Former state superintendent candidate to lead American Falls

AMERICAN FALLS — The American Falls School District promoted one of its own Friday to fill its superintendent’s vacancy.

Randy Jensen

Randy Jensen, a former state superintendent candidate, will take over the district’s top spot July 1.

“I’m really grateful that they’re giving me the opportunity,” said Jensen, principal of American Falls’ William Thomas Middle School. “I’m looking forward to making good things happen here.”

Trustees selected Jensen from an original pool of 19 candidates. He emerged from a field of three finalists following a round of feedback from patrons earlier in the week.

“We heard plenty of good things about all three finalists,” school board chairman Bruce Hauber said. “But we feel Randy brings a lot of positive energy with him to help move the district forward.”

Trustees voted 5-0 to promote Jensen following a five-minute discussion during a special board meeting Friday afternoon.

Last year, Jensen said he was finished with state-level politics after he lost 2014’s hotly contested four-way GOP primary race for state superintendent. He finished second to Sherri Ybarra, who defeated Democrat Jana Jones in the general election.

Jensen has been honored as a principal twice on the national front — once as the National Association of Secondary Principals 2015 Middle Level Principal of the Year, and as the Association for Middle Level Education’s 2016 Distinguished Educator.

A 28-year principal, Jensen will replace longtime American Falls teacher and administrator Ron Bolinger, who announced his retirement in February.

Jensen is still negotiating his salary with the school district.