Agency History #436


Granite School District was created through a unanimous resolution passed by the Board of County Commissioners of Salt Lake County on December 15, 1904. The newly created district had a population of about 15,000 and served approximately 4,258 students residing in Salt Lake County school representative districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. In the fall of 1992, the board adopted the following mission statement to lead the district into the twenty-first century: "To prepare every student with the knowledge and skills needed for lifelong success in a changing world." [Granite School District Adopted Budget 2001-2002, p. 24.]


Granite School District conducts an educational program for kindergarten and grades one through twelve, organized into elementary, junior high and senior high schools. Granite School District is the second largest of Utah's 40 school districts, serving 70,649 students in 90 schools. The district operates 9 accredited high schools (grades 9-12), 15 junior high schools (grades 7-8), and 63 elementary schools (grades K-6), along with several special program schools and educational centers. Granite School District is committed to providing the best educational opportunity possible to every student enrolled in the district. Reported enrollment for the 2001-2002 school year is 70,649. Granite District comprises approximately 300 square miles in Salt Lake County and includes several urban and suburban communities. The district spans the Salt Lake Valley from the Wasatch Mountains on the east to the Oquirrh Mountains on the west, with a population of 375,000. District boundaries resemble a dumb bell shape with the Salt Lake City District to the north and Murray City and Jordan districts to the south. District offices are located in Salt Lake City.


The district is governed by an elected Board of Education comprised of five board members. Each board member is independently elected from a geographic precinct in the district. Board members serve for a period of four years, at which time they may run for re-election. School Board elections are held in November in conjunction with the general election. Board members elect a president and vice president at the time new members are sworn into office. The board directly appoints two principal officers, the superintendent and the business administrator/treasurer. Both positions are established and required by state law. Other administrative employees are recommended by the superintendency and are then approved by the board. The district is also subject to the general oversight of the Utah State Office of Education. This includes a budget approval process that is compliance oriented and is more ministerial in nature than substantive. The district is fiscally independent.

County commissioners on July 3, 1905, approved a resolution appointing the county school representatives from districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 as members of the Board of Education of the new Granite School District. The board was directed and authorized to meet on Monday, July 10, 1905, at 2 p.m. at the Central School House in Farmers Ward in School Representative Precinct No. 2. The county school law provided that the county superintendent was to serve simultaneously as county superintendent as well as superintendent of both Granite District and Jordan District. The new Granite Board of Education employed a clerk of the board and three supervisors (northwest section, northeast section, and southern section) to oversee the district’s educational program.


Granite School District is under the direction of a five-member Board of Education, with day-to-day operations overseen by the Superintendent of Schools. Included in the superintendent's office are the business administrator (business services) and four assistant superintendents who oversee Support Services, Instructional Services, School Services, and Program Services. Granite contracts with 3,562 full-time certified teachers and over 1,400 full-time support staff.

Granite District was formed through the consolidation of 22 of the 36 small school districts in Salt Lake County--districts 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 46, 47, 48, 50, 53, 55, 59, and 64. The respective boards transferred all school property to the Board of Trustees of Granite School District. The board changed school names in 1908. The original boundaries, which corresponded to the boundaries of the Granite Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have shifted through the years due to the annexation process. Enrollment in Granite School District increased nearly five times between 1960 and 1970, from approximately 13,000 to more than 63,000.

J. W. Smith, July 1, 1905-July 1, 1907 (served simultaneously as Salt Lake County superintendent and as superintendent of Granite and Jordan School districts, July 1905 through June 1907)
B. W. Ashton, July 1, 1907-August 25, 1912 (died August 25, 1912)
Charles H. Skidmore, September 21, 1912-July 1, 1917
John M. Mills, August 13, 1917-July 1, 1919
J. T. Worlton, July 1, 1919-July 1, 1920
D. W. Parratt, July 26, 1920-July 1, 1925
Francis W. Kirkham, July 1, 1925-July 1, 1929
Calvin S. Smith, July 1, 1929-July 1, 1939
Philo T. Farnsworth, July 1, 1939-July 1, 1944
David Gourley, July 1, 1944-July 1, 1957
Elmer J. Hartvigsen, July 1, 1957-September 15, 1971
T. H. Bell, September 15, 1971-July 1, 1974
John Reed Call, July 16, 1974-December 1987
Loren G. Burton, December 1987-July 1, 1996
Stephen F. Ronnenkamp, July 1, 1996-present

