Lower School

Preschool Art

PreK-3​​ Visual Art
PreK-3 students enjoy making artwork that expresses their unique ideas and creativity. Exploring the properties of a variety of materials and tools inspires these young artists to invent, experiment, and manipulate their supplies according to their own creative directions in both two and three dimensions. Drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, and constructing "beautiful junk" creations are some of the projects children eagerly pursue. Children are encouraged to identify elements of art both in their own works and in the works of famous artists.

PreK-4 Visual Art
PreK-4 students enjoy making artwork that expresses their unique ideas and creativity. Exploring the properties of a variety of materials and tools inspires these young artists to invent, experiment, and manipulate their supplies according to their own creative directions in both two and three dimensions. Drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, and constructing "beautiful junk" creations are some of the projects children eagerly pursue. Children are encouraged to identify elements of art both in their own works and in the works of famous artists.

Preschool Social Studies/Science

PreK-3​ Social Studies/Science
The primary goal in PreK-3 is developing a sense of wonder about the world in which we live. Life science topics include observing seasonal change weather, plants, animals, and insects. Building with blocks and experimenting with tools and simple machines allow children to discover physical science concepts.  As students investigate properties of plants, earth, and critters in the outdoor classroom, they enjoy hands-on exploration and observation with many opportunities to design their own experiments with water flow, properties of sand, rocks, soil, nuts, and shells, and inclines and ramps. Social studies topics include building friendships, community helpers, and exploring cultures throughout the world. Manipulating real and make-believe tools along with real and imitation processes, and posing questions invite investigations about how things work. Child-initiated investigations are the most important method of exploration throughout the year.

PreK-4 Social Studies/Science
The PreK-4 child's environment is the main focus of study, expanding upon what is already known about themselves, family, school, and the community at large as they learn about community helpers and traditions of children throughout the world. Children's minds are engaged through close observation of things they can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste.  Science includes a study of seasons, plants, insects, spiders, animals, oceans, and space. Children make predictions and hypotheses about what is observed, then generate ideas for problem solving or evaluate results of their study. Children learn to think about their thinking, construct new knowledge, and apply their emerging skills. They participate in discussions and investigations, conduct surveys, and ask questions to gather information. As students investigate properties of plants, earth, and critters in the outdoor classroom, they enjoy hands-on exploration and observation with many opportunities to design their own experiments with water flow, properties of sand, rocks, soil, nuts, and shells, and inclines and ramps.

Preschool Music

PreK-3 Music
Musical growth is experienced by PreK-3 children as they sing and move. Experiences promote the singing voice and a sense of steady beat. A repeating core of songs and rhymes help facilitate their vocal development. Musical comparatives such as same/different, speech/song, high/low, fast/slow, short/long, and soft/loud are explored. Activities include play, stories, acting, dramatization, and music listening, where the children naturally take part, imitate, and improvise within a safe environment for singing and vocal expression.

PreK-4 Music
Using appropriate activities for the young child, PreK-4 music focuses on music listening and aural perception, the singing voice, and steady beat. Children learn a core of rhymes, folk songs, and games that cultivate melodic and rhythmic memory and complement the seasons and homeroom themes. They experience musical comparatives and explore, imitate, and express themselves with voices, instruments, and movement. They play and improvise in the piano lab. Their natural musical spontaneity is supported. Habits of willing, uninhibited singing and enjoyable participation are nurtured.

Preschool Movement

PreK-3 Movement
PreK-3 students enjoy moving with expression and imagination in a shared space. They explore simple locomotor steps at the signal of a drum such as skip, slide, walk, gallop, hop, and jump. They practice self-regulation as they move, stop, and freeze at a signal, and participate in group games with rules. Red Light, Green Light and Old Grey Cat are favorites. They feel and experience a marching beat, create and hold simple shapes, and use imagination in pretending scenes such as forest, zoo, and toybox. Students are invited to stretch and relax, becoming aware of their heartbeats and breathing. Yoga poses of animals and elements in nature develop focus, balance, and flexibility.  In the outdoor classroom, students test and hone physical skills as they walk across a log, climb on rocks, and carry containers of water. Participating as an audience at school dance recitals adds wonder and appreciation for the joy of dance and movement.

PreK-4 Movement
PreK-4 students learn to move with expression and imagination in a shared space. They learn simple locomotor steps such as skip, slide, gallop, hop, and jump. They practice self regulation as they move, stop, and freeze at a signal and participate in group games. They feel and experience a marching beat and create and hold simple shapes. Students become aware of their breathing while stretching and doing yoga. In the outdoor classroom, students test and hone physical skills as they walk across a log, climb on rocks, and carry containers of water. Participating as an audience at school dance recitals adds wonder and appreciation for the joy of dance and movement.

Preschool Math

PreK-3 Math
Hands-on experiences with manipulatives help PreK-3 children identify attributes, sort, match, and label groups for counting, graphing, and patterning. Numeracy concepts are presented and practiced during small group, whole group, and child-directed center time. Acting out favorite stories such as the Three Billy Goats Gruff  makes math language fun and relevant. Using math concepts during block building is especially rewarding. Children compare size, height, and length as well as symmetry, angles, and geometric shapes. Using timers, money, and measuring tools of daily life help children recognize the many ways math is used in problem solving and critical thinking.

PreK-4 Math
Hands-on experiences with manipulatives help PreK-4 children identify attributes, sort, match, and label groups for counting, graphing, and patterning. Numeracy concepts and writing numerals are  practiced during small group, whole group, and child-directed center time. Children apply math concepts to everyday life. Estimating quantities, adding and subtracting, measuring, using position words, and exploring symmetrical design are activities that engage children's minds as mathematical thinkers.

Preschool Literacy

PreK-3 Literacy
The PreK-3 learning environment provides a balanced approach to literacy, which helps children see themselves as readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Rich literature, environmental print, oral language with explicit instruction focused on phonological and phonemic awareness skills, and opportunities to draw and write are implemented within the daily routines. PreK-3 children are introduced to all of the capital letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Children are encouraged to learn many rhymes and chants through the nursery songs and rhymes developed by the Waterford Institute. Exploring  thematic topics strengthens skills as the children listen attentively, share their ideas, learn how symbols are used as representations to communicate ideas, and strive to make sense of meaning and print in their environment. As part of the PreK/Kindergarten outdoor classroom, children make choices among labeled areas of interest and verbalize plans for where they'd like to play. Opportunities for writing labels, making signs, observational drawing, and dictating stories about their adventures in the outdoor classroom are available. These experiences strengthen their understanding and love of language.

PreK-4 Literacy
The goal of PreK-4 literacy is to help children see themselves as readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Careful listening and taking turns to talk is the beginning. The balanced literacy program provides experiences for children to listen to interesting language, learn new vocabulary and print in context of thematic topics, and receive direct instruction of reading and writing in small groups. Quality children's literature, books, rhymes, chants, environmental print, and focused attention on phonological and phonemic awareness skills are implemented within the daily routines. PreK-4 children are introduced to capital and lowercase letters and sounds of the alphabet. Additional alphabet and phonological skills are explicitly taught based on student readiness. As part of the PreK/Kindergarten outdoor classroom, children make choices  among labeled areas of interest and verbalize plans for where they'd like to play. Opportunities for writing labels, making signs, observational drawing, and dictating stories about their adventures in the outdoor classroom are available. These experiences strengthen their understanding and love of language.

Preschool Computer Science

PreK-4 Conputer Science
PreK-4 Full Day students spend time in the ipad lab each week working on the Waterford Early Learning Program. Practice with early reading skills such as name recognition, letter name and sound recognition, and phonemic awareness games correlate with ongoing classroom experience.

Kindergarten Visual Art

Kindergarten Visual Arts
During Kindergarten, children continue to experiment and begin to formulate ideas in which they are able to define their world through different art media. The philosophies during this year are similar to that of PreK-4; however, greater emphasis on skills occurs during the latter part of the year. Creativity is the key.

