Lon Garrison

Resisting the Society of "Me"


Timi Tullis

For Boards, Practice Makes Perfect


Tiffany Jackson

AASB Produces Equity Statement Video


Emily Ferry

Preparing Students for their

Postsecondary Future


Jenni Lefing

AASB's 2022 Annual Conference Wrap-Up



Commentary Newsletter Archive

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AASB Equity Statement Video

At its summer meeting in Bethel, the AASB Board of Directors adopted an equity statement to serve as a guiding principle for the organization. A video to share the statement was produced and shown at the 2022 Annual Conference. Watch the Video

Vision Day at Saint Mary's!

AASB partnered with to sponsor Vision Day at Elicarvicuar Elementary School. Students received free prescription eyewear and vision screenings at the event. More Info | Photos



Resisting the Society of “Me”

Lon Garrison, Executive Director

The following is my address to the AASB membership at the 2022 AASB Annual Conference, on November 5, 2022.

As I reflected on this year’s conference theme, Ensuring Opportunities for

all Students, I thought about my previous service as a school board member and why I was so committed and passionate about the work.


I have come to realize that my greatest satisfaction as a member was not my personal accomplishments, but the results of that work with my fellow board members that created opportunities for our students to grow and succeed. To give them opportunities that make their lives better and their future communities prosper.




For Boards, Practice Makes Perfect

Timi Tullis, Associate Executive Director

While leading the Experienced Board Member Academy during the Annual Conference in November, sessions were focused on the relationship between the Board and the Superintendent. During a presentation, someone said that the Board, just like a sports team, has to practice. Not just once but continuously. Even experienced Boards need to continue to grow. Once an election occurs and new members join the Board, it is time to dig in and practice even more.

How can a Board ‘practice’ their roles and responsibilities so they can be a top-notch Board? What will help you become ‘state champs’ or, in our terms, “Board of the Year”? Here are a few tips from our team.

AASB Equity Statement

Watch the Video


AASB Produces Equity Statement Video

Tiffany Jackson, Director of Membership Services

At the November 2021 Board of Directors meeting, the Board of Directors adopted the latest version of its long range plan. Goal area 1 of this plan includes “Empower our boards to prioritize equity and transform educational systems to increase the academic achievement and graduation rates of students who are grounded in their cultural identify so they have the ability to successfully pursue their goals.”

As part of this goal, the Board of Directors developed an Equity Statement that was adopted at their 2022 Summer Board meeting in Bethel. A video was created to share the statement and was shown to the membership at the 2022 AASB Annual Conference.



Preparing Students for their Postsecondary Future

Emily Ferry, AASB Collective Impact Coordinator

As a junior in high school in rural King Cove, AK, Dannielle Carlson was top of her class. However, she didn’t plan to attend college until her teachers helped her to apply. Despite this support, Dannielle felt unprepared. “My K-12 education did not prepare me with the skills I needed to survive, let alone thrive academically," she said. "Thankfully, I had the skills to teach myself things and the determination to make a life for myself.

This fall Alaskans from across the state came together to explore what we can do NOW to help students prepare for what’s NEXT in order to turn the curve on Alaska’s postsecondary outcomes from last to best. Read more about their insights and recommendations


2023 School Climate & Connectedness Survey (SCCS)

There's still time to register!

2023 Statewide SCCS Window:

January 16 – March 31

Districts select 1 five-week window for students & staff


We invite your district to participate in the 2023 School Climate & Connectedness Survey (SCCS). Each year, the majority of Alaska school districts collect and use school climate data to improve and strengthen school environments, relationships, and connections between students, staff and families.



Vision Day at Saint Mary's School District

In partnership with, AASB co-sponsored Vision Day at Elicarvicuar Elementary School in Saint Mary's School District on November 15th. Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles and Miss Alaska 2022 Jessica Reisinger were on hand to help students pick out free prescription eyewear during the event.

The team received a warm welcome from Superintendent

Dee Dee Ivanoff, Principal Teresa Paukan, Saint Mary’s School District Board Members, and AASB Past President Pete Hoepfner of Cordova City School District. representatives CMO Arie Tom and Leah Sushelsky, Director of Marketing Communications & PR were also present to organize the event logistics.

Saint Mary's students had the opportunity to select from a variety of brand new glasses frames, and optometrists from YKHC were on hand to conduct vision screenings to ensure each student received the correct prescription lenses.

Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles with Superintendent Ivanoff, Principal Paukan, and Saint Mary's School Board members.

