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Kingsport school official Wagner takes post in Alaska

CHRISTAN M. THOMAS • Feb 22, 2007 at 8:51 AM

KINGSPORT - There will soon be a little more snow in Nancy Wagner's future.

Wagner, current assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction with Kingsport City Schools, has accepted an offer to become the next superintendent of the North Star Borough School District in Fairbanks, Alaska, and she couldn't be more excited about the opportunity.

"I was excited," Wagner said. "It's a great school system, and I am just honored to be selected as their superintendent. I look forward to working with them. I think it's going to be a perfect fit. ... It reminds me of Kingsport, in a way, except with more snow right now."

According to the North Star Borough School District Web site, the school system serves an area "roughly the size of Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island combined." The district serves more than 14,500 students in 33 schools.

From 19 applicants, the system chose three finalists for site visits last week. Wagner said she was offered the position on Friday, and school system representatives said they're very happy with their choice.

"Dr. Wagner has a strong focus on students and student achievement," said North Star Borough School District School Board President Jennifer Schmidt in a press release. "She brings strengths to the district that are well-suited to the challenges and goals we have identified for ourselves over the next five years."

Though Wagner said she will miss Kingsport, the decision to accept the job was an easy one.

"With all the things that I saw there, I am very impressed with what they're doing," Wagner said. "I'm going to miss everybody here in Kingsport. It's been a great opportunity here for me too, and I've made a lot of friends."

Wagner's husband, Russell, who also came along for the visit, has been retired from Eastman for five years. Wagner said Russell intends to enjoy his retirement after the move to Alaska.

"He's been doing contract work with Hawkins County Schools - he's in information technology," Wagner said. "He said he's not going to get a job when we move, he's going to play. Alaska is a big playground for fishing and hunting and snow sports, all those kind of things. That's what he's looking forward to."

According to the Fairbanks newspaper, the Daily News-Miner, Wagner's contract has not officially been approved but is expected to be addressed at an upcoming school board meeting.

Details of the contract have not yet been released. However, superintendent search materials from the school system list the job's salary range of $140,000 to $155,000 for a 261-day contract.

Wagner will officially take over as superintendent on Sept. 1. But she will work alongside the current superintendent on a contract basis for one month prior to the official transition.

For more information on the Fairbanks school district visit www.northstar.k12.ak.us.

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