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South Salt Lake Journal

Granite School District gets new superintendent

May 26, 2021 01:11PM ● By Bill Hardesty

Karyn Winder, the president of the Granite School Board, welcomes Richard Nye as new GSD superintendent. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

On April 26, Karyn Winder, president of the Granite Board of Education, introduced Richard Nye as the new Granite School District (GSD) Superintendent.

Martin Bates, who served as superintendent for more than a decade, announced his retirement in January. Nye will assume his new role on July 1.

“Upon the announcement of Dr. Martin Bates’ retirement, we as the Board of Education asked our students, staff and parents what leadership qualities they would like to see in the incoming superintendent,” Winder said. “Dr. Nye embodies those qualities, and we look forward to welcoming him to Granite School District.”

Currently, Nye is the Ogden School District Superintendent. He has served in that position since 2017.


Nye started his educator career as a science teacher at Rocky Mountain Junior High in the Weber School District in 2001. He moved into administration in 2001 in the Peoria Unified School District in Arizona. Nye returned to Utah in 2005, working at the Utah State University and the Utah State Board of Education. He joined the Ogden School District Executive Team in 2012.

Nye graduated with a bachelor’s in history with a minor in zoology from Weber State University in 2000. He earned two master’s in education from Arizona State University in education administration and supervision and at Weber State University in curriculum and instruction. Nye worked on both master’s during the same time from 2001 to 2005. He earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Utah State University in 2011. He continued his education with a fellowship from The Board Academy and a Certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University in 2020.

Nye addressed the following issues:

GSD geographical diversity, racial diversity and economic diversity

“Personalized education opportunities are not a one size fits all endeavor,” Nye said. “As we think of the different school and the communities they reside in, we ask are they tailored to the specific and unique opportunities of that area and address those specific needs of the area, and then education becomes a fixture in the community and provides pathways for the students to be successful regardless of where they might live.”

Fundamental education changes because of COVID-19

“Going back to the concept of personalized learning allowing students and their families to customize what that educational experience is even more. For some students, a classroom setting works best. For others, a different model. What COVID has done for education has provided schools and school systems with an opportunity to think about how they personalized education for the students and their families.”

He also said, “It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. I would say COVID has made necessity the mother of acceleration as education moves more into the digital age.”

Educational philosophy

“I know that all children can succeed. There is not a child anywhere that doesn’t have the ability with the right support within a system that meets their needs who can’t achieve at high levels.”

He continued, “When I think of educational philosophy, I think of three parts. First, academically. What does the child need to learn, and what opportunities are available for them to personalize their experience? Secondly is social and emotional learning. As we think about what does it mean for a child to be emotionally self-regulated and (have) self-efficacy. To be able to thrive on a social-emotional level. The third is talent development of teachers and staff, meaning we cannot meet the needs of students without giving the resources and support to those who have stewardship of meeting the needs of students.”

Message to teachers and staff

“I am so grateful for who they are and how they bring their best self to work every day. They do it because they love children. My message to educators is one of appreciation, knowing what it means to show up in the classroom and build relationships with students and colleagues. As far as our educators go, the teachers are the heart and soul of education. For the staff, we have supported them in that role and very much in the part of educators who are part of a much larger system that we all move in the same direction creating the conditions for students to succeed. Appreciation and hope as we move together, they will be successful in their space. And be able to accomplish the purposes of why they went into education.”

Why GSD?

“Granite has been a leader in the state in many different areas,” Nye said. “The commitment to students is evident. It’s always impressed me that the deep-down, fundamental commitment is to improve the conditions for students. As we consider what the future looks like in Granite—it’s positive. There are opportunities that exist to improve or refine current practices and to build on successes. The prospect is exciting to me.” 

Nye summed up his purpose by stating, “I am a passionate educator desiring the best for children.”