school on Nov. 10 at 8:30 a.m., followed by a Veterans Day Assembly at 9 a.m.

Park City Leadership Academy created for at-risk sixth-grade students


Rob Harter, executive director of the Christian Center of Park City, knows that one of the most critical transitions in a student’s life is the transition from elementary school to middle school.

“We heard of stories of students who were doing great in school in elementary but quickly began to lose interest in school throughout middle school and for some later dropped out altogether by high school,” said Harter. “When we coupled that with the reality that there are no current leadership programs for at-risk students in sixth grade at Ecker Hill, we were motivated to start a leadership program specifically for them.”

Thus, the Park City Leadership Academy (PCLA) was created. It provides an environment where students can both learn and apply leadership skills from hearing and interacting with local, regional, and state leaders.

“We hope our end result is that these sixth graders will believe that they too can become leaders,” he said.

“This is a pretty amazing program,” said Ecker Hill Middle Principal Traci Evans. “It’s a pre-leadership program for our sixth-grade students.”

A ninth-month curriculum was developed and the PCLA consists of once a month meeting from 3:50 to 4:50 p.m. at Ecker Hill Middle School.

The curriculum for the remainder of  year includes:

-Nov 15: Panel Discussion including local Latino business leaders such as Gabriel at Chase Bank, and Jorge Fierro from Rico Brand

-Dec. 13: Service opportunity through Operation Hope Toystore in Park City

-Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day with guest speaker

-Feb. 15: Multicultural Youth Leadership Day at the Capitol (all day event)

-March 14: Guest speakers within hospitality industry

-April 18: Panel discussion from nonprofit leaders who love what they do and give back to the community

-May 16: Joint meeting at Camp Kostopolous with Latinos in Action, Bright Futures, Teen Council, and Young Life

PCHS to present ‘The Addams Family’

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They are creepy and they are kooky, and they are coming to the Eccles Center in November.

Park City High School’s theater department presents “The Addams Family” Nov. 16-18 at 7 p.m., and a Nov. 18 matinee at 2 p.m.  Doors open a half hour before each show. Director Rick Kimball said to come when the doors open because the show starts the moment you enter the theater.

Comedy ensues when the Addams family tries to fit in with Wednesday’s boyfriend’s family. This show has all the great characters you would expect like Gomez Addams, Morticia Addams, Wednesday Addams, Uncle Fester, Pugsley and their crazy Grandma. You will also meet tons of their dead relatives and new characters as well.

“This new musical, which premiered on Broadway a couple of years ago with Nathan Lane, has a contemporary sense of humor,” said Kimball. “You will find yourself laughing the whole time, as the characters try to fit into a world that considers them a little different.”

Kimball said the students have been working really hard at this musical. “They have been looking over the script during the summer and were actually memorized completely the first day of school,” he said. “On top of that, this is the most choreography our musical theater department has had in recent memory. The music in this is really difficult, but you will really see how talented our students are as they excel in this musical.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and children under age 12. Tickets are available at the door (cash and checks accepted).

A silent auction will be held Friday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. outside the Eccles Center. The theater department is presenting seven shows this year, performing and Disneyland, and raising funds to study with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Europe in two years.

For more information about this production and all future productions, please visit www.parkcityhstheater.com

Last year, Park City High’s musical “Little Women” won best orchestra and best set design in the state of Utah.

The cast includes: 

Gomez Addams: Jack Jorgenson

Morticia Addams: Makenzie Addams

Pugsley Addams: Tori Kenton

Wednesday Addams: Alexa Wilcox

Uncle Fester: Dallin Gull

Grandma Addams: Katie Lobrot

Lurch: Stryder Larsen

Mal Beineke: Adam Hickey

Alice Beineke: Joey Neubecker

Lucas Beineke: Marcello Caro

Dead Bride Ancestor / Grandma Addams understudy: Katie Rusconi

Zookeeper Ancestor / Fester Understudy:  Jonathan Cook

Dead Pioneer Ancestor /Mal Understudy: Caleb Strange

Dead Flapper Ancestor / Alice UNDERSTUDY : Caroline Waldmann

Dead Native Ancestor :  Courtney Peabody

Dead Saloon Girl Ancestor : Kalli Peers

Dead Conquistador Ancestor: Olivia Netland

Dead Pirate Captain Ancestor: Aubrie Walker

Dead Caveman Ancestor: Jared White

Dead Soldier Ancestor: Blake Matamoros

Dead Baker Ancestor: Ellie McGinnis

Dead Athlete Ancestor: Bella Shaw

Dead Queen Ancestor: Gemma Feltovich

Dead Royal lady Ancestor:  Sadie Gualazzi

Dead Old Police Officer Ancestor: Heidi Brown

Dead Ballerina Ancestor: Rachael Guthery

Dead Victorian woman Ancestor: Coco Berwald

Dead Cowgirl Ancestor: April Buys

Dead Naval Captain Ancestor: Zoe Lupcho

Dead Hunter Ancestor: Josie Chesley

Dead Gladiator Ancestor: Kasey Kriklen

Dead Housekeeper Ancestor: Mylie Lenard

Thing: Chelane Clift

The After Life Dance Company includes:

