Michael Larsen – Sierra Bonita Elementary Principal
Michael Larsen was appointed as the new Sierra Bonita Elementary Principal for Nebo School District.
Mr. Larsen served as principal of Rees Elementary for the last seven years. He was employed at Mapleton Elementary where he taught fifth grade for four years and served as school facilitator for two years. Mr. Larsen was also a counselor for five years at the Nebo School District’s Shadow Mountain summer camp.
Mr. Larsen received his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University (BYU) and his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Weber State College in 1996.
Mr. Larsen was selected as Rookie Principal of the Year for Nebo School District and Principal Innovator of the Year by the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals. He was also selected the Leadership Preparation Program (LPP) at BYU.
When addressing the Nebo School Board of Education, Mr. Larsen said, "I am grateful to the School Board, Superintendent Nielsen, and Julie Warren. I have been richly blessed to be the principal at Rees Elementary for the last seven years where the students warm my heart, the faculty and staff does a great job, and our strenuous instruction continues to improve. I look forward to this new assignment to unite our community, students, and staff. We will create an environment where children feel safe, cared for, nurtured, and loved. We will expect the best of our students. Thank you again for your confidence in this new assignment."
Elementary Director, Julie Warren, said, "Mike Larsen is a leader who leads by example. Mike has excellent communication skills, vision, and the ability to share his passion for education with others. He is a man of integrity and is devoted to doing what is best for kids. Mike is superb in making personal connections with children. Children can feel his love and concern through his enthusiasm and positive energy. Mike continually looks for ways to create and implement school improvement. He is well versed on current education trends and knows how to inspire others to achieve school vision and goals."
Mr. Larsen said, "I am grateful to be surrounded by many positive role models from family and community continually. I am proud to be a part of the Nebo School District community and to work with the high caliber of people who give so much to ensure a quality education for all students."
Mike enjoys outdoor family recreational activities and coaching city recreational soccer.
He is married to Cindy, and they have five children.
Ryan Pitcher – Rees Elementary Principal
The Nebo School Board of Education appointed Ryan Pitcher as the Rees Elementary Principal for Nebo School District.
Mr. Pitcher served as principal of Barnett Elementary for the past five and one half years and taught fifth, fourth, and second grades at Barnett. He received Outstanding Employee in 2005, and Teacher of the Year for Barnett in 2003.
As a Principal, Mr. Pitcher has been honored as Rookie Principal of the Year, Human Resource Developer of the Year, and Instructional Leader of the Year by the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals.
Mr. Pitcher received his master’s degree Education Administration from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2004, and his bachelor’s degree in Family Science from BYU in 2000.
When addressing the Nebo School Board of Education, Mr. Pitcher stated, "I am excited to be here and appreciate the confidence of the School Board, Superintendent Nielsen, and Julie Warren. I have loved the people, faculty, parents, and students at Barnett. They have been a part of my life for 10 years. I will miss them. I am looking forward to go to Rees Elementary. I have high respect for Mike Larsen. He is a fabulous leader and well prepared. I will continue the great traditions and quality education at Rees Elementary."
Julie Warren, Elementary Director, said, "Ryan Pitcher is an exceptional school leader. I am impressed with his dedication to his profession. He loves his job and it shows. You can always find Ryan out and about in the school. He wants to be where the action is. He can be found playing ball during recess, collaborating with teachers about curriculum, or meeting with parents to discuss the needs of the school. Ryan seeks the input of all school stakeholders as he implements school improvement. One of the aspects that I have enjoyed the most about Ryan’s leadership is his willingness to roll up his sleeves and go to work. If there is a job to be completed, Ryan is in the center of the action."
Mr. Pitcher said, "I believe that kids need to know we care, before they care what we know. I believe hard work can accomplish anything."
Ryan enjoys spending time with his family, building things, and basketball. He is married to Amy, and they have four children.
