ASD superintendent talks future at first school board meeting
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School Board met Tuesday night for their first meeting of the 2022-23 school year, introducing the Anchorage School District’s new superintendent Dr. Jharrett Bryantt, where he gave an update on his goals for the district.
Bryantt is just over a month into the job, but at Tuesday’s meeting, he said he is excited to be a part of the community and that he’s looking to be here for the long haul.
He took over in July as the new district superintendent after Dr. Deena Bishop retired, departing after six years of leading the state’s largest school district.
Before taking the job as superintendent, Bryantt was an executive officer at the Houston Independent School District.
Some parents of students previously had concerns over his qualifications for the position, but now he has taken the role, Bryantt shared his vision for the district.
“A number of people seem to be interested in is what is my vision and future for the district? And the thing about any future vision or direction is that it requires the input of the community,” Bryantt said. “It means that I need to get out there, I need to listen to our employees and community, their staff and the great people of Anchorage because together we collectively shape that future.”
Three of his biggest areas of focus will include the board’s goals and guardrails, ensuring the district is on a path to long-term financial sustainability, and retaining and attracting educators and staff as the district faces a major challenge in staffing.
“As a leadership team, this is on the forefront of our minds, and we are exploring all of our options to ensure minimal impact on student services to the best of our ability,” Bryantt said. “But to be clear, we’re down 71 bus drivers as of today, 37 full-time custodians, and numerous positions in student nutrition.”
Bryant said he is in talks with stakeholders to discuss hiring incentives and compensation so the district can take concrete steps to tackle this issue and that more information will be released soon.
The next school board meeting will take place on Aug. 16.
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