Nurse Mary Frothingham, left, was honored by the Grand County School District, announced by Board of Education Vice President Dr. Kathy Williams. [Photo: Grand County School District]

The Grand County School District Board of Education honored JoLynn Torgerson and Mary Frothingham at their annual End of the Year Awards on June 11.

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year: JoLynn Torgerson

JoLynn Torgerson was awarded 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year. In 2012, Torgerson was hired as a third-grade teacher and now teaches fifth grade in the district.

“Staff say JoLynn is an innovative teacher who is always trying new things and adjusting her teaching to what is working and changing when things are not working,” an announcement from the Board of Education reports. “She gives her students many hands-on learning experiences to help them grasp the concepts being taught”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift toward balancing online and in-person learning throughout the year, teachers have had to be extremely flexible. Torgerson handled the transition well, say staff.

“With the knowledge she has about technology, she was able to quickly transition her students to remote learning with ease when school shut down,” the statement announcing her award reads. “Her students were already familiar with Google Classroom and able to continue with their assignments without much of a disruption to their learning.”

Torgerson’s affection for technology led her students to participate in remote learning at higher rates, and as students returned in the fall she led the fifth-grade remote learners.

“She has demonstrated through several observations that she can teach just as well as an online teacher as she does in person,” her recognition reads. “She is also a teacher that truly cares about the students and other staff members in the building.”

Thank you and congratulations, JoLynn!

2020-21 Employee of the Year: Mary Frothingham

Mary Frothingham was honored as employee of the year as the district’s only school-based nurse, providing services for over 1,400 students in the district at our four campuses. She was hired in 2019 and is the first full-time nurse ever employed by the district to cover all the schools.

“Mary is a key player helping to keep our schools open to in-person learning all year through the COVID-19 pandemic and has been instrumental in providing testing for our students to continue playing sports and participating in clubs, groups and tournaments,” a statement announcing her award reads.

As part of that role, Frothingham is the point-of-contact person for all staff, students and families who needed to coordinate and track COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, quarantines and more. That meant a lot of time addressing individual concerns and spearheading plans in conjunction with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that students were safe and missed as little time in school as possible.

“Her countless hours of researching Covid-19 procedures, meetings with the health department, school district and other health officials, have been too numerous to keep track of,” her award statement reads. “She helped implement the vaccination clinic to ensure the health and safety of our staff members at one time, and coordinated with the health department to provide student vaccine clinics.”

“This Covid school year would not have been possible if it were not for the vigorous and irreplaceable efforts of Nurse Mary,” the Board’s statement reads.

Thank you and congratulations, Mary!