Jade Pittel, a colleague and teacher at Alta Elementary School in Jackson, Wyoming, recently shared her insight as both an educator and parent with regards to the nightly homework struggle. It is with her permission that I share her wit and wisdom on the subject.
Have you ever imagined your life as a puzzle? Ever wish you could go back to the days of those cute cardboard puzzles where the shapes and colors were easier to find and put together? Nowadays it seems the pieces are too small and there are too many of them! How are you supposed to find the time and patience to put them all together? Some days you may find only one piece and some days you look at the pile of pieces and keep on walking to some other less daunting distraction. Yet, there are some days where you find several pieces that renew your energy and excitement for life. Those are amazing days! There are also days when you realize a piece is in the wrong place. While it seemed to fit at the time, you realize now that there is a better place to put it, or that it doesn’t belong anymore. And I’m sure you’ve felt at times like the winds of doubt and discouragement have blown your pieces all over the floor.
David Brown, a recently returned Finnish mission president, spoke to the Sons of Utah Pioneers at their monthly dinner meeting. The subject of his presentation was concerning the history of the church in Finland. Brown spoke about how Finland is a small country, but it has over 188,000 lakes within its borders. The Finish name means swamps because of the many lakes.
Each summer the Morgan County Library sponsors a reading club as an incentive to keep the mind sharp and the imagination active. Last Thursday, participants celebrated their commitment to reading with an end of the summer Pajama-Rama party. Each week throughout the summer, participants earned prizes by reading a specified number of pages. Kids and adults alike could choose weekly prizes including books, toys, and certificates to local businesses. To cap off the successful reading program, children wearing pajamas came for a morning event full of books, food and fun.
High school senior, Travis Carter, grew up loving music. As a young child he enjoyed sitting around and relaxing while listening to different bands express themselves through music. He learned to appreciate the range of human emotion music can evoke. This sparked a passion fueling his desire to create music and inspire others. Originally he aspired to be a drummer—however, the idea was soon abandoned once it was discovered how much room a drum set can take up in the home. Next, he moved on to the guitar. With no formal training, he picked up a guitar and taught himself to play.
Connie Kippen can’t say enough about her family. “My kids and grandkids-that is the number one thing in my life,” Connie said and then minutes later on another topic she continued, “My kids bring me the most excitement and most joy.” Any topic seemed to relate back to her children and her love for them.
With the start of school rapidly approaching for the students here in Morgan County, one thing is certain: football season is about to begin. During this early point of the season, optimism runs high as every team in the state believes they are championship contenders. As the games begin, some teams will step up, while others will fall out of playoff contention.
Morgan residents—especially those in East Canyon, Milton and Stoddard—are getting tired of power bumps, failures and surges. They have complained to power officials, who are reviewing damage claims but are still unsure the cause of all the problems.
At the entrance of Riverside Park, there is a big rock monument with “Early Morgan Pioneers” engraved at the top. Under the engraving there is a list of some amazing people who have shaped Morgan County into what it is today.
Here at The Morgan County News, we like to recognize individuals and companies who give back to the community through service and/or donations. Most of these individuals are Morgan County based businesses, but every once in a while there is someone outside our community who comes back to their roots year after year to help support their hometown youth.
The online world has created many opportunities to find additional information and connect with others who are researching our ancestors like never before. The ability to search indexes and view the original images from home at our convenience is changing the world of family history. Digital is here to stay and will continue to enhance our ability to identify our ancestors, but it does bring some challenges.
Morgan Elementary School is looking forward to another great school year. We have some great new additions to our faculty this year. We would like to welcome Mrs. Waller, who has been a lifelong resident of Morgan. She will be teaching fifth grade. We are also excited to have Miss Booker join our elementary family. She previously taught in the Ogden School District. She will be teaching fourth grade this year.
