Dillingham Elementary School fourth-grade teacher, Andrew Berkoski, received a BP 2018 Teachers of Excellence award.
“Fourth-grade is my favorite age to teach,” said Berkowski, who has been doing so for five years. “I have taught from fourth all the way through the university level. And fourth-graders are by far my favorite. Like I always say, the cement is still wet, they’re still very moldable. They’re fun. They get things quickly, and it’s never a dull moment.”
Alaska After School Hero
Deanna Baier received the Alaska After School Hero award for her work as a Bristol Bay 4-H Coordinator and Tribal Indian Child Welfare worker. Baier has been working with Bristol Bay 4-H since 2014. She has expanded the program to multiple locations in Bristol Bay, and she just opened a new location in Anchorage.
“The 4-H activities provide positive prevention and wellness activities for kids to keep them safe, and to keep them out of trouble,” said Baier. “And I also believe in the power of five, which is that each successful youth has five positive adults that they can turn to in crisis or whenever they need help or assistance. And so the 4-H program helps to provide those.”
Bristol Bay 4-H is an extracurricular club for youth from kindergarten through 12th grade, and Baier says that close to 100 kids are currently enrolled. She expects that number to jump during the summer culture camps.
“I think from the culture camps the kids get a sense of community,” Baier explained. “You have a bunch of kids that may not normally hang out or work together come together for a month and participate in cultural activities such as native dancing, arts and crafts and drumming. The kids are able to make dance fans and headdresses.”
For a week in late April, College of Education graduate students head to Newhalen School for the Lake and Peninsula School District’s annual Academic Athletic (AA) meet. The decades-old tradition closes out each school year, bringing 7th through 12th graders together from across the 13-school district for a packed week of events, including NYO qualifiers and a career fair.
During the AA meet, Newhalen School — overlooking the shores of Lake Iliamna — is a humming hive of teenage energy. Students sleep in the classrooms at night. Prom dresses hang from the library loft and basketballs echo through the gym. Friends hang out in the hallway between classes, with their duffel bags stuffed beneath trophy cases.
Higher education advocates favoring career and technical education, community college and apprenticeships say CTE is path to jobs that employ the workforce and boost the economy but do not rule out traditional college degrees
Direct service providers who work with individuals with special needs may qualify for an opportunity to earn a national credential in Applied Behavior Analysis at no little to no cost. Medicaid Coverage for Autism Services is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2018 and providers are required to have the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential in order to render services.
The Center for Human Development at UAA is offering free training to obtain the RBT credential. This training will meet the requirements set forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to sit for the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board has specific requirements for applicants to become Registered Behavior Technicians. Please review the information located on their website about the requirements for obtaining and maintaining the RBT credential (https://bacb.com/rbt/).
This training will consist of access to online modules and hands-on skill competency assessments. Upon successful completion of the training, participants will be able to apply for the national credential and take the exam. We currently have funding to cover the entire cost of training, applying, and travel to and from the testing sites in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Government, industry and academic representatives met in Anchorage recently to discuss new ways to advance the state’s maritime sector.
Alaska’s maritime industry—sometimes referred to as “Alaska’s blue economy”—supports over 70,000 jobs and is the state’s largest private employer, according to the Alaska Department of Labor. It includes fishermen, seafood processors, ocean managers and researchers, vessel operators, deckhands, mechanics and many others who work in jobs connected to Alaska’s 44,000 miles of shoreline and its multibillion-dollar annual seafood industry.