[dfads params='groups=4969&limit=1&orderby=random']

‘Feels like coming home,’ says new Lighthouse principal


Karen Bedont

By Submitted by Carbon School District

For Karen Bedont, the new Principal at Lighthouse High School, working with junior high/ middle school kids for the last six years was a great experience. But now she says she is going back to familiar territory.
“I feel like I am coming home,” she said. “I was here for 11 years before I went to Mont Harmon so it feels like I am coming home but leaving home at the same time because I loved being there too.”
Anyone who works in education knows there is a real difference between the three levels of teaching school in a public setting. Elementary, middle school and high school are all different experiences.
“Being at Mont Harmon was a good experience and it was a learning experience,” she said. “Between working with Carol Wells and Seth Allred (the former and the present principals) I learned a lot. So in that sense I think I am better prepared to come back here.”
When she left the Lighthouse in 2011, she wasn’t sure about what she would have to do. She had pretty much always worked with high school students in her career with both Carbon and Granite School District in Salt Lake.
“When I went to Mont Harmon I had to get my head around little kids,” she said. “Here and when I worked at Granite it was with secondary students. Now I have to go back to getting my mind around that.”
She graduated from the University of Utah in 1984. That is when she started working for the Salt Lake County district. There she taught at Granite Park Junior High until 1989, which she also said was like home.
“It is where I went to school when I was a student,” she said. High School for her last three years of public education.
In addition from 1987 until 1997 she worked in Student Support Services at Granite, a program which dealt with the homebound, which was called by staff the home and hospital program.
In that final year she and her husband, Paul, moved to Price because Paul got a position with the Division of Wildlife Resources in the Castle Valley area.
She said that in 1997 there were no jobs in the district available. So she became the Americorp Project Director for Carbon and Emery counties for that first year in the area.
“That was a lot of fun,” she said. “It was a good experience being a director of a program like that.”
She said in that job she worked a lot with the museums in Price and Castledale, the county commissions in both counties and the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. She then spent two years working at Pinnacle Canyon School. In 2000 she was hired at the Lighthouse when it was on Carbon Avenue. At that time there were just three teachers and about nine students enrolled in the program which was housed in portable classrooms. The second year she taught there is when the district moved the Lighthouse to where it is located now.
“It was while I was working here that I went and got my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership so I could become a principal,” she said.
People get nervous when a new supervisor comes on the scene and in a school there are more than employees that are concerned.Students at the Lighthouse have been asking questions of her.
“Some of the kids have asked me how things are going to change with me coming here now,” she said. “The Lighthouse is the Lighthouse. It has some long standing traditions and none of that is going to change. The only thing I want to see is for the students scores to go up.”
She also said that on the Lighthouse staff there are only two class II teachers. One other teacher is starting his fourth year. Everyone else on the faculty has less than three years of experience.
“From the get go mentoring the teachers, getting them where they want to be, making sure that everyone follows up with getting their level two licenses and then just building the staff is important to me,” she said. “My goal is to build the faculty.”
She says some of her excitement about the new position is the chance to observe positive changes in students lives. The intimacy of the situation is something she really loves.
“When you are at the Lighthouse and the kids improve, you see it,” she said. “When you are in a bigger school you don’t often see it as much. There are so many students.”
For the students at the Lighthouse things may be a little different than they have been, but the enthusiasm that Bedont has for their well being and education will be a positive they will appreciate.
Having someone “come home” will feel pretty good.

[dfads params='groups=1745&limit=1&orderby=random']
scroll to top