The Office of K-12 Outreach works to recruit, mentor, and provide professional development for teachers in kindergarten through high school. Beginning with students in Alaska’s K-12 classrooms, the Future Educators of Alaska program (FEA) encourages Alaska Native and rural students to consider teaching as a career. Next, the Alaska Teacher Placement program (ATP) works directly with school districts to fill current teaching vacancies. Finally, professional development for teachers comes in the form of mentoring and newly included curriculum development projects. The Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP) gives new teachers the ongoing support they need to be effective in the classroom. The Office of K-12 Outreach, housed within the University of Alaska Statewide System, provides a full circle of support for the teaching profession in order to bring out the best in each and every Alaskan student.
ATP, FEA, and ASMP team up by sharing staff, resources, and office space. While the goals of each program are different, they all work together to provide the best educators for Alaska's students.
ASMP is fortunate to work with some of the top educators in the state. As the project continues to expand, new leadership roles have developed. Starting in 2012 the work of the ASMP mentors is guided by a team of mentor leaders who conduct the professional development, support mentors through coaching and shadowing, and who provide valuable insight to the management team.
In 2004 Debbie Hawkins joined the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP) in supporting early career teachers in the education profession. As a Trainer and Professional Development Leader (2006), she works with colleagues from both the New Teacher Center and ASMP to deliver current, professional information to help guide mentors in building their "toolbox" of expertise. In 2009 she became a Lead Mentor, facilitating and modeling through Coaching and Shadowing opportunities. In this role, Debbie teams with an ASMP mentor in order to provide direction, guidance and focus to the mentor's work. Together, they are able to problem-solve challenging situations and move classroom practices forward, benefiting not only the mentor, but the classroom teacher and his/her students. The Alaska Statewide Mentor Project is constantly striving to improve its ability to address the needs of early career teachers and their students through the work of mentors, and as a Management Team Member (2009), Debbie serves with other professional leaders in making positive, program-based decisions.
Debbie received her B. S. degree from Montana State University and her M. A. degree from Cambridge College in Boston. In 1976, she accepted her first teaching position in Point Hope, Alaska, followed by numerous years of teaching special education in Fairbanks.
It is her belief that every child deserves a positive and productive educational experience. Strengthening our individual skills allows all educators to increase their productivity.
Cathé Rhodes joined the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project in the Fall of 2005. She was very excited about the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to early career teachers, and was driven by the belief that all of Alaska's children deserve an effective teacher. During the school year of 2007- 08, she planned and delivered bi-monthly professional development online via Elluminate Live to mentors across the state. These forums allowed mentors to practice skills and problem- solve with colleagues without the expense of traveling to one spot. Cathé became a certified New Teacher Center presenter of Professional Development for the ASMP mentors in 2008, and has been training with NTC and ASMP trainers ever since. In the Fall of 2009, Cathé became a Lead Mentor, providing support to other mentors by providing on-site shadowing and coaching in the mentoring process. This process of support mirrors the support that mentors provide to their early career teachers. It is a safe and non-evaluative way to move their practice forward. Cathé also became a member of the ASMP Management Team in 2009, which is responsible for making programmatic and training decisions for ASMP.
Cathé holds a B.S. and M.S. in Secondary Education, major in English, from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. She taught high school English for 8 years before moving to Alaska in 1982. Cathé then spent 20.5 years teaching English in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.
"As a mentor, I look forward to providing that extra support that new teachers are often too shy to ask for, to helping create excellent teachers for all Alaskan children, and to contributing to excellence in education by encouraging the best teachers to stay in the education profession.
Charlie Costello joined the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project as a mentor in the Fall of 2008. He was eager to help new teachers become effective and confident in their careers. In his second year, he began planning and facilitating Friday Forum. This professional development training provides mentors with an opportunity to practice essential mentoring skills.
As a Mentor Coach, Charlie provides support and guidance for mentors as he assists them in the development of mentoring strategies, and will help as they refine their listening and questioning skills. He supports ASMP training to collect and analyze data, and use the results to guide instruction. The ASMP encourages mentors to develop a personal mentoring style.
Charlie received his Bachelors Degree in Special Education K-12 from Duquesne University. He taught two years in Pennsylvania and thirty years in Alaska. Charlie has lived in Alaska for thirty-four years with his wife Tina. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandpa to two grandchildren.