It is exciting to start our fifth year at Mountain Green elementary school. As you can tell from all of the new homes being built, our school is growing. This year at Mountain Green Elementary, we will be having our teacher professional training days on the same day of the week as the rest of the district. Therefore, early out day will be on Wednesdays at 1:15 p.m. We will be starting each day at 8:30 a.m., which is five minutes earlier this year. The normal time for school ending has not changed, ending time is at 3:20 p.m.
Morgan Middle School is excited about this new school year. We have lots of fun things planned. The sixth grade will have their back to school night on Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. to get things started. Aug. 23 will be the first day of school and will be a full day of school. Our PTSO is sponsoring a Back to School Bash fund raiser on Aug. 24 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the middle school. The Bash costs $10 to attend and there will be activities and megatoys. Those who attend should plan on getting wet. There will also be drinks and food for an additional cost. For more information on the bash, contact PTSO President Shalece Sanders 801-876-3458.
With the commencement of the 2012-13 school year a rudimentary form of Professional Learning Communities will be implemented in all schools within the district. Presently, Morgan Elementary School, Mountain Green Elementary School, and Morgan Middle School employ basic models of PLCs. Morgan High School has had periodic departmental planning sessions, but nothing continuous or direction focused.
Under the direction of their coach, Dennis Peterson, the Morgan High golf team started their Region 11 season Aug. 9, at the Oquirrh Hills golf course in Tooele. The eight varsity players that qualified for Morgan were: Seniors - McKay Kearsley, Aaron Babbitt, Jake Miles, Juniors - Rhett Ballantyne, Garren Miles, Sophmores -Jason Bledsoe, Freshmen - Russell North, Braxton Ovard.
In the throws of budget turmoil, the Morgan County School District is motivated to sell its old bus garage property on State Street. Superintendent Ken Adams said there has been interest in outside parties purchasing the commercial property, including renewed interest from Morgan County. The school board went into executive session Tuesday to discuss real estate negotiations with the county. They planned to have something in writing for the Morgan County Council to consider during their Aug. 21 meeting.
Morgan County is a buzz with worries of tax increases and what is the School Board going to do to pay for all their expenses. This is not a fun time to be on the School Board, but I admire them for attacking this problem head on. I think, I can stand for the county school bus drivers and say “Thank You” to the County for the new Bus Garage. We have been in need of this facility for years. The debate is over if it should have been built at this time. I don’t know how it was paid for but it will be put to good use. We now have the capability of lifting a bus to do repairs and inspections under it. This is a huge time savings and cost savings over what the transportation had in the past. Along with these savings comes the issue of safety. We have a safe facility to work in. Thanks to everyone in the county as this facility has become a reality and we “Thank You.”
Jean and I were excited to have made plans to see, eat, watch the families and just have a wonderful time at this year’s Morgan County Fair. We were greeted with a smile at the east gate, and were directed to the disabled parking. It was still pretty far to walk, but luckily we had our canes.
With the proposed increase in property taxes for schools I looked up my property taxes that applied to Morgan county schools for the years 2005 - 2011 and the proposed increase for 2012, it is as follows:
Jo Ann Smith, Mountain Green resident for 45 years, moved here in 1967. Her husband, Kent, used to say she was an Okie—not an Okie from Oklahoma—but from Oak City, Millard County, Utah. She was born in Oak City in 1933, the first of seven children born to Allen Lovell and Virginia Lyman Lovell. She lived there until age 5.
“Every relayer has one thing- a story…” Trevor Wynn began his speech at the opening of last Friday night’s Relay for Life. He talked about losing his grandmother and then his father. When he researched this deadly disease, he found that the survival rate around that time was 67 percent. He wanted to do more to help with the cause. Shortly after his father lost his fight to cancer, he got involved with Relay for Life through Ellen Poll. “I relay for my dad, and that’s my relay story.”
Soon after parents buy the new school clothes, pack the backpacks, and pay registration fees, they will be facing another school-related expense: new taxes. On a split 3-2 vote, the Morgan County School Board narrowly passed a tax that will increase the property tax on a $200,000 home $14.96 a year.
