By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Former Moapa Valley High School chemistry teacher, Kelby Robison was recently announced as the new full-time assistant principal at Ute V. Perkins Elementary school in Moapa.
Leadership of the school was left open at the end of October when previous Perkins principal Holly Lee left the position. MVHS principal Hal Mortensen, who served as the school’s principal before Lee, agreed to oversee the school as principal while maintaining his job at the high school. Due to the time restraints of running two schools, however, the amount of time that Mortensen can spend on-site at Perkins is limited. So CCSD Associate Superintendent Grant Hanevold decided to hire a full-time assistant principal for Perkins to oversee the day-to-day running of the school and keep Mortensen on as principal to retain consistency. Robison was chosen for the job.
Robison is a familiar face to many. Though he has worked the last several years at Hyde Park Middle School in Las Vegas, he was born and raised in Moapa Valley.
Robison graduated from MVHS in 1993 and moved to Cedar City to begin his schooling at SUU. He left SUU for two years to serve an LDS mission in the West Indies, which included areas such as Trinidad, Tabago, Guyana, and St. Vincent island. Following his mission he returned to SUU where he married his wife, Lauralyn, before transferring to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he graduated with a degree in Biology Teaching in 2000.
Robison began his teaching career by being the only science teacher at North Sevier High School in Salina, UT. He describes this experience by saying that when it came to sciences, “I taught everything.”
After teaching there for two years, he joined the Clark County School District and transferred to Mojave High School where he taught biology and chemistry for two more years before landing a position back in his home town at MVHS.
Robison stayed at MVHS for the next eleven years, teaching everything from zoology and earth science, to life science and physiology, before finally settling in as the chemistry teacher for many years.
However, as life moved on, so did Robison. He had a desire to become a school administrator. So he transferred back into Las Vegas to take a job as the dean and eventually the assistant principal of Hyde Park Middle School, where he has been for the last three years.
“I loved it,” Robison said about his experience as a dean. “It was a good experience all the way around. I love working with the kids and helping them make changes and seeing them grow.”
As much as he enjoyed Hyde Park, however, when the opportunity came up to take an administrative job back in Moapa Valley, he jumped at it.
“When the opportunity arose at Perkins, I thought about it a lot,” Robison said. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to get back in the valley and get back to kids and education.”
“The fact that I would be at an elementary school was very enticing,” Robison added. “Elementary kids are so young and excited about learning and I love the idea of getting to focus again on helping kids in the classroom. Kids that age have amazing personalities and are so genuine and love learning and that enthusiasm is contagious.”
Robison started his position at Perkins on December 18. So far he says that it has really been a positive experience.
“It’s been awesome so far,” he said. “There are so many good people up there. The parents and teachers have been so helpful and gracious and everyone has been so welcoming. Christmas time has been a great time of year to start.”
Perkins Principal Hal Mortensen is equally excited to be working with Robison and to have him join their staff.
“On behalf of the Perkins Elementary family, we’re excited to have him on board,” Mortensen said. “I look forward to a great working relationship with him and together I think we’ll really be able to move the work along at this school.”
Robison is grateful for those that have helped make his transition smooth and those that help make Perkins such a great school.
“I would like to tell the parents thanks for all they do to support the school,” he said. “They’re very energetic and always willing to jump in and help. It makes a big difference to our school and I appreciate it.”