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Anchorage School District has 3 finalists for superintendent

Final candidate interviews will follow town hall meetings next week
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 2:00 PM AKDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2022 at 9:39 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District has three finalists to fill the district’s top job, including a Service High School graduate and current Sitka superintendent, after Superintendent Deena Bishop announced she will retire at the end of this school year.

A letter sent to parents on Friday signed by Anchorage School Board President Margo Bellamy said the candidates will tour the district next week and participate in several town hall meetings. The three final candidates are:

  • Jharrett Bryantt, executive officer in the Office of Talent for the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas. That school district serves close to 200,000 students, according to Bryantt’s biography provided by the school district. There, he leads efforts to “attract, retain, evaluate, and competitively compensate world class talent for one of the nation’s largest school systems.” Having attained his Doctor of Education from the University of Texas at Austin, Bryantt has also previously served as the district’s assistant superintendent, and as a college advisor.
  • Sitka School District Superintendent Frank Hauser. A graduate of Service High School in Anchorage, Hauser has 24 years of experience in Alaska education, according to his biography and resume. He became superintendent of the Sitka School District in 2021, and previously led the school he graduated from as principal of Service High from 2016-2021. Hauser began as a music teacher in the Anchorage School District in 1998 and worked his way up through several positions in Anchorage schools. He also earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Alaska.
  • Mathew Neal, superintendent of the Woodland Park School District Re-2, in Woodland Park, Colorado. Having earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California, Neal served in several leadership roles at school districts in Colorado and Wyoming, according to his resume. He was previously superintendent of Sweetwater County School District in Wyoming and also served as superintendent of the American Creativity Academy in Kuwait from 2015-21.

“We have identified three leaders who we believe embody these traits and values, as well as demonstrate success in executive leadership, complex organizational change, and financial management,” the school board letter states.

The board will seek public input through a survey that will be posted to the district’s website following the community town hall scheduled for next Tuesday, the letter said. Once those survey results are reviewed, the board will conduct final interviews and make its selection.

According to a timeline for the finalists, they will participate in town hall meetings for students, district staff and union leadership on Monday. A virtual town hall meeting for the public is set for 5 p.m. next Tuesday.

The school board will then go into executive session to meet with the candidates a final time for interviews. That meeting is closed to the public as Bellamy cited personnel matters that will be discussed.

The final selection, according to Bellamy, is expected to be announced in early April.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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