School board to interview superintendent candidates

The school board worked with the Association of Alaska School Boards to facilitate the search

Two candidates will be interviewed for the position of superintendent by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education Thursday, a press release said.

The board will interview Mr. John Pothast, the current director of elementary and secondary education for the district, and Dr. Christine Ermold, current director of human resources and professional development for the district.

The school board worked with the Association of Alaska School Boards to facilitate the search. The search drew in three candidates, however, Dr. Ken Haptonstall withdrew his application on Sunday, the release said.

Pothast has a bachelor’s degree in “secondary education: English and communications” from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and a master’s degree in “educational leadership” from Northern Arizona University, according to his resume. Pothast has been an English teacher at Kenai Peninsula College since 2016. He served as the principal of Skyview High School from 1999 to 2005, the principal of Redoubt Elementary from 2005 to 2015. In 2015, he took on his current position as the director of elementary and secondary education and student activities for the school district. In his current position, Pothast supervises elementary and secondary schools, distance education, career technical education, counselors and student activities in the district.

Ermold received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Alaska, according to her resume. She also received a doctorate degree in education from Walden University. Ermold began her teaching career in the late 1990s. In 1998, Ermold became a classroom and summer school teacher for the district. In 2001, Ermold took on the position of principal teacher and regional principal at Hope K-12 School, Moose Pass K-8 School and Cooper Landing K-12 School. In 2004, she became the principal at Sterling Elementary. In 2013 she became the district’s elementary education and professional development director. Her current position, which she’s held since 2016, is the human resources and professional development director, a position where she is responsible for all aspects of recruitment, retention and professional learning for 1,200 employees.

The public is invited to attend the interviews at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers in Soldotna. A live video stream of the interviews will be available at Homer Middle School and William H. Seward Elementary School. The candidates will both be asked predetermined identical questions. The public, whether at the schools watching the live stream or in the chambers, will be allowed to offer immediate feedback to the board. Audience members hoping to give feedback must sign in, attend the candidates’ interview and submit input forms before leaving the room.

The school board will announce their choice for the new superintendent as soon as possible, the release said.

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