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Press Release: Board of Education to Adopt Alaska Native Advisory Board Seat | June 2024


Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Subject: Board of Education to Adopt Alaska Native Advisory Board Seat

FAIRBANKS–The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (FNSBSD) Board of Education (Board), in its commitment to providing an excellent and equitable education for all students, unanimously approved a policy change on Tuesday, June 4, to include an appointment of an advisory board member from the Fairbanks Native Association (FNA). The FNA member shall provide input and advise the School Board on all matters that come before the Board, including sharing their unique perspective on how matters under consideration might affect the Alaska Native community and all district students.

“Over the past few weeks, the Board has received considerable public testimony and numerous emails, all overwhelmingly supporting this policy change,” said Brandy Harty, Board president. “We are excited to welcome our first FNA advisory member to the dais this fall when the Board resumes its regular meetings. The Board remains resolute in its commitment to partnering with families and the community to provide all students with an excellent education in a safe, supportive environment. This is best accomplished through listening to diverse voices and perspectives as a vital part of the Board's deliberative process.”

The updated Board Policy BB9110 states: “The school board believes it is important to seek out and consider ideas, viewpoints, and reactions to the educational program from its advisory members. Advisory members may participate in the work of the Board and may deliberate and debate matters brought to the attention of the Board. Advisory members shall receive all materials presented to board members except those related to executive sessions. Advisory board members may cast advisory votes on all matters except those subject to executive session discussion. Advisory votes shall be cast prior to the official school board vote and shall not affect the outcome of a vote. Advisory votes shall be recorded in the board minutes.”

“This is a historic moment for Fairbanks Native Association,” said Melissa Charlie, FNA executive director. “Our leaders, past and present, have long dreamed of having a seat on the school board. FNA will bring a unique perspective that will benefit the success of all students. We take this role very seriously and come prepared to work and advocate for excellent education for all students in this district.”

The FNSBSD is governed by the Board consisting of seven members, each of whom is elected for a three-year term on a rotating basis. The advisory members, in addition to the Alaska Native seat, include an advisory member from each local military installation in which FNSBSD schools operate, and a member from the regional student council.

For more information, please contact: Joshua DuVall, Director of Communications, (907) 452-2000 ext.11438, or