Dillingham City School District appoints next superintendent

Feb 5, 2018

Jason Johnson is slated to start work as the superintendent of Dillingham schools July 1.

Jason Johnson will be the Dillingham City School District's next superintendent.
Credit Avery Lill/ KDLG

Jason Johnson is the Dillingham school board’s pick for new superintendent, and he has agreed to a three-year contract with the Dillingham City School District. Johnson said Saturday after the board voted unanimously to offer him the position that he is “honored to be a new wolverine.”

All three finalists for the position were in town for a weekend dedicated to the superintendent selection process. While DCSD’s search considered educators from around the nation, all three finalists are currently working in Alaska. In addition to Johnson, those finalists were David Macri, lead principal at Tuluksak School in the Yupiit School District, and Glen Szymoniak, interim superintendent at DCSD.

On Friday, the candidates met with the school district’s administrative team and fielded questions at both a student forum and a forum open to the entire community. On Saturday, the school board interviewed each candidate separately.

Superintendent candidates answer Dillingham Middle and High School student's questions during a Friday forum.
Credit Janice Bullock

During his interview, Johnson spoke positively about DCSD’s staff.

“You have something a lot of districts don’t have already. You have an exceptional administrative-teaching team. And your district office team, you have a lot of things in order,” said Johnson.

He also mentioned issues he hopes to address as superintendent. One that he mentioned several times was updating the district’s strategic plan.

“When I look through things, we say that community is so important and culture,” Johnson said. “That’s what I’ve heard so often from even your tiniest kids. That’s what’s so fun about this school. And then when I look at the strategic plan, I don’t see anything in there about culture. To me, that’s part of that alignment as a superintendent I have to be accountable for. And I have to be able to sit in front of you and say those difficult things. If we want to meet those goals, we have to all be pulling in the same direction.”

The Dillingham City School District board interviewed Johnson on Saturday.
Credit Avery Lill/ KDLG

Johnson is in his third year as lead principal and a coach at the Andrew K. Demoski School in Nulato, Alaska. He has been a teacher in the region since 2014. Johnson has also taught in the Dominican Republic and served in the Indiana National Guard.

He holds a master’s degree in education from Southern Indiana University and a doctorate in education from Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee.

Johnson is slated to start work as the superintendent of Dillingham schools July 1.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.