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Alaska school board elections emphasize technology

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September 25, 2013


By Alex Schaffer

On October 1, three of the largest school districts in Alaska will be holding school board elections for a total of nine seats. Three seats each are at stake in Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. Four incumbents and one newcomer are running unopposed, so a majority of the nine seats will be won without a competition. These school districts are some of the geographically largest districts in America, with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Fairbanks North Star Borough encompassing areas larger than the states of West Virginia and New Jersey, respectively.

In response to the educational and administrative challenges caused by their size, these three districts have attempted to adopt new technologies in order to ensure better communication between administration, teachers, parents, and students. In 2012, the Fairbanks North Star School District implemented distance learning technologies to begin teaching AP Calculus to students in its Hutchison High School.[1] The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District recently approved the student use of cell phones in schools, under certain restrictions.[2] The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District went a step further and created its own smartphone application software in order to communicate with parents and students, in addition to upgrading its Wi-Fi in order to host a "Bring your own device" day.[3][4]


Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Seat C
UncheckedBox.jpg Sue Hull

Seat D
UncheckedBox.jpg Charlie Leonelli
UncheckedBox.jpg April Johnson
UncheckedBox.jpg Allyson Lambert

Seat G
UncheckedBox.jpg Wendy C. Dominique

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
District 1
UncheckedBox.jpg Daniel J. Castimore
UncheckedBox.jpg D. Shawn Hutchings

District 6
UncheckedBox.jpg Lynn Hohl

District 9
UncheckedBox.jpg Edith-Helen "Sunni" Hilts

Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

Seat C
UncheckedBox.jpg Susan Pougher

Seat F
UncheckedBox.jpg Donna Dearman
UncheckedBox.jpg Stephen C. Jacobson
UncheckedBox.jpg Neal Lacy
UncheckedBox.jpg James A. Tapley

Seat G'
UncheckedBox.jpg David Cheezem
UncheckedBox.jpg Ray Michaelson

See also