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West Valley City Journal

West Lake STEM Junior High School welcomes new principal

Sep 08, 2022 02:21PM ● By Liz Craker

By Liz Craker | [email protected]

Scott Bell, former Kearns Junior High principal, is replacing longtime West Lake STEM Junior High School Principal Tyler Howe this fall. 

Howe is moving into the Granger High School principal position this school year. He served as West Lake principal for six years.

Bell says he is excited about the connection with Howe as the West Lake STEM students go onto Granger High School. “It’s been great that I have been able to have a variety of opportunities to meet with Tyler to learn what he has been doing and what our directions and focuses are,” Bell said.

Bell has also had meetings with the administration team and teachers this summer. “It has been a great chance to get to know them and to continue to focus on the growth of our students,” he said.

“We are all very much passionate about our students and their growth mindset. We want to continue our academic growth and grow our staff to help our students to the best of our ability in the coming years,” he added.

Bell’s academic career began when he was a West Lake school counselor and alternative school teacher. He later transitioned into administrative roles in the district. “I am ecstatic to have an opportunity to return,” he said. “West Lake holds a special place in my heart. Sometimes things just come together, and life works in a funny way sometimes…it certainly did in this case.”

Bell grew up in West Valley City and graduated from Kearns High School, and he says this opportunity is letting him return to his roots. After graduating from high school, he earned his associate’s degree at Utah Tech and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Utah. He went on to earn his master’s and administrative credentials from Southern Utah University.

Bell said his career led him to right where he wants to be. “It’s been by design to stay where I grew up,” he said. “I was first hired in Davis County as an intern, and it was there that I realized I wanted to work where I grew up. I am grateful for the upbringing that I had here. Now I can give back to the community that gave me so much,” he said.

One of Bell’s first priorities is getting ready to move into a new building in two years. The school currently operates at the old Westbrook Elementary School campus at 3451 W. 6200 South in West Valley City. 

The building sustained significant damage during an earthquake, leading to a temporary relocation of the school. Following extensive building assessments, the Granite Board of Education decided to rebuild instead of repair the damaged structure.

The new West Lake building will be modeled after an existing Utah middle school building, Hidden Valley Middle School, that was completed in 2020. It is anticipated the new building will be ready August 2024. Bell recently posted a construction report video at

Outside of work, Bell enjoys hiking, mountain biking, skiing and opportunities to be in nature.  “I work hard, and play hard,” he said.