The sounds of honor and respect, could be felt as the audience stood, while a color guard of Cub and Boy Scouts, presented the colors of the state and national flags. The voices of the kindergarten children recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Morgan School District is fortunate to have outstanding administrators serving in each of our schools. Their responsibilities can be overwhelming at times, but each works through the challenges and opportunities with an aura of professionalism. This week I would like to spotlight our outstanding elementary principals; Tom McFarland and Tim Wolff.
Elementary students of all grade levels enjoyed the PTSO’s annual carnival. While the purpose of this event is to raise money for the PTSO, it has become a community event that is highly anticipated by many of the county’s shorter citizens. Teachers announced the affair in their classrooms and encouraged the students to come and bring their families. Posters hung throughout the school to broadcast the upcoming carnival. These strategies brought great results. Several hundred individuals came together to eat pizza, get their faces and nails painted and throw footballs.
Angie Farr attended with her kids for the 3rd year in a row. “The kids love it and it’s fun to support the school,” Angie said as she waited with her children in line for the ring toss. Each child had their favorite game but her son Milton’s preferred game was the donut eating competition . This was a challenge where the participants had to eat little donuts off of a table without their hands. This was one of the favorite games at the carnival.
The Utah State University Extension Office provides excellent resources to Morgan County. Through the Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H program, the Agricultural Services Department and the Food Sense Program our community is enriched and educated. The first two services may be familiar to you already, but the last, Food Sense is an up and coming program in the Extension Office. The program is headed by me, Madeline Carrigan, the Nutrition Education Assistant and sponsored and supported by Amanda Horrocks the County 4-H Agent. Food Sense is a program funded by the USDA which aims to assist families in budgeting properly and getting the most nutrition out of what they can afford.
What an exciting time of year! Back-to-school is truly one of our favorite events at Morgan Elementary and this fall we are eager to begin a year of many new challenges. Each August we rededicate ourselves to finding the strategies necessary to continue the tradition of excellence that has made our school so great for so long. This year we especially welcome our new students and their families as they join our journey.
Morgan Elementary School’s motto is, “Mountaineers Climbing Higher!” and we hope to embody this slogan through the empowerment and achievement of our students.
Ten years ago when the Morgan School District gave the temporary use of one of its buildings to have a Weber State University information center in Morgan, no one could foresee the progress the center has made today. Barbara Anderson who has worked at the center from the time of opening, has seen this higher education learning center grow from an information center, to a testing center, to now a place where students can learn by taking classes via video conferencing (IVC). Through video conferencing students can interact with the course instructor teaching from a distant campus.
You will be moving along at about 44 feet per second. You then need about 47 feet to bring the vehicle to a safe stop at 30 MPH. This, combined with your reaction time will add about 66 feet to your travel distance, with a total of 114 feet needed before you stop your car- almost double the stopping distance at only 10 MPH over!
As school begins each year students are usually filled with excitement and enthusiasm to meet new friends and learn new things. Just the anticipation of a new class and seeing their old friends provides motivation to come to school during the first few weeks. Regrettably, after a few weeks some students begin to feel that regular attendance to school is not important. Sadly, but not usually intentionally, some parents also feel that missing a few days of school is not that important.
The school bell rang in the new school year for Morgan School district on Tuesday August 23. The usual excitement and nerves tinged each student as he or she returned to school. Bodee Wright, a third grader, was so excited, his mom wasn’t sure if he even knew if she existed. His older sister, Bailee, left the comfort of elementary last year and after her first day at school was left a bit exhausted, but excited for the year, especially about her new locker. A new locker was what fellow sixth grader Kale Bigler was most excited about.
The Morgan Education Foundation is making a final push to fund the new Trojan Century Center. They are beginning a two-week campaign to reach out to the residents of the county and alumni of Morgan High School. The foundation believes that there are many that benefited from an excellent education in Morgan that will want to support the Trojan Center, particularly on the hundredth anniversary of the High School. The campaign will last two weeks and is targeting to raise $100,000. This should bring the foundation to the necessary funding for the facility to be completed. “Our goal is to reach out to individual, to alumni, to families… and ask for a commitment of $1,000, “ said Kelly Wright Morgan Education Foundation president. He continued, “[It is] great opportunity to share in helping to build this facility, not just a mediocre facility, but a facility… that has a classrooms to teach, that has the equipment…everything that would make this first class.”
The Morgan Valley has been carpeted with lush green for most of the summer and the hills and valleys continue to clothe in the colors of summer. It’s hard to imagine that school will be back in session next week! Following are some random thoughts about the upcoming year and what we can expect to see as the year progresses.
Round Valley – The Third Annual Morgan Education Golf Tournament was held on August 2, 2011 at the Round Valley Golf Course. According to Foundation officials it was a well-supported activity that grossed over $7,500 for the group.