Kindergarten Science

Kindergarten Science
In Kindergarten science, students begin their year learning about what a scientist does. They study the lives of a few scientists and learn about their discoveries. The metric system is their next area of study. This is the measurement system used throughout the year. Astronomy and learning the order of planets is always a favorite for the students. These lessons help the children understand the orbit of the planets around the sun. The slant of the earth and how it causes different seasons is discussed. Students also study the effects of the moon's orbit around the earth. As part of our human biology unit, students are introduced to the five senses and a few of the body systems, with a focus on hygiene and caring for their bodies. In the zoology unit, children learn about vertebrates and some invertebrates, including spiders, insects, and worms. The final unit is a brief study of botany, introducing students to the basic facts about plant life.

Kindergarten P.E.

Kindergarten P.E.
Students demonstrate the mature form of certain locomotor skills (skipping, hopping, galloping) and manipulative skills (throwing, kicking, dribbling). Health-enhancing activities are introduced. These activities focus on the following health components: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility.  Teamwork, self control, responsibility, and problem-solving skills are taught. Students work to develop their skills in areas such as space awareness, transferring weight, chasing and fleeing, throwing and catching, kicking (soccer), dribbling (basketball), and striking with rackets, sticks (floor hockey), and bats.

Kindergarten Music

Kindergarten Music
Waterford children develop a love for music in Kindergarten. The singing voice and good vocal production is promoted. Students sing foundation songs for later learning of rhythmic and melodic concepts. Activities include movement, instruments, and listening with classical music. Students begin to relate rhythm and melody to graphic notation and symbols. They experience steady beat, distinguish beat from rhythm, and read quarter-note and two-eighth-note rhythms. They also become familiar with the piano keyboard, improvise, and play rote pieces.

Kindergarten Math

Kindergarten Math
The Kindergarten mathematics program relies on teaching, discussion, experimentation and application to teach fundamental mathematical concepts including counting, numeration, operations, geometry, measurement, time, money, graphing, and problem solving. Common life applications are embedded as children investigate math concepts using a variety of manipulatives and hands-on experiences.

Kindergarten Literacy

Kindergarten Literacy
The Kindergarten Literacy program is designed to help children realize that they are readers and writers. The focus is to instill a love for fine literature. Students are involved in reading instruction which is literature based with an emphasis on phonics and phonemic awareness. Beginning with familiar nursery rhymes, stories, poems, and songs, the children are immersed in a print-rich environment. They participate in independent reading and writing activities, lively unison readings, and creative writing. Small and whole group instruction includes phonics, decoding skills, and penmanship. Children are introduced to prominent authors of children's literature. They read a variety of books by each author. 

D'Nealian style script is used for handwriting instruction, focusing on consistent size, form, slant, and spacing. The students participate in daily journal writing. As their writing skills develop, they begin to write complete sentences.

Kindergarten History

Kindergarten History
Children learn to value the unique differences in each other by studying their surroundings of home, neighborhood, school, and community before broadening the scope to include other people, places, and events. Special people and events in history as well as holidays are explored.

Kindergarten Dance

Kindergarten​ Dance
Kindergarten students work to fill their “dance toolbox” with games and improvisations built around themes of body, energy, space and time. They make shapes alone and with partners using levels, focus, prepositional words, and directions. They understand energy qualities such as sharp and sustained, collapse and explode. They demonstrate the partner skills of copying, leading, following, and mirroring. They dance in response to books, poems, music, and with a variety of props. They explore simple and complex locomotor skills and social dances. Kindergarten students are given explicit instruction in executive function skills, audience etiquette and mindfulness.

Kindergarten Computer Science

Kindergarten Computer Science
Students master a variety of software that reinforces and enhances the reading, writing, math, and science they are taught in the classroom.

Class V Visual Art

Class V Visual Art
Sculpture is the first focus of Class V.  Color, design, and negative/positive space are explored. Students draw a new species of fish.  They learn how to enlarge their fish drawing, make a pattern, and transfer it to a piece of Styrofoam.  This is then sanded, covered with paper mache, and sanded smooth again before fins and tail are added. After the fish is painted, students create a three dimensional surface design using a specific color scheme to complete the project. Ceramic clay is used to create a functional mug with a relief sculpture of a monkey and its environment added to the surface.  The Bauhaus concept of “form follows function” is studied and executed during the mug-making process. Finally, Class V studies linear perspective, the product of the Renaissance struggle to produce the illusion of space on a two dimensional surface. They complete drawings in one and two point perspective, studying eye level and vanishing points.

Class V Science

Class V Science
Class V students use all of the techniques and tools they've learned in Lower School Science as they delve into an intense year of scientific study. They continue using the scientific method and dig in with hands-on experiences. Students begin the year studying the changing Earth, including plate tectonics, mid-ocean ridges, and the forces driving these changes. Students also learn about climate change and natural disasters. In the matter unit, students learn about atoms, elements, and the Periodic Table. In the biology unit, they focus on heredity and the physiology of the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems. The energy unit is always popular. Students study forces and motion as they learn about rocket science.

Class V P.E.

Class V P.E.
Class V students engage in a variety of team and individual sports and participate in many different competitive and cooperative activities. These experiences allow them to concentrate on the basic movements, skills, and rules which pertain to each unit of study, and encourage a focus on sportsmanship, cooperation, and better personal fitness habits. Students take part in several units: soccer, football skills, volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, team handball, ultimate frisbee, baseball and softball skills, paddle and racket sports, orienteering, lacrosse, and many other non- traditional sports, games, and activities.

Class V Music

Class V Music
Class V students add to the concepts learned from Class IV. They experience rhythmic and melodic concepts by listening, reading, writing, singing, moving, and playing instruments. Students are given the opportunity to develop their musical skills while having fun. They explore rhythms using dotted eighth with sixteenth notes. Melodically they learn solfege such as ti and low ti. Concepts such as harmony, intervals, and chords are studied. Part singing is expanded beyond two parts. Class V students prepare two concerts during the year. During that preparation, singing skills are developed such as free and relaxed tone production, breath support, and intonation. Students gain the experience of ensemble and concert etiquette.

Class V students continue their study of introductory strings as well as participate in an exploratory winds program where students experience playing the flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone.

Class V Math

Class V MathThe math curriculum is designed around the core objectives of multiplication and division of decimals and whole numbers, addition, subtraction, and multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers, conversion of percents, decimals, and fractions, and geometry. Students also study factors, multiples and powers, data and graphs, and algebra and functions. The curriculum is divided into units which include direct instruction and interactive lessons. Much attention is given to mental math, i.e. using number properties to solve difficult computations mentally. This requires automatic recall of all facts. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning, and generalization. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented.

Class V History

Class V HIstory
In Class V, students study United States history beginning with the first inhabitants of the American continent and their lasting influences. Students then journey through the thirteen colonies and discover how the present form of government evolved. Next, students study the causes and effects of the American Revolution and learn about the new republic from the Articles of Confederation through the ratification of the United States Constitution. Famous Americans are brought to life during Winter Term as students research individuals who have made lasting impressions on the country. Study then shifts to the Westward expansion followed by the conflicts and events that led to the Civil War, along with the war itself.

Class V English

Class V English
Organizational skills are emphasized as students are led into higher-level thinking activities within the curriculum. They are taught to extract important information, both from written materials and from lectures, to help them distinguish between  main ideas and supporting ideas.

Class V reading material consists of historical and fictional novels as well as non-fictional works related to history. Many of the selected novels correspond with United States history. The main goal of the program is to create a love and excitement for reading, and to have the child learn that reading is a door into a larger world. Comprehension, higher level thinking, and inferring are components of our reading skill study.

