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

Larry Persily (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: State’s ‘what if’ lawsuit doesn’t much add up

The state’s latest legal endeavor came July 2 in a dubious lawsuit — with a few errors and omissions for poor measure

The entrance to the Homer Electric Association office is seen here in Kenai, Alaska, on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Speak up on net metering program

The program allows members to install and use certain types of renewable generation to offset monthly electric usage and sell excess power to HEA

Gov. Mike Dunleavy signs bills for the state’s 2025 fiscal year budget during a private ceremony in Anchorage on Thursday, June 25, 2024. (Official photo from The Office of the Governor)
Alaska’s ‘say yes to everything’ governor is saying ‘no’ to a lot of things

For the governor’s purposes, “everything” can pretty much be defined as all industrial development

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board members, staff and advisors meet Oct. 30, 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The concerns of reasonable Alaskans isn’t ‘noise’

During a legislative hearing on Monday, CEO Deven Mitchell referred to controversy it’s created as “noise.”

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Crime pays a lot better than newspapers

I used to think that publishing a quality paper, full of accurate, informative and entertaining news would produce enough revenue to pay the bills

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo
Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom addresses the crowd during an inaugural celebration for her and Gov. Mike Dunleavy at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Jan. 20, 2023.
Opinion: The many truths Dahlstrom will deny

Real conservatives wouldn’t be trashing the rule of law

Gov. Mike Dunleavy discusses his veto of a wide-ranging education bill during a press conference March 16 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Governor, please pay more attention to Alaskans

Our governor has been a busy guy on big issues.

Priya Helweg is the acting regional director and executive officer for the Region 10 Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Happy Pride Month

This month is dedicated to acknowledging and uplifting the voices and experiences of the LGBTQI+ community

A roll of “I voted” stickers sit at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Juneau in 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Strengthening democracy: Native vote partners to boost voter registration

GOTNV and VPC are partnering to send over 4,000 voter registration applications this month to addresses and P.O. boxes all over Alaska

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after he was found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial in New York on May 30.
Opinion: Trump’s new fixers

Fixers from Alaska and elsewhere step in after guilty verdict

Ballot booths are set up inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Perspective from an election worker

Here is what I know about our Kenai Peninsula Borough election system

Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting transgender rights. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The imaginary transgender sports crisis

House Bill 183 is a right-wing solution to a problem that doesn’t exist now and never will.