School Board makes surprise superintendent pick

Apr 5, 2019


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education was in executive session for a little more than five hours Thursday night, finally reconvening around 12:30 Friday morning to name the next superintendent for the district. But the name they chose wasn’t either of the candidates who had a public interview with the board earlier in the day.

“(School board) Vice President Zen Kelly moved to authorize President Penny Vadla to offer the position of Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and negotiate a contract to Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, John O’Brien," explained district communications liaison Pegge Erkeneff. "My understanding is it’s going to be an interim position that’s negotiated, so all those details will be discussed and we’ll have more information in the coming days.”

This was a bit of a surprise outcome, and one that was clearly a grind to get to for board members, none of whom were ready to comment after the meeting.


John Pothast, the district’s Director of Elementary and Secondary Education and Dr. Christine Ermold, the district’s Director of Human Resources each had a one hour interview before the board earlier in the day and one of them had been expected to replace outgoing superintendent Sean Dusek. O’Brien has been with the district since 2006.


We’ll be following up on this story as more details are available.