April 3, 2014 | Volume 44, Number 13

Superintendent finalist bows out

The Haines Borough School District is again shopping for a superintendent.

The district’s lone finalist for the job, Ted VanBronkhorst of Unalakleet, accepted a job with the Juneau school district moments before he sat down for dinner with Haines school board members March 27.

VanBronkhorst said he would pay the district’s expenses for his trip here.

Board members Tuesday agreed to readvertise the job, with a revised schedule, including an April 25 application deadline and a May 9 hiring date. The job will be advertised with the Alaska Association of School Boards, the Alaska Council of School Administrators, Alaska Teacher Placement, on the district’s website and Facebook, the same places it was previously advertised.

The district’s previous solicitation drew 16 applicants, only two of which were considered suitably qualified to bring to town for interviews. Both have since accepted positions with other districts.

School board member Sara Chapell asked Tuesday if the district wasn’t doing the same as before but expecting a different result. District secretary Ashley Sage responded that the district recently received four inquiries about the job. Two are from new candidates.

School board members have said that unusually high turnover in Alaska school administrators this year has created competition among districts for superintendents.

Also Tuesday, the board agreed to extend school affiliation to the Haines Hot Shots, a youth shooting club for students in grades 5-12.

Hot Shots head coach Shane Horton said the club was self-supporting but wanted the affiliation because it has academic eligibility requirements for participation. Affiliation also would allow students to receive a school letter and improve their eligibility to receive college scholarships, Horton said.

Details of the arrangement are to be worked out between superintendent Michael Byer and club representatives.

In other action, the board agreed to offer administrative contracts to principals Cheryl Stickler and Michelle Byer. They also met in executive session to discuss negotiations with the teachers’ union.