Guess Resigns from Anchorage School Board

Gretchen Guess
Gretchen Guess

Anchorage School Board member Gretchen Guess announced her resignation on Tuesday from the Anchorage School Board, effective March 1. Her announcement comes as the district faces tough choices, including how to cut $25 million from its budget.

The former Anchorage School Board president and state legislator, who is director of business development for Providence Health & Services Alaska, is moving to Jacksonville Florida. She took at job at St. Vincent’s HealthCare there. Jeannie Mackie is president of the Anchorage School Board. She says, during Guess’s two years on the board, she has led the district through some major changes.

“One of those is our superintendent search. We developed a strategic plan. We have developed a long-range financial plan, designed a new budget process. So all of those things are new things we’ve done fairly recently and Gretchen has been very instrumental in leading us through those initiatives,” Mackie said.

Guess is one of few board members who has suggested alternatives to Superintendent Jim Browder’s budget cut plan. Mackie says Guess will remain on the board to complete the budget process, including the final vote next Thursday. Because Guess is not up for re-election until next spring, Mackie says a replacement will be appointed by April 1. Applications will be accepted between March 15 and 19. The school board will hold a special meeting to appoint the new member on March 30.

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Daysha Eaton is the News Director at KBBI in Homer. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.