This article has been updated to include additional information.
A longtime Alaska educator with Southeast Alaska ties has been selected to be Juneau School District’s next superintendent.
After a roughly 25-minute executive session on Friday, the Juneau School District Board of Education unanimously voted to offer the position to Frank Hauser, and gave the approval for Deedie Sorensen, school board president, to negotiate a three-year contract.
Hauser, has over 25 years of experience in public education in the state and is currently Sitka School District’s superintendent, and last month announced his resignation from that role, which he had filled since 2020. During that quarter-century working in the state, Hauser has worked at elementary, middle and high schools, and is a past Alaska Principal of the Year. He was previously a finalist for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District’s superintendent position.
Hauser said he’s honored by the district’s offer, and he has accepted. Hauser further mentioned that he’ll be starting in July and he along with his wife are excited to be making this change in their lives.
“I want people to know I’m committed to doing everything I can to support the students, staff, parents and the families of the district and the community of Juneau,” Hauser said. “Juneau has been my home away from home every spring for almost 10 years. My wife and I are excited to move to Juneau in July and I just really want the community to know if anyone sees me around town, I hope they’ll stop and introduce themselves and I’m just really looking forward to making those connections.”
Hauser said among some of the issues he’ll be immediately addressing on his first day will involve attendance, retention and recruitment, issues that Hauser said are concerns for all Alaska school districts.
“The Juneau School District has a tradition of excellence and I’m excited to have been selected to carry on the tradition and build upon successes,” Hauser said.
Sorensen told the Empire that the quality of finalists made for a hard choice, but ultimately Hauser was the pick, citing his understanding of the district’s funding situation and the multicultural aspects of the education program.
Other finalists for the Juneau position were Thom Peck, who has served for 35 years as a Montana educator and is in his sixth year as Lewistown Public Schools Superintendent, and Carlee Simon, who currently works with Families Deserve Inclusive Schools and is former superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools in Florida.
School board member Brian Holst spoke highly of all the finalists, who he thanked for engaging with the Juneau community, and the “robust” superintendent search process in general.
“I’m really pleased with the caliber of candidates we had in front of us,” Holst said. “I’m pleased with the process, and I especially want to thank the candidates.”
Bridget Weiss, Juneau’s current superintendent, previously announced she would be leaving her position at the end of June. Weiss, a past Alaska Superintendent of the Year, was named superintendent in 2018. She has since been selected to serve as the first-ever University of Alaska College of Education Consortium liaison.
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ben Hohenstatt contributed reporting to this article.