Principal of Anchorage’s Service High School put on leave amid ‘community concerns,’ officials say

The Anchorage School District placed the Service High School principal on administrative leave Wednesday after what the district called “community concerns” were raised over the weekend.

The district has initiated an investigation into the concerns involving the principal, Allen Wardlaw, according to district spokesman MJ Thim.

Thim refused to provide any further details about the concerns raised, saying that they’re part of a personnel matter. He also wouldn’t confirm the nature of the investigation.

Wardlaw was hired by the district in 2015, according to Thim. He’s been a principal at Service High since 2021 and worked as an assistant principal and teacher at Clark Middle School.

Officials announced the change in a message to Service families Wednesday from Kersten Johnson-Struempler, the district’s senior director of secondary education. The district has installed an acting principal, Imtiaz Azzam, who is listed on the school’s website as Service’s current assistant principal.

“We understand you have many questions,” Johnson-Struempler wrote. “As we work through this matter, we will provide updates in a timely manner when we can. Because this is a personnel matter, we can’t comment further at this time.”

District officials held an emergency staff meeting on Wednesday afternoon about the change in leadership, Thim said.

Service High School, located on Abbott Road, has nearly 1,500 students.

Morgan Krakow

Morgan Krakow covers education and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. Before joining the ADN, she interned for The Washington Post. Contact her at