Morgan – Morgan Education Foundation leaders report the group has surpassed the $400,000 mark in fundraising activities for the Trojan Century Center. The bulk of the donations have come from local sources ranging from $50 to $200,000 cash gifts and in-kind work and services.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of Morgan High School. The past century has presented many educational challenges that the students, staff, and stakeholders of Morgan have overcome throughout the years. Our era is no different. We will begin this school year with several challenges including new construction, a new core curriculum, accreditation review, budget crunches, and possible unforeseen issues. However, our struggles make us stronger. I also believe that we have a talented and creative staff and an amazing community support system that will help us meet these challenges head on. Having said that, “There is no excellence uncoupled with difficulties.” In order to excel beyond our forefathers’ traditions of excellence, we will unite to overcome any difficulties that come our way.
The National FFA Organization awarded a $ 1,000.00 Cargill Community scholarship to Ethan Porter of MORGAN HS FFA. Cargill Community Scholarship Program, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, sponsors the scholarship. Ethan plans to use the funds to pursue a degree at Weber State University (UT). This scholarship is one of 1,521 awarded through the National FFA Scholarship Program this year.
It’s six-thirty a.m. and the temperature outside is 10 degrees. The bus should be arriving at the stop in ten minutes to pick up the kids, but its one of those mornings when it is likely to be late and one of those mornings inclined to result in frostbite while the kids walk to the bus stop and wait there. Wouldn’t it be great if you could know when the bus was going to be at the stop?
The school board approved a trial program for breakfast at Morgan Elementary. “Hungry kids don’t learn,” said principal Tim Wolff in support of the program. He reported that a citizen group voted, in a split decision, that the district should not provide breakfast. They felt that this was the parent’s responsibility. There were also members of the citizen’s group who felt that the success of the program could not be easily measured and that there were other ways to accomplish the goal than expending government money. The school board disagreed and determined that a test program at Morgan Elementary should be instituted. The response to this program will determine whether it should be expanded to other schools. Principle Wolff also told the board that no additional staff would be needed to administer the program. The district intends that the program will be fully paid for from federal funding.
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.
The Morgan Education Foundation’s 3rd annual golf tournament was held at Round Valley Golf Course on Tuesday, August 2nd. Thirty-one teams and twenty sponsors came together in the morning to help raise funds supporting education in Morgan.
The Morgan Education Foundation was established in 2007 in order to unite the community in the support of our public schools’ student success. One of the primary purposes of the foundation is to provide teacher, student, and scholarship grants. $3,500 was raised by the tournament last year to go towards these purposes, and they are expecting even better results this year.
Often the past has a way of sounding better than it was. Recently, some have lamented that the good old days of education were better than today. I suggest that we investigate the good old days of education, and you be the judge.
The Morgan School District and the State of Utah lost a great advocate for public education with the passing of Dr. K. Earl Ericksen. Earl was a man of conviction who devoted a majority of his adult life to our youth and the educational systems that served them.
The school board considered options for managing the long-term growth in the county on Tuesday night. The district faces a situation where the high school is at capacity and needs to be replaced or have additional space created added on. There are also long term projections that show crowding issues developing at the middle school and ultimately at the elementary schools.
The Morgan County School Board struggled on Tuesday night to find a solution to a shortfall of more than $100,000 in transportation funds caused by the increase in fuel costs. The largest challenge is the overruns caused by picking children up for school and dropping them off. A secondary issue is the number and length of trips taken by activity organizations (sports, band, choir, etc) and field trips at the elementary and middle school.
Nationally, high school sports are still increasing in the number of participants that plays yearly. It has increased every year for the past 16 years with 2010-11 being the most ever. That trend is also prevalent at Morgan high School. If sports are so important, one has to ask the question why? Is it because people value the sports or is it what the sports program can teach our youth? It seems to be the social, emotional and intellectual satisfaction that is gained by the participants. The true purpose of high school sports is to serve the complete educational needs of all students. The preeminent purpose is to harness discipline – desire – and commitment of all individuals involved. Another lesson that cannot be over looked is that responsibility comes with the privilege of playing. Morgan High School now offers 20 sports and activities sponsored by Utah High School Activities Association. As administrators we know there are other benefits that come to students who participate that include having higher GPAs, better attendance, lower dropout rate, and fewer discipline issues. At Morgan High School our goal is to employ people that are double goal coaches, which not only coach the sport but teach life lessons as well. In the world of high school sports emotions can and often run high. Our coaches are encouraged to teach, practice, and model good sportsmanship.
“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
The valley of Morgan is alive with the rebirth that accompanies late spring and early summer. Copious amounts of snow and rain have left behind a lush carpet of foliage and flora for all of us to enjoy. Visitors to the valley are taken back by its beauty and majestic mountains.
Commencement of construction on the highly anticipated Trojan Century Center was celebrated Tuesday afternoon by members of the school district and individuals from the construction firm. Joey Skinner, president of the School Board, kicked off the ceremony by thanking all those who donated their time and money to make this project a reality. He shared his thoughts, expressing, “It’s humbling to see the type of community we live in. Everyone feels the benefit of these things for our children.” Members of the Morgan Board of Education then broke ground on the new facility. Each grasped a golden shovel and turned the first mounds of earth to mark the beginning of this long awaited undertaking.
