Browder’s Retirement Official, Graff Takes Helm at ASD
The Anchorage School Board said good bye to Jim Browder and swore in a new Superintendent at their meeting Monday night. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton was there and has this story.
The Anchorage School Board voted unanimously to amend Jim Browder’s contract for serving as Superintendent, allowing him to leave the district in June. Browder said he regretted having to ask the board to let him go early and he said a thank you.
“I want to especially thank the staff, the teachers, the principals in the community for the support and the understanding as I’ve been going through this. This is a really good district. And it’s poised to continue that as we move forward. I’m proud of our numerous accomplishments and I’m proud that the staff has supported and helped us push forward the things that are important to students achievement.”
In February, Browder told the board that he might need to leave the district to be closer to his daughter and grandson who he says are experiencing medical issues. Earlier this month, he was one of three finalists for a job in Des Moines, Iowa, but he didn’t get the job. Last week ASD announced he would retire from the district, just 8 months into his 3-year contract. The board released him from his original contract which would have required 120 days rather than 90 days notice. Browder’s will get his salary and benefits until his end date. In addition he will not have repay his moving expenses of up to $10,000. He will not receive a severance package. He will not be evaluated because of his early departure. Chief Academic Officer Ed Graff was sworn in to take Browder’s place. Graff was named as the new superintendent on March 14th, the same day that it was announced that Browder would retire. He acknowledged the magnitude of his new job and said he hoped to bring balance to the district.
“The roll that I will play and believe that I have an obligation to do is to insure that we focus on all of our students collectively and still meet their needs of everyone individually. And I think that’s a balance that’s challenging but I think that it’s one that we deserve to give to our students and to our community members and to our parents.”
Graff has been with the district for more than 20 years, working 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’s last day with the district is scheduled to be June 14th. If he needs to leave earlier, due to family medical needs, a ‘Emergency Termination’ clause in his new contract allows him to do so without penalty.
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