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A Year In Review

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S: Orion Jr. High

FC: Orion Jr. High | So many memories......

1: BS Degree- 1972 University of Utah BS Degree - 1975 University of Utah MS Degree - 1983 Weber State Univ. Admin. Cert. - 1995 Utah State Univ. | 1975-1994 - Bonneville High Teacher 1994-1995 - Bonneville High Administrative Intern 1995-1999 - Wahlquist Jr. Assistant Principal 1999-2001 - Rocky Mtn. Jr. Assistant Principal 2001-2003 - North Ogden Jr. Principal 2003-2008 - Orion Jr. Principal 2008-2009 - Weber High Principal | Steve Elsnab


3: MAKING MEMORIES | Orion is a constellation of stars that represent a fictional person in Greek Mythology. He was known to be a powerful hunter and "the dweller of the mountains". A powerful hunter must depend on wisdom, skill, knowledge and hard work. Orion is a millennial word that means far reaching, to have opportunities to expand our knowledge and learning in school, it also means a quest or to hunt, seek, pursuit, and to look for something. As a constellation, Orion is a collection of stars of varying ages and colors that make up its visible character. For a student to shine he must depend on the "light" or influence of many people including peers, teachers, parents, counselors, etc. Not too many light years from the constellation Orion is the Orion Nebulous, a celestial nursery of young stars that will appear in several million years within Orion. Students from our new Jr. High will become the "stars" shining for future generations. Orion is also a good choice because of the many far-reaching opportunities the galaxy presents. REACH FOR THE STARS!

4: Learn Today, Succeed Tomorrow | Original ORION JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL FACULTY & STAFF 2003 Steve Elsnab - Principal Nancie Watson - Asst. Principal Jean Potokar - Secretary Teachers Holly Barker Maxine Barnett Teresa Billings Bruce Brown Teri Chadwick Cindy Cunningham Rosie Farnsworth Francie Forsberg Flossie Givens Amy Hall Merrill Harris Linda Harrop Tammy Haws Howard Hensley Heather Lorimer Chad Marriott Joan McKinnie Dave Mellinger Laurie Moyes Charlie Nielson Matt Patterson Megan Peterson Mike Porter Kirk Reese Nick Reyes Linda Rhees Dixi Rivas Jessica Roberts Steve Short David Sowby Dani Tanner Debbie VanNimwegen Stephanie Wankier Kara Wardleigh Dani Wood Karen Yonemura Harold Zentz Maintenance - Rich Wardleigh, Rod Wayment Lunchroom - Teena Wallace Aides - Brook Gant, Sherrill Lowder, Rachelle Knight, Brenda Opheikens, Susan Pfeifer, Vicki Schouten, Heidi Sullivan, Chelsea Wheeler, Linda Wiggill, Juliann Anderson, Mary Harames, Morgan Wilkins | Assistant Principals 2003-2008 Nancie Watson Jeff Marchant Lynn Raymond James Shaw

6: Orion Jr. High

7: "The friends we meet on the path of life make the trip worth while." | Dear Steve, I had the honor and privilege of working with you for eight years. If there is one thing I would like to say, it is thank you. Steve, I just want to say thank you for being so great to work with and for teaching me so much and giving me opportunities to learn and grow and for helping me to advance my career. You have been a great example to me and I have learned so much from you. I enjoyed every minute of those eight years working with you. I think you are a great person and a tremendous leader. I have more respect for you than there are words to describe. You are one of those people that I admire and will always admire. I watched you come to work every day, work hard, and do the best you could for kids. You always treated me and others with dignity and respect. I could always lean on you for advice in dealing with the tough issues and situations. I consider you a friend and have missed not being able to work with you these last three years. You will be missed. I wish you nothing but the best. Enjoy your retirement and your much less stressful life. Thanks for everything! Steve Short

