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2020 group

Distinguished guest speakers, EdRising Staff, Teacher Leaders, and Students gather at the March 1st banquet.

April 2020 — Volume 3 Number 4

K-12 Outreach at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is committed to partnerships that support quality education for Alaska. We endeavor to do this by:

  • Helping to grow Alaska's own educators
  • Supporting educational agencies to recruit quality educators
  • Providing individualized support to new teachers
  • Supporting place-based education
  • Helping to increase the effectiveness and retention of teachers 
More about our Mission

MargaretMargaret Baca, a 1st year teacher in Tanana. Two puppies follow her to school from time to time and stay in her classroom until someone can bring them home. Photo: Sharon Attla.

The vision of the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project is that every student in Alaska will have the benefit of a great teacher. Our mission is to give new teachers the support they need to succeed.

How remarkable that in these uncertain times, our mission and vision hold steady. Our job has always been to assist early career teachers in achieving their goals. It is no different now with the challenges educators face.

TamaraTamara Trefon is a 1st year teacher at Ayaprun Elitnaurvik School in Bethel which is a Yup'ik Immersion school. She teaches the entire Yugtun curriculum. Photo: Cheryl Childers.

Whether physical schools are open or closed, the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project exists to lift up and support the profession of teaching in Alaska. Whether our first-and second-year teachers are providing instruction in their classrooms or remotely, we provide

individualized support, that develops an effective teaching force responsive to the diverse academic needs and cultural backgrounds of all students.

ASMP has been adapting since its inception, using powerful and sustainable ways to deliver remote, secure instructional coaching to our teachers as well as professional development among mentors and other educators throughout the state. We keep moving forward despite an ever-changing landscape.

Cathy McIntyre is a 1st year teacher in the dual language program in Tuntutuliak. Cathy is teaching Yugtun reading, writing and science for the 2nd and 3rd. grade. She is a graduate of UAF and is teaching in her home village. Photo: Cheryl Childers.

ASMP builds on the resiliency, flexibility, expertise, and creativity of our mentor workforce. As leaders in distance-delivered instruction, we are making some of our most impactful mentoring work in these recent weeks. Collaboration between mentors and early career teachers is stronger than ever as we work to address the needs of students who are being educated in new and different ways.

Thank you for all you are doing for your students and your community during this unique time. Please reach out if we can help in any further way. We have resources to support staff and individuals. If we can partner with you in any way, please contact us.


Find out more on our website, or contact us through email.

High school students from Alaska’s 15 school districts and 25 communities participated in the 2020 Educators Rising Alaska State Leadership Conference, held March 1st-3rd at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We had the highest number of students to date, with 106 students registered. Students participated in enriching, performance-based competitive events that featured: Creative Lecture; Lesson Planning: Arts, Humanities, or STEM; Children's Literature: Pre-K or K-3; Public Speaking; Inside our Schools; and Exploring Education & Administration Careers. Most students were able to participate in person, but virtual connections were set up so students with other obligations were able to participate as well.

Ashley & Group
Ashley Yoder (left), Educators Rising Alaska Student Officer stands with her fellow Ketchikan members. Photo: JR Ancheta.

Competitors were provided with professional video recordings of their performance to help them improve for future projects and, for those who advanced, to prepare for the National Competitions in June. Along with competitions on the first day, students could also make their own business cards, participate in leadership arts activities, and learn what it takes to be a Student Officer. The first day concluded with a banquet in the Wood Center Ballroom.

Houston group
A portion of Houston's students pose with Nanook, UAF's mascot. Photo: JR Ancheta.

The banquet provided students with powerful speeches from UA President Jim Johnson, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs and Athletics Keith Champagne, Dean of CNSM Kinchel Doerner, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development Karen Melin, and 2020 Alaska Teacher of the year Amy Gallaway.

Amy Gallaway, Alaska Teacher of the Year, gave a motivational speech to the audience of potential future educators. Photo: Vincent Mahoney.

The evening came to an end with a performance from the Pavva Iñupiaq Dancers, led by Sean Topkok, Associate Professor of Graduate Studies. UAF Provost Anupma Prakash was a guest at the event.

Pavva, an Iñupiaq dance troupe, dances for the audience. Pavva
is led by Professor Sean Topkok. Photo: Vincent Mahoney.

The second full day of the conference started out with an empowering presentation by Executive Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Steve Atwater. Students then split into groups to attend workshops on classroom management, the pathways for careers in education, admissions information, and campus tours. Interested students also took the Accuplacer test.

Anupma Prakash, UAF Provost, is surrounded by a group of Educators Rising Alaska students. Photo: Vincent Mahoney.


