During his tenure as the principal at Salem Hills High, Bart Peery has changed the culture of the school, to one of inclusivity, acceptance, and optimism. His efforts to tackle tough issues, such as bullying and suicide, have given way to national recognition; and a student body and community that is 100 percent behind the 2017 Utah Principal of the Year.
Mr. Peery says that his number one concern is the mental health of the students. To help with this, he created the slogan, “One of Us” to illustrate that everyone at the school belongs there and is valued. A physical piece of the slogan is a specially made pair of striped socks with the Skyhawk logo with the words, “One of Us” imprinted on the socks. These socks cannot be purchased, but are given to students at the school who exemplify the motto. They are coveted and sought after by every student. In addition to socks, he started a social media blitz using #shhsoneofus, #changingtheworld, #shhshero, #shhsstrivingforexcellence, and more.
Mr. Peery partnered with the PTSA to hold a “One of Us” week at the beginning of the school year. Students, families, and the community participated in a variety of events that fostered inclusivity and mental health, including learning about Tai Chi during lunch, a pancake breakfast and participating in the Deseret News’ “Angst” film and presentation. Mr. Peery’s support of the PTSA at Salem Hills High has been tremendous. He is an active member of the executive committee and goes above to extraordinary lengths to support the activities and initiatives planned by both the student members and the adult members. He can often be found in the halls before school, between classes, during lunch, and after school talking with students, giving high fives, and just enjoying the atmosphere in the school.
Bart Thomson said, “Mr. Peery deeply cares about each member of his school community. Each day as he interacts with teachers before school or throughout the day, he asks about our lives. Bart asks how we’re doing and expresses appreciation to us and for our efforts. Bart challenges us to make a difference. Challenging us to make a difference is what sets Mr. Peery apart from other administrators. He truly believes, at his deepest core, that he can ‘Change the World’. He encourages others to gain this same vision and act accordingly. He inspires each staff member on a daily basis to ‘Change the World’ in our own way. Each email, memo, in-service, or faculty meeting concludes with the words ‘Make a difference in someone’s life’ or ‘Be a hero to someone today’. He truly inspires the best of his team.”
Mr. Bart Peery was nominated by Jennie Ward.
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