Corchran Declines School Board Appointment, Board Set to Vote on Alernate

asd logoOver the weekend, the Anchorage School Board appointed a new board member, but Sunday he declined the position because of his employment with VECO corporation during a corruption scandal. Tonight the board plans to appoint the runner up.

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On Saturday, the board listened to 31 candidates that had applied to fill the vacant seat D, left open by the departure of Gretchen Guess. They narrowed it down to two candidates. The board voted and chose Tom Corkran. School Board President Jeannie Mackie says board members chose Corkran because of his financial expertise

“We believed that he possessed a skill set which could have greatly helped navigate the district through a very serious budget reality. Unfortunately his association with a company which was involved with corruption has tainted his ability to be effective. So he has stepped away from the appointment.”

Although he was not convicted of any wrongdoing, Mackie says, Corkran did work for the now defunct Alaska-based oil pipeline service and construction company VECO corporation at the time of a corruption scandal. In an email to School Board President Jeannie Mackie Sunday, Corchran said he was declining the position because:
” … it is apparent that my appointment would be a tremendous distraction to the Board’s mission and purpose for the students and teachers of this district.” Mackie says the board will likely appoint their number two choice, Kameron Perez Verdia.

“The board will be meeting at a regularly scheduled board meeting this evening and we will discuss next steps. I believe Kameron Perez Verdia is still interested in accepting the appointment and the board will re-vote this evening.”

Perez Verdia was chosen as an alternate to Corkran. His resume says that he was born in Alaska and graduated from Barrow High School and hat he is currently the CEO at Avant-Garde Learning Alliance, a statewide education non-profit focused on education reform. Verdia must be appointed by a vote of the school board. If he’s appointed he will be sworn in tonight.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. 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.