Assistant Principal

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Assistant Principal

Postby Texas2Alaska » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:10 am


I taught in Alaska a few years ago and am coming back at the end of the year. According to the Alaska Department of Education, when I apply my teaching endorsement will be what was on my previous certificate. I recently obtained my principal license in Texas and will be applying for that endorsement.

This will be my first year with the principal endorsement. Is it possible to get an assistant principal position, knowing that I'm coming out of state and it will be my first year?

Thank you for the help!
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Re: Assistant Principal

Postby Johncn » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:22 am


First of all, welcome back in advance! I assume you mean you intend to return at the end of the upcoming school year, so you will be looking in spring of 2021 for a position starting in July of next year?

First of all, the past practice has generally been for the Alaska Department of Education to "mirror" whatever certification area a teacher from the Lower 48 has on their certificate from State X, Y or Z. This is partially because all states have their own categories and grade levels, and universities do, too. Because most teachers in Alaska are trained Outside, not internally, this works out to stream line initial certification applications. EED requires that the pre-service teacher preparation program be "accredited", and the university has to fill out an "Institutional Recommendation" that states what the candidate is trained in and able to teach. That language has traditionally been what is use on the new Alaska teacher's certificate, or administrator's certificate.

That said, the best place for CURRENT specifics of certification / endorsement questions is always with Alaska EED in Juneau. Things change fast, and they are the final authority, so I would heartily recommend you contact them as you get closer to completion on your status. If you were previously certified in Alaska, they have much of what they need, and a small, but responsive staff. This is a very busy time of year for them, so I would wait until the fall or winter to make your request. Be aware that you will need both a valid teaching AND a valid admin certificate in order to secure an Assistant Principal job. So, getting that teaching certificate renewed (if it's been a while), will be an important part of getting your Admin, or "Type B" certificate.

In addition, Alaska EED has recently issued an official list of endorsements. They didn't used to have a public list of "official endorsements", so I am not sure if all renewals are now required to match the Alaska terminology / category, or whether the long-standing past practice of mirroring is still used.

Here is the official list:

Alaska Department of Education Endorsement Areas

As far as grade levels and actual subjects you teach or supervise, which are very specific in some states, Alaska mostly leaves that up to the districts that hire the teacher or the administrator. A teacher may have an English Language Arts 7-12 on his or her certificate, for example, but districts can assign that teacher to teach just about any subject or grade level. Districts try to make sure they have teachers that are meeting the spirit of the "highly qualified" ideas from years past in core areas, and work with the grade levels they prepared for and prefer, but the reality is that many, many teachers have to teach "out of subject area" or in wider grade level ranges in rural schools. The flexibility to assign teachers as, effectively, "generalists" is critical to small schools in the Bush. Some may have three or four teachers to meet the needs of 40 or more students in grades K-12, so can't possibly have certifications and bodies to meet each class or subject. ;-) You'll notice, however, that there is no "Generalist" endorsement area on the official list, however. ;-) Unless things have changed, Alaska EED knows this, and is very accepting of the need for districts and teachers to respond to the actual conditions their local schools.

As far as finding an Assistant Principal position, it's not at all unusual for new certified administrators to start as APs in a district. Some districts prefer to hire from within, but in general, administrators are in demand. Having some experience in the state previously will also help. All other things given assumed to be positive (references, valid certificate, etc.), you should find yourself pretty marketable. You'll have more options as a new admin in rural Alaska than in the road system and marine highway districts, in general. Admin positions are usually posted before teaching openings, so I'd be ready to start your search in the late fall, mid-winter time frame this year for jobs beginning in July of 2021.

Hope this helps,

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