Noel Reynolds Zabriskie
Teacher, School Administrator

Noel Zabriskie, Brigham Young High, Class of 1966
Noel Zabriskie in 2006

Brigham Young High School
Class of 1966

New leader ready to face challenges

OGDEN -- On the wall of Noel Zabriskie's office hangs an Olympic torch and a photo of him running the torch during the 2002 Winter Games.

"Being a torchbearer and having the torch that represents the Olympic spirit is very similar to being a superintendent and carrying that torch for education for the city of Ogden," said Zabriskie, who will take over as Ogden School District superintendent July 1 when Cathy Ortega retires.

During Olympic orientation, the torch runners "were told we would feel like a celebrity, and it had everything to do with what we had in our hand. It didn't necessarily have to do with who we were," Zabriskie said.

Zabriskie's co-workers in the Weber School District, where he has been the human resources director for almost three years, may disagree with his modesty.

"Noel has the talents and the abilities that position needs. He's well respected -- a man of honor and integrity," said Nate Taggart, Weber district spokesman. "He's a great guy," added Pam Wahlen, Zabriskie's receptionist.

After his new job was announced Tuesday, Weber district staff members decorated Zabriskie's office doorway with balloons and a sign reading: "Congratulations Superintendent Zabriskie."

Zabriskie, 57, of Ogden, is taking it all in stride for now. There are many challenges awaiting him when he takes over the reins as superintendent.

Ogden district is facing declining enrollment and slumping property tax revenue growth.

"I think one of the biggest challenges is the resources. The declining enrollment is going to create a stretch of those resources," Zabriskie said.

The district needs to think about its best use of those resources, he said.

"Are there things we are doing we no longer need to do? Are there things we need to do a little bit better?" Zabriskie said. "That may create opportunities for people to come into the school district and increase our enrollment."

District voters will decide June 27 whether the district should bond for $95.3 million to upgrade and replace aging school buildings.

"I really do believe the bond will do some things to help students learn and it will help the Ogden community," Zabriskie said.

"I think it will help pride in neighborhoods. I think it will help economic development in the city.

"But most importantly, I believe it will enhance more up-to-date learning opportunities for kids."

Zabriskie knows all about going to school in old buildings.

He graduated in 1966 from a K-12 lab school run by Brigham Young University. It was in the old BYU Academy -- built in 1892 and 1902 -- before the building was renovated and turned into the Provo City Library.

At BYU, Zabriskie earned his bachelor's degree in Spanish education in 1972 and a master's degree in education curriculum and instruction in 1977. In 1984, he received his general administrative certificate from the University of Utah.

Because he had been involved in Scouting throughout his youth, he had been thinking about becoming a Boy Scout executive.

"I found a lot of satisfaction helping and serving others," Zabriskie said.

But he also wanted to use the Spanish-speaking skills he gained in a mission to Uruguay and Paraguay for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He headed to T.H. Bell Junior High in 1972 for his first job -- teaching Spanish.

Zabriskie and his wife, ReNon, bought a house in Ogden. Four of their children graduated from Ogden High School. Their fifth child is a student at Mount Ogden Middle School.

Zabriskie said he likes teaching teenagers.

"I enjoy their enthusiasm. I enjoy their energy," he said. "True, occasionally, we have to pull them back a little bit, but that's OK."

One such occasion occurred a few weeks ago when Bonneville High School students staged a protest because the contract of one of their favorite teachers was not renewed. Five student representatives demanded to speak with a district administrator.

The task fell to Zabriskie.

He admits he was a bit nervous as he sat down with the angry students -- two of whom were still wearing their protest shirts.

"They were coming over with a specific viewpoint and addressing it to me in an appropriate manner. They wanted to be listened to," he said.

"I think that's important when problems arise -- that we listen and put ourselves in the other person's shoes and try to understand the basis for their point of view."

Zabriskie said he gave the students some general information and helped them understand the district's viewpoint.

Bonneville High Principal Leslie Meyer agrees. "It helped the kids to talk to someone in the district."

Zabriskie said he switched from teaching to administration so he could have a positive effect beyond the classroom.

