Ragnar has been running its race through Morgan County since the inception of the relay race over a dozen years ago. During that time our community members have cheered for runners, complained about traffic, waved to visitors and picked up left-over trash. With a whole variety of emotions and thousands of visitors, two local high school teams found a way to help the runners and raise funds.
Selection of the newest Morgan County School Board member came down to two issues: special interest groups and homeschooling. In the end, three board members voted for Ronald Blunck while opponent Lydia Nuttall had the approval of only two board members. Both applicants answered a series of 14 questions in a public interview period Tuesday.
The students at Morgan Elementary School were lucky enough to enjoy a dry morning on Friday, May 22, amid weeks of rain showers to enjoy coming together to make a difference through Relay Recess. Now in its sixth year, this established activity is an event most students eagerly look forward to.
On Tuesday May 12, the Morgan High School class of 2015 gathered with friends and family to celebrate years of hard work coming to fruition at the annual Scholarship Night. Well over $1.55 million dollars in scholarships were awarded to the graduating seniors at Morgan High.
Despite weather conditions that were less than ideal, the Morgan High School track team returned from the 3A Track and Field State Championships at Brigham Young University with a number of excellent performances and an individual state champion—Chania Nagel in the discus. Nagel, who threw her winning toss of 123-03.5 on her third and final throw, claimed her first state championship and also garnered a second place finish in the shot put with a throw of 37-04.50.
Friday night, May 8, families filled Morgan Elementary School to experience an amazing evening dedicated to the arts. Artists of all skill levels from professional to beginner shared their works and delighted crowds both young and old. Various mediums of art shared the spotlight as music, dance and visual arts were all well-represented. During a jam-packed evening, activities, presentations and performances entertained and educated the community in many facets of art.
On Friday, May 8, the Morgan High Rodeo Club hosted a high school rodeo for over 200 participants who competed in 781 events. The fairgrounds were filled with trucks, trailers, cowgirls, cowboys, family, friends and supporters.
On Saturday, April 17, the MHS track buzzed with activity as 17 high school teams gathered for the Morgan Pocket Change Invitational. The Trojan tracksters set 68 personal records (34 boys and 34 girls) and placed fifth as a team overall behind Weber, Springville, North Summit and Bear River.
With only three more months left of the Morgan School District’s official budget year, things are looking up while the school board approved continuing with immediate “Band-Aid” solutions to house future growth.
Two great bands, three talented choirs, a historic drama production and tremendous artwork all add up to an amazing Spring Celebration of the Arts at Morgan Middle School. Monday night, March 16, parents, friends, family and community members filled the gym to celebrate the Middle School Fine Arts Department.
Saturday, the Morgan High School freshman girls’ basketball team put an exclamation point on their perfect season by winning first place at the Ben Lomond Freshman Tournament. The Lady Trojans amassed a perfect 20-0 record, won their games by an average of 34 points and their Region 10 games by an average of 41 points.
For the first time since 2010, Morgan High wrestling has an individual state champion. Senior wrestler Jayden Pentz won first place in the 132 pound division on Saturday night at Utah Valley University.
Who could have scripted a more perfect ending? Knowing that their coach was stepping down at the end of the cheer season, the Morgan varsity cheer team delivered its most compelling performance of the year and took home the state championship in front of an overflow crowd at Salt Lake Community College on Jan. 31, 2015.
Morgan’s 25 indoor track athletes competed in the State Indoor Track Championships at the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 31. Trojan senior Britten Duerden brought home state titles in high jump and triple jump and a fourth place finish in the 60 meter hurdles. The girls’ team placed fourth and the combined team came in 18th overall. These achievements are even more remarkable because the Indoor Track Championships reach across all classifications from 5A to 1A. Over 50 high school teams competed and Morgan was one of only four 3A schools with the remainder of the teams representing 4A and 5A schools.
After preparing intensely for the past several months, the Morgan High School cheer team swept region honors in every event in which the team competed last weekend. In addition, cheerleader Paige Malan was named co-champion of the individual skills competition.
After announcing tough transportation restrictions set to take affect Feb. 2, the Morgan County School Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday to cut some slack for students who consistently need picked up or dropped off for child care. However, citing safety concerns, the district will no longer accept notes and other irregular requests.
Each year Morgan Middle School students begin celebrating the holidays by thinking of people who are in need. Instead of focusing on their own Christmas lists, kids participated in a fund raiser to raise money for two local families who needed help with rising medical costs.
With seven first place individual champions, the Morgan High School wrestling team won the Varsity Team Championship at the Air Force Duals Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 15. After two days of wrestling seven rounds against many 4A and 5A teams, Morgan took their 6-1 record head to head with Mountain Crest, also 6-1, and emerged victorious on criteria.
