School superintendent apologizes for mistake

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2007

It has been my honor to serve as superintendent of the Juneau School District for the past five years. During my tenure, I have always worked to be straightforward, open and honest with the public about the affairs of the district - both good and bad.

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I wanted to respond to the recent Juneau Empire editorial regarding the construction delays at Thunder Mountain High School and the error I made in neglecting to inform the Juneau School Board, school district staff and the public.

I made a mistake. There is one important fact that the Juneau Empire editorial could not have known. The fact is, my intention was not to withhold information or cover anything up. City staff informed me of the delay and the city's negotiation with the building contract this fall, and I intended to notify the board. I did not do so. Wrong - yes. Mistake - yes. Intentional - no.

When I became aware of my mistake, I informed the board. I sincerely apologize to the board, the staff and the public. As we move forward toward opening the new school and implementing the Next Generation high school plans, I will provide regular and straightforward updates to the board and the public through reports at School Board meetings, weekly updates on the Web site and through the media. As always, my intention is to be transparent and open in all aspects of my job as superintendent and in providing the best possible education of Juneau's children and youth.

Peggy Cowan

School superintendent, Juneau

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