Dr. Deena Paramo
Dr. Deena Paramo’s focus on student achievement and success is backed by her experiences in teaching and educational leadership. As superintendent of the largest school district in the state, she is firmly committed to the ASD’s vision to have every child prepared for the work force or post-secondary education after high school.
Paramo began her Alaska educational career in 1991 and has proudly served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of the Mat-Su Borough School District before being named ASD’s superintendent in July 2016.
Paramo holds a bachelor’s degree in Education with a specialization in bilingual education, a master’s degree in educational administration and a doctorate in learning assessment and system performance. She was part of the first graduating class for the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendents Certification two-year program.
She is active in several local and civic organizations including the Education Commission of the States, Alaska Superintendents’ Association, 90% by 2020 Partnership, Anchorage and Chugiak-Eagle River Chambers of Commerce, East Anchorage Rotary, Foraker Group and United Way. She serves on several non-profit boards and enjoys spending time with her family, snow and water skiing, running and interior painting. Dr. Paramo has two college-age daughters.×
Dr. Paramo Named Woman of Achievement
YWCA Alaska recently announced its Women of Achievement honorees. This year's class includes ASD Superintendent, Dr. Deena Paramo. The Women of Achievement Awards recognizes and honors women who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and excellence in their professional and personal endeavors as well as their contributions to the larger community. In this Q&A, Dr. Paramo shares her thoughts on female leadership.
Who are some of the women who've inspired you throughout your life/career?
I have a really strong mother. My mother had a college scholarship but decided to put her education on hold to start and raise her family. For her children, she really wanted us to make education our priority. She told us to get an education first and we'll have more choices later in life. My first year as a teacher in Glennallen, I had a principal named Chris Troxel. She was the toughest boss I've ever had but probably the one I've learned the most from. I was just 21 at the time, but her leadership has stuck with me throughout my career. I've never believed I couldn't do something because I was a woman. My mother always emphasized to me that I could do anything I wanted, as long as I worked hard.
As a mentor to women, what is your main piece of advice for success in life and work?
Preparation. Prepare yourself so when opportunities arise, you are ready to take them. Never underestimate the power of relationships; people matter and relationships matter. Don't be afraid to share your opinion and learn how to be a good communicator. Also, don't beat yourself up. Nothing is ever going to be perfect so embrace your failures and mistakes as learning opportunities. Every day is a new day for excellence.
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What can ASD staff do to foster a culture of strong female leaders?
By providing opportunities for leadership and equal opportunities to have a voice, both in students and staff. It's important to create strong teams of males and females who interact with each other. I don't see gender when I look at someone; I see their potential.
What will be the biggest challenge for the next generation of women?
As children and teens grow up, they need to understand that every choice they make today could impact them down the road. Technology is a huge part of our lives these days and one little mistake could follow you forever. Make sure your choices are positive ones.
Dr. Paramo will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts.
This entry plan outlines specific strategies to provide Dr. Paramo the opportunity to learn about the district – its students and staff, and the community which supports ASD.
The district's Multicultural Education Concerns Advisory Committee (MECAC) works to ensure equity for ally students by providing input directly to the superintendent on relevant issues that impact student achievement, including parent involvement, community relations, curriculum adoption and implementation, cultural competence, and equity and other instructional concerns.
|News release, May 2, 2016|
The Anchorage School Board named Dr. Deena Paramo as the next superintendent of the Anchorage School District.
Destination 2020 is the district’s comprehensive, multi-year plan to increase student achievement. The plan focuses on improving the performance of every child to ensure at least one year’s academic growth each year. Destination 2020 is built on the district's mission, vision and core values as outlined by the school board.