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Fairbanks community input needed, district shares highlights from superintendent candidate forum

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 6:33 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The search for a new Superintendent of Schools for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District continues, and community members have an opportunity to provide their input to the proceedings.

On March 31st, the Association of Alaska School Boards hosted a public community forum online, in which the three prospective candidates answered questions about their backgrounds and the experience they can each bring to the table as the new superintendent for the Fairbanks school district. Each candidate was asked what both their expectations, and concerns were, should they take the position.

“My concern is just doing the best job that I possibly can. Because I know the community and I know the challenges that Alaska provides. I embrace those, I’ve dealt with them for several years now. The concern is that I wanna do the best job I possibly can for the school district. Represent our interests in Juneau to the borough and be an active part of the community, an active part of the school district. Out and about and visible,” said Dr. Corey Weiss, Special Programs Director for the Copper River School District.

Dr. Justin Barnes, Superintendent of the Anaconda, Montana school district, states that he is fascinated with Fairbanks as a multicultural city, and looks forward to engaging in community events with his family.

“I would obviously have a few concerns coming into the district nothing major. Just knowing as large as Fairbanks is, in being honest, I’d want to meet with as many stakeholders as possible as soon as I could to get a good feel of the school, and an even better feel for the community to see all the things that have happened in the school district that are going really well, and other things that might not be going as well as planned,” said Dr. Barnes.

Dr. Vickie Cartwright, Superintendent of the Oshkosh Area School District is looking forward to engaging with the Fairbanks community first hand, and experiencing the influence of both native and military culture in the city.

“Some of the concerns that we’re looking at, right now is really getting in deep, deep into the budget, and really examining what’s causing this, and what’s happening beyond just the drop in student enrollment. I know that the district is currently working on communication strategies to try to retrieve and get back the students that we had lost and I think that’s wonderful,” said Dr. Cartwright.

The full staff forum video, audio, and a forum to provide community feedback can be accessed at the School District website here.

The deadline to provide community feedback has been extended to Sunday, April 4th at 10:00 p.m. so everyone has an opportunity to view each video then give their input.

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