Mike Hanley, the state’s commissioner of education, will have a choice in the hiring of one of Kodiak’s newest teachers.

On Thursday, the Kodiak Island Borough School Board approved a contract for East Elementary School kindergarten teacher Melissa Griffin.

While contracts are approved each year for new teachers, Griffin is the wife of school board member Aaron Griffin, and Alaska Statute 14.14.140 states that members of the immediate family of a school board member can be hired by a school district only with the written approval of the commissioner of education.

A spokeswoman from the office of education commissioner Mike Hanley said the office receives several such requests each year, particularly from the state’s smaller school districts.

After Kodiak superintendent Stuart McDonald formally requests permission to hire Griffin, approval is expected within the week.

In other business Thursday, the school board extended a $46,410 contract with North River IT Services Co. of Bismarck, N.D. for information technology projects. The board also allowed the district to open the bidding process for companies to provide Internet communications to schools.

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