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Meet Brookwood's New Faces

Posted in General Content

Caroline Butters, 1st Grade


Hello! My name is Caroline Butters and I am so excited to be a part of the first grade team here at Brookwood Elementary! I was born in Summit, New Jersey and moved to Utah when I was nine years old. I attended the University of Utah where I received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. While studying at the University of Utah, I worked with students kindergarten through sixth grade. I also had the chance to be a part of the Disney College Program where I worked on Main Street USA at Disney World.

I have always had a passion for teaching. Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and my favorite gift was a whiteboard I got for my birthday in fourth grade. I love building a community in my classroom and fostering relationships and environments that promote growth and success.  I am the youngest of six kids and when I’m not in the classroom, I can be found spending time with family, reading, sewing, watching musicals, and going to Disney. I look forward to a great year and getting to know Brookwood!


Lindsay Dean, 1st Grade


My name is Lindsay Dean. I am so excited to be joining the amazing staff at Brookwood Elementary. I graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Elementary Education, and a minor in Human Development & Family Studies. I am extremely excited to be teaching 1st grade. I love working with this age group and watching them as they learn so many new things and gain an understanding of new concepts.

I have spent the majority of my life here in Salt Lake City with the exception of 6 years when I was younger living in Los Angeles, CA. Because I have experienced the mountain and ocean life, I have a passion for both. My husband and I have two children, a son that is 14 and a daughter that is 10. We enjoy spending time together camping, fishing and anything that has to do with being outdoors. My biggest supporters are my family and they are the reason that I work hard to be my very best.

This will be my third year teaching 1st grade. I am so excited for the opportunity to help these little minds grow and be successful in school. One of my main goals is making sure all my students feel safe and excited to learn. I work hard on making a community classroom environment where all students have the opportunity to participate and collaborate with each other. I want them to be able to learn from each other as well as support each other. I am looking forward to an amazing year at Brookwood!


Amy Kunzler, 1st grade


I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to join the Brookwood team!! After 7 years of teaching I have discovered that my heart belongs in 1st grade. I love to teach writing and believe my goal is to help every child discover a love for reading. I was born and raised in Layton, Utah. At Weber State University, I earned adual degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. After graduation I taught 2 years in kindergarten before moving to 1st grade for the past 5 years.

When I’m not not teaching I am trying to keep up with my 3 busy teenagers. They have me running from musical concerts and plays to robotics competitions. I do a lot of baking and love to travel whenever I get a chance. My other hobbies include crafting, planning a party and curling up with a good book. And I am always up for an adventure, whether its getting creamed by my kids in a video game or skydiving for my birthday.

My next adventure is moving to Brookwood and getting to know the amazing families and faculty I have heard so much about!


Abigail Wilcox, 3rd Grade


Hello! My name is Abby Wilcox and I am the new Third Grade teacher for Brookwood Elementary.  I am excited to be joining the Brookwood community.

Before I began teaching, I attended Utah State University where I received degrees in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. I did my student teaching at Altara Elementary in Kindergarten and 5th grade, and completed my first year of teaching last year at Altara teaching second grade. I have learned so much from my students and colleagues this past year, and am excited to teach a new grade this year! I feel so lucky to get to teach, work with, and learn from these little people, and to help mold them into the amazing people they will become.

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City and have three younger siblings. When I am not teaching, I love traveling the world, playing and watching sports, watching movies, going to concerts, doing puzzles, and playing with my adorable pet bunny, Dunford. 

I am so excited to be a part of this amazing Brookwood community, and feel honored to be a Brookwood Bear!


 Meghan Gartner, 4th Grade


My name is Meghan Gartner and I am thrilled to be joining Brookwood as a 4th Grade teacher! I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). This past year I finished up my first year of teaching as a 3rd Grade Intern at Riverview Elementary in Nebo School District. It was an amazing experience and I am so excited to bring what I learned to Brookwood.

