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10/11/2017
New School Board to meet: Thompson to join incumbents Gubatayao, Brown on board

By ZACHARY HALASCHAK
Daily News Staff Writer

Wednesday’s Ketchikan School Board meeting likely will revolve around what one might describe as the “Pomp and Circumstance” of local democracy.

Diane Gubatayao, Glenn Brown and Glenn Thompson are expected to be officially sworn in to office on Wednesday following this past week’s municipal elections.

Gubatayao and Brown are both incumbents, while Thompson previously served on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly until he was termed-out of office this year.

Gubatayao and Thompson are slated to serve full three-year terms, while Brown will only be serving a year, because he ran for a one-year seat that became available following the resignation of former School Board Member Misty Browne in July.

Boyle told the Daily News that he is looking forward to working with the new School Board and emphasized that the 2017 Ketchikan municipal elections were a bellwether of how the Ketchikan School District and School Board are doing.

“The results of the election suggest to me that our general population is happy with the school district and how it’s working,” Boyle said, “we reelected two members, and the third person — who’s Glen Thompson — was part of the Assembly and who has been a key, instrumental player in establishing the funding process between the borough and the School Board.”

The new members, Gubatayao, Brown and Thompson, will also be part of the voting process to select leadership positions among the School Board. These include electing a School Board president, vice president and clerk-treasure.

The positions will be voted on by the School Board with Boyle presiding.

“Anybody (on the School Board) can nominate somebody (on the School Board),” Boyle said, “then we’ll take votes on whosever nominated.”

Boyle said he likes to find humor in some of the ceremony associated with the voting and new-candidate process.

“Here’s the fun part, Boyle said with a wide smile, “the superintendent works at the pleasure of the board, however there is one minute of the year when the superintendent holds the gavel and that’s during the election of the School Board president — as soon as that person is elected, I give it back.”

“And then I just become a mere counter of ballots,” Boyle added with a laugh.

Boyle is also expected to spend some time discussing the recent, and successful, fishing trips that have been made on the Jack Cotant.

The fishing vessel, which is owned by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, is part of a district initiative that allows students to learn about the commercial fishing industry through the hands-on approach of actually getting out on the water and fishing.

Boyle likes to refer to the unique program as “the varsity fishing team.”

There is very little new business on Wednesday’s agenda, but Boyle said that the School Board would be considering the approval of School Board member travel to the Alaska Association of School Boards conference in November.

“We’re gonna decide,” Boyle said, “if we’re going to go to a conference, who’s going to go to the conference and do we want to tell the conference anything.”

Boyle said that the new board would begin to make these decisions during the Wednesday meeting.

Also during the Wednesday’s meeting the School Board is expected to:

    •    Hear an update from Boyle, as well as a report from student member Michael Starr.

    •    Discuss and review committees and assignments.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly chambers, 1900 First Ave. There will time for citizen remarks at the start of the meeting.