The Ketchikan School Board on Wednesday night gave a hearty sendoff to Braxton Zink, the board’s student representative, during his last meeting in that role. Next fall, Zink will begin studying history at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Board members especially complimented him for readily engaging with the board’s discussions and for sharing his perspectives, even when those perspectives were unpopular.
“It takes some serious integrity to stand up, especially when you have to stand alone,” Board Clerk-Treasurer Bridget Mattson explained at the end of the meeting. “You’ve exemplified good leadership. … Thank you for your service on the board.”
“I absolutely appreciate the courage that you’ve shown throughout the year in representing the student body,” said Board Member Jordan Tabb. “Thank you. You have my sincere admiration.”
The board otherwise approved most of its scheduled business with little fanfare, adopting all items on its consent calendar, allowing the district to apply for a neglected and delinquent youth grant and agreeing to schedule regular meetings on July 13, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14.
Board members also approved a revision to the board’s policy on dismisssal, suspension and disciplinary action against personnel in first reading, but unanimously voted against a proposed policy revision that would have replaced the board’s policy on employment of relatives with the Association of Alaska School Boards’ version of the policy. The board noted that the AASB policy did not address some topics, including dating relationship and sexual harassment, that are present in the board’s current version of the policy. The Board Policy Committee agreed to revisit the policy to potentially merge both policies or to draft separate policies to address those omitted topics.
Board Clerk Kerry Watson was absent from Wednesday’s meeting; District Business Manager Katie Parrott ran the meeting in her place. Board Vice President Keenan Sanderson participated in the meeting remotely.
Also, the board accepted the decisions of the hearing officer in two student disciplinary matters. The first disciplinary action was approved on a 6-1 vote, with Board President Stephen Bradford voting against the motion. The second action was approved 4-1, with Bradford again voting against the action and Tabb and Board Member Paul Robbins Jr. abstaining from the vote, as neither had attended the disciplinary hearing for that case. (Robbins later indicated that he should have abstained from the first disiciplinary vote, as he had not been present for that hearing, either.)
The board also did not enter executive session to discuss negotiations with the Ketchikan Education Association Special Services Professionals of Ketchikan. Parrott explained that the district had reached a tentative agreement with the group but that a draft had not been finalized in time to be included with the meeting packet. The board agreed to set a new business item for its second meeting of this month — which on Wednesday the board rescheduled from Wednesday, May 25, to Thursday, May 26 — to review the agreement and consider approving it.