Saturday, March 21, 2009

What do you know about Tooele?

Per your request, I'm posting details about my first job offer.
I originally saw the position listed on Teachers-Teachers. I sent my application to the school and even followed up with an email address that I found on the school's website. I heard nothing.
I saw that this school was scheduled to be at the teacher job fair at BYU. I circled it on my map, but when I went by there was no one manning the booth.
After three hours of being charming, I was exhausted. I called my friend, Eliza, to hit her up for lunch plans. She said that she was waiting on Annie who was in an interview and then would be heading around the corner to eat in the cafeteria.
I decided to walk the floor one more time, with intentions to stop by the booth for Vista School to remind them that I was amazing. (Vista was my first interview and my number one preference as of right now.)
All the reps from Vista were tied up with other candidates. (Why bother looking elsewhere? You've got what you need right here.)
I circled back around and saw that someone was finally at the booth for Excelsior Academy. (There. I finally divulged the name of the school.)
The gentleman was interviewing a girl with gorgeous red hair but very little to say. He did far more talking than she did. I waited patiently, even after Eliza, Annie, and Eliza's friend, Holly, stopped to tell me their search for swag was a fail. I told them that I was going to at least introduce myself since I'd already sent my application in to this school and that I'd meet them in a bit.
When the red head finished up, I immediately took her chair and introduced myself. The gentleman doing the interview was Ernie Nix, the director (or in other words sole administrator/principal) of Excelsior.
I explained that I had already applied and he admitted that he was behind in looking at those applications.
He offered an interview right then and there. I took it.
I interviewed well despite the chaos around me at this teacher fair. He practically offered me a position at the end of my interview. He said that he wanted to make a couple phone calls but that he'd get back to me in a very timely manner.
I went home that night back to St. George. I stayed up for a couple hours looking into the Tooele area, trying to imagine if I could live there.
The next day, I went on an adventure with a friend of mine to Grafton and Silver Reef, both ghost towns in the local area. As I was about to leave the dirt roads of our adventure, I got a phone call.
It was Ernie Nix extending me a job offer. I was surprised with the timeliness of his phone call. He stated several times that I was a great match for the ideals and philosophy of this school.
I told him that I would have to think about it and would get back to him. He gave me his home and cell phone numbers.

What do I know about Tooele? It's about a 35 minute drive from Salt Lake City on the west side of the Oquirrh Mountains. The population is about 40,000. It's elevation is 4923 feet. The average summer high is 91. The average winter low is 20. The lowest recorded temperature was -16 set in 1990. (I experienced -27 working at Togwotee Lodge in Wyoming.)
There's more interesting city data here.
The local paper, the Tooele Trascript, is only printed twice a week. The local library seems nice. After two months of having a library card, a patron could check out 30 books at a time and keep them for three weeks.
The cost of living is lower than the US average. Housing seems not too difficult to come by.
If I find a potential husband, getting a marriage license is rather simple. I can even schedule an appointment to get one after business hours. They support marriage in Tooele.
They have county fair. They have an arts festival. They even have a simple recycling program.
I'm not sure what'd I'd do for a musical outlet since the only choral group I can find is the Tooele County Choral Society which seems rather elitist. They are made up of only 20 members. Oh, wait. I just found a news article in the Transcript that mentions the yearly Messiah performance. Thank goodness.
The Salt Lake City Astronomical Society hosts star parties in Stansbury Park on a regular basis. That brings joy to my heart.
There is at least on YSA ward. That's a good sign.

What do I know about the school's director, Ernie Nix? A quick Google search tells me that he used to weigh almost 400 pounds. When his wife had a cancer scare, he decided then and there he had to do something about his health. He's now a marathon runner.
His son was shot while serving in Baghdad.
He's served as principal at two elementary schools and two middle schools in the Salt Lake area with over 12 years of experience at these schools.
One of these schools had a student body that was made up of 95% in poverty and over half learning English. Within one year, their achievement scores jumped from 56 to 80, easily meeting AYP.
He seems like a decent enough guy to work for.

What do you know about Tooele? Would it be a good move for me?


Single Girl said...

ummm thats where KEvin B lives

you guys could re fall in love

Single Girl said...

oh and you can ride the fun bus to wendover from there

Tune said...

It sounds like a good place to be. The principal sounds like a very impressive and good guy to work for... It doesn't strike up my interests, but I've always enjoyed the warm... and I'm not going to be a teacher. ;D (Then you'd have competition!)

Well I hope you searches ponders and prayers come to a good conclusion.

Callahan's said...

Way to go Katie! You must have really impressed that principal. I'm so excited for you! So I take it that this school is a charter school or private school (must admit I'm a bigger fan and believer in the traditional public school).
I don't know anything about Tooele but heck it might be a super fun adventure! I can't wait to hear what you decide to do!

Nathan and Brooke LeBaron said...

Awesome Katie! Well my first thought is that if you move to Tooele we can't hang out...but I guess I never see you anyway so maybe if you move I can come visit you and I will see you more! Also if I were you I would go boy scouting first and see if there are any hotties! If there are then I say go for it!

Cameron and Nonie Gay said...

well, my sister used to live there, and it's really pretty taking the back roads through Eureka to get there. Honestly, not much happening, but you are only 35 minutes from Salt Lake so it's not too bad. Good luck with the decision making. I'm sure glad it's not me. ;)

Krissy said...

Katie, I love that area. That is one of the top places on our list to live permanently. My bro and sis in law live in Stansbury Park, which is right before Tooele and they love it! I would live there in a heartbeat! I love how close it is to SLC and how far it is from SLC...if that makes sense. Just make a list of pros and cons and see how they compare (if you took that job verses working for a public school or staying in saint george.) I did that when I was trying to decide if I wanted to even apply for teaching jobs and it helped me out a lot. Good luck babe!

Anonymous said...

I discovered your blog while looking for information on the Tooele County Choral Society. Don't assume because it is a small group that it is elitest. Joining the group is open to anyone who is interested and can sing, and they are always looking for new members; they aren't limited to 20 singers. If you would be interested in hearing them, they have a concert coming up on April 25th at the St. Barnabas Church in Tooele, 7:00 PM. The director, Denise McCubbins is one of the most accomodating directors you'll ever work with. Auditions are generally in January, but if you are interested in joining she will be more than happy to meet with you during the year.

Katie--the amazing one, not your other friend named Katie. She's amazing, too, but not the same Katie as me-- said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for that wonderful bit of information. I will have to contact her when I get settled in the area.
This is fantastic news!

Becky said...

I ran across your blog while searching for information on Ernie Nix. Congratulations on your graduation! I'll be graduating from Utah State with my BS in Elementary Education Fall 2010! I met Ernie Nix tonight at a parent's meeting for Excelsior Academy. I'll have a kindergartner, 6th and 7th grader going there next year. We're so excited to have the school opening. I've lived in Tooele for 6 years now and really like it. I think you will as well. Good luck with your decision and we hope to see you soon!


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