The Anchorage School Board has chosen the district’s new superintendent – Dr. Deena Paramo.
Paramo is currently the superintendent of the Mat-Su Borough School District but will take over the helm of the Anchorage School District on July 1.
School Board President Kameron Perez-Verdia says the board deliberated for about two hours on Thursday to make the final decision using input from the community.
“The board was particularly impressed with her energy, innovative ideas, and student-focused thinking,” he said during a press conference.
Paramo has worked in education for 25 years, starting as a teacher. She says she’s knows Anchorage is very different from Mat-Su and will begin her career there by listening.
“Public education is part of the public process, and really takes the community of students and staff and the community at large to really understand what do you want at your schools and what you want for your young people. And I’ll work to get us to those goals.”
Anchorage Education Association President Andy Holleman says Paramo is capable and qualified for the job, and he is interested in getting to know her better.
“Certainly we’ve had a lot of feedback from different people [in Mat-Su]. And there are some things that have been very positive and things that some people have been upset about, and we’ll see how policies go forward here.”
Paramo was chosen over finalist Dr. Steve Atwater, interim dean of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Education, and more than 80 other applicants in the nationwide search. She’ll earn $235,000 per year plus benefits.