Board of Education

Superintendent Gaborik Announces Retirement

Sep 14, 2020
FNSB School District

The superintendent of Fairbanks area schools has announced she will retire in June. Karen Gaborik has worked for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for more than 20 years and has been the Superintendent of Schools since 2014.

School Board president Wendy Dominique said Gaborik intended to make the announcement at this week’s school board meeting.

“They were trying to keep it a secret until Tuesday but of course, she had to put it in the agenda, and once you put it in the agenda, everybody started calling and asking if it was true. It was a shocker to me. I just thought she was going to be here for at least another two years especially with the pandemic.”

Dominique says she thought Gaborik would want to have a normal school year after the disruptions caused by forced remote learning.

In her letter, Gaborik wrote: “Serving the school district in the past 26 years in the community where I was born and raised has been a journey full of great adventures, profound personal growth, and deep connections. When I reflect on the body of work that has resulted from a career of service to students, families and staff, I am grateful for the incredible opportunities that have graced my path.”

Dominique says the announcement coming now gives the school board time to do a comprehensive search and public review for a new superintendent.

Gaborik says she is fully committed to her work and the district for the remainder of her contract and looks forward to participating in the transition to new leadership.


Kids return to school today across Alaska, including the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. On top of academic challenges, students sometimes face unequal service by school staff because of heritage, skin color or sexual identity. Last year, the administration hired a consultant to investigate the district’s climate for prejudice and abuse.

Families Enroll in Classrooms by Default

Aug 12, 2020

With the pandemic threatening in-person schooling, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board of Education has been meeting weekly, and sometimes twice a week, to oversee the options offered to families. The met Monday evening and are meeting again tonight (Wednesday.)

At last count there are 13,281 public school students in the borough and about 11,000 are presumed to return to the classroom, with others staying home learning remotely or attending a homeschool program. The district asked families to enroll students by last Friday, however, which families are doing what is still in flux.

While school buildings were closed during Spring semester, supporting teaching became the priority for district staff, and advisory committees were not able to meet.

The Diversity Committee of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District had a meeting scheduled for April that was postponed until last night.

Robyne / KUAC

School employees in Fairbanks have been scaled back to only those who must be at their work stations to get their jobs done. Like so many organizations in Alaska, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is sending people home to work. As KUAC’s Robyne reports, the details of are still being worked out.

Robyne / KUAC

The board room at the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District was choked with people wanting to comment about curriculum updates. A proposed elective class for 11th and 12th graders focusing on LGBTQ literature brought detractors and supporters.


Two new members were sworn in yesterday (Monday) to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District’s Board of Education. Jennifer Luke and Matthew Sampson now begin three-year terms.