Karen Gaborik

Public schools in the Fairbanks area are on track to open classrooms to elementary students on October 5 and middle school students October 19. The Board of Education for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District had another late-running meeting late night to hear conflicting testimony from parents, teachers and students. But the issues for returning high school students were too complicated for the board to pick one of two plans and the board rejected both of them.

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.

Schools in Fairbanks and North Pole will look very different this fall. Students are expected to return to The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District classrooms on August 19th or 20th, according to a Return to School plan that is still evolving. It hinges on the number of coronavirus cases in the community.

Sara Tabbert

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board decided Monday to ask voters this fall to approve a $27.7 million bond package to pay for roof repairs and electrical upgrades to district facilities. The board also took one last look at next year’s $238 million district budget before considering final approval tonight.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board of Education on Wednesday narrowly approved the administration’s recommended $232 million budget for next school year. That’s 3.3 percent or about $8 million lower than this year’s budget, mainly due to anticipated cuts in both borough and state funding and a slight drop in enrollment. It would require the district to increase class sizes and cut nearly 50 jobs, and sharply cut back on sports and other activities – unless the Assembly and Legislature come through with more funding.

FNSB School District

he Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board of Education approved a three-year contract for Karen Gaborik Tuesday. Gaborik had been heading up the district administration for about a year now, and her tenure so far has been filled with challenges.


The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and the local Council of PTAs will host three meetings over the next week, beginning Saturday, to inform the public about the district’s budget problems. District officials also hope to get feedback from the public about their proposals to cut jobs and programs.

Fairbanks, AK - A handful of Fairbanks schools have been on high security alert in the last two days due to two separate incidents. 

An armed standoff early Tuesday disrupted the morning commute for residents of west Fairbanks.  The incident also rerouted more than 20 school buses. Karen Gaborik is the School District Interim Superintendent.  She says at least 140 kids were late to morning classes. “That’s a fair number of students coming late to school," she says. "We also had staff who got stuck in traffic as well.”