Meet our New Principal, Heather Shepherd


Our new Principal, Heather Shepherd, has arrived and is preparing for a great new year at SLArts.  Ms. Heather (as she has been known to her students) comes to SLArts from Channing Hall, a K-8 Charter School in Draper, where she was Principal for 13 years.  She has a deep background in education, having worked as a teacher, guidance counselor and Dean of Students. Ms. Heather grew up in Salt Lake City went to Bryan for middle school and is a graduate of East High School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Mills College and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Harvard University.


Ms. Heather says, “I was drawn to SLArts by the vision of the school and its goal that all students will excel through the middle school years, with confidence, passion and engagement. Middle school is an uncertain time and I want to make this a safe place for students,” she says. “When I was in middle school the general philosophy of education and teaching was very different;  school was not a place to explore and discover but rather a building in which information was given to you. We didn’t have the brain research or concepts of the growth mindset that we work with today. SLArts has created a culture that allows and encourages students to try, explore, risk, reflect and succeed. With our outstanding faculty and the strong learning environment we’ve created, our students can move through middle school knowing we care. Without a doubt, if I went back to middle school, I would go to SLArts and be a very different person today.”


When asked about her favorite books, Ms. Heather is hard-pressed to have just one. She mostly reads mysteries, books about education, and anything about Mt. Everest. Her hobbies include traveling (she’s been to many fascinating destinations around the world), home improvement, enjoying time with friends and family and hiking with her dog. 


Finally, Ms. Heather will have an essential companion in her office at school. Truman is a 4½-year-old Goldendoodle.  He loves middle school, and his hobby is hiking with Ms. Heather and sleeping on his big bean bag. 


Ms. Heather is looking forward to getting to know our students and parents. Her door is always open and she encourages parents to reach out to her with any questions or concerns; you can reach her at [email protected]