Education

Anchorage School District superintendent to retire at end of school year

Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop will retire at the end of this school year.

Bishop, 52, has been superintendent of the school district for more than five years. In an interview Tuesday afternoon, she said she’s retiring from the role to spend more time with her grandson, Clay, who turns 1 this month.

“I’m just delighted to really finish strong here, but I wanted to give plenty of notice so the board can plan and have a good, solid transition,” she said.

Bishop said she’s not considering other leadership roles but would like to continue working on issues of literacy in the state.

“I absolutely will continue the work in this state to increase reading outcomes for students,” Bishop said, citing Alaska’s low scores nationally for reading.

Her last day with the Anchorage School District is June 30, 2022.

“I thank Dr. Bishop for her time committed to the District and its families. We are grateful for her leadership and celebrate what the future holds for her,” Anchorage School Board President Margo Bellamy said in an emailed statement from the district. “As a board, we will work with the Superintendent as we plan for what is next.”

Prior to working as superintendent of the Anchorage School District, Bishop served as superintendent for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. She moved to the state after graduating from Texas State University at 20 and has since worked in a variety of educational roles, from pottery teacher to high school basketball coach, she said.

She was also one of several finalists considered for the role of University of Alaska Anchorage chancellor earlier this year, a position that ultimately went to former Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell.

Bishop led the school district through both the November 2018 earthquake and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which she said wasn’t what prompted her decision to retire.

In an email to staff Tuesday, Bishop thanked educators, saying they had “moved through both the best and most taxing of times.”

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