Teacher leaders who attended the conference were able to acquire one continuing education credit. Most teachers took advantage of this opportunity. They were required to keep a journal during the conference, which helped them engage, and it also provided valuable feedback for the Educators Rising Alaska program.

An Awards Ceremony was held on the last day of the conference, where students received awards for their competitions. Those who placed in the top five of each category are encouraged to attend the Educators Rising National Conference, which is scheduled to be held June 17-21 in Washington, D.C.

Educators Rising Alaska has long been an organization capable of adaptation. Our conferences offer virtual competitions to accommodate students affected by travel in Alaska’s unpredictable weather and circumstances. Looking forward, amid the recent challenge of COVID-19, we continue to offer our services via a distance-supported platform. Educators Rising is preparing to adapt their national conference for this possibility, and our offices will be supporting Alaska students by preparing them to compete nationally.


For more information, please email: uaf-edrisingak@alaska.edu


Find out more on our website.

Teacher Ambassadors Sharing Knowledge (TASK) is designed for distance collaboration, supported by several in-person workshops throughout the year. Workshops help augment teacher’s online lesson development and support their science knowledge and foster cultural exchange between Hawaiian and Alaskan teachers.

Nick Hanson "Ninja Nick" joined the Workshop, demonstrating traditional games such as the Earpull with Hawai'i TASK teacher, Reid Yokote. Photo: Putt Clark.

TASK had a highly successful first multi-state teacher workshop in October of 2019. Twenty Hawaiian teachers and administrators traveled to Alaska and spent a week in Anchorage and Nome. While in Anchorage, Hawaiian teachers toured local schools, learned about Alaska Native culture and Alaska’s history of education from local experts. After a short flight to Nome our teachers engaged in several days of hands on place-based activities with their Alaskan counterparts.

TASK group
Teachers and Staff gather for a group photo on top of Anvil Mountain. Photo: Putt Clark.

It wasn’t all schoolwork as the teachers tried moose meat for the first time, learned about

Eskimo Olympics from Nick Hansen and spotted a family of Muskox on Anvil Mountain. Teachers returned home with STEM lesson ideas to engage and excite their students.

This past January, Hawaiian teachers participated in a day long science and culture workshop in Pearl City, HI. Teachers and administrators worked on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned place-based activities to help students develop inquiry skills to drive their own investigations. Teachers also worked on data analysis and finding connections between STEM topics and Native Hawaiian culture.

HI teachers
Hawaiian teachers work on developing lessons at their January workshop. Photo: Terry Holck.

Throughout the year participating teachers are collaborating online to build place-based culturally relevant STEM lessons. For example Sandi Keller, of Nome brought her students out to the small boat harbor to learn about sea ice, fish ecology and subsistence fishing. After ice fishing, and as part of teaching cultural knowledge, students brought their catch of tomcods to the local senior center to share with elders.

We are looking forward to a spring and summer of supporting our teachers and partners with distance collaboration and virtual professional development workshops.


Tune in to future newsletters for updates on the status of the TASK project.

Find out more on our K-12 Outreach website.

Alaska Teacher Placement is working with school districts to schedule virtual job fairs. Similar to our usual job fairs, districts will have the opportunity to share information about their school district and communities, such as: positions that are open for the 2020-21 school year; the district’s pay scale; housing for teachers; social and community activities; and anything else that makes your district interesting and unique. During these virtual job fairs, candidates are able to ask questions and schedule interviews, if desired.

Josh and Janice
Josh and Janice Bullock give a talk every year about living in rural Alaska.  Janice is now the H.R. director for Dillingham and will be running a virtual job fair for her district..

School districts will only need to have one or two people available during their scheduled time. Having two representatives is ideal, so one can be the voice of the district that speaks to the audience (via Skype). The other person can monitor questions, write them down and pass them to the speaker. This makes for an easier method of conveying information to the audience, and for answering their questions.

Additionally, ATP will join you through the chatbox, so we can answer general questions that come up about certification and online applications.

Prior to your virtual job fair, ATP will email candidates, alerting them to the certification areas you are needing. Like our Facebook page so you don't miss any updates on new virtual job fairs as they are scheduled.

Toni McFadden is the Program Manager for ATP. She's seen here working in her ATP office, running the chatbox for virtual job fairs.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, we began our virtual job fair season with the Anchorage School District on March 18. This virtual job fair has received over 600 views so far and is archived on ATP’s Facebook page so anyone can reference it at their convenience. A number of school districts have scheduled and are holding theirs already. If your school district hasn't yet scheduled with ATP, please contact us.

Find out more on our website, or for more information, email us. Like us on Facebook.



K-12 Outreach Offices
5th Floor Lathrop Hall
1860 Tanana Loop or
P.O. Box 755400
Fairbanks AK 99775
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