District promotes Glacier Valley principal to asst. superintendent

Bernie Sorenson replaces Peggy Cowan, who was named superintendent

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2003

Glacier Valley Elementary Principal Bernie Sorenson has been selected to become Juneau's new assistant superintendent of schools.

"I am really sad to leave (Glacier Valley) but I am hoping that whatever I learned there, I can take some of that to this new position," Sorenson said.

Sorenson replaces former Assistant Superintendent Peggy Cowan, who was promoted to superintendent in January, replacing Gary Bader, who took a job with the state Department of Revenue. Sorenson's position at Glacier Valley has not been advertised.

Sorenson said her decision to leave Glacier Valley, where she spent the past six years, was "bittersweet," but that she was looking forward to new challenges with the district.

"I really feel it was the best six years of my education career. ... I am very proud of what happened during the six years I was at Glacier Valley. We have true community and that involves kids, parents and teachers," she said.

Before working at Glacier Valley, Sorenson worked for six years at the Juneau School District office, filling various positions, including writing grants for special programs and overseeing assessment efforts. Prior to that Sorenson was a reading specialist at Harborview Elementary.

Sorenson has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Montana.

In her new position, she will oversee district programs and curriculum.

"I'll bring to the job a strong knowledge of students and student learning, as well as a great knowledge of students who are most at risk in our district," she said.

Sorenson said one of her priorities will be to further a teacher mentoring program, and possibly start a mentoring program for educational leaders.

"We have great teachers in the district, probably some of the best, and I really want to work to retain the type of teachers we have had over the years," she said.

Sorenson's first day as assistant superintendent will be July 1.

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