New school superintendent enjoys smooth transition
New Petersburg School District Superintendent Lisa Stroh has been in town for just more than a week and is busy picking up where previous PSD Superintendent Rob Thomason left off.
"I talked with Dr. Thomason ahead of time so the transition is really smooth," Stroh said. "He left me with a list of unfinished things to do. The main things we need to do to move forward is the state mandated teacher evaluation system and curriculum alignment."
District officials can choose from three evaluation systems that are used nationwide and they need to produce a rough draft of an evaluation plan as the school year begins. Stroh said most school districts already have a teacher evaluation system in place.
"The main difference is that every school district in the state will have a formal evaluation for teachers that's research based, that's evidence based," Stroh said. "We can work with the community, with the parents, with the staff and develop what we would like within those frameworks."
Stroh also said some adjustments need to made to align local curriculum with state mandated curriculum, which is similar to Common Core standards used in most states down south.
"If you look at those they're pretty similar," Stroh said. "So when you get a textbook that says it's aligned to the Common Core, it's pretty easy to make that aligned to Alaska standards."
Despite the changes that are mandated by the state, the district won't experience much of a culture shock.
"I really believe the school is doing a really good job the way it is," Stroh said. "It's got a great reputation across the entire state. I want to continue the good things that Dr. Thomason did. We always can improve, so we'll do that but I don't see any drastic changes at all."
Lisa Stroh's husband Robin Stroh and daughter Rebecca will arrive in Petersburg for a visit later this month. Rebecca Stroh, 11, will attend 6th grade at Mitkof Middle School this school year and her husband will move to town later this summer.