School District Welcomes new Principal and Human Resources Director

The Juneau School District announces the hire of two interim administrative level positions for the next school year.

Riverbend Elementary School Principal

The school district is pleased to welcome Suzie Cary back to Juneau as the interim Principal of Riverbend Elementary School for the 2013-2014 school year.

Cary is an experienced and accomplished principal who knows Juneau well and will be a talented leader for the school.  She worked in the Juneau School District from 1981 to 1999, as a reading specialist, elementary teacher and principal of Harborview Elementary School. During that time, she was named both Juneau and Alaska Teacher of the Year. After leaving Alaska, Cary continued her career as an administrator in education in Arizona and Thailand. During the past school year, she was the Dean of Students for Cactus Shadows High School in Scottsdale.

Cary has a Master of Arts in Education from Arizona State University, Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Arizona and Education Administrative Credentials from the University of Washington and University of Alaska Southeast.

Cary will begin in September, following her move from Arizona. Patti Carlson, a knowledgeable Alaska educator, school principal and the former Human Resources Director for the Juneau School District will step in to help open Riverbend for the school year, serving as the principal for the first few weeks. 

The position became open in June when the school’s former principal, Shannon Avenson, accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Curriculum in St. Cloud Minnesota. A full nationwide search for a permanent principal will begin in early 2014.

Human Resources Director

Dr. Michael Grubbs has joined the Juneau School District as the Interim Human Resources Director. His expertise is in human resources administration, employee communication and relationships, education law, and student achievement.

Dr. Grubbs has broad administrative experience, serving at the superintendent level in three districts as well as assistant superintendent with responsibility for human resources. He is a former classroom teacher for grades 3 - 8. His career in education has taken him from California to Nevada, Idaho, Washington and now, Alaska.

“My wife and I are simply thrilled to have the chance to live in Juneau, continue our careers, meet new friends, and be a part of such a beautiful place,” says Dr. Grubbs. “I personally look forward to meeting each and every employee and conveying to them my support in our partnership of advancing and continuing the great work of this district in preparing our students for success after graduation.”

Dee Ellen Grubbs, Michael’s wife, is closing down her family law and elder law practice in Vancouver, WA and moving to Juneau soon to join Michael.

Dr. Grubbs has a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Arizona, Master of Arts in Educational Administration from San Diego State University and Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from San Jose State University.