8: Steve, First off, congratulations on a great career in education and on retiring. I reflect often on the events of life and people we encounter and the impact that happens. When we first met I did not realize the impact you would have not only on my teaching but on how my career would head toward administration. You have had great influence for the positive on my life and job, I Thank You for that. Also, thanks for the trampoline, my kids love it and it is a great reminder of your impact on my life. Thanks, Chad Marriott | When you were doing interviews of all of us North Ogden Jr. teachers, I said something so crazy like "You're my 11th or 12th principal in my 18 years of teaching--does it really matter? We'll just keep on teaching and our principals just come and go." Not sure if that we stupid or brave..BUT, Steve, you did make a huge difference in our school as we all opened Orion and enjoyed a special camaraderie that I really haven't felt anywhere else before, or since! I wish you were still here. Thanks for your support and friendship. Cheers to you! Flossie Givens

9: Dear Steve, It is impossible for you to understand how many people you have impacted in your career. you just have to look at Orion to understand how your diligence, vision and attitude impact teachers and students each day. My favorite memory with you was the year Orion was built. I remember you took us on a tour of the school in the spring time. Your vision of the school and its potential was inspiring. You didn't simply take us through the school and let us see the structure, you showed us our individual classrooms (or at least where they would be). I remember the thought you put into the school with everything from the vision statement to the school song. You helped us feel ownership and excitement. When the final summer came, I still wasn't sure how the school would start out. Sure, we would eventually get it together, but the fall months would probably be incredibly chaotic. I only thought that for a moment. The second I entered that school during the summer, I knew that something great was going to happen in that place. You organized everything and you accounted for every desk, book and file cabinet from the beginning. Some of my favorite days were spent that summer putting the library together and seeing the school become an actual school. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe the feeling in that school that first year. Under your leadership, the kids meshed together, Everyone followed your lead and took pride in the school. Faculty, staff and students came together because we loved the school and we loved being under your leadership. Steve, you are fantastic!!! Working with you helped me really understand who I am as a teacher and what I can achieve. You have the ability to see potential in people and help them achieve that potential. You are one in a million and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be impacted by a man as great as you. Sincerely, Amy Hall | Each memory we keep with care means future happiness to share.

10: Steve, I just wanted to take a minute to wish you well on your retirement and congratulate you on a great and successful career in education. You have worked hard and certainly deserve a rest. We have missed you a ton since you left Orion and in your absence have come to realize even more what a huge influence you had on this school. Thanks to you, Orion started out to be and continues to be a great school. To this day, three years later, we are still reminiscing about the good old days when you were here, running this school like a well oiled machine. I hope you'll take some time to do all the things you haven't had time to do these past few years. Happy Retirement! Teri Chadwick | Steve, Thank you, so much, for hiring me on as a new teacher...I could not have asked for a better start to my teaching career. thank you for always being so quick to help and support me as a teacher. Thanks for all of the smiles and words of will truly be missed! I only wish that you could have spent the last few years here at Orion as I really enjoyed working with you. Good luck and best wishes as you start on another adventure in life... retirement! Love, Melanie Baker Wayman

11: LIVE WELL LAUGH OFTEN LOVE MUCH | Steve, You have been such a good mentor for me and you will not soon be forgotten. You were willing to turn me loose with seven class periods of science at Orion after just part time teaching experience and no official teaching license. (You are a brave soul!) That opportunity has been the best one of my career. You put up with an eyewash station overflow flood in my classroom and a menagerie of atoms, earths, cells, and extinct animals hanging from my ceiling. You supported me when faced with angry parents and crazy adolescents. You let me start the S>T>A>R> Science Club without worry about red tape and special permission. Over the past 6 years, that club has helped over 900 students find the fun in science. You also helped institute a Science Lab elective class for 7th graders at Orion, allowing these malleable minds to experience more than just "the core" curriculum. You supported sending kids to International Science Fairs by buying expensive display boards and attending their awards ceremonies. You showed genuine concern for me and my family as you used your influence to help Daloy move into a teaching position at North Ogden Jr.--something that has changed his life too. You put up with my own children pestering you in auditoriums and you always had a smile for me when we met in the hallway or at football games in the fall. You gave me constant encouragement, even during reprimands. I love teaching, and that love was developed partly by you. I can't say "thank-you" enough! --Andrea Harris | "Retirement, a time to do what you want, when you want, were you want, and how you want to do it!

