RUNNING: 2021 Anchorage School Board Race – issues and candidate Q&A responses

UPDATE: Candidate responses to Alaska Public Media’s 2021 School Board Candidate questionnaire are now available at Running 2021. Sixteen candidates are running; 12 responded to the questionnaire. Candidates Judy Norton Eledge, Marilyn Stewart, Kim Paulson and Marcus Sanders did not respond. (Scroll for a full list of candidates and seats.)

The mail-in election is April 6, and ballots will be sent to voters on March 15.

Our format for RUNNING is different this year. Candidates are not live on the air. In advance, we provided candidates with voluntary issue questionnaires. Then, Running on Hometown Alaska hosted a panel of three engaged citizens who follow educational topics in Anchorage. They discussed — added context and opinion — to some of the issues the district and school board will soon face. The panelists did not see candidates’ answers in advance, and did not recommend or endorse any candidates. After the discussions, the host shared candidate responses to these issues. The goal of the show is to prepare voters to make informed decisions on candidates.

As always, questions and comments are invited throughout the hour. Please listen to this important local political discussion on school issues and candidates’ ideas.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy and E.J. David


  • Abbe Hensley, executive director, Best Beginnings, a public-private partnership working toward school readiness
  • Tam Agosti Gisler, former teacher and school board member
  • James Smallwood, ran for school board twice, active parent advocate


  • Mayowa Aina, Alaska Public Media education reporter


  • School Board candidates’ 2021 RUNNING answers were posted here after the March 8 program.
  • School board candidates, as listed on the municipal website


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (10-11 a.m.).
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (E-mails may be read on air).
  • Post your comment or question below (Comments may be read on air).
  • LIVE: Monday, March 8, 2021 at 10 a.m
  • RE-AIR: Monday, March 8, 2021 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: On this page after the show

THE CANDIDATES (with links to candidate’s websites)

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