Timi Tullis 

Board Checklist for a New School Year


Tiffany Jackson

Get Involved in the Resolutions Process!


Emily Ferry & Lauren Havens

What can growing blueberries teach us about the conditions for learning?



Commentary Newsletter Archive



AASB staff facilitates a dialogue with school staff and community members at St Marys School gymnasium, May 12, 2022. Photo: Connor Meyer

AASB's annual STEPS AK Gathering, held May 3-4 at Centennial Hall in Juneau, brought partners together from across Southeast Alaska. The event was an opportunity to learn from and inspire each other, and to celebrate the collective impact of shared work. Photo: Connor Meyer



It will take all of us working together

Lon Garrison, Executive Director

With the new school year upon us, there is anxious optimism and troubling concern. We are hopeful that school is returning to something more familiar, if not better than before. On the other hand, there is deep concern about our ability to meet the challenges resulting from the pandemic, like learning loss and an acute staff shortage. The effects of COVID, combined with the ideological and political divide focused on public education, have created the perfect conditions for a staffing crisis and a worry about educational equity. If we aim to provide Alaska’s students with an excellent education every day, it will take all of us working together for a common goal to overcome the many challenges our public education system faces today.  


AASB Board Adopts Equity Statement

During its July meeting in Bethel, the AASB Board of Directors adopted the following equity statement to serve as a guiding principle for the organization:

"AASB believes in educational excellence for all of Alaska’s students. Equity in public education means the fair allocation of resources, based on need, to address opportunity gaps and promote success for every student in Alaska. Students come to us from various backgrounds with different strengths and at varying degrees of readiness. What works for one student may not work for another.  

"AASB is obliged to support Alaska’s students by providing school leaders with quality educational services such as policy, planning, hiring, and training to ensure successful outcomes for all students by respecting their race, ethnicity, religion, language, abilities, socioeconomic status, country of origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. 

"AASB offers tools and resources to school boards and school districts to identify and eliminate systemic barriers and discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs."



Board Checklist for a New School Year

Timi Tullis, Associate Executive Director

With our students and staff heading back to school we know they are excited about each day and focused on the entire year ahead. As Boards, we too need to refocus and put an attention on the months to come. Here is a checklist of things that each board should consider doing as the school year begins!



Get Involved in the Resolutions Process!

Tiffany Jackson, Director of Membership Services

It’s that time of year again when school is starting, and school boards that may have taken a summer break from meetings are coming back together to work on behalf of their students. That means it’s also time for school boards to start thinking about the AASB resolutions process!



What can growing blueberries teach us about the conditions for learning? 

Emily Ferry, AASB Collective Impact Coordinator & Lauren Havens, Data and Evaluation Coordinator

Five steps you can take to create the conditions for students to grow, and how AASB can help

If you spent some time outside gardening or gathering this summer you likely noticed that the juiciest berries tend to grow where the conditions are right. Students are similar; they learn the most in the best conditions. We know conditions blueberry plants need to grow: fertile soil, strong roots, water, and good light. So, what conditions do students need to thrive? How do we know if we have the right conditions in place? And what tools and resources can help us create those conditions?



Thanks to our sponsor for helping

to make this event possible!

Alaska 529 is a tax-advantaged education saving plan that makes it easy for parents and loved ones to save for future education expenses. Learn More Here


Fall Boardsmanship Academy

Join us at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks for AASB's first event of the 2022-2023 school year! Sharpen your boardsmanship skills with session topics that include:

  • An Update for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) including the new STAR assessments.
  • Teacher Recruitment & Retention in Alaska
  • Board Roles & Responsibilities
  • How schools can help students plan for their futures
  • and much more! 


Maintenance Employees Conference

AASB and Alaska Public Entities Insurance (APEI) have teamed up to bring you the 9th annual Maintenance Employees Conference, October 5-6 at the Clarion Suites Downtown Anchorage. 

This 2-day conference will focus on providing content centered on school district maintenance issues and safety. It’s a great way to learn from experts and your peers, and network with other maintenance folks from across the state.

Topics may include:

  • Professional development of certified maintenance trainers
  • Stories from the field – District staff share their knowledge and experience
  • Health and Safety
  • Managing maintenance projects
  • Recruiting and training staff
  • OSHA inspections
  • Reports and updates from DEED
  • Fuel transfer and storage
  • Janitorial issues
  • Supply chain issues
  • and more!


AASB 69th Annual Conference

& Youth Leadership Institute (YLI)

AASB’s Annual Conference will be held November 3-6, 2022 at Anchorage's Hotel Captain Cook.

Registration opens September 19th!