12: Mr. Elsnab, You're the best. thanks for helping me through school the past 6 years. It was good knowing I had a friend in the office. As a Warrirette, that meant a lot. You helped me keep focused on education and I appreciate your encouragement. Good luck being retired. Stacee Harris | Mr. Elsnab, Congratulations on your retirement. I hope the best part of life is now beginning for you. The schools are losing a valuable asset though. I also wanted to thank you, as a teacher, for your leadership, friendship and support you gave us and me personally. I have never felt more appreciated and valued as when You were the principal. Your friendship means a lot to me. As a parent, thank you for the education you provided for my children. They were looked after in many ways and I knew they would be taken care of. They felt they had an advocate if needed and though highly of you.(especially for sticking with Stacee for 6 years! And helping Scott with swimming and life) Have fun! Merrill Harris | Coach Elsnab, I rememer you would always ask about how the swim meets went, asking individual swimmers how their times were improving. You also made sure that every swim meet had a teacher there representing the school, which meant that my Dad got to go to all of the meets. One day, you pulled me in your office and gave me advice about distance swimming, I'll never forget that. Thank you coach for all that you have done. You truly are a great example, and a good friend. Scott Harris

13: Retirement may be an ending, a closing, but it is also a new beginning. | Mr. Elsnab: Thanks for being such a great leader. You were the deal boss to work for. You valued your employees, cared about students and had a rock solid work ethic. I feel very fortunate to have worked with the best in the business. I hope I can take many of the things you taught me and implement them not only in education, but in life in general. Thanks for supporting teachers and allowing us to do our jobs with your never ending support. I remember having an angry mother come in to your office to see you. She was unhappy with me, but you took the brunt of her displeasure. I remember checking with you after she left to see if I was going to get my share of her displeasure. I asked you how upset she was with me; you just chuckled a little and said "Let's just say she is not going to be nominating you for Teacher of the Year". I think that was my first year at Orion. I know this same scenario happened many other times, but I knew I always had your support as long as I was doing the right things. Also during my first year at Orion, I kept wondering "Is this school (Orion) for real?" I could not believe what a great school I had found. By about Christmas of my first year working with you, I knew it was for real. I kept paying attention and trying to figure out what made this school so great. All fingers point back to Mr. Steve Elsnab. Thanks for all you have done for me and the thousands of lives you have influenced. I am a better person for having known you. I hope our paths continue to cross in the future. Happy trails my friend. You are an amazing man. Sincerely, Kyle Hansen

14: Dear Mr. Elsnab, Congratulations on your much deserved, long awaited retirement! In the 30+ years you have worked as an educator and administrator I am sure you have made a difference in many lives. I cannot begin to say the change you made in my life. You pushed me like no other person ever has. This made me stretch way past what I thought I could ever accomplish. You would not take no for an answer, no matter how many excuses I gave you. You believed I could go back to school and excel when I had no clue it was possible. Now I have a job that I am extremely happy in, and am hopefully making a difference in the lives of our special ed kids. Thank you, I will never forget you and your great big smile! I wish you the best in all the things you do when you retire. Jackie Cunningham, Orion Jr. High | Dear Steve, I just wanted to express my appreciation to you for being such a great leader and mentor. You have always gone out of your way to help me and have provided guidance and words of encouragement that have assisted me with my professional goals. I admire your abilities and skills and only hope that one day I may live up to the high standards you have set both professionally and in your personal life. I hope we can continue to stay in touch and wish you only the best. Enjoy retirement and take it easy. Your friend and colleague, Nicholas Reyes

