Seth Sorensen Appointed Communications & Community Relations Specialist for Nebo School District
With the retirement of Lana Hiskey, the Nebo School Board of Education has appointed Seth Sorensen as the Communications & Community Relations Specialist for Nebo School District.
Seth earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University and his masters degree in Curriculum Instruction and Assessment from Walden University, plus his Educational Administration License from Southern Utah University.
Mr. Sorensen has worked in Nebo School District for 23 years. He started as a fifth-grade teacher and served in a migrant school where he taught Algebra and Geometry. He has served as the Nebo Assessment Specialist for the past 20 years. He also served as math, science, social studies, and art specialists as well as a leader in the mentor program.
Additionally, Seth has been involved with the community and served on the Spanish Fork City Council for four years and the Salem City Council for eight years. Other boards Seth has served on include Rotary, Planning Commission, Chamber of Commerce, Utah Municipal Power Agency, South Utah Valley Municipal Water Association, Mt. Nebo Water Agency, and Utah Coalition for Educational Technology.
A colleague said, “With Seth’s involvement in the chambers and city councils, he will be a great asset in this new role in Nebo School District. He enjoys a challenge and thrives using the newest technology. Seth knows how to build lasting relationships and is respected by his colleagues.”
When asked about his motto, he stated, “If you have an idea or a desire to do something, jump in and don’t fear failure. Even the best batters in Major League Baseball history get out 6 out of 10 times up to bat.”
Seth is an author, commercial Paleontologist, softball coach, business owner, world traveler, and adventurer. He is married to Rachelle Davies, and they have three children with one grandchild on the way.
David Rockwood Appointed Assessment Specialist for Nebo School District
With Seth Sorensen accepting the Communications/Community Relations Specialist position, the Nebo School Board of Education appointed Dr. David Rockwood as the Assessment Specialist for Nebo School District.
David earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology Teaching from Brigham Young University and his master’s degree in Educational Psychology and doctorate’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy, both from University of Utah. He received the Milton Bennion Scholarship in 2017-18.
Dr. Rockwood served as the Assistant Principal at Payson High for the past four years. He served as the Dean of Students for two years at Springville Junior High and previously taught psychology at Payson High for 14 years. He coached track and field and cross country at Payson High and wrestling for Springville Junior High for 30 seasons. Dr. Rockwood served as an adjunct instructor at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University - Idaho.
Some awards include David being an Olympic Torchbearer in the 1996 Olympic Games, a Crystal Apple recipient at Payson High in 2012, and the current family champion of the board game Settlers of Catan. He also wrote a book titled, “Closing the Gap: Applied Sport Psychology for High School” that focuses on how to develop the mental skills that lead to excellence in performance. He has also published several other works including fiction and scholarly work on leadership.
When asked about his motto, David said, “Our Rockwood family motto is ‘Work hard. Be kind. Be true. Be brave.’ We believe that this represents the core virtues of a person of high character and the recipe for success in life.”
A colleague said, “David will be an excellent addition to the district’s leadership team. He can assess and evaluate data well and has an eye for detail. He is efficient and effective in his associations with students and staff. One of David’s greatest strengths is his integrity.”
“My life's work is to empower everyone with an exceptional education. And it has been an honor to serve the Payson High School community for 18 of the last 20 years. At the same time, I am passionate about the power that we gain from good data to focus our work onto what matters. And I am excited to bring that passion to my new role,” said Dr. Rockwood. “Also, we must let the needs of the learners drive what we do, using data to inform our decisions. I like to say that we must be ‘Learner driven and data informed.’ To me, leadership is service. I am thrilled and humbled to be able to serve all the learners in all of our Nebo schools.”
David is married to April; and they have six children. He loves reading, writing, running, board games, camping, rock climbing, rappelling, watching movies, and playing his ukulele. He also loves to learn broadly and dive deeply into ideas.
Michael Adams – Appointed Assistant Principal of Payson High
The Nebo School Board of Education appointed Michael Adams as the Assistant Principal of Payson High School in Nebo School District.
