New Wasatch School Board Member Looks Forward To Tackling Challenges Ahead

Wasatch County School District’s newest board member recently participated in his first board meeting. KPCW spoke with Tyler Bluth and discussed the challenges ahead for the district.

Both Cory Holmes and Tyler Bluth were elected to be on the Wasatch County School Board this November. Holmes who represents the Heber North seat has previously served on the board, but this was the newly elected Heber South District representatives first meeting. Bluth’s father, Alan Bluth served many years on the board and his service in part inspired him to serve.

“That’s where it started but I’m a local boy grew up here.” Bluth said, “Also, I’ve got three boys in the system and been involved with youth sports particularly. I just want to continue to see this place grow and prosper and wondered if that is the way I could do my part.”

The school board began the new year with a two-day retreat discussing items ranging from operations, to website updates to calendaring. Bluth felt the biggest challenge ahead is managing growth.

“We’ve got a lot of work and a lot of very stressful things coming up as a district.” Bluth explained, “Our biggest challenge is growth here in this community. We had a big demographics review company, independent company come in and its just amazing what’s going to probably happen here. We don’t know exactly but we’re looking at another 3,000 homes here in the next 7 years. How do we do it? Schoolboards are reactionary, we’re not proactive we’re reactionary. It’s not us that brought the homes and the people here we have to educate their children. That’s what I’ve learned that we have to kind of predict the future of what’s going to happen, and that’s hard.”

Bluth says he is excited to serve on the board.

“I live here, work here, I hope I can add a lot to this board.” Bluth continued, “I know these guys quite well growing up with them. At the same time, I hope to bring a different voice an independent voice for the people that I live around. Just excited about it.”

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.