Message to Eielson Parents on Potential School Closure

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  • 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


To our Eielson parents:

Facing a budget shortfall, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District proposed closing Ben Eielson Jr./Sr. High School. While the decision is under review with opportunities to participate in this discussion, I understand the uncertainty this drives for our families. If the board implements this plan as outlined, Ben Eielson would close after this school year and our children would attend North Pole Middle School or North Pole High School in the Fall.

This proposal impacts families. I know about the challenges our children face and the lack of academic continuity as a military dependent. As an Army brat, I attended eight different schools growing up. I considered myself fortunate to only attend two high schools when my brother had to attend three, moving twice in the middle of the school year. As a parent of two children at Ben Eielson, I am concerned about their academic stability, the impact of another move, and having to start over once again.

The Base Leadership heard loud and clear your concerns during the Town Halls that we hosted last year to discuss the schools on base. We worked with the School District on these concerns and tried to drive improvements. On the proposed closure, I have met with the Superintendent and plan on continuing to work with the school district, community leaders, and our Air Force leaders to find the best solution for our families and children.

I have already met with many of you and heard your concerns. If you would like to get involved and provide inputs to the base and the district, I have listed below ways to contact our School Liaison and a link to information on upcoming FNSB School District forums. There are several meetings for your voices to be heard, in-person and remotely, before the district makes its final decision on Monday, March 18.

I want the children of Eielson to have the best opportunities and education possible. I appreciate your commitment to our base community, and I am confident we can overcome any challenge together.


Paul Townsend, Col, USAF


354th Fighter Wing

Eielson AFB, AK


Eielson AFB School Liaison Program Manager:

Mr. Earnest “K” Kincade



FNSB School District Forum Information: