Tigers roar their approval of new principal

Newly appointed principal of Hurricane Middle School, Jan Goodwin, poses in his school for a photo op, Hurricane, Utah, April 2, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

HURRICANE – On Monday, Washington County School District announced the appointment of Jan Goodwin as the new principal of Hurricane Middle School. Goodwin will be replacing Dr. Roy Hoyt who has been selected as superintendent in Basin, Wyo.

Who is Jan Goodwin

Goodwin is a graduate of Brigham Young University and began his career in education working at a behavior disorder unit in the Granite School District. After completing his master’s degree in guidance and counseling, Goodwin began working in the Jordan School District as a counselor.

Goodwin and his family moved to Southern Utah in 1996 when he was hired as a counselor at Hurricane Middle School. His relationship with the middle school community continued when he was appointed as assistant principal in 2005, and will continue further with his new position.

Reaction to the appointment

Several members of the middle school community reacted positively to the announcement.

Jody Ballard, finance secretary at the school who has worked with Goodwin for seven years, is excited about the appointment and the direction of the school. “(The school) is only going to go forward, it’s awesome,” Ballard said.

Nicole Sjo, head of the special education department, echoed Ballard’s statements about Goodwin’s appointment. “We are absolutely thrilled,” Sjo said, “he really understands the school, and the community we have here and he has made us all feel like this place is our home.”

Even the students are excited to work with Goodwin. “I think (having Goodwin as principal) will be great, it will help keep the school more calm. He really gets along with the students and is very interactive with them,” said Taylor Stock, a ninth grader at the school.

Future of the school

As new principal, Goodwin will be implementing programs and tools that will help teachers, students and parents to have the greatest chance of success, he said. “There are lots of exciting things happening at the school,” he said.

One such thing is the Tigers Achieving Greatness program. This allows students to have extra time learning a concept or studying a certain subject they may need help in by adopting an assembly schedule once a week and using the “assembly” time to help students study for exams and relearn concepts.

This program, which Goodwin hopes to have fully implemented at the start of the next school year, has been met with strong approval from the school.

“I think it is wonderful for students to have that extra time and it helps teachers to identify their students’ needs,” Sjo said.

Stock enjoy’s the program as well because it helps him keep his grades up in order to be eligible to play sports he said.

In addition to this program, Goodwin is also playing a role in streamlining and making online resources and teaching tools available to parents and students. The school is currently working on a tool called “schoology” that will make assignments available electronically.

Even though Goodwin’s appointment has been met with support he gives all the gratitude to his teachers. “I wish everyone could see how hard the teachers work,” said Goodwin, “all the credit goes to the teachers.”

Hurricane Middle School posts an accreditation score of 344 on a scale of 400 for the current school year.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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