Tonight: District leadership goes live

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s social network is expanding, with a fourth Facebook event bringing together five members of the district’s instructional team to answer questions live.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, the community will have half an hour to communicate with Assistant Superintendent of Instruction John O’Brien, Director of Human Resources Dr. Christine Ermold, Director of Elementary and Secondary Education John Pothast and Director of Pupil Services Clayton Holland and Director of Federal Programs and Assessments Tim Vlassak.

The school district is divided into two teams under the superintendent, the instructional team and the instructional support team. The instructional team works directly with what happens inside the classroom, in comparison to the instructional support team which works closely with operational tasks like budget, transportation and facilities.

“What we’re focusing on this time is anything to do with teaching, instructions and the classrooms,” Pegge Erkeneff, the district communications liaison, said. “They’ll be answering any questions that parents, staff, students or the community have about what happens when you go to a Kenai Peninsula Borough School District school.”

Anyone is invited to watch the Facebook live event, even if they don’t have a Facebook account, by visiting the district’s Facebook page. Questions can be asked during the event or ahead of time through the Facebook event page, but a Facebook login is needed. For those without Facebook who still wish to ask questions, Erkeneff recommends emailing them to her ahead of time at communications@kpbsd.org.

With a larger group than the normal one on one events, Erkeneff said sending questions ahead of time would ensure they are answered.

“We’ll see how this goes with five people, it’s a little bit of a different format,” Erkeneff said. “We’ll shake it up a bit and we’ll be able to learn if there are other areas that we want to focus on individually within the different departments.”

Those invited to participate in the event cover a broad spectrum of the district’s day to day classroom experience. Pothast “has all the answers about personalized learning,” Erkeneff said.

Holland will be able to speak to special education and mental health, answering questions such as “how does a parent know that their child may have a disability?”

Vlassak oversees all federal dollars in the district, meaning anything that is funded by a federal grant, and all assessments, such as the PEAKS testing which starts next week.

“Dr. Ermold works with human resources and professional development,” Erkeneff said. “So she focuses on how we continue to train our teachers and how we ensure we hire really qualified teachers.”

Assistant Superintendent O’Brien oversees a variety of initiatives on the instructional side.

“He wears a big hat, but really understands the instructional side,” Erkeneff said. He works closely with the district’s strategic plan and key performance indicators, which tracks the district’s progression and ability to meet their goals.

After the live event ends, the video will be saved onto the district’s Facebook page allowing the community to watch and comment on the videoafter the live event on Thursday night. Erkeneff said a previous live video event focusing on the district’s budget has reached over 1,000 views.

“I think it puts a personal face on leadership in the district,” she said. “People can get answers directly from a lot of the decision makers and district leadership.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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