The Lady Trojans played four basketball games in five nights starting on Dec. 2., all of which were played against larger 4A and 5A schools. Morgan emerged with a 2-2 record to bring their season total to 3-3 overall.
“The show is just magic,” MHS drama teacher Candice Wilder said of Peter Pan. “It is really magical!”
The cast, crew, teachers and audience would agree that magic was a perfect term to describe the Morgan High School musical production of Peter Pan.
Friday, Nov. 21, the second graders at Morgan Elementary School participated in the annual Turkey Trot. This established tradition is exciting for the second grade students and their teachers, parents and grandparents who support them.
Education dominated the 2014 election cycle, both locally and on the state level.
Locally, more Morgan residents threw their hat in the ring for an education position than any other government position on the ballot.
For the first time in Morgan County School District’s history, the board of education appointed two high school students to serve on the board. In the past, only one student has served as a student board member. Chandler Hipwell and Dietrich Streuber will serve as this school year’s student board members.
The Morgan County Board of Education is worried about exploding enrollment and expected population growth. While a separate task force has been studying issues related to growth and are months away from issuing their official report, the school board wanted a sneak peak at their discussions.
In spring of 2014, the State of Utah paid for all Morgan High School juniors to take the college admission ACT test. And they were not alone. After passage of a state bill in 2013, the legislature funded offering the test to all public school juniors for free.
Despite the unusually rainy August evening, over 200 runners showed up for the second-annual Color Us Bright Fun Run on Monday, Aug. 25.
This low-key 3K event starts everyone out with clean white T-shirts. Seasoned participants know that sunglasses are a must in a color run, but glasses were provided to those who were new to this. As the color packs containing colored corn starch were handed out to participants, it didn’t take long before many shirts were brightly colored.
Bright smiles were on the faces of youth ready to take the starting line. Throughout the short run, stations sponsored by community businesses splattered runners with even more color.
The Morgan Education Foundation, that puts on the event, is always grateful for local support and hopes more businesses will join in helping the four schools in our district.
Every so often you encounter a person with a truly generous and giving heart. If you know Susanne Skeen, then you know such a person. She has been blessing the lives of others in Morgan County for many years—In her family, her neighborhood, her work, her church, and in 4-H.
It is a privilege to honor Pat Porter Peterson as a distinguished employee of the month in the Morgan School District. She began her employment with the district in 1968 as possibly the first recognized teacher’s aide. During the past 47 years, Pat has been an administrative assistant, secretary, recess aide, teaching aide, study hall monitor, PE helper and lunchroom supervisor.
As a result of increased public pressure, the Morgan County School Board is contemplating the creation of a standards committee to keep an eye on state core standards and curriculum while allowing as much local input as possible.
The Morgan County School District is sharing results of a special Utah State Office of Education audit spurred by anonymous complaints regarding how construction of the Trojan Century Center was funded.
“Callers were telling the state office of education they felt there was some misappropriation of dollars in the creation of the Trojan center,” Superintendent Doug Jacobs said.
Over the course of its 30-year career, the Morgan High School marquee has deteriorated drastically. Students and staff have nursed the sign along using tape, white out and other remedies to keep it going, but they are finding these methods inadequate to keep this archaic sign up to date.
Because of this deterioration, the Morgan High School Student Body Officers have come up with a plan to replace the old sign with a new digital marquee.
This updated marquee would provide the school, as well as the rest of Morgan County, a better way to advertise ongoing events that take place in our town.
To make this happen, the officers need the help of the community. The cost of the new marquee is $30,000. To assist with that large figure, they have a plan that involves different donation tiers: bronze-$100; silver-$500; gold-$1,000; and platinum-$5,000.
In order to give full recognition to generous donors, bronze and silver level donors will have their name or company name engraved on a plate on the front of the marquee. Gold and platinum donors will have an entire brick to themselves on the base of the marquee to engrave their company name and logo. This will ensure that the entire school and community will be reminded of that generosity each time they approach the school.
In order for the new digital marquee to be in place by the time school starts this fall, donations need to be turned in by July 20, 2014. Please submit donations to Morgan High School, P.O. Box 917, Morgan, UT 84050.
Candidates for the District 2 and District 4 Morgan County School Board positions met for a debate June 12. Voting for the primary election involving Roland Haslam, Ted Taylor and Bruce A. Galbraith for District 2 will take place Tuesday, June 24.
Alan Vesper withdrew from the District 4 race, making a primary election with Anna Phelps and incumbent Mark Farmer unnecessary. Phelps and Farmer will proceed to the general election in November.
Haslam, Taylor, Phelps and Farmer were present for the debate sponsored by Morepac, a political action committee with the mission to “facilitate community awareness through public forums and provide accurate information on educational and economic issues.”
