Keep faith… “Kids First”!

Keep faith… “Kids First”!

Yesterday was the opening School Board meeting for the new Board term. As the new chairman, I shared the board’s theme for the coming term.  As School Board Constitutional officers, we are charged with one of the greatest responsibilities— that is to care for our kids’academic education, and we do not take that responsibility lightly

In Citrus County our students, schools and leadership has had a consistent history of being most successful.  As I begin my ninth year as a School board Member, I am so grateful to serve with each and every one of our board members, our superintendent Sam Himmel, the executive leadership team, and all of our teachers and staff.

We have a lot of changes potentially coming in public education this coming year. People are nervous, concerned, and want to be hopeful.  A new governor, a new Commissioner of Education, a new Speaker of the State House and the new president in the State Senate, just to name a few. There are people that are excited, and there are people that are concerned, wondering and worrying as to the direction of public education in the State of Florida.

As we work with those in the State, let us diligently work together on the things we agree on, collaborate on things we can work together on, and listen to one another on the things we disagree on.  Because we must be successful for our kids and their future.

What gives me hope, is that on our School Board and in our district, we have a consistent expectation to always focus on one vital and important thing, “what is best for Kids”.

While sometimes we might have different views about how to achieve our goals, from our Board, to our Superintendent, the executive team, school administrators, to our classroom teachers, and support staff, we are continually focused on the same positive end results, OUR KIDS!

I have shared small gift with our Board Members, and staff, something they might wear as they make decisions, visit schools and speak with others in the community.  It is a little lapel pins that simply says, “KIDS FIRST”—because that I believe is what this School District does always!

December 7th, 1941, a day that has lived in infamy

December 7th, 1941, a day that has live in infamy

As a man in his late-40s my generation grew up with grandfathers, family friends and many around us who lived, served, sacrificed and persevered World War II. December 7th, 1941 is a day they would talk about with strong emotion. With the exception of perhaps September 11, 2001 our great country had never seen such a heinous act on innocent Americans.

I encourage you to make time to view this 5-minute video of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to a special joint session of the U.S. Congress.

God Bless our great United States!

Florida Edu Commissioner steps down

Florida Edu Commissioner steps down

We will miss you and hope you come to visit us in Citrus County real soon.

FL Educational Commissioner Pam Stewart speaking to all Citrus Co. teachers at Lecanto High School on Tuesday, August 1st, 2016. Stewart shared that day, “What you’re going to do today (in Citrus County Schools), in regards to digital learning, is really incredible, and I can tell you, it’s probably not happening across the state in very many places.”

I am saddened by this news.  Commissioner Stewart was the third (and longest serving) of three Florida Education Commissioners that served while I have been a school board member. (The first two resigned to “spend more time with their family”.)


Commissioner Stewart has been a true friend of our Citrus County Schools and visited here numerous times.  She and her staff have always been attentive and supportive to our needs.

Thank you, Commissioner Stewart, for your service to the students and schools of Florida!  We will miss you and hope you come to visit us in Citrus County real soon.

READ Tampa Bay Times story:

Kennedy Sworn in for 3rd Term and chosen Chairman

Kennedy Sworn in for 3rd Term and chosen Chairman

At Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, at the annual School Board Organizational Meeting, I was honored to be sworn in for a 3rd term as Citrus County School Board Member.

I was so humbled to have so many friends and family in attendance, including my 81-year-old mother, Clarine Kennedy, my 7th grade teacher from Massachusetts, Bill Linthwaite, and my wife and daughter.

I was honored to be nominated and unanimously voted to serve as School Board Chairman for the 2018-2019 term.

I ask for your continual prayers, encouragement and support as we begin a new term and continue the vital work in education.  God Bless our Citrus County Schools!

Gov. Scott proclaims Nov. 18th Retired Educators Day

Gov. Scott proclaims Nov. 18th Retired Educators Day

At Tuesday’s November 13th, 2018, School Board Meeting, Superintendent of Schools, Sandra “Sam” Himmel read the proclamation sent to her directly from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, which reads:

WHEREAS, Florida’s education system is a vital part of the well-being of our state, providing
education for people of all ages; and

WHEREAS, at the heart of our education system are teachers, who are devoted to sharing their
knowledge with students and helping students prepare for their future careers; and

WHEREAS, Florida is home to many retired educators who have spent much of their lives giving
their time to our students; and

WHEREAS, we recognize Florida’s retired educators for their dedication to empowering students
and strengthening our local and statewide communities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and
best wishes to all observing November 18, 2018, as Florida Retired Educators Day.

Rick Scott, Florida Governor

Veterans Day 2018

Veterans Day 2018

“11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”

Today once again we honor Veterans Day, we thank the many Veterans of our great country for the service and sacrifice made for our freedom.

James E. Kennedy, Sr.

James E. Kennedy, Sr. Pvt., US Army National Guard,147th AAA Detachment Operations, 1954.

I want to pause and take a personal moment to thank just a few of the Veterans in my family for our freedom, some who has now passes and others still living;

  • James E. Kennedy, Sr. (Father) US Army National Guard
  • James E. Kennedy, Jr. (Brother) US Army
  • Frank Kennedy (Grandfather) US Army, WWI & WWII
  • Thomas Cobb (Father-In-Law) US Army, Vietnam
  • Earl Cobb (Grandfather-in-Law) US Army, WWII
  • Kenneth Mallette Sr (Uncle) US Army
  • Sue Sturgeon (Aunt) US Army, Vietnam
  • John Kennedy (Cousin) US Marines
  • Joseph Mallette (Cousin) US Army
  • Henry Kenaston (Uncle) US Army

This list of very close friends and extended family is even longer. Thank you for the great lives and freedoms we enjoy each and everyday!

Come tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 12th, 2018 as Citrus County celebrates the Veteran’s Day Parade in Inverness beginning at 9:00am. This is one of our country’s largest Veteran’s Day Parades and is always well attended and involves each of our high schools, middle schools and many of our students throughout our great County!

God Bless America!