Morgan County has a new member of the school board, Jodi Hipwell. Hipwell is a native of Ogden. After her marriage to her husband, Carl, they spent seventeen years in the Southeast United States in Arkansas and South and North Carolina. Hipwell, who has four children, volunteered in schools in each community where they lived. “I have seen some of the best schools in the country and I have seen some of the worst schools in the country,” says Hipwell. She continues, “That gives me a little bit of insight into different types of school systems.” Her two youngest children both attend Morgan High School presently.
Hipwell moved to Morgan eleven years ago. She has been volunteering in the schools here since their move. She has volunteered in the classrooms and has served on the PTSO. She served on the community council that provides input to the district on a variety of policy issues as well as on the disposition of trust land proceeds. She has also served on the education foundation and is currently on the scholarship board at Morgan High. She is a graduate of Utah State University where she earned a bachelors degree in Business Administration. Two years ago she ran for the school board in a bid to win the seat in which she will now serve.
Regarding education in Morgan Hipwell says, “Overall our kids are receiving a good education. We have some fantastic teachers in the school system. Having volunteered I have seen these teachers at work… One of our greatest pluses is the teachers in the school system… As a school board we need to work with these teachers and keep them in this area.”
Hipwell began her service on the school board by diving right into the fire with a truth in taxation item on the agenda. She heard first hand the concerns of the citizens of Morgan relating to spending wisely and avoiding unnecessary tax increases. She said, “What was talked about a lot at the meeting last night is our funding. We are on a shoe string budget basically… Looking at what I have seen so far we are down to the bare minimums as far as cutting things. I don’t want to see the cuts come from the classroom.”
In her experience with different schools around the US Hipwell identified one of the most important elements to quality education as parental involvement. She encourages parents who have a desire to become involved to, “contact the schools, contact the education foundation. Find out where you can help. We could use help from reading in the classrooms to serving on community councils in their schools. I think parent involvement is essential. That’s how I have ended up here... by starting out as a member of the PTO and going through the system.”
Hipwell expressed the desire to hear from the community what the board can do to help. She would like to hear what community members would like to see improved and what they see is working well now. Hipwell will serve the remaining term of Dr. Ericksen, who recently passed away. Her term will be until the end of 2012. We welcome Hipwell to her new role and wish her success in serving the students of our community.