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Fairbanks School Board to Interview Superintendent Finalists


The Fairbanks North Star Borough Board of Education advanced its search for a new superintendent of schools to the final round of candidate review. On Saturday, April 3, the school board interviewed three semifinalists: Stephen Laroe (Fairbanks, Alaska), Pete Lewis (Clarkston, Washington), and Dr. Carolyn Ross (Fallon, Nevada). Immediately following the interviews, board members discussed candidates’ responses to questions and deliberated in executive session to review confidential references and background information, all of which were provided by the search consultant, the Association of Alaska School Boards.

The school board was unanimous in its decision to advance all three candidates to the final round of review, which spans 3 days (April 15 – 17) and includes a variety of appointments and meetings. During those three days, each candidate will visit schools, meet district personnel and attend community meetings. “The responsibility to select our community’s next educational leader rests in the hands of the school board,” said board president Leslie Hajdukovich. “As part of making this important decision, the board feels it is critical for these three finalists to get some exposure to our schools and to interact with district management. We also want to give the community a number of opportunities to be involved in the selection process.”

The school board continues to solicit public input and encourages community involvement as they proceed to select the next superintendent of schools. Members of the community can meet each candidate and provide written feedback during these public meetings:


· Community Reception: April 15, 7:00 p.m. at Denali Elementary

· Community Panel: April 16, 2:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Westmark Hotel Yukon Room

· Candidate Interviews: April 17, 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in the boardroom at the school district administrative center, 520 Fifth Avenue


Stephen Laroe, president of the Fairbanks Education Association since July 2007. Prior experience includes field artillery officer in the United States Army. He began his teaching career as a mathematics teacher for the School District and as a lecturer for the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of La Verne. In 1990 Laroe was hired as a mathematics teacher at North Pole High; in 2005 he accepted a position as the district-wide math mentor. Laroe has earned a bachelor’s of art degree from Alfred University, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Pete Lewis, superintendent of schools for Clarkston School District in Clarkston, Washington since 2003. Lewis began his career as a teacher in Spokane Public Schools in 1982 where he was a teacher and activities coordinator. He has experience as a middle and high school principal. Lewis earned his bachelor’s of art and master’s of education degrees from Whitworth College. He is currently a Washington State University (WSU) doctoral candidate. Dr. Carolyn Ross, superintendent of schools for Churchill County School District in Fallon, Nevada since 2005. Ross began her teaching career in 1981; her experience includes middle school principal, director of special education, and assistant superintendent of personnel and instruction for Coalinga-Huron School District in California. In 2000 Ross was hired as the superintendent of schools for Kerman Unified School District in Kerman, California. Ross earned a master’s degree in education administration, and a doctorate in education leadership at the University of La Verne.

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