School board actions assure steady leadership

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014 3:52pm
  • Opinion

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District took an important step forward this week in naming an interim superintendent and outlining a plan to fill the position on a permanent basis.

Current Superintendent Steve Atwater tendered his resignation to the school board in early August, just as the district was ramping up for the current school year. While Atwater’s resignation is effective Dec. 1, giving the board another few months to find his replacement, it has been noted that the middle of the school year is not the best time to find the ideal candidate.

For any organization — large or small, public or private — certainty and confidence in leadership moving forward is critical for success. Planning for the unknown is both difficult and scary, and a void in a leadership position can be detrimental, especially for an organization as expansive as the school district.

The school board made what we think are two good decisions this week.

First, rather than try to rush to find a new superintendent at a time when the top candidates aren’t necessarily looking, the board opted to name an interim superintendent to finish out the school year, giving the board time to conduct a thorough candidate search. There’s no need to panic; the school district is in good shape. While there’s always issues that need to be addressed, the district is not facing a crisis. The district has a good handle on its finances, schools are performing well, and there is a team of experienced administrators overseeing district operations. The board has breathing room to find the right person for the job.

Second is the selection of Sean Dusek to handle the duties of interim superintendent. In Dusek, the district has a person who has worked in the district in many different roles, from classroom teacher and coach to assistant superintendent. Dusek has a good sense of where the district has been, and where it’s going. He’ll be called on to oversee the school budget process, with much of the heavy lifting to be done just as he will be settling in to his new role.

The next step is for Dusek and the school board to come to terms on an agreement, which is one thing we hope can be accomplished in a timely manner.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is a complex, diverse organization. The school board’s actions offer reassurance of steady leadership as we dive into another school year.

More in Opinion

Kate Troll (Courtesy Photo / Kate Troll)
Opinion: The real ‘at last!’ on climate change

In Alaska, the Inflation Reduction Act offers come game-changing features.

The official ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Division of Elections)
Voices of the Peninsula: Check out the ballot before you vote

This kind of ballot is not something you have seen before.

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party

Michael Heimbuch attends a memorial service for the late Drew Scalzi on Aug. 5, 2005, at the Seafarers Memorial on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Point of View: King salmon: The clash of culture and science

People do some pretty awful things to king salmon stocks

State Sen. Josh Revak (Photo provided)
The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The hope is that the bipartisan American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) will come to the Senate floor for a vote

Lieutenant governor candidate Edie Grunwald speaks at a Charlie Pierce campaign event at Paradisos restaurant in Kenai on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Election Integrity: An Alaskan question with an Alaskan answer

A needless round of feel-good meetings and what-if conversations will be a thing of the past

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

The cost of health insurance will rise substantially next year for about 13 million Americans

The offical ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Divison of Elections)
Opinion: Alaskans deserve an election system that represents our differences

The new system’s goal is to make this election cycle transparent, secure and easy for all Alaskans to vote

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell (Courtesy)
Opinion: UAA’s career certificates are helping to fill Alaska’s workforce pipeline

At UAA, we are announcing a new suite of certificate programs responding to some of the state’s most critical needs