As Morgan Middle School Principal Terry Allen leaves his post to take on the newly created district technology director position, the school board named a new principal to take his place.
Renn Hoopes, the current MMS vice principal, will move up into Allen’s place, taking the reins as the school’s newest principal. Gina Stuart, who currently teaches health and physical education at MMS, will replace Hoopes as vice principal.
Some 35 candidates applied for the MMS position, including seven from within the district. A group of 14 people—including six parents from the community council—were part of the hiring committee and narrowed the pool to the top 12 candidates, which included all seven district employees who applied.
Morgan School District Superintendent Doug Jacobs said the “decision was complicated” due to the “rich hiring pool of very qualified people.”
“We were really impressed with the quality of people out there, but not as much as we were impressed with the quality of people in the district,” said Morgan School Board President Ken Durrant. “We are excited to have several people eligible and qualified to be an administrator within the district, and we are sad we couldn’t hire everybody. We are lucky to have those kinds of people in our community.”
Hoopes has served as the MMS vice principal since 2014, and MHS assistant principal from 2007 to 2014. For 13 years, he served as the district athletic director. For nine years, he served as the MHS physical education department chairperson, mentoring each new P.E. teacher who has arrived on staff since 1997. He also served as head football coach for MHS from 1997 to 2006 and head wrestling coach from 2002 to 2006.
“During this time, my wife would tease that we would adopt hundreds of kids every year, football players, wrestlers and our children’s friends,” Hoopes said in an application letter. “They often visit our home or office on a daily basis. I truly enjoy seeing students succeed in the classroom and in life.”
A Star Valley, Wyom. Native, Hoopes’ teaching experience includes teaching P.E. at MHS for nine years and health at Cedar High School for 14 years. He has a secondary teaching license in history and physical education with an endorsement in health education.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education with a history minor from Weber State University in 1983. He went on to earn a master’s in education from Southern Utah University in 1997 and master’s in education administration from Grand Canyon University in 2006.
The hiring committee choose the vice principal out of the same candidates who applied for the principal position.
“Dr. Stuart’s credentials are impeccable,” said School Board Member Ron Blunk. “We are fortunate to have someone with the depth of education and commitment to Morgan Middle School. She is a loyal educator, and I do not use that term loosely.”
School Board Member Neil Carrigan noted that in the eight years he has served on the board, Stuart has never missed a school board meeting.
For 30 years, Stuart has taught several subjects at MMS including advanced reading, health education, physical education, remedial reading, reading/media appreciation, fitness for life and intramurals. Stuart taught as an adjunct professor at Utah State University from 2005 to 2011. She was an administrative intern at MMS for one year, and was a member of the district’s administrative team for three years.
In 1985, Stuart earned a bachelor’s degree with a dual major in health and physical education from Utah State University, where she would continue her education throughout her career. A master of education degree in instructional technology with a library media administration emphasis followed in 1988. In 1995, she earned a master of education degree in health, physical education, recreation and dance. She earned an administrative/supervisory certificate and reading endorsement in 2002, followed by a doctorate of philosophy degree in curriculum and instruction with a literacy emphasis in 2006.