Anchorage Science Teacher Named 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year

Ben Walker teaches seventh-grade science in the same Romig Middle School classroom that his mother once did.

For 11 years, his wife taught science in the classroom next door.

“Science runs in this family,” said Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop.

So does teaching.

And earlier this month, Walker earned the highest teaching honor awarded by the Alaska education department.

Alaska Education Commissioner Michael Johnson named Walker the 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year at a surprise, school-wide assembly Thursday morning at the West Anchorage middle school in front of a crowd of energetic students, co-workers and family members, including his two children, who clapped and cheered in response to the news.

Read the full article here.

Source: Anchorage science teacher named 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year – Alaska Dispatch News

Science, Culture Camp Energizes Rural Alaska Teachers

Teachers and teaching aides from six villages in the Bering Strait School District immersed themselves in a science and culture camp in Unalakleet, Alaska, in August to learn how to integrate science and Native knowledge in the classroom.

The camp was offered as professional development for teachers by the Raising Educational Achievement through Cultural Heritage Up (REACH Up) program, part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks K-12 Outreach Office. Funded in 2015, the program provides Native students and teachers with place-based, culturally relevant science, technology, engineering and math curricula, and engages Native youth to come up with solutions to local climate change issues.

Read the full article here.

Source: Science, culture camp energizes rural Alaska teachers – UAF News and Information

ANSEP Summer Bridge

Incoming UAA Freshman Augustine Hamner and ANSEP COO Mike Bourdukofsky visit with Morning Line host Danny Preston. Credit Koahnic Broadcast Corporation

Recent East High School graduate Augustine Hamner spent her summer in an extraordinarily productive way – taking an advanced math course and working for a major corporation.

This was all part of Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program’s Summer Bridge component, which is the most recent step she’s taken with ANSEP to prepare her for college.

Augustine has been actively involved with ANSEP since the 8th grade. The confident & well-spoken incoming college freshman reminisced about building her own computer so many years ago, and plans to major in Mechanical Engineering when she starts courses in a couple of weeks at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

This summer, she got hands-on experience interning for BP. Augustine says she worked within an Integrity Management team of six chemical engineers, helping analyze corrosion data from pipeline inspection and maintenance devices called a Pigging Barrel and a Smart Pig. She also managed to squeeze in Calculus II, completing the course in just five weeks.

ANSEP Chief Operating Officer Mike Bourdukofsky says that through ANSEP, 26 high school graduates like Augustine had the opportunity to take a college math or science course while gaining career experience through paid STEM field internships.

Listen to the interview here.

Source: As Heard on Morning Line: ANSEP Summer Bridge | knba

At Alaska Middle College School Students an Earn a High School Diploma and Associate’s Degree at the Same Time

Zavier Alers, standing near center in a blue T-shirt, leads an icebreaker exercise for students of Alaska Middle College School on Aug. 21, 2017. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

Monday marked the first day of school for tens of thousands of Anchorage students and the first day of the school district’s latest program: the Alaska Middle College School, where students can earn an associate’s degree and high school diploma at the same time, at no cost to them.

About 140 Anchorage high school juniors and seniors have enrolled in the middle college and on Monday morning, they split into five classrooms at the University of Alaska Anchorage Chugiak-Eagle River Campus to meet one another and attend lessons on how college works.

“There’s a lot more independence in your future,” Teacher David Maker told one group of teenagers. “You’re not going to have the amount of babysitting you’ve had the past two years.”

For the remainder of the week, the high school students will attend “boot camp” classes before they’re thrust into UAA lectures with university students.

“They’re university students, they have a university ID badge,” said Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop. “We’re not turning the university into high school, high school is stepping up the game.”

While the middle college students will attend regular university-level classes, they will also have access to two high school teachers who will hold “support seminars” in the building to review material, said Kathy Moffitt, ASD’s administrative projects director.

Read the full article here.

Source: At Alaska Middle College School, students can earn a high school diploma and associate’s degree at the same time – Alaska Dispatch News

Workforce Wednesday: Educator with the Dept. of Corrections

The Department of Corrections (DOC) is looking for Education Coordinators and Vocational Instructors. Gary Olsen, Criminal Justice Planner of Education with the DOC, joined Daybreak Wednesday to provide details.

Vocational instructors primarily teach the construction trade: electrical, carpentry, plumbing and HVAC skills. They use the curriculum in the National Center for Construction Education and Research that is sponsored by Alaska Process Industry Career Consortium (APICC). Prisoners build a small house in the vocational trade area, getting a resume‑building certification that will help them get jobs after incarceration.

The DOC is seeking applicants with a minimum of three years as a journeyman in construction. They also consider the kinds of experience that someone has supervising crews. Applicants should have a great attitude, an ability to follow rules, policies, procedures, and classroom direction skills.

Education Coordinators perform more traditional teacher duties. They teach criminal attitudes programs, re-entry, anger management, and GED classes. The minimum qualification for this position is a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling, or education. Many veterans find themselves successful in this position, Olsen says, because the experience obtained while serving is excellent preparation for teaching at the DOC.

These positions yield roughly $4,000 a month. Health coverage includes eye, dental, and medical care. The state also provides a small stipend for retirement.

More positions are potentially expected to open in the future. For full descriptions, visit

For help beginning a career in the positions covered in Workforce Wednesday, contact Martha Peck with APICC at (907) 770-5250 or

Watch the full Workforce Wednesday video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Educator with the Dept. of Corrections » KTVA 11