Election 2022: Emily Kennedy running for school board
April 13, 2022
Could you please give a bit of background about yourself?
I am a mother of three – my daughter is in Ms. Locke's first grade class and my twin boys will start kindergarten in the Fall at TFES. They currently attend Grace Lutheran Preschool with Ms. Lisa and Ms. Amber. I am a mortgage loan officer for Stockman Bank and have helped many families buy and refinance their homes here in Three Forks.
My background is in Education: I have a BA with a minor in Education and have taught English in Guatemala as well as working for multiple school districts as a paraeducator and substitute paraeducator in the past.
My husband and I moved to Montana from Nebraska about four years ago and bought a home in Three Forks because we wanted our children in a small district where we could clearly understand what they were being taught and have a higher level of involvement in their education. We attend Grace Bible Church, and my faith is very important to me.
Why did you choose to run?
I chose to run for two main reasons: I truly believe the strength of a community is measured by our children's education. Strong schools create hardworking and productive members of society, and I want my children and the children of the area to thrive through great support. Secondly, I want to serve our community. I work in Bozeman and don't want Three Forks to be just where I live – I want to be a lot more involved in the community I live in.
What do you think the district is doing well?
I was so proud of our district for keeping schools open during the last couple of years. It's impossible to please everyone, particularly when there are many issues that are so divisive right now, but I feel that our school district made great decisions to keep students in school when many other districts were closing. In addition, I feel the district is doing well providing strong academics and extracurricular options to our students. I have been incredibly impressed with the educators I have encountered as a parent as well.
What are the biggest challenges for the district?
There is a stress on our community as more families move to the area. It poses concerns about providing adequate facilities & staff wages while trying to maintain a lower cost of living for the people who live in the district, many of whom moved here as a more affordable alternative to the home prices in Bozeman. Finding a balance between expanding and improving the facilities and wages without creating a major burden on homeowners through taxation is something we will continue to have to manage.
What qualities would you personally bring to the board?
I am level-headed, optimistic, and a strong communicator. I'm not quick to jump to conclusions and want to understand the needs of our district without charging right in with all of my own opinions. God gave me two ears and one mouth, and my goal is to act accordingly.