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  • Andrea Foster

2020 District Leadership Award

David Kerns, Snake River School District Superintendent

36-year-veteran educator David Kerns has been an administrator in Snake River School District since 2012.His holistic approach to the job has benefited the district in myriad ways.

Kerns' financial management of the district has been so effective that when it faced a nearly $2million maintenance problem a few years ago, funds were available to cover the cost of the project without detrimental impact to the overall budget. He works daily with the district's business manager to allocate resources toward maximal learning, and much of his time and energy is spent on monitoring physical resources in order to avoid further catastrophic problems with facilities and grounds.

Advocating for academic success is likely Mr. Kerns' strongest suit. He regularly monitors state, district and school achievement data. He has embraced and implemented instructional practices, including the Danielson evaluation and improvement framework, the Professional Learning Communities model, Marzano's Effective Instructional Strategies and the Idaho Coaching Network. Kerns has also helped Snake River develop university and community partnerships to complement and enhance district educational programs.

Technology is one of Mr. Kerns' passions. He led the district 1:1 Chromebook implementation and works with the district technology committee and staff to plan meaningful use of technology. He himself utilizes digital modes of communication to minimize disruptions to the school day and to avoid time-consuming meetings so that there is more time devoted to educating students.

Staff members often express their appreciation for his recognition of their efforts to improve learning for all students. In creating and fostering a climate where teachers feel valued, Kerns demonstrates his commitment to bringing people together as integral parts of an action plan that realizes progress.

Snake River Middle School Principal Dean Bonney states that Kerns " a man of integrity and upholds the highest standards of our profession. I have never seen him shy away from a tough problem or decision, or avoid doing what is in the best interest of students, staff and community."

Snake River School District Trustee Kent Miller notes that through Kerns' "...unwavering commitment to continual improvement, student achievement has steadily improved year after year, and the overall operation of the district is significantly enriched. His ability to gain trust, create a vision and inspire people to work collaboratively has been nothing short of extraordinary."

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