Tony Habra, the new superintendent for the Haines Borough School District, asked at Thursday’s meeting for the school board’s input and opinions on ways he could improve.

Habra proposed the district pay at least $6,325 to participate in an Alaska Superintendents Association Mentoring Program. The program pairs first and second-year superintendents in Alaska with an experienced superintendent or educator for a series of phone calls and in-person meetings. This person would act as a mentor and coach.

Board members said they didn’t want to discredit mentorship and wanted to provide Harba with resources, but pointed to budget concerns. “We really need to keep our fingers on the pulse of the budget this year,” said board member Lisa Schwartz.

Habra suggested the money come out of the district’s professional development fund, currently at $12,000.

If approved, Habra would be paired with John Holst, a retired superintendent from Sitka.

The discussion was postponed for additional information and will be revisited at the board’s Sept. 6 meeting.