School Board President Margo Bellamy told a community council group that the board will probably settle on a new superintendent by April.
Bellamy told the South Addition Community Council that Leadership Anchorage is in charge of the search and interviews for those those apply to replace Superintendent Deena Bishop, who announced she is retiring at the end of June.
That means George Martinez, program contact for Leadership Anchorage, is in charge of the initial screening of superintendent candidates. The final decision rests with the elected board itself.
Martinez is one of the plaintiffs filing a lawsuit against the new political redistricting maps. He has run for mayor of Anchorage as late as 2021, and was prominent in the Occupy Wall Street movement and as a community organizer, rapper, and former candidate for U.S. Congress in New York. He moved to Anchorage in 2007 and worked as an assistant to Mayor Ethan Berkowitz for several years. He is the vice president of Communications and Community Engagement at Alaska Humanities Forum, where he leads the Leadership Anchorage initiative.
Bellamy described the process for hiring a new superintendent:
“We do anticipate to have the process completed by early March. We don’t really know when we will have a new person because once we get through, you know, the board has to make a final decision, and then we’ve got to do the negotiations for the contract but it will really be more like early April before we have a superintendent. It is ambitious but we believe we can make that happen. and we also believe we can give the community as much input as it wants to have in the process. We have Leadership Anchorage is doing the canvassing and the interviewing, and the data collection externally, and then we have a third-party search firm that will be helping us with the internal component of the search process,” she told the community council.
It is unclear who besides Martinez in Leadership Anchorage is going to be part of the interviewing, canvassing, and data collection portion of the superintendent search. The current class of Leadership Anchorage is comprised of:
Joni Earp Spiess