School Year Begins on a High Note, Expanded Hopes of Success


Carbon School District Press Release

Carbon District schools will ring their bells and open their doors to students on Aug. 24, bringing in the 100th anniversary of Carbon School District as it is known today.

All schools from Bruin Point on the east to Sally Mauro in the west will be having new students, teachers and, in some cases, principals to welcome to the fold. It is also the second year the district will have started with school re-alignments of K-5 elementary schools, 6-8 middle schools and freshmen attending Carbon High School.

“Last year was our first year of this configuration, and it went very smoothly considering the changes,” said Carbon Superintendent Steve Carlsen last week.

Hopes are high that the transition will not only continue to improve the education for students in the district but will also alleviate the overcrowding that had been taking place in some of the elementary schools, where a few grade levels were bulging at the seams.

New principals in district schools include some veteran principals who were long time teachers and, in one case, a new face in a leadership spot.

At Bruin Point Elementary, Dina Wise will take over as principal while Stacy Basinger moves from the East Carbon campus to Wellington Elementary. 

Seth Allred is the new principal at Mont Harmon Middle School, taking over duties from retired principal Carol Wells. This is his first opportunity to head a secondary institution. He has been the principal at Wellington and Sally Mauro.

A new employee to the district and a new principal as well, Chris Winfree, comes to Carbon School District from the Washington School District where he was a teacher at Desert Hills Middle School. Former Castle Heights Principal Deanna Martineau left the district at the end of last year to take a leadership position in Wyoming.

Winfree is experienced with the professional learning communities that Carbon is using throughout its system and Carlsen said, “He is a great young man and a great teacher.”

The district also has new teachers at most schools. Some of them are veterans of the system and are returning to the district for various reasons and others are completely new hires. All together, they include 23 new teachers and two new counselors. They include:

• Jeff Winget, Ray Brazier, Troy Chilcott, Joshua Huntsman, James Montgomery and John Brooks at Carbon High School.
• Nichole Milligan, Charity Moore, Chelsey Cunningham, Blake Allen, John Desandre and Betty Jo Willey at Castle Heights Elementary.
• Elaine Taylor at Creekview Elementary.
• Kelby Clyde at Helper Middle School.
•Chelsa Roberts, Joyce Housekeeper, Renee Banasky and Todd Lauritsen at Mont Harmon Middle School.
• Camille Carmack and Lindsay Hinkins at Sally Mauro Elementary.
• Krystal Richardson at Castle Valley Center.
• Deidre Judd, Sharra Gray and Sandra Montgomery along with intern Regan Allred at Wellington Elementary.
• Erik Rasmussen – Lighthouse High.
• Carlyn Alverez – District speech and language pathologist.

Carlsen said he thought all the new hires interviewed well and would fit into the system as it now functions. “With our emphasis on Professional Learning Communities, we have moved to a new level,” said Carlsen. “It used to be schools and teachers talked about teaching. Now, we talk about student learning. With our system as it stands now, we are concentrating on ‘What kids really learned today’ in the classroom.”

Now for history. In the fall of 1915, a newly elected school board began directing all the public schools in Carbon County. Two years earlier, the state board had named a superintendent to oversee all the small community schools in the county, but by 1915, all schools were merged into a school district. Schools were located in almost every major coal camp in the county and in some of the small ones as well. 

Today, Carbon School District has five elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and the Castle Valley Center for special needs students. 

When the doors open this fall, over 3,400 students will attend the district’s schools.

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