Teachers, staff honored for years of service to Grand County School District

In 2020 the district is recognizing 24 employees for their Years of Service and four retiring employees. Together they have a collective 342 years in service to the Grand County School District.

The district’s annual awards ceremony was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19. Please join Grand County School District in congratulating and commending its teachers and staff for serving and educating the children in the community.

The following Grand County School District employees are recognized for 5 Years of Service: Kari Barnard (middle school English teacher); Lydia Barnes (custodian); Miranda Black (high school vice principal); Joshua Cameron (high school English teacher); Anna Conrad (transportation director); Melonie Dolphin (special education paraeducator); Karena Gholson (preschool teacher); Natalie Grout (special education teacher); Jeri MacAdams (cafeteria custodian); Lisa Nelson (special education paraeducator); Jana O’Marra (preschool paraeducator); Alanna Simmons-Cameron (high school English and journalism teacher); Mikalyn Steinbrueck (first-grade teacher); Kelly Vagts (elementary mental health therapist).

For 10 Years of Service the district recognized kindergarten teacher Torrie Guerrero.

Five employees were recognized for 15 Years of Service: Jan Brown (special education paraeducator); Buffy Camps (sixth-grade teacher); Megan McGee (Grand Area Mentoring coordinator); Daniel McNeil (Grand Area Mentoring director); Laura Reed (high school science teacher).

Grand County High School Librarian Carol Stephenson was recognized for 40 Years of Service. Carol is the longest serving educator working at the Grand County School District.

The district honored its four retirees this year with flowers and awards: Kent Dalton; Stephen Hren; Belinda McKinnon; Libby Vaccaro.

Kent Dalton worked at the district for 13 years. He developed hands-on learning as the woodshop teacher for Grand County High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. He also taught construction at USU-Moab for high school students and each year the class built a house in the community from start to finish. He enjoyed teaching that allowed students to learn new skills as they claimed ownership of their projects through the entire build process. “When they started the project they really didn’t know the process, but when they finished it they could go back to the community and say, ‘I built that.’”

Dr. Stephen Hren worked at the district for 31 years. He began teaching as a science and outdoor educator at Grand County High School, developing and leading various lesson plans including human biology to frog dissection. Stephen was dedicated to raising student academic achievement and in 2007 he was promoted to principal at Grand County High School, a position he held until his retirement.

Belinda McKinnon worked at the district for 26 years. She moved to Moab in 1969 when she was a middle school student. After school, she began as a teaching assistant at the former Red Rock Elementary School building and became a certified first grade teacher, a position she greatly enjoyed for the rest of her years at the district. Belinda said teaching kids to read was one of her favorite experiences as a teacher. “Watching them break the code to learn reading, they get pretty excited,” she said. “I love the kids. The age group is precious and they’re funny.”

Libby Vaccaro worked at the district for 33 years. She started as a Special Education aid and eventually transferred to working as the secretary at the high school. She spent 13 years managing the high school’s finances as secretary. “I have loved working at the high school,” Libby said. “The students, my colleagues, the parents, the community, I’ve loved it all and am so grateful for everyone who has been a part of this 33-year journey.”