SANDY — Bruce Shuck, a guidance counselor at Crescent View Middle School, has helped hundreds of students learn more about their Native American identity.

His involvement with the Standing Tall program, which teaches students with Native American heritage about Native American culture, helped earn him recognition this fall as a recipient of the Utah School Counselor Association's Human Rights Award.

For his part, Shuck says the Human Rights Award honors his students more than himself.

"It's recognition of the students I work with," he said.

In addition to meeting weekly with Standing Tall students at Crescent View, Shuck is also a member of the Indian Education Parent Committee and he coordinates a districtwide monthly Native American meeting. 

Shuck said he has always felt a close connection to Native American culture. It started when he was young, when the neighborhood kids used to play "cowboys and Indians," and he always chose to be the Indian, he said.

But it wasn’t until he was 30 that he discovered that he really did have Native American blood. His great-grandmother was part of the Cherokee Nation.