Time for changing of the guard in South Sanpete

Retiring South Sanpete School District business administrator Paul Gottfredson (right) reads the oath of office to new district superintendent Ralph Squire (left) and new business administrator Jake Hill.


Time for changing of the guard

in South Sanpete


By Lloyd Call

Associate publisher



MANTI—New leaders were sworn in at the South Sanpete School District board meeting June 10.

Ralph Squire, former assistant district superintendent, was sworn in as superintendent, replacing Kent Larsen, and Jake Hill was sworn in as new district business administrator, replacing Paul Gottfredson.

The board spent time reviewing the budget report, presented for the last time by Gottfredson. The board approved the upcoming budget, and according to state law, adopted the district’s certified tax rate, except that it will have to be done again in August, because the state has not yet established the basic tax rate.

After the base rate is established, the board will have to go through the procedure again. The proposed change in the Certified Tax Rate is necessary to qualify for the maximum state guarantee related to the .001600 Voted Local Levy that has migrated down to .001374. The guarantee of .001600 is held harmless for five years and the year following must be changed or the guarantee amount will apply to the Lower Certified Tax Rate. This year, the rate must be changed, and the district will go through truth in taxation because the rate is being increased.

The district will update the voted leeway, and will reduce other levies to offset that increase so that the overall tax rate will not exceed what the overall tax rate was last year, 0.009642. This is similar to what the North Sanpete School District did last year. The intent is that the only way taxpayers would pay more taxes is if their assessed valuation of their property increases.

The board is reviewing teaching strategies when school begins in the fall, based on the different pandemic requirements under effect at the time. That means, for each of the categories: red, orange, yellow (current category) and green, the district has to have plans to teach students. This is because even though Utah is under the yellow category now, it might move to green, or even back to orange when school begins.

For example, COVID-19 Guidelines for extracurricular activities currently are:

  • Symptom checking of all staff at the beginning of each activity.
  • Symptom checking of participants prior to participating in activity.
  • Wash or sanitize hands before participating in any school sponsored activity.
  • Schedule enough time to allow all surfaces to be disinfect between students.
  • Face coverings are preferred.
  • Food and drinks shall not be shared.
  • When services are not being directly provided, 6 feet of physical distance must be maintained. • Share student and parent documents electronically; avoid handling and then sharing paperwork.
  • High-risk instructors and students follow recommendations for high-risk individuals.
  • No groups shall exceed 50 participants.
  • Weight rooms and gymnasiums will follow the State public health guidelines.

In addition, everyone entering the school, including students, staff and visitors will be asked to fill out a COVID-19 checklist.

The board approved requests for Manti High School to attend workshops this summer. Gunnison Valley High School has elected to do all their sports and other workshops locally. Also, both schools are going to do summer band programs, adhering to all COVID-19 guidelines.


The board also reviewed the car replacement schedule, and heard from Mark Anderson, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) director, who explained the program. Students are encouraged to consider “pathways” that will help them take classes during high school that will direct them toward occupations they are interested in. Both Gunnison Valley and Manti High Schools have extensive offerings for students.

CTE also works with higher-education schools, such as Snow College, to mesh their programs with college classes, as well as employers who offer intern programs for students.

The board has the option of holding one mor