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KPBSD celebrates fifty years!

KPBSD celebrates fifty years!

The afternoon of August 14, 2014, marked a joint celebration with the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Kenai Peninsula College, and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Celebrating the fifty year anniversary, Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD superintendent, provided remarks on behalf of the school district:

"It is my honor to speak on behalf of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. I know that our 1,200 employees are all proud to be a part of this fifty year celebration. When we review the various bits of information that are available about what things were like for our schools fifty years ago, we quickly discern that KPBSD was a much different district than it is today. There were of course fewer schools and a much smaller enrollment—about 2,600 students. The infrastructure was basic with limited transportation, and many unpaved roads. One of the more telling differences of then and now is that the budget for January until June of 1964 was only $23,000. Today, that amount is about what we spend in twenty minutes of a school day!

Change

It is fascinating to review how things have changed in our schools over the years. Many famous local names such as Sears and Farnsworth are included. The district built many schools, established local site councils, numerous school board members served, and of course, an endless set of changes took place with district personnel. What has not changed, however, is a consistent level of support from our borough and by extension the people of the Kenai Peninsula. Overall, the people of our borough have backed the school district by passing construction bonds, paying property tax and sales tax, and by expecting excellence from our schools.

Now

Today the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is recognized as an educational leader in Alaska. Our students consistently outperform their peers from across the state, and regularly go on to excel at their post-secondary endeavors. Our good partnership with the Kenai Peninsula College is more and more seamless with high school students earning dual credit and in some cases graduating from high school with an associate's degree.

Future

As we look to the future, we will see our students becoming more dependent on digital content and on the loosening of the traditional school structure. But what will not change, and what will continue to place our school district as a leader in Alaska, is the unwavering level of support for our schools that our borough's residents provide.

Legislative support

The district receives excellent support from our state legislators. Despite being out-numbered by the legislators who represent the state's larger school districts, our senators and representatives have held their own in Juneau and consistently provided leadership on education related legislation, as well as securing financial support for our schools. I want to thank our current representatives, Speaker Chenault, Senators Micciche, Stevens and Giessel, and Representatives Olson and Seaton for always welcoming KPBSD when we take the district's requests and message to their offices.

Thank you

On behalf of the KPBSD Board of Education and all the employees of our great school district we are honored to thank the Kenai Peninsula College, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and all its residents for fifty years of support and cooperation."

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