Caroline Applegate

Clara Bradford

Bella Buehner

Rylee Bukovinsky

Ella Hansen

Ali Herman

Allison Lambert

Ella Markham

Alexa Medes

Vivian Pinnell

Shelby Porges

Franzi Ritzinger

Taylor Sharrar

Amelia Skinner

Josie Slobodow

Bailey Stowall

Mia Strup

Nicole White


Debate Team wins first-place sweepstakes at southern Utah tournament

IMG_5750 (1)The Park City High School debate team brought home the first-place sweepstakes trophy from the  Dixie High School Flyer Frights Tournament held this past weekend in St. George.

Ten schools with 300 students competed in the 4A division.

Here are the first and second place winners in Varsity and Novice:

-Novice Extemporaneous Speaking: Paige Hassel, 1st

-Novice Impromptu:Jack Poynton and Annie Sheinberg, tied for 1st; Lance Rothchild, tied for 2nd

-Novice Public Forum Debate: Max O’Reilly and Jack Engel, 1st

-Novice Congress:Jack Poynton, 1st;  Lance Rothchild, 3rd

-Varsity Dramatic Interpretation: Alicia Whitty, 1st

-Varsity Humorous Interpretation: Krissy Brian, 1st

-Varsity Duo Interpretation: Aiden Beukema and Krissy Brian, 2nd

-Varsity SPAR:  Ryan Gilbert, tied for 2nd; Nina Williams, Jack Engel, Teddy Johnson, and Max O’Reilly all earned points for the team

-Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking: Matt Gustafson, tied for 2nd;  Zach Primo and Aiden O’Brien both earned points for the team

-Varsity Impromptu: Aiden Beukema, Reede Nasser and Will Efrusy, triple tie for 1st

-Varsity Oratory: Adam Hickey, 1st

-Varsity Congress: Adam Hickey, 2nd; Matt Gustafson, top 5

-Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Zach Primo, 2nd; Brendan Sweeney and Aiden O’Brien earned points for the team

-Varsity Public Forum Debate: Boyana Martinova and Nina Williams, tied for 1st’ Gavin Serr/Will Efrusy were also undefeated and earned 10 points for the team.


Day of the Dead to be celebrated at PCHS

Park City High School students and their families are invited to experience the Mexican cultural tradition of “Day of the Dead” (Día de los Muertos) on Nov. 2 from 7-9 p.m. at the high school.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.36.36 AMThere will be a presentation explaining the ‘offering altar’ made by students, a traditional folk dance, music, face painting, a piñata, and traditional food (tamales; pan de muertos, a special sweet bread; hot chocolate; and atole, a cornmeal based drink). There will also be a “best tamales” contest.

“Support multiculturalism and community in Park City,” said Dirk Gootjes, Latino Outreach, who oversees Latino Outreach at the high school.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Oct. 27, by emailing Gootjes at dgootjes@pcschools.us. The event is free but RSVPs are crucial so the school knows how much food is needed. Parents or families wanting to donate money or food for the evening should contact Gootjes.

“It is common that there can be misinformation and misunderstanding about traditions that are not our own and Day of the Dead is no exception,” he said.

Gootjes, who lived in Mexico for 10 years and is well versed in Mexican folk traditions, dispels two myths concerning Day of the Dead:

MYTH: Day of the Dead is a religious holiday.

FACT: Although it is celebrated on the same day as a Catholic holiday (All Soul’s Day), it is not an official Catholic holiday such as Christmas or Easter. In fact, the roots of Day of the Dead are pre-Colombian, and many of the symbols and practices are derived from the indigenous groups of Meso America (Maya and Aztec, e.g.). 
In general, people celebrate in their homes and schools in Mexico, creating altars (called ofrendas in Spanish) that display portraits, favorite foods, and special possessions of their loved ones who have passed. So, Day of the Dead is much like our Halloween (Gaelic festival called Samhain marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset) in that it is a beloved secular, cultural tradition with its roots in ancient ritual.

MYTH: Day of the Dead is morbid and depressing because of the skeletons, skulls, and obsession with death.

FACT: Day of the Dead is not a sad or scary occasion, but a spirited secular holiday when people remember and honor family members who have died. All of this is part of the philosophy that death is not something to be feared, but a natural part of life. Families also visit the graves of their loved ones, cleaning the headstones, decorating with flowers, and bringing food and music.

PCHS students/families wanting to make an individual offering altar for a family member or those who want to contribute to the large general offering altar on display, should contact Gootjes.