Learning to communicate with ideas that are clear and concise is the main goal of writing in Class V. Writing consists of research, reports, poetry, stories, essays, journal entries, and other expository and narrative writing. Work in vocabulary, grammar, and usage is related to literature. This also serves as a valuable tool to improve listening skills. Students also expand their English vocabulary and spelling skills by learning prefixes, suffixes, roots, and parts of speech. Grammar instruction focuses on analyzing sentences by parts of speech and their functions.

Class V Dance

Class V Dance
Class V is a blend of Modern Dance, African Dance, and Ballet technique. Students learn more advanced combinations in all three techniques and compare and contrast through contextual research, embodying, and sharing their own creative compositions. Use of anatomical language will be advanced for understanding the alignment of the body and individual parts of the body that make up the whole instrument. The elements of dance are combined to explore the quality of dance forms. Creative writing and discussions about verbs, adverbs, and adjectives help deepen their understanding time, space, shape, and energy. Noticing deeply, making connections, embodying through art making, and recognizing patterns allow students to work in groups to create dance compositions.

Class V Computer Science

Class V Computer Science
Students become proficient at touch typing. They are introduced to a variety of computer programming experiences.

Class IV Visual Art

Class IV Visual Arts
Students in Class IV study art of different world cultures, where art is created for various reasons other than the visual.  They learn about “Art that can be touched” and why it is created. Sticks are gathered from the forest and each student creates a spirit snake for the purpose of bringing them good luck. Within this lesson, students learn the properties of acrylic paint and use many different types of brushes, while studying the art of Native Americans in the Utah region.  These repetitive designs of their choosing are applied to the snake. Next, they study the art of the graphic designer and design their own logo. Along with homeroom studies of Viking culture, students work in ceramic clay to design, build, and paint a Viking Longboat, applying their logo design to the sail.

Class IV Science

Class IV Science
Class IV students actively study the world around them using scientific instruments and techniques. Lessons are hands-on, and the scientific method is always used. Students begin the year with a unit on plants, including classification of local plants and trees. During the weather unit, students collect data, study clouds, and learn about forecasting. Matter is always an exciting unit! Students learn about physical and chemical changes to matter as they learn about mixtures, elements, and phases of matter. During the astronomy unit, students study the solar system and links between Earth's movements and the seasons. Students become biologists during the physiology unit, with focus on the skeletal-muscular and the nervous systems.  Students learn to build and program Lego Mindstorm robots in the robotics unit.

Class IV P.E.

Class IV P.E.
Class IV students receive instruction to help them obtain a better appreciation for physical fitness, sports, and working together as a team. During the year, different team and individual sports are explored. With this exploration, students not only concentrate on the basic movements, skills, and rules which pertain to each unit of study, but also strongly emphasize sportsmanship and building better personal fitness habits. Students take part in several units: soccer, football skills, volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, team handball, baseball and softball skills, paddle and racket sports, orienteering, lacrosse, and many other non-traditional sports, games, and activities.

Class IV Math

Class IV Math
Class IV math is designed around the core objectives of place value through trillions, multiplication and division of larger numbers, addition and subtraction of decimals to hundredths, fractions, and geometry. Students also work with measurement, data and graphs, and probability. This program emphasizes thinking and problem solving as well as computation. Math facts are memorized and become computational tools. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning, and generalization. Activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life events. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.

Class IV History

Class IV History 
During Fall Term, Class IV studies Utah history. Students learn about Utah geography, prehistoric cultures in Utah, the different American Indian tribes, Utah's early explorers and settlers, and westward movement. Winter and Spring Terms are spent studying the history of Western Civilization, focusing on the Middle Ages. This course of study includes Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire: Vikings, feudalism, manorialism, knighthood, monasteries, and crusades. Students study world geography with an emphasis on Europe. Students participate in simulations to experience what it was like to live in a medieval world.

Class IV English

Class IV English
Literature provides the foundation for the English curriculum. The reading program provides the children with quality literature selections and rewarding content from selected poetry, anthologies, and historical fiction. The home reading program provides additional titles for individual reading and small group activities.

Students expand their English vocabulary by learning Latin word roots as well as the prefixes and suffixes from which those roots come into the English language. The skills of vocabulary, comprehension, oral reading, usage, grammar, and writing mechanics grow out of, and are embedded in, the literature and the children's writing. Spelling lists combine syllable types and the study of word origins or etymology.

Class IV students are involved in a variety of oral and written experiences. They conduct research and write reports, essays, summaries, and poetry. Throughout these experiences, the focus is on analyzing content, attending to models, editing, rewriting, and publishing. Oral activities include discussions, oral reports, identifying and defending points of view, and dramatization. Grammar instruction focuses on analyzing sentences by parts of speech and their functions.

Class IV Dance

Class IV Dance
Class IV Dance begins to take locomotor movements and combine them into more advanced patterns in space. Students deepen their understanding of anatomy and come to know which bones and muscles are important for dance technique and performance. Students complete each term performing their own compositions in class, which combine creativity, originality, and embodying. Improvisation is used as a tool for discovery.

Class IV Computer Science

Class III Computer Science
Students begin the year reviewing the touch typing techniques learned in Class III. Coding instruction continues.

Class III Visual Art

Class III Visual Arts
In Class III, students understand basic human proportions and portray basic characteristics to convey emotion. Students use shapes and colors to understand contrast, space, and value. Students are introduced to one-point perspective. Students are introduced to water-based clay and create specific forms and animals.

Class III Science

Class III Science
In Class III, students investigate many areas of science with hands-on learning while using the scientific method. They begin the year with a unit on the water cycle. During the astronomy unit, they learn about Earth's Moon and Earth-Moon relationships. During the Earth unit, students become geologists, focusing on weathering, erosion, geologic time, and fossils. In the energy unit, students use many tools to study forces, gravity, magnetism, and electricity. Students round out the year with an ecology unit.

Class III P.E.

Class III P.E.
Class III students receive instruction to help them obtain a better appreciation for physical fitness, sports, and working together as a team. During the year, different team and individual sports are explored. With this exploration, they not only concentrate on the basic movements, skills, and rules which pertain to each unit of study, but also strongly emphasize sportsmanship, cooperation, and problem-solving skills. Students take part in several units of study: soccer, football skills, volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, team handball, baseball and softball skills, paddle and racket sports, orienteering, lacrosse, and many other non-traditional sports, games, and activities.

Class III Music

Class III Music
Class III students add to the concepts learned from Class II. They experience rhythmic and melodic concepts by listening, reading, writing, singing, moving, and playing instruments. Students are given the opportunity to develop their musical skills while having fun. They explore rhythms such as combinations of eighth, sixteenth, and whole notes. Melodically, they continue to study the pentatonic solfege adding low la and  low sol. Concepts such as meter, repeat, bordune, melody, ostinato, and improvisation are studied. Recorder is introduced as well as further experience on glockenspiel, xylophone, metallophone, and various un-pitched percussion instruments. Class III students prepare two concerts during the year. During that preparation, singing skills are developed such as free and relaxed tone production, proper breath support, and intonation. Students gain the experience of ensemble and concert etiquette.

Class III Math

Class III Math
Class III math is based on the core objectives of place value up to 10,000, addition and subtraction of larger numbers, memorization of multiplication and division facts (factors 0-10), multiplying and dividing numbers, and working with fractions. Students also work with measurement, time, money, and graphs. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning, and generalization. Simulation activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life events. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.

Class III History

Class III History
Class III explores the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. History is brought to life through hands-on experiences, helping students understand how the discoveries and contributions made by these ancient civilizations affect our lives today. Emphasis is on learning about the geography, important events, lifestyles, inventions, and artistic contributions of these civilizations.