I absolutely love being teacher. Both my parents and my grandma are teachers, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I love helping kids realize they can accomplish so much more than they think! My goal is to create a classroom environment where students feel loved and where they can reach their full potential. I believe that every child is capable of so much and I strive to do the best I can to help each individual child learn and grow.

I grew up in Kuna, a small farm town outside of Boise, Idaho. I am the oldest of six kids and love being with my family. I love to travel and have been to several different places around the world including Italy, Mexico, and Panama. When I’m not teaching, I love to run, play tennis, or hike. I also enjoy singing and am currently learning how to play the guitar.

I am so excited to teach at Brookwood; it’s going to be a great year!


 Amber Navarro, School Counselor


Hello, my name is Amber Navarro and I am the new counselor for Brookwood Elementary!

I am a newcomer to Utah, from Austin, TX. I have been married for 10 years, and my husband and I have two boys, ages 7 and 9, and two dogs. One of my dogs, a pug named Franny, is a therapy dog who loves coming to work with me! Our other dog is an Olde English Bulldog named Teddy.

I have lived in many places because my husband was in the Air Force, but I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and obtained my B.S. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico. During that time, and after graduation, I worked for the UNM Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, assisting children ages 3-11 who had experienced hardships in their young lives. This experience was the springboard for my devotion to serving the needs of children.

My husband and I then moved to Oklahoma, where I worked for Child Protective Services. It was during our time in OK that our first son, Dylan, was born; I had my second son, Gavin, just under 2 years later, while we were stationed in Louisiana.

I obtained my M.A. in Counseling from Louisiana Tech University, and knew that the best way to reach children as a counselor was for me to work in schools.  I have a cumulative 7 years working as a school counselor, with most of those years in elementary schools. Additionally, I am trained in Sand Tray Therapy and Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and our dogs, reading, drawing and painting. I am very much looking forward to getting to know all of the students, families and staff at Brookwood; it’s going to be a great year!

 Jennifer Reese, Achievement CoachJR

I’m thrilled to be joining Brookwood this year as an achievement coach.  I’m looking forward to working with the school community that I’ve heard such great things about.  My roots are in Sandy since I grew up here attending Oakdale, Albion and Brighton where many amazing teachers inspired me to go into education.    I began my journey into education at Westminster College where I received a dual degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, and I later obtained endorsements in English as a Second Language and Educational Technology.  After graduating I began my career at Midvale Elementary and continued in Special Education for the next 12 years working as a resource teacher and a teacher specialist for Canyons District Special Education Department. After working in Special Education for 12 years I transitioned to working as a general education 6th grade teacher.  

I am so honored to be working in the best profession in the world.  I am passionate about learning and teaching and have worked to develop that same love for learning in the students and teachers I’ve worked with over the years.   The success and well being of students has always been my number one priority as an educator. I believe that all students can learn and grow and deserve to do so in a safe and caring environment.  

Outside of my career in education I live in South Jordan with my husband, 9-year-old son, and two old pugs.  Summer is my favorite time of year. In the warm months I can be found hiking, paddle boarding, swimming, reading a good book on the front porch, or traveling with my family.   

 Shanda Thornell, Educational Technology Coach


I am so excited to be joining the Brookwood team as the Education Technology Coach.  I graduated from Weber State with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education.  I started my career teaching Kindergarten.  I taught at Draper Elementary for 5 years.  During that time, I had the opportunity to get my endorsement in Education Technology; and that’s where my passion for using technology in the classroom began.  I then went to teach 1st grade in Davis School District for 6 years, and continued to increase my knowledge and experience in finding the most effective ways to incorporate technology.  Technology can be used in so many ways to enhance classroom instruction, and that’s what I love to do!

This is only the beginning of my journey as an Ed Tech in CSD.  I started in January of last year, and have learned so much since then!  I think this is the best job because I get to work with many wonderful teachers and students from across the district.  I am so excited to get to know the Brookwood community!