Author Archive

Thomas Kennedy

I was elected to the Citrus County School Board in November 2010. I currently serves as the School Board Chairman for the 2013-2014 term. I also serve on the ESE/START Committee, HS Diploma Sub-Committee, Citrus County School Year Calendar 2013-2014 Committee, High School Directions Committee, Pupil Progression Plan for Elementary Schools Committee, HRMD Committee, Technology Committee, Technology Standards Sub-Committee, and the Consultant Continuing Contract Selection Committee. In 1989 I moved to Crystal River, Florida, where I met my now wife of 18 years I was volunteering at Crystal River Middle School. In 1990, I began working as a new construction consultant. By the mid 1990s I was working on the sales, design, and building end of home construction. By the late half of the 1990s I began working with commercial real estate and construction involving property location scouting and feasibility studies. In 1999, my business partner and I began a small homes development and construction company building speculative homes in the Pine Ridge and Central Ridge area of Citrus County. For over 20 years I have worked in most aspects of the construction and real estate businesses from site selection, feasibility studies, land acquisition, residential and commercial design and on-site construction supervision. In 1999 my business partner and I formed a small new home development company, Roken Development, Inc. and we began developing speculative homes on properties in the Central Ridge and Pine Ridge Estates areas of Citrus County. In the last several years we have developed and sold over 50 homes in Pine Ridge Estates alone. I, personally, have been responsible for construction scheduling, bank reconciliations, payroll, quarterly tax filings and the handling of accounts payable and accounts receivable. In 2005 our company expanded to become a full construction company, Roken Construction, Inc. and I took over all site management of our construction projects. Although my background is in the private sector, I also have an understanding of the workings of the public school system as I have been personally exposed to the schools systems through involvement for the past five years with the School Advisory Enhancement Counsel, and also have been indirectly aware of many of the schools goals, issues and problems by being married for 18 years to a teacher in the Citrus County School District. As a result of this combination, it has provided me a unique insight into the needs of the private sector as well as the challenges the public school system faces. In addition to being elected to the Citrus County School Board in the fall of 2010. I have always been involved in community service. As a young adult, I worked with youth ministries in my church .When my oldest child began school at Citrus Springs Elementary (CSES) my wife and I began volunteering in the school and we were elected to the School Advisory Enhancement Counsel (SAEC). After serving for two years as a voting member of SAEC, I was nominated and elected as Chairperson. I served as Chairperson for two years at CSES until the elementary schools were rezoned. When we were rezoned for Central Ridge Elementary School (CRE) I was nominated and elected to serve as its SAEC Chairperson. A large part of our responsibilities on SAEC is to review students’ testing data and performance and then use that data to guide the development of the classroom curriculum. In addition to helping shape curriculum, I assisted in the development of school policy and was responsible for helping to write the School Improvement Plans (SIP). As Chairperson, I also served on interview committees for administration and staff was part of a team that developed and voted on budgets. I have also had the pleasure of working with children out of school as I am a certified USA Swimming Coach and have current certifications in CPR, Safety Training for Swim Coaches and First Aid. As a dyslexic (a person with a learning disability), I know first-hand the challenges that students with learning disabilities face and can appreciate what teachers of students with learning disabilities must do to best assist those students in being successful. Technology became a great tool in helping myself and others with more serious disabilities. Today technology plays a big part of my life. I am constantly reading up on the newest in technology and keeping my skills fresh to the point my wife and friends affectionately nicknamed me, “Techno Thom”.


Legislature Tells Schools Boards No Standing Required for Pledge

Legislature Tells Schools Boards No Standing Required for Pledge Law passed in 2016 session, School Board Disagrees A year ago the Florida State Legislature passed a “train bill” HB 7029 by huge margins.  I was against that bill (as I remain today) for many items that were in that bill.  Tuck into HB 7029 at […]

Varsity Sports Exemption Gets Boost from Senate

Varsity Sports Exemption Gets Boost from Senate   Senator Flores Introduces Amendment Every train has some ‘cool’ cars too!  SB 926 maybe this year’s educational train bill and there are some good parts to it. This amendment is one of the good parts. For a number of years I have been lobbying anyone that would […]

New Recess Bill marches through state legislature

New Recess Bill marches through state legislature Please stop blaming local School Boards, legislation created the problem For the last several legislative sessions, groups of parents around the state have asked state legislators to pass new laws to mandate “unrestricted recess time” for elementary students.  It was just a few years back that the state […]

Tech Geeks’ Meeting

Tech Geeks’ Meeting Educational Technology Council On Thursday, I attended our quarterly school district’s Educational Technology Council meeting, which brings together school base technology specialist and technicians. This is always an important opportunity for these team members to come together.  These technology experts are on the front lines of our curriculum, digital assessments, technology initiatives […]

Chronicle Editorial Board Give Thumbs Up to Educational Pathways Bill

Chronicle Editorial Board Give Thumbs Up to Educational Pathways Bill Chronicle say Rep. Ralph Massullo’s “House Bill 407 is a common sense initiative” I wanted to thank you the Citrus Chronicle for their support of Rep. Massullo’s educational bills and for their editorial in Thursday’s paper, ‘Massullo bill seeks necessary balance’. The Editorial Board stated, […]

County High School Student College & Career Fair

County High School Student College & Career Fair Last week high school students from around the county came to Lecanto High School to the annual ‘County High School Student College & Career Fair’. This outstanding event happens ​with the collaboration of Citrus County Education Foundation, Junior Achievement and LHS Administrator Shawyn Newman. This event is […]