UHS custodian McCarrel earns state honors

UHS custodian McCarrel earns state honors
Posted on 05/04/2023
This is the image for the news article titled UHS custodian McCarrel earns state honorsCongratulations to Uintah High School custodian Aubrey McCarrel on his recent recognition by the Utah School Employees Association (USEA)!

McCarrel was honored at a banquet on April 21 as the USEA Custodial Services Education Support Professional of the Year. He also received USEA's inaugural Education Support Professional Community Award.

McCarrel's nomination was widely supported by those who work with him at the high school, in the district and in the community. Those who wrote letters of recommendation on his behalf noted that McCarrel is "always positive and is uplifting to the people he works with." He was also praised for his "can-do" attitude and recognized as "someone who makes all those around him better and is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful."

"Mr. McCarrel gives his time to community events, and plays a critical role, outside of his regular duties within our district," Uintah School District Student Services Dr. Dean Wilson wrote in his letter of recommendation. "He wants whatever he is involved with to be the very best, and he is very respected amongst his peers and those in leadership positions within the district and within the community."

Uintah High teacher and coach Gregg Stensgard said the way McCarrel interacts with students and staff "is just so special and rare in today’s world."

"He has a way of communicating and interacting with people of all ages," Stensgard wrote. "Aubrey is a genuine, caring, individual. His love for community and country is unsurpassed."

UHS teacher Janalee Watkins also praised McCarrel for his support of student council initiatives, his love for veterans, respect for the flag, and willingness to speak to her students.

"Aubrey has a gift of teaching students. He is a regular guest speaker in my psychology class," Watkins wrote. "He teaches students the importance of good mental health and good coping skills. He has relatability with students. They respect him and what he has to say."

In addition to his work at Uintah High, McCarrel is actively involved with Special Olympics. He is also a Ride Captain for the Uintah Basin area's Patriot Guard Riders, honoring fallen veterans and first responders. Earlier this year, he worked with the annual Tournament of Champions to raise money for Nation of Patriots to benefit disabled veterans in Utah.

"Aubrey has a big heart and will do anything he can for students, staff, and community to help with whatever they ask him to do," Uintah Basin Patriot Guard Rider Regional Officer Cindy Bryson wrote in her letter of recommendation.

McCarrel said he is humbled by the awards he received last month.

"I don't want to just be a custodian," he said. "I want to touch lives and let these young adults know they matter. I love Uintah and I never thought I would. I'm a Basic High Wolf from Henderson, Nevada, who has become a Uintah Ute."

The Uintah School Board plans to celebrate McCarrel during its May 10 business meeting.
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