Local Teacher Chosen to Fill Endowment Chair at SUU’s College of Education and Human Development

Published: August 30, 2006 | Read Time: 4 minutes

Carrie Lynn Trenholm, a teacher from Iron County School District and holder of a master’s degree in education, has been chosen as the professional to fulfill the requirements and privileges of the first-ever endowed professorial chair in the College of Education and Human Development at Southern Utah University.

Last Spring, philanthropist, Mrs. Beverley Taylor Sorenson, donated to SUU, its first endowed chair position. This is a permanent teaching position in the Elementary Arts Education division of the College of Education and Human Development that will provide a vital partnership between the University, the Art Works for Kids Foundation and the young children in the southern Utah region.

Established in 1995, the Art Works for Kids Foundation is another project and passion of Mrs. Sorenson’s which helps support innovative and sequential fine arts education for the children of Utah in music, dance, visual art, and drama through partnerships with universities, school districts, schools and community organizations. The Foundation came about after Sorenson walked into an elementary school in Salt Lake City and witnessed the positive and life-changing effect the arts were having on at-risk students.

Trenholm, a visual arts educator, has been teaching this subject to 6th through 12th graders in Iron County for the past 21 years, and has established a reputation across the state for effective teaching and colleague collaboration.

Born in Wheatland, Wyo., Trenholm earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah. She graduated summa cum laude from Southern Utah State College (now SUU) with another bachelor’s degree, and again later, from SUU’s Master of Education program.

In 1995, she was named Art Teacher of the Year by the Utah Art Education Association. That same year, the Utah State Board of Education gave her the Excellence in Education Award. And, in 2000, Iron County School District donned her with the Outstanding Educator “Power of the Dream” Award. Still, with all that, she says her greatest accomplishment has been to inspire her students “to make art beyond high school. To have them come up to me years later and tell me they still have their art portfolios has meant more to me.

“My students,” she continues, with beaming pride, “have shown their work in a variety of venues, garnering awards. Through the arts, children learn lessons that cannot be learned any other way.”

The screening committee, who unanimously agreed upon Trenholm as the choice to fill this honorable position at SUU, noted her vivacious work style, her vision, and good communications skills and results. She is personable, and thus, has built a network of educators at all levels throughout Utah. She has served or is serving as a member of the Utah Arts Council, the National Art Education Association, the Iron District Arts Committee, the State Core Curriculum Committee, and the Springville Museum Outreach program. A successful grant writer, too, Trenholm conducts stimulating workshops regularly, all around the state, and is a favorite inservice instructor for the State Office of Education.

An artist, at heart and at hand, her work has appeared at the Springville Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, and at New Mexico Highlands University. Her latest exploration is into fused glass art. She also enjoys traveling, hiking and biking.

Passionate about all art, including music, theatre and dance, too, Trenholm is thrilled to be part of Sorenson’s vision. “In light of the wonderful opportunity that Beverley Sorenson has given to all of Utah, it (is) an honor to be a part of her dream to enrich the lives and improve the minds of children through quality arts education.”

The Sorenson family’s generosity comes at a key time in the University’s history as construction of a new Teacher Education building has begun in the heart of the campus and will be tied to the original structure completed for this purpose—Old Main. These combined homes for the hallmark program of SUU will be enhanced because of Mrs. Sorenson’s and the Sorenson Legacy Foundation’s concern about education, manifested through such programs as Trenholm’s position and objectives. The recently re-named Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development (see http://www.suu.edu/ad/pr/news/archives/viewarticle.aspx?id=289)
has been accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education—the top teacher education accrediting agency in the nation.

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