Superintendent Arnold Resigns
Nome Public Schools Superintendent Shawn Arnold announced his resignation on Monday, February 26, 2018, due to personal reasons and a need to be closer to Anchorage.
A statement was released on the Nome Public Schools Facebook page Monday morning. Prior to that, Superintendent Arnold’s resignation was announced to the board and accepted on Friday, February 23 in a special meeting.
“It was a short notice decision, and it wasn’t something I had anticipated in the last couple weeks,” Arnold told The Nome Nugget. “Things came up and a job opportunity came up, and it worked out to get me on the road system and closer to Anchorage.”
Arnold will take over as Superintendent of Valdez City Schools in Valdez, Alaska. Valdez City Schools Board of Education met on Thursday, February 22 to select a successful superintendent candidate between two finalists: Arnold and Chris Reitan of Galena.
Arnold told The Nome Nugget that he found out Thursday night that he was selected.
“We have a little bit of time to work on an appropriate transition,” said Arnold. “We’ve done a lot the last four years and I think that the district is moving in the right direction. Even though I may not be here, I still will do whatever I can to support Nome and offer advice, and be there to make sure the transition is successful.”
Superintendent Arnold will remain at Nome Public Schools until June and start in Valdez in July. “It is with mixed emotions and probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in my life,” said Arnold.
In his statement to the public, Arnold wrote, “I will be leaving confident that Nome’s schools are better off today than when we began, convinced that we will find new leadership committed to our shared goal of the best education possible for every child in this community.”
Nome Public Schools will begin soliciting for a new superintendent starting immediately. The board will work with the Alaska Association of School Boards to review candidates that are already in the job pool and start screening candidates as soon as next week. The board will look internally, statewide and possibly nationwide for a candidate, and have the option to fill the spot for just one year, or offer the new candidate a standard contract of up to three years.
According to Arnold, the board will focus mainly on hiring an Alaskan candidate that understands how state policies work and how local communities are structured. Arnold said the priority would be finding someone who fits best with Nome. The board will discuss the hiring process at the February 27 work session and make official decisions about the process at the March 6 regular meeting.