Mentor Biography

Hal Neace

Hal Neace

2009 - Current
I grew up in wheat country in southeastern Washington State on gravel roads with two brothers. Later, I attended the University of Puget Sound, gained a master's degree in biology at the University of Oregon and served two years in rural India in the Peace Corps. I taught science for 33 years in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Dt. where I also became a certified outdoor educator and instructed the Project Adventure curriculum for many years. I have 3 beautiful children and 3 precious grandchildren. I presently live in Homer, Alaska. This is my 10th year mentoring early career teachers.

The term "mentor" comes from the Greek and stands for "a wise and trusted counselor." I hope that the work I am doing with beginning educators will live up to that standard. President John F. Kennedy was inspirational to me in my formative years. He once said: "Modern cynics and skeptics... see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing." ~John F. Kennedy.

Being an Alaskan Statewide Mentor is both an inspiring and humbling endeavor. Mentoring is a two way street as the teacher gains from the mentor so too the mentor learns from the teacher. It is the ultimate collaboration. Add to the fact there is no finish line; only a continuum that keeps moving ever onward. So like the Peace Corps experience, it can be the most meaningful and challenging job you will ever love.

“Being a mentor has been a meaningful journey for me as I get to work with so many inspiring new teachers from whom I gain new perspectives and ideas in our mutual collaborations. It is a powerful experience knowing you are one small but important part of developing educational leaders who will shape tomorrow’s world and classrooms.”