Miss Alaska 2022 Jessica Reisinger helps students pick out new glasses.

AASB Past President Pete Hoepfner made opening remarks.



$425 Registration Fee


Executive Administrative Assistants Training

Anchorage Hilton

AASB’s annual Executive Administrative Assistants Training is an opportunity for Executive Admins from around the state to connect, learn and engage with each other. 

Topics covered will include: 

  • Your Role as Board Secretary
  • Keeping Track of Policies
  • New Laws & Regulations
  • Your Role in School Board Elections and Orientations
  • School Law, and more! 



$425 Registration Fee


Winter Boardsmanship


Anchorage Hilton

School Law & Policy Day

Friday, December 9

Join John Sedor as we journey into the world of collective bargaining. Negotiations professionals from multiple perspectives will help us explore this critical aspect of public education including: Attorney and Negotiator Saul Friedman, NEA-Alaska, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Commissioner Ligia Velasquez, and Front-Line Spokespersons and Participants (who will be named later).

Equity Day

Saturday, December 10

Equity Day will focus on Equity within the Science of Reading as well as connect with students this year’s Youth on Boards - to connect, plan together, and discuss best ways to work together.



$325 Registration Fee


Youth On Boards workshop

information flyer

More information on best practices for supporting Student Board Members

For more information about Youth on Boards, contact Claudia Plesa.


Youth on Boards

Anchorage Hilton

AASB is proud to offer student school board representatives, and aspiring student representatives, training on how to serve on a school board.

This new two-day training for student school board representatives will happen at the same time as the Winter Boardsmanship Academy. Scholarships are available.

Sessions will include: 

  • How to serve on and work together with a School Board
  • Advocating for self and peers
  • Making policy changes 
  • Effective joint decisions

Student leaders and board members will also have opportunities to connect, plan together, and discuss best ways to work together. If your school district has a Youth Representative on your board, they may benefit from this training. 


AASB’s 2022 Annual Conference Wrap-Up

Jenni Lefing, AASB Membership Services Manager

It was great to see so many of you at this year’s Annual Conference! In attendance were 42 school districts, over 200 school board members, district leaders, and statewide partners, and over 70 students and chaperones, for the first in-person Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) since 2019. 


Throughout the four days, attendees connected while learning, networking and sharing insights together. One attendee noted, “It is moving seeing how deeply all of the school board members care about our kids. I have a new appreciation for their dedication and hard work.” 


Our sincere thanks to all the presenters, attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors who helped make AASB's 69th Annual Conference a success!

We hope to see you all next year for the 70th!


Click the button to access session resources, photos, and sponsor/exhibitor information.

Conference attendees can also access slideshows, session handouts, and

other resource materials through the AASB Annual Conference mobile app.


Click on photos to see larger size.



Carl Rose Governance Award

David Totemoff,

Chugach School DIstrict

This award, named after long-time AASB Executive Director Carl Rose, recognizes an outstanding school board member for their contributions to Alaska’s students.

Outstanding School Board Award

Southwest Region

School District

This award honors a school board who uses their governance authority to effectively serve the students of the district to create our future leaders.


(Back row, left to right) Robyn Burke, North Slope Borough; Tim Doran, Fairbanks North Star Borough. Dana Mock, Delta/Greely, Secretary/Treasurer; Clarence Daniel, Lower Kuskokwim; Michael Swain Jr., Bristol Bay; Diane Gubatayao, Ketchikan. (Front row, left to right) Chrya Sanderson, Fairbanks North Star Borough; Katie Oliver, Kodiak; Margo Bellamy, Anchorage, President-Elect; Penny Vadla, Kenai; Kasaŋnaaluk, Marie Greene, Northwest Arctic Borough, President; Pete Hoepfner, Cordova, Past President. Not pictured: Andy Holleman, Anchorage; Brian Holst, Juneau.


Click on photos to see larger size.

Over 70 Alaska high school students and chaperones from across Alaska attended the Youth Leadership Institute to learn to use their voices to be change-makers in their schools and communities. During the four day event, students engaged in breakout sessions, networked with peers, participated in discussions with guest speakers and school board members, and practiced leadership skills.


Video: YLI Student Interviews

Students attending the 2022 Annual Conference to participate in the AASB Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) were interviewed about their post-high school plans.

Hear students' thoughts on where they see themselves 20 years from now, and what skills and strengths they'll need to attain their goals.



"Home Sweet Home?"

