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O’Brien named interim superintendent of schools

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District voted unanimously to make Assistant Superintendent John O’Brien the district’s interim superintendent of schools with a contract from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.

“I humbly accept this appointment as Interim Superintendent and am 100% committed to work on behalf of the entire Kenai Peninsula community to achieve positive educational outcomes for our students,” O’Brien said in a release.

The board of education approved O’Brien’s contract during a special meeting Friday, approving O’Brien to take over for Superintendent Sean Dusek, who is retiring from his position at the end of the current school year. 

O’Brien was a suprise choice by the board earlier this month after John Pothast, director of elementary and secondary education, and Dr. Christine Ermold, director of human resources, each interviewed for the superintendent position.

“The Board of Education asked me to step up to help our school district through this challenging transition period in our state. I am committed to the students, parents, and staff of this District and will work with everyone to provide a high quality educational experience for our students through the continued implementation of our five-year strategic plan,” O’Brien said. “We clearly have many difficult choices ahead of us as a District due to the fiscal uncertainty in our state. I am hopeful that by persistently working together we will emerge from this storm stronger, more resilient, and more cohesive.”

O’Brien has a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership. He moved to Nikiski in 2005 where he worked as the educational and instructional leader of Nikiski Middle leader.

In 2011, he took on the role of director of secondary education and in 2015 became the assistant superintendent of instruction for the district.