Murray Schools superintendent Covington honored as ‘Woman of Achievement’Dec 16, 2021 10:28AM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Jennifer Covington addresses Murray High graduates. (Photo courtesy Murray City School District)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
Murray School District’s first woman superintendent Jennifer Covington was honored as a “Woman of Achievement” by the Miss Murray Organization on Sept. 11. The former Hillcrest Junior High principal and business teacher has helmed MSD since 2017.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled by this recognition from the Miss Murray pageant,” Covington said. “I appreciate the opportunity to be recognized by an organization that promotes women working to better their communities through service and scholarship. I have been fortunate to work for Murray City School District for the past 27 years and appreciate the opportunities I have been given to grow as an individual and as a leader.”
Covington’s family has a long connection to Murray City schools and she credits her parents toward guiding her career toward education.
“Both of them worked for the school district as classified employees, which allowed me to see how important all jobs are in the education system. They instilled in me a love of learning and of doing my best at anything I put my mind to,” Covington said.
Not only did her parents influence her decision to consider education as a career, but she credits her teachers for uncovering skills she was not aware she had.
“My career choice was shaped by influential teachers I had growing up and my parents. I was fortunate to have many incredible teachers who not only taught me subject material but helped me to recognize my strengths. A high school teacher, in particular, helped me to recognize a strength I had in working with computers, which were very new at the time, and gave me so much confidence. I knew that I wanted to be able to do for other students what she did for me,” Covington said.
With a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business education from Utah State University, she went on to earn master’s degrees from USU and Southern Utah University in business information systems and administration.
Covington began teaching business and information technology classes at Murray High School starting in 1994. Later, she would transfer to Hillcrest Junior High, where she was vice principal and then appointed principal in 2009. While she has noticed changes to MSD over the years, she says some things remain constant.
“Over the years, Murray City has grown, our schools have welcomed more students, we have adopted a new curriculum and implemented new programs. And yet through it all, the consistency we see is we have incredible students, talented educators, supportive parents, and a community that cares about their Murray City Schools,” Covington said.
Among the most notable projects, she was involved with was the new construction of Hillcrest Junior High.
“Having the opportunity to be a part of building the new Hillcrest Junior High School was a major highlight of my career. Being involved in that project from the beginning provided me with so many learning opportunities,” Covington said.
However, Covington also credits what happens inside the school buildings as one of her favorite things.
“I love being in classrooms and watching students master new skills. I love seeing skilled educators provide students with the tools and knowledge to learn and grow. I love seeing the communities that exist within our school buildings and how hard everyone is working to support our students,” Covington said.
Like all educators and the students, the pandemic has put extra stress on her, on top of overseeing the district. To unwind, she enjoys spending as much time with her husband and two sons camping, boating and being outdoors.
“I think the greatest challenge facing Murray City School District, as well as all of education, is making sure we are meeting the needs of each of our students and employees. The pandemic has been such a disruptor in so many areas of everyday life. This challenge is a great opportunity for our schools to recommit to making sure we are engaged with our students and employees by encouraging everyone to take care of themselves, take care of each other and take care of our schools,” Covington said.