“Fine Tuning” Episode 4

Clinton Campion, Sedor, Wendlandt, Evans & Filippi, LLC

As we are all grappling with rising costs due to inflation and statewide housing shortages, this month, our commentary focuses on the issue of teacher housing.

This is the fourth installment of our 2022-23 school year theme of “fine tuning.” Specifically, we are looking at the issue of “fine tuning” policies and practices regarding teacher housing.


Making a motion is a power move

Ann Macfarlane, Professional Parliamentarian

As readers know, in a small board (up to about 12 people), it is fine to discuss an issue without having a formal motion on the table. Many of our nonprofit boards do this. A topic is listed on the agenda, and people kick it around before coming to a consensus about what to do.

It’s different in a large assembly (“assembly” is the jargon word for a board or membership meeting). According to Robert’s Rules of Order, you must have a motion—a proposal for action—before any discussion begins.


Are position transfers/changes of certificated staff something the Board must approve?


Reassignment of administrative personnel is solely a management responsibility of the superintendent. In practice, this is usually implemented by the superintendent with communication to the board regardless of whether or not it is voluntary or involuntary. Boards should trust their superintendent, but it was important that the superintendent communicate the rationale to the board about the benefit to the district and not disclose confidential personnel information. 

There are two board policies that pertain to this issue:


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


AK STAR, Alaska Science Assessment Results

DEED released 2022 results for statewide assessments of English language arts, math and science. The statewide participation rate for AK STAR was just under 80%. This year was the first administration of the AK STAR assessment, which replaced PEAKS. Both assessments are based on the Alaska English language arts and Mathematics Standards, which define what students should know and be able to do.

Overview of Statewide Results

Join the Conversation!

Help shape the future of reading

for students in Alaska

Calling all teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, parents, board members, and community members. The planning has begun for the 2nd annual Alaska Science of Reading Symposium! 

Day 1: Celebrating Success

Day 2: Connecting Knowledge to Application

Day 3: Empowering Educators

Symposium Info

Nominations Now Open for

2023-2024 Alaska Teacher of the Year

Do you know an inspiring and passionate educator deserving of the recognition of Alaska Teacher of the Year? Nominations are now open for the 2022-2023 period.

If you have questions about the program, email

Requirements & Nomination Form

CTE Promotional Flyers Available in Alaska Native Languages and English

Six flyers have been developed for districts and schools to promote CTE events and provide info to their students and communities. Each set has an English and a Native language version. Tlingit, Yup’ik, and Inupiaq languages are currently available. They print on 8.5”x11” paper and have space at the bottom to add desired CTE information.



Bridget Weiss

Photo: Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO

Weiss to resign as Juneau Superintendent

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO Juneau

Juneau School District Superintendent Bridget Weiss has announced that she plans to resign at the end of the school year. After weathering a pandemic and years of stagnant state education funding, Weiss says it felt like the right time to move on after 39 years in education. She was named 2022 Alaska Superintendent of the Year last fall and received recognition for her dedication to education and support for families and youth.

Read More


Anchorage – Anchorage School District unveils new tool it hopes will keep students safer – Lauren Maxwell, Alaska’s News Source

Fairbanks – Denali Elementary School named National ESEA Distinguished School – KINY, Juneau

Lower Kuskokwim – Banishment of Kipnuk principal followed allegations of disrespect, poor communication and COVID safety fears – Zachariah Hughes, KYUK Bethel

North Slope Borough – Numerals invented by Kaktovik students can now be used digitally – Alena Naiden, Anchorage Daily News

Northwest Arctic Borough – The new Kivalina school opened its doors to students – Alena Naiden, Arctic Sounder

Wrangell – Wrangell receives $395,000 from the EPA to purchase an electric school bus – Sage Smiley, KSTK

More Alaska School District News


Murkowski, Peltola and Dunleavy projected to win Alaska elections – James Brooks, Alaska Beacon

Internal Republican divides complicate leadership of Alaska House and Senate – James Brooks, Alaska Beacon

Years of flat state funding create budget stress for schools across Alaska – Petersburg Pilot

Update on the State Tribal Education Compact Demonstration Tribal Partners Grant – KINY Juneau

Most Alaska students are not proficient in reading and math, state test scores show – Katie Anastas, Alaska Public Media

Governor Dunleavy announces education award funding KINY Juneau

Alaska Vocational Technical Center celebrates 25 years of accreditation – KINY Juneau

More State and Federal News

Association of Alaska School Boards  |

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