The 56th Annual Morgan County Jr. Livestock Show was held on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the Morgan County Fairgrounds. 230 4-H and FFA exhibitors from Morgan County and several other counties in Utah and Wyoming showed steers, hogs and lambs.
This time of year tends to be an emotional rollercoaster at the school district. We have teachers who have worked in our community for decades that have now made the decision to spend more time with families, visiting grandkids or just go fishing and such, others are being welcomed into a new career and a new community as they sign up to work for the district.
The commencement exercises at Morgan High School were an evening of laughs and tears. The graduating class of 160 students enjoyed the ceremony even as the contemplated their last evening together as a class.
A story never starts in the beginning and it never ends in the end, as we say. A story starts in the middle, because to start in the beginning of everything, well that would be quite a long story. So, we will start in the middle.
Spring is always such a great time of year. In education, spring signals a time for celebration. At this time of year we celebrate the end of another successful school year, the excitement for a change of pace, and the collective pride as a group of young adults graduate and start adventures of their own. Springtime in education is also frequently a time to say professional goodbyes to colleagues who are leaving our schools. This spring Morgan County School District celebrates a wonderful group of staff members who have reached a pinnacle in their careers and decided to retire. At this time of celebration and with this group of amazing educators it is certainly appropriate to reflect on what great teaching is and what makes a great teacher.
Three local Morgan High Track athletes have signed letters of intent to continue their careers at the collegiate level.
3A shot put champion (winning throw of 37’ 08”) Chelsey Stegelmeier will be throwing the shot and the discus for Utah Valley University in Orem. Chelsey finished 2nd at state(120’2.5”) in the discus this season, a mere 3 inches short of the first place finisher. Chelsey also finished in first at the Logan invitational and the Morgan Invitational. Her PR in the shot put is 41’3” for the shot, and 126’ 11” in the discus.
On May 20th the fourth graders of both Morgan and Mountain Green Elementary schools went to the county fairgrounds. They learned about different animals, plants, soil and water, branding animals, and played a few games.
On May 12, 2011 Morgan High School held their annual scholarship awards night in the high school auditorium. Over 100 students received scholarships to help them further their education beyond high school.
The Morgan Scholarship Board was able to award over $42,000.00 in local scholarships to 42 well deserving Morgan High School seniors. These scholarships were funded through generous donations from many local residents, businesses and the Morgan Scholarship Board.
Over 80 students received scholarships directly from institutional sources. Many colleges and universities in the state were represented as well as several from out of the state of Utah. In all, the class of 2011 earned over $500,000.00 in scholarships.
Congratulations to all 2011 MHS scholarship recipients and good luck as you continue in your educational endeavors.
Ni How, Hola, and Bonjour! These greetings are becoming a regular part of life for many Utah children, as Morgan County residents found out last Thursday night when Gregg Roberts from the Utah State Office of Education visited Mountain Green Elementary. Mr. Roberts was asked to present the state’s dual immersion program to a gathering of interested residents.
Tryouts for the new 2011-2012 Morgan High School drill team were held April 14, 2011. Through a long and tiring week of clinics and hard work, the new team was selected!! The new drill team for this upcoming year will be; Seniors: Megan Jensen (President), Amanda Walker (Vice President), Kelli Pringle (Secretary), Kylie Sorensen (Drill Mistress), Jayd Jacobson (Asst. Drill Mistress), Breann Jorgensen (Historian), and Taylor Mecham (Advertising). Juniors: Cheridyn Prochnow, Morgan Streadbeck, Karlee Stokes, Mikaela Garner, and Ayana VanCampen. Sophomores: Sarah Nye, Erika Fairbanks, Shaylee Ewing, and Kelsie Canon. Freshman: Alexis Jensen, Nocona Campbell, Daryion Stuart, and Sadie Siebert. These girls are looking forward to a fun and exciting year. They plan to work extra hard starting with their first practice on May 3, to reach their goal of taking Region once again, participate at state, and to travel to Nationals in March. Congratulations to the new team and good luck in the upcoming year!
Throughout this past school year many of the staff at Morgan Middle School (MMS) expressed a desire to recognize those students who go above and beyond minimum expectations in relation to their behaviors and interactions with other students and adults. The vast majority of our students are polite and well-behaved in their classes and throughout the halls of MMS; however, some go out of their way to ensure that others are treated with dignity and respect. It is for these students that we have chosen to change our citizenship grading from a three-tier to a four-tier system.
A long time ago there was a cowboy named Wyatt Earp. He lived alone in a cave. Everybody thought he was crazy because he believed in the spirit of the west. The mayor didn’t like Wyatt because he lived in a cave and was poor. He didn’t realize what a great cowboy he was. The mayor decided he can’t go to the party.
On April 29-30, five Morgan FFA members competed in the Utah Envirothon at the Bear River Bird Refuge. The members of the Envirothon team were the following: Nate Buchanan, Isaac Cannon, Danielle Morgan, Megan Stapley, Brittney Visage, and Megan Haslam as their coach.