Nome Elementary School Principal out, budget cuts in

Nome Elementary School seeking new principal

The Principal of Nome Elementary School Kevin Theonnes has turned in his resignation. According to Superintendent Shawn Arnold, Theonnes will be leaving on his own accord to seek other opportunities in the state.

The district has started recruiting teachers, school staff, school board members, administration and parents for a hiring committee to give recommendations to Superintendent Shawn Arnold and eventually the school board for a new elementary school principal. The hiring committee will begin by reviewing first internal candidates, followed by external candidates for the position. According to the Nome PTA website, “once an applicant is elected, an open house to meet with the potential candidate will take place.”

Superintendent Arnold told The Nome Nugget that the committee and the district hope to select a new principal as soon as possible. The new principal would begin this upcoming fall.

Parents interested in joining the principal hiring committee or learning more about the search process may contact Human Resources Manager Cynthia Gray at Nome Public Schools for more information. An online application for the committee is also available on the Nome PTA website, at

NPS budget cuts expected to cut teachers

The school district, Superintendent Shawn Arnold and the Budget Finance Committee are still working on perfecting the FY2018 budget for NPS. According to Arnold at the March 10 school board work session, it is likely that cuts will have to happen. These cuts so far involve cutting four teachers and seven classified staff members. Arnold said that nothing is definite yet, and the proposal will most likely change or the positions will be re-shuffled before the final budget proposal is completed and presented to the school board.

As of now, Arnold said that positions that are potentially on the chopping block are in specialty departments, such as the physical education teacher at the elementary school, as well as a librarian position. Arnold mentioned that many of these potential cuts would be influenced by whether or not the City of Nome has additional revenues, possibly from sales taxes, to help out the district. Arnold added that these are only recommended cuts right now, not required.

Arnold also said that the word out of Juneau from Alaska State legislators sounds like the there will be more cuts to education happening, although they would not necessarily happen “directly” to education. For example, there might be cuts to education retirement funds or education-related transportation. A final state budget and decisions on education funding could also make a large impact to how the local school district handles the proposed FY2018 budget.

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

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