(Photo courtesy of the Renae Dyatt family, 2020)
MISSION, GOALS, and CORE VALUES
BE INTENTIONAL * BE CURIOUS * BE UNITED
The purpose of WHMS is to assist students in achieving academic proficiency, igniting their curiosity, and cultivating their social skills so that they may be well-informed problem solvers and contribute to society.
- WHMS will increase 1.5% Math Proficiency from our average Math proficiency score of 45.4% on our End of the Year State assessment.
- WHMS will increase 1.5% Language Arts Proficiency from our average Language Arts proficiency score of 43.7% for End of the Year State assessments.
- We will achieve an 85% passing rate for 2021-2022 school year.
About West Hills (Redirects to the JSD Website)
This history was compiled in 2020 by Michael Draut, a teacher at West Hills Middle School, who surveyed teachers who work at the school.
West Hills was the name for the school that replaced the Bingham Middle School building in 1996. (For more information about Bingham Middle School, see the following sources: History of Bingham High School and Bingham High School.)
What was the school like when it began?
- Father Pelegrino (the longtime Catholic priest from Copperton/Bingham Canyon) blessed the school at the inauguration ceremony.
- P.E. classes could see all the way to the Oquirrh Mountains because there was absolutely no development between the school and 8400 West. They could see the blasts from KCC and/or Barney’s Mine. There was just a utility tower and one sad horse!
- The school was built on a wheat farm and it was full of mice when it opened. Where there are mice, there are rattlesnakes. The district hired professional exterminators.
- For a while in early 1997 Riverton Elementary met at West Hills because of a water contamination issue.
- The main office used to be at the intersection of the 600 and 100 halls.
- There used to be a pay phone across from where the original office was.
- There used to be a tile pattern at the intersections called "Card Trick."
- The West Hills tile display in the main hall was done by the first ESL class.
- Students used to “surf” the field when it flooded.
What notable events/moments/stories have occurred during your time at West Hills?
- Johnny Appleseed of the Oquirrhs used to come to our school and do an assembly each year.
- At one point the school was so crowded that 7th graders had their own bell schedule.
- One time at a fire drill, the fire trucks came, and one of the crews jumped off the truck and ran to where the classes were lined up. The crew chief proposed to a teacher. She accepted.
- Watching Channel One TV on Sept. 11, 2001.
- Only having 2 snowdays in 25 years.
- We had to shelter in place due to a cougar (real mountain lion, puma) in the area.
- When a developer was preparing the land immediately west of our fields to put in a subdivision, a backhoe operator cut through a major natural gas pipeline. Among other things they put our school on a shelter in place that lasted until 4:00 p.m. or later. Teachers had to get very creative to keep everyone occupied.
- There was a bomb threat one year, and everyone had to evacuate in the snow. Since it was the end of the school day, everyone went straight home afterwards. No one could go back in the school to get their things, so some teachers couldn't leave for quite some time. We waited in the seminary building and sang songs until it was all clear.
- Our school received a renovation in 2019 that relocated the office area from the center of the school to the front entrance.
What about West Hills has made you proud?
- The building still looks like new construction.
- Utah standout and New England Patriots super bowl linebacker Sealver Silinga went to West hills.
- Collaborative Faculty. With so much turnover, we still take care of and watch out for one another. We help each other reach our goals.
- Our students and faculty lined the street for the father of 3 of our students, a police officer who passed away. It was one of the only times we were excused beriefly from class.
What else would you like to share with us about West Hills?
- The P.E. and Science departments are still using some of the same equipment, not only from when WHMS opened, but equipment that was used at the old Bingham High School.
- When equipment was transferred from the Old Bingham High School, Ms. V. found records (from the 1950’s) for the Minerettes (Drill Team) with her mother’s name on them (because she and her sisters were Minerettes)!
- There is a “good luck” ghost in the auditorium that assists with performances.