Alaska Council of
School Administrators

Education Bulletin
Volume 24 Number 1, February 2018
 Leadership, Unity and Advocacy for Public Education

Alaska Superintendents Association
Alaska Staff Development Network
Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals
Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals
Alaska Association of School Business Officials
Alaska Council of School Administrators
Transforming Your Practice
Deanna Beck, ACSA & AAESP President

Prac·tice /ˈpraktəs/ (noun) the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.
As times change, the practices we employ must also change. This is as true for educators as it is for other professionals. To remain relevant and effective as educators, just like engineers and doctors we must continually refine our practices as new information, technologies, and concepts become available. 

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” A Truism that is so True!

Dr. Lisa Skiles Parady, ACSA, ASA, AASSP Executive Director

Let’s begin then by remembering recent history, specifically last year’s legislative session(s). “Alaska Senate cuts $69 million in education funds” was the headline in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on April 4, 2017.  

“The state Senate majority on Monday rolled out its school funding plan, which features a 5 percent cut to per-student K-12 funding, that its leaders say will improve education statewide. The proposed operating budget would cut about $69 million from the state base student allocation” the article went on to report.

We need to secure stable education funding so we can focus our collective efforts on the purposeful work of education. ACSA is supporting DEED/Commissioner Johnson's work to unify education leaders across Alaska to commit to positive change for all students focused on the Education Challenge 3 Commitments:
Alaska Superintendents Association
The Challenge of Transformational Leadership
Dr. Karen Gaborik, ASA President

In a 2016 blog post, leadership consultant Paul Johnson defined transformational leadership as “a leadership approach that causes change in individuals and social systems.” As he went on to explain, “In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders. Enacted in its authentic form, transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms.

A Local Legacy of Transformative Leadership
John Conwell, 2018 Superintendent of the Year, Unalaska City School District

At the 10 th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration held recently in Unalaska, local elder Vince Tutiakoff spoke eloquently about his early educational experiences. After graduating 8 th grade in Unalaska in the mid-1960s, Vince and a half dozen of his classmates were sent to the Chemawa Native American Boarding School in Salem, Oregon, where they attended high school.

TV Announcements Highlight School District Projects

The Alaska Superintendents Association (ASA), AASB, 11 school districts, and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development partnered to produce a series of nine 30 second television announcements that are airing statewide on Gavel Alaska TV during the 2018 Legislative session. Each year different districts will be highlighted. See this year’s here:

AASB/ASA 2018 #1 Copper River:
AASB/ASA 2018 #2 Lower Kuskokwim:
AASB/ASA 2018 #3 Sitka:
AASB/ASA 2018 #4 North Slope:
AASB/ASA 2018 #5 Bering Strait:
AASB/ASA 2018 #6 Mat Su:
AASB/ASA 2018 #7 Anchorage:
AASB/ASA 2018 #8 Bristol Bay, Lake & Pen, Dillingham, Southwest Region:
AASB/ASA 2018 #9 Bristol Bay, Lake & Pen, Dillingham, Southwest Region:
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development
The Governor's Challenge: Pioneering an Education System for the 21st Century
Dr. Michael Johnson, Commissioner
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development 

In many ways, Alaska is still a frontier. We have opportunities that no other state in our country can claim. Our uniqueness is a strength, as it has been for many generations. This is not only because of our rich resources, natural beauty, and living cultures, but because of the unique opportunities these attributes create for us to transform our education system into a relevant, high-achieving, culturally rich, family-friendly network of schools. 

To build unity and support around Alaska's Education Challenge, ACSA is encouraging school districts to pass a resolution supporting the following three Commitments:
•    Increase Student Success
•    Cultivate Safety and Well-Being
•    Support Responsible and Reflective Learners

We've provided a sample resolution to use as a template for drafting your own:
Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN)
Kathy Blanc, ASDN Administrator

The Alaska Staff Development Network is a professional education resource designed for Alaska's teachers and school administrators. Check  for a complete list of all of our courses and events.

