Anna Willhite, Principal
Anna Willhite is excited to continue her leadership at Kennedy and is honored to serve this amazing community. This will be her 3rd year as the lead principal and 6th year as an administrator at Kennedy. She enjoys using her knowledge in instruction, curriculum, data, assessment and PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) to ensure that all students are receiving the tools, skills and knowledge they need in order to be successful in their futures. Willhite values partnering with families and all members of the school community to ensure academic and social emotional success for students. She wants what is best for all children and believes that focusing on strengths and honoring the good is how staff will be the most effective.
Willhite has been with District 742 since 2008. She has been a classroom language arts teacher, instructional leader, administrative intern, assistant principal and served on various district leadership committees. Willhite received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of St. Benedict. She has a passion for literacy success for all students and received her Reading Certificate and master's in Literacy Education from St. Mary's University. She also completed her Administrative Licensure through St. Mary's University.
Some fun facts about Ms. Willhite: She is married, has three children and their dog. She loves reading, cooking, playing games and exploring all that nature has to share. In her free time, she loves playing and watching sports, coaching her children, traveling, family movie nights and going on adventures.
Michael Smith, Assistant Principal
Mike Smith is thrilled to be a part of the leadership team at Kennedy Community School as the assistant principal. He cannot wait to continue to get to know the families in the community and work to best serve the students here. Smith is looking forward to bringing his knowledge of MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) to help guide and support the students at Kennedy and ensure that every student is becoming their best selves. He believes that building positive relationships and trust are essential to the social, emotional and academic success of our students. Smith uses PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) to support these ideals in the classroom and around the school community. He believes that all children can learn and encourages all students to focus on the positive.
Smith joined 742 after serving as the assistant principal at Becker Intermediate School. Before that he was a middle school band teacher for 12 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. He quickly realized that his passion for effecting positive change went beyond the classroom and worked to earn his master’s in educational leadership from Concordia University, and his administrative licensure from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
When he is not serving Kennedy, Smith enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, and their dog. He enjoys taking walks, cooking with his wife, taking family trips and playing games with his kids.