Kenai Middle School administrator receives principal of the year award

Vaughn Dosko, the principal at Kenai Middle School, attributed the award to his students and staff

Photo courtesy of the Alaska Council of School Administrators 
Vaughn Dosko

Photo courtesy of the Alaska Council of School Administrators Vaughn Dosko

The Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals has named Kenai’s Vaughn Dosko the principal of the year for region 3.

Dosko, the principal at Kenai Middle School, attributed the award to his students and staff.

“This recognition is not about me, it’s about a middle school and a number of years of doing great things for kids,” he said. “This is more of an award that the entire staff and students and community and Kenai parents should be celebrating.”

The end of this year will be his 16th working for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Dosko said his road to education as a career was a unique one.

After graduating from high school, he went to college in Canada — his home country — for meteorology. When he decided college wasn’t up his alley, he said he was unsure about his future. His mom encouraged him to pursue education.

“I always had an interest in working with kids,” Dosko said. “And so that’s how I got into education. (It) was listening to my mother telling me what I should do.”

He earned education degrees in both North Dakota and Idaho colleges, before making the trek up to Alaska. He served as the principal in Tuluksak, a rural village upriver from Bethel, for six years and then made it to Kenai.

“There was an opportunity that came about, and my wife agreed upon it and so we just took the adventure and came up and fell in love with Alaska and fell in love with the people,” Dosko said.

The most important aspect of education for his students, he said, is the relationships they make at school. The principal said Kenai Middle has a positive family environment.

“If kids don’t feel like they’re part of a family then it’s very, very difficult for them to get out of school what they should be getting,” Dosko said. “Whatever relationship those kids have is why kids end up ultimately being successful, because they feel like they belong to something.”

Looking back on his tenure, he said he’s most proud of being able to offer students a multifaceted educational approach.

“Ultimately we’re proud of what we’re able to deliver to kids and give them a real well-rounded education,” Dosko said. “And no matter what their interests are we typically have something here that can match that.”

He’s scheduled to be recognized at the 56th annual Alaska Principals’ Conference, which is currently scheduled for Oct. 14-15 in Anchorage.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at

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