There are many who achieve noteworthy accomplishments in academics, athletics, leadership, arts, business, community service, etc. This page was created to recognize some of these outstanding people. Eligibility is open to all Cedar Hills residents and those who serve Cedar Hills, young and old. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on this page, please complete the online nomination form and submit it to the city office for consideration.
For the past several years, Cedar Hills has been pleased to have a partnership with the American Fork Police Department. At their April 19, 2016, meeting, the City Council recognized Officer Diego Garcia for his service to the communities of Cedar Hills and American Fork and for his heroic efforts in saving the life of a woman who had been reported missing and suicidal. Read the Press Release.
It takes a certain amount of dedication, time, effort, and support to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Among other requirements and projects, it takes a minimum of 21 merit badges to earn Scouting’s highest rank. Now imagine duplicating that time and effort by six, plus adding on all the Cub Scout ranks and awards, and what you have is one dedicated Scout. Eagle Scout Joseph Chou, age 17, earned all 141 merit badges as well as all of the Cub Scout awards at the time. A special Court of Honor was held on August 29, 2015, to recognize his accomplishment.
In 2012 Jerianne was asked by city officials to chair the newly formed Family Festival Committee, which plans and implements the week-long events and celebrations. Jerianne has dedicated many hours and weeks to this role and, with her team and staff of other volunteers, put on two very successful festivals in 2013 and 2014. September 3, 2014, was delcared as Jerianne Conroy Day in Cedar Hills.
The City Council recognized Priscilla Leek for receiving the 2014 Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education. which recognizes and rewards the best teachers, school administrators, and volunteers in Utah. Ms. Leek is one of 11 educators to receive this award and was recognized for her professionalism, creative teaching approaches, and her positive influence on her students. She teaches US Studies, AP Government, Psychology, and Sociology at Springville High School. Each of the award recipients received a $10,000 award. August 20, 2014, was declared Priscilla Leek Day in Cedar Hills.
The City Council recognized Chad Lewis for receiving the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award through the Boy Scouts of America. This award is given to men who earned their Eagle Scout Award in their youth and then received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or eminence
in their profession. Read the full Press Release.
John D. Lamb
The City Council recognized Cedar Hills resident Professor John D. Lamb for receiving the 2014 Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecture Award through Brigham Young University. June 18, 2014, was declared John D. Lamb Day in Cedar Hills. Read the Press Release for further information.
Lois Moessinger & RaLynn Hansen
The City Council recognized Lois Moessinger and RaLynn Hansen, who work as crossing guards for the elementary schools in Cedar Hills. June 5, 2014, was declared Crossing Guard Day in Cedar Hills. – Press Release
As part of the Cedar Hills Champions program, the City Council recognized Valerie Scott for her efforts in raising awareness for those who suffer with lung cancer. Please read the complete Press Release.
The City Council recognizes Erika Dalton for her musical achievements and for being crowned 2013 Miss Pre-Teen Utah through National American Miss. Thirteen-year-old Erika is an accomplished violinist and has won several awards, including the 9th Annual Oquirrh Mountain Symphony Concerto Competition. She has performed solos with Oquirrh Mountain Symphony and also at Abravanel Hall, Covey Center for the Arts, Park City Music Festival, the Salt Palace Convention Center, and the Utah Valley Convention Center. While she attends school at Mountain Ridge Junior High, she is a violin student of Professor Monte Belknap of Brigham Young University and a full scholarship member of the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City. The city’s recognition ceremony took place during the July 16, 2013, city council meeting. July 17, 2013, was declared Erika Dalton Day in Cedar Hills.
The City Council will recognizes Kolin Powell for his achievements in BMX racing and becoming the 2012 State Champion for the 16-year-old age group. Kolin has been participating in national races for several years. BMX is an Olympic sport and is very demanding. Kolin is very dedicated to this sport and can be seen riding around the city while training and conditioning for the race season. He is also training and mentoring his younger brother, Kaden. While competing in the Utah State Championship in 2011 he not only beat everyone in his intermediate-level class, but also did better than those competing in the expert-level class. In addition to the Utah State Championship, he has won the Las Vegas National and the Great Northwest National in Bend, Oregon. He has obtained some impressive sponsors, including Applebee’s, Famous Dave’s, Gus Paulos Chevrolet, Cascade Collision Repair, and Vaypor Designs.
“Kolin is an amazing young man,” said Mayor Gary Gygi. “His commitment to his sport is inspiring, and what he has been able to accomplish in his racing career so far is incredible. We are honored to have him represent our community and are happy to recognize him as a Cedar Hills Champion.”
The recognition ceremony took place during the April 2, 2013, city council meeting at the Cedar Hills Community Recreation Center. April 3, 2013, was declared as Kolin Powell day in Cedar Hills. Kolin is the son of Brent and Jill Powell.
