AMERICAN FORK — Alpine School District has named Sam Loughton as Outstanding Employee for technology for 2006-07. Loughton, on-site computer technician for Cherry Hill, Westmore, Vineyard and Orem elementary schools is responsible for nearly 700 computers.

AMERICAN FORK — Alpine School District was recently awarded nearly $130,000 in grant money from the Utah State Office of Education to fund licenses for an online writing program. The grant was provides a "license to write" for every student in grades 7-10 to increase writing proficiency.

Vantage Learning Co.'s My Access program, which the grant will fund, has been in use within the district for the past four years, beginning with a four-school pilot program. My Access has since been used by elementaries, junior highs and high schools, all of which had to individually fund the licenses. With this award, every student in grades 7-10 will receive a license. My Access is an Internet-based program that scores student essays within seconds and provides detailed feedback based on a writing model in the state core curriculum.

PLEASANT GROVE — Pleasant Grove High School qualified two students this year to compete at the national convention of the Technology Student Association held in Nashville. Russell Short competed in 3D animation engineering and Jordan Schaefer competed in 3D animation architecture and placed in the top 10 tech students in the nation. Both students were given more than $10,000 in software from corporate sponsors.

SPRINGVILLE — Sage Creek Elementary has become the first recipient of a $10,000 Myra Tollestrup Professional Learning Community Grant. The grant was awarded to Principal Natalie Call, who used it to take a team of six teachers, a facilitator and an administrator to The Solution Tree — Pyramid of Interventions workshop in San Diego.

Richard and Becky DuFour sponsored the grant as a tribute to Tollestrup of Brigham Young University for her work coordinating a principal academy, which teaches new concepts in Jordan, Alpine, Provo and Nebo school districts.

"The teachers at Sage Creek have been very involved in collaboration and in creating a strong professional learning community during the last five years," Call said.

The DuFours picked Sage Creek Elementary based on its proposal of developing ways to assist students who are not grasping educational concepts.