PTA Admin

Author's posts

Meet the Candidates Night – Oct. 16

Murray PTA invites you to meet the candidates for Murray City Council on Monday, October 16th, from 7-8 PM at Murray High School. Children are welcome. We will have activities for them while voters visit with the candidates. This is an open house, so that you can stay for a few minutes or the whole hour.

If you cannot attend, you can find more information about the candidates at  Thank you!

Murray PTA Honors Teachers, Staff and Volunteers

The Region 19 (Murray) PTA recognized individual teachers, staff members, and volunteers at each of Murray’s 10 schools for the 2022-23 school year.

Murray PTAs are game-changing partnerships with Murray City School District,  tirelessly nurturing and championing educators, schools, and students throughout the year.  Their unifying work creates a powerful force of advocacy, support, and engagement that unlocks the full potential of every student, leaving a lasting impact on generations to come.

This year’s class of award recipients has lived up to that model, and we are so proud of them and their daily efforts to make Murray a better learning community. Here are the recipients:

    • Grant Elementary: Rebecca Fitts (Volunteer);  Charlie Quinonez (Teacher)
    • Horizon Elementary: Rylee Hannan (Volunteer); Amara Spere (Teacher)
    • Liberty Elementary: Alisha Chance (Volunteer); Amy Kohler (Teacher)
    • Longview Elementary:  Carolyn Forsyth (Volunteer); Melissa Mehinovic (Teacher)
    • McMillan Elementary: Kat Christenson (Volunteer); Keira Van Beekam (Teacher)
    • Parkside Elementary: Kylee Kiefer (Volunteer); Merissa Graves (Staff)
    • Viewmont Elementary: Nicole Van Nyhuis (Volunteer); Heather Preece (Teacher)
    • Hillcrest Jr. High: Jennifer Auwerda (Volunteer); Danielle Park (Teacher)
    • Riverview Jr. High: Janel Williams (Volunteer); Lindsey Parker (Teacher)
    • Murray High School: Katrina Harris (Volunteer); Erin Turner (Teacher)


Here are some videos of most of the recognitions this year.


Great Murray Showing at Statewide Science Fair Competition

Congratulations to all the students who participated in this year’s Science Fair competitions, organized by our Murray PTA.

Once again, Murray was well represented this year and received numerous statewide awards at the University of Utah Science Fair (USEF) competition. They were…

Students and projects who won at the USEF are the following:

Chemistry and Biochemistry – Third Place

Penny Lever and Paityn Wayman, McMillan Elementary; “Concluding Crumbly Cakes”

Energy Chemical and Physical – Third Place

Sawyer Powers, Shaylee Ballard, and Annabella Luna, McMillan Elementary; “What keeps the Heat”

Mechanical and Materials Engineering – Fourth Place

James Sanders, Viewmont Elementary; “Adaptive Kayaking”

Computer Science and Applied Computational Methods – Fourth Place

Milo Patterson, Horizon Elementary; “Clothes-O-Matic 2000”

Chemistry and Biochemistry – Honorable Mention

Charlotte Jacobsen, McMillan Elementary; “Isn’t it Eggscelent”

Mechanical and Materials Engineering – Honorable Mention

Aspen Benjamin and Maren Lane, Horizon Elementary; “Design-O-Pant”


Go here to see a complete list of winners at the state competition.

Lilibeth Tapia – Parkside Elementary

Lilibeth is such a fantastic teacher at Parkside! Lilibeth was born in Sacramento, California but was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah since she was three years old. She went to Jordan High School and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from Westminster College. She has been teaching for six years and all of them have been at Parkside! We hope she never leaves! The students love her and have so much fun in her class. Her students say she makes learning fun even when it’s hard. Lilibeth spreads joy to all who know her. Thanks Lilibeth, for 6 fantastic years at Parkside and hopefully many more to come!

Emma Anderson – Parkside Elementary

Parkside is lucky to have Emma! She received her bachelor’s degree from Utah Valley University and just recently earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University. Emma has been at Parkside for 3 years now; two years in 2nd grade and one year in 3rd grade. When you talk with Emma it’s easy to see that she cares about her students. She is passionate about teaching, and she loves seeing the “light bulb” moment when students are learning something new. Emma loves being with her family and friends and traveling to warm places. We are so grateful to have Emma at Parkside!

Emily Cox – Parkside Elementary

Where do we even start with Emily? She has a special place in our PTA hearts, and we can’t get enough of her. Emily graduated from the University of Utah with her bachelor’s but continued to complete her master’s degree at Western Governors University. Emily has been teaching for 23 years! She has spent so much of her own time making things special not only for her students but for ALL the students at Parkside. She has created fun murals at the school for students to look at and to take their pictures with them and then makes slideshows for the students to see. She loves being outdoors and spending time with her friends and family and her sweet dog! Don’t challenge her to a card or board game because you will be sure to lose. All who know Emily love her! She genuinely cares about each one of her students and wants all of them to reach their highest potential. We love having Emily at Parkside!

Rachelle Gatherum Peterson – Parkside Elementary

Rachelle is one of Parkside’s biggest assets! She has taught at Parkside for 36 years. That’s a lot of lives she has touched throughout the years. As you can probably tell she loves teaching, she wouldn’t have spent so much time and effort if it wasn’t a labor of love. Her students describe her as being so sweet and caring. They do and always did look forward to coming to school and having fun in her class.
She has taught AM & PM Kindergarten, AM Kindergarten, Gifted Pull Out Classes for 4th, 5th, & 6th Grade, Assistant Director of Murray ESL, and Optional Extended Day Kindergarten. She loves hiking, biking, camping, traveling, gardening, cooking, singing and Family Game Nights.
Her favorite sports to watch are Basketball (GO JAZZ!) and Lacrosse.
Her and her Husband have 2 sons, 2 daughter in laws, 1 daughter, 1 grandson and 2 dogs. As the veteran teacher of Parkside who has seen the school go through many changes we are so glad we have the consistency and knowledge of Rachelle and the love she has for her students. Thanks Rachelle for all your hard work!

Marci Allred – Parkside Elementary

We are beyond thrilled to have Marci at Parkside! She has been teaching for 12 years and we are so fortunate that 4 of those years have been with us at Parkside Elementary. Marci has always been a Kindergarten teacher and says it’s the best grade. She has such a passion for those sweet new students, and it shows in her everyday teaching. Marci is so kind and friendly to other staff and everyone likes to be around her. We think the world of her and are so glad that she is at Parkside.

Rachel Macchiarola – Parkside Elementary

Rachel is one of a kind at Parkside! She has been teaching for 12 years and this is her 8th year at Parkside. She taught Special Ed in 5th grade, general Ed in 2nd and 3rd grade. At Parkside she taught 2nd and 3rd grade students. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology & special education from Marist College and her master’s in child development birth-age 8 from Ball State University. She also has endorsements in special education and ESL. We love the wealth of knowledge she brings to Parkside. Her students say she is the nicest teacher ever and they said, “she likes nice clothing because she always wears the nicest clothes”. She is so nice and friendly with everyone. Parkside is so lucky to have Rachel!

Teresa Porter – Parkside Elementary

Teresa has been a great addition to Parkside! Teresa graduated from Brigham Young University and taught for 4 years. She then became the mother of 3 wonderful boys. After her boys grew up, she came to Parkside and has been teaching here for four years. Her students say she is such a good teacher and is always positive about everything.  She’s very patient with her students and has been such a great asset to Parkside because she is bilingual. She is such a great storyteller, and her students love to listen to her stories. Teresa enjoys reading books, nature, animals, time in the mountains, and learning new things. Teresa and her husband live in Murray, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her at Parkside!