Board President, Jean Ellis, said the search for a new superintendent was a lengthy process and they got a lot of input from the public in making their decision.
“I think we felt that she was the best fit for our district and part of her Alaska experience that she has and familiarity with the things going on in Alaska,” Ellis said.
Stroh will be leaving her job as Valdez Superintendent for the Petersburg position. She has been in education for three decades in Alaska and Montana, where she is originally from. Ellis said Stroh will continue the good things Petersburg has going.
“She did a lot of research into the Petersburg school system, was very familiar with us and is very excited to be coming to a place that is functioning so well,” Ellis said. “I feel like we’re…I’m so proud of our district, I just think we’re doing fantastic and so it’s great to have somebody that’s excited to carry this on for us.”
Friday morning Stroh met with the middle and high school student councils in the high school library.
“I am very honored to be your next superintendent,” Stroh told the students. “Anything I can do to support you, I will do that. You’ve got a great school already but if there’s anything that I can help you with, you let me know, ok?”
Stroh said she will be asking the councils for their opinions from time to time. She asked the students what they thought the greatest thing was about their school.
Senior Brett Martensen responded, “Everybody knows everybody which is super cool in a school district. You know, I know all these kids, maybe not any of the younger ones but all the ones in the high school, I know everybody. When we need to work together in group projects it’s really easy because you already have an understanding of these other kids and you can work together which I think is really important.”
Stroh said she could relate to that because her youngest son, who is now in college, went to a small high school of 109 students.
“That togetherness, that’s what gets you when you graduate and you go out and you succeed because you’ve got that good sense of yourself,” Stroh said.
Stroh acknowledged the big shoes she has to fill of out-going Superintendent Rob Thomason. She said she plans to work with him in the transition.
“I know him from before because we have superintendent meetings and I know that he just really cares about students and I think this is a good fit for me to be here too,” Stroh said.
Stroh left Petersburg on the Friday morning jet. She says she hopes to make it back to visit before she starts work in July. Thomason’s last day is June 30.