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James Gaddis

In September of 2013, I embarked on a road trip across the continent to fulfill a dream of living in Alaska and a career goal of becoming a morning news anchor. I have a sincere desire to inform, educate, entertain and inspire viewers here.

Stories by James Gaddis

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Jessica Mallory

    by James Gaddis on Apr 19, 14:55

    As Tudor Elementary School transitions to the Montessori Model this year, first-year teacher Jessica Mallory is helping to lead the charge. “These students really take ownership in their learning,” said Mallory. The school is easing into the transition. It started by combining kindergarten and first-grade students into the same classroom, one of which is headed […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Shane Todd

    by James Gaddis on Apr 04, 12:35

    From the time he was in elementary school, Shane Todd has enjoyed being in the classroom. “I was the kid who was always kind of sad when summer vacation came, explained Todd. “My family life was great, but I just really liked school. I loved learning and the curiosity it brings.” Now a teacher at […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Wendy Barnes

    by James Gaddis on Mar 29, 13:31

    Wendy Barnes learned as a teenager that you should never take anything for granted. When she was 18 years old, she taught sick kids at a hospital in Chernobyl. She said the experience was an eye opener. Years later, as a kindergarten teacher at Tyson Elementary, that lesson still holds true. “You have no idea […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Vani Pillai

    by James Gaddis on Mar 13, 13:06

    Vani Pillai may be a teacher, but she prefers to act more like a facilitator in her Bioscience Career Academy classes at Service High School. By guiding her students to figure things out for themselves, she believes their curiosity will be piqued and they’ll better understand the lessons. One way she does this is by […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Laura Freeman

    by James Gaddis on Feb 27, 12:14

    For the first time in Laura Freeman’s 16-year teaching career, she is teaching just one subject — math. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week was instrumental in changing the fifth and sixth grade class structure, at Baxter Elementary School, to a middle school model. This year, the school’s oldest students have a different teacher for math, english, […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Marissa Evans

    by James Gaddis on Feb 13, 12:32

    Although relatively new to Anchorage, Marissa Evans is already making a significant impact on students at Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage. “It’s not about me and my perfect plans, but it is very much about them and the journey that we’re taking and if I keep that in mind it really helps me to push […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Mischell Anderson

    by James Gaddis on Jan 30, 10:54

    Whether teaching AP Psychology or AP World History, KTVA’s Teacher of the Week wants her students to take away some valuable life lessons. “I hope they have the ability to critically look at their world and question the things that they see,” said Mischell Anderson. “I hope they believe in themselves as lifelong learners, as […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Dee McKee

    by James Gaddis on Jan 16, 12:54

    The day after Dee McKee learned her big brother Mike Kelly died in a plane crash, she went to school as usual. “I just felt that this was a place that I would be buoyed up, and that’s exactly what happened,” said McKee. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week was flooded with cards and condolences […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Randy Harrison

    by James Gaddis on Dec 19, 11:40

    As a student, Randy Harrison struggled through high school. He says he knows how difficult the experience can be without the right support. “High school’s tough,” said Harrison. “It’s not easy walking the halls for these kiddos, so they need someone in their corner. They need someone to go to bat for them.” Harrison, KTVA 11’s […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Lindsay Wackowski

    by James Gaddis on Dec 05, 10:47

    When she was just 7 years old, Lindsay Wackowski decided she wanted to be an educator. At the time, it had nothing to do with teaching. “I think it first started because school is really challenging for me and the teacher had the answer book in the front of the room and I was like, […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Erica Arnold

    by James Gaddis on Nov 21, 11:35

    At just 9 years old, Erica Arnold was inspired by her fourth-grade teacher, Ken McCormick, to become a teacher herself. “I just remember learning about aerodynamics and those were our spelling words and we dropped eggs from the ceiling of the school and we went out ice skating and learned about energy,” explained Arnold. “I […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Li Retus

    by James Gaddis on Nov 07, 13:38

    With a kind heart and a no-nonsense style, Rabbit Creek Elementary School kindergarten teacher Li Retus says she encourages her students to be sensible kids that care about their classmates. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week has been teaching in Alaska for more than 30 years. Her career began in the 1980s in King Cove. Whether […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Emily Becker

    by James Gaddis on Oct 24, 7:38

    Airport Heights Elementary School teacher Emily Becker brings her love of the nature into her sixth-grade classroom. “I get to teach them about things like photosynthesis and this idea that, ‘You know plants breathe out oxygen that we breathe in.’ It’s really like a revelation to them and that’s really fun for me,” explained Becker. […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Lee Butterfield

    by James Gaddis on Oct 10, 14:37

    Students at South Anchorage High School get to learn real-world tech skills in Lee Butterfield’s drone class. “Democratization of media equipment is insane,” said Butterfield. “It’s cheaper to get good equipment in people’s hands and with the software they have, to be able to edit on their own and work on their own means that […]

  • DayBreak

    Teacher of the Week: Agnes Bowers

    by James Gaddis on May 09, 11:09

    Redington Junior/Senior High School English teacher Agnes Bowers got a jump-start on her teaching career when she was only in second grade. “I would actually come home and have a classroom of stuffed animals and I would teach whatever I learned that day,” said Bowers. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week now teaches living, breathing […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Rachael Scott

    by James Gaddis on Apr 25, 11:50

    ANCHORAGE – A kindergarten teacher at Ocean View Elementary School says her goal is to develop little minds into “awesome citizens of society.” “My passion is to see those minds grow and develop and watch those little light bulbs go on,” said KTVA 11 Teacher of the Week Rachael Scott. Scott has been teaching elementary […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Ann Cherrier

    by James Gaddis on Apr 11, 11:43

    Wendler Middle School math teacher Ann Cherrier admits she wasn’t always a fan of math. “I needed to see the pictures of mathematics,” said Cherrier. “I couldn’t just be told that, this is the rule you need to follow, do a couple of problems and understand it.” KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week won’t let history […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Scott Shumway

    by James Gaddis on Mar 28, 14:44

    Anchorage — Real-world experience can lead to a successful teaching career in the classroom. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week is proof of that. Central Middle School of Science teacher Scott Shumway is a former microbiologist on the slope and a fisheries biologist for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game. He is also an avid […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Malene Johnson

    by James Gaddis on Mar 14, 10:06

    A support system for kids who need a little extra help, study skills teachers play an important role at East High School. “A person looking out for them,” said KTVA’s Teacher of the Week Malene Johnson. “More of like a cheerleader and a mentor. And, you know, if I have to, not be hard on […]

  • DayBreak

    Eagle River couple wins Super Bowl contest, will spend night inside arena

    by James Gaddis on Feb 04, 12:32

      EAGLE RIVER — Cory and Kristen Williams will be the first fans to ever spend the night inside a Super Bowl venue, the night prior to the big game. Late last year, Kristen entered an online contest being held by Courtyard Marriott. The video she submitted won the grand prize; four tickets to the Super […]