Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 4:20 PM on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fireweed restarts principal search



By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

After the Fireweed Academy APC, Academic Policy Committee, decided at a June 7 standing-room-only meeting to begin anew its search for the charter school's first full-time principal, the position was listed on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's website on June 8 and will close Friday.

That isn't the only opening needing to be filled at the Homer charter school. At that June 7 meeting, the APC voted to disband the hiring committee formed for its first attempt to find a principal and replace it with a new seven-member committee to include two parents of alumni, two parents of current students, a teacher representing grades K-2, a teacher representing grades 3-6 and Garry Betley, one of Fireweed's founders.

Those wanting to be serve on the committee should have their information to Janet Bowen, Fireweed's secretary, by 4 p.m. Friday, APC President Shawnisty Webber said at an APC meeting Monday.

Kathy Vogl, whose children attend Fireweed, asked how notification about the hiring committee would be distributed.

"That was a huge question everyone was angry about," said Vogl, referring to a complaint that individuals interested in serving on the original hiring committee were not aware such a committee had been formed. "No one got an email requesting they be on a hiring committee. Is this (notification) going to go out to everyone?"

Webber assured Vogl the APC understood that concern.

"This will go out to all newsletter people and alumni people," said Webber of the distribution being used.

Also being recruited are replacements for APC members Erica Marley and Corrie Ellington, who have submitted letters of resignation, Webber announced at the Monday meeting.

"Our bylaws say they are appointed by the APC with recommendations from staff," said Webber, who already has had notification of the two vacancies sent to Fireweed staff.

Because charter school APCs are responsible for hiring school administrators, Webber's goal is to have those two vacancies filled "before the hiring committee comes to us with hiring recommendations."

Since the charter school opened in 1997, Fireweed teacher Kiki Abrahamson has taken on the responsibilities of principal, or administrator. The APC decided to recruit for a full-time principal in April and Abrahamson made it known she would apply for that position.

Parents, teachers and students, were surprised earlier this month when they learned she had been eliminated from consideration.

After receiving numerous complaints and reviewing hiring procedures, the APC decided at the June 7 meeting to restart its search for a principal. Abrahamson has stated she intends to reapply.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.

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