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Sandy Journal

Albion principal to face new challenge, leaving neighborhood school

Mar 31, 2023 10:31AM ● By Julie Slama

Principal Molly Hart, seen here in 2020 outside of the Albion Middle, is leaving Canyons School District at the end of the school year. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

A principal oversees the functions of a school from creating a safe learning environment to helping set performance goals for students and teachers alike.

For 20 years, Molly Hart has been a principal and liked putting those pieces together in the best interest of school children. 

For seven years, Hart has watched over 950 students at Albion Middle School in Sandy—although those days are limited.

As of July 1, she will become Summit Academy’s executive director and will oversee all Summit charter schools—a kindergarten through eighth-grade school in Draper and three schools in Bluffdale—an elementary, a second K-8 school and a high school.

“I have a lot of ideas about education, and different innovations and different ways of doing things and I want to try them out; I want to do something different,” Hart said. “The charter environment is a little bit more agile and, in a lot of ways, that’s why we have charters, is to try things out on a smaller scale. When you’re building something, it takes the community in the truest sense of the word—the teachers, the parents, the students, the administrators to create the vision. I’m not taking a plan over there and plopping it down. I’m going there to build a smaller community where learners can thrive and parents feel really good about the experiences their kids have.”

Hart, who graduated from Michigan State University, began her career teaching and being an administrator in Georgia before being a principal in Canyons School District. Once here, she served students for four years at Mt. Jordan Middle School—a year in the old building, two years displaced in Crescent View Middle and then, one year in the current school building she helped to design before being named Albion’s principal. 

“I will miss the Albion community—the students, the families, the teachers. That’s what makes this school,” she said.

Hart is passionate about the middle school’s “outstanding music program” with students taking part in the instrumental and vocal programs and with the annual musicals that are performed.

She’ll also miss how the students—and faculty—enjoy reading outside of assignments.

“Our community is a community of readers, and we have a book club and Book Blitz. In fact, the teachers here have their own Book Blitz and make teams to compete,” she said.

Another tradition at Albion is the involvement around Halloween and spirit dress-up days.

“We’re fairly legendary, so we have fun with that,” she said recalling among her favorite costumes she’s dressed up as have been Bat Girl and also, Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. “It is truly a sight. I have never been in a school where so many students participate in the dress up days as here. It sounds kind of like a little thing, but it really is fun and unifying when you’ve got a whole school embracing it.”

While her position and school will change, Hart will continue her role serving on the Utah State Board of Education.

“Being on the Board, I’m more aware of policies than the average person. I can keep a pulse on where things are going,” she said. 

She hopes that through her tenure, she has propelled Albion forward.

“I’ve been and I am deeply committed to Albion; this is my neighborhood where I live. I’m going to miss this place, but there’s no reason to be afraid of change,” Hart said. “I know I didn’t have to go anywhere; I love Canyons and what Canyons stands for, but once I learned about the opportunity and met the people and learned what they want to do and how they want to grow Summit, I wanted to be part of it.”