Class III English

Class III English
Instruction provides specific skills and strategies as students learn to read and write with confidence and quality. Students read a variety of literature books. Specific reading skills related to the literature books are taught weekly. Through immersion in reading experiences, students build their reading vocabulary. As part of the word study curriculum, students explore why words are spelled the way they are, not just how to spell words, in order to successfully apply skills to unfamiliar reading and writing contexts. Vocabulary is studied through literature. The Class III literature program emphasizes comprehension development through a variety of activities focused on character, plot, and theme. Students are given time to read self-selected books, fostering a love for reading as they are exposed to many genres and authors.                                       

Grammar concepts include capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, and word usage. Lessons are related to work in reading and writing. Students learn D'Nealian cursive and quality penmanship is emphasized. Writing includes exercises related to literature books and history curriculum, journal writing, letter writing, fictional stories, interviews, poetry, myths, and a biographical research project. Throughout the year, students work on the processes of revising and editing.

Class III Dance

Class III Dance
Class III dance students explore the elements of time, space shape and energy in both art making and modern dance technique.  Poetry and contextual materials are used to deepen their own creative compositions. Anatomy is introduced as students begin to understand the body as an instrument. Posture, focus and respect are ongoing foundational values of dance class.

Class III Computer Science

Class III Computer Science
Class III students learn touch typing in the computer lab. Coding instruction continues.

Class II Visual Art

Class II Visual Art
Students in Class II art continue their foundation studies in the elements and principles of design. Line, color, shape, texture, and value are elements that are applied to student artwork. Students learn vocabulary specific to visual art. They expand their drawing skills with an emphasis on observation and detail. Many different types of materials are explored. Individual creativity is emphasized. Students expand their understanding of historical art movements and master artists. They are introduced to contemporary art trends and current artists working today.

Class II Science

Class II Science
Class II science students begin their year by reinforcing their knowledge of the metric system. Estimating and converting measurements is a focus for the students. Students learn about classifying monocots and dicots and collect seeds during the botany unit. All the parts of the plant are discussed as students learn the job performed by each part of the plant. In the human biology unit, children learn about various body systems. Zoology is the next area of study, with many hands-on activities and research dealing with the various phyla of invertebrates. Meteorology is exciting because it is always changing. The children predict upcoming weather by using weather instruments and observing what is currently happening in the weather.

Class II P.E.

Class II P.E.
Class II students continue to work on developing their locomotor skills (skipping, hopping, galloping) and manipulative skills (throwing, kicking, dribbling).  Opportunities for both cooperative and competitive game play situations are increased. Students learn the basic movements, skills, and rules pertaining to each unit of study. Sportsmanship, cooperation, and problem-solving skills are taught and practiced.  Students work to develop their skills in areas such as space awareness, transferring weight, chasing and fleeing, throwing and catching, kicking (soccer), dribbling (basketball), and striking with rackets, sticks (floor hockey), and bats.

Class II Music

Class II Music
Objectives of Class II music include sound-to-symbol familiarity with pillar pentatonic intervals, an increase of the student's singing range and skills with consistent pitch matching, elementary piano keyboard fluency, and the musical independence of each learner. Students sing folk songs and games, and perform holiday and spring concerts as a choir. They learn to conduct four-meter time and stepping and skipping rhythms. They perform, improvise, and compose. Use of the piano lab enriches their musical literacy. They read absolute pitch in treble and bass staves, learn keyboard/staff relationships, and develop proper technique. Activities focus on classical music

Class II Math

Class II Math
Class II is the time to solidify a strong foundation of basic addition and subtraction facts. The math curriculum is based on the core objectives of place value to 1,000, addition and subtraction with regrouping, multiplication and division concepts and memorization of the multiplication tables of 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10, and geometry. Students also work with measurement, time, money, and patterning. Problem-solving strategies are taught and practiced regularly. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning, and generalization. Enrichment activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.

Class II Literacy

Class II Literacy
The Waterford reading model teaches children specifically at their instructional reading level. Comprehension and fluency skills are taught and reinforced in small reading groups through the use of quality children's literature. Spelling and writing skills are strengthened in small group phonics instruction. Both reading and phonics instruction employ hands-on, active learning activities. Teachers and reading assistants collaborate to instruct students in small groups. A weekly spelling list is comprised of sight words and other words used frequently in Class II curriculum.

Students write extensively, using D'Nealian style script. Students develop sentence-writing skills with letters, poems, narrative, and expository pieces. Students participate in the writing process from prewriting to final draft. The students' writing improves as self editing and teacher editing are implemented. Grammar topics include nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

Class II History

Class II History
The history focus in Class II is world geography, beginning with mapping skills and introducing the students to the continents, oceans, and major land and water forms of the world. The remainder of the year is spent in concentrated studies of each continent, focusing on its landforms, environments, people, customs, animals, and some aspects of history. Mapping skills and the use of an atlas are reinforced throughout each continent study.

Class II Dance

Class II Dance
At the end of the school year, the Class II students are able to do all eight locomotor steps plus variations and combinations of these steps. They identify meters (duple, triple) and continue with note value. They learn the muscles and bones of the body that are important to dance and the alignment of the body. They learn the difference between positive and negative space as it relates to creation, shape, and choreographic choices. They experiment with improvisation and modern dance technique while being aware of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Poetry deepens their understanding of the quality of their movement. They perform in front of peers solo, with a partner, and in small groups.

Class II Computer Science

Class II Computer Science
Class II students learn basic coding skills. This use of technology opens avenues for problem solving and new ways to discover solutions. Students master a variety of software that reinforces and enhances the reading, writing, math, and science they are taught in the classroom.

Class I Visual Art

Class I Visual Art 
Class I begins the foundation of a vertical art curriculum which moves through Class V and on to Middle and Upper Schools. Components of this course include the figure, drawing from nature, and three-dimensional art. Students in Class I are introduced to design elements and principles in an organized manner which emphasizes their personal creativity. Students begin to explore historical art movements and well-known master artists.

Class I Science

Class I Science
Class I science students begin the year by reviewing and using the metric system. This is the measuring system used throughout the year. As students study astronomy, they research the sun, various planets, and dwarf planets. They also learn about other celestial bodies such as meteors, comets, and asteroids. Students study the five senses in depth in the area of human biology. Vertebrate zoology is the next unit of study, followed by a brief study of meteorology and geology.

Class I P.E.

Class I P.E.
Students demonstrate the mature form of certain locomotor skills (skipping, hopping, galloping) and manipulative skills (throwing, kicking, dribbling). Health-enhancing activities are introduced. These activities focus on the following health components: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility.  Teamwork, self control, responsibility, and problem-solving skills are taught. Students work to develop their skills in areas such as space awareness, transferring weight, chasing and fleeing, throwing and catching, kicking (soccer), dribbling (basketball), and striking with rackets, sticks (floor hockey), and bats.

Class I Music

Class I Music
The aim of Class I music is a transfer of the students' thought from sound to symbol in basic rhythm, meter, solfege, and staff notational issues, with a focus on music reading and writing using mi, sol, and la pitches. The singing voice is nurtured. Students sing folk song games and sing as a choir in holiday and spring concerts. They read musical symbols including the tie, half note, whole note, and nine basic rhythmic patterns, and conduct two-meter time. Piano playing skills are developed, including reading absolute pitches on the treble staff. Students also listen to works by important classical composers and become familiar with instruments of the orchestra.

Class I Math

Class I Math
Class I math curriculum is designed around the core objectives of place value to 100, addition and subtraction facts, addition and subtraction within 100, writing and solving number sentences and word problems, and patterns. Students also work with time, money, and geometry. Students are given a wide variety of hands-on experiences and exercises in practical computation. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning, and generalization. Simulation activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life events. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.

Class I Literacy

Class I Literacy 
Through an abundance of selected literature, children develop greater fluency and comprehension. They are engaged in silent reading, partner reading, group reading, reading along with recordings, comprehension activities, and vocabulary building. Students master the skills of phonics and phonemic awareness. Both reading and phonics instruction employ hands-on, active learning activities. Teachers and reading assistants collaborate to instruct students in small groups.                              

To accompany and complement this program, the children are involved in daily writing. Spelling words are taken from the phonics program. Handwriting is based on D'Nealian style script. Students learn lower and upper case manuscript. Emphasis is on correct letter formation, word and letter spacing, alignment, and neatness.

