New directors in three local UniServ offices


Three UniServ offices are welcoming new directors for the 2014-15 school year.

Curtis Benjamin, Northern UniServ

The Northern Utah UniServ appointed 23-year teaching veteran Curtis Benjamin to replace Hilaree Stephens, who is returning to the classroom.

“I am honored and excited to work with the great people in Northern Utah,” said Benjamin. “I love the classroom and being a teacher, but in the current public education environment  I want to be more engaged in helping teachers navigate the increasing demands of the their profession--such as evaluations and (student learning objectives). Most importantly, I want to be a resource and advocate for the great members in Box Elder, Cache, Logan and Rich. ”

Benjamin taught 11th- and 12th-grade English and coached cross country, track, speech and debate at Richfield High School in Sevier School District. He was also a firefighter in the summer and has run several marathons, including Boston.

Vik Arnold, Eastern UniServ

A familiar face is returning to the UEA family as director in the Eastern Utah UniServ. Former UEA Government Relations Director Vik Arnold was appointed to replace Pat Rusk, who resigned her position after four years as director.

“Of all the jobs I’ve had since leaving the classroom, my years as a UniServ director in Davis were the most rewarding,” said Arnold. “Not a day would go by as a UniServ director when I didn’t feel like I had made a positive difference in someone’s life. As important as the political action and legislative work was, and is, I missed the direct connection I once had with our members.”

Arnold retired from the UEA in 2009. Since then he has served on the Executive Committee for Utahns for Ethical Government and as the state field director for the Count My Vote initiative. He also erected a cabin, crisscrossed the country visiting family, piloted his own raft down the Colorado River and visited Thailand.

“Now, feeling somewhat rested and renewed, I’m ready go back to work. I look forward to working with the educators of Eastern Utah,” he said.
The Eastern UniServ serves educators in Daggett, Duchesne, Morgan, North Summit, Park City, South Summit, Uintah and Wasatch School Districts, as well as the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

Leslie Nussman, Alpine UniServ

The Alpine UniServ selected Leslie Nussman as executive director. She replaces Suzie Makin who retired after eight years as a UniServ director.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and honor to serve the community of Alpine School District as a Uniserv Director,” said Nussman. “I believe in looking at everyone’s strengths and building upon them. I believe in acting with integrity, fairness, and representing teachers in an ethical manner in all situations. I want to create a safe feeling in each building. Treating members of the teaching staff as professionals with ideas and talents to contribute to the culture of the school is a must. ”

Nussman served as a CTE teacher and coordinator in Canyons School District and has more than 10 years of experience supporting executives, state and local school districts and managers to improve internal operations. Her official start date is September 1.

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