Tucked into a corner of Mountain Green—in the industrial park by the airport—is a family owned and operated dental lab. David and Emily Cox and their three children moved to Mountain Green from Oregon to be closer to family in Utah, and they moved their business with them.
When the Morgan City Council envisioned the Riverside Park splash pad, one of the things they hoped it would do is bring out-of-town visitors to generate revenue for other Morgan businesses, and it has done just that.
This last week there were two major announcements from the organizations working on indexing the 1940 census. Work began early April to take the millions of digital images created from the enumerators work as they visited each household in 1940 and transcribe the information into a searchable index. This allows individuals to search for those in the census by name rather than browse through hundreds or thousands of images to find their ancestors.
Snowbasin is excited to welcome to the stage 3-time Grammy award winner and internationally recognized saxophonist, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet on Saturday, August 18. This all-star band line-up consists of Jeff Coffin, from the Dave Mathew Band, Felix Pastorius on bass, Bill Fanning on trumpet/space trumpet, Chris Walters on keys, and special guest Roy “Future man” Wooten (of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones) on drums. This will be the second year Snowbasin will host a major concert as part of the Mt. Ogden 100k Mountain Bike Festival. “With the success of the Mt.Ogden 100k Festival concert last year it only seemed natural to bring in a band of this caliber for the second year,” explains Steve Andrus, Snowbasin’s events director.
Marion Lott, founder of River Valley Veterinary Hospital, has always taken great care and dedication in ensuring optimal service to both the animals in need and their owners. One might say that Marion’s dedication originated from as early as 1988 when his business was first established. He’s always been a very hard worker and genuinely cares for those he serves, though his caring attributes don’t stop there.
Mountain Green secondary water is currently experiencing high demand on the system when the water becomes available on odd days at 10 a.m. They are going to establish watering times according to your house address to try and spread the peak demand across the entire day. They hope that by dividing the times in to three hour blocks, water demand can be met.
The Morgan School District is not alone in these struggling economic times. Districts throughout the state and nation face challenging dilemmas as the fight to balance continually shrinking operating budgets continues.
After months of feeding and caring for their animals, over 160 hard working kids were able to sell their animals to generous and eager buyers. The junior livestock show and sale are the final event of a program encouraging youth to raise and care for livestock animals. The annual event allows kids to take responsibility for their animals and learn how a business is run.
In September when most are getting adjusted to back to school schedules and gearing up for fall, the Morgan County Fair board will already be starting to plan next year’s fair. It is such a big undertaking that many do not even stop to think of the countless hours and service that the members of the fair board put in. Whether it be selling booths, weed whacking the grounds, figuring out garbage and disposal, making banners and signs, planning events or the many, many other things needed to get ready for the upcoming fair. For those walking around enjoying the fair, there is a tendency to take for granted all of the hard work that has been put in to create such a fun and inviting atmosphere.
Each year Morgan County residents look forward to the first week in August. It is the time to showcase their talents, enjoy good food, and be entertained, all at the Morgan County Fair. Adults and children alike work all year getting their various projects ready, whether it is hand-stitching quilts, weeding gardens or capturing the beauty of the world behind their camera lens. Many solely come to see the handi-work of others.
Many contests and challenges were held during the three days at our county fair. The most recently added game to the fair line up was the Cantaloupe Chuckin’ event. Inspiration came when 12-year-old Easton Turner was watching a favorite show about pumpkin chucking. He told his mom this event needed to be part of the fair. His mom, Kim Turner, is in charge of the activities and games at the fair and she agreed that it would be a fun addition to the fair. Easton started making plans with his friend Talon Thorton. They compiled their favorite designs for catapults and took their favorite parts from each to build their ideal thrower.
In today’s world of hustle and bustle, I was reminded of why I cherish my small town roots. In small towns, even still today, integrity, humanity, kindness and sympathy are still a way of life for people in small towns. One member of your small town of Morgan, Utah, proved that to us.