Ed became a part of the mentor family in 2009 and is currently working as a Mentor Coach and Shadow for the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project. He is enthusiastic about his role with ASMP and finds it inspiring working with some of the best of the best in the field of education.
"Offering an extra set of eyes and ears can only help when guiding, supporting, and coaching mentors towards meaningful and effective mentoring."
Ed holds a Master’s degree in Teaching along with a dual certification in Special and Elementary Education. He has over 25 years of teaching experience, instructing students from kindergarten through high school. While he has taught in larger urban classrooms early in his career, the majority of his experience has been in special education in rural Alaska. During his time with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Ed led a Behavioral Management team throughout the district to help teachers reduce discipline challenges in the classroom. By forming educational teams that included the parents and supportive community members, they were able to develop a positive plan that would more effectively satisfy the needs of the student. With the Behavioral Management Team’s support, the classroom teacher was able to focus on bringing the classroom back to a more productive learning environment. Ed’s background has given him the skills to collaborate with new mentors on their supportive role for early career teachers.
When Ed isn’t working, you’ll usually find him somewhere in Kachemak Bay kayaking with family and friends. He and his wife Sheryl, currently live in Homer, Alaska.
LuAnne Nelson is a member of the Mentor Professional Development Team which provides training in the tools, protocols, and resources needed for mentoring Alaska public school teachers. During the last two years she has facilitated Academies 1-4 as well as worked as a content coach and a mentor. Her initial mentor training was with the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project. She has worked with the New Teacher Center to keep current with professional development skills and induction models.
LuAnne earned a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Education from the University of Montana, Missoula. She taught for 25 years in the Kenai Peninsula School District. In the general education classroom, she worked with students in first through sixth grade. She also spent five years as Special Educator for grades K-12, serving as a resource to students with disabilities. In addition, she has been involved with teaching dance and theater both in private and public settings. Since retiring she has worked as a coach and mentor and provided professional development for the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project, Math in the Cultural Context and with the State of Alaska Content Coaching program.
LuAnne has enjoyed working with the Early Career teachers and ushering in the new generation of teachers. This is challenging and important work that makes a difference for the students throughout Alaska. The opportunity to work with professionals committed to the vision of a great teacher for all students has been a career highlight.
Brenda Luthi has been an Alaska Statewide Mentor for four years. She is currently serving ASMP this year in Mentor Professional Development with Friday Forum. Friday Forum is professional development for mentors to hone their mentoring skills, practice using formative assessment tools, and interact with other mentors. Friday Forum usually happens two Fridays a month with most sessions delivered electronically through e-live, along with Friday Forum during the ASMP Academy weeks in Fairbanks.
Brenda is a graduate of Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. Her 28 years of teaching include two years of middle school language arts in Kansas and 26 years of elementary in Alaska. Her Alaskan teaching has been with the Pribilof Islands School District, the North Slope Borough School District and the Mat-Su Borough School District. She is married, has three grown children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Berry Bertram was appointed to be UA Statewide's new K-12 Outreach Director in June of 2012. Formerly as UAF Geophysical Institute's Education Director, she has developed culturally responsive formal and informal education programs for indigenous students in Alaska, Hawaii and elsewhere in the US for 22 years. An experienced education researcher, Berry Bertram has developed an evidence-based framework for creating K-20 curricula and courses designed to increase indigenous student engagement and achievement in STEM. She has extensive professional connections with Native organizations and diverse STEM research institutions. She has received funding for her research from a variety of federal and state agencies including NSF, NASA, USDOEd, and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. She has two decades of experience instructing graduate-level continuing education and/or professional development STEM courses and training workshops for K-20 educators across the nation.
Berry Bertram received her Ph.D. in Education Research, Cross-Cultural Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, her M.P.A. in Public Administration and Affairs from Indiana University, Bloomington, and her B.A. in Science Education and Public Relations from Wittenberg University.
Dr. Barbara L. Adams is the Research Lead for the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project. In this role, she conducts quantitative and qualitative research to (a) measure the impact of the project on teacher retention and student achievement, (b) provide data to guide program changes, and (c) present results to a variety of stakeholders within the state and nationally.
Barbara earned her PhD through the Interdisciplinary program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Fisheries Acoustics. Both her Master's and Bachelor's degrees are in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics. Formerly, she worked on the Math in a Cultural Context project under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Lipka creating culturally based math curricula, conducting professional development for teachers, and conducting research on the effectiveness of the curricula. She has also taught mathematics and research at the college level since 1990 in traditional classrooms, around the state of Alaska since 1995, and through distance education.