New Spring Webinar Series
  • Join us for our new webinar series, starting February 8!
  • One and two credit classes available in conjunction with the webinar series
  • Webinars take place after school from 3:45-5:45

Simple Tools for Self-Regulation, Transforming Trauma and Preventing Compassion Fatigue
with Linda Chamberlain, PhD, MPH
Date: February 13
Time: 3:45-5:45
Target Audience: All Educators
Cost:  Free  for all educators from Tier 1 Districts
$125 for all others
Credit: Not available

Writing is Taught - Writing is Not Caught
with Anita Archer
Dates/Time: February 15, March 6, March 29
Tuition: $150 for Tier 1 organizations and districts, $275 for all others.
Credit: One university credit is available. Credit
registration takes place after the first webinar. ($125)

Research-Based Tier 2 & 3 Behavior Supports for “Tough Kids”
with Karl Schleich
Dates: February 20, 27, Mar 13, 20, 27 and April 3
Tuition: $75 for educators from Tier 1 organizations and districts, $195 for all others.
No cost to educators from LKSD.
Credit: Two university credits are available. Credit registration takes place after the first webinar ($185)
Target Audience: K-12 Educator s

Using a Growth Mindset and Math Routines to Reach All Learners
with Bobbi Jo Erb
Dates: February 8, March 1, 8, 22, 30 and April 5
Tuition: $75 for educators from Tier 1 organizations and districts, $195 for all others.
No cost to educators from LKSD.
Credit: Two university credits are available. Credit registration takes place after the first webinar ($185)
Target Audience: K-8 Educators

Alaska Association of
Secondary School Principals
Ed Camps: Placing Students at the Center

Dan Carstens, AASSP President

When we talk about transformative leadership and how to apply it in our schools, we look first to innovative practices. I had the honor of being selected to work on the commissioner’s Alaska Education Challenge over the course of the past year, and the comment that stuck with me throughout my time was the initiative's focus on “transformative ideas”—ideas that have the potential to transform how we run our schools, districts, and entire statewide educational system into the future.  

Kersten Johnson-Struempler 2018 POY
Kersten Johnson-Struempler, Principal of the Year representing Alaska at the national level.

Alaska Association of
Elementary School Principals
Turning Daunting Tasks into Great Opportunities
Eric Pederson, AAESP President-Elect

Over winter break, I dove into George Couros’ book The Innovator’s Mindset. Couros defines the task of educators as providing new and better opportunities to help students prepare for their future—a future unknown to us. Thinking about this, one can quickly become overwhelmed, as it is a daunting responsibility.

Capture a Heart, Capture a Mind
Lisa Vrvilo, 2017 National Distinguished Elementary Principal

As the 2017 National Distinguished Elementary Principal for the state of Alaska, I had the distinct honor and pleasure to be recognized in Washington, D.C., this past October. The two-day event began with each school leader delivering a short message about how he or she was selected for this award and highlight about each of the schools represented. Several themes emerged throughout the morning and, interestingly enough, many messages about transformative leadership were shared. 

Elementary Principals in D.C. for award ceremony.
Alaska Association of
School Business Officials
ALASBO Annual Conference Highlights Teamwork and Passion
Amy Lujan, ALASBO Executive Director  

At ALASBO’s Annual Conference in December, keynote speaker DeeDee Jonrowe talked about pushing through challenges, inspiring great teams, and pursuing her goals with passion. ALASBO members were inspired by her life story and enthusiasm!

Nearly all school districts from across the state were represented at this year’s conference, which began with a full-day preconference and included a trade show and three power-packed days of professional development. The second annual “ugly sweater” contest, a casino night, and karaoke were some of the fun activities offered to promote networking among our members from across the state. 
DeeDee Jonrowe at the ALASBO Annual Conference.
Colleen Fitzgerald, 2017 Business Official of the Year
Colleen Fitzgerald Named ALASBO School Business Official of the Year
Congratulations to Colleen Fitzgerald, Retired Director of Accounting for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, who was named the Alaska School Business Official of the Year at ALASBO’s December 2017 annual conference in Anchorage. Candidates for this prestigious award are nominated by their colleagues within the Alaska school business profession.

