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FNSBSD Suspends Superintendent Search


The Fairbanks North Star Borough School board has suspended the search for a new superintendent. The board took the action at a regular meeting Tuesday night, following the reading of several public comments expressing concerns about the experience, work history, and qualifications of three finalist for the job.

Board president Tim Doran read a letter from the greater Fairbanks NAACP:

“Following a thorough review of the three finalists, cover letters and resumes, and the responses of the candidates at the public forum hosted on March 31, we request that an interim superintendent be instated, so that a broader pool of applicants may be considered. Although the three candidates display of breadth of experience and expertise combined, individually their qualifications do not promote confidence that anyone applicant will be a good fit for the FNSBSD."

The NAACP letter, and several other community comments read into the record by the board at Tuesday’s meeting raise general and specific issues with the three finalists: Justin Barnes of Montana, Vickie Cartright of Wisconsin and Dr. Corey Weiss, who currently works for Alaska’s Copper River School District.

The board then went into executive session, after which, president Tim Doran made a brief statement thanking the candidates for their time.

“However, at this particular time, we don’t feel we have the match that we need for our community and for our students moving forward.“

The board unanimously voted to suspend the superintendent search. A special meeting is scheduled for Saturday morning to discuss options for filling the position. Doran thanked the community for its input so far, and stressed that finding a new superintendent is a process.

“And really keeping that fact that we are student – centered, everything we do is on student and student learning and that’s what’s driving our decision making."

A search update posted on the school district website says the board may consider appointing an interim superintendent current superintendent Karen Gaborik is retiring at the end of the school year.

Dan has been in public radio news in Alaska since 1993. He’s worked as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host at stations in McGrath, Valdez and Fairbanks. Dan’s experience includes coverage of a wide range of topics, from wolf control to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and dog mushing.