Silver Beaver Scouting Award Recipients Recognized
The Mayor and City Council recently recognized residents who have received the Silver Beaver Scouting Award, which is the highest recognition a Boy Scout council can bestow on an adult volunteer leader. The award is presented to those volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the Scouting program through hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. Nominations are recommended by the local council and approved by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
The recognition ceremony took place during the January 22, 2013, city council meeting at the Cedar Hills Community Recreation Center. Those recognized were Sherman Varney, George Reynolds, Sheldon Talbot, Arlene Smith, Gary Smith, Andrew Gibbons, Reed Swenson, Grant Bangerter, Grant Iverson, Pauline Iverson, Greg Harris, Bob Ogden, Jeffery Pyne, and Brad Sears.
“We are pleased to recognize our residents who have earned this distinguished award,” stated Mayor Gary Gygi. “This type of commitment and service has provided countless blessings for the youth they worked with and our community in general.”
Herb Wilkinson made the game-winning shot on the 1944 National Champion U of U basketball team and went on to be an All-Star player at the University of Iowa with his brother, Clayton. At age 77, Wilkinson began participating in the track and field events at various senior games. This summer (2012), at age 89, he won a silver medal and four golds at the Huntsman Senior Games in St. George. This is the largest senior tournament and is patterned after the Olympics with more than 90 countries represented by more than 10,000 athletes. In the last 12 years, Wilkinson has won more than 160 medals. He attributes his good health to clean living and exercising at least three times a week with a combination of racquetball, weights and stretching. “You’ve heard people say, use it or lose it. It’s true,” Wilkinson said. “I move a lot better because of exercise.” Mr. Wilkinson was recognized at the Jan. 8, 2013, city council meeting.
Lone Peak boys basketball coach and Cedar Hills resident Quincy Lewis is known in Utah for his successful high school program, but on the other end of the country he’s also known for his accomplishments as a player. On October 27, 2012, in New York, Lewis was inducted into the Wagner College Athletics Hall of Fame. He played for the Seahawks during his final two years of eligibility, from 1991-1993. At the induction ceremony, Lewis was presented by his former coach at Wagner, Tim Capstraw. “Quincy Lewis is the most impressive athlete I’ve ever been around,” Capstraw said later in an interview. “There are more talented players, but not a person with all the qualities necessary to be successful. He exuded that type of character and leadership,” Capstraw said. Congratulations, Coach Lewis!
Dancing is in Paige Osmond’s genes, said Heather Osmond of Cedar Hills, Paige’s mother. A granddaughter of Virl Osmond — the brother of the singing Osmond brothers — Paige is following in her family’s footsteps, and for the first time will appear in a renowned Christmas production with the Radio City Rockettes. Beginning in October, Paige will learn the choreography for Clara in “The Nutcracker,” a main role in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Paige is one of four girls cast to perform in the show’s national tour featured in Nashville, St. Louis, Dallas and Chicago. For the rest of the story view the Daily Herald article.
If you call the Durrant home you’ll hear a voicemail recording that says, “Hey, thanks for calling us. We’re having our best day so far and hope you are too.” It’s the kind of recording that makes you feel happy just for having heard it. George D. Durrant, popular Utah County author and artist and Cedar Hills resident, has a life goal to uplift. He’s good at it, too! View the Daily Herald article.
Roger & Roberta Marden
It was July 12, 1952, when Roberta Rackliff became the bride of Roger Marden in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. The world has changed dramatically since then, but their marriage has survived through 60 years. The family of the couple held a celebration in their honor at the Heritage Park pavilion in Cedar Hills on July 14, 2012.
Brittany Lauren Lesueur
Congratulations to Brittany LeSueur, 17-year-old daughter of Jeff and Beth Lesueur. Brittany participated in the local Jr. Miss Scholarship Program in November 2010 and was one of five girls chosen on stage to compete at the state level. She will represent our city as Jr. Miss Cedar Hills in the state competition, which will take place at Juan Diego High School in Salt Lake City in March 2011. In addition to this honor, Brittany was selected as Lone Peak High School’s 2010 Sterling Scholar in dance. She is also a current member of the National Honor Society, as well as the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.
With all the community service one Cedar Hills woman has done and is currently doing, it is little wonder she has been chosen as a member of the 2010 Days of ’47 royalty. Nicole Graf, the second attendant this year, has contributed to putting smiles on the faces of children in Third World countries, worked with orphans in Ensenada, Mexico, has a buddy in Lindon as part of the “Best Buddies Utah” program and has volunteered at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. View the Daily Herald article.
A Cedar Hills elementary school student recently harvested a nice chunk of cabbage (the kind you can put in a bank) on account of previously harvesting a cabbage (the kind you eat) that was a pretty impressive chunk: 27 pounds. “I wasn’t quite sure what would happen,” 9-year-old Mattea Denney said of planting the tiny cabbage start sent home with her from school. “I thought it would just die.” Instead, the cabbage ended up being wider (about four feet) than Mattea is tall, crowding out the pepper plants and earning its initially pessimistic grower a college seed fund of $1,000 from vegetable, herb and flower transplant supplier Bonnie Plants. View the Daily Herald article.
