SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Let's stay focused on keeping good people in the right positions
By Peter Bolling


June 12, 2006

Given Ketchikan's love for a good ol' drop the gloves and toe the line donnybrook, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the point. The issue is not:

-Ms. Doherty's writing style or aggressive criticisms
-A need to rehash the recall of old board members
-How much criticism of public officials is too much?

In this case the issue is that neither the community at large nor the students of Ketchikan High School will be well served by moving Mr. Eklund from Kayhi s principal to vice-principal.

Mr. Eklund is a skilled administrator who is dedicated to his job, advocates for kids, challenges his teaching staff, is a master of the computer program Powerschool, and has run a tight ship at Kayhi during his tenure there. Admittedly, he does not always walk lock-step with the philosophical view coming out of central office, but I admire that. We should encourage diverse opinions from our administrative team, particularly when those administering the policies, like Mr. Eklund, who is in the trenches, can provide first hand insight into their success or failure.

Mr. Eklund has run the high school with exceptional good humor and competence during a time when the borough has stomped around in our educational garden with below cap funding and with an enormous mess in Schoenbar. Who has had to manage an under-funded high school program while making sure that the eighth graders get a descent experience while they are shoved into the extra space at Kayhi? Mr. Eklund. And he has done it with a grace and focus that most administrators would be fortunate to possess.

So while it is easy to lose sight of the issue and roll up the ol' sleeves and bloody as many noses as we can, let's stay focused on keeping good people in the right positions. If you have a dog in this fight, tie it up and head to the school board meeting on Wednesday of this week. Please voice your support for Mr. Eklund, and in doing so, for our schools.


Peter Bolling
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Peter Bolling is a teacher at Kayhi and a parent of a Kayhi student.



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