The Morgan News Blog Schools Valeri Hoopes retires from MHS.
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Valeri Hoopes retires from MHS.

Retiring after 37 years in education is probably the best birthday present Valerie Hoopes could have given herself.

Hoopes was born in Afton, Wyoming, being raised on a farm in Fairview Wyoming. After graduating from Star Valley High School, she attended Brigham Young University, BYU-Hawaii, Weber State University, and graduated from Southern Utah University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology Composite. In addition, she has an endorsement in Integrated Science.

Hoopes’s first teaching position was at Cedar City High School where she taught Biology and Human Physiology for 12 years. In 1997, she was hired to teach Biology and Physical Earth Science. In her 25 years at MHS, Hoopes has taught Earth Science, Human Biology, Biology, Honors Biology, and AP Biology.

Shana Croft who did her student teaching with Hoopes ten years ago and has taught side by side with Hoopes ever since said she was able to witness first-hand what a great teacher she is. “She is my mentor and friend; and her dedication, talent, and humor will be greatly missed at Morgan High.”

“I became a teacher because a high school teacher helped me realize my love of biology and helping others discover the world around us,” said Hoopes. “What I love about teaching is knowing and seeing the evidence that I’ve made an impact on someone’s life, also witnessing students develop a desire to learn more about science.” Her fellow teacher, Stacy Floyd commented that Hoopes was an inspiration to her oldest son Jonathon, who chose Genetics as his first college major.

Her husband of nearly 40 years, Renn, of his wife’s teaching career, “She has worked her guts and liver out for 37 years to help students in Morgan and Cedar City. She has had about 90% of her AP students pass the test to receive college credit. She spends hundreds of hours outside the school day correcting and preparing her lessons. She deserves every ounce of recognition she gets and then some!”

Michael Ard, another science teacher who taught with Hoopes for 4 years said, she has been a great mentor and friend and will be greatly missed at Morgan High School. He continued, “She was a dedicated, hard-working teacher until the very last day. I only saw a fraction of the time she would spend preparing lessons and fun activities for the students to learn from. She was almost always one of the last to leave the school. She would always listen to what students had to say even if it was at an inconvenient time or when she was frustrated or busy. When a student was excited about a new thing they got to try or learn, she was genuinely excited that they were excited and she’d show it. She is the ultimate example to me of what it means to be a good teacher.”

Rebecca Fenton, also a fellow science teacher of Hoopes, said she was a wonderful example of what it means to be a teacher. “She was always willing to help and do extra work for the Science Olympiad. She cared greatly about the students and those she worked with as well. Students enjoyed having her as a teacher and looked up to her as a role model.”

“Being a teacher has allowed me to keep learning and growing,” commented Hoopes. “This is what I hope I have instilled in my students. My main goal as a teacher is to inspire kids to think beyond their comfort zones and to always ask questions with the desire to find answers. Thirty-seven years seems like a long time but looking back, those years are so rewarding that it really doesn’t seem that long. I will certainly miss sharing what I know with students and my association with them. It has been a privilege to work with amazing individuals that have been great examples and great friends.”

Hoopes and her husband, both retired May 26, 2022. Their three children, Casey, Kylie and Kody celebrated their parents May 14, with an open house, inviting fellow colleagues and the community to celebrate their many years in education.

Verlene Johnson - Schools Editor
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