Mentor Biography

Pat McDonald


2004-2006, 2012-15 and 2022 to present

I came to Alaska in 1974, courtesy of the U.S. Army and never left.  After serving 3 years at Ft. Wainwright, I attended UAF earning a B.S. in General Science, majoring in math and education with a minor in Alaska Native Languages.  I was launched into a Yup'ik classroom, armed with determination and a one year contract in 1980.

Since then, I returned to UAF and UAA to earn Master's degrees in Education, Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership.  I am certified to teach elementary students,  secondary math and science and to be a K-12 principal.  But my real education came from raising my own children, teaching K-12 students, school improvement coaching with staff in high needs districts, and mentoring 1st and 2nd year teachers in both rural and urban districts around Alaska.

In my opinion, the biggest impact on students comes from teachers who embrace the philosophy of continuous improvement.  Mentors can guide new teachers in their quest for embedded, relevant and personalized reflection and professional development.  It has been the most impactful work I've done in my 42 years in education.


"The best thing about teaching is having a positive effect on the lives of young people. I am looking forward to meeting energetic new teachers interested in getting better at their teaching."