He spent five years as assistant principal at Bonneville High in Washington Terrace, then 10 years as principal of Sand Ridge Junior High School in Roy.

Zabriskie was asked to work in the district office in 1997. He served as the supervisor of secondary education and then director of secondary education. He became director of human resources in July 2003.

In his spare time, Zabriskie enjoys jogging, reading, Scouting and doing yard work. He also sings with a community group called Wasatch Master Chorale.

By Amy K. Stewart
Ogden Standard-Examiner staff
Monday, April 24, 2006

Ogden district maximizes educational opportunities

By Noel Zabriskie
Guest commentary
Ogden Standard-Examiner
Monday, November 8, 2010

As the Superintendent of the Ogden School District, I have had the pleasure of watching our district transform itself in order to implement our mission: "maximizing education opportunities for all students, in a safe, nurturing environment."

In order to do this, we have completed major facility upgrades, such as building new schools: Odyssey, Heritage, Shadow Valley Elementary Schools; remodeling the junior highs to add new science areas, library media centers, and other classrooms, as well as building a new Ben Lomond High School, and remodeling Ogden High School.

We put into place a new grade configuration (K-6, 7-9, 10-12), junior high activities and athletics, and the eight period A/B block schedule at the two high schools, just to name a few.

Our district has continued to write grants that will bring "best-practice" professional development to our teachers and students. This includes a "high tech" high school grant to provide more technology opportunities to our students at Ben Lomond High School.

Most recently, the Board of Education voted to "raise the bar" and further "maximize education opportunities" by approving the differentiated diploma. The differentiated diploma gives four levels that a student may achieve in order to receive a diploma from Ogden School District:

* Basic Diploma (24 credits): This diploma is currently being offered at Washington Alternative High School, and through a transition period, will also be available to students at Ben Lomond and Ogden High Schools who are seniors that will not have enough credits to graduate with the amount needed for a "traditional" diploma. Students earning this diploma meet all minimum state core requirements as well as six electives.

* Traditional diploma (27 credits): This diploma is currently offered in our two comprehensive high schools. When the district was on the trimester/six period schedule, a student had to earn 30 credits in order to graduate. Now that we have shifted to the A/B eight-period block schedule, a transition period will be put into place to gradually move the students to the 27-credit requirement. Those graduating in 2011 will have to earn 29 credits; the Class of 2012 must earn 28 credits; and for the Class of 2013, 27 credits. Students earning this diploma will meet all minimum state core requirements as well as nine electives. The requirements for this diploma will prepare students for post-high school education opportunities.

* Honors diploma (27 credits): The requirements for this diploma will better prepare students for post-high school education opportunities. Students earning this diploma will meet all minimum state core requirements as well as math proficiency of pre-calculus, equivalent or higher, with a grade B or better; completion of Level 2 foreign language with a grade of B or better; completion of at least six honors classes (grades 10-12) in the following areas of study: two English/language arts; two science and/or social studies, and two honors elective classes, with a grade B or better in all six honors classes. Students at Ben Lomond and Ogden High Schools are eligible for this diploma.

* International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (27 credits) All minimum state core requirements as well as successfully passing all requirements of the IB high school diploma as outlined by the International Baccalaureate organization. This diploma will only be earned at Ogden High School in the future. The Board of Education is committed to prepare our students for post-high school education opportunities and for the workplace. After all, "maximizing education opportunities for all students" is what we are all about.

Noel Zabriskie is superintendent of the Ogden School District.

Ogden school superintendent announces resignation

By Molly Farmer
Published Deseret News
August 24, 2011

OGDEN Ogden School District Superintendent Noel Zabriskie announced his resignation Wednesday.

Zabriskie cited "personal family matters that require his full attention," according to the district. His last day as superintendent will be Sept. 6.

Zabriskie has served as superintendent since 2006 and was previously a teacher and administrator in the Weber School District.

"We have fabulous students and terrific employees in Ogden," he said in a prepared statement. "I will miss them all."

