Local Celebrities, Jason and Gaby Batalden

The first ever cover models of Idaho Falls Magazine

Published online: Dec 20, 2020 Articles
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The first issue of Idaho Falls Magazine came out in 2001, featuring Jason and Gaby Batalden candidly flying a kite at Skyline High School. Twenty years have passed since that issue was released, but the father and daughter pair can still be found in Idaho Falls, though admittedly not flying any kites together. That era of life has passed, bringing with it adulthood for Gaby and new opportunities for Jason.


IFM: Have you stayed in Idaho Falls the entire time since our original photo of you was taken?

GB: I have other than a bit for college for a year.

JB: I moved here in ’96 when Gaby was 5 and we’ve been here ever since.


IFM: 20 years is a long time. What are just a few things that have changed since we first saw you?

JB: Gaby is back at Skyline, working, which also happens to be the location of the first picture we took. You can see Skyline in the background of where we stand flying the kite. Other than jobs and a little less hair, not much has actually changed.


IFM: Is it interesting to be back working at Skyline?

GB: It’s definitely interesting. I work as the school’s registrar. It is cool to be behind the scenes and see how everything gets done.


IFM: What would you say led you to stick around Idaho Falls?

JB: I would say it just became home. We moved here to pursue teaching. We didn’t move here with the intent of making it home, but as life went on and the kids got older and got involved in the community it became that. Pretty soon when we would go back to Wyoming to visit we would be saying, “We can’t wait to get home.” So, somewhere along the way it became that to us.


IFM: What are some things that you love about Idaho Falls?

JB: I love the people I’ve met here. We’ve made friends and built our family. We’ve always had opportunities here. It never felt like we were being limited.

GB: For me and my brother it has always been home. My brothers have lived in different places. My little brother lives in Oregon now and he still calls Idaho Falls home. It doesn’t really change. We had lots of opportunities to play sports and we did really well. We had a lot of people backing us growing up, even just random people we met on the street, some of whom would know me because I played boy’s hockey.  


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