There are not many 11-year-olds who have the opportunity to fly across the country to visit Washington, D.C. There are even fewer that get to do it alone. Zach Holley, of Cedar Hills, did so when he went to the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in the nation’s capital. View the Daily Herald article.
Cedar Hills resident Chris McCullock thought the thud at his front door late at night on Dec. 1, 2008, was a sign of vandalism. But Chris is the man who ended up saving the life of his neighbor, Marcus Parmenter, after he had been allegedly stabbed in the neck by his roommate. McCullock was recognized for his lifesaving efforts during a city meeting on Jan. 6, 2009. “I just did what anyone would have done, because there was no other choice,” explained McCullock humbly.
Scott & Courtney Rasband and Jathon & Jennifer Strauss
These two energetic, fun-loving couples formed Team Cedar Hills to enter Utah Valley’s first-ever 24-Hour Race, and they WON! They drove from Sundance to Mt. Nebo and Rock Canyon to Eagle Mountain to compete for a trip to Cancun by earning points through a series of mental, physical, and emotional “challenge tasks” (including driving golf balls at the Cedar Hills Golf Club), which highlighted all the fun things to see, taste, and do in Utah Valley. Go, Team Cedar Hills!
Three years ago, Elliot Cardon was born—10 weeks premature. His grandmother, Cedar Hills resident Debbie Besselievre, saw a need and set out to fill it. Three years later she is devoting a lot of time making made-to-order preemie tees to help parents bond with their premature infants and to help make the preemies “look more normal.” View the Deseret News article.
Jeanette is the editor of Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley BusinessQ, and Utah Valley Bride. She oversees the story selection, writing, editing, and proofing of the magazine pages. Jeanette is known for waking up in the middle of the night worrying about comma placement. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from BYU and has worked at the New Era Magazine, Deseret News, and Utah Business Magazine. For two years, she was a communications and English instructor at BYU-Idaho. When she’s not hovering over her laptop, Jeanette enjoys reading to her three children, watching the stock market, and spending time with family.
Born with a heart problem, Scott has had eight open heart surgeries and has a pace maker. His heart condition has helped him gain a better sense of life outside of high school. “It’s not just about, ‘Do I look good today?'” he explains. “High school is important, but there are things I need to be more concerned with.” Scott was chosen by Utah Valley Magazine as one of 14 high school students who are most likely to change the world.
Tom and Rebecca Gleason
Deerfield Elementary School is getting its fourth annual play ready, put together by an all-volunteer group of neighbors. Heading up the entourage producing “Robin Hood” with a cast of more than a hundred kids are Thomas and Rebecca Gleason. Producing the plays is a yearlong experience for the Gleasons. When the play ends, Rebecca will relax a few days, then start writing next year’s play. View the Deseret News article.
Chad & Michelle Lewis
Not only did Chad Lewis haul in an impressive 111 passes for 1,376 yards and 10 touchdowns during his career in a Cougar uniform, but he was also an Academic All-American his senior year. Add his numerous NFL achievements to the mix (three-time Pro Bowl selection and All-Pro tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles), and his resume is downright scary. However, in a ceremony held the night before his former team’s 42-7 drubbing of Eastern Washington on Saturday [October 20, 2007], Lewis may have reached the pinnacle of his career. It was there that the former walk-on was inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame. Chad joins his wife, Michelle, as a member of the prestigious hall of fame. She was a former volleyball standout, helping the Cougars to the Final Four in 1993.
Jeff Phillippi wins Farms 5K
Jeff Phillippi was simply looking for a way to get in better shape for his soccer exploits when he took up running two years ago. The 31-year-old Cedar Hills resident had started playing in an indoor soccer league, and he quickly discovered he could definitely use a fitness boost. View the Deseret News article published August 10, 2007.
There is something about having someone cheer for you that helps brings out the best in individual performances. A second wind is achieved, intensity is heightened and sometimes records are broken. Upsets are recorded and sometimes great and illogical things are accomplished.
Ben Powell and Christian Lopez
Ben Powell, 8, was one of the youngest vendors in Heritage Park at the Cedar Hills Family Festival on July 21, 2007. All of his proceeds from his sales of freshly squeezed lemonade went to the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Christian Lopez, 14, did his Eagle Scout project by working as a vendor at the Cedar Hills Family Festival on July 21, 2007. Parents and children lined up Saturday at his booth for free safety kits, which included fingerprint and DNA samples.
Sam Brady, a junior at Lone Peak High School, received Congressional Award Bronze and Silver medals from U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon on January 8, 2007.