Class I History

Class I History
Students in Class I study mapping skills as they identify their place in their surroundings of home, neighborhood, school, community, city, state, country, and world.

Class I Dance

Class I Dance
Class I students understand their body as an instrument, and dance as a form of communication. They learn bone names through experiential anatomy. Through games, choreography and improvisations they explore themes of body, energy, space, time, and relationship. They make shapes alone and with partners using levels, focus, prepositional words, and directions. They understand energy qualities such as sharp and sustained, collapse and explode. They demonstrate the partner skills of copying, leading, following, and mirroring. They dance in response to books, poems, music, and with a variety of props. They learn ballet technique and social dances. They share informal solo and duet performances in front of peers. Class I students are given explicit instruction in executive function skills, audience etiquette, and mindfulness.

Class I Computer Science

Class I Computers
Students are introduced to coding in Class I. This use of technology opens avenues for problem solving and new ways to discover solutions. Students master a variety of software that reinforces and enhances the reading, writing, math, and science they are taught in the classroom.

Preschool Social Studies/Science

PreK-3​ Social Studies/Science
The primary goal in PreK-3 is developing a sense of wonder about the world in which we live. Life science topics include observing seasonal change weather, plants, animals, and insects. Building with blocks and experimenting with tools and simple machines allow children to discover physical science concepts.  As students investigate properties of plants, earth, and critters in the outdoor classroom, they enjoy hands-on exploration and observation with many opportunities to design their own experiments with water flow, properties of sand, rocks, soil, nuts, and shells, and inclines and ramps. Social studies topics include building friendships, community helpers, and exploring cultures throughout the world. Manipulating real and make-believe tools along with real and imitation processes, and posing questions invite investigations about how things work. Child-initiated investigations are the most important method of exploration throughout the year.

PreK-4 Social Studies/Science
The PreK-4 child's environment is the main focus of study, expanding upon what is already known about themselves, family, school, and the community at large as they learn about community helpers and traditions of children throughout the world. Children's minds are engaged through close observation of things they can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste.  Science includes a study of seasons, plants, insects, spiders, animals, oceans, and space. Children make predictions and hypotheses about what is observed, then generate ideas for problem solving or evaluate results of their study. Children learn to think about their thinking, construct new knowledge, and apply their emerging skills. They participate in discussions and investigations, conduct surveys, and ask questions to gather information. As students investigate properties of plants, earth, and critters in the outdoor classroom, they enjoy hands-on exploration and observation with many opportunities to design their own experiments with water flow, properties of sand, rocks, soil, nuts, and shells, and inclines and ramps.

Directory

Lower School

Melanie Battistone's picture

Melanie Battistone

Lower School Head
University of Utah, PhD
melaniebattistone@waterfordschool.org
Melanie Battistone's picture

Melanie Battistone

Lower School Head
University of Utah, PhD
melaniebattistone@waterfordschool.org
Melanie holds a doctorate in School Psychology and a Master of Science in Counseling from the University of Utah. Prior to being the Lower School Head at Waterford, Melanie held several positions at the McGillis School including Associate Head of School and School Psychologist.  Melanie and her husband Michael moved to Salt Lake City 28 years ago to pursue their educational goals. In addition to appreciating the natural beauty of the mountains as a place to feed her passion for the outdoors, she and Michael quickly realized that Utah was the perfect place to raise a family. Melanie and Michael are proud Waterford School parents of Benjamin ’17, Nathaniel, ’19 and Carolina ’21.
Teri Andrach ’90's picture

Teri Andrach ’90

Lower School Curriculum Specialist
B.S. Brigham Young University
teriandrach@waterfordschool.org
Teri Andrach ’90's picture

Teri Andrach ’90

Lower School Curriculum Specialist
B.S. Brigham Young University
teriandrach@waterfordschool.org
Teri Andrach is the Lower School Curriculum Director at the Waterford School. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She began her career at Waterford in October 1995 as a Lower School Computer Lab Manager. The following school year she became a Class III teacher and continued in that position until transitioning into her current position in 2014. Teri is proud to call herself a Waterford Original. She was a Waterford student when the school opened its doors in Provo, Utah in 1981. She also has two sons who are Waterford graduates, having attended Waterford beginning in the PreK-3 Program, as well as a stepson in the Class of 2018. She has a unique perspective of having experienced Waterford as student, parent, and faculty member. While teaching Class III, Teri was Lead Teacher for Classes III-V for seven years. She also served on several curriculum committees and summer curriculum development projects. She was awarded the Waterford Educator Prize in 2007. Teri defines herself as a life-long learner, particularly fascinated by how children learn and how new research affects current teaching practices.
Melissa V. Armenta's picture

Melissa V. Armenta

Kindergarten
B.A. Hood College
melissaarmenta@waterfordschool.org
Melissa V. Armenta's picture

Melissa V. Armenta

Kindergarten
B.A. Hood College
melissaarmenta@waterfordschool.org
Melissa Armenta grew up just outside of Washington, DC (Go Redskins!) and graduated with honors from Hood College in Maryland with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2006. After a couple years of student teaching, her career started at S. Christa McAulliffe Elementary where she taught kindergarten for two years. In the process, Melissa got married and followed her husband to Utah where he was in the midst of finishing his graduate school education. Melissa's first teaching job in Utah was at the Waterford School and she taught PreK 4's in 2008. After acquiring an ELL certification for the state of Utah, her career path led her to help open a charter school in Park City, where she taught for 6 years. She helped develop and implement the second grade curriculum. Melissa was also the team lead for first and second grade teachers as well as the ELL Director at Weilenmann. For her efforts, Melissa was awarded 2014 Teacher of the Year for the Weilenmann School of Discovery. Last year, she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Waterford School community again. Melissa has currently been teaching full day Kindergarten at the Waterford School from September 2015 to the present and can't wait to share her passion for elementary education with you and your child! Outside the classroom, Melissa enjoys shopping, skiing, running, relaxing on the beach and spending time with her family. She and her husband recently celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary. They have one boy that is ready to jump into PreK 4's and a dog named Abby. Melissa feels that every child is an individual of great value, and she has high expectations for each student. She will do her best to meet the needs of every individual child in her classroom and is looking forward to having a great year here at Waterford!
Susan Banks's picture

Susan Banks

Kindergarten
B.A. Utah State University
susanbanks@waterfordschool.org
Susan Banks's picture

Susan Banks

Kindergarten
B.A. Utah State University
susanbanks@waterfordschool.org
Susan Banks, Kindergarten teacher and Pre-K and Kindergarten lead teacher, is a graduate of Utah State University where she earned a BS in Early Childhood Education with a minor in music. While doing graduate study at Utah State University in Family Human Development, Susan was a head teacher in the Adele & Dale Young Child Development Lab for three years. Her responsibilities included supervising and working closely with student teachers and practicum students who were majoring in early childhood education, as well as teaching 4-5 year old children and working with their parents. Susan also taught undergraduate early childhood development courses for USU at their Logan campus and at the Salt Lake's Regional campus. Susan began teaching PreK 3's and PreK 4's at The Waterford School in 1994. In 2010 she joined the Kindergarten team. Susan was recognized with the Waterford Educator Prize in 2015. Susan enjoys cooking, photography, and spending time with family, particularly on the family ranch in Idaho.
Dana Carlson's picture

Dana Carlson

Class II
B.S. Indiana University
danacarlson@waterfordschool.org
Dana Carlson's picture

Dana Carlson

Class II
B.S. Indiana University
danacarlson@waterfordschool.org
Dana Carlson, Class II teacher, graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career in the Texas public school system where she taught second grade and was a Reading Support teacher. During her career in the public schools, she served on a variety of district-wide curriculum committees and was selected to present at the Texas State Reading Conference. After five years in the public schools, Dana began teaching second grade at The Hockaday School, an all girls independent school in Dallas.  This teaching experience helped her realize the value of a liberal arts education and is the reason why her own daughter has attended independent schools. She believes they offer the best in education and challenge their students to be lifelong learners. Dana was the recipient of the 2003 Freedom Foundation’s Leavey Award for excellence in teaching students about entrepreneurship.

