UPDATED: ASD Superintendent Browder Finalist for Iowa Position
Monday evening, Browder finally spoke with local reporters
UPDATED: Monday evening, Browder finally spoke with local reporters; view the entire interview by clicking here.
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage School Superintendent Jim Browder made a brief statement Monday. It’s the first time he’s spoken out since announcing he was looking for a job outside the state to be closer to family members.
“In the last month or so, as you know,” said Browder, addressing the Anchorage School Board, “I’ve been dealing with some significant medical issues with members of my immediate family. I feel it is important to be closer to them if possible. I’m a dad first and superintendent of schools second, as you know.”
But there were some things school board members didn’t know.
“We knew that his position may change at some point, but as far as him looking for other jobs, we didn’t know,” said school board president Jeannie Mackie.
Mackie said they learned Friday that Browder had not only been looking for work but that he was a finalist for the Superintendent of Schools in Des Moines, Iowa. Browder has refused interviews with local media but Monday morning he made time to do a phone interview with a television reporter in Des Moines. (NOTE: Browder did talk to reporters Monday evening; that interview is here.)
“Des Moines is a great fit for me professionally,” Browder told the reporter. “If I look at the district and the community I think I could add value to the children in the district and that's why I applied. I haven't applied for 100 places this is the first and probably there won’t be many more.”
Browder says he might stay in Anchorage if he can’t find another job. And he made it clear today he is not resigning. But some question whether he can be an effective leader after he’s made it clear that he wants to leave.
School Board President Mackie says she plans to sit down with Browder and get a better idea of what his plans might be but she did say the board has some sympathy for his situation.
“We don’t know exactly what his family situation is and things arise,” she said. “I think the only thing people need to be concerned about is our school district and that is something first and foremost in the board’s mind”
Browder is one of three finalists for the job in Des Moines. He plans to fly down there Wednesday to meet the community and the school board in person.