Dr. John W. Bone, principal of Utah's first year-round school, was honored Thursday as the Utah Education Association's first Principal of the Year.
Bone, who was nominated by teachers at his school, guided Westridge Elementary through the first years of what was then a novel experiment in education in Utah. Many schools have since adopted the year-round schedule.About a third of Westridge's students attend "inter-session classes," an indication of the motivation Bone and his teachers have been able to develop. The school has also created links with Brigham Young University's education department and the community to enrich education offerings.
The school has fostered a "sister" relationship with a school in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, and the Utah students raised funds to assist the Mexican school and provide medical aid to its children.
A Westridge citizen advisory committee has become a pattern for similar groups in other schools. A cooperative parent-student-educator program has been devised to evaluate each student's goals and progress toward achieving them.
Bone previously won the Provo School District's PTA Golden Apple Teacher Award, the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals' Innovator of the Year Award and the Utah Distinguished Principal Award. He also was honored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals with an Award of Excellence.
Runners-up for the current UEA award were Frances Christensen, principal of Dixie Middle School, St. George, and Charles J. Ferguson, Fillmore Elementary School principal.