The Cherry on Top: Mark Daniels

Teacher Mark Daniels with the cast of Matilda

BY HAILEY MINTON

Mark Daniels is a theater teacher at Weber High School, and he was named Utah’s Teacher of the Year for 2021. “His enthusiasm, love, and passion for teaching has garnered no competition,” said Abigail Rigby, whose daughter has been involved in many of his productions. “Because of Mr. Daniels’s teaching style and his genius choices for musicals, my daughter has learned to perfect her craft, her self-confidence has grown, and she has had the opportunity to work with the many different types of students who have participated in these plays and musicals.” Her daughter has gone on to receive a full Musical Theatre scholarship to Weber State University, and Mr. Daniels has played a pivotal role in that happening.

Loralie Graves Holmgren said, “He is creative, caring, organized, kind but strict, efficient, contagiously happy, inclusive, confident, respectful, humble, professional, personal, and would bend over backwards to see you succeed and be happy. In short, a genius.” Abigail went on to say, “He has mastered the art of being firm but fair, having rules but maintaining relationships. He freely offers his wisdom, love, and acceptance to all of his ‘children.’ He picks up where I feel parenting can seem to fall short. Mark Daniels has helped my family to become a better family and my daughter to become a better friend to the world. He is quietly modest about the role he plays in our community, and I don’t believe he will ever truly realize the immense positive impact he has on all the young minds he helps mold into great ones.”

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