Inside our Schools


Gunnison Valley High School

            The first quarter ends next Wednesday, Sept. 18. There will be no school on Monday Sept. 23. Parent-teacher conferences will begin at 2 p.m. that day.

Gunnison Valley Elementary School

            The deadline for nominations for two parent spots on the Gunnison Valley Elementary Community Council is Sept. 18. You can nominate yourself or another parent by calling 528-7880.

Gunnison Valley Middle School

Students at Gunnison Valley Middle School stage last year’s school play, “Shrek”. Auditions are underway for this years play, “Marry Poppins”

Students have been participating in auditions this week for the school play, “Mary Poppins,” which will be performed the second week of November with Laura Barlow as director.

            Auditions were held Wednesday and Thursday of this week, with call-backs on Friday.

            Parent-teacher conferences will be held Monday, Sept. 23 beginning at 9 a.m. There will be no school that day.

Ephraim Elementary School

            The STAR reading program needs volunteers who can tutor a child twice a week for 30 minutes per session. The school seeks volunteers who display a positive attitude toward reading and school in general.

            To sign up, email Miranda Taylor at or call her at (801) 413-4369.

Fairview Elementary

            On Tuesday, Sept. 17, White Raven Studio will be at the school throughout the day to take school pictures.

            On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Sanpete County 4H program will stage a Family Fun Night for families whose children attend the 4H after school program. The fun night runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and includes dinner.


North Sanpete High School

Homecoming week starts Monday, Sept. 16 with the theme, “Look up, reach out, rise together.”

Students will paint windows on businesses on Monday.

Special costuming is recommended on Monday through Thursday.

Monday is “Hat Day, where students wear hats of their choice.”

Tuesday is ” Tacky Tourist Day”.

Wednesday is ” Fake an Injury Day”.

Thursday is “Fake Mustache Day”.

On Friday, there’s an assembly at the school and parade is downtown in Mt. Pleasant.

The homecoming football game against American Leadership Academy is that night at 7:30.



[Read more…]

Kirsten DeSantis (left), Ali Hatch and Aika Swenson, sophomore members of the Manti Homecoming Committee, take a break from painting windows at Main Street Pizza in Manti Monday night.

Manti homecoming marks 50 years of football

By Suzanne Dean




MANTI—Confused by letters painted on the window of a business that say “HO-CO?”

Well, that’s just short for “Homecoming,” which is being celebrated at Manti High School this week.

Some activities have a 1950s overtone as the school observes the 50th anniversary of the Manti Templars football team. (For a nostalgic look at the team’s difficult early years, read James Tilson’s column in this week’s sports section.)

A commemoration of the 50 years will be presented during halftime of the homecoming game against Richfield on Friday. The game starts at 7 p.m.

The week started Monday with “Tourist Day,” when students dressed up like tourists. That evening after school, homecoming committee members and student leaders painted windows in Manti and Ephraim.

On Tuesday night, school letters were lit on fire at the Fairgrounds arena.

On Wednesday, students wore all manner of sports jerseys to school. There was a powder puff football game with female competitors, while boys played in a “volleybuff” game.

Thursday was “cowboy” or “hick day.” Students who dressed to the theme got a free pancake breakfast at 7:15 a.m. Students who didn’t dress up paid $1 for breakfast. After lunch, a cadre of students led by teacher Ben Shoppe climbed a mountain east of the high school to whitewash the “M.”

The homecoming parade will travel down Main Street in Manti on Friday at 4 p.m., with the football game to follow that evening.

A homecoming dance will be held Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Sanpete County Fair Exhibit Building.



[Read more…]

SafeUt chart showing total chats and tips by school, in South Sanpete School District.

Student mental health high on list for district, State

By Lloyd Call

Associate Publisher


MANTI—Student mental health was a major topic at the South Sanpete School District board meeting last Wednesday.

The district now has more funding available for mental health resources with the passage of HB373 by the Utah Legislature.

As previously reported, the district was able to hire a second school nurse this year, and has also hired Kyle Parry as the district restorative justice coordinator. This program is designed to give schools more options than sending a problem student into the juvenile justice system.

Resource officers in schools also serve an important safety role, because students feel confident they can safely turn to an officer during a physical or emotional crisis.

Next year, if funds are available, the district may be able to hire a clinical social worker and/or a psychologist.

Ephraim Middle School had tectum panels placed in its common room during the summer. The panels are abuse resistant and have sound suppression qualities.

“Statewide, including our district, everyone is justly concerned about student safety, and increasingly, that includes the mental health of students,” said Kent Larsen, district superintendent.

Last year’s SafeUT report showed the number of incidents reported in the district, as well as statistics from the whole state. The SafeUT app is designed for parents, teachers, or students who witness or have concerns about a student’s safety. Users can send in a tip or institute a chat immediately with support personnel.

The top five categories of actions that were reported last year in elementary schools are: bullying, suicide, cutting, depression and acts of kindness; for middle schools: bullying, suicide, depression, cutting and drugs; for high schools: suicide, drugs, bullying depression and cutting. (See chart for details.)

