Meet Mrs. Komenda

I am proud to be a part of the Smith Valley community of learners!  I became the principal of Smith Valley School the 2010/2011 school year.  I stepped into the very big shoes of Harold "Mike" Welling.  Mr. Welling had been at Smith Valley School for over 30 years!  I am honored to have been selected as the educational leader of this awesome learning community!  What brings our story around full-circle is the fact that Mr. Welling's daughter was a student in my first-ever teaching assignment at West Valley School, and his other daughter is a paraprofessional at Smith Valley School!

I taught at West Valley School, North and West of Smith Valley for 21 years.  I also taught at Fair-Mont-Egan for one year.  I have taught pre-first through 5th grade.  I LOVE teaching, and I was very excited to continue teaching and learning in a different capacity as the educational leader for an entire school.  

I  am fortunate to  have lived in the splendid beauty of Montana my whole life! My grade school years were spent at Pleasant Valley School, a rural, one-room school.  I loved helping the teacher 'teach' in the lower grades, and would work to get my assignments done early so that I could do so. I decided in first grade that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.   I was the very top of my class in grade school (I love to say that.....)  Unfortunately, a point could be made that I was also the 'bottom' of my class, since I was the only one in my grade! :)

My home was 57 miles West of Kalispell.  We lived on a ranch 8 miles from our nearest neighbor, who also had the nearest telephone and electricity!  We were able to live pretty 'normally' because we had a generator to pump water into a holding tank, giving us running water. We also had a propane water heater, cooking stove, refrigerator, and lights. Since we didn't know any different lifestyle, it was normal for us!

My dad taught me to have a natural curiosity, and to love to learn. Sadly, he passed away in September of 2006. He loved to collect Native American artifacts, and I have inherited his collection. I share his love of this culture with students by bringing authentic artifacts in for them to see and feel.  In his later years, my dad also liked to make knives and arrowheads from rocks. This is called flintknapping.

I have been married to Brad Komenda since 1984. Brad builds log homes. In fact, we built our log home in 2004 and are continuing to put finishing touches on it every year since then. We have two boys--Tyler and Travis . Tyler graduated from  Flathead High School (Go Braves!) in Kalispell in 2009, and is now going to Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana (Go Cats!). Tyler is taking engineering classes.  We miss him LOTS when he is at college! 

Travis went to Glacier High School. (Go Wolfpack!), and graduated in June of 2012.  Travis is also going to Montana State, Bozeman.  Travis was a host at Famous Daves in Kalispell. Travis likes to ski, loves hunting and outdoor activities, and was a pole vaulter in track. Travis is also going to Montana State University in Bozeman, MT.  He is also majoring in engineering.

We have a dog named Peppy.

I went to college at the University of Montana (go Griz!) in Missoula. I started teaching in 1988 at West Valley (for a one year leave of absence) in a 2nd/3rd grade combination class. I taught the 1989/90 school year at Fairmont Egan just Southeast of Kalispell (a maternity leave) in the 2nd grade. I was offered a contract back at West Valley the next year, and I taught there through the spring of 2010. I taught pre-first/first combination classes for five years, and later taught 4th/5th grade looping. This was an awesome opportunity because I really got to know my students and their parents during those two years! We were able to build life-long friendships and connections. The very best part was that when we started 5th grade, we all knew each other and knew what to expect. We didn't have to establish relationships and rules, so we were able to cover more material!

In 2002, I went back to college to get a Master's Degree, also out of the University of Montana in Missoula. I have a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, boys and dog, reading good books, scrapbooking, bible study, basket weaving, reading the newspaper, hiking, looking for antlers, reading about Native Americans, learning things on the computer, hunting, fishing, cross country skiing, making things from wood, watching birds, photography, playing the accordion, writing in my journal, gardening (especially herbs to use in cooking!), cooking, reading children's novels, etc..........................................................

........My philosophy is to fill my time with Living, Loving, Laughing and Learning!!

My favorite quote is: 
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with in us." 
by: Ralph Waldo Emerson 

I also have a favorite oral history (Cherokee) retell--the story of the .  Two Wolves

SmithValley Admin,
Jun 5, 2010, 11:26 AM