Elementary arts teacher wins governor’s, Sorenson awards

CEDAR CITY — After a career that has spanned 30 years and impacted the lives of thousands of students, Carrie Trenholm was recently awarded the Governor’s Leadership in Education Leadership Award and the Sorenson Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award for Arts Education.

Carrie Trenholm, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News
Carrie Trenholm, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

“I was really stunned because it was such an honor and I’ve collaborated with so many people across the state for so many years,” Trenholm said. “We worked so hard as a team across the state to bring arts education to the children in Utah.”

Trenholm, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson endowed chair of elementary arts education at Southern Utah University, previously taught at Cedar Middle School and Canyon View High School before she came to SUU.

Interim Dean of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development Jim Johnson had previously worked with Trenholm during her time teaching in Iron County schools.

“She has vision of the structure of programs and where they can go,” Johnson said, “but at the same time, she is a practitioner who is always looking for ways to connect to her students.”

During her time at SUU, Trenholm was selected to create the state tree ornaments for Utah, which were featured at “National Christmas Tree Lighting” in 2010.

Trenholm also founded the Arts Fusion program, which focuses on the fusion of arts and the sciences in local schools for better understanding, grasp of concepts and creative application of the subjects.

She has had her work displayed at the Springville Museum of Art, St. George Museum of Art, the Zion Gallery in Springdale, Blue Sage in Cedar City and the Braithwaite Gallery of Fine Arts on the SUU campus.

SUU Provost Brad Cook is grateful to Trenholm and her dedication to arts education in the state.

“It’s people like Carrie who carry the torch as the why arts and creativity is so important in our future and for our kids,” Cook said.

The Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards are awarded to Utahns yearly who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the arts and gear toward advancing the arts for the people and communities in Utah; it is the highest honor in the arts.

The Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Art Education recognizes excellence in arts education in Utah’s public schools. Trenholm, however, was not only recognized for her excellence in arts education for 2015, but was recognized with the highest honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Arts Education, given for her exemplary service over her entire career.

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