Timeless Leadership
Cassee Olin, ALASBO President

“Timeless.” This word implies that no matter when something was created, developed, or implemented, it’s as valuable today as it was then. The concept of timelessness ignores fads and new discoveries. It implies something so significant that changes in society cannot alter it.

Experiencing the Re-opening of a Village School
Ryan Ayars, ALASBO Board Member

Southwest Region School District staff and community members were very excited to re-open a school in an area village, Clark’s Point. The school had closed in 2009 due to low enrollment, but, with the recent increase in local students, we were able to open the doors once again. 

The Teacher Pipeline Working Group: Developing Evidence-Based Strategies for Recruitment and Retention

Hella Bel Hadj Amor, Ph.D., Education Northwest
Steve Atwater, Ph.D., Dean of Education, UAF

Thirty years ago, more than 1,000 job-seeking teachers attended the Alaska Teacher Placement Job Fair. Lured by high salaries and an attractive retirement system, the majority of the attendees were from out of state. Recently, this same job fair drew just 211 people with only 39 of them coming from out of state. The lure of teaching in Alaska has quieted, causing districts to devote more and more time and resources to recruiting and retaining their teachers.

CoSN Offers Critical guidelines for Protecting Student Data Privacy

Keith Krueger
CoSN Empowered Superintendents Program
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is pleased to continue to support the work of current and aspiring superintendents and district leadership teams in leading all aspects of digital learning transformations. Last month, CoSN shared with ACSA members several strategies for ensuring access to essential digital learning tools and resources for everyone involved in student learning. This month, we focus on the issues surrounding student data privacy. As educators, we continue to grow in our knowledge and expertise on how best to maximize student data to improve learning outcomes. However, with the increased use of student data comes the critical requirement that all educators not only know how to leverage student data for learning but also how to protect student privacy when implementing digital learning tools and communications systems. CoSN is pleased to provide ACSA members with five critical guidelines for ensuring data privacy in your district’s or school’s use of technology. CoSN’s overview of student data privacy procedures can be accessed by clicking on this link:
If your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Brian Calvary, CAE, CoSN Director of Membership and Chapters, at .
Training School Counselors to Serve Alaska’s Students
James R. Morton Jr., Ph.D., NCC
Assistant Professor, Counseling Program, UAF

The Counseling Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) trains students to become professionals in school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. As the only school counselor training program in the state, we endeavor to train competent counselors who will effectively serve Alaska’s diverse array of K-12 students. As the lead for UAF’s program and a new faculty member, I am eager to learn how best to continue integrating the national standards for school counseling in ways that address our state’s unique needs. I would like to solicit your collaboration to ensure our training program produces school counselors well prepared to serve your schools. 

Contribute to Upcoming Themes in AASA Magazine
Consider submitting story ideas or draft manuscripts on topics related to the themes to be pursued in  School Administrator  magazine during the second half of 2018.
August                Career Pathways for Students
September          Social-Emotional Learning and School Climate
October Rural Schooling
November           K-16 Convergence
December           Human Capital & Leadership Development
Note: Major article assignments related to the theme generally are finalized at least five months prior to publication date; 3. Only a portion of each issue relates directly to the editorial theme. Submissions on topics unrelated to themes are welcome for consideration. See .
ACSA and Carrs Safeway are proud to support innovative teaching practices across the state of Alaska by sponsoring the Carrs Safeway Alaska Education Innovative Grant Program for public school teachers. This program encourages educators to identify a problem of practice in their classroom, school, and/or district and propose novel ways to address this challenge to improve student outcomes. There are 40 teachers across Alaska, whe each received a one-time $5,000 grant. These innovative grants help pay for equipment/software/supplies, books, expenses associated with field trips for students and much more to support Alaskan students in the classroom and teachers with resources needed for the project. Over 200 Pre-K-12 grade teachers across Alaska applied. 

