Atwater lauded as ‘Alaska Superintendent of the Year’

There was big news when the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board made its annual visit to Homer last week. Bruce Johnson, executive director of the Alaska Association of School Administrators, announced that Dr. Steve Atwater, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District superintendent, has been named the 2013 Alaska Superintendent of the Year. He will compete with other state honorees for the national superintendent award in mid-February.


“Dr. Atwater, it makes me so proud of this school district,” said board vice president Liz Downing of Homer. “It’s been quite a year for us with the school board being recognized by the Association of Alaska of School Boards last year. ... We’re on a roll right now. It’s wonderful to see.”

Downing was referring to the board being named the 2011 Outstanding School Board of the Year by AASB during the association’s annual conference in Anchorage in November 2011.

Tim Navarre, school board member from Kenai, praised Atwater for the value Atwater places on the district and students.

“I know this recognition is for you, but you do look at our district and care about our kids and that’s what I think they were recognizing when they recognized you. That’s what makes you a great superintendent.”

Long-time board member Sammy Crawford of Kenai said Atwater’s recognition was “well-deserved.”

“We’re really proud of you. Thank you so much for your leadership. We’re a better school district because of you,” said Crawford.

Atwater began teaching in 1990. He worked in the Lower Yukon School District before going to the Lake and Peninsula School District, where he served for five years as a teacher and then became that district’s superintendent. This is his fourth year as the KPBSD superintendent.

Atwater served as president of the Alaska Association of School Administrators and is currently involved as an Alaska Professional Teaching Practices commissioner. 

He is a member of the Alaska Statewide Policy Research Alliance and is a part of the Network for Innovative Education sponsored by the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning. 

Atwater also teaches courses for the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Education Leadership Department.

All state superintendents will be recognized in February at the 2013 National Conference on Education in Los Angeles.