1987-1995 Susan Stitham

Portrait of Susan Stitham
Portrait of Susan Stitham

Susan Stitham graduated from the University of Alaska in 1971 with a master of arts degree in teaching. Susan is a tireless advocate for all levels of education in Alaska. From 1972-2004, she taught at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks where she served as department head of the English Department for 20 years.

Her innovative teaching style has been recognized by numerous local and state awards, including Fairbanks Teacher of the Year 1975; Junior Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Young Educator Award, 1976; $25,000 Milken Foundation Award, given to fewer than 100 teachers in 15 states; and a 1996 Brigham Young University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award.

Susan was very active in both the Fairbanks Education Association and the National Education Association. She was President of NEA-AK from 1978-79 and was on the national NEA board from 1983-1989. She was a member of both the University of Alaska Board of Regents from 1987-1995, serving as its secretary from 1989-1994, and the State Board of Education 1995-2002 where she was chairperson from 2000-2002.

As teacher and chair of the English Department at Austin E. Lathrop High School in Fairbanks, she promised her students each semester that they will leave her classes with more questions than when they started. One honor of which she is particularly proud is that she has been selected as commencement speaker by her school's graduating class on 12 separate occasions.

More information on the Milken Award