Tom Sherwood, M.A., has been the principal at Jordan High since Canyons School District’s inception in 2009. But next fall, when he trades in his Beetdigger maroon and gray for Bengal blue and orange, it will be a homecoming of sorts. Brighton High’s new principal was once a science teacher at the school he has now been tapped to lead. “High school has always held an allure for me,” he says, recalling fond memories from his own formative years. “It’s always been my career goal to provide academic supports and extracurricular opportunities to young people at what is such a critical time in their development.” The career educator and native Utahn has been married to his wife, Misti, for 22 years. They have four teenage children with whom they enjoy hunting, fishing, golfing and boating.
Sherwood is not the only new principal in town. This fall, Canyon View Elementary will welcome Kierstin Draper who comes by way of neighboring Oakdale Elementary in Sandy. Draper, M.Ed., replaces BJ Weller who has been promoted to lead Canyons District’s counseling teams and support services. She got her start as a teacher in Houston, Texas, and an instructional coach in Portland, Ore. The Brigham Young University graduate returned to Utah with her husband, and says she sought out Canyons District because of its focus on using data to tailor instruction to students’ learning styles and educational goals. She loves visiting with students, especially at lunchtime — you’re almost sure to find her in the school cafeteria on Jell-O day.
At Butler Elementary, the Bobcats will be bidding bonjour to Jeff Nalwalker, M.Ed., currently the principal at Midvalley Elementary in Midvale. Nalwalker, who minored in French, says leading a Dual-Language Immersion School is his “dream job.” He has 16 years of experience teaching at the elementary level, and prior to taking the helm at Midvalley, was an assistant principal at Copperview. He says he “understands that every child is his or her parents’ whole world,” and believes, "the best way to put kids first is to support teachers so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability.” Education is actually a second career for the retired U.S. Army National Guard Major who served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He has been married 27 years to his wife, Sheree, with whom he has three children.