“Anyone who witnesses a student struggling can quickly send out a tip for help. Professionals are on duty 24 hours a day. Chats are especially effective, especially if a student is considering suicide,” said Larsen. “It makes a huge difference if a student in crisis can talk to someone immediately, and that is what these professionals are trained for.

“Studies show that most suicides occur within 15 minutes from the time the student first develops a plan. Guns are the highest used method, so for this reason, parents are reminded that gun owners should always keep their firearms locked and secure from students.”

Larsen also reported that progress is being made to prevent suicides. In the state, suicides overall are down 10 to 14 percent this year, with 23 percent fewer suicides among students. “Looking at the chart, Gunnison Valley High School has lower incidents reported by SafeUT. It is possible the lower numbers there reflects that their speak out campaign is having good results,” he said.

Pipes at Gunnison Valley High School received attention during the district’s summer renovations.

The district reviewed the summer capital investment projects, including replacing floors and walls with better materials, roofing improvements, plumbing repairs, environmental controls and cement and paving repairs throughout the district.

Most, but not all, will be completed in time for school. For example, the replacement of the HVAC system at Manti High School will be done in two weekends, to make sure of its completion before cold weather could complicate the repairs.

The board discussed whether laptops would be better than iPads, especially for students planning on moving on to college upon graduation. “Laptops would cost about twice what the iPads do, but have more capabilities,” Larsen said. “If we did consider this, we would choose Macbooks over Chromepads, because they are more reliable.” Some parents have suggested the district look at getting laptops, but the board decided to stay with iPads for the present.

David Warren, the board member who was elected to be the Utah School Boards Association (USBA) delegate, and Gary Olson, another board member, attended the USBA delegate assembly. “We have more strength with the legislature when we have a common voice,” said board member David Warren. “We are asking the legislature for a 6 percent increase in weighted pupil average, which is vital to us.”

The state constitution says that education’s main funding will come from income taxes, and the district and USBA agrees that funding should remain secure. However, as soon as the legislative session is adjourned, the joint committee begins preparing for next year’s session, and there is talk about modifying the constitution.

Manti Elementary had its gymnasium floor replaced this summer.

“We are willing to sit down with the legislature and discuss our priorities. We believe the founding fathers set up our constitution to protect education funding, and we think that should not be threatened,” Warren said.

The next board meeting will be Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m. at the Gunnison Valley Elementary School.

[Read more…]

Granary Arts Center offers ‘Munchkin Music’ workshops

The Granary Arts Center in Ephraim is holding interactive “Munchkin Music” workshops for young children and their parents on Fridays during the months of September, October and November.

Classes are centered on an exploration of instruments, singing, dancing, puppets and parachute games that promote creative learning and encourage making connections in the brain through activities that are fun and interactive, said class instructor Colleen Rogers.

The classes are designed for ages 18 months to 5 years. The cost is $20 per child to attend four classes on each Friday of the month; and $10 for each additional sibling, per month. The workshops will be held from 11 – 11:45 a.m. at the Granary Arts center, 86 N. Main Street in Ephraim. For more information, see

Lovingly known by her students as Gramma Colleen, Rogers has been teaching music and movement classes to toddler and preschool age children for the last 20 years in Arizona, and she recently relocated to Manti. In addition to music, she enjoys drawing, painting, home-design and spending time in nature. She is the mother of six children and has three grandchildren.


[Read more…]

Free summer lunches plus recreation offered to Sanpete youngsters



Thousands of fresh and free school lunches are being prepared, delivered and served each weekday to hungry kids throughout Sanpete County this summer.

The costs of preparing the free lunches are reimbursed by a federal grant to school districts through the Utah State Board of Education Summer Food Program.

To qualify for reimbursement, the meals must meet nutritional guidelines.

In the North Sanpete School District, Karen Seely, child nutrition supervisor and her staff prepare about 800 meals each school day at the North Sanpete Middle School. Then they deliver the meals to community parks, where they are handed out to children, ages 18 and under, who would like a free meal. Parents can also get a free and nutritious meal for $3.50. There is no application required.

“Lots of people are dependent on the program and come to lunch every day,” Seely said. “We have fed a lot of people for years now.”

Lunches are served from May 28 to July 19, with the exception of July 4 and 5 for the holiday.

In addition, meals are also served for summer school at the Mt. Pleasant Elementary and the Middle School. In both places, breakfast is served at 7:45 a.m. and lunch is served at 11 a.m.

Meals are available at five different community parks:

Ft. Green City Park from noon to 12:30.

  • Fairview City Park from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
  • Mt. Pleasant Park from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Spring City Park from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
  • Moroni Softball Complex from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

In the South Sanpete School District, AnaLee Knudsen, food service director, oversees a program that prepares from 200 to 350 meals every school day at three different schools. Some days, the district will hand out almost 1000 free meals.

“Last week, our staff prepared over 320 meals a day at each of our three schools,” Knudsen said.

[Read more…]

North Sanpete students gather more than 5,000 pounds for food pantry


By Lauren Evans



MT. PLEASANT – North Sanpete High School gathered 5,617 pounds of food for the Sanpete Pantry during a month-long food drive the ended last week.

