With reluctance, and a few tears, the Ketchikan School Board accepted the resignation of longtime Curriculum Director Linda Hardin.
Superintendent Robert Boyle said during Wednesday’s board meeting that he could have accepted the resignation without board approval, but he wanted to make sure Hardin was publicly recognized for her 17 years with the district.
“She’s had enormous influence in our district over the course of her tenure,” he said. “I have been successful, I believe, and a large part of my success is due to her work.”
Board members also praised Hardin and her contributions. When it was her turn to speak, Hardin recalled that when she first arrived in Ketchikan, there weren’t even standardized report cards; each teacher made up their own. She said that’s the first thing she changed, and since then there have been many more improvements in the local school system.
“We have a strong curriculum with student objectives that are not only aligned with the state of Alaska, but aligned with the national criteria,” she said. “We have exceptional staff… we’ve had wonderful professional development programs that have included many of the community resources that we have, and your community resources are wonderful.”
Hardin also praised maintenance staff, the district’s technology program, and most of all, the kids. She asked the board to remember that students are the reason they serve.
“For more than half my career, I’ve been here,” she said. “Most days – not all of them – it’s been a pleasure. I want to thank you and wish you best wishes, and please remember that every decision you make should be for the kids first. Thank you.”
Hardin’s resignation takes effect June 30.
Also Wednesday, the School Board unanimously approved a motion banning electronic cigarettes on school grounds, and lowered the price threshold on local-preference purchases from $25,000 to $5,000, in hopes of helping more local businesses.