Farmer said the roles and responsibilities of a member of the board of education are three-fold including providing quality education that exceeds state requirements and prepares students for college, providing education consistent with the standards of the community, and handling the fiduciary responsibilities entrusted to the board.
Taylor said if elected, his responsibilities are to his constituents and representing them. This would include making sure students receive the best education available, allowing the public to approach the board, and ensuring sufficient funds are in the budget to pay for expenses.
Phelps said that there is more to ensuring a great education, including taking care of teachers, board members acting as facilitators, and board members attending all government council meetings. “Academics are the first priority of a board member,” she said.
Friday night the Morgan High School Trojan football team took on the Emery Spartans and conquered this year’s homecoming game. Unlike the historic story of the Trojans and Spartans, the Morgan Trojans had no problem taking apart the Spartan offense, winning the game 35-0.
In the first down, Morgan quickly lit up the board with 14 points. It was apparent the Spartans were going to have a tough time getting anything past this strong defense.
Very little of the game was actually played on the visitor side of the 50 yard line, as the clock ticked on.
At half-time, the score was 21-0 and it was time for the cheerleaders and the drill team to work their magic on the field for the packed stadium. Both gave performances worthy of the crowd’s applause.
As the 2014 Homecoming royalty approached the field, the stands roared with cheers for the adorable Maddie Francis and Josh Woitaszewski, this year’s queen and king. Francis was thrilled to be there, waving both hands at the crowd with Woitaszewski leading the way with a giant smile. Woitaszewski is the son of Mark and Melissa Powers and Francis is the daughter of Richard and Triscia Francis.
In the 2013-2014 school year, the Morgan County School Board collected $6,400 in fees for use of the Trojan Century Center. In the same time, the district paid $17,067 in utilities for the building, $6,300 for supervision of the building, $4,416 for custodians to clean the building, and another $2,300 for supplies and repairs, said District Business Manager D’Lynn Poll.
The facility is used by both students as well as community members. As such, it is difficult to compute what percentage of utilities was paid for community use vs. district use.
Board member Ken Durrant said heating and cooling of the building would be the same no matter who was using it. When students leave the building, the facility must still be heated and cooled, he said.
Poll said the biggest cash out of the district’s pocket that can be tied to community use was for supervision. However, the fees collected for use of the building was enough revenue to pay for that supervision, she said.
Almost half of the registered voters in Morgan County turned out to the polls Tuesday night to defeat the proposed Morgan County School District voted local levy.
About 30 people gathered at the county offices late Tuesday night to view the results: 64.41 percent (1,600 votes) against, 35.59 percent (884 votes) for. Of 5,495 registered voters, 45 percent visited the polls (2,485 voters).
Voter turnout was highest in the Croydon District, where 66 percent of registered voters cast their votes strictly by absentee ballot. Compared to the other six voting districts, the Croydon District also had the highest percentage (80.7 percent) of voters voting against the levy.
Voter turnout was lowest in the Mountain Green District at 38.8 percent.
The district with the highest percentage voting for the levy was North Morgan, where 43 percent cast ballots supporting the levy.
It was standing room only in the Morgan City offices for a town hall meeting with six resident panelists prepared to offer options to the voted local levy.
Jim Bledsoe, a four-year county resident who plans to vote against the levy, acted as moderator. The panelists included the following four residents, who are all planning to vote against the levy: Brent Anderson, local businessman; John Barber, who operated Barber Brothers Ford for 14 years; Kera Birkeland, small business owner; Joe McFarland, father of four children who have gone through Morgan schools.
Panelist Tina Cannon, a tax professional and mother of four, said she is undecided on how she will vote on June 25’s ballot. Panelist Jennie Earl, a 10-year resident with a master’s degree in elementary education, did not want to comment on if she was pro- or anti-levy.
Last Wednesday night the MHS Volleyball team sponsored its 3rd annual Pink Night. MHS & Skyline came together to play for cancer research. Both teams wore pink jerseys and even the officials wore pink. This year was extra special because the volleyball team recently lost one of its own to cancer, Sherie Wright. Sherie and her family were honored before the game and all proceeds of over $2900 will be donated in her name to cancer research.
Two weeks after voting to delay a property tax increase, the Morgan County School Board is reconsidering. They have set a July 12 date to hold a public meeting, where they may vote to move forward with raising taxes as early as this November in order to build a contingency fund into the district’s budget.
The Morgan County School Board voted to continue serving breakfast to Morgan Elementary Students in the 2012-2013 year. Morgan Elementary was the first school in the district to offer a breakfast program. After watching the program closely, board members and other district administrators said they may consider offering a similar program at Morgan Middle School.
District officials are considering a new tardy policy at Morgan Middle School.
The new policy is based on one already in place at Roosevelt Junior High, Morgan Middle School Principal Terry Allen said. In surveying his staff, 90 percent responded that they liked the new policy.