15: My favorite memory of you was in a parent meeting with a particularly unrealistic mother! Her son was not succeeding in any of his classes, and several teachers had recommended that he be tested for Special Ed., but she wouldn't hear of it. The boy never came to class and never turned anything in, but the mother was insisting that we just continue putting up with it and was frustrated with us for insisting on more from her son. She promised she was going to make sure he would come to class every day and turn his assignments in every day. She said, "I'll come with him myself--every day--because I care about my son that much!" You, trying to get her to see that that wouldn't be doing her son any favors or teaching him any accountability, said, "And what are you going to do when he goes on to high school?" The mother responded, "I'm going to go to school with him every day, there, too, if I have to! Because I, at least, am committed to helping my son to succeed!" You asked, "And what are you going to do when he goes on to college?" And she said, "I'm going to go with him every day there, too!" And you said, "And what about when it comes time for him to go out to job interviews?" And she added, "I'll go with him to those, too!" And fabulous you just chuckled and said, "Lady, if you're going to have to be going with him to job interviews, that boy is never going to get hired." I just sat there whooping it up in my head--Yeah!! Go, Steve! You had me at "Lady,..."! Thanks, Steve! Dani Wood | Retire from work, but not from life. MK Soni

16: Steve, I really appreciate the years I worked with you and I thought you were a superb principal. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to come to Orion Jr. High with you and I hope that your retirement is everything you hoped it would be. Thank you and have fun! Sherrill Lowder | Steve, Thank you so much for all that you have done for students but most especially for teachers. You were the first principal that I was able to work with and have been my favorite! We were ALL sad to see you go but were happy for you. Thank you for standing by us and making Orion a pleasant place to work. I feel honored that I had the opportunity to work with you, even if was for a short time. I will be forever grateful that I met such a wonderful principal and person. I wish you all the best in your life. Weber School District will not be the same without you. Nancy Hales | Steve, I will always remember and respect you because you gave me my first job. I couldn't have asked for a better school than Orion. I am so glad you had faith in me. I also loved how you would always stand up for us teachers and support us. And, I miss your short meetings! Heather Smith

17: Steve, I just wanted to say thanks for making Orion such a great place to work. You helped create and maintain an atmosphere where I could teach and try to inspire my German students to achieve. Thanks for your support for all of my crazy activities, especially our Oktoberfest celebration and the GAPP exchange program. It is a great feeling to know that your principal is always behind you 100 percent! May you always have the health, the time and the money to swim whenever and where ever you want! (And you can always invite me as a guide if it is anywhere in Germany!) Vielen Dank fur alles! Harold Zentz Steve, You are a wonderful man! You supported me as a teacher and as a person. You genuinely cared about me and my family. I appreciate your kindness and friendship. Good luck in all you do! Love, Kara Wardleigh

18: Dear Steve, Education in Utah is sorely going to miss one of our best! Thank you for your confidence in me and my ability to teach math. Thank you for encouraging me to be a lifetime learner and sending me to enlightening conferences. You made it look easy to be an administrator, which I have since found out is not the case at all. Thank you for not always making us implement the latest educational trends. It was so nice not to have to continually alter programs that worked. Additionally, I appreciated the way you stuck up for the teachers and trusted us a professionals. You are a great leader and friend whose example I shall always treasure. Thank you so much! Teresa Billings | Dear Steve, I wanted to take the time to thank you for your service not only to Weber School District, but especially to Orion. You made this school great, and many of the teachers here are great teachers because of you. You're the best administrator I've ever worked for, and you made me a better teacher because I so respected you that I wanted to do a good job for you. I appreciated that you were fair and would go to bat for me, but wouldn't be afraid to tell me if I was in the wrong. You made sure to tell me when I was doing a good job, and since I'm like a dog who needs a pat on the head every now and then, that really made a difference. We at Orion have already said goodbye, but to say goodbye for now is much harder because we know you won't be back. You're the yardstick that all administrators will be measured by, and I have no doubt that they'll never compare. Enjoy your retirement and good luck in the future. Denise Gnoit

