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.”
Read more about the awards here.