UHS students accomplish much during trying year

UHS students accomplish much during trying year
Posted on 04/27/2021
This is the image for the news article titled UHS students accomplish much during trying yearAmid a school year of nasal swabs, risk mitigation protocols, desk wipe-downs, COVID precaution signs and M-acne (acne caused from the humidity of masks), many people might choose to see what has been lost, what has been canceled, or what has not been normal. At Uintah High School, many things have been different; however, the staff can attest to the fact that students have risen to each and every challenge.

Not one person dreamed of a day in which masks would be worn in school, especially not teachers. From day one, most students came to school masked up and ready to learn, many setting their own politics aside. Days and months would continue, and students just stayed the course. Masks have been worn not only during school time, but during dances, mock AP exams, ACT testing, athletic practices, club events, and bus trips.

Uintah High math teacher and Sterling Scholar advisor Kay Baker said, “Sterling Scholars traveled to Wasatch and back for their interviews, wearing masks the entire trip, and even through their interviews. They never complained once.”

Truly, students have shown their dedication to school and community with a simple action, and there have been many more amazing student actions at UHS.

Many of our clubs accomplished amazing feats of charity while having to socially distance, sanitize and reduce risk. National Honor Society brought in 3,400 items for Backpack Buddies and staffed an all-day food drive at the Ashley Valley Food Pantry. DECA created Thanksgiving baskets for shut-in families and fundraised for a former UHS teacher. Uintah FFA Chapter helped three local families during the holidays and assisted with the Farmers Feeding Utah Program, helping over 800 families receive food.

Even with all the setbacks of the pandemic, our students know how to persevere, serve others, and achieve. Our broadcasting students put in a lot of extra hours working with V6 Media to provide live streaming to anyone who could not attend a sporting event, becoming the first UHS broadcasting team. Three UHS students made it into the top three winner’s bracket of the American Mathematics Exam. Twenty-five students competed in the State Science Competition, and UHS scored 1st in building events. Our TSA/Robotics Clubs, utilizing new equipment, built five different Vex robots for their competitions this year. Both the Math and Science clubs continued their Study with a Buddy program, tutoring their peers.

Our athletics, band, choir, and theatre carried on, all looking different than anticipated, with each season bringing amazing memories and accomplishments. Our cheerleaders had representation at every student activity this year.

Janalee Watkins recalled a conversation with a member of Student Government: "This student has been quarantined three times for a total of six weeks. After each setback he rose to the occasion and helped to accomplish great things, like obtaining a spirit animal, accepting an invitation to meet with the Ute Tribe, and creating fun homeroom activities and working on prom."

"He and all of student council have pulled themselves up again and again and again all year long," Watkins said. "They have developed grit, become more creative and more intentional. It has been a hard year for everyone, but their resilience inspired me to be more creative, and adventurous in my teaching. These tough lessons will make all of us more resilient in the future.”

This school year may have looked different, but the lessons learned will far reach into the years ahead for each student, and as a staff, we are grateful we have been able to be in school this year. Students have been happy to be in school and to participate in their activities, doing what they enjoy. As many left prom on April 17, they turned in gratitude and said thank you to the staff. It was an honor to watch them enjoy themselves and have fun, and we hope all of us can learn a little from them.
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