Lori Bice is the head custodian at Morgan Elementary School. She is known on campus as “Miss Lori” and has served as a cherished friend to thousands of students through many years at MES. Her ability to connect, nurture and simply love makes her the perfect role model for the children of our school. We are proud to spotlight her efforts and honor her work.
Public education seems to get a lot of negative press these days – especially in social media. There is much said about common core, the new math, dropout numbers, college readiness, the use of technology and privacy of data. While these are all legitimate concerns that need attention, there are many things that are going well. In this season of gratitude and reflection, perhaps we should pause and focus on the many positive things happening in public education.
Pilgrims donning their capotains and coifs (male and female pilgrim hats) as well as Native Americans sporting feathered headbands and pounding on drums filled the kindergarten classrooms at Morgan Elementary School Tuesday. The students were all clothed in their “best dress” for the annual Thanksgiving Feast.
We live in a day and age where information is readily available at our fingertips. New technologies have permitted us to do many things quickly and efficiently. Public schools gather student information from enrollment forms and store it in a secure manner. Unfortunately, we hear daily of breaches in the data held by large companies and there is always a risk of any data being compromised. Data from Utah’s schools are entered into a district and state database maintained and secured by the Utah State Office of Education.
The Morgan County School Board recently took a look at the district wellness policy. The policy dictates how delinquent lunch accounts can be reconciled, and that students participating in free and reduced lunch should never be identified.
Since new federal guidelines were mandated for school lunch offerings, district officials say participation is down about 100 meals each day compared to figures two years ago. Particularly, participation at Morgan High School has gone down, said Food Services Supervisor Roxanne Rich.
When the Morgan High School student body officers approached the Morgan County Council months ago to contribute funds for a new school marquee, the county asked if the school board had contributed yet. When told no, the council said they would not consider contributing to something the Morgan County School Board was not helping to fund.
Bryan Chapel placed as one of top four finalists to compete at the FFA Nationals Convention this October in Louisville, Kentucky. Chapel graduated in 2013 and has been a member of the Morgan FFA Chapter for four years. Every FFA student must have an SAE (supervised agricultural experience) if they take an agriculture education class. Some students’ SAE can be related to their job, others if they show an animal at the fair. Chapel’s SAE was completed while working at Stan Stuart’s mink farm, where he has been working for three years completing jobs such as feeding, repairs and seasonal duties.
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.
You own a home in Morgan County valued at $276,000, the average assessed value in the county. Last year, you paid $1,184 in taxes according to the 0.007805 certified tax rate set by the Utah State Tax Commission.
For 45 years, Linda Morrison reported for work at the same school in the same classroom. Sometimes her days began at 5 a.m. in the driving snow when she coached the Morgan High School Academic Decathlon team.
At the board of trustees meeting held July 16, the Morgan Education Foundation approved more than $14,000 in classroom grants and $1,800 in school grants to benefit Morgan County School District students and teachers.
The tax rate set by the state for each school district was decreased this year compared to last year, but the Morgan County School Board will not be able to pass on the savings. To fund $348,000 in capital projects such as technology, a new bus and mechanical controls, they will need to increase the tax rate higher than that set by the Utah State Tax Commission, yet not higher than the total rate paid by county taxpayers last year. Since the district plans to set a rate different from that set by the state, they plan to hold a truth in taxation meeting. The school board voted unanimously to hold that meeting in August.
In an effort to get parents and community members more involved in the education of students, the Morgan Board of Education has created special purpose committees. The board members have been reporting the progress of the committees in board meetings for the past several months.
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.
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.
Three local have lined for a spot on the June 24 primary election ballot for a chance at the Morgan County School Board District 2 seat. Roland Haslam, Ted Taylor and incumbent Bruce A. Galbraith hope to fill the four-year position.
Both Taylor and Galbraith agree that the growth facing the school district is of utmost concern. Haslam was contacted for input in this article, but didn’t respond.
While the Morgan County School Board reviews the student activities policy, some board members are considering increasing the grade point average for students involved in sports and other school activities.
Jeffery Manning of Morgan was awarded a Doctor of Pharmacy from the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions during Creighton University’s commencement ceremony on May 17, 2014, at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., presided. Lannon, a 1973 graduate of the university, is the first alum to serve as president of Creighton. About 1,600 degrees were conferred during Creighton University’s spring commencement.
Seven hundred and twenty-three children, from kindergarten to fifth grade, proved that kids can do big things, especially when working together. The students of Morgan Elementary School came together with a common goal of earning money for the American Cancer Society through a fun day called Relay Recess. The school raised over $2,030. This is a huge accomplishment.
Ruth Hill taught English and Literature in the Morgan School District from 1953 to 1965. She started influencing the future of Morgan students in the seventh grade and continued her desire to improve grammar and love for literature until graduation. Her passion for literature was contagious. She had zero tolerance for wasting time and challenged students to develop a love for literary masters.
Through a generous grant from Holcim, Morgan Elementary was able to realize a goal they have had for several years. Principal Wolff, along with the community council, staff, and others have had a vision to host a STEM night for some time and with the money from Holcim, they were able to welcome students and their families to an evening of fun learning on May 2.
Dietrich Streuber, a student at Morgan High, will participate in the 2014 U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar program. The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) invited a select group of approximately 2,550 young men and women from around the nation and abroad to attend the Naval Academy Summer Seminar program this year.
Gaylene Adams was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the daughter of a mother who was primarily a homemaker and a father who was a transportation supervisor at Hill Air Force Base as well as a farmer. Gaylene is number three in a family of four children. She spent her childhood living in Morgan County, first in Peterson and then on a farm in Porterville. Throughout her childhood, Gaylene’s parents inspired an appreciation of hard work that continues to be evident in her work ethic to this day.
The annual Utah State FFA CDE contests were held April 22 and 23, 2014 in Logan, Utah. Our local Morgan FFA chapter sent out four teams to compete in the following areas: Livestock Evaluation, Vet Science, Poultry Evaluation, and Meat Evaluation.
Morgan Elementary School first, second and third grade students enjoyed an in-house fieldtrip from GoPlanetarium on Friday, April 18. Each class went into an inflatable dome that was 22 feet in diameter to view the presentation.
High school is a time notorious for drama and big emotions, but students from around the state took it to a whole new level as they competed in the state drama competition at Stansbury High School in Tooele on April 12.
Chase Nielsen, son of Jeff and Jen Nielsen, is the speech/theater arts/forensics Sterling Scholar of Morgan High School. He has been involved at the high school as a member of the debate and Academic Olympiad teams, and National Honor Society. He has also served as the debate president his senior year. He has enjoyed taking debate classes and participating in tournaments.