Will Pettit is truly the kind of person that changes his students and our organization as a whole, although he never seeks any of the credit for himself. Will is characteristic of so many teachers that work in our school that love to come to work each day, putting their own individual talents and personality into their teaching, inspiring students to become better. Through his years of leadership to the school and culture building among its students, Mr. Pettit stands as a testament of what miracles can happen when we believe in students.
Will has taught for Granite Park Junior High School for eight years, and for that time has been a gatekeeper for the culture that exists in the school. Empowering students to become more than they are, helping them see a vision of what they can do–is a palpable goal of his that can be felt as you walk into each lesson in his classroom. Students do not want to miss his class or get in trouble because his lessons are so engaging (something that the principal is happy about for several reasons). Will turns his students into youth leaders as he empowers them with not only skills in filmmaking, web design, and video editing, but he also channels their energies and brings out their personalities into the school’s daily video announcements that are beloved by faculty and students. Students think positively about themselves and their community in countless ways because of these video announcements that Will produces each day for Granite Park.
Will not only captivates his students and spreads his positive attitude to the entire student body, but he is also an influential teacher leader among his professional peers. Through his example of engaging teaching, Will drives teachers around him to become better. As a department chair, Mr. Pettit mentors fellow teachers, training and inspiring them to more richly influence the lives of their students, and by extension, their South Salt Lake families. From his role on the school Leadership Team, Mr. Pettit has been an integral part of the direction Granite Park has gone the past few years, making our school one that was once feared and regarded as “Ghetto Park,” to one whose identity has changed and is now recognized as a safe place to learn, a school that is responsive to the needs of its community, and an institution worth visiting to see what good things are going on, such as Governor Herbert last December.
Mr. Pettit would be the first person to acknowledge that it takes a team of talented individuals working together to meet the many needs of our amazing students, but without his ability to tie Granite Park’s accomplishments together, this school would not be as cohesive nor as able to serve our student population.
There are of course, hundreds of teachers to choose from to receive this year’s South Salt Lake Teacher of the Year. The administration at Granite Park gives Mr. Pettit our highest recommendation in hopes that your organization recognizes the ways he has served its children, bettering the school he has given his service to, and our community at large.
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