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Name: Jill Landon Taft
How long have you been teaching/in education? Teaching since 2001-I took a three year break so about 16 years.
What is your favorite subject? I love teaching kids to read! I also love history and music.
What is your favorite book? I can’t name one favorite book. I love the Harry Potter series and historical fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres, though I really love to read anything!
What is your favorite food? Does Diet Coke count as food? Cafe Rio, Blue Hashi, and The Snake Bite are my favorite restaurants
What is your favorite holiday? It’s a tie between Christmas and Independence Day!
What is a silly fact about you? All five of my daughter’s names start with the letter P. My son’s name does not. (He has my maiden name)
What is your favorite movie? Again, I can’t name a favorite. I like Romantic Comedies and Disney movies.
What is something that you would like your students to know about you? That I really want to get to know them. I love when students share their lives with me. More than anything I want to see my students succeed and progress! I think kids are incredible!
We are happy to announce our new Principal Dr. Thomas Kennedy. He will be joining us for the 20/21 school year.
Hello. My name is Thomas Kennedy. I grew up in New York State, mostly in a town called Poughkeepsie which is about 90 minutes north of New York City. I have always loved learning and school, so I had often thought about becoming a classroom teacher while I was in high school. However, when I started college, I began taking classes to become an accountant. Math was my favorite subject in school and accounting seemed very interesting at the time. After one year of college I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and worked as an Arabic linguist. Not knowing what to expect, being a Marine turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life. During over 5 years in the Marines, I met my wife (who is from Idaho), welcomed our first daughter into the world, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, jumped out of helicopters, learned Arabic, and worked with a variety of incredible people doing very interesting work. It was also during this time that I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. When I arrived at the school where I would learn Arabic, I had about 5 months to wait for my class to start. While I waited, a few other Marines and I spent about 500 hours volunteering at a local elementary school. I was assigned to a second-grade class where I listened to students read and helped students with learning assignments. I loved it!
When my enlistment ended, I moved with my family to Utah, where I earned my teaching degree from BYU in Provo, UT. After graduating, I taught 3rd grade for 2 years in Payson, UT before moving to Rigby, ID. When we moved to Idaho, I began working for District 93 where I taught 3rd grade for another 2 years, followed by 2 years of teaching 6th grade. While I was teaching, I earned my master's degree in educational leadership and administration from Idaho State University. I spent the next 8 years at Rocky Mountain Middle School, 6 years as assistant principal, followed by 2 years as principal. I loved the fast-paced world of middle school. We were able to have such a positive impact on the students and families we served. It was because of my experiences at the middle school that I saw the incredible power of a team of people working to support a student in their learning and well-being. It reminds of a quote from Margaret Mead that reads "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has". I truly believe that alone we are smart, but together we are brilliant.
As an educator, I continued my own education, earning my Educational Specialist degree from Idaho State University followed by my doctorate from Northwest Nazarene University. As I said above, I love learning and I continue to learn from the books I read and the people I meet every day. On a personal note, I have been married for almost 21 years and now have 6 children ranging in ages 3-18. My family is an incredibly important part of my life. I look forward to working with the BOES community to learn how I can best serve you all as we strive to design success for every student as we help parents educate their children.
Dr. Thomas Kennedy
Bonneville Online Elementary School
2017 E. 49th N Idaho Falls, ID 83401
Phone: 208-542-0283 Fax: 208-525-4423
After Hours Emergency Maintenance
Darren Forman: 208-227-9662