The district's board of education will meet in a closed session Monday to appoint a successor. It wasn't clear Wednesday afternoon if that successor would serve in an interim or permanent capacity.


In Memoriam: ReNon Fisher Zabriskie

ReNon Fisher Zabriskie, November 3, 1947 August 26, 2011, died peacefully in her home after a valiant battle with cancer. ReNon was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the last of five children, to her courageous parents Louise Larsen Fisher and Milton Byron Fisher.

She was the cherished wife of Noel Reynolds Zabriskie for more than 41 years. They were married and sealed in the LDS Salt Lake Temple December 18, 1969.

ReNon was raised in Bountiful and Provo, Utah. She graduated in the Brigham Young High School Class of 1966. She attended Brigham Young University and in 1970 received a Bachelor's degree, double majoring in home economics and math.

In 1972 ReNon and Noel moved to Ogden, Utah where they became esteemed members of the community. ReNon touched hundreds of children's lives with her gentle and patient instruction teaching students at Mound Fort Junior High School, piano lessons, folk dance, and preschool.

ReNon was a faithful member of the LDS Church serving in many teaching, musical, and service callings including president of the Stake and Ward Relief Society as well as Ward Primary.

ReNon will always be remembered for her unceasing service to others. She blessed all she knew through her cooking, handwork, event planning, baking, sewing, and music. Most of all, ReNon loved spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She is the keystone of her family.

She is survived by her husband, and five children: Ranae and Danny Hart, Kaysville; Rachelle and Tony Greenwell, Roy; Alan and Jennie Zabriskie, Warrensburg, MO; Becky and Brad Petersen, Ogden; and Lauren Zabriskie, Ogden. Also surviving are her siblings, Byron and Joan Fisher, Springdale; Lowell and Ellen Fisher, Ann Arbor, MI; Carol and John Harper, Cedar Hills; and her eleven precious grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister Shirlene (Don) Olsen, Manti.

Services were held on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, at the Mount Ogden Ward Chapel, 1314 27th Street, Ogden, Utah. Interment, Ogden City Cemetery.

In Memoriam: Janisse Martin Meikle Zabriskie

August 25, 1946 ~ February 10, 2018

Janisse Martin Meikle Zabriskie passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at home, surrounded by her family. Jan was born August 25, 1946, in Ogden, Utah, to Edward Rich Martin and Georgia Smith Martin.

Jan graduated from Ogden High School and Utah State University. She married her sweetheart, James Allen Meikle, on June 21, 1968, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They raised four children together. After 43 wonderful years, Jim passed away in 2012. Jan married her next sweetheart, Noel Zabriskie, on June 15, 2013.

She enjoyed years of being at home raising her children and then working for various local businesses. In 2013, she retired as an administrative assistant with Ogden City. During those years she received various recognitions and awards. She also served on numerous committees and organizations.

Jan was a faithful member of the LDS Church and loved the people she served with at the Ward and Stake levels. Family and friends will remember her feisty spirit, determination to enjoy life, and her infectious laughter. Jan was always the first to say "Hello" and shared love and kindness with everyone.

She especially enjoyed spending the last few years with Noel traveling and visiting new places.

Jan is survived by her husband, Noel; and her children and grandchildren: Andy and Kim Meikle (Wakely, Drew and Henry); Aynie and Trent Handsaker (Harper and Henley); Mary Adams (Alec and Eddie); Noel's children and grandchildren: Ranae and Danny Hart (Erin, Laney, and Keegan); Rachelle Greenwell (Cole and Clara); Alan and Jennie Zabriskie (Max, Kate, and Kallie); Becky and Brad Petersen (Brenden, Erik, Jacob, and Bailee), Lauren and Nate Yost (Megan); her brothers: Randy and Vicky Martin, Chad Martin, Knute and Karen Lund; her sisters: Angie and Fez DeHart, Kristen and Jim Beech. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; son, Matt; her parents; and two brothers, Zack and Leif.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at the Ogden East Stake Center located at 1314 27th Street, Ogden, Utah. Interment, Leavitt's Aultorest Memorial Park.

Ogden Standard Examiner
February 13, 2018

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