SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Ketchikan School Superintendent
By Bill Thomas Sr.


March 28, 2007

Dear Sitnews:

I have to admit that some of these comments are difficult to make. The reason being, for as long as I've lived here, I've had the pleasure of interacting in one capacity or another with leaders of the community and the people they employ. I am proud to consider them my friends and neighbors. One positive factor is that the teaching community in this district is a very close knit family and active component of many good things that happen in Ketchikan. I have also served on selection committees that recommended various people to District Superintendents and UAS Campus directors. I have served actively in an administrative capacity for KGBSD and in an advisory capacity with the University for more than a decade. I've been involved in many organizations, committees, boards and commissions over the years.

Disagreement, for the most part is the one way to reach a positive conclusion after a period of communication that some know as discussion or debate. Each component has a role. One governs, the other administers. When strong character on both sides can't seem to come to an agreement, the situation becomes a matter of micro-managing. Which in most cases, turns out to be the most devastating consequence to the people you are elected and hired to serve, the students of this school district. It's amazing how many decisions are made between part of governing bodies before it ever gets to an agenda or a meeting. In my opinion ,that is totally wrong and counter productive. So far the reasons I've had access to, which is only what I get from the media, are not relevant to the point to warrant dismissal of an individual who has endured more than his share of fiascos regarding renovation of a middle school that was subject to Morpheus law. Moving the district office several times during his tenure, placing students in multiple locations in order for them to attend school. During those times, I don't recall the school board coming up with any alternative solutions or even being part of discussions. They spent their time listening and agreeing with the alternatives put forth by our incumbent superintendent. My hopes for what it's worth is that you don't let emotions blind your vision and dilute your opportunity to function as one of the best performing organizations that demonstrate as a priority the best welfare of each student in achieving their individual potential of learning so that they don't wind up on the street, in detention or the court system because they do not have the tools to be all they can be. Remember, you are largely responsible for providing these opportunities to the children in this school district. In my heart, I know you can do it.


Bill Thomas Sr.

Received March 27, 2007 - Published March 28, 2007

About: "Advocate for youth and education"



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Ketchikan, Alaska