Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has new Chief Operations Officer

Sep 12, 2018

Andy DeGraw, the new Chief Operations Officer for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

A new Chief Operations Officer for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District says efficient use of tax dollars is a priority. As KUAC’s Robyne reports, Andy DeGraw says taking the job is a homecoming … he grew up and attended schools in Fairbanks.

With a prior career in personal finance, Andy DeGraw switched to school finance about 10 years ago. He has spent the last eight years as a school district business manager in Wyoming.

But he grew up in Fairbanks, attending Joy, Barnette, Tanana Middle and Lathrop High Schools.

He says he didn’t return to Fairbanks just for the job. He has a stake in efficient, high-performing schools.

“I have four kids, so that’s important to me…”

He’s only been at the job for a month, and De Graw is still learning how each department in the district functions.

He says the job of COO has evolved. He credits his predecessor, Lisa Pierce, with making many changes to improve the performance of the departments of the school district. He wants to follow her example.

Continue the momentum

He knows with fewer oil dollars in recent years, funding from the state of Alaska has been cut back. But he says lack of funds should not be an excuse for sloppy operations.

Set the district up

DeGraw says he’s always working on improving  transparency and communication. This week he’s recruiting parent and community volunteers to sit on the district’s budget committee, which has it’s first meeting September 26. Applications for the budget committee on the school district’s website at k12northstar.org.

He has spent the last eight years as a school district business manager in Wyoming. Before that he was a financial advisor for seven years in Wyoming and Utah. He has an MBA from Utah State University and a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Utah Valley University. He also spent time in Fairbanks growing up and is a Lathrop graduate.