Longtime JDHS official to retire at end of month

District won't replace position focusing largely on Native studies

Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2001

Longtime administrator Sasha Soboleff is retiring from the Juneau School District effective June 29.

Soboleff, who is finishing his 31-year career as an educator with a central office job overseeing several programs, was an assistant principal at Juneau-Douglas High School for 12 years and principal for the 1999-2000 school year.

"I have two kids - 6 and 4 - and family is becoming a big-time thing, and so the energies I have are being drawn that way," said Soboleff. "After 31 years in education, it's time."

Soboleff, 56, is a graduate of JDHS. He began teaching in Kake in 1970. "Done just about everything, from janitorial work to classroom work to principal and superintendent of schools," he said.

This school year he oversaw the Early Scholars Program for Native students at JDHS, the school district's Indian Studies Program, the charter school, the Montessori program, the RALLY before- and after-school program, and chaired the committee working on the school district's strategy to increase Native and other minority student success.

This year the committee produced several videos of Soboleff's father, Dr. Walter Soboleff, speaking on Tlingit culture. It plans to produce similar videos about other minorities to be used to train teachers.

"We decided we were done studying the problem. We had enough file cabinets filled with demonstrations we had an unmet need," Sasha Soboleff said.

Superintendent Gary Bader said Soboleff won't be replaced. The school board directed in its recently passed budget that one administrator should be cut.

"We're going to be scrambling and meeting this summer to figure out how to handle this," Bader said. "We're going to have to spread those duties around."

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