Salt Lake School District
Stephanie Hunt

SALT LAKE CITY — A teacher at Clayton Middle School has been named the Utah recipient of the first National University System-Sanford Teacher Award.

Stephanie Hunt, who teaches English language development, is one of 51 educators from each state and the District of Columbia to win the award, which recognizes their commitment to creating inspirational and harmonious classrooms that support student development and achievement. Each awardee will receive $10,000.

The award is named for philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, who is committed to supporting inspiring teaching nationwide through pre-K through 12 programs that are being expanded nationally by the National University System. Hunt now qualifies for a chance to be recognized as the national winner, which will be named in early 2019.

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“This is a well-deserved award for an exceptional teacher,” Jared Wright, Clayton Middle School principal, said in a statement. “Stephanie excels at helping students reach their potential and see the best in themselves.”

The winning teachers were selected by a committee of educators, based on an application process that included nominations and information provided by each teacher to assess how closely they represent characteristics of inspiring teaching, which include: enthusiasm for teaching; empathy and warmth toward all students; fostering positive relationships with all students; creating a positive learning environment; and recognizing student strengths.