The Moab Museum’s Collection contains numerous documents of local significance. Notes, brochures, old newspapers, and scrapbooks are just some of the many paper artifacts that are part of the Museum’s archives.

Helen M. Knight pictured at the University of Utah where she studied during the 1920’s. Knight commuted the distance between Moab and Salt Lake City in order to obtain the education she needed to become a teacher and eventually administrator. [Moab Museum Collection]

One of the unique documents in the Moab Museum’s collection is the Grand County High School diploma of Helen M. Knight, a beloved Moab educator who became the first female superintendent of a Utah school district. Today, the town’s elementary school is named in her honor.

Appointed in 1936, Knight’s challenging tenure as Grand County Schools Superintendent lasted for 25 years. Born in Moab in 1896, Helen graduated from the University of Utah and guided Grand County students, parents, and schools through the explosive growth of the uranium boom. Her determination sustained her through the challenges of overcrowded schools and inspired the building of new school facilities (including the elementary school that bears her name) to educate the ever-increasing number of uranium workers’ children.

Helen M. Knight just prior to her retirement as superintendent of Grand County School District. [Moab Museum Collection]

When Helen M. Knight (then Helen M. Taylor) graduated from Grand County High School, she surely could never have imagined the changes that Moab would undergo in the ensuing decades of her education career. However, her leadership helped Moab navigate through a time of tremendous growth, and her legacy lives on today in the community’s school system.

The Moab Museum is dedicated to sharing stories of the natural and human history of the Moab area. To explore more of Moab’s stories and artifacts, find out about upcoming programs, and become a Member, visit