Kenny McAlister

Kenny McAlister


Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with a minor in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Teaching from Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana; studied Educational Leadership at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

Mr. McAlister began teaching math in Louisiana in 2005. In 2014, he started at Inspire, the Idaho Connections Academy, as the Assistant Principal. In November of 2021, his role changed to Interim School Leader. Here, he talks about why he became a teacher, why he enjoys School Administration, and shares his experience at Inspire Connections Academy.

Why I Became an Educator

"I think I always knew I wanted to teach middle school math. I remember having a middle school math teacher and high school physics teacher that I loved. They were great in the way they taught and connected with their students. I always thought to myself that I could do that—connect with people.

I enjoy learning about what’s going on in my students’ lives, their interests, and how I can help support their academic goals.

Connecting and Communicating with Students and Families

There is a true connection that can be made with students online. It’s not the same as in a traditional school where you see students every day—but it can be just as deep a connection with phone calls and small LiveLesson® sessions. Students who are receptive to speaking on the phone engage in some amazing conversations. What’s great is that you can individualize the conversation specifically for the interests of that student. It’s also rewarding to have a student succeed when all odds are against them.

Inspire does a great job communicating with parents, students, and the community, and we’re always looking for ways to increase our engagement. All staff conduct a welcome call to students and families before school starts, which helps start building relationships. Throughout the year, we’re in constant communication with students and families and offer a wide variety of communication methods. When circumstances allow, we hold field trips and events across the state of Idaho to meet our students in person and gather as a community.

"We prepare our students for the future by teaching them how to become accountable, manage their time, and advocate for themselves."

— Mr. McAlister

What Makes Online School Different from a Traditional Setting

Connections Academy provides students with flexibility—but not too much! Families can work school around their lives, instead of having to fit their lives around school. That doesn’t mean students don’t have to attend school each day, they just attend at different hours each day.

We prepare our students for the future by teaching them how to become accountable, manage their time, and advocate for themselves. We also teach them self-motivation, problem-solving skills, and often how to juggle work and school."