Juneau Board of Education reorganizes

    Emil Mackey was one of two new School Board members sworn in to office.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Superior Court Judge Amy Mead gave the oath of office to new school board members Emil Mackey III and Deedie Sorensen.

    The Board also elected Brian Holst as President, Dr. Elizabeth Siddon as Vice President and Paul Kelly as Clerk.

    The Board also honored outgoing board members Dan DeBartolo and Steve Whitney, who both chose not to run for re-election after one term in office.

    The Board also welcomed five exchange students who are attending high school in Juneau this year.  The students are from Germany, Turkey, Thailand, Poland, and Norway.  They spoke about the adjustments they are making and the differences between their home country and Juneau.

    Several parents and teachers spoke during public comment on the new program Bark.  It is an online program that is designed to help keep kids safe at school.  It monitors much of their online activity when at school.  Parents and students complained about possible legal issues like the invasion of privacy.  The group also complained about a lack of information handed out about the program.

    Mackey said he would like to have a more in-depth discussion about this program at a future meeting.

    The Board learned three students, Alex Eagan and Joel Smith of Juneau-Douglas High School and Keenan Miller at Thunder Mountain High School were named semifinalists for National Merit scholarships.

    Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bridget Weiss congratulated the Juneau Huskies football team for qualifying for playoffs and winning the Conference Title.  They will host Bartlett on Saturday.  It is the first home playoff game in Juneau since 2011.

    Dr. Weiss said Juneau continues to need substitute teachers.  Holst said one of the problems could be salaries that are un-competitive.

    The Board approved a boundary change to incorporate the new Pederson Hill subdivision into the Riverbend Elementary attendance boundary.  86 lots could be sold in the 26-acre subdivision.  Board members said they had not heard any opposition from the public since the September board meeting.

    The change would move the boundary line on the north side of Glacier Highway from the Mendenhall River to Karl Reishus Boulevard.  It would also allow students in the subdivision to use an existing trail system to walk to school.

    Board Member Kevin Allen suggested the district consider a review of all the school boundaries for possible redistricting.  Mackey said he would support the effort after the 2020 census information is available.

    The Board nominated Allen to serve on the Alaska Association of School Boards.

    The Juneau Education Association expressed concern over a proposed policy change that prohibits stickers on employee vehicles parked on school grounds.  The board tabled action on a list of policy changes until the November meeting.

     

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