Ken Van Ausdal – Springville Jr. High Principal

Mr. Ken Van Ausdal was appointed by the Nebo School Board of Education as the principal of Springville Junior High for Nebo School District. Mr. Van Ausdal graduated from BYU with a degree in Education Psychology and later went back to BYU to complete a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Mr. Van Ausdal started his career in Nebo School District at Santaquin Elementary teaching special education for five years. He then participated in the Leadership Preparation Program; and in 1998, Ken accepted an administrative position in Jordan School District serving as a secondary administrator in two junior high schools. He later became the principal of Butler Elementary in Jordan District and has currently served as the principal of Salem Elementary in Nebo School District for the past four years.

Ken served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the New Zealand Mission and served in the US Marine Corps. for six years as a hydraulics mechanic on an EA-6B Prowler Aircraft. He has enjoyed coaching Little League baseball and girls’ basketball. He has also been involved with Salem City Mayor’s advisory board and planning committee. He is a man of many talents.

Ken’s colleagues have said, “Ken has vision and a desire to help his school improve. He is very thoughtful and is a good analyzer. He seeks continual improvement. He is friendly and has a great personality.”

Mr. Van Ausdal is also well thought of by his faculty and staff. A teacher shared the following, “I love to come to work because I know I have a Principal who will communicate with me, tell me when I’m doing things well, and tell me where I can make growth. I get positive feedback that makes me a better teacher. He doesn’t micro manage but trusts his faculty and staff. He is innovative and constantly looking for ways to improve the school community. He models effective teaching and professional development. All-in-all, Ken is one of the best Principals I have had the privilege to work with.”

Ken Van Ausdal was born in Provo, Utah and was reared in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He married Peggy Bird of Springville. Ken and Peggy have four children and currently live in Salem.

Jim Welburn - Principal of Salem Elementary

Mr. Jim Welburn was appointed by the Nebo School Board of Education as the principal of Salem Elementary for Nebo School District.

Prior to coming to Nebo School District, Mr. Welburn had the opportunity to serve in several capacities both at the high school level as well as the elementary. He attended BYU where he received a Bachelor's Degree in history. He earned a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in English as a Second Language (ESL) at SUU, where he later returned for an administrative endorsement. He also has a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Utah State University.

Before entering administration, Mr. Welburn was a social studies teacher, coach, driver's education instructor, and guidance counselor at Escalante High and Springville High. He has taught various subjects including World Civilization, Utah Studies, U.S. History, geography, government & law, psychology, and even Portuguese to middle and high school students. Jim thoroughly enjoys working with the youth of today as he finds an educational career to be both challenging and very rewarding.

Mr. Welburn feels the objective of education should be to assist students in reaching their maximum potential. He said, “I have one of the greatest jobs anyone can do! We, as educators, get to make a difference in individual lives.”

A colleague has stated the following of Jim. "Jim has integrity and enthusiasm. He is willing to listen to others and include them in the decision making process. He is very knowledgeable about his profession and is willing to take the time to help others as they grow professionally. Jim is a good role model for students. He is open minded and desires what is best for all students.”

Jim has also had the opportunity to serve his community as a city councilman as well as serving in different religious capacities. Jim and his wife Traci have four children, two boys and two girls, ranging from the ages of eight to fifteen. He enjoys spending time with his family doing various outdoor activities.

Garth Bird – Principal at Goshen Elementary School

Mr. Garth Bird was appointed by the Nebo School Board of Education as the principal of Goshen Elementary for Nebo School District.

Garth graduated from BYU in elementary education in 1972. He has taught school since that time in Nebo schools including Park View and Barnett Elementary Schools. After earning a master's degree in 1987, he served as principal at Goshen Elementary/Middle School, as well as Park, Canyon, and Hobble Creek Elementary Schools. Mr. Bird has worked 38 years serving students of Nebo School District.

Mr. Bird’s philosophy of education is, “Students do better when they feel good about themselves.” He has strived to always follow that direction in working with children.

A colleague of Garth’s has shared the following, “Garth is always available to listen and discuss problems or potential problems and concerns of staff, parents, and volunteers. He is both honest and reliable in both actions and words. His greatest priority is the students of his school and their success. He is able to manage all aspects of his school effectively and successfully. Mr. Bird is open and willing to try new ideas and technology to provide the best learning environment for his educators and students.”

“Other than my family, teaching has been the real love of my life,” states Garth Bird. “My hobbies are what I have been teaching, especially reading and all areas of social studies.”

Garth is the son of Dean and Ina Bird and is married to the former Bonnie Owen of Connecticut. Their home is in Payson and are the parents of five children and almost ten grandchildren.

Dave Rowe – Principal of Hobble Creek Elementary

Mr. Dave Rowe was appointed by the Nebo School Board of Education as the principal of Hobble Creek Elementary for Nebo School District.

Dave Rowe began his career in education in 1997 as a third grade teacher in Provo School District. After four years in the classroom, he was granted a sabbatical to work on his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at Brigham Young University. During this time, he was privileged to spend three months as an administrative intern at Larsen Elementary and three months at Art City Elementary and received his degree in 2002.

In 2003, Mr. Rowe was appointed as Principal of Art City Elementary and has enjoyed his time there for the past seven years. In 2009, Mr. Rowe was selected as the Human Resource Developer of the Year by the Utah Association Elementary School Principals for the state of Utah.

Mr. Rowe believes in putting children first. He believes it is crucial to surround children with the best possible teachers; teachers who work together to meet the needs of each and every child. Dave believes in the human spirit that people can work together to solve problems and create a climate that is optimal for all students.

The following has been shared from a fellow colleague, “Dave is very skilled and intelligent in education, technology, and has the ability to understand people. But what makes Dave a great leader is his outstanding character. Dave is honest, has high integrity, compassion, and self-discipline. He approaches difficult situations with a listening ear. Dave cares about his teachers and loves the students at the school.”

Dave said, “I have learned so much from the people at Art City and appreciate their kindness and support over the last seven years. I was fortunate to follow great administrators at Art City and feel fortunate to follow Garth Bird at Hobble Creek Elementary. I look forward to a new opportunity to learn from the great people of Hobble Creek Elementary.”

Dave is married to Debbie and have six children ranging from ages 3 to 15 years of age. They currently live in Springville.