Happenings - July 2005
Grand County High School
Jimmy Hawks and Wynette Secrest Hawks,
by Jeff Richards
James (Jimmy) Hawks, 39, and his eventual wife Wynette
Secrest Hawks, 34, both grew up in Moab, they didn’t
meet each other until they were both attending Utah State
University in Logan.
Jimmy was a senior at Grand County High School in 1983-84,
Wynette was still in 8th grade. “I had played basketball
with her older brother Buddy Secrest, who was a freshman
when I was a senior,” recalls Jimmy. “I remember
one time I saw her at Taco Bender and thought she was
dang cute, but that was about the extent of it. We really
didn’t know each other until we got to college.” While
at USU, they were matched up by Jimmy’s friend
Dirk Shumway and Wynette’s friend Tammy Tranter
(now Snow), both being mutual acquaintances from Moab.
Jimmy and Wynette were married in 1990 in Manti.
Jimmy, who had earlier attended Dixie College in St. George and Utah
Valley State College in Orem, completed his bachelors degree in parks
and recreation from USU, after which he and Wynette moved back to their
home town of Moab to start a family. They now have six children: Athena,
14; Derek, 12; Tierra, 8; Aaron, 6; Jameson, 3; and Arthur, 1. Jimmy
started work for Moab Salt (now known as Intrepid Potash Moab LLC) in
1995, where he is their lab technician. He also coaches soccer and other
sports and works occasionally as a waiter at the Sunset Grill restaurant.
Wynette is a full-time mom who (along with Jimmy) home schools their
four oldest children.
Hawkses’ home on Plateau Road is next door to the house where Jimmy
lived in for the first few years of his life. When he was young, his
family moved to Missouri for a few years, then to Louisiana before returning
to Moab when Jimmy was 12 and starting the 7th grade. Wynette, meanwhile,
has lived in Moab all her life except for when she was in college and
when she worked in California for six months. She ultimately earned a
certificate in secretarial business from Stevens-Henegar Business College
Both Jimmy and Wynette belong to families that have been in Moab for
generations. “I think I’ve got like five generations buried
in the cemetery here,” Jimmy notes, adding that his grandfather
Cecil Thomson was a well-known cattle rancher who donated the land for
Allen Memorial Hospital. Jimmy’s parents Ralph and Marylin Hawks
are both GCHS graduates (Class of ’53), as are Wynette’s
parents, Art and Wanda Secrest (Class of ’46 and ’54, respectively).
Both sets of parents still reside in Moab.
Jimmy and Wynette both have fond memories of GCHS, where they were actively
involved in sports and other activities. Wynette (Class of ’88),
who played softball and volleyball cited Mrs. Richeson, Coach Tomsic,
and Ms. Lin Kolb as being some of her most memorable teachers. Jimmy
also fondly remembers Ms. Kolb, whose Spanish lessons later came in handy
when he served a two-year LDS mission to Argentina in 1985-87. He also
remembers Mr. Gene Leonard, who had also taught both of Jimmy’s
parents in school.
also cited history teacher Don Hillman and English/speech teacher Val
Maughan as being memorable. “Both of them were really good teachers
who tried to make you think outside the box,” Jimmy recalls. “They
really seemed to have a genuine interest in the kids.”
Jimmy’s class of 1984 was among the smallest graduating classes
in recent memory, with just 86 or so students. Despite their small size,
however, Jimmy says class won the “spirit stick” competition
during Homecoming Week all four years of high school. “Last year,
we had our 20-year reunion, and about half of the classmates attended,” Jimmy
says. “We really had a good time.”
This fall, Jimmy and Wynette’s oldest daughter Athena will be a
freshman. Although she will still receive home schooling, she plans to
take a few classes at GCHS and participate in soccer and in drama.
Jimmy and Wynette have home schooled their children for the past four
years and plan to continue doing so. They say they prefer a less rigid
learning environment for their children. “They have more freedom
to choose topics they’re interested in learning about,” says
Jimmy, adding that Athena has taken a particularly avid interest in falconry
and birds of prey, a subject unlikely to be learned in public school. “The
idea is just to get them to like learning, and to learn for themselves,” Jimmy
adds, noting that the children get plenty of social interaction through
their participation in 4H clubs, sports teams, Scouting, and church activities.
The Hawks family is one of about 10 local home schooling families who
get together regularly to share activities and ideas, Wynette says.
Jimmy, who played football, basketball, and golf for GCHS, can still
frequently be found on or near the Red Devil playing fields. He has helped
coach basketball and is currently an assistant soccer coach for GCHS.
He has done some radio announcing of high school games. He and his brother-in-law
Mike Holyoak usually work the yardage chains at the sidelines of the
Red Devils’ home football games. He and Wynette also like attending
drama and musical performances at the high school.
“We love it here in Moab, and have a lot of fun memories,” adds Jimmy,
noting that he and Wynette especially like living close to their parents, siblings,
extended family members, and so many of their childhood friends.