Story last updated at 2:48 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2002

New principals tapped for Banks, Port
by Carey James
Staff Writer

The Southern Peninsula is expected to soon have two new principals: Darrell Johnston of Shageluk who will move to Port Graham School and Benny Abraham of Searcy, Ark., who will take the helm at Paul Banks Elementary School, pending the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education's final approval.

Johnston has been involved in education in Alaska since 1995, and received his bachelor's degree in education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He has taught in Anchorage and has been the principal and teacher of the Innoko River School in Shageluk for the past two years.

He was recommended for the position after interviews in March. Also applying for the position were Aaron Stansberry of Bethel and Jerry Koetje of Healy.

Benny Abraham was selected after nearly a month of interviews aimed at making sure the school found the right candidate for the job, according to Todd Syverson, the district's assistant superintendent.

Abraham has more than 25 years of administrative experience in Arkansas, including an emphasis on special education.

In recent years, Abraham has been the director of special education services for Arch Ford Education Coop., and before that was involved with the Arkansas special education division. From 1985 to 1987, he was an elementary school principal.

In his application, Abraham said his years working with special education gave him an opportunity to work on staff development and communication, and cited his work to bring schools up to speed on state education standards as a skill that would prove useful in Alaska.

Interviews concluded in early May. Also applying for the position were Cindy Harvey of Sitka and Carl Morgan of Council, Idaho.

The board will make its final decision on the district's recommended choices at their next meeting on June 3.