Dana has been married to her husband, Eric, for twenty years and they have one daughter, Avery, who is a student at Waterford. The Carlsons enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends and the beauty of the Wasatch mountains.
Michelle Curtis's picture

Michelle Curtis

Class V
B.S. University of Utah
michellecurtis@waterfordschool.org
Michelle Curtis's picture

Michelle Curtis

Class V
B.S. University of Utah
michellecurtis@waterfordschool.org
Michelle Curtis has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Utah with emphases in Psychology and English. Her undergraduate study also included language study in Latin. Michelle is a licensed Social Service Worker (SSW) with significant experience in mental health therapy, social work practice, social welfare policy, and human growth development. Her social service has included crisis and hospital intervention at the Rape Crisis Center in Salt Lake City, and counseling, advocacy, and long-term support for rape victims and their families. In her capacity as a Social Worker, Michelle has helped assess foster care visits, foster hearings, investigations, custody evaluations, home studies, and handicapped visits. On behalf of individuals and families, she has also attended hearings on case reviews and evaluations and has completed home studies for interstate compact custody evaluations. Michelle’s initial experience as a teacher bridged her work in education with her experience in social work.

She began her teaching career as a teacher of Intervention Drug Courses at Jordan School District (for which she also wrote the curriculum). Michelle taught parents and students in courses required as a result of students’ drug use, possession of drug paraphernalia, and/or distribution of drugs. Topics covered included drug education for parents, penalties and the law, self-respect, self-control, personal responsibility, and the physiological effects of drugs on individual perspective and choice.

Since 1996, Michelle has been a teacher at the Waterford School where she initially taught Latin in 4th- 6th grades and American History for 7th grade. Michelle also taught English as Independent Study courses to Middle and Upper School students in need of Special Topics and/or remedial support in that subject. In Waterford’s early years, Michelle served as a long-term substitute counselor in the Counseling Department. She has also been recommended as a math tutor to Middle and Upper School students who have needed support and remediation. For the last 12 years, Michelle has been a Class V Lower School teacher. In that capacity, she has developed advanced curriculum in Writing, English, and Mathematics, as well as curriculum in character education and study skills. Michelle has collaborated on the development of Waterford’s fifth-grade-level grammar units and has worked yearly on the development of standards that enable the smooth transition of Lower School students into Middle School, especially in math. Michelle loves to read fiction and history, and her hobbies include running, hiking, playing the cello, and participating in soccer and kick-ball leagues. She is known for her championship trophies in kick-ball, her Ninja videos, and her fantastic desserts and rolls.
Suzanne Dahl's picture

Suzanne Dahl

PreK-4
B.S. Brigham Young University
suzannedahl@waterfordschool.org
Suzanne Dahl's picture

Suzanne Dahl

PreK-4
B.S. Brigham Young University
suzannedahl@waterfordschool.org
Suzanne Dahl, Class I teacher, graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Music. She began teaching in the Pre-K program at Waterford in 2002 and moved to Class I in 2015. Prior to teaching at Waterford, she taught Kindergarten and First Grade for 6 years at an independent school in Salt Lake. Suzanne and her husband are the parents of three Waterford graduates. In her spare time she enjoys running, biking, and hiking.
Juli R. Dalton's picture

Juli R. Dalton

PreK-4
julidalton@waterfordschool.org
Juli R. Dalton's picture

Juli R. Dalton

PreK-4
julidalton@waterfordschool.org
Juli Dalton, PreK-3 teacher, has completed four years of undergraduate study with a focus in early childhood development at the University of Utah. Prior to her arrival at Waterford, Mrs. Dalton enjoyed tutoring math and teaching various children’s classes for Granite School District’s Continuing Education program while starting her family. Mrs. Dalton also taught and designed curriculum for 3 years at WhisperCreek Preschool. In 2005, Juli began assisting in the Kindergarten reading program at Waterford, then added math and reading tutoring to her responsibilities a few years later. In addition to tutoring during summer term, Mrs. Dalton teaches two camps for students at Waterford: ABC camp and Books and Cooks camp. In 2012, Mrs. Dalton was asked to create and teach the enrichment afternoon class for the full-day Pre-K students and continues to do this. Mrs. Dalton involves herself with family, enjoying hiking, skiing and other community activities. Her personal hobbies include gardening and cooking. Mrs. Dalton has and currently serves in church administrative and teaching responsibilities.
Paula Getz's picture

Paula Getz

Class V
M.Ed. Northern Arizona University
paulagetz@waterfordschool.org
Paula Getz's picture

Paula Getz

Class V
M.Ed. Northern Arizona University
paulagetz@waterfordschool.org
Paula Getz, Lower School homeroom teacher, has been a teacher at the Waterford School since 2001 and has over 25 years of classroom teaching experience. Paula has experience teaching grades four through eight in numerous states across the country, but for the past 15 years she has been employed as a Class V teacher at Waterford. In 2011, Paula was awarded Waterford’s Educator Prize. Paula enjoys being a student as much as she enjoys being a teacher. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh and Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University. In December of 2017, Ms. Getz graduated from Arizona State University with a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Gifted Education. Paula places strong emphasis on the development of a “growth mindset” in her students and has a particular interest in the utilization of “brain-based” teaching practices. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Paula serves as a mentor to new teachers and coaches the Class V Robotics team.
Katherine Hoke's picture

Katherine Hoke

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
katherinehoke@waterfordschool.org
Katherine Hoke's picture

Katherine Hoke

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
katherinehoke@waterfordschool.org
Katherine Hoke, Class III teacher, moved to Salt Lake City in 2016 with her husband, Ben, who is Waterford’s Director of Advancement. Katherine graduated from St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY) with a B.S. in Psychology, earning a Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, attending James Cook University (Townsville, Australia) for a semester abroad, working in the IT (Information Technology) office, and earning membership in the English and Greek honoraries: Irving Bacheller Society and Gamma Sigma Alpha, respectively. Following a year-long internship at The Fessenden School in West Newton, MA, Katherine earned an M.Ed. at Lesley University in Moderate Disabilities preK-8, with a concentration in language-based learning disabilities. Through this program, she also earned her Massachusetts State Licensure. Following this formal training, Katherine also received Responsive Classroom training and taught at Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, MA for three years as a 4th Grade Humanities and Co-Homeroom Teacher. During this time, she was trained as a Critical Friends Group (CFG) facilitator and participated in the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) program. Over three consecutive summers in MA, she also worked as a camp counselor and then Upper Camp Division Coordinator at Summer Fenn Day Camp (Concord, MA).

Following the call of a lifelong traveling dream and wanting to explore more of the places where her mother was raised in Europe, Katherine moved to London, England in 2007, where she worked as the Grade 5 Learning Specialist at The American School in London for 2 years. There, she also served on the Educational Excellence Committee.  Following her return to the U.S. in 2009, Katherine taught 5th Grade at Ethical Culture School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, serving on the Diversity Committee. Most recently, she taught at The Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, CT as a 4th Grade Teacher and Co-Coordinator of Middle School Diversity (Gr. 4-6). Over the course of her time at GCDS, she was trained in Singapore Math, SEED facilitation, Google Apps, and Reader’s Workshop (through Columbia University’s Teacher’s College). Her additional workshop experiences included the NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) for People of Color and their allies, Harvard’s Think Tank on Global Education, and Harvard’s Universal Design for Learning, among others. She also served for 1-yr. stints on the GCDS Education Committee of the Board of Trustees and the Building Committee for the Middle School.  

