Yearbook superlatives are a scholastic tradition that allows us to recognize the people who were “the best …” or “the most …” something. There were a lot of standouts this past year, but here are our winners.
Everyone knows the most powerful muscle you can flex is money and lots of it. That’s why owning a professional sports team is the business of billionaires. That makes for a small pool of talent who could buy the Utah Jazz from the Miller Familly. Ryan Smith, the founder of Utah-based data science company Qualtrics, bought the Jazz for $1.6 billion. To think, Smith could have bought the Minnesota Timberwolves for $1.5 billion instead.
The moniker “least woke” could be seen as a dubious distinction or a badge of honor. Natalie Cline, we expect, considers it the latter. As a member of the Utah State Board of Education, Cline has called “child indoctrination” on racially inclusive curriculum, the Utah Pride Center and the word “woke.” While some students belong to marginalized groups, Cline says those topics should stay at home meanwhile flouting calls for her resignation.
Most Likely to Succeed:
After guiding Utah’s pandemic response through a, umm, fraught political atmosphere—garnering national attention by presenting the science without commenting on some discrepant policy—State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn probably could have taken any job anywhere. Instead, she’s staying in Utah, accepting the position of Director of the Salt Lake County Health Department. At least she can expect fewer protests at her house.
Worst Break Up:
Mitt Romney and the Republican Party
The spark is gone, they’ve grown apart and they don’t see eye-to-eye anymore. Mitt Romney’s relationship with the Republican Party is a breakup we all saw coming. Romney was on the course of criticizing the president, only to discover his party was going to a place he couldn’t follow: Trumpland. The Utah GOP voted to censure Romney. It failed, so there might be hope for these two crazy kids yet.
Utah County’s Clean Comedy Scene
“The Utah County comedy scene is so hot right now,” said no one. But it’s true. Provo has long been a bastion of “clean comedy,” a term often spoken with a derisive eye roll. And yet, Dry Bar Comedy pumps out hours of “safe for work” stand-up. The sketch comedy of Studio C and Freelancers reach online audiences well outside of Cougar territory. Turns out, you don’t need to play blue to make people laugh.
Being a Real Housewife of Salt Lake City requires a certain penchant for drama. Jen Shah is hardly the first wealthy Utahn accused in a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme, but she might be the first to get arrested on basic cable. Even by Housewife standards, Shah lives lavishly. She is known for decking out in designer brands, decadent parties and her ever-growing roster of assistants. But, we never expected the dramatic twist of learning how she pays for that lifestyle (allegedly).
Photos: Ryan smith, Natalie Cline & Mitt Romney, Courtesy photos; Jen Shah, Courtesy Bravo; Angela Dunn, Photo by Adam Finkle
Class is in session. See all of our Best of the Beehive Academy winners.