19: Dear Steve, I really appreciated the trust you showed in hiring me that first year at North Ogden Jr. High. I learned so much that first year working with the more seasoned teachers. Opening Orion was a fantastic opportunity for us to put together another faculty that collaborated so well together--it has worked out quite well; we all really enjoy one another as much as we enjoy teaching the students. You set the tone for the school with your expectations of professional behavior and achievement for both the teachers and the students. I think Orion has gained a reputation for both in the community--we now have all the relatives of the students who started here moving into the neighborhood! You did a great job and we will always remember that you were our first Principal at Orion. Work just as hard at enjoying your retirement! Debbie VanNimwegen Thank you for being a great administrator. I've only been teaching for 8 years but have had somewhere near a dozen different administrators. You were the best by far. You made Orion an enjoyable place to work and inspired me to be a better teacher. Jason Paige

20: It's The Little Things In Life That Matter | Steve, First of all, thank you for the opportunity to be your secretary at Orion, those were the best five years of my career, very fun years. I have so many memories of being at Orion; the princess-her trophy, you always comforting our crying counselor and reminding her that she was there to counsel the kids, not the kids counseling her, our chocolate stash, candy can stash, our five year paper stash, the never ending boxes in the cafeteria to be unpacked, the sunflower fields across the street, you putting the school on lock down unbeknown to any of us in the office, including you, the pride you took in our new school, your labors to get Rich to keep it clean and many many more memories. It was always a joy to come to work every day. You made Orion such a great school. You truly cared about the faculty, staff and students. You are a great administrator! Thank you also for your friendship, I consider you not only a great boss but also a great friend. Thank you for the concern you have always had for my family. Thank you for including me in school items, your induction in the University of Utah's Hall of Fame, you always made me feel like part of your team and a good friend. Your leadership has had such a positive influence on so many people and student's lives. I have really enjoyed and have felt so lucky to have worked with you. Your friendship and family really mean a lot to me. Thank you! I wish you the best of everything in your retirement--enjoy it! A friend always, Jean Potokar

21: Steve, It was a pleasure working with you and getting the opportunity to get to know you. You made Orion Jr. High School a great place to work and a great place for my kids to attend school. Thanks for the opportunities you have given me, the game cards you gave me and for keeping my kids in line both at Orion and Weber. You are an excellent Principal! I hope to see you at some of the games. Enjoy retirement! Amanda Nielsen | Hi Steve, I want to take just a minute to congratulate you on your retirement and thank you for being such a positive influence as I served and continue to serve as a substitute teacher. I just checked my past planners and found that I met you on Friday, January 14, 2005, when you interviewed me for a substitute job. I sincerely appreciate your support as sensitive issue came up while I was subbing. I've shared my feelings about you with other teachers and they always responded, "oh, I wish he was still our principal." I couldn't have asked for a better principal as I launched a new venture in my life as a substitute. In my book, you're the best! I wish you good health and the very best your future has to offer. Thanks for everything. Bill Fidler

22: So Many Memories...... | Weber High Team ... | There is a whole new kind of life ahead, full of experiences just waiting to happen. Some call it "retirement," I call it bliss. --Author Unknown

23: Steve, Well, this is something I have wanted to do for awhile now but I didn't want it to be too premature. Now that you are retiring, this is as good a time as I can think of to say thank you. Thank you for showing me what it means to have integrity, to show fairness, and to consider everything and everyone before making a decision. You showed me how to be strong but you never took the people part of the business out of education. You always made the best decisions for kids even when they were inconvenient. You gave kids the benefit of the doubt and taught me while you were teaching them. I will always consider myself blessed to have learned how to be an administrator from you. You patiently tutored me and supported me during the pursuit of my me strength and encouragement to complete it that I did not know I had. I counted myself lucky to have been there the day they honored you at the University of Utah and to be able to talk about the Utes when you had a minute. Steve, you always helped me put into perspective family and work and were candid about how to balance the two. I remember our conversations about family and life as much as I do about the schools and its programs. Your support during my father's illness will never be forgotten. It's amazing how I consider you a father-figure and a friend, as well as someone with whom I worked. In short, I appreciate all you have been to me and wish you every bit of good in retirement as you can get. You deserve it. You leave a trail of people who admire you and who will be better, more effective, more caring administrators as a result of your service. Thanks Steve. Your friend always, Rod Belnap

