About Utah: Q&A with former Kearns, Cottonwood principal Reed Wahlquist

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  • Doug81 Clearfield, UT
    April 7, 2015 8:03 a.m.

    Dr. Walquist was the principal when I attended Bacchus Elementary (in Kearns), and I've always remembered how great he was (I was 7 years old!). I don't even remember what it was about him, but like many others have said, I can't recall very many other principals through the years & he was just so good with people.

    Random thoughts: I'm also LDS, and as a kid, I remember my parents had to explain to me that when they said, "The Prophet [Kimball or Benson] has asked us to [read our scriptures, etc.]", the Prophet/President of the Church was not Dr. Walquist.

    Weirdly, Dr. Walquist comes to my mind nearly every December on the last day of the kids' school before Christmas - I can hear his voice over the intercom, "Well, kids, it looks like it's going to be a White Christmas!"

    He did an awesome job, even after his demotion, even with the much younger kids.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 23, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    It seems that Dr. Walquist was at Kearns and Cottonwood at the height of their success. Again, it's too bad that Granite District made such a poor decision. I'm sure he did a stellar job at those elementary schools, but let's face it, a high school principal has a much broader impact on more people and the community at large.

  • Kelly Atkinson Salt Lake, UT
    July 23, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    I too had the great honor and privilege of attending a high school led by Dr. Wahlquist. The year was 1967 and the school was Kearns High School. In my public school experience I can’t recall a single Principal except Dr. Wahlquist. He mingled with the students, helped the community establish an identity, and treated young people like they were worthy of listening to. I too have never drank coffee and practice the predominant faith in this community, but I don’t believe what the Granite School District did was right, proper, or fair-minded. To make a man as great as Dr. Wahlquist finish out his career in an elementary school is a waste of his gift. He is a man that has a special way of connecting with emerging adults and making them believe that anything is possible. That is what he did for me and what he did for thousands of others.

  • Granny Saint George, UT
    July 21, 2014 9:40 p.m.

    I student taught at Cottonwood in 1973. I didn't have much interaction with Dr. Wahlquist but I know the teachers in my department and the students absolutely loved him. He did approve a field trip I requested. Pretty crazy for a student teacher to get a field trip!!! I'm glad to see he is doing well.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    I, too, taught under Dr. Wahlquist. He was one of the smartest men I've ever known and truly loved the kids. He constantly encouraged us to find better and more creative ways to reach our students.

    I hadn't realized it was the coffee machine that caused his demise. I suspect that it was more a matter of jealousy from the district officials. Cottonwood thrived as an experimental school and had a wonderful staff. What wasn't mentioned was that Dr. Wahlquist instituted the A/B schedule that almost all high schools are using today.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    July 21, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    And why did he install a coffee machine one may ask?
    It was intended to keep the students on campus, reducing risk of accidents and preventing tardies and skipped classes.

    I graduded in 1977, the last year Dr. W was at Cottonwood. Good man. Glad to hear he is well.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 21, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    I taught under Dr. Wahlquist. He was the finest principal I worked with; the others were all time-servers. His dismissal was a disgrace and deprived Utah of the services of one of the most talented and caring educators I have ever met. I'm happy to hear he is still thriving.