Anchorage School District Superintendent Jim Browder will retire in June after less than one year on the job, and his replacement has already been chosen.
The announcement came after a closed door meeting between School Board members and Superintendent Jim Browder at the Anchorage School District Education Center. From a podium in the Center’s atrium, School Board President Jeannie Mackie said that she wanted to clear up any uncertainty and speculation about the district after recent events.
“Dr. Browder will, is intending to retire from the district. His retirement will be affective three months from now, which puts us at about June 14th, is when he will no longer be employed with the Anchorage School District,” Mackie said.
Earlier this month, Browder was one of three finalists for a job in Des Moines, Iowa, but he did not get the job. Browder recently told the board that he might need to leave the district to be closer to family members who are experiencing medical issues. He is just eight months into his 3-year contract. Browder was hired in July to replace longtime Superintendent Carol Comeau, after a seven-month-long search that cost the district more than $50,000. Mackie says Browder’s contract is being adjusted to allow him to retire in order to be closer to his daughter and grandson in Georgia.
“[I’m proud of the numerous accomplishments that we’ve been able to make in this period of time. You know this is a great school system and in a year, we’ve made huge growth,” Browder said.
Besides working to develop the district’s strategic plan, Browder is credited with helping the board make $25 million in budget cuts and with beginning to realign ASD curriculum to the common core standards. Mackie also announced that Assistant Superintendent Ed Graff will replace Browder. Graff has worked closely with Browder over the past months.
“We’ve worked hard to develop a strong strategic plan in destination 2020, and we’re going to continue to focus on that, increasing the achievement for all students as well as improving the performance for every child every year. The Anchorage School District has outstanding potential and I’m ready to lead the school district in realizing that potential and taking us to the next level,” Graff said.
Graff has been with the district for more than 20 years. He has worked as substitute teacher, an elementary school classroom teacher, and as a principal. Browder and Graff will work alongside each other during the three-month transition. Browder makes $180,000 a year. Mackie says Browder will not receive a severance package. The details of his contract adjustments will be disclosed Monday.
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