Return to Headlines

KIBSD announces new administrative hires

KIBSD announces new administrative hires
By Noelle H. Lowery

The end of the 2016-2017 school year marks a number of new administrative hires throughout Kodiak Island Borough School District and its schools.

Chief among them are:
  • Peggy Azuyak is the new Director of Rural Schools, taking over the position from Kendra Bartz. Born and raised in Kodiak, Azuyak’s has a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Oregon and a Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics with a focus on Computer Aided Language Learning from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her roots are in rural and village education, and she spent 13 years living and working in Old Harbor as the Special Education teacher. For the past two years, she was the 7-12th Grade Homeschool/Correspondence Virtual Academy Coordinator for AKTEACH in Kodiak, while also teaching Alutiiq 101 and Alutiiq 102 at Kodiak College. Over her years with KIBSD, Azuyak has served on a number of committees, including the World Language Curriculum Committee, the Teacher Evaluation Committee, the Native Education Parent Committee and the Teacher Technology Committee.
  • Nicole Fuerst is the new Director of AKTEACH, taking over the position from Phil Johnson who is retiring from the district. During her now six years with KIBSD, she has been a distance teacher and distance teacher mentor. Most recently, she served the district and the statewide district partners as a statewide virtual delivery professional development coordinator. Fuerst also is an ASTE Network Strand Leader for the Creativity and Communication Network Strand.
  • Geoff Smith is taking over the position of KIBSD Special Education Director from Dennis Clarkson, who spent one year heading up the department for the district. Smith has worked in KIBSD for more than 21 years, teaching in the Special Education Department at all levels. He attended Northern Arizona University and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. Currently, he is enrolled in Chadron State College working on a Master of Education Administration: Special Education Supervisor (Birth- 12th grade).
  • Mel LeVan is the new principal for Kodiak High School principal, taking the position over from Chris Aguirre who is leaving the district. LeVan just celebrated 25 years as an educator with KIBSD. The Seward native taught Calculus and Chemistry at KHS, while raising his two sons in Kodiak with his late wife, Alice, who also was a beloved KHS teacher. He graduated from University of Alaska Fairbanks with a double major in Mathematics and Chemistry, and received a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University.
  • Melissa Haffeman is the new Kodiak Middle School principal, taking the reins from Jethro Jones who has taken an administrative position at Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks. A graduate of Kodiak High, Haffeman returned home to Kodiak in 2016 after six years in the Lower 48, and served as KMS Assistant Principal during the 2016-2017 school year. Prior to moving to the Lower 48, she spent a decade working in KIBSD as a teacher and administrator at Main and Peterson elementaries and in the district office.  She leads both the Administrative and the Teacher Technology Committees.  
  • Kerry Irons is the new North Star Elementary School principal, as Patricia Wilson is stepping down. A native of Vermont, Irons came to Kodiak in 1995, and has spent the last 18 years working in public education. KIBSD is her career district, and she has served as a classroom teacher for Peterson, East and North Star elementaries, as a mentor with the Alaska Statewide Mentor Projects, and as an Instructional Support Coordinator for the last three years.