Frank Hauser speaking to the Sitka School board during his job interview on February 19. Hauser was selected in part because of his “experience and willingness to be culturally responsive,” said Sitka School Board president Amy Morrison. (SSD screen capture)

Frank Hauser has been named as the next superintendent of the Sitka School District.

Hauser is currently the principal of Service High School in Anchorage.

The Sitka School Board met in executive session on Saturday morning, February 20, to pick from three remaining finalists. Although there was never any in-person interaction due to the pandemic, the candidates each appeared in four online public forums with district staff, the community, the Sitka Tribe, and finally, last Friday (2-19-21) in their job interviews with the board.

Hauser used the opportunity of his public interview to discuss his track record as an administrator, and to share his philosophy on Social-Emotional Learning.

“And that’s an important part when you look at SEL,” said Hauser. “It’s not just a program, it’s a belief, it’s a support system. Because if students don’t feel safe in school, if they don’t feel as if somebody cares about them when they come into the school, then learning is impacted. The trust is important too, to make sure that when students come into the building, if there’s something going on at home, if there’s a fear, if there are thoughts of self-harm — having somebody that they trust and that they know is going to listen to them, support them, and cares for them, and wants to see them come into the building that next day. It’s so important in how we support our students. And the end goal is to ensure student success.”

Hauser has worked in the Anchorage School District for 23 years at all grade levels, including serving as a classroom music teacher, building principal, and district-wide administrator. He was Alaska’s Principal of the Year in 2019.

The Sitka School Board’s decision to offer Hauser the superintendent job was unanimous. President Amy Morrison says the board had a visioning session a couple of months ago to help define what it was looking for in a superintendent, and Hauser “checked all the boxes.” Morrison said that his “experience and willingness to be culturally responsive” was an important criteria, as were his multiple years as a classroom teacher and administrator, and his approach to collaborative leadership.

His final contract is still being negotiated. The advertised salary for the position was $120,000-140,000. Hauser will begin work on July 1 this summer, replacing interim superintendent John Holst, who has served in the job for one year. Hauser plans to move to Sitka sometime in June. He’ll be accompanied by his wife, Tricia, and their cat, Penny.