Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education

 

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.

Residents from the far corners of the Kenai Peninsula once again filled the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers last night during the school board meeting, making impassioned pleas to keep their schools open.

School closures are one of the items on the table due to budget woes at both the borough and state level.

We should know by sometime Thursday who the finalists are for the job of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District superintendent.

The board of education is taking a special meeting Thursday morning at 9 to go over the applicants and whittle them down to the ones the board would like to interview. 

The presentations will be behind closed doors in executive session, but the board will adjourn into regular session to announce the finalists. Each one will be offered an in-person interview.

Wiki Commons

A race for the school board in Sterling and Funny River is one of the most contested in the upcoming municipal election. Four people are vying for that one seat.


Wiki Commons

The District 2 — Kenai seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education is up for election. Incumbent Tim Navarre faces challenger Matt Morse.

Navarre has held his school district seat since 2009, is also currently on the Kenai City Council, has served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and was the chief of staff under borough Mayor John Williams. He is vice president of the family’s business, Zan, Inc., which owns the local Arby’s restaurants.

Morse graduated from Kenai Central High School, went off to college in Fairbanks and returned to Kenai to work in the family business, Partner Management Recruiters South Central Alaska.


Election coverage continues on the Kenai Conversation. Host Jenny Neyman visits with candidates for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education. In District 2 — Kenai, Matt Morse is running against incumbent Tim Navarre. In District 5 — Sterling/Funny River, incumbent Marty Anderson has three challengers — Nissa Fowler, Greg Madden and Karyn Griffin. Anderson is out of state for work and was not able to participate, and attempts to reach Griffin have not been successful.

Let’s get a little awkward, shall we, and discuss the birds and the bees. At least, the teaching of the birds and the bees, which has become a little more cumbersome since the passage of the Alaska Safe School Act. HB 156 went into effect in 2017 and requires school boards to review and approve outside presenters and materials used to teach sex ed, and grants parents the ability to opt their student out of any curriculum area or assessment.

Not all outside presenters and materials have to be approved by the school board. Historians, scientists, poets and so on, are still fine, only those teaching human reproduction. HB 156 had a controversial path into law. Some saw it as an attempt to limit sex ed, in a state where rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies rank among the highest in the nation. Others argued the additional scrutiny was a way to raise awareness and get parents and communities more involved in curriculum.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s school board had its yearly review of supplemental sex ed materials at its Aug. 6 meeting.


While the Alaska general election candidate slate will be set on Tuesday, the ballot denizens for the Oct. 2 Kenai Peninsula municipal elections were finalized at 5 p.m. last (Wednesday) night.

And despite always vital and sometimes contentious and divisive debates on the assembly, the people in the districts served by two incumbents have not put forth challengers.

Brent Hibbert of Soldotna and Kenn Carpenter of Seward will run alone for re-election.