Ketchikan’s school board has postponed a meeting to evaluate the head of the school district. Superintendent Beth Lougee is facing criticism from Alaska Native leaders in Ketchikan. Critics say she hasn’t provided Indigenous staff members with the resources to do their jobs.
The board was scheduled to convene for a second session to evaluate Lougee Tuesday. But school board president Kim Hodne says not everyone could make it.
“We couldn’t make the meeting come together and work as it needs to this evening with everyone in attendance, so we shifted it tentatively to next Thursday, Jan. 7,” Hodne told KRBD Tuesday.
Hodne confirmed that the superintendent was unable to physically attend the meeting but would not share why. Lougee did not immediately respond to an email seeking clarification. A school district assistant said by phone that Lougee was out of the office through Jan. 4.
Hodne says the board made a last-minute decision to postpone its meeting on Monday.
“We had to make fast, hard decisions late yesterday afternoon,” Hodne said.
He says the board and superintendent mutually agreed on the new date.
The routine evaluation got started Dec. 10. That’s when the board heard community members say that Lougee didn’t support Alaska Native teachers and staff. Hodne announced after a lengthy closed-door session that the board would conduct a community survey before completing the superintendent’s evaluation. Lougee hasn’t responded publicly to the allegations.
Hodne says the delay means the board will continue to collect responses to the anonymous 18-question survey about Lougee’s performance. It’ll close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Though most of the meeting will likely take place behind closed doors, Hodne says the board will take public comment in open session. Public portions of the meeting will be live-streamed on local cable channels and at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s website. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Jan. 7 in Ketchikan’s Borough Assembly chambers.
Click here to access the school board’s community survey, or find it on the homepage at KGBSD.org.