Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop talks future after retirement

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:17 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Deena Bishop has announced her retirement as Anchorage School District superintendent after an educational career lasting three decades in Alaska.

The school district said Tuesday that Bishop will step down at the end of this school year.

Bishop came to Alaska from Texas and started her educational career in the Last Frontier in 1991, where she spent many years going all over the state either teaching in class or on the basketball court as a coach.

And after working her way up the educational ladder, she was a principal and then the superintendent of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, before becoming Anchorage’s school superintendent in 2016.

“Well, the first thing I’m going to do is to meet folks and to learn about the district in more detail,” Bishop said in 2016 when she took the top spot at Anchorage schools. “I want folks to share their ideas with me, share their concerns, what they absolutely think is the very, very best thing and what is it that they like to move Anchorage forward.”

Now after six years as head of the district, she has announced her retirement, starting a transition for the next superintendent. Looking back on her past, Bishop said one of her greatest impacts so far was her refocus on students and literacy.

“That really takes away the ticket to life for so many students if they don’t reach a certain proficiency and that generally happens when they’re younger, so everything is, what’s attained early has an impact on what’s attained later and not wanting to put a glass ceiling on any child. That refocus and the work with teachers in that area has been very very exciting,” Bishop said.

But for now, Bishop is going to be taking the time for herself and is looking forward to her next chapter.

“I’m looking for more time to spend with what matters most, which is our family and friends, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop working,” Bishop said. “I know that there will be something there that matches my love and matches the skills that I can offer and so, I don’t know what the future holds but I know it’s going to be just a lot more time on things that are close to home.”

Bishop does have about eight months left and will officially retire as superintendent on June 30, 2022.

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