Atwater staying put with KPBSD

Dr. Steve Atwater will remain the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District superintendent. 

Atwater was a finalist for the same position with the Anchorage School District. 

Anchorage School District officials announced Tuesday that they have selected Jim Browder, originally from Florida, as their next superintendent. 

Atwater said going through a national search process is invaluable.

“I was honored to be chosen as a finalist in a national competition like that,” he said. “So, that was a really good feeling on my part. I learned a great deal. It was a good experience for me.”

KPBSD Board of Education President Joe Arness said the board was supportive of Atwater’s decision to pursue the job in Anchorage, but since he is staying put, the district can continue as planned. 

“I think the board is very happy with Dr. Atwater’s performance and while we all wished him well in his effort to move in to the (job) in Anchorage,” Arness said. “Now that it didn’t pan out, we’ll just carry on as we have been.”

Atwater said business will continue as usual at the KPBSD. 

“I’m really excited to continue to work with the (KPBSD) — and know that we’re doing good work,” he said. 

Arness said ASD missed out on a good hire by not offering the job to Atwater.

“I think that Anchorage missed a heck of an opportunity and it’s to our benefit,” he said.

Atwater said he wanted to serve as an inspiration for the KPBSD principals in the form of being a risk taker.

“A leader is somebody that’s willing to take a risk, to stick your neck out,” he said. “I felt that it was important for me to model that for our principals.”

One of the expectations of principals in the district, he said, is they will try to effect change.

“So by me doing this big public job in Anchorage, I felt that I was modeling that for them,” Atwater said. “Sometimes you have to be willing to take that risk, I hope people will pick up on that.”

Moving forward, Atwater is excited that personnel changes will not be as substantial as years past.

“I’m excited because we don’t have a lot of staff changes coming up,” he said. “We have pretty much a solid group of principals and our staff turnover is not as big as it has been. So I think we’ve got a good group of people to work with — I look forward to what’s next.”


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