University of Alaska assistant professor selected as Unalaska’s new superintendent
Unalaska’s school district will have a new superintendent in the upcoming school year.
School board members voted unanimously Feb. 18 to appoint Kimberly Hanisch to lead the district.
Hanisch teaches educational leadership as an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Southeast. Before that she worked as the director of instruction and curriculum for the Kodiak school district.
Hanisch earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Physical Education from Chadron State College in Nebraska and has a Master of Arts in Biology from Bemidji State University in Minnesota. She also holds a Type B Administrative Certificate from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a superintendent's endorsement from the University of Alaska Southeast.
Hanisch was one of three finalists that were invited to visit the island over the weekend. One of the candidates accepted a position for the Aleutians East Borough school district so Hanisch and just one other finalist competed for Unalaska’s superintendent position. The candidates toured the town and met with locals at a community forum Feb. 17. It had been more than 20 years since the district had held on-site interviews for the position.
But in recent years, keeping the superintendent position filled has been a struggle. This is the second time in just two years that the island’s school district has gone through the process of hiring a superintendent.
Following the abrupt resignation of former superintendent Robbie Swint Jr. — who had filled the job for just about one year — the district enlisted the help of the Association of Alaska School Boards to advertise and fill the open position.
Upon her appointment, Hanisch said she was excited to become a part of the community and lead the district.
“My brief time in Unalaska has filled me with the confidence that I am joining a welcoming and passionate team as the pride in UCSD and the hopes for the future were expressed by so many,” she said.
Hanisch is expected to begin July 1. Interim Superintendent Jim Wilson will fill the role until the end of the school year, when he plans to retire.