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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: Brad Mondeel

    by James Gaddis on Nov 23, 10:16

    Well-rounded lessons lead to well-rounded students in Brad Mondeel’s fourth-grade classroom. “These kids walking through your door, every year, every one of them is unique and different and special in their own way and they all learn differently,” Mondeel said. “If I’m just going to teach with one method, I’m not going to reach all […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Rachel Roux

    by James Gaddis on Nov 09, 11:33

    Students at Kincaid Elementary School in Anchorage have a serious soft spot for sixth-grade teacher Rachel Roux. “Sweet, caring, kind. She’s always been like that,” said sixth-grader Natalie Isacs. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week has taught in the Anchorage School District for 17 years. Working in an elementary school has afforded her the opportunity […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Elena Kostenko-Farkas

    by James Gaddis on Oct 26, 11:18

    ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage School District’s Russian immersion program will graduate its first class this year, thanks in large part to Elena Kostenko-Farkas. KTVA’s Teacher of the Week helped create the program in 2004. Students start in kindergarten and continue through high school with the same teacher. Aside from learning the Russian language and culture, […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Michelle O’Leary

    by James Gaddis on Oct 19, 11:02

    Seventh-grade social studies teacher Michelle O’Leary loves to pass on her lifelong passion for geography at Gruening Middle School in Eagle River. “I was one of those kids that spent Sunday afternoon laying on the floor of my parent’s home with one of those huge National Geographics, just flipping through,” O’Leary said. O’Leary, who grew […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Wendy Jacobsen

    by James Gaddis on Oct 05, 11:54

    It’s not often an award-winning educator teaches a subject they grew up disliking. Romig Middle School special education math teacher Wendy Jacobsen turned out to be an exception. “I hated it. And then, suddenly, when I started teaching some lessons, it all clicked for me and I’m like, ‘I need to work with kids who […]

  • DayBreak

    Valley Performing Arts celebrates 40th anniversary

    by James Gaddis on Aug 27, 11:58

    Valley Performing Arts in Wasilla is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The community theater got its start inside an empty church building that was donated to the state fairgrounds in Palmer in 1976. Co-founder Carol Rice performed in VPA’s first show, “Harvey,” in 1976. “It was a big success. We had unfortunately no heat in […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Mary Ziemba

    by James Gaddis on May 11, 10:59

    An East High School science teacher is helping to change lives in her classroom and save lives outside it. Mary Ziemba heads the only emergency trauma technician class in the Anchorage School District. KTVA’s Teacher of the Week is also a certified EMT. “I love emergency medicine, but I’m a teacher,” Ziemba explained. “I’m a […]

  • DayBreak

    Ask Alaska: Britain’s Princess Charlotte

    by James Gaddis on May 05, 10:18

    Britain’s royal family chose Charlotte as the name of the daughter born over the weekend to Prince William and his wife, Kate. The announcement made headlines in the United States, although not everyone was interested in the royal news from across the pond. What do Alaskans think of the name? KTVA 11’s James Gaddis set […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Kristi Senden

    by James Gaddis on Apr 13, 10:33

    Chugiak High School’s German language teacher knows how to make learning fun. “Whenever she teaches us, she’s interactive and she has a really good way of explaining things,” said ninth grade student Rebekah Smith. Kristi Senden, KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week, said learning a new language can seem like a tall task for a high […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Royce Zometsky

    by James Gaddis on Mar 30, 10:06

    Building relationships is the key to success for Clark Middle School educator Royce Zometsky. The eighth-grade science teacher was named KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week Monday morning on Daybreak. “Getting to know them, so it doesn’t seem that they’re just coming in, I’m just going through a routine on a daily basis,” Zometsky said. […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Jasmin Austin

    by James Gaddis on Mar 09, 10:32

    Montessori classrooms are ”prepared to encourage a child’s independence, freedom within limits and a sense of order,” according to the American Montessori Society.  At Denali Montessori School in Anchorage, primary teacher Jasmin Austin has made a lasting impact on her students while adhering to the Montessori method. KTVA 11’s Teacher of Week said she uses […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Dr. Jillian Gates

    by James Gaddis on Feb 23, 10:10

    Dr. Jillian Gates came to Alaska for adventure and wound up teaching some of the state’s brightest young minds. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week educates fourth- and fifth-graders in the highly gifted program at Rogers Park Elementary School in Anchorage. Typically, Gates says, bookwork and academics come easy for her kids. “My real focus is […]

  • Only in Alaska

    Reality of Reality Shows: ‘Alaskan Women Looking for Love’

    by James Gaddis on Feb 19, 10:43

    Reality shows aren’t always flattering to the people or places they feature. Alaska is no exception. We found out that some people in Kodiak did not take too kindly to TLC’s “Alaskan Women Looking for Love.” The six-part series that aired on TLC in 2013 followed six women from Kodiak who traveled to Miami, Florida, […]

  • Only in Alaska

    Reality of Reality Shows: ‘Buying Alaska’

    by James Gaddis on Feb 17, 12:27

    Reality shows are not always what they seem, especially in Alaska. KTVA 11 News is looking into the “Reality of Reality Shows” this week, starting with the ever-popular “Buying Alaska.” The 30-minute episodes air on Destination America. The premise is simple — we are led to believe that couples featured on the show want to […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Traci Stanley

    by James Gaddis on Feb 09, 11:53

    Reading and writing in one Romig Middle School class can be an eye-opening experience. “When I came into seventh grade I did not like writing at all, but now I always look forward to language arts class. It’s probably one of my favorite classes,” said Romig Middle School seventh-grader Race Rome. Race’s teacher, Traci Stanley, […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Ronald Bowlan

    by James Gaddis on Jan 26, 11:01

    A fifth-grade teacher at Knik Elementary School has a knack for keeping his kids engaged. In his fifth year at the head of the class, KTVA 11 Teacher of the Week winner Ronald Bowlan is relatively new to teaching. Prior to commanding the classroom, he served 25 years in the U.S. Air Force as a chief […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Erik Johnson

    by James Gaddis on Jan 12, 11:26

    Erik Johnson initially thought he was going to be a pastor, but his love of helping young people inspired him to become a teacher instead. A graduate of Chugiak High School, he teaches English at Eagle River High School. The KTVA 11 News Teacher of the Week winner said the secret to his success is […]

  • DayBreak

    Piglets race for the prize at the Alaska State Fair

    by James Gaddis on Aug 28, 9:02

    The Daybreak crew spent a day at the Alaska State Fair this week and our first stop was the Kenai Peninsula Pig Races. Megan and I scouted the competitors and made a small bet: The loser has to get the winner coffee for an entire week. The KTVA 11 News Corral is where pigs become […]

  • News

    Social media challenge participants get cold and wet for a good cause

    by James Gaddis on Aug 12, 11:09

    In your social media feeds this week, there’s a chance you’ve seen some friends and followers dumping buckets of ice water on top of their heads. From Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, there have been floods of these videos coming in. But it’s all for a good cause. It’s called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. […]

  • DayBreak

    Hallo Bay bears give economic boost to neighboring community

    by James Gaddis on Jul 25, 10:44

    Making people “Bear Aware” isn’t the only benefit of Hallo Bay Bear Camp. It also provides an economic boost across the bay. Located inside Katmai National Park and Preserve, Hallo Bay’s base of operations is in Homer. The town’s Chamber of Commerce has 500 members, 12 of which are flightseeing and bear watching companies like […]