Penny Bassett will be the new Principal of the Paris Elementary School starting the 2020-2021 school year. Janet Lindsay, the current Principal, is moving on to take Steve Heeder’s place at the Middle School as he is retiring.
Mrs. Bassett graduated with her Elementary Certificate from Utah State University. She also has a Masters in Curriculum and Tech from the University of Phoenix. She has been working on an Admin degree at Lamar University out of Texas.
She is from a little town in South Central Utah called Marrysville. She met her husband at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. He had to transfer for his degree to Utah State University, so she followed him there; however, she finished first. So that he could stay there, she applied at Hill Air Force Base and here in Bear Lake for positions. She was actually awarded both positions, but she chose to take the one here. They have been here ever since.
She and her husband, Kirk, have five children: Cody (25) who is married to Shannah Crane and has a little boy named Ridge; Tyler (21) who married Matti Critchlow in January, Nikole (19) who married Hunter Henderson from Dayton in October, Dani (15) who is a freshman at Bear Lake High School, and Joslyn (12) who is finishing sixth grade. They absolutely love the Bear Lake Valley and have had opportunities to live in Liberty and Paris, but they have settled in St. Charles. They feel it is a great place to raise kids. Kirk works in Garden City for Bear Lake Fun Time, which is a tourist business.
Mrs. Bassett will be teaching part time as well as performing the duties of Principal. She will be teaching third grade, and she says she is a little nervous about it as she has only taught fourth grade, fifth grade, and up. But she loves kids, and Paris is where she actually started under Grant Messerly. She is excited to be back, and says that Paris Elementary has an amazing staff that she is excited to work with.
Right now her plan is to go in and see how things at the school are run. She says that Mrs. Lindsay did a great job with community involvement and she definitely wants to keep that going. They also have an amazing Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). She says that the parents are more involved there than she has seen in a lot of schools and she wants to keep that up and running as well. As for changes, until she gets to know everyone and gets a feel for things, she doesn’t plan on changing anything.
Mrs. Bassett says that her oldest boy, Cody, went to Paris Elementary, and when she taught there as well it was an amazing school. They work hard to teach the right curriculum and work really hard to make sure all the kids get the right advantage. The staff works together very well and is great. She says she has never heard anything negative about them. The custodial staff works hard and everything is always very clean. The school lunches are fantastic, and she says she is excited to have lunches there. She is also really excited to get to know the west side of the valley again as she has mostly taught at the other schools in the valley.
In fact, Mrs. Bassett taught at the middle school for three years when it was in Paris, but she also taught at Georgetown Elementary for one year. She then taught at the middle school where it is now for 20 years, teaching mostly eighth-grade math.
When asked how her kids feel about her teaching, she said that as most “teacher kids” do, they didn’t like her teaching. However, it didn’t matter which school they were at, they had the choice to not have her as a teacher but they always chose her.
She says that she has enjoyed every kid she has ever taught. She says, “They become a part of you. When I say I have five kids, I really mean I have a lot more.”
She went on to say, “We have good education here in the valley, and we have some very accomplished kids, which is due to educators, staff, and the kids themselves. I loved every moment teaching at the middle school, but I’m excited to get back to elementary. I just love to teach.”