History of Jennie P. Stewart

An Historical Recollection of Jennie P. Stewart Elementary
(1978 -2012)

Jennie P. Stewart is a beautiful school located at 1155 North Main in Centerville, Utah. It was dedicated on Nov. 21, 1978 and is named for Jennie Parrish Stewart, a dedicated educator that taught in Morgan and Centerville for 43 years.

Jennie Parrish Stewart was born in 1871. After two years of college she began teaching at the age of 19. She was a very loving and understanding individual, and she was very thorough and expected a great deal from her students. She loved everybody. She was always happy with other's success and was never envious of anyone. Upon retiring Mrs. Stewart was quoted as saying, “I think no one enjoyed teaching as much as I did.”

Over the years Stewart has had many dedicated principals that have served the school, students and community. They are: Frank White, Jay Tolman, Syd Dickson, Randy Jensen, Kathryn Washburn, Kathleen Bagley, and currently Vonzaa Hewitt. Along with dedicated leadership Stewart has had a history of top notch faculty and staff. It has continually had teachers and staff who are dedicated to the success of every student. Stewart has a family feel to it. It is a place where everybody knows your name and they are always glad you came.

The following are some reflections from principals and staff…where Stewart now stands was once a pasture of dairy cows, the community was so excited to have a school built there in 1978 to educate their children. Stewart started with approximately 178 students, and in the years to follow went from a few classrooms filled, to overflowing, with four portables added to accommodate the growth. Through the years there have been boundary changes, remodels and many updates. Through all these changes though, one thing that hasn't changed is the quality of Stewart's staff. Although teachers and staff have come and gone, all those who are here at any given time create a quality environment of learning. As you walk in the building there is a feeling of community and caring with all those you come in contact with.

Stewart has really seen the growth of technology as well. In 1984, the school had only one computer, by 1992 there was an entire lab. As of 2014, we have three full student labs, mini labs in each classroom and eight iPad labs. Stewart also tends to be a school chosen to pilot many programs. The school has a history of being on the cutting edge of “Best Practices” when it comes to the instruction of students, the latest of which is our Chinese Immersion program which educates students half day in English, and half in Chinese.

The most befitting way to sum up Stewart Elementary is through poetry. Stewart has had some very talented poets throughout the years, teachers- Gay Farnworth and Heidi Birth. The poem, “Jennie P. Observer,” is written by them and explains Jennie P. Stewart better than a mere summary of facts could.

Jennie P. Observer
Jennie P. Stewart is and will continue to be a place where students and staff are Safe, Responsible, Respectful and Successful.