This year’s theme is “Ensuring Opportunities for All Students.” Save the date and join us for four days of engaging sessions on a range of timely topics!



Joel Isaak

Director, Tribal Affairs, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

Joel Isaak is Dena’ina from Kenai Alaska. He uses the unique way the arts uncover understanding for working in an educational environment that combines a formal Western education model with customary traditional Native Alaskan life ways. 


Dr. Janelle Vanasse, Ed.D.

President, Alaska Pacific University

Throughout her career, Dr. Vanasse has elevated the educational experience for Alaska Native students. She believes that scholarship and leadership are enhanced when influenced by our authentic selves and delights in recognizing past students in emerging leadership roles.

Annual Conference Opportunities

How you can be involved!

  • Snapshot Session presenter: Registration Form. Deadline: Monday, September 26 at 5pm.
  • Sponsor or Exhibitor: Visit the Sponsorship Opportunities page to compare benefit packages.
  • Youth Performers: Know of a student or student group? Email Jenni Lefing.
  • June Nelson Memorial Scholarship Auction: To donate an item, email or call 907-463-1660. More auction info on June Nelson Memorial Scholarship & Fundraiser page.
  • Now For Next Workshop: AASB is co-hosting the Now for Next; Turning the Curve on Alaska’s Postsecondary Outcomes workshop on Monday, November 7th. It's free to attend for those who attended Annual Conference, but limited to 20 seats. Contact Emily Ferry if there is a school board member, student and/or staff from your district who would like to participate.


Call for Resolutions

AASB is soliciting resolutions, resolution amendments and comments from local school boards for consideration at the 2022 Annual Conference on November 3-6 at the Hotel Captain Cook.

These resolutions guide our association for the coming year, as well as our advocacy and positions during the upcoming legislative session. It is critically important our resolutions adequately cover the issues facing Alaska school boards and public education.

Click the button below to review and download reference documents, including a 2022 Resolution Process and Timeline, Resolution Submission Form, and Draft resolutions on Tribal Compacting, Post-secondary Education Opportunities, and Making Up for Lost Ground Due to Inflation.



Now for Next;

Turning the curve on Alaska's postsecondary outcomes

November 7

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage

This day-long workshop will follow on the heels of AASB's annual meeting and give school board members, families, educators, employers, and policymakers time to explore how we can work together to ensure that each student has a plan for their future, communities have the leaders they need, and employers have the Alaskan workforce they desire. 

Registration opens September 19th. For more information contact Emily Ferry


“Amen!” Says Coach Joe

“Fine Tuning” Episode 1 (Now with Practice Pointers!)

John M. Sedor, Member, Sedor, Wendlandt, Evans & Filippi, LLC

Welcome to a new School Year and this year’s first SWEF (Sedor, Wendlandt, Evans & Filippi) Commentary.

While the year may be new for students, we will begin where we left off in May when we discussed a preview of the Case of the Praying Coach. When we last discussed Coach Joe, he was waiting for the Supreme Court to decide his case. And while you (and I) were fishing or otherwise enjoying our Alaska summer, the US Supreme Court answered Coach Joe’s prayers and, in doing so, “fine-tuned” the First Amendment.


Follow four fundamental guidelines

for successful meetings

Ann Macfarlane, Professional Parliamentarian

Robert’s Rules of Order includes four fundamental guidelines that will create successful meetings. They are easy to say but take some effort to apply, since prevailing culture is often very different. Run your meetings according to these guidelines so your meetings—and your organization—will flourish.


Do Administrative Regulations (AR’s) need to be officially adopted like policies do?

Answer: No, the superintendent should include potential AR’s in their report to the board, but the AR’s do NOT need to be officially adopted. They are simply the procedures that the superintendent will use to carry out the policy that the board has already adopted.

Got a question? Email Timi Tullis, Tiffany Jackson, or Jenni Lefing



Alaska Superintendent of the Year Nominations

ASA is seeking nominations for 2023 Alaska Superintendent of the Year. Anyone with knowledge of an Alaska superintendent’s performance and qualifications can nominate. 

Download Nomination Form  Deadline: Friday, September 2nd

Professional Boundaries Training for 2022-23

Professional boundaries training helps school staff identify professional boundaries and recognize violations. For more information and a list of dates for upcoming live virtual training sessions, click the link below. 

More Info

New School Health ECHO Webinar Series

The School Health series is focused on health considerations, answering questions related to educational and school settings, and establishing a safe school environment.

Webinar Schedule & Registration

2022 Alaska STEAM Conference

The STEAM conference will focus on innovative educational approaches that integrate content areas through the lens of equity.

Info & Registration



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