7 things Michele Carnesecca wants you to know about American Fork


Michele Carnesecca

American Fork is home to Michele Carnesecca’s life story. She attended American Fork Junior High, and in seventh grade heard a name called over the intercom — Chad Carnesecca.

“I remember thinking, ‘Carnesecca … now that’s a fun name to say!’”

Little did she know she would marry that Chad with the fun last name, have five children together and build their lives in American Fork, not far from the junior high where she first heard “Carnesecca.”

While raising her five children, ages 4 to 16, she has kept a part-time job in nursing and discovered a love for the artsy side. She has written two LDS-themed children’s books, published through Deseret Book, and teaches children’s art classes in the backyard of her beloved American Fork home.

“We lived in different parts of Utah when we were first married, but we are like salmon — we couldn’t stay away from our true home for long,” Michele says.

Speaking of spokes


“My family loves to bike — even our 4-year-old has two bikes! We think Bike Peddler is the best bike shop in Utah County. My two boys are members of the AFHS mountain bike team, and Bike Peddler does a lot to help the team.”

Deep roots

“My grandma was one of the first to live in American Fork, and I grew up visiting her house off of Main Street, hearing the trains go back and forth. Even though the town has grown, it still has a small-town feel.”

School pride

American Fork High

“One of the biggest reasons we wanted to come back to this area is because of the schools: AFHS, AFJH, and especially Shelley Elementary.” Kate Carnesecca, her 9-year-old who tagged along for the interview, agrees. “I love reading and writing because Mrs. Jensen made it really fun.”

“Love you ‘till we die”

“The whole community rallies around school events, whether it’s the American Fork High School band or the football games. Everybody knows the AFHS high school chant.”

Roughin’ it

“Our favorite place to camp is Granite Flats. All the trees make it feel like you’re alone, even if the campground is full. We’ve ridden horses, biked, brought trailers up there — it has room for everything you’d want to do.”

Fine fiesta

La Costa

“La Costa on State Street is my favorite place to go for a date night with Chad. Our favorite dish is the Carne Asada.”

Mountain majesty


“When you drive into American Fork and see the view of Mount Timpanogos, you feel like you’re home. It feels even more like home in our neighborhood because so many of our neighbors graduated from AFHS. Everyone wants to stay!”

News Flash!

Three scenes from “Footloose” were filmed in American Fork, including the opening scene. The carnival scene from “The Sandlot” was also filmed in American Fork by Robinson Park.

Source: Internet Movie Database


Alisha swapped plains for peaks when she moved to Utah from her Kansas hometown. After graduating from BYU and traveling around China with her husband, Shane, they put down roots in Utah Valley, where Alisha first fell in love with yoga, learned to ski and discovered fry sauce. Alisha is an associate editor, writing for Utah Valley Magazine and UtahValley360.com. Follow her on Twitter @alishagallag.

One Comment

  1. Laura Willden Behle Reply

    Michele was my young women’s teacher over 10 years ago she is such an amazing women and I still recall lessons from her that have influenced my life so many times. Anyone know how I can contact her? I’d love to talk, but lost her contact info. Thanks!

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