Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Four Twin Falls Schools will see new principals and the District Office will see a new administrator in the 2014-2015 school year. The new Principals are for Sawtooth Elementary, Perrine Elementary, Harrison Elementary, and O’Leary Junior High.
Jess Johnson: O’Leary Middle School
Johnson comes to us from Mackay, Idaho where he has been the principal at the Mackay Junior-Senior High School for the past five years. Before moving to Mackay, Jess worked as a teacher in American Falls for 17 years, teaching US history and government at the high school level and physical education at the middle school level. He also coached middle school girls basketball, boys basketball, wrestling, football, and track.
“I am thrilled with the opportunity. I look forward to meeting everyone and continuing the great tradition at O’Leary Middle School,” said Johnson in a phone call last week.
Johnson is an alumnus of Utah State University and received his master’s degree from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
Teresa Jones: Sawtooth Elementary
Jones has a long history of educating students in the Magic Valley. For the past seven years she worked in Jerome as the principal at Horizon Elementary
School. Before Jerome, she worked for the Gooding School District for 17 years. In Gooding she served as elementary teacher, elementary principal and middle school principal. Jones recently received the 2013 National Distinguished Principal of the Year award from the Idaho Association of Elementary School Principals.
“I am excited to join the Twin Falls School District and eager to see what great things we can do at Sawtooth Elementary,” said Jones in a phone call last week.
Jones is a proud University of Idaho alumna.
Tammy Rodabaugh: Perrine Elementary
Even though Rodabaugh has traveled the world, she still calls the Magic Valley home. After graduating from Filer High School she attended Boise State University and Michigan State University. She began her teaching career in Murtaugh and later Twin Falls before exploring international education. For the past nine years she has worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Shanghai, China at international schools.
“I believe in building from strengths. Perrine elementary is a top-notch school with many, many strengths. One of those strengths has been Principal Brulotte. I am looking forward to learning about the journey that the school has been on under his leadership, learning about the aspirations that the faculty and community have for the future of Perrine, and collaboratively leading from where the school currently is toward those aspirations. I am most excited about getting to know the students of Perrine, hearing their stories and being part of making their schooling the best education possible,” said Rodabaugh in an email last week.
Rodabaugh is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Melissa Ardito: Harrison Elementary
Ardito has been a vice principal with the Twin Falls School District for the past five years splitting time between Sawtooth, Harrison, and Oregon Trail Elementary Schools. A proud Oregon State Alumna, Ardito taught for eight years in South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Utah and Idaho. She specialized in first grade, kindergarten, and pre-school special education.
“Next year I will have been with Harrison’s fifth-graders all the way through. So it will be exciting to see them go the whole way through,” said Ardito in a phone call last week.
Ardito recently helped Harrison Elementary School receive the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. The grant gives Harrison $179,126 for the
first year and is renewable for up to five years. Ardito and the staff at Harrison are using the funds to start a before and after school program focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Bill Brulotte: District Office – Director of Federal Grants and Programs
Brulotte has worked in just about every building in the Twin Falls School District. He started his tour in 1989 teaching math at Twin Falls High School. After four years at TFHS, Brulotte became the vice principal at Morningside and Lincoln Elementary Schools. In 1996, he left the TFSD to serve in the Peace Corps. Brulotte returned to work as vice principal at Morningside and Sawtooth Elementary Schools until he became principal at O’Leary Middle School. He spent 3 years at OMS before becoming principal at Perrine Elementary School. In 2009 Brulotte was awarded the National Distinguished Principal of the Year award by the Idaho Association of Elementary School Principals.
“I am looking forward to helping make a difference across the district with at-risk populations,” said Brulotte.
Shannon Swafford: District Office – Director of Human Resources
Swafford has worked in Human Resources for the past 13 years. She started with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in 1993 and moved into the HR Department after attending Barclay College in Pratt, Kansas.
Swafford will be relocating to Twin Falls with her husband, who was born in Twin Falls, and her two sons.
“I’m excited to meet all the new staff members and learn more about the town and do some exploring. Everyone is so warm and friendly. I’m excited to meet more people and build that network. What is really exciting is that my kids are going to be attending the same elementary school that my husband went to, Sawtooth,” said Swafford in a phone call earlier this week.