Peter Christensen, a student at Morgan Middle School, not only won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on Jan. 10, 2012, he also earned a chance at a $25,000 college scholarship. The school-level bee, at which students answered oral and written questions on geography, was the first round in the annual National Geographic Bee.
Although it has been unbelievably cold outside lately, I’ve been excited to see our students involved in different activities that can warm the heart. One of those activities is the blood drive that is sponsored by our Sterling Scholars and Mountain Star Blood Services. For this drive, our students donate blood to help those in medical need. This effort is greatly needed and appreciated throughout the state.
On Nov. 30, 2012, the Morgan Middle School eighth grade class had their 10th annual TRAX Adventure. In preparation for the excursion, the eighth grade class studied how Salt Lake City is planned on a coordinate grid with Temple Square being the origin of the coordinate plane. Students also studied how to read a schedule and how a mass transit train system map works. They learned that you board a train showing the final station of a particular line and, of course, board a train going the right direction. Students also studied distance, rate, and time as a preparation tool.
A survey about dual immersion is available on the Morgan Elementary and Mountain Green Elementary websites. Paper copies are also available in both school offices. The brief survey, only 10 questions, will determine if and how a dual immersion program will be available for students in the Morgan School District. Results of the survey will be used to help determine which elementary school the program would be hosted by as well as the preferred language to be taught if a dual immersion program is implemented. The survey is available to parents of children who will be entering elementary in the Morgan County School District. It will be available online until Feb. 5, 2013.
It has been said, “That if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Contest management at any level of high school sport competition requires preparation and planning in order to increase the enjoyment of the spectators and to enhance the safety for attendees, supervisors, officials and participants. The main purpose for high school sports/activities is educational based activities that are directed by the mission statement and objectives of the local school board and implemented by school administration and teachers. As administrators, we deal with our share of sportsmanship issues and people that lose focus of what our activities and sports programs are about.
Morgan County Board of Education members Jody Hipwell, Neil Carrigan, and Ken Durrant take the oath of office in ceremonies held at the district office on Jan. 8, 2013. All three were re-elected to their posts and will serve four year terms.
There are all kinds of people in this world and each of them has their own individual personalities and talents. Each year, the FFA hosts a contest which appeals to a certain type of personality: those with the sweetest hearts. The Sweetheart Contest was put on in the last week of November; the results were announced at our Harvest Stomp, given at the high school.
Morgan Elementary Students have had the opportunity to give back to our community though the month of December by collecting food items for the food bank. They have been so excited to see the piles grow each day! It is amazing that such small acts of service can make such an impact on others lives.
On a snowing morning recently I took the time to walk through Morgan Elementary School. As I looked into various classrooms and passed along the hall I witness wonderful acts of kindness being given to our students. A number of parents and grandparents were volunteering their time to help enhance student learning.
I want to start off by saying how fortunate I am to serve as the Principal at Morgan Middle School. I have a great faculty and staff that go out of their way to help students develop and grow academically and as individuals. I say this because I feel that with the recent release of the state’s new Utah Comprehensive Accountability System (UCAS) report, (replaces the UPASS and AYP reports that the state used to meet federal accountability guidelines) some may be confused by the results. The UCAS report combines each school’s proficiency (possible 300 points) and student growth or progress (possible 300 points) scores for an overall grade.
The horrific tragedy that swept over the nation this past week with the senseless loss of innocent lives at Sandy Hook Elementary has saddened all of our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these children and to the heroic efforts of their teachers and principal who gave their own lives trying to protect them.
Once again the spirit of our community has reached out to provide service and assistance to families through the annual Giving Tree project. This annual event is directed by students and advisors in the FCCLA, FFA, and National Honor Society. Help was also received from Morgan Middle School student officers and the PTSO’s in the elementary schools.
Morgan’s High FFA and FCCLA organizations are teaming up with the Student Body Officers, MMS, & MES for this year’s Sub for Santa. These two groups have helped Morgan County residence for the Sub for Santa program for several years. These two high school organizations have divided up the responsibilities for those who need help for Christmas. The FCCLA organization is responsible for collecting items for families who have asked for assistance in bringing Christmas to their family. The FCCLA will have a tree in the Morgan Ridley’s with requested items. A person or an organization may take a request to fill and then return the tag with the item back to Ridley’s or bring it to Morgan High before the deadline that will be stated on the tree. The tree will be set up for two weeks or more in Ridley’s during the month of December.
