“I got into education so I could have the same impact on students that certain teachers and coaches had on me,” said Thomas.
[When this opportunity came up], “I was ready for a change,” he said. “I wanted to have more of an impact on education than I had in my own classroom.
Thomas grew up in Blackfoot, graduated from Blackfoot High in 1990 and then taught in American Falls.
“As I looked over the river, I was always a bit envious of Snake River,” he said.
Before coming to Snake River, Thomas taught 17 years at American Falls where he taught social studies, building trades and computer- aided drafting. He was the head coach for the boys’ basketball team and also coached cross country and track and yes, he misses coaching.
Thomas attended the College of Southern Idaho before graduating from Idaho State University. He also ran track and cross country for ISU.
Of his new position, he said, “It has its challenges. The positives outweigh the challenges.
“I am impressed with the faculty and staff,” Thomas said. “They are willing to look outside the box to help students learn."
“We are focusing on student achievement to implement language arts and math across the curriculum," he said of how he is working to help his faculy raise student test scores.
“I'm impressed with what the faculty has come up with,” he said. “We are looking for ways to get parents involved.”
Parents are involved in their children’s elementary grades and then again with their activities in high school but not so much in the middle grades, he explained.
Thomas is married to the former Tia Woodfin. The couple has seven children—Traegan, a sophomore; Cole, an eighth grader; Derek, seventh grade; Kristen, fifth grade; Matthew, second grade; Cydney, a kindergartner; and 5-week-old Micah.
“I have a child in every school [in the Snake River District] except Rockland,” he said.
“We moved to Groveland; I started a new job and we had a new baby—all in the same week,” said Thomas.