The Kodiak Island Borough School District’s Board of Education approved Chris Aguirre as the new principal for Kodiak High School at a June 30 meeting.

Aguirre has been here before, serving as the director of career and technical education for the school district in the 2005-2006 school year.

When he left Kodiak, Aguirre went to New York City, where, he reports, his year in Kodiak influenced his career.

“Career and technology programs on the island have always been really, really good,” Aguirre said. “I carried forward the quality of those programs into what I created next.”

That was an engineering, architecture and technology high school in New York City that was career- and college-focused.

“Career and technology education and high school are not two things that are traditionally blended in New York City,” Aguirre said.

While in New York, he also served on an advisory board for revamping technical education. He has a graduate degree in educational technology from Pepperdine University in California.

Aguirre thinks that Kodiak High School is moving in the right direction.

“The district itself is pretty far along the curve in terms of technology,” Aguirre said.

In terms of goals, Aguirre emphasized that every student needs a way to move forward.

“We’re chasing ways so students have the very best at their disposal to achieve what we’re asking,” Aguirre said. “No matter where your child is, there should be a viable way for them to get where they need to go. “

Another important thing is making sure students are ready for college or a career after they finish high school, Aguirre said.

“I do really, truly believe that a goal that we should always be working on is creating pathways for all students to get to that point of college and career,” Aguirre said. “I think we celebrate the end of high school — as we should — but it doesn’t stop there.”

He added that he’d like to see a student earn their high school diploma as well as an Associate’s degree during their four years in high school.

Giving students great learning experiences is also important. “There’s such a rich history here of developing programs to put students in places where they’re able to have great rich learning experiences — hands on or in the classrooms,” Aguirre said.

He used Kodiak High’s marine fisheries program as a teaching example, frequently telling his New York school about it.

“We need to continue growth on the pieces that are here,” Aguirre said. “We should continue to push ourselves to look at how we’re putting out banks of knowledge and helping them retain and use it.”

Aguirre acknowledged that there may be bumps in the road, with not only the transition to a new principal, but also with the high school construction.

“We’re moving into a new building, and we want to make sure that transition goes smoothly,” Aguirre said. “I want to definitely have the conversations necessary to let people know what page I’m on, where I’m coming from. To be out and talking actively about instruction and making sure all the pieces that the community has definitely come to rely on are still there.”

Aguirre will be at Harborside Fly By on Mill Bay Road, July 9, 6-8 p.m., for a meet and greet with staff, parents and community members.

Contact Julie Herrmann at

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