Language arts teachers from both the middle school and high school met with Christelle Estrada, Language Arts Specialist from the Utah Office of Education, on Nov. 29 to receive training and insight to assist with the implementation of the new Language Arts Common Core. From this, the teachers planned and shared resources to meet their goals.
DECA is one of Morgan High School’s newest clubs. While DECA was founded in 1947, Morgan High School’s chapter of DECA is in its first year. DECA is a career and technical student organization (CTSO) that involves marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. DECA’s areas of focus include business, finance, hospitality, marketing sales and services, entrepreneurship, business management, and other business-related areas.
Having to read books for an English grade can be a real challenge for some middle school students, but for Dr. Gina Stuart’s Advanced Reading Class, independent reading is second nature and these students love to read. A well stated quote by class member Savannah Wallace describes her love of reading like this, “Books are amazing things that can give you thousands of new ideas. I love to get into new books, live in the action, and become best friends with the characters.”
I start this week’s article with a confession. I love elementary school libraries. A great school library serves as the figurative, and occasionally, the literal center of the school. Many of the highlights of my career have happened in school libraries, from staff celebrations to parent committee meetings; from sharing my favorite book with students to listening as they share theirs. The elementary school library, in my mind, is the family room of the school. So, with this obvious bias, allow me to explain why Morgan Elementary’s library is an essential part of our system.
Friday, Nov. 16, the Morgan High School track was a sea of crimson energy as the second grade lined up for the second annual Turkey Trot. The eager children wore red as they wrapped up Red Ribbon Week. The little gentlemen stood aside while little ladies took the first lap. A classic ribbon flag was held across the starting line and at the signal the girls took off at an amazing pace. The girls raced each other the ¼ mile around the track. They showed great spirit and sportsmanship from the first runners across the finish line to the last of the class who steadfastly walked to the end. Cheers were given for all the racers for completing the race.
Morgan County School officials promised constituents they would look into a dual immersion language program at area elementary schools. As part of that promise, the community councils at both Morgan and Mountain Green elementary schools have written a survey to measure interest in the area.
Low participation in past years, along with parent opposition to future administrations of the survey, spelled doom for the Student Health and Risk Prevention survey in the Morgan County School District for 2013.
NRCS participated in the annual Environmental Immersion Day sponsored by the Fairchild Challenge, Thanksgiving Point and USU Extension. An estimated 330 high school students from 10 schools gathered at Thanksgiving Point Gardens on Oct. 3 to gain some hands-on experience in various science disciplines dealing with the environment. The Fairchild Challenge began in 2002 to foster interest in the environment by encouraging students to appreciate and value the beauty of nature, develop critical-thinking skills, and to understand the need for biodiversity and conservation.
Members of the Morgan FFA Chapter in Utah were one of 39 teams participating in the National FFA Agricultural Sales Career Development Event (CDE). The event was held in conjunction with the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The team, led by advisor Megan Haslam, was awarded a silver emblem. Members also competed for individual awards with 150 other participants. Denton Cannon received a bronze emblem, Luke Larsen received a silver emblem, Megan Stapley received a Silver emblem, and Katie Spens received a bronze emblem.
As I contemplate my six children and 12 grandchildren, I wonder at times what would happen if my wife and I were thrust into the role of raising one or more of our grandchildren. In a perfect world, parents raise their children in their own homes and grandparents have the privilege and joy of spoiling their grandchildren—and then sending them back home to their parents. Well, it’s not a perfect world that we live in, and more and more grandparents find themselves in the position of part-time, temporary, full-time, or permanent primary caregivers and/or guardians for their grandchildren.
Learning. This term can mean so many things, but in the Morgan FFA we strive to learn all we can in every possible way. Over the course of the last several weeks, FFA teams have been practicing all across Northern Utah to compete at the renowned Snow College Competition. Competitions here focus on real life agriculture with areas of study such as agronomy, dairy cattle, horses, range, floriculture, soils and more. Your very own students here at Morgan High School have been learning more and more about each of these individual subjects through the Morgan FFA all in the end goal of competing at Snow College. “The FFA trip to Snow College was a worthwhile experience. The participating team members participated in a challenging and educational experience. Additionally, we were able to meet new people and have a good time,” says Daxton Rowser, Morgan FFA member, when asked about the competition. Also, the Morgan FFA chapter would like to thank every person who has ever coached one of our teams; you’re guiding hands have taught us a great amount.
