Emery School Board Attends to a Busy Agenda


By Julie Johansen

The Emery County School Board held its monthly meeting at Huntington Elementary on Wednesday, March 1. Emery School Board President Royd Hatt opened the regular school board meeting, after which Superintendent Maughan read the names of the winter sports Academic All State recipients from Emery High.

Those honored included BrinLee Hurdsman, Danielle Wolford and Maddex Behling, cheer; Alexander Frederick, Bryant Durrant, Ashlyn Durrant, Aspen Jensen and Aubrey Guymon, swim; Oumar Diarra, wrestling; Alexia Mortensen, Brielle Rowley, Makaila Peacock, Sabrina West and Easton Nielson, basketball; and Kallee Cook, drill. The board acknowleged that these are great accomplishments and commended these students.

Trent Huntsman, Westland Construction, then gave the board a construction update. “Very difficult with the severe weather,” was his main comment.

The concrete crews have not worked at all during February due to the 20 degree weather. The masonry crews are also behind schedule because of the high winds that have taken down the tents surrounding the block walls.

Next, it was explained that five district employees are on the Library Book Review Committee. This is following a request from an anonymous parent in the district. The board requested a response in no more than 60 days from this committee.

Another concerned citizen asked how to access the booklists currently in school libraries. Doug Johnson, IT Supervisor, explained the process of the committee. J.R. Jones also commented that the list is reviewed for all schools.

At this time, a motion to leave the open meeting and enter a public hearing was made. The hearing was for comments and input on FY 2024 school fees. This was previously discussed during the February board meeting. The increased fees are for drivers’ education classes and football helmets. There were no comments, so the hearing was closed. The 2024 school fee schedule was then approved with all board members in the affirmative.

Names for hire in the district were then presented by Supt. Maughan. These included Dani Thurman, preschool aide at Huntington Elementary; Claire Yost, special education aide at Cottonwood Elementary; Courtney Reid, Castle Valley bus assistant; Amy Dewitt, physical education specialist at Cottonwood Elementary; and Mike Grange, law enforcement at Emery High. The names were approved subject to completion and review of background checks.

Next, the land trust reports from all schools were reported to be used effectively and were approved by the entire board. The Emery High automotive team competition in Idaho, which was pre-approved by email, was formerly approved. Emery High Principal Steven Gordon stated that the team represented the school very well and he felt that it was very beneficial.

Jake Atwood, Emery High Athletic Director, then presented the numbers of activities and participants using the Armory and preference scheduling. Travel for Green River High School to Grand Junction, Colorado was also granted, noting that it was closer than most of the scheduled games in the league. This would make it possible to compete against two Colorado schools.

Huntington Elementary Principal Jody Carter began her report stating some of their biggest concerns, with the first being attendance. Incentives are being used to try to correct this situation. Another concern is the turnover of paraprofessionals.

She continued to report their work on teaching critical thinking skills to help with science test scores. They are also working on reading fluency skills with students. Principal Carter emphasized the great things the in-house instructional coaches, Tiffany Cowley and Emily Mills, are doing in their school.

Robotics lessons are being offered to all students at Huntington Elementary while the music/art specialists are adding a lot to the school. Destri Gray, the new school counselor, is working with emotional stress and growth at Huntington Elementary.

As the meeting came to a close, Superintendent Maughan reviewed the bills pending at the State Legislature.

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