The food drive tradition started about five years ago at North Sanpete High School with the Leadership Class, which consists of student body and class officers.

The high school wanted to help out the pantry as much as possible so students rounded up more schools to participate.

The drive started on Feb. 4. All five elementary schools, along with the high school, gathered donations.

The Leadership Class visited the elementary schools to promote the drive and set up a friendly competition among classes. The high school students offered to put on a donut party for the class in each school that collected the most food.

The high school also held events to encourage its students to donate. For five cans, students were able to leave school and watch a movie one day. For 10 cans, students could use a first-in-line pass for lunch time. For 20 cans, students owing restitution hours could take off one hour.

On Tuesday, March 5, the Leadership Class went to each site to pick up donations. A school district truck picked up the food at the schools and delivered it to the Sanpete Pantry.


Ephraim Elementary students made pledges to colleges they are thinking about going to.

Middle school students ‘Gear Up’ for higher education during College Week


By Lauren Evans




EPHRAIM – Ephraim Middle School students experienced their first glimpse of college during College Week, sponsored by GEAR UP.

GEAR UP stands for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program. It is designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college.

For College Week, GEAR UP hosted activities and assemblies for the eighth graders, who will be moving into high school next year.

On Monday, students made a “college pledge” by writing their name and college of choice on a paper graduation cap. The caps were then attached to a poster reading “NOW is the time to prepare!” and hung on the wall for the week.

On Wednesday, teachers talked to students in their classes about developing habits for succeeding in school such as creating study routines, taking good notes and being involved in class.

On Thursday, Snow College students from the football team, the Multi-Cultural Club and the Western Swing Club visited students at lunch. They talked to the students about the importance of being involved in extracurricular activities as a way to prepare for college.

John Van Orman, who teaches a class called “Principles for Personal Success” at Snow College, spoke to an assembly of the eighth graders about why they should consider going to college, how long it takes to finish college and what the cost of college will be.

GEAR UP also held six prize drawings throughout the week. Prizes included YoCrazy gift certificates, Maverik gift cards, local restaurant gift cards, movie tickets and bowling passes. The prizes were given for good attendance, good grades and College Week participation.

Sanpete Sterling Scholar winners




Anna Allred, Manti High School, named Sterling Scholar in world languages—Anna started developing a love for other cultures, especially Spanish-speaking cultures, in childhood. She says of her interest in Spanish-speaking cultures, “I feel like it opens so many doors, broadens my horizons and enriches my quality of life.”

She loves making connections with people and performing service. Over Christmas break 2018, she traveled to Ensenada, Mexico, where she donated toys, hygiene supplies and food; painted houses; and provided manual labor.

She has been a classroom aide in Spanish at her high school and has participated in volleyball, basketball and orchestra all four years of high school.


Bethany Brynne Lamb, North Sanpete High School, named Sterling Scholar in speech, theater and forensics—Brynne has participated as a soloist and ensemble member in the school choir and is presently the soprano section leader. She has also been a member of an all-state choir.

She has competed in speech and debate in the Central Utah Circuit. In the Utah High School Theater Awards, she placed in the top 10 for “Best Actress.” And she has won first and second place awards in region and state drama.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school.


Carli Johansen, North Sanpete High School, named Sterling Scholar in business and marketing education—Carli is president of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at her school and has excelled in FBLA competitions in marketing, hospitality management, advertising, securities and investments, and business communications.

She has been on her school newspaper staff, been a member of the Hope Squad (a peer counseling team) for three years, and went on a service trip to build a school in Ghana, Africa.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and has maintained a 3.9 GPA in high school.


Lucy Kay Quinn, North Sanpete High School, named Sterling Scholar in visual arts—Lucy is described as “passionately involved artistically in her community.” She has taken piano lessons for 10 years, plays saxophone in the high school jazz band and has played in the concert band all four years of high school.

She has been in high school plays and musicals, and has also performed in productions by the North Bend Entertainers. She has received awards for art, music, poetry and acting, including recently placing second in the Utah State Senate high school art show. She says her art abilities are best expressed through stage design and painting.

Lucy has also played soccer for four years and been captain of the soccer team.

[Read more…]

Snow College introduces student app


By Lauren Evans



EPHRAIM – Snow College has officially gone digital.

The college has a brand new app available in the app store for Snow students to take control of their college experience. The interactive app bridges the gap for students to better communicate with counselors, clubs and other students.

Features like a personalized schedule, events calendar, student social wall, private messaging and public safety are tools to improve the Snow College student experience and stay involved.

Snow marketing director John Stevens said, “This app is a lot more of what students expect. They feel like the app is already familiar and easy to use.”

The project was first proposed to Stevens and web developer Jim Bob Pipes about a year ago. They wanted to create an app that would be the most beneficial and accessible to students. A Snow College app had previously existed about 6 years ago, but the features were limited and didn’t allow students to fully interact.

After searching for an app developer that would be the most cooperative and engaged, Stevens and Pipes settled on Ready Education of Montreal, Canada. The company works with at least 500 other universities across the nation building apps.

With 1,500 students and faculty already using the app, Stevens and Pipes are working with the developer to update and improve features regularly to keep things running smooth.


[Read more…]