KPBSD School Board Makes Final Decisions For Soldotna Schools

It was after 11pm when last night’s School Board meeting finally adjourned. Almost five hours of discussion capped off months of debate, and a decision was made.


Pegge Erkeneff outlined the Board’s decisions…

Erkeneff: “So a few decisions took place tonight, the first is that the School Board took the administrative recommendation, based on the advisory committee, for the mascots to remain what we had already talked about. So it’s going to be the panthers and the stars and the stars and the colors to be chosen from a palette of blue, purple, black, and white, and the schools have a choice on that. They also took the recommendation for the names to be Skyview Middle School and Soldotna Prep. As for Soldotna High School, the Board took no action to change the name of Soldotna High School. It will remain Soldotna High School. There was consideration for Soldotna Central High School; however, it will remain SoHi, or the Soldotna High School.”


School Board President Joe Arness shared the difficulty faced during voting…

Arness: “There was a lot of, a lot of confusion as to whether or not it was necessary and/or appropriate for us to be talking about things like school mascots and school colors, and it’s a fair question. In the normal circumstance, when you’re comprising a new school, meaning new in the classic sense of the word, the community that’s going to comprise that school can make that decision. The concern here was because we’re comprising what is in effect a new school, but one of the old schools is going to completely outnumber the other of the old schools, then that there would be no real democratic action there, and so we kinda’ needed to step in and sort of level that playing field.”


We asked Dr. Steve Atwater what he thought of the role the School Board played…


Dr. Atwater: “It was a unique situation. It was really unwieldy, too, for the Board to have to deal with that level, which they don’t normally do, which was colors and mascots. But I think it was appropriate that the Board did deal with that one. It was a contentious issue and if they left it open, I think it would have I think carried on and sort of spun out for a while, so I’m pleased that the Board did take action on it, even though it was unwieldy and somewhat unprecedented. I felt it was appropriate that they did bring closure to the conversation.”


Most of those testifying last night were impassioned parents and alumni.

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