Mr. Adams earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Utah Valley University, his master’s degree in Education from University of Phoenix, and his Education Administration from Southern Utah University.
Mr. Adams served the past three years as the Assistant Principal at Salem Junior High and served as the Dean of Students of Payson High and Mapleton Junior for four years. He also served as a counselor for six years and worked in the Juvenile Court for three years, and Youth Corrections for six years.
Mr. Adams was recognized with the PEAK Award in 2023 and the PTA Excellence in Service Award in 2015. He received the Safe and Drug Free Schools Federal Grant in 2008. He has written and spoken at national conferences on teaching social skills, resilience, and mentoring at-risk youth.
A colleague said, “Mike leads leaders. He recognizes the importance of creating a positive school culture that supports professional learning communities. Mike helps teachers improve their curriculum and analyze data as well as provide students with additional time and support to meet their student-learning objectives. He has embraced the extra-curricular activities at the high school. He is professional and committed to school-wide excellence.”
“For me, education administration is the best job in the world. I get to help kids recognize and realize that they have more potential than they know. I get to acknowledge and commend teachers on their efforts at making the world a better place one kid at a time,” stated Mike.
When asked about his motto, Mike said, “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”
Mike enjoys pickleball and smoking all meats. He is married to Rachel, and they have three children.
Emily Hiatt – Appointed Assistant Principal of Salem Junior High
The Nebo School Board of Education appointed Emily Hiatt as the Assistant Principal of Salem Junior High School in Nebo School District.
Ms. Hiatt earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Science Education and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership both from Brigham Young University.
Ms. Hiatt served as the Dean of Students at Salem Junior High this past year. She taught science courses at Landmark High for five years and science at Providence Hall Junior High in Herriman for three years. Ms. Hiatt was honored as Landmark Teacher of the Year in 2021.
A colleague said, “Emily is a joy to watch as she builds relationships with students and staff. Many of our tough students come to Emily because she makes them feel valued and listened to. Emily is a great collaborator on our administrative team.”
“School leaders must create a vision that aligns with the student and stakeholder population and work toward goals that align with that vision,” stated Ms. Hiatt. “I am so grateful for every challenge I have had in my life because it has made me into the person I am today. My work in education is one of the biggest blessings in my life and has made me into a better person.”
Emily is a biology teacher at heart and loves being outside. Her favorite activities are swimming, hiking, snowboarding, and riding horses. Most weekends are spent hanging out with her children. She is married to Spencer, and they have two children with one on the way.
Angela Youd – Appointed Principal of Sage Creek Elementary
The Nebo School Board of Education appointed Angela Youd as the Principal of Sage Creek Elementary in Nebo School District.
Ms. Youd earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Utah Valley University and her master’s degree in Education Administration from Southern Utah University.
For the past 11 years, Ms. Youd has worked in Nebo School District. She served as a facilitator at Spring Lake Elementary and as Dean of Students at Spring Canyon Middle School. She taught second grade at Maple Ridge, Sierra Bonita, and Brockbank Elementary Schools.
Ms. Youd was honored with the Crystal Apple Award in 2019. She previously taught piano lessons and coached cheer and dance teams. She has served the children in her community and church for over 12 years.
A colleague said, “As a leader, Angela is extremely organized and dedicated to her responsibilities. Her teachers, staff, parents, and students hold her in high esteem. Angela is a team player and exhibits commitment to the profession. She is reflective, kind, and caring and will truly be an effective administrator.”
Ms. Youd said, “I believe that school is a place where students should feel valued, trusted, and successful. In order for these things to happen the school environment needs to be safe, welcoming, and inviting to all who enter. Each staff member at the school holds a responsibility to help each individual feel respected and needed, and plays a vital role in making school a great place to be.”
When asked about her motto, Angela said, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Angela enjoys camping, boating, and snowboarding–mostly anything outside with my family. She is married to Derek, and they have three children.
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