Amos S. Gabbott, July 1, 1905-January 13, 1914
E. R. Morgan, January 13, 1914-June 30, 1917
D. W. Parratt, July 1, 1917-July 26, 1920
James E. Moss, August 9, 1920-December 31, 1922
Matthew Miller, January 10, 1923-July 6, 1923
Alma Swenson, July 21, 1923-January 1934
Bert E. Mix, January 1934-January 1939
H. A. Sorensen, January 1939-January 1944
J. V. Bolinder, January 1944-January 1945
C. R. Naylor, January 1945-January 1946
Calvin S. Smith, January 1946-January 1947
I. T. Nelson, January 1947-January 1948
J. V. Bolinder, January 1948-January 1949
A. T. Shurtleff, January 1949-January 1950
J. E. Papanikolas, January 1950-January 1951
Calvin S. Smith, January 1951-January 1952
F. B. StillmanJanuary 1952-January 1953
J. Victor Bess, January 1953-January 1954
M. E. Christensen, January 1954-January 1955
O. K. Fotheringham, January 1955-January 1956
O. Thayne Acord, January 1956-January 1957
Bernard P. Brockbank, January 1957-January 1958
J. Victor Bess, January 1958-January 1959
Burton F. Brasher, January 1959-January 1960
Zelph Y. Erekson, January 1960-January 1961
Forace Green, January 1961-January 1963
Jay O. Brinton, January 1963-January 1964
O. Thayne Acord, January 1964-January 1965
Mrs. Howard Summerhays, January 1965-January 1966
Richard W. Winder, January 1966-January 1967
Jay O. Brinton, January 1967-January 1968
Keith C. Brown, January 1968-January 1969
Mrs. Howard Summerhays, January 1969-January 1970
William B. Martin, January 1970-January 1971
Richard W. Winder, January 1971-January 1972
Grant H. Linford, January 1972-January 1973
Allen C. Brown, January 1973-January 1974
Keith C. Brown, January 1974-January 1975
Gordon W. Evans, January 1975-January 1976
Gary C. Swensen, January 1976-January 1977
Dawn R. Curtis, January 1977-January 1978
Larry Bradshaw, January 1978-January 1979
Grant Linford, January 1979-January 1980
Miriam Farnsworth, January 1980-January 1982
Bruce B. Anderson, January 1982-January 1985
Patricia G. Sandstrom, January 1985-January 1987
Gary C. Swensen, January 1987-January 1989
Lynn D. Davidson, January 1989-January 1991
Judy Larson, January 1991-January 1993
Robert B. Arnold, January 1993-January 1995
Patricia G. Sandstrom, January 1995-January 1997
Lynn D. Davidson, January 1997-present

COMPILED BY: W. Glen Fairclough, Jr., , April 2002


Gooderham, Marie E. History of Granite School District, 1904-1976: its Roots in Utah and American Education. Salt Lake City: Granite School District, Office of Instructional Services, November 1977.

Granite School District. Adopted Budget. 2000-2001, 2001-2002)

Granite School District. Report of Public Schools of Granite School District in Salt Lake County, Utah, from July 1905 to December 1914.

Granite School District. World Wide Web site, (August 2000 and April 2002)

Moffitt, John Clifton. A Century of Service, 1860-1960: A History of the Utah Education Association. Salt Lake City: Utah Education Association, 1960.

Moffitt, John Clifton. The History of Public Education in Utah. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1946.

Salt Lake County. County Superintendent of District Schools. Report of County Superintendent of District Schools, July 1, 1907.

Salt Lake County. Superintendent of County Schools. Circular of the Public Schools of Salt Lake County. 1890.

Series 83238 Utah. Legislature. Utah Code Annotated, 1851-ongoing. Title 53A, Sections 2-3.

Series 1052 Utah. Legislature. Utah Code Unannotated, 1982-ongoing. Title 53A, Sections 2-3.

Series 240 Utah. Secretary of State. Public Documents Serial Set, 1896-1956. 1904-1905, part 1, no. 6; Sixth Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Utah for the biennial period ending June 30th, 1906, pp. 122-128.

Page Last Updated July 2, 2003.