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

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

More in News

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives on Saturday rejected the budget bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week. The bill will now go to a bicameral committee for negotiations, but the end of the legislative session is Wednesday.
House votes down Senate’s budget as end of session nears

State budget now goes to negotiating committee

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Candidate for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives Tara Sweeney, a Republican, was in Juneau on Monday and sat down with the Empire for an interview. Sweeney said the three main pillars of her campaign are the economy, jobs and healthy communities.
Sweeney cites experience in run for Congress

GOP candidate touts her history of government-related work

One tree stands in front of the Kenai Post Office on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai taking down hazard beetle trees

The city hopes to leverage grant funds for most of the work

Former Alaska governor and current congressional hopeful Sarah Palin speaks with attendees at a meet-and-greet event outside of Ginger’s Restaurant on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Palin brings congressional bid to Soldotna

The former governor took time Saturday to sign autographs and take pictures with attendees

In this October 2019 photo, Zac Watt, beertender for Forbidden Peak Brewery, pours a beer during the grand opening for the Auke Bay business in October 2019. On Sunday, the Alaska House of Representatives OK’d a major update to the state’s alcohol laws. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Graphic by Ashlyn O'Hara
Borough, school district finalizing $65M bond package

Efforts to fund maintenance and repairs at school district facilities have been years in the making

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the House Majority Coalition spent most of Friday, May 13, 2022, in caucus meetings at the Alaska State Capitol, discussing how to proceed with a large budget bill some have called irresponsible. With a thin majority in the House of Representatives, there’s a possibility the budget could pass.
State budget work stretches into weekend

Sessions have been delayed and canceled since Wednesday

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Tribal recognition bill clears Senate, nears finish line

Senators say recognition of tribes was overdue

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain crew responds to a fire burning near Milepost 46.5 of the Sterling Highway on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Cooper Landing Emergency Services)
Officials encourage residents to firewise homes

The central peninsula has already had its first reported fires of the season

Most Read