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Draper Journal

New Summit Academy principal to welcome back students

Jul 31, 2018 02:14PM ● By Julie Slama

Current Summit Academy Principal and kindergarten through eighth-grade Executive Director Tyler Whittle, seen here in 2016, will become Summit’s kindergarten through 12th-grade executive director for all of Summit Academy’s campuses. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected] 

Gary Tucker isn’t new to Summit Academy, but he will be the public charter school’s new Draper campus principal, the fourth in Summit’s history. 

Tucker, who taught chemistry and biology at Summit’s high school campus, joined the Draper campus, serving students kindergarten through middle school, last year as its assistant principal. 

In addition to teaching at Summit Academy High, Tucker was a science teacher at Rigby (Idaho) High School and at Rocky Mountain Middle School (Idaho). He earned his bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife from Utah State and his master’s in environmental science from University of Idaho. He also earned his educational specialist degree in education administration from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

Current principal and kindergarten through eighth-grade executive director Tyler Whittle will become Summit’s kindergarten through 12th-grade executive director

Whittle, who assumed the principal title in July 2016 when the school’s second principal, Bob Zentner, retired, grew up in north Spokane, Washington. As the son of a family grocer, he had several educator role models in his family. 

Whittle earned his bachelor’s degree in French teaching with an English-as-a-second language endorsement from Brigham Young University. Whittle earned his master’s in education-leadership administration at Arizona State University. He taught in Houston and was an administrative intern in Arizona before joining Summit Academy in 2013. 

In a statement he shared with Summit Academy, Whittle said it has been an honor to be principal and he is excited to serve all three campuses (Draper, Independence and Bluffdale) in his new position. 

“Summit Academy has been home to my family and me for the last four years and I look forward to serving the rest of the Summit Academy community for years to come,” he said. 

These administrative changes also will impact other positions. Paul Lundberg, who has 11 years of experience as an elementary school principal in Rigby, Idaho, and Pavilion, Wyoming, and 12 years as an elementary and middle school teacher in Idaho, Falls, Idaho, will become the Draper school’s assistant principal. 

Current Summit Academy Draper campus Assistant Principal and Director of Curriculum Karen Johnson will step into the new role of student achievement director. She will help develop, implement and support the academic achievement and growth at all Summit Academy campuses. Johnson, who has her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from BYU and her master’s degree in elementary literacy from USU as well as her reading endorsement in reading and advanced reading from USU, has more than eight years of experience as a licensed administrator in both elementary and secondary schools.  

At the high school, Natalie Call, who has been serving as both Summit’s high school principal and 9-12 executive director, can focus exclusively on the high school as she remains its principal.

Canyons School District also announced new administrative appointments. 

In Sandy, former Altara Elementary principal and Albion Middle assistant principal Scott Jameson will take the helm of Alta View Elementary for a retiring Karen Medlin, who has been an educator for 40 years. 

“I love what I’ve been doing,” she said about her lifelong career. “What makes a difference is making connections.”

She recommends to administrators making changes this fall to “listen to the community, to the teachers and to the kids. Ask a lot of questions so you know what is going on.” 

The other Sandy administrative appointment is East Sandy Elementary achievement coach Lori Reynolds being hired as Sprucewood Elementary principal as current principal Colleen Smith will become a Canyons School District Responsive Services Program administrator. 

Midvale’s Hillcrest High assistant principal Justin Matagi will replace Jameson at Albion Middle School as assistant principal and Cottonwood Heights’ Brighton High Assistant Principal Matt Schelble being reassigned to replace Matagi at Hillcrest. Current East Midvale Elementary Principal Justin Pitcher has been reassigned to replace Schelble and current Murray School District’s Viewmont Elementary Principal Matt Nelson was hired to replace Pitcher. 

Also in Canyons District, current Midvale Middle School achievement coach Sara Allen will replace Cottonwood Height’s Butler Middle School Assistant Principal Jody Wihongi, who is retiring; current Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal Matt Watts will shift to take the position of current Midvale Middle Assistant Principal Kip Carlsen, who has accepted a position in Granite School District; and current Canyons District Responsive Services specialist Ashley McKinney will replace Watts.