OGDEN -- Children's laughter and natural light once again graced the halls of Taylor Elementary School, which now carries a new name and improved appearance.
The school, now called Taylor Canyon Elementary, opened to the public for the first time for an open house Wednesday with many happy students, parents and teachers on hand to celebrate.
Students will attend the reopened school from Polk, Horace Mann and Dee elementaries. The district's Accelerated Learning Academy also will be housed at the school so, really, children from all over the district will be at Taylor Canyon. The ALA program was at Heritage Elementary School last year.
"We are just really excited, and we think it's great because it's closer to home," said Julie Lyle. Her children, who will be in fourth and sixth grades, were smiling and bouncing around as they walked out of the open house Wednesday night.
"It will be super!" exclaimed Lyle's son, John Angarella. Lyle's children have been attending Polk the past two years and went to Horace Mann before that, so she knows Taylor Canyon Principal Jeanne Clifton well.
Clifton was at Polk before becoming the principal at Taylor Canyon; she earlier had been principal at Horace Mann.
"I was so relieved when I found out," Lyle said of the fact that Clifton would be the principal.
She is glad that Clifton loves the children, but also makes them behave.
"She knows my son and knows how to handle him," she said with a grin.
Several teachers also followed Clifton to Taylor Canyon. Lynn Cottle taught at Polk last year and will teach a third/fourth split class at Taylor Canyon starting in two weeks.
"I just enjoyed Mrs. Clifton so much as a principal at Polk, I wanted to teach with her here," Cottle said.
Teachers and administrators wore light-purple Taylor Canyon Timberwolves shirts Wednesday and were answering a flurry of questions from parents as they filled out paperwork.
Cottle also likes the technology the school will have. He can wear a microphone as he moves around the room so he can actually teach and be heard at the same time. Each classroom also has document stations, smart boards and other technology-savvy items.
Clifton said the district made the school a bit of a "technology guinea pig."
"They want to start doing these things with technology, and they figured this was a good place to start," Clifton said.
Students also will have new carpet, a fresh coat of paint and new windows as they start back to school. Many of the teachers have donated time the past couple of weeks to help get the school set up. Clifton said she has been impressed with how quickly some things have come in and been set up, and she is trying to be patient with other slower-moving things
"We had a tight time schedule," she said.
Clifton, still healing from knee surgery, wheeled around the lunchroom on a scooter to meet new students. Long lines formed of students and their parents, eager to meet their new principal.
The school still has room for more students, but Clifton isn't sure if all of her students have registered yet. The ALA side of the school is full, but the regular school still has room for now, she said.
When the district decided to reopen Taylor Canyon, letters went out to all the families, but because of the high mobility within the school boundaries, Clifton believes many parents still don't know the school is reopening.
Back-to-school night will be at the school at 5 p.m. Aug. 24, and registration will continue at the school until the start of classes. Anyone who is interested in the school or thinks they may live within the boundaries may call Clifton at 801-737-8590.
Taylor Canyon boundaries go from 24th and Jackson up to the east mountains on the south and extend to the Ogden River on the north to the mountains.