New education commissioner to live in Juneau

Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010

New education commissioner Michael Hanley will live in Juneau, where most Department of Education and Early Development staff are located, the department announced Friday.

"He and his wife are planning to move to Juneau, where the department is headquartered," said Esther Cox, chair of the Board of Education and Early Development.

The Department Friday announced the Board's decision to appoint Hanley to the job, an action which had been taken a week earlier.

In the press release, Cox said Hanley was a highly respected administrator in the Anchorage School District, and that the board looks forward to working with him.

Under state law the board appoints the education commissioner, subject to approval of Gov. Sean Parnell. In this case, Parnell told the board who he wanted and they interviewed him in an executive session which had not appeared on the board's agenda and appointed him immediately.

"In the board's interview, he showed vision, educational expertise, and outstanding communication skills," Cox said.

Also important may be that he has Parnell's support.

"I am confident that Mr. Hanley will have a positive working relationship with Governor Parnell as well as department staff, and that will continue to move Alaska education forward in a positive direction," Cox said.

Hanley received his bachelor of arts degree in kindergarten through eighth-grade education from the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he later received a master of education degree in educational leadership.

He has worked for the Anchorage School District since 1991, and as principal of Kincaid Elementary School since 2005.

The date on which Hanley will take over as education commissioner has not yet been determined, said Eric Fry, spokesman for the Department. Deputy Commissioner Les Morse will serve as acting commissioner until then.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or

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