Education board wants former commissioner back

Posted: Monday, December 11, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state's Board of Education and Early Development voted unanimously Saturday to endorse a former commissioner to take the job again.

Shirley Holloway was education commissioner from March 1995 until April 1999, when she retired for health reasons and was replaced by Rick Cross, a former Fairbanks superintendent who recently announced his resignation. Cross has accepted a superintendent's job in Michigan.

Holloway has recovered from her health problems, the board said. She has been working for the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The board picks the commissioner, with the governor's approval. The board said in a statement that after consulting with Knowles, it was recommending Holloway's appointment. If Knowles gives his formal approval, Holloway will start work Jan. 1.

The board wanted to move quickly to hire a new superintendent before the legislative session, board officials said. Cross is leaving at the end of this month.

''Dr. Holloway began working in Alaska's schools in 1971 and her leadership skills are well known around the state,'' said board chairwoman Susan Stitham. ''She will hit the ground running with the state's agenda.''

Before becoming the first woman to hold the state's highest education post, Holloway was superintendent of the North Slope Borough schools, a professor at the University of Alaska, and president of Arctic Sivunmum Ilisagvik College in Barrow.

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