Manti High principal discusses football parking improvements

Manti High principal discusses football parking improvements


By Lloyd Call

Associate publisher



During her report to the South Sanpete Board of Education, Manti High School principal Karen Soper brought up some ongoing challenges surrounding the football field.

Everyone who attends football games there knows that parking on the dirt area north of the field and other scattered locations around the school is a problem.

Parking along the street west of the stadium is not permitted and cars can be towed if they are parked there. There is some parking allowed on county parking near the fairgrounds, but fans have to walk down the street to get to the stadium, and there are no sidewalks. Many cars line the both sides of the streets on the north side of the road.

Soper presented a plan to the board that would build sufficient parking facilities (ADA compliant) north of the stadium, and improve the area with sidewalks. The price tag is high, however, and the board says the project could perhaps happen over time, and will approach Manti City to see if any cooperative grants are available.

Soper also told the board of a program she has instituted to make sure all students feel acknowledged and appreciated. She printed out cards with every student’s name, and had teachers go through and write something they knew personally about every student. It was apparent there were some students who teachers just didn’t know much about.

In an effort to improve that situation, she implanted a 2×10, which means teachers are asked to select a student per quarter that they don’t know well and make an effort to talk to that student for two minutes for ten days straight, with the hopes of building a trusting relationship.

Soper also reported on the school’s adjustment to COVID requirements, saying teachers and students are following the rules and seem to be handling them well.

The board also recognized high school students who made Academic All-State team: from Gunnison Valley High School, golf; Harley Hill; football: Phillip Johnson. Manti High School students: JoLee Gillett, girl’s tennis; girls’ soccer Allie Bridges and Kassidy Alder; football Joshua Larson and Tanner Justesen.

Ephraim Elementary principal Gannon Jones reported that teachers and students are taking COVID regulations in stride. “They are very resilient, we are all very pleased,” said Jones. School goals include English language learning improvement.

Manti Elementary School principal David Ipson said the school’s yearly motto is “Hope for a Brighter Future.” He said the Wellness Center is very helpful, giving students a safe place to reset themselves. “Teachers don’t send students there, students are going there themselves when they realize their emotions are getting out of control,” he said.

Teachers are emphasizing improvement in reading. “We want growth in every one of our students in reading,” he said. He also mentioned the school is benefiting from the Ephraim Public Library having a readathon for the month of October. “Love of reading is my end game, and to have all students learn how to be good citizens,” he said.

Ephraim Middle School Principal John Gillett said now that breakfasts are free, they have gone from serving about 20 students to over 100 every day. “Students show up at 7:30 a.m., sometimes before the teachers,” he said. He reported that one student tested positive for COVID, and that ended up with 22 students in quarantine. However, students and teachers alike are helping with sanitizing.

He also talked about a need for another counselor. “We love our counselor, but we have to share her with the Elementary school. Some of our students, especially sixth graders, have suffered serious trauma since March, and we would love a full-time counselor,” he said.

Finally, the district got the official enrollment figures, which changed slightly from last month’s preliminary report. Overall, the district is down 94 students. “Other districts are seeing the same 3-4 percent enrollment drop we are,” said district superintendent Ralph Squire. “We know charter school enrollments are up slightly, and as expected, more students are being home schooled or are choosing online programs.”