My experience as an educator spans 36 years, four school districts and two states. During this time of employment, it has been my pleasure to be associated with great students, wonderful parents and conscientious staff members. It has been said that if one chooses something he loves to do then he will never go to work for the rest of his life. There is no truer statement than this about my vocation.
The last two years has been no exception in loving what I do as the principal of Morgan Middle School. This has been a time of admiration of well prepared students, involvement with concerned parents and working with the most caring and diligent staff with whom I have ever worked. My experience could well be the focus of my remarks but let me now proceed to discuss one of the reasons why Morgan Middle School and the entire district is such an outstanding organization.
Recently in a meeting attended by about 30 member of the community to review applications for the new superintendent, it was stated that the most important selection that a school district will ever make is their choice of the superintendent. There are many reasons for this and as another individual proceeded to discuss the outlined characteristic of the future superintendent he paused and simply said something to the effect that this describes Superintendent Ron Wolff.
Ron Wolff has been a great advocate for Morgan School District during the 14 years that he has been the Superintendent. It was not uncommon for Ron to be seen in the schools visiting teachers in their classrooms to observe them in the teaching and learning process that he would then report to them in a personal narrative format that was both meaningful and sincere. Ron was a strong advocate of teaching rigor and student relationships. His expectations were simple. The student is the single most important factor that exists in the educational process and what each student learns is the responsibility of the educational family that includes faculty, staff and home.
Superintendent Wolff’s expectations were high in every aspect of the district. He expected a great deal of himself and that is the reason that one individual indicated that it would be difficult to replace him and the 80 hour weeks he worked. Ron had high expectations for the district staff, the administrators in each of the buildings, the faculty, the support staff, the homes and the students. It was a regular occurrence, when entering Ron’s open door, to see him dealing with a personnel issue, a bus problem, a student matter, a legislative concern, a parental situation, an assessment issue, a community concept, and the list could continue. All of these matters were uncharacteristically his problems first and then delegation might transpire. Ron is simply not a typical superintendent. This district was his concern and he dealt with each concern as if it was his responsibility!
Ron was a great supporter of all activities and like any great administrator, he attended as many activities as he possibly could. He always attended the extracurricular activities at all of the schools and it would not be unusual for him to be at a drama production, musical concert, athletic activity, school spelling bee, storytelling contest, school assembly, faculty meeting, and again the list could continue. He would not only attend, but his purpose was not to be seen, but to participate as another educator.
Superintendent Ron’s schedule was at times amazing as he would spend a great deal of his week during the legislative session in Salt Lake City. He was well known and respected in the legislature and he was often called upon to discuss items regarding educational issues in both private and formal sessions. His involvement with the governor and legislature brought a great deal of clout to the concerns of a district the size of Morgan School District. There is little doubt why Ron recently served as president of the Utah Association of Superintendents for the entire state. Ron has great impact on state decisions and is well respected throughout the State of Utah in all educational circles.
Recently, in a retirement dinner, Ron reported that one of the special things he had ever done was to be the acting principal for an ailing administrator. This is another classic example of Ron not just hiring an interim administrator, but just adding it to the present responsibilities of being a superintendent. It was indeed touching for all of us to hear Ron state that there was nothing more special than to meet the needs of students, staff and parents at Morgan Elementary School.
Yes, Ron is leaving and it is our loss in Morgan School District and it is Box Elder School District’s gain. Ron will be in his office working late and hard for the district that he has so well served on his last official day of contract like he has done since his first day so many years ago.
He will be hard to replace, but someone will replace him. He represented the philosophy of Morgan School District that to expect the best of students, staff and homes is what education is all about in Morgan School District. We will miss him and if given the chance, please thank him for what he has done for our district.
No one person is irreplaceable! What makes Morgan School District great starts with a school board that sincerely cares about the welfare of their community and the education of the same. There are great staff members that are dedicated to their vocation and the performance of daily duties that make the learning of the student the main priority. There are homes that prepare their students well before these students ever come to school so that the opportunity to learn is enhanced. There are students that really care and want to learn to an extent that is unprecedented. Finally, there is a community that believes that it takes a group to make this process happen to the extent that meets the expectations of Morgan School District.
Ron Wolff, thanks for all that you have done! We wish you well and know that you will be as successful in your new job as you were here! You can rest assured that we remember well your advice not to rest on the great successes of Morgan School District in the past but to strive to not only maintain but to head to the next level as we meet the challenges of the future.