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Amber Shill

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Amber Shill
Amber Shill.jpg
Board member, Canyons Board of Education, District 2
Term ends
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Office website
Campaign website
Amber Shill campaign logo

Amber Shill is the District 2 member on the Canyons Board of Education in Utah. She won in the primary election, along with incumbent Kim Murphy Horiuchi, on June 24, 2014. She defeated Horiuchi in the general election on November 4, 2014.



See also: Canyons School District elections (2014)


The November 4, 2014, general election in the Canyons School District featured four seats up for election. In the District 2 race, primary winners Amber Shill and incumbent Kim Murphy Horiuchi faced off. Primary winners Clareen Arnold and incumbent Tracy Scott Cowdell competed for the District 4 seat. In the District 5 race, incumbent Steve Wrigley faced Cole Hansen. In the District 6 race, incumbent Sherril H. Taylor faced Andrew R. Boyce.

Newcomers Shill and Arnold won in Districts 2 and 4, respectively, while incumbents Wrigley and Taylor were re-elected in Districts 5 and 6.


Canyons School District, District 2 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAmber Shill 52.4% 4,015
     Nonpartisan Kim Murphy Horiuchi Incumbent 47.6% 3,643
Total Votes 7,658
Source: Salt Lake County Clerk, "Official Election Results 2014 General Election," accessed December 22, 2014
Canyons School District, District 2 Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAmber Shill 52.7% 1,232
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKim Murphy Horiuchi Incumbent 34.9% 815
     Nonpartisan Von Hortin 12.4% 289
Total Votes 2,336
Source: Salt Lake County, "Unofficial Election Results," June 24, 2014. These election results are unofficial. They will be updated once certified election results are available.


Shill reported $10,078.47 in contributions and $10,078.47 in expenditures to the Salt Lake County Clerk.[1] This total could reflect activity from past years.


Shill did not receive any endorsements during the election.

What was at stake?

Issues in the district

Jordan School District split

In 2009, Jordan School District was split into two districts: the current Jordan School District and Canyons School District. The split resulted in the division of one billion dollars in assets, hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities and the dispersal of over 81,000 students. A 2010 poll, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates Poll for the Deseret News and KSL-TV, indicated that 75 percent of people believed the split was unfair to Jordan students. According to Canyon school board member Tracy Scott Cowdell the poll showed that there were "serious misconceptions about school communities in the Canyons School District." He said that while he wasn't initially on board with the split and voted against it, in hindsight he would have changed his vote. He stated that, "[...] anybody who doesn't believe the division was done in a fair, amicable way, doesn't have all the information." Prior to the split, Jordan School District spent approximately $1,522 on each student. In 2010, the district reporting spending $1,136, while Canyons School District spent $2,087.[2][3]

Sex abuse scandal

In May 2014, a bus driver in the Canyons School District was charged with 23 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. According to reports, John Martin Carrell, 61, allegedly touched a young special needs girl inappropriately and repeatedly over the course of three months. The investigation is ongoing as to whether there could be additional victims. According to Utah state court records, Carrell had no prior criminal history other than minor traffic violations. The girl's mother said that although she doesn't blame the school district, she believes that district buses should be required to have another adult on board besides the bus driver to prevent future cases.[4]

About the district

See also: Canyons School District, Utah
Canyons School District is located in Salt Lake County, Utah
Canyons School District is located in Salt Lake County, Utah. The county seat of Salt Lake County is Salt Lake City. Salt Lake County is home to 1,029,655 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[5] In the 2011-2012 school year, Canyons School District was the fifth-largest school district in Utah and served 33,946 students.[6]


Salt Lake County overperformed in comparison to the rest of Utah in terms of higher education achievement and median household income in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 30.8 percent of Salt Lake County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 29.9 percent for Utah as a whole. The median household income in Salt Lake County was $59,626 compared to $58,164 for the state of Utah. The poverty rate in Salt Lake County was 12.0 percent compared to 12.1 percent for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2013[5]
Race Salt Lake County (%) Utah (%)
White 89.1 91.8
Black or African American 1.9 1.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.3 1.5
Asian 3.6 2.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 1.6 1.0
Two or More Races 2.5 2.3
Hispanic or Latino 17.5 13.3

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[7] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Recent news

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