Skip to main content

Murray Journal

Familiar faces in Murray now serve as Hillcrest, Riverview principals

Oct 14, 2019 11:13AM ● By Julie Slama

Former athletes, teachers now serve as Murray junior highs principals.

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Both Hillcrest and Riverview junior high principals may be new in their posts this fall, but they aren’t newcomers to Murray School District.

Earl Kauffman, Riverview Junior High’s principal, taught a couple of years at Murray High and helped students at Riverview Junior High as a counselor before spending the past five years as the school’s assistant principal. He also worked with secure care in youth corrections for five years and at a behavior treatment center for four years. 

Kauffman stepped into the position when former principal Jim Bouwman moved to Hillcrest Junior High.

Bouwman, who was principal at Riverview the past seven years and an assistant principal at the school for nine years, took the helm of Hillcrest once it was vacated by Buck Corser, who moved to Riverview as an assistant principal. 

Bouwman has taught math, calculus and concurrent enrollment math 1050 and 1060 as well as computer programming and physical education at Murray High as well as math at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum.

And that isn’t all that the two principals have in common. Both have a love of football and a loyalty to the color blue—although they may not agree upon the same shade.

Kauffman, who grew up in Texas and may know a thing or two about Friday Night Lights, was a punter and kicker for Brigham Young University from 1988 to 1991, where he earned his degree. He has coached soccer for numerous years, including starting girls soccer in what is now Utah Arsenal FC. He has been married 28 years, has eight children and three grandchildren.

Bouwman, who earned his undergraduate degrees in math and math education and his master’s degree in physical education and his administrative certificate, is an Aggie, having graduated from Utah State University —as did his wife and two daughters. He coached football and wrestling for 15 years at Murray High. 

At Hillcrest, Bouwman, in addition to continue working on social-emotional learning for students, would like to “continue the great work here. I want to continue to strengthen the collaboration between Hillcrest and Riverview to help students to be successful at Murray High.” 

His favorite Hillcrest tradition is the school play.

While both principals are dedicated to helping students and faculty, in his off hours, Kauffman may be found searching around for vintage Volkswagens as he “would love to own a 1969 VW Bug.”