Scott Johnson – Assistant Principal Springville High
Scott Johnson was appointed by the Nebo Board of Education as Assistant Principal of Springville High for Nebo School District.
Mr. Johnson served as the assistant principal for Mapleton Junior High for the past four years. He also taught ninth-grade World Geography and eighth-grade US History. Mr. Johnson was selected as the Leadership Preparation Program (LPP) candidate and was a mentor teacher for four years.
Mr. Johnson received his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2006, and his bachelor’s degree in history from BYU in 2000.
When addressing the Nebo School Board of Education, Mr. Johnson said, "I appreciate the vote of confidence from the School Board, Superintendent Nielsen, and Mr. DeGraffenried. I am excited to be back at Springville High where I graduated and coached basketball. I have been a life-long resident of Springville and love the community. I’m grateful for the people in my life that have encouraged me to stretch and grow. I have been so lucky to work with such great people: Willie, Ann, Barbara, Everett, and Suzanne for the past 5 years. There is no one better than Suzanne. I am better because of her. I look forward to working with Mike Brown."
John DeGraffenried, Secondary Director, said, "Scott is dedicated to students and is a hard worker. He is extremely loyal to Springville. Scott always goes the extra mile to help even if it is not his assignment. I have noticed that students go out of their way to talk to him. He has outstanding relationships with students, parents, and faculty."
Scott stated, "We will not have happiness if the things we believe and do are not the same. We have a choice to focus on the positive or negative."
Scott enjoys golfing, fishing, and most sports. He also loves a good book and spending time with his family. He is married to Deborah; and they have five children.
Ryan McGuire – Assistant Principal Payson High
Ryan McGuire was appointed as the Assistant Principal at Payson High for Nebo School District.
Mr. McGuire served as Assistant Principal at Payson Junior High for the past two years. He taught history and Spanish at Spanish Fork High for three years, and history at Spanish Fork Middle for five years. He has also coached basketball throughout his teaching career including head coach for girls’ varsity basketball at Spanish Fork High.
Mr. McGuire received his master’s degree in Education Administration from Southern Utah University in 2007, and his bachelor’s degree in history from Brigham Young University in 2000.
When addressing the Nebo School Board of Education, Mr. McGuire responded, "Thank you for your confidence in me. I am humbled in this new assignment and am grateful to the many great mentors that I have had. Carl Swenson and the staff at Payson Junior High are wonderful. I am excited to work with Ben and Brett and for the opportunity to work with previous students, parents, and others that make Payson, Santaquin, Goshen, Genola, and Elberta such a great place to live. I know that Payson High is an awesome school, and I am grateful to be a part of it. Go Lions!"
Mr. McGuire has earned several awards including Region IV Coach of the Year in 2006 (girls’ basketball SFHS), Nebo Notable for Nebo School District in 2006, and Teacher of the Month for Spanish Fork Middle in 2000.
Everett Kelepolo, Coordinator of Athletics and Community School, stated, "Ryan is an outstanding individual. He adapted easily and quickly to the climate and culture at Springville Junior High. I am impressed with his ability to develop positive relationships with students, parents, and faculty. All tasks given him were completed with efficiently and done effectively. Ryan is well organized and accomplishes high quality goals. He was teachable in all aspects of the job. Ryan McGuire exhibits the skills and talents to be an outstanding school leader. His love of students and his sincere desire to make a difference in their lives makes him an excellent administrator."
Mr. McGuire stated, "Greatness is not in where we are, but in the direction we are moving." (Oliver Wendell Holmes) Mr. McGuire also stated, "We should always seek opportunities to make a difference."
Ryan enjoys spending time outdoors and fishing of any kind. He is married to Trudy, and they have four children.
Kim Gerke – Assistant Principal Mapleton Junior High
The Nebo School Board of Education appointed Kim Gerke as the Assistant Principal at Mapleton Junior High for Nebo School District.
