Utah Educators honored for excellence with Huntsman Awards for Excellence

Published: Friday, April 27 2012 6:00 a.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Jon and Karen Huntsman have announced the recipients of the 2012 Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education.

In recognition of the awards' 20th year, an 11th individual has been awarded the first Mark H. Huntsman Award for excellence in the field of special education. The 11 teachers, administrators and volunteers will be honored at an awards banquet May 11 and each will receive $10,000.

Julie Larsen


Oak Hills Elementary, Bountiful

Julie Larsen is known for asking, "What can we do better?" She is an innovator and motivator. Since coming to Oak Hills five years ago she has worked to create an atmosphere of individual and attainable goals and encouraged both staff and students to push themselves to greater achievements.

To Larsen, no goal is unattainable. She is forward-thinking, equipping classrooms with state-of-the-art technology for teaching children in the 21st century. She works one-on-one with students to promote literacy and achievement. Larsen has started programs like book groups that meet with her each week to discuss a novel over lunch and "Mrs. L's 200 Club," where two students from each class are recognized for reaching preset goals and invited to participate in fun activities. She has also created a "Take Home Reading Library," which contains more than 3,800 nonfiction texts and is run by volunteer parents.

Larsen devotes her time to improving education and helping children set goals and understand their responsibilities as students.

Judy Mahoskey

Sixth-grade teacher

Liberty Elementary, Murray

Judy Mahoskey's work as a teacher extends well before and after the school bells ring. During her 29 years of teaching, Mahoskey has gained a reputation as a lifelong learner and educator, volunteering her time to give extra assistance to her students and promoting education in the community.

Mahoskey has served as president of the Murray Education Association. She works with lawmakers at the Capitol and in the last two years has offered free English as a Second Language classes for parents on Saturday mornings. Through the Murray School District's Academy of Instruction, Mahoskey helps other teachers improve classroom and instructional skills. She recognizes the key role that the family plays in a child's education, regularly involving parents in the curriculum through special presentations, early morning breakfasts and parent reading nights.

Mahoskey has had an incredible impact on the education system in her community. She is an example of going above and beyond what is required in order to help individuals reach their potential.

Ann Jenson

Fourth-grade teacher

Upland Terrace Elementary School, Holladay

The teaching style of Ann Jenson represents the breadth and depth of education. With 32 years of teaching experience, Jenson combines math and language achievement with physical fitness, art and music to engage a child in learning.

At Upland Terrace, Jenson conducts a monthly scholars program that includes poem memorization, physical activity, acts of kindness and math and reading goals, culminating in a final awards banquet. She runs Mittens and Mugs, an annual school-wide service project that benefits students of a neighboring school. She also helps organize the school's reading program, talent shows and a Mountain Man Rendezvous to cultivate a love of Utah history in her students.

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