Ken Adams, the current Morgan County School District superintendent, will retire from his post in June.
Adams spent the majority of his life in Morgan County. Born and raised in Porterville, he remembers his mother driving him to school in 1957 through a snow storm to start kindergarten. His teacher at that time was Rosella Compton.
Since then, he has been a teacher, school counselor, vice principal, principal of both Morgan Middle School and Morgan High School, with his final post as district superintendent.
During his tenure as superintendent, he says his biggest challenge has been to deal with budget cuts and the financial decisions resulting from those cuts. The district has managed to balance the budget so far. The district plans to balance the budget this year through attrition and other possible cuts. Balancing the school budget is becoming harder and harder with revenues falling and growth accelerating.
Adams will retire as of May 1, but he will continue as superintendent until June on a volunteer basis. He said it was the right decision. Morgan faces challenges just as many other school districts in Utah and the nation—doing more with less.
The quality of Morgan schools is one of the top reasons that people move to Morgan County. For example, Morgan’s high school graduation rate is higher than the state average and many students take concurrent enrollment while in high school, giving them a head start on their post-secondary education.
In addition, Morgan District has always been competitive in the state-wide Sterling Scholar competition. This year, the district won 21percent of the awards—as winners or runner ups—in 14 categories. Morgan students won nine of the awards. Adams said, “It’s a reflection of the community and the value parents set on education.”
Looking back over his many years of service in education, Adams reflects that his favorite part of the job has been working with students and helping them become productive members of society. The payback is seeing former students as competent, responsible adults.
Before he was an administrator and counselor, Adams taught history, social studies and special education, so he has worked at every level in Morgan County Schools. At the beginning of his career, he taught one year for the Ogden City School District.
The accomplishment he is most happy about is the Scholarship Board that started in 1994. Scholarships, either institutional or local, are provided to an average of 50 percent of the graduating class each year. The Scholarship Committee works hard to raise money to help students get started in college.
Along with the Scholarship Fund, he is proud of the Morgan Education Foundation that was started about 10 years ago. This group works hard and raises money to fund supplies and programs for students and teachers. They gave out 30 awards last year. They sponsor fund-raisers such as a golf tournament and a 5K race to raise money for district needs that are not provided through tax revenues.
While he has served as superintendent, the Trojan Century Center and the Transportation Facility were constructed.
Adams wants to express his great respect and appreciation for the administrators, teachers and staff of Morgan School District. He added, “The district has been good to me, and I have tried to give back to it. I want to say thank you for this opportunity to serve.”
It is interesting to note that Adams and his wife Marie ran The Morgan County News for almost 20 years when he was a beginning teacher with the district. They eventually purchased the newspaper but sold it in 1997, and Marie has been teaching first grade since then.
Marie will continue to teach a few more years. When asked what his plans are now, Adams said, “It’s time to start a new adventure and to get the family farm in Porterville in order.” A full-time mission for the LDS church is also in their long-term plans after Marie retires. They will remain busy with their five children—four boys and a girl—and 15 grandchildren.