Mr. Gerke served as counselor for Maple Mountain High School for the past two years. He worked as a counselor at Springville Junior High and Spanish Fork High.
Mr. Gerke stated, "I am thrilled and excited to join the excellent educational team at Mapleton Junior High School. I look forward to learning and growing with the administration, faculty, parents, and especially all the students."
Mr. Gerke received his master’s degree in counseling and guidance and his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University. He has an administrator’s license from Southern Utah University.
Mr. Gerke was honored with the Crystal Apple Award and Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award. He has served on the Governor’s Advisory Council of Education, Boy Scouts Wood Badge and Timberline Director, Scoutmaster for 2010 National Jamboree, and served as Bishop and in the stake presidency.
Human Resource Director, Ann Anderson, said, "Mr. Gerke has the skills and personality to be a very successful administrator. He has a gentleness about him while at the same time is able to confront those day-to-day difficult issues. He cares about the students, faculty, and staff. He always looks for a win-win in any given situation. He is intuitive and perceptive in dealing with problem-solving situations. I have found his decisions to be fair and to uphold the policies of the school board."
Kim enjoys hiking, backpacking, and reading. He is married to Kathleen, and they have three children and one granddaughter.
Kevin Mecham – Assistant Principal Payson Junior High
Kevin Mecham was appointed as the Assistant Principal at Payson Junior High for Nebo School District.
Mr. Mecham is currently in the Leadership Preparation Program at BYU. He taught mathematics at Payson High (two years) and Payson Junior High (seven years). He was also the advisor of the student council for Payson High.
Mr. Mecham will receive his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University (BYU), and received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from BYU in 2002.
When addressing the Nebo School Board of Education, Mr. Mecham said, "Thank you very much for having confidence in me. I am thrilled and look forward to working with Mr. Swenson at Payson Junior High. I want to make a difference in helping students accomplish things that they didn’t know that they could accomplish."
Mr. Mecham was voted Teacher of the Year by PHS in 2010. He organized a math tutoring lab and has coached girls softball (PHS) and boys basketball (PJHS).
Suzanne Kimball, Principal at Mapleton Junior High, stated, "Kevin’s easy demeanor and personality allows him to instantly develop a relationship with students, parents, and staff alike. Kevin approaches every interaction listening first. He was helpful and friendly to everyone and gave our school a great face for first impressions and meaningful problem solving. Kevin truly has the aptitude and skills necessary to be a successful leader and any school would benefit from his talents."
Kevin’s motto: "Life is short, make the most of every day."
Kevin enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, and helping students reach their greatest potential. He is married to Valerie, and they have five children.
Joe Kelly – Landmark High Principal and At-Risk Services Coordinator
The Nebo School Board of Education appointed Joe Kelly as the At-Risk Services Coordinator for Nebo School District. He will continue to be the Principal at Landmark High where he has served for the past 8 years.
Mr. Kelly taught high school for 12 years, was a counselor for 4 years, and has been an administrator for 10 years.
When addressing the Nebo School Board of Education, Joe said, "Thank you school board and Superintendent Nielsen. I have a passion for at-risk students and all students. I want all students to be successful. I have worked with so many wonderful people including Mr. DeGraffenried, Mr. Rowley, and Dave Brooks. Scott Carson, the assistant principal, is a great resource and always calm. My wife is a cancer survivor. She is a miracle. I love and respect her."
Mr. Kelly has received numerous awards including Outstanding Young Man of America, Fourth Degree Black Belt, Karate Instructor of the Year for 2001, 2003, 2008, and 2009.
Assistant Superintendent Scott Wilson said, "Mr. Kelly is very conscience and cares deeply about his students at Landmark High. He is committed to their success and explores any means possible to help his students."
A personal motto for Mr. Kelly is: "Teachers make a difference. Students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Be firm, fair, friendly, and funny."
Joe enjoys Dutch oven cooking, reading, martial arts, and scouting. He is married to Kristine, and they have five children and one grandchild.