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New representative joins school board

Beverley Romanin at her first KPBSD board meeting, last week.
Riley Board
Beverley Romanin at her first KPBSD board meeting, last week.

Funny River and Sterling have a new representative to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education.

At its last meeting, the school board appointed Beverley Romanin to fill the vacant District 5 seat through October 2023. Former board member, Jennifer Waller, said last month she was stepping down from the seat.

Waller was elected to the seat in 2021. She did not make public a reason for her resignation.

Romanin is from Arkansas and moved to the central peninsula three years ago after several summers of visiting. She said she was considering volunteering in the schools when she saw that the board was looking to fill a seat.

“And I’ve been in just about every phase of education except that,” she said.

On her application, Romanin said she has an educational doctorate from Northern Arizona University. She’s taught in California and in Arkansas, where she was also an assistant superintendent and principal, and has been an adjunct professor and educational consultant. For six years, she worked on developing school improvement strategies with a Tennessee nonprofit, Modern Red SchoolHouse, which brought her to schools in 25 states — including Alaska.

“So it really gave me an opportunity to see a lot of good things that were going on, and a lot of things that needed to be fixed. And to figure out why to fix them — that was my job,” she said.

Romanin said she’s an advocate for career and technical education and that a big concern of hers is child literacy. Now that she’s been appointed to the board, she said she’ll spend time in her region’s schools to get a sense of the priorities facing staff and families there.

The school board considered four applicants to fill the District 5 vacancy — including Benjamin Miller, Leslie Morton and former district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff.

School board President Zen Kelly said after interviewing the candidates at a special meeting last week, Romanin came out on top.

“She has a pretty impeccable resume and application,” Kelly said. “And then when she interviewed, she just really came across as having been in the school system for a long time and knowing what kids needed and want.”

Romanin will fill the seat until the next general election, next October 2023. Then, District 5 will elect a representative to serve for the remaining year of Waller’s term, through 2024.

Sabine Poux is a producer and reporter for the Brave Little State podcast of Vermont Public. She was formerly news director and evening news host at KDLL in Kenai.

Originally from New York, Sabine has lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont and Kenai.
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