Dean Williams

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Dean Williams
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Former candidate for
Board member, Anchorage School Board, Seat C
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 1, 2014
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionFormer superintendent of McLaughlin Youth Center
Campaign website
Dean Williams campaign logo
Dean Williams was a candidate for Seat C on the Anchorage school board in Alaska. He was defeated by Pat Higgins in the general election on April 1, 2014.


Williams moved to Alaska in 1980 after receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication from Ohio University. For 14 years Williams served as the superintendent of the state’s smallest juvenile detention facility (Nome) and the state’s largest one (McLaughlin Youth Center). Six years ago he spearheaded the effort to start an expulsion/suspension school in Anchorage called Step Up, that gives troubled kids one more opportunity to graduate and move into successful employment. Step Up is now collaboratively operated by the Anchorage School District and McLaughlin Youth Center. Williams has served on the Tri-Borough Anti-Gang and Youth Violence Committee, the Alaska Juvenile Justice and Advisory Committee, the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, the Council of State Governments School Discipline Consensus Project and the Housing and Neighborhood Development Commission. He was also recently published in the UAA’s Justice Forum, where he exposed the unintended consequences of applying zero tolerance policies to schoolchildren. Williams is married and has two daughters and two grandchildren.[1]



See also: Anchorage School District elections (2014)


Dean Williams challenged newcomer Liz Ross and incumbent Pat Higgins for Seat C in the general election on April 1, 2014.

Election results

Anchorage School District, Seat C General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPatt Higgins Incumbent 51.9% 20,250
     Nonpartisan Dean Williams 28% 10,914
     Nonpartisan Liz Ross 18.7% 7,308
     Nonpartisan Write-in 1.4% 531
Total Votes 39,003
Source: Municipality of Anchorage, "Election Results," accessed June 3, 2014


Williams did not report any campaign contributions or expenditures to the Alaska Public Offices Commission.[2]


Williams did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign, as of yet.

What was at stake?

Two seats on the school board were up for election on April 1, 2014. Incumbents Pat Higgins and Kameron Perez-Verdia both sought re-election. They faced Liz Ross, Dean Williams and Don Smith for their respective seats.[3]

Issues in the district


In January 2014, Anchorage School District announced plans to cut 219 positions for the next school year. The plan included laying off 159 teachers: forty-seven from elementary schools, thirty-five from middle schools and thirty-three from high schools and alternative schools. Another forty-four positions are being terminated because of a projected decline in enrollment. Over the past four years, the district has cut about 419 positions, not including the newly announced cuts. District administrators are working with a $566 million operating budget for the 2014–15 school year, reportedly $23 million short of the funds the district says it needs.[4]

About the district

See also: Anchorage School District, Alaska
Anchorage School District is located in Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage School District is located in Anchorage, Alaska. According to the 2010 census, Anchorage is home to 291,826 residents.[5] Anchorage is the largest school district in Alaska, serving 49,206 students during the 2010-2011 school year.[6]


Anchorage outperformed in comparison to the rest of Alaska in terms of education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 32.8% of Anchorage residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 27.5% for Alaska as a whole.The median household income for Anchorage was $76,495 compared to $69,014 for the state of Alaska. The percentage of people below poverty level for Anchorage was 7.7% while it is 9.5% for the state of Alaska.[5]

2010 Census Data for Anchorage, Alaska[5]
Race Anchorage State of Alaska
White 67.0% 67.5%
Black or African American 6.2% 3.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native 8.1% 14.8%
Asian 8.7% 5.7%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 2,2 1.2%
Two or more race 7.8% 7.1%
Hispanic or Latino 8.2% 6.1%

Party Affiliation, 2013[7]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Independence Party 14,558 3
Republican Party 124,229 25.9
Democratic Party 74,732 15.4
Libertarian Party 9,220 1.9
Veterans Party 1,941 0.4
Green Party 2,426 0.5
Nonpartisan 77,644 16
Undeclared 176,153 36.3

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[8]

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