Congratulations to the 2017 Innovative Teachers!

Joyce Dunning, Alaska Gateway
Leland Monroe, Alaska Gateway
Alison Campbell, Anchorage School District
Charles Zimmer, Anchorage School District
Ezra Gibson, Anchorage School District
Josephine Schultz, Anchorage School District
Lee Cummins, Anchorage School District
Linda C Hulen, Anchorage School District
Lindsy Farren, Anchorage School District
Lisa Pullen, Anchorage School District
Rebecca Gerik, Anchorage School District
Riordan Burch, Anchorage School District
Tina Parchman, Anchorage School District
Angela Alston, Bering Strait School District
Peggy Munten, Bering Strait School District
Lisa Fluck Cates, Craig City Schools
Rex Beck, Delta Greely School District
Amy E.M. Brown, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Benjamin Johnson, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Corrine Marks, Juneau School District
Jennifer Thompson, Juneau School District
Tennie Bentz, Juneau School District
Cheryl Tolman, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Dawn Edwards-Smith & Christopher Kolischak, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Jonathan Dillon, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Julie Doepken, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Geoff Bechtol, Kodiak Island Borough School District
Katherine Muelling, Kodiak Island Borough School District
Jill Klayum, Matanuska Susitna Borough School District
N Georgia Tompkins, Matanuska Susitna Borough School District
Ray Hafen, Matanuska Susitna Borough School District
Valerie Rozzi, Matanuska Susitna Borough School District
Melinda Berg, North Slope Borough School District
Emma Melkerson, Northwest Arctic Borough School District
Jule Peterson, Sitka School District
Kari Sagel, Sitka School District
Matthew Hunter, Sitka School District
Joseph Robison, Valdez City Schools
Steven Swatling, Yukon Koyukuk School District
Randall Leedy, Yupiit School District

Businesses are Champions for Children!
2018 Educational Association Events
AASA 2018 National Conference on Education, February 15-17, 2018, Nashville, TN 

NAESP National Leaders Conference, March 18-21, 2018, Arlington, VA
2018 NASSP Advocacy Conference, March 19-21, 2018, Washington, D.C.

ACS Legislative Fly In, April 8-11, 2018, Juneau Click here to register!
Spring Leadership Working Conference, Implementing ESSA, April 26, 2018, Anchorage

Alaska School Leadership Institute (ASLI), May 29-31, 2018, Anchorage

NAESP Pre-K-8 Principals Conference, July 9-11, 2018, Orlando, FL
2018 NASSP National Principals Conference, July 11-13, 2018, Chicago, IL 
ASA Summer Meeting, July 28-31, 2018, Juneau

ASA Fall Conference, September 26-29, 2018, Anchorage
ACSA Board of Directors and Staff

Deanna Beck, ACSA & AAESP President
Northwood ABC Elementary School
Dr. Karen Gaborik, ASA President
Fairbanks School District
Patrick Mayer, ACSA & ASA President-Elect
Wrangell Public Schools
Kerry Boyd, ASA Secretary
Yukon-Koyukuk School District

Dan Carstens, AASSP President
Nikiski Middle High School

Robin Jones, AASSP President-Elect
Chief Ivan Blunka School
Brendan Wilson, NASSP Alaska State Coordinator
Wendler Middle School
Eric Pederson, AAESP President-Elect
Paul Banks Elementary School
Kim Bautista, AAESP Vice President
Susitna Elementary
Cassee Olin, ALASBO President
Sitka School District

Carl Horn, ALASBO President-Elect
Nenana School District

Dr. Lisa Skiles Parady
Executive Director,
Heather Johnson-Smith
Membership and Development Manager,
Kathy Blanc
Administrator, ASDN

Kelly Tonsmeire
Grant Director, ASDN
Ceann Murphy
Office Manager, ACSA
Program Coordinator, ASDN

John Sedor
Special Projects Director

John Pile
Executive Director, AAESP
Amy Lujan
Executive Director, ALASBO 
Alaska Council of School Administrators