24: Steve, One of my first memories of you was at Wahlquist. You were the Vice Principal and I was a counselor just hired. We had been having trouble with girls leaving red lipstick lips all over the bathroom mirrors. You wanted a confession and we were not having any luck until you mentioned that we clean the bathroom mirrors with toilet water. The girls quickly announced that they were guilty and needed to go get shots or something. I watched you be stern and then behind closed doors laugh at the kids knowing that one day they would grow up. You always refer to most kids as "Bounders" and it is evident that you care about them in a profound way. You have been a good Friend and Mentor for the last 14 years. I have always tried to emulate your love of kids knowing that they will make mistakes and that is all part of the growing up process. You were stern when needed and knew that the kids would do best if they had structure. I have tried to make that part of who I am. You have played a huge role in my development. You are a person for me to look up to and copy. There is not a day that goes by that I don't reflect on situations that help make decisions in the present. I will miss you most because I have had the great fortune to work with you the longest. It will be hard to not have you at work on a daily basis to share experiences. You are, and always will be my boss! Steve Short

25: Dear Steve, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for a wonderful experience at Weber High School. You have been such a great mentor and friend. I have learned so much from you as a leader. As I have said many times before, you would never know that this past year was your final year before retiring. you have been dedicated and loyal to us as an administrative team as well as to your school. I truly admire these qualities as a leader and will remember that as my time grows near for retirement. Although I only had the opportunity to work with you for a couple of years, I have many great memories. We have shared many hysterical laughs from the movie quotes that Rod always made, except for Jim, he needs to watch more movies, to the off the wall humor from Larry. Don't forget my "party foul" and the great laughs that we all shared about that. You really have been so much fun to work with! I have really enjoyed and have felt so lucky to work with such a great administrative team. I don't think that there is another team like us out there or ever has been. Thanks to the great leader that you are to us. I hope that you enjoy your retirement. You truly deserve it. You have given so much to education and you deserve some time for yourself and to relax. I hope that we get phone calls from you as you are enjoying your time playing golf or just throwing a ball to your dogs out on the back porch. Good luck to you and all of your future endeavors in your retirement! Again, thank you for everything. You will be missed. Good Luck! Nicole Meibos | Retirement is wonderful. It's doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it.--Gene Perret

26: Mr. Elsnab, You were my first Principal as I worked on my internship at Weber High School. You were my first contact into administration, and I couldn't have asked for a better teacher, mentor and friend. Steve, you were always the first to say "good job", when I had handled an issue correctly, and you were also the first to say "now next time, you might want to think of this, or look at this". You always said, "Gather the best information you can, make your decision and then stick with it". This has been the best piece of advice I have heard so far. I always know when you came across an article or a book you thought I needed to look into, because there was always a copy of it on my desk the next morning. You even left tabs in the leadership magazines you gave me. You strove to make me better in my administrative duties. You have been a great teacher and mentor and hopefully when my time has concluded as an administrator I hop to leave my stamp on education like you have. I'd like to thank you for your help, your support and your continued teaching through my first year as an administrator. You have taken an interest not only in me as a team mate, but you've been interested in my family, my hobbies, and my opinions. You have an uncanny ability to make us feel as you had been in the administrative game for years. I appreciate the way you allowed me to make decisions and to work out things on my own. You have dedicated your life to education and I hope you now get to enjoy the fruits of your many labors. Thanks again Steve, your picture will hang on Weber's wall of principals proudly. I am proud to say that Steve Elsnab was my mentor. Sincerely, Larry Hadley Weber High

27: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. ~Cathy Allen | Orion friends we lost along the way....but will always be in our Memories Linda Harrop Howard Hensley


30: Thanks for the memories...... | Retiring yes....but It is the beginning of another exciting chapter in your life. May it bring greater personal fulfillment then you ever thought possible. Enjoy & Congratulations! | Life brings us simple pleasures every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories

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  • Title: A Year In Review
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  • Started: about 7 years ago
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