On occasion we find inspiration from unexpected sources. I did when I listened to 150 third grade children powerfully express themselves through a remarkable musical journey. The songs employed meaningful lyrics with messages intended to build confidence, provide strength, help people achieve their potential, dream big, and to stay optimistic during difficult times. The lessons are simple, but universal.
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.
In the hustle and chaos of our daily lives, it is easy to have tunnel vision and focus either on everyday tasks or on the little negative things that can sometimes overwhelm our days. So in this issue, I’d like to focus more on a couple of really positive activities that have happened recently at Morgan High School: our “Anti-bullying” and “Think Pink” events. First, I must admit that young people continue to amaze me in their generosity and willingness to stand for their convictions.
Friends and family of Morgan Elementary students fell into fun at the fall festival. The rain didn’t keep the crowds away from the party set up in the school’s gym, cafeteria and hallway. Over 300 children and adults attended the fall festival making it a huge success.
On September 7, the entire seventh grade took a trip to Mormon Flats. This year these students will have the opportunity to study about the impact that this trail had on travelers heading west to California. Groups such as the Donner-Reed party and the Pony Express travelled up and over big mountain. Students will also study about the Mormon trek west and the struggle the pioneers had crossing the plains and scaling big mountain.
The day was started when Linda Smith, a local historian, came and shared the stories of many people who traveled the trail the students hiked that day. She did a wonderful job as she dressed in pioneer clothing, while sharing interesting stories.
After hearing the stories of those that traveled on the trail, students loaded the buses en route to Mormon Flats. The seventh graders picked up the pioneer trail in Henefer and traveled along SR 66. The students did not have to hike up the hill; they took the easier route and hiked down the trail. This five mile hike took the students around two hours to complete; students gained an appreciation for what some of those early settlers went through. When they reached the bottom the buses were parked and waiting with the lunches. Students sat and ate their lunches surrounded by the beautiful mountains we enjoy in our valley. The students were also able to participate in games like leg-wrestling and stick pull. There was also an advisory tug-of-war challenge which the students really enjoyed.
When the students returned to the school they finished the day by watching a video “A Trail of Hope.” This film relates experiences of those that traveled along the same trail the students just hiked. It was wonderful and the students were well behaved and appreciative of having the chance to see and learn about Mormon Flats.
Oct. 17, 2012, was an exciting day for the fourth grade students at Morgan Elementary School. Students had just put the final touches on their published drafts after completing a unit on “Writing a Personal Narrative.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 10, nearly 2,000 students and faculty members from Morgan High, Morgan Middle and Morgan Elementary schools participated in a full evacuation drill. This drill led them roughly a half mile from the school grounds to Wilkinson Construction.
The Morgan County School Board is considering administering the Student Health and Risk Prevention survey to students in select grades in February or March of 2013. In years past, some parents have objected to the content of the survey and claimed the schools did not properly follow through on the “opt in” parent permission procedure.
In 5th grade, the students at Mountain Green Elementary School learn about American history. Near the beginning of their studies are early explorers. Students were put into pairs and chose an explorer to research about. They needed to find out the basic birth/death date, birthplace and what country the explorer sailed for. They also had to find why their explorer started their voyage, what they discovered, what they are most famous for and other interesting information about that explorers life. The students had four days to research information from websites, short readings and the encyclopedia. Students then used the information they gathered to create a poster and present their explorer to the class. The class took notes on each explorer. This information will later be used to write an informative essay on “Why People Explore.” Students discovered many interesting things such as Christopher Columbus was not actually the first European to land on the Americas, how America got its name, how the lack of vitamin C caused the dreaded scurvy, how some explorers mysteriously disappeared, and how some men even spent months searching for cities of gold or a fountain of youth. This was a very fun learning activity for the students.
Now that school has been in session for a few weeks, it’s a great time to take a few minutes and review with your children some safety guidelines about going to and from school. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found that approximately 36 percent of attempted non-family abductions happened when a child was going to or from school, or a school-related activity. With this fact in mind here are a few tips for parents that will help our school children with a safer journey.
Morgan Elementary School , Middle School, and Morgan High School will be having an evacuation drill at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 10, in preparation for a chemical spill or events such as a dam break. Superintendent Ken Adams, staff from the district, the schools and Morgan County Sherriff’s office will be along the route to maintain order for approximately 1,600 students. They will be leaving the schools and meeting above Wilkinson’s Construction on 1st South. Please treat this area as a school zone to help us make this a seamless evacuation.