Sasha Soboleff to leave JDHS principal's office

Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Juneau-Douglas High School Principal Sasha Soboleff will move to the school district's central office after this school year, his first as JDHS principal.

Soboleff has been named director of special programs, a job that didn't exist before, and he'll oversee programs in Indian Studies and English as a Second Language, among other tasks.

It's part of a number of job changes triggered by the resignation of Assistant Superintendent Drew Alexander, said schools Superintendent Gary Bader.

``This is not an involuntary assignment or anything of that nature,'' Bader said.

Soboleff could not be reached immediately for comment.

Deb Morse, who is now an assistant principal at JDHS, will serve as interim principal for next school year while a permanent principal is selected. Dale Staley, the district's technology coordinator and a former school board member, will fill Morse's vacated position. The technology duties will be assigned to other administrators, Bader said.

Peggy Cowan, currently the district's director of curriculum and assessment, has been named assistant superintendent. She will continue to work on curriculum development, Bader said.

That leaves Cowan's former position empty for now. It could be reclassified for different duties, Bader said.

The changes, which take effect July 1, won't cost the district more, Bader said. ``It's basically people going into jobs at or less than their predecessor made.''

Soboleff, a JDHS graduate, became principal this school year after serving many years as assistant principal. He has a master's degree in education administration, has taught at the elementary and high school levels, and has been principal and superintendent for the Hydaburg School District.

Lance Carpenter, the site council's facilitator, said Soboleff is probably the best person in the district for his new job. Soboleff understands that issues like language skills and cultural differences need to be dealt with early in students' education and all the way through it, he said.

``Having Sasha on the district staff to manage those kinds of things is very appropriate,'' Carpenter said.

But the change means JDHS could have three different principals over three years after a long period of stability. Soboleff replaced longtime principal Ron Gleason. Morse will replace Soboleff for at least a year.

It's good to have a year to think about what kind of skills the new principal needs at this point in the school's history, said Sally Rue, a site council member and former school board president ``It's such a big job it's hard for one person to fill each part of it.''

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