Crystal Apple Award

Julie Park

Stephanie Swensen teaches because she loves kids and she loves teaching, in that order.  Stephanie majored in Statistics at BYU and then went on to have a career in industry.  She was very good at her job.  She managed people.  That was great preparation for teaching. 


After a number of years, she left her work and began her teaching career as a substitute teacher.  One of the hardest jobs ever.  She found out that she has a real talent for teaching and she liked it.  She decided that she wanted to do it full-time. 


She spent countless hours studying and taking classes in order to be a certified teacher.  She has blessed hundreds of lives since then.  She blesses the students she teaches and the people she works with. 


Stephanie truly cares about her students.  Stephanie sets high standards for her students and expects them to follow through.  She wants them to understand the material and have confidence using it.  She is always willing to help her students when they have questions.  She pushes them to be better than they thought they could be.  She celebrates with them when the have success.  She encourages and buoys them up when there are challenges. 


She is concerned about their lives in school and outside of school.  You will always find food in Stephanie’s closet, not for herself but for a hungry student.  Stephanie keeps her stash in her desk.  She likes a snack every now and then and a daily dose of Dr. Pepper.


Stephanie is great to work with.  She is a born leader.  She is very smart, works hard and helps others.   Stephanie is supportive of her co-workers.  She is willing to help wherever and whenever there is a need.  She lifts her co-workers to a higher level.  She candidly shares her opinions and ideas and respectfully listens to the ideas of others.  She is a problem solver.  She tackles challenges head on and has the courage and ability to move forward.  Stephanie is a great example of what a caring, competent teacher does.  It’s who she is. 


Stephanie is a math nerd, that is meant as a compliment.  She gets excited about math and shares her enthusiasm with her students and her co-workers.  She has a math T-shirt for every occasion and pi earrings to compliment her outfits. 


There have been studies done that say we become more like the three people we spend the most time with.  How grateful we are that we have spent time with Stephanie.  We are all better because of our association and friendship with Stephanie.  We know that as she leaves us to teach at Cottonwood High School, her circle of influence gets larger.  How grateful we are to be in that circle.  More teachers and students will be blessed because of her.  


Thank you, Stephanie, for all you have done.  We love you and we will miss you.