Having visited Park City with her family since an early age, Katherine was thrilled to join the Waterford community and to have the chance to hike, bike, and ski the slopes of her childhood with Ben. Together, they enjoy staying physically active, reading, FaceTiming with family on the East Coast, traveling, attending speakers’ series and concerts, and exploring new restaurants.  
Susan Johnsen's picture

Susan Johnsen

Kindergarten
B.S. Utah State University
susanjohnsen@waterfordschool.org
Susan Johnsen's picture

Susan Johnsen

Kindergarten
B.S. Utah State University
susanjohnsen@waterfordschool.org
Susan B. Johnsen, is a graduate of Utah State University where she earned a B.A. She majored in Early Childhood Education and minored in Children’s Literature. While at USU she was awarded the coveted Greeves Memorial Scholarship. Susan loves to dance and was a performer in the USU dance company while also performing in community theater in her home town. Susan began her teaching career with a move to Connecticut so her husband, Ken Johnsen, could attend Yale Law School. Her first teaching job was at Gan Hayeled Nursery School of B’Nai Jacob Synagogue in Woodbridge, CT (1983 – 1985). In the afternoons, she worked as an Extended Day teacher at St. Thomas More, a private elementary school in Hamden, CT. Her next move was to San Francisco, CA for Ken’s judicial clerkship. Susan earned a teaching appointment at The Laurel School, a private elementary school that specialized in educating children with learning disabilities (1985-1986). The following year the Johnsens moved back to Utah, and Susan began teaching for the Waterford School in the preschool program during the first two years of the Sandy City Waterford campus (1986 – 1988). Susan then switched roles and became a Waterford parent for ten years. She returned to Waterford as a Class IV teacher in 2000. Prior re-entering the classroom, Susan served as Lower School Director, she was a Class IV teacher (2000 – 2012), Lead Teacher for Classes III – IV (2009 – 2012), Lower School Community Service Coordinator (2006 – 2009), and a preschool teacher (1986 – 1988). Susan received the Waterford Educator Prize in 2011. Susan’s three children are all Waterford graduates. She is extremely appreciative of the lasting impact their Waterford education continues to have on the their lives. She enjoys hiking, snow skiing, water skiing, reading, teaching, and traveling.
Mike Johnson ’88's picture

Mike Johnson ’88

Class V
B.S. Brigham Young University
mikejohnson@waterfordschool.org
Natalie Jones's picture

Natalie Jones

PreK-4 Teacher
nataliejones@waterfordschool.org
Erin Knight's picture

Erin Knight

PreK-4
B.A. University of Utah
erinknight@waterfordschool.org
Erin Knight's picture

Erin Knight

PreK-4
B.A. University of Utah
erinknight@waterfordschool.org
Erin Knight, PreK-4 teacher, is a graduate of the University of Utah where she earned a B.A. in Political Science. She studied French and Art History at the American College in Paris. She has also done post-graduate work in early childhood education at Stanford University Bing Nursery School. She began her teaching career as a substitute teacher at The Waterford School in 1990. This launched her teaching career. She has taught Class III, PreK-3, and PreK-4 at Waterford. She has been teaching preschool since 2002. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Erin has run the Lower and Middle School Ski and Ride program, as well as coached the Waterford Mighty Mite Ski Team. An avid skier, she spent her high school years ski racing with the Rowmark Ski Academy. Erin lives in Sandy with her husband and three children. She loves to cook, travel to Turks and Caicos, and collect children's books. Two of her children are Waterford graduates and are attending college, the third will graduate from Waterford in 2018.
Sheriann Kovacs's picture

Sheriann Kovacs

Class II
B.S. Brigham Young University
sherikovacs@waterfordschool.org
Sheriann Kovacs's picture

Sheriann Kovacs

Class II
B.S. Brigham Young University
sherikovacs@waterfordschool.org
Sheri Kovacs wanted to be a teacher from the time she was a young girl. With the help of a scholarship and a part-time job, she entered Brigham Young University, completing her bachelor’s degree in three years, proud to be the first college graduate in her family. She married shortly after graduation, and began her first teaching contract on her twenty-first birthday. Following two years of teaching first grade in Alpine School District, Sheri retired and moved with her husband to California, where their first son was born. Shortly afterward, they returned to Utah, and Sheri to teaching, this time in third grade in Alpine School District. Following the birth of her second son, she co-wrote the proposal for and was a part of the pilot program for job-sharing in second grade in the Alpine District. When the Kovacs family moved to Sandy, Sheri was employed in the Jordan School District, teaching first grade for one year, and then third grade for seven years. Her career at Waterford began in the school year of 1998-1999, and she has enjoyed teaching Class II since that time. She loves Class II students and their parents, the Class II curriculum, and interacting with her colleagues. She has served as a Lead Teacher and was the recipient of the Waterford Educator Prize in 2012. In the course of her career, Sheri has taught more than 800 students. If asked, she will tell you that she plans to teach until she is 94. Sheri has enjoyed attending conferences, with special interest in math, reading and phonics, and learning about the brain. In her out of school hours, she is involved in her church, volunteered in an addiction recovery program, and loves to read, bake, and play with her grandchildren. During the summer, she enjoys going to the neighborhood pool daily and going to the beach as often as the opportunity presents itself. Currently, Sheri resides in South Jordan with her husband. Their family includes their two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren. Sheri considers her family to be her most important accomplishment.
Cami LaForge's picture

Cami LaForge

Class II
B.S. North Central University
camilaforge@waterfordschool.org
Cami LaForge's picture

Cami LaForge

Class II
B.S. North Central University
camilaforge@waterfordschool.org
Cami LaForge, Class II Teacher and Lead Teacher for Class I-II, is a graduate of North Central University in Minneapolis, MN where she earned a B.S. in Elementary Education (1st-8th grade) with a Kindergarten Endorsement. Before arriving at Waterford School in 1997, Cami taught full day kindergarten for two years at St. Sebastian School in Akron, OH and while taking graduate classes at Notre Dame of Cleveland and Malone College. From 1997 to 2000, Cami served as Class V teacher at Waterford School. She took a short leave from the classroom to care for her young children from 2000-2005. During that time, she privately tutored at the secondary level and maintained her Utah teacher’s license with graduate coursework at the University of Utah. 11 years ago, she returned as Class II teacher. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Cami has been Lead Teacher at Waterford School for 6 years. A devoted mother, she spends most of her time with her family. When she is not reading, cooking, or watching baseball, she works on puzzles, dines with friends, or plays with her dogs. As a parent who adopted out of foster care, she has a special place in her heart for those in need of a family. Cami lives with her husband, three teenagers, and two beloved dogs.
Betty Neal's picture

Betty Neal

Class I
B.S. University of Utah
bettyneal@waterfordschool.org
Michael O'Connor's picture

Michael O'Connor

Class I
Williams College
michaeloconnor@waterfordschool.org
Kristie Rasmussen's picture

Kristie Rasmussen

PreK-3
M.Ed. Brigham Young University
kristierasmussen@waterfordschool.org
Jen Rudd's picture

Jen Rudd

PreK-3
B.S. Brigham Young University
jenniferrudd@waterfordschool.org
Jen Rudd's picture

Jen Rudd

PreK-3
B.S. Brigham Young University
jenniferrudd@waterfordschool.org
Jen grew up in Holladay, but has lived outside of Utah for the last twenty-five years. Jen and her husband planned to return to Utah after he graduated from law school in Boston, but a career in government took them all over the world. Jen’s passion for teaching began as a volunteer English teacher in Guatemala. Since then, she has taught in a variety of settings, including homeschool co-ops in New York and Virginia, a language institute in Korea, a neighborhood preschool in Japan, a Catholic girls’ school in Hong Kong, and most recently a private international school in Hong Kong. Jen also taught with Head Start for a few months in between moves.

She obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University and completed a teaching certification program (with an emphasis on early childhood education) through the University of West Florida. She is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Studies with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

During her time living in Asia, Jen became fascinated with Eastern contemplative studies. She has participated in numerous meditation retreats in China, Hong Kong, India, and the U.S., and has reaped the benefits of bringing such practices into daily life. Jen loves short hikes and long road trips, but her favorite way to pass a day is out on a lake watching her five sons wakeboard. (Every now and then she may even get out there herself!) She is happy to be back home in Utah, and she is extremely excited to be teaching at Waterford. Jen considers it a dream job to spend her days with our youngest learners!
Jessica Shaffer's picture

Jessica Shaffer

Class I
B.S. Baldwin-Wallace College
jessicashaffer@waterfordschool.org
Jessica Shaffer's picture

Jessica Shaffer

Class I
B.S. Baldwin-Wallace College
jessicashaffer@waterfordschool.org
Jessica Shaffer is originally from Ohio, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education at Baldwin Wallace College.  After graduating in 2009, she was hired as a Math Tutor at Brookfield Middle School in Brookfield, Ohio. During her 2 years there, she coached 7th and 8th Grade Volleyball and Softball, and taught a summer program for students entering Kindergarten.  In 2011, Jessica was hired as a 4th Grade Teacher at Brookfield Elementary.  During her 4 years there, she took on many leadership roles while completing her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership through Concordia University.  

In 2015, Jessica moved to Utah and continued to teach 4th Grade for 3 more years, until joining the Class I team at Waterford in 2018.  She loves living in Utah and is excited to be a part of the Waterford community.  

In her free time, Jessica enjoys playing softball, crafting, attending sporting events, and spending time with her dog, Bailey.
Brittany Smith's picture

Brittany Smith

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
brittanysmith@waterfordschool.org
Brittany Smith's picture

Brittany Smith

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
brittanysmith@waterfordschool.org
Brittany Smith, Class IV Teacher, graduated with her B.S. in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University and M.Ed. from Utah State University. She taught grades 1, 2, 4, and 6 in Utah’s public school system then moved to California and taught grade 5 for 7 years in San Jose. She has been teaching Class IV at Waterford since the fall of 2010. Brittany really enjoyed teaching from the “Step Up to Writing” program in San Jose and was able to share this writing structure with Waterford. She attended a “Step Up to Writing” conference in Texas. Upon returning, she trained administrators and Kindergarten through 5th grade teachers in this program. She currently organizes Waterford’s Early Morning Service Program which provides an opportunity for students in Classes IV and V to serve in many areas around the school each morning. Brittany loves to learn, serve, and travel. Some highlights for her were traveling to Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, and China to do humanitarian work. She enjoys American history and has traveled to many significant U.S. sites. Brittany plays the piano and relishes reading historical fiction books. She has loved learning more about the Middle Ages since teaching Class IV and was able to visit Ireland recently, learning more about castles and life on a manor.
Jenny Sorenson's picture

Jenny Sorenson

Class III
B.S. University of Utah
jennysorenson@waterfordschool.org
Jenny Sorenson's picture

Jenny Sorenson

Class III
B.S. University of Utah
jennysorenson@waterfordschool.org
Jenny Sorenson received a Bachelors of Science degree, with a focus on Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a Early Childhood Education certification from the University of Utah in 2001. During her college years, she taught preschool with Granite School District and earned other real-world experience working in the fields of banking, dining service, floral design, and pet care. She also worked several years for the postal service. Upon graduation, she worked for the Jordan School District for 5 years as a classroom teacher and reading specialist in Herriman and South Jordan, Utah. Wanting to spend more time with her family, she ran an independent tutoring service, Yearning For Learning, from 2005 to 2009. Efforts to find more effective strategies to meet the needs of students with Dyslexia led Jenny to Waterford, a pioneer in Utah for the Wilson and Fundations programs for reading and spelling interventions. She began her journey with Waterford in 2009 in the tutoring program, where she tutored middle school students in English, history, and study skills. In 2010, she transitioned back into the classroom and has been teaching in Class III ever since. Jenny is proud to be teaching at The Waterford School, where the liberal arts program aligns well with her philosophies of teaching and living. She grew up in Sandy, Utah, just a few blocks away from the campus, where her parents continue to reside. Her husband and two daughters are also proud to be a part of the Waterford community. Jenny prides herself on being a life-long learner and is currently studying mindfulness and the positive effects of this practice, especially as it relates to the classroom environment. She enjoys learning through travel opportunities and drawing parallels between the ancient cultures explored in the Class III curriculum and other ancient cultures. Most recently, she visited Machu Picchu on a faculty trip to Peru in 2015 and Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan peninsula, in 2016. She also enjoys making jewelry, singing with her “family band,” and the beauty of nature in all of its forms. She looks forward to the adventures ahead.
Colleen Thompson's picture

Colleen Thompson

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
colleenthompson@waterfordschool.org
Colleen Thompson's picture

Colleen Thompson

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
colleenthompson@waterfordschool.org
Colleen Thompson is currently a Class III teacher and the Lower Schools Outdoor Coordinator. She received her B.A. in Human Development from Colby College in Waterville, ME. Subsequently, she completed a year-long Master's program at Lesley University where she focused her efforts on elementary education. Colleen began her teaching career at Wildwood School in Los Angeles, CA, as a fourth grade teacher. While at Wildwood, she also served as a Division Coordinator and spent two years on the Multicultural Leadership Team. She has training as a Critical Friends Group coach and in VISIONS multicultural work. Colleen also attended Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Project. After seven years in the busy city, Colleen and her husband relocated to Salt Lake City where she promptly began teaching at Waterford. In addition to her enthusiasm for education, Colleen is thrilled to be living at the base of the Wasatch Mountains and can typically be found on a trail hiking, jogging, or biking with her dog. She is also an avid reader who is always eager to share book titles.
Akiva Toren's picture

Akiva Toren

Class IV
M.A. University of Portland
akivatoren@waterfordschool.org
Akiva Toren's picture

Akiva Toren

Class IV
M.A. University of Portland
akivatoren@waterfordschool.org
Akiva Toren entered education following his B.A. in philosophy and music from McGill University in Montreal, QC. He spent a year working with first graders and kindergarteners before and after school in the Seattle Public Schools system. Following that, he received his M.A. in teaching from University of Portland through their P.A.C.E program, a teaching fellowship that places its teachers in schools throughout the west. The P.A.C.E. program placed him in Kearns, UT, and he taught fourth grade there for four years. In 2017, Akiva joined the Waterford team to teach Class IV.

Akiva's interests vary widely, as he has studied music, philosophy, ancient languages, and even received honors in Hebrew. He has lived in many countries, from Israel to Scotland, and loves to share his love of languages, cultures, and history with his students. Utah, with its varying mountains, deserts, forests, and snow, has captured his heart. He enjoys the outdoors by hiking and running, and loves the arts Salt Lake City offers, such as the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, and the many festivals that take place in and around the valley. 
Deanna Williams's picture

Deanna Williams

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
deannawilliams@waterfordschool.org
Deanna Williams's picture

Deanna Williams

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
deannawilliams@waterfordschool.org
Deanna Williams began her career in 1986 with Granite School District, located in Salt Lake City, after completing her B.S. degree at Brigham Young University. She worked for six years in public school teaching second, fifth, and sixth grades. She looks at this experience with fondness, as she was given many opportunities to mentor colleagues in special education practices and reading instruction. In 1992, Deanna joined the Waterford School. While working at Waterford, she has been a Lead Teacher for Classes III - V, mentored and hired new LS teachers, and served in the capacity as Lower School Director for three years. She is an advocate for the School and counts teaching at Waterford as a “dream come true.” Her interests and passions vary, but she loves to teach first and foremost. Her weekends are spent with her three children and their spouses and ten grandchildren, ranging from three months to twelve years. A lover of art and art history, Deanna loves to travel and read. She loves to learn anything new, having attended many educational conferences throughout her career. Spending time in the great museums of the world, especially the Hermitage, viewing the ballet of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, and attending a Rachmaninoff concert in the Herodes Atticus on Athens Hill have been her traveling gems.