Barbara enjoys working on any project that uses real-world mathematics, and the research that surrounds the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project provides a new level of unique challenges and experiences.
Janice Littlebear joined the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP) in the summer of 2004 and worked with Early Career Teachers (ECT) in urban and rural settings for three years. She next took a 5-year position with Education Northwest, Portland, OR where she traveled the USA and several countries delivering writing professional development to teachers of all grade levels, including post-secondary. Upon her return to AK, she rejoined ASMP and the University of Alaska Statewide, K-12 Outreach in October 2012, as a Lead Mentor-Curriculum Developer. Her duties today include working on the professional development for mentors in their second year of mentoring, as well as researching and developing Alaska, place-based lessons that reflect our Alaska Cultural Standards for Educators.
Jan tutored K-8 migrant students in their Anchorage homes for a year, and next taught grade levels 3 through 8 for 16 years, in the Mt. View community of Anchorage, AK where it was normal to have eight languages spoken in one classroom, a true microcosm global teaching environment. This multi-cultural teaching experience is largely responsible for Jan’s passion today for implementing the Alaska Cultural Standards within all AK classrooms.
Janice holds a B.A. in Elementary Education, an M.E. in Literacy & Language, and earned her National Board Certification in Early Adolescence English Language Arts.
As Travel Coordinator, Craig arranges over 3,000 trips in a given year with all the complexities that go along with journeys to and from rural Alaska. He handles the travel expense reimbursement process, reconciles expenses with University of Alaska accounting requirements, and conducts research into reimbursement requests.
Craig, who started in June 2006, brings 23 years of experience as a travel agent to his job. He graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks "a long time ago" and is currently taking a class or two at UAF. He enjoys the camaraderie and teamwork at the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project.
Trish started with K-12 Outreach as an Administrative Assistant in June of 2010 and transitioned into the ASMP Event Coordinator position in October of 2010. Trish earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa in 1981, and has worked in various positions writing and editing newsletters, grant proposals, and business correspondence since then.
Trish is a "believer" in mentoring as she says, "I worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska for 11 years and saw so many kids lives turned around as a result of the positive, encouraging presence of an adult mentor in their lives. ASMP mentors support their new teachers in the same way. The program really works." When Trish is not at her desk coordinating Mentor Academies and responding to urgent mentor requests for supplies or educational resources, you can find her on the trails around Fairbanks hiking, biking or cross-country skiing with her Alaskan husky, Lance.
Joe earned his Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2005, and joined the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project as an executive assistant in 2007. Since then, Joe's collection of "hats" he wears for the project has grown; he is ASMP's research assistant, publications designer and editor, electronic tools designer, distance-delivery instructional support and design specialist, course crediting coordinator, and all-around technology go-to person.
About working with Alaska's Statewide Mentors, Joe says, "It's a privilege to work with some of the finest educators in the state as they engage the challenges of mentoring, traveling, and technology to usher early career teachers into the Universe of the classroom."
Anjali serves as the Special Projects coordinator and fiscal support for ATP and for the University of Alaska K-12 Outreach Office. She organizes and manages job fairs for the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) program and the special events for Future Educators of Alaska (FEA) program. She also provides fiscal oversight for these programs. A mother of two, Anjali brings 3 years of high school teaching and mentoring experience from India, where she taught high school classes and over 14 years of banking experience with three different financial institutions, the National Bank of Alaska, Denali State Bank and Wells Fargo, all in Fairbanks. Before joining University of Alaska K-12 Outreach in 2011, she was Assistant Branch Manager at the Wells Fargo College branch. Her customer service skills and banking experience have been a great asset for ATP, FEA and the K-12 Outreach.
A staunch supporter of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), she is a lifetime member of UAF Alumni Association, a supporter of American Heart Association, and the Fairbanks Pioneer Home.
Anjali holds a B.S in Commerce with emphasis in economics from the University of Mumbai, India and a M.S. in Science Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Greg is a web developer for K-12 Outreach and other departments with the University of Alaska Office of Academic Affairs. He is responsible for web design/development, website maintenance, and database design/development.
Greg, who has been building websites for UA since 2005, says the projects he has worked on for the university have been interesting and challenging. He adds, "My coworkers are supportive and kind, and knowing I'm helping to support some wonderful programs is especially rewarding."