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Nome Superintendent Search Is Down to Two Candidates

Exterior of Nome Elementary School, an off-white building with a smiling polar bear as its mascot.

With two more applicants withdrawing from consideration, the number of finalists for the Nome superintendent position has been cut in half, from four to two. That means the Nome School Board will choose between Christopher Aguirre and current Interim Superintendent Jamie Burgess for the district’s next superintendent.

Up until yesterday, Pauline Harvey and Patrick Mayer were also being considered for the Nome Superintendent position. According to a press release issued by Nome Public Schools on April 15, Harvey will not interview due to a family emergency. Mayer has accepted a position as superintendent in Aleutians East School District.

Christopher Aguirre, now one of the two finalists, was not part of the School Board’s original four finalists; he was offered the spot after Rayna Neumiller-Hartz withdrew herself from consideration after accepting a position in the Lower Kuskokwim School District on March 28, two days after her name was announced as a finalist.

According to Nome School Board President Brandy Arrington, at this time, the Board is proceeding with just the two remaining candidates.

However, she says:

“If we as a board feel that the two finalists we have are not a fit to lead Nome Public Schools, we may decide to extend the search or seek out an interim for the 2019-2020 school year and start the search again in February 2020.”

There is not a mandated minimum number of finalists, but Arrington emphasizes that it’s “always nice” to have a bigger pool of, say, 3 or 4 candidates, for a position she calls “very important to fill.”

In-person interviews for the superintendent position are being conducted this week. The community of Nome is invited to an event this Wednesday, April 17 at 5:30 to meet and “mingle” with candidates Christopher Aguirre and Jamie Burgess.

The Board will conduct final interviews and make a decision on Friday.

Image at top: Exterior of Nome Elementary School, August 22, 2018. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM file.