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Jacob Spori, a highly educated Swiss immigrant, was appointed to be the first principal of Bannock Stake Academy in 1888. The academy struggled to survive during its early years.
A vivid example of sacrifice is portrayed by the selflessness of Principal Spori. One year, when the academy was strapped for money, he applied his salary toward the debt of the school. He also worked on the railroad for a time using some of his earnings to help pay salaries of other teachers.
Principal Spori stated, "The seeds we're planting today will grow and become mighty oaks and their branches will run all over the earth."
Principal Spori served until 1891.