New principals

New Kodiak High School Principal Mel LeVan, left, new North Star Elementary School Principal Kerry Irons, new district director of rural schools Peggy Azuyak and new AKTEACH director Nicole Fuerst pose near Kodiak High School this week.

New principals have been named in three Kodiak schools.

Kodiak High School, Kodiak Middle School and North Star Elementary School will all be under new leadership in the next school year. All three were hired from within the school district.


Kodiak High School

Mel LeVan will leave his position as a math and science teacher at the high school to take on the role as KHS principal. His new contract will begin in July. He will replace current Principal Chris Aguirre, who announced his resignation early this month. 

“I’m going to seek out and encourage a problem-solving model that involves everyone that’s a stakeholder,” LeVan said. “I’ll be working on getting that in place over the summer and have it up and running for the first day of the school year.”

LeVan has lived in Kodiak since 1991, and has been a teacher in the school district since spring 1992. He taught his last class on Wednesday, he said. 

“That was a milestone,” he said. 

“My personal vision that I’m going to bring to the building is a vision of everyone actively and joyfully learning, and that includes myself … and I’ll expect that from my staff. We’re going to actively work to make sure that every student is doing that and feeling that. The joyfully part is equally important to the actively,” he said. 


Kodiak Middle School

Melissa Haffeman will make the switch from assistant principal to principal of KMS. 

Jethro Jones, who formerly served as principal, took an administrative position at Tanana Middle School in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, according to a KIBSD release.

Haffeman graduated from KHS and later worked as a teacher and administrator in the KIBSD for about ten years. She then spent six years in the Lower 48 before returning to Kodiak and taking her current position at KMS in 2016.

She also leads the district’s Administrative and Teacher Technology committees. 


North Star Elementary

Kerry Irons will leave her position as KIBSD’s instructional support coordinator to take over as North Star Elementary’s principal. 

She will take over from current principal Patricia Wilson.

Irons has lived in Kodiak since 1995 and has worked in public education for 18 years, according to the KIBSD release. She has been a teacher at Peterson, East and North Star elementary schools, and has served as a mentor in the Alaska Statewide Mentor Projects. 

Haffeman and Irons could not be reached by press time Wednesday.

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