The Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education has become one of the most prestigious honors for public school teachers, administrators and volunteers in Utah.
Every year since 1993 the Huntsman family has selected six teachers, three administrators, one special education teacher, and one volunteer to receive the award, which includes $10,000, a statuette, and a seat at the annual awards banquet.
“As the child of an educator, Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. saw firsthand the kind of personal sacrifice that teachers, administrators and volunteers make on behalf of the children in their classrooms. Simply put, public school educators embody the spirit of self-sacrifice and giving back.”
This year three of the 11 recipients of the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education can be found right her in Granite School District. They are:
Ana Alamo – 5th Grade Teacher at Cottonwood Elementary
Wes Cutler – Principal at Evergreen Jr High
Holly Schack – 3rd Grade Teacher at Stansbury Elementary
It’s tradition for each of the awardees to be surprised with the announcement while on the job. For Ana Alamo, the confusion and overwhelming realization came during a special assembly when her family walked into the auditorium accompanied by Karen Huntsman and a photographer.
Wes Cutler was sitting in a faculty meeting until it was abruptly interrupted with the news, which was followed by shouts from the Evergreen cheerleaders and a standing ovation from teachers and staff.
Holly Schack’s young third-graders were just as overcome with emotion as she was. Following the announcement the students gathered around their teacher for a photo and a few of them couldn’t hold back the tears. The love for their teacher was unmistakable.