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Megan Mazurek

Stories by Megan Mazurek

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Erika Crumley

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 28, 12:20

    Erika Crumley tries to make school feel more like a home than a classroom. “Almost like a home school atmosphere where kids feel more relaxed and more comfortable,” Crumley said. “[They] have more ownership and direction in what they’re learning.” Crumley teaches first and second grade at Chugach Optional Elementary School. “The feel of the […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Thomas Pease

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 14, 13:13

    Thomas Pease strives to get his students to be team players. He teaches language arts at Mears Middle School and structures his classroom to encourage interaction. “To be successful adults you have to learn to work together,” said Pease. “That’s a larger lesson I’d like my students to learn.” Pease is patient with his students and […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Brett Bissell

    by Megan Mazurek on Oct 31, 11:40

    Brett Bissell had a dream of being a naval officer, but it turns out life had different plans. “When I was 17 years old I found out I was color blind,” Bissell said. “I had wanted to go to the Naval Academy since I was 6 or 7 years-old. My dad was in the Naval […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Michele Whaley

    by Megan Mazurek on Oct 17, 11:38

    Michele Whaley has impacted thousands of students of the course of her career. She’s been teaching language in Alaska for more than 30 years and is up for National Language Teacher of the Year from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The Russian language has been her primary focus, but this year […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Dorothea Culbert

    by Megan Mazurek on Oct 03, 11:47

    Posters with phrases like, “math rocks” and “There’s no crying in math class!” are hung on the walls of Dorothea Culbert’s Mears Middle School classroom. She’s been teaching math for the past 27 years. “I initially was going to become a college professor of english literature, I have a masters in english lit, and then […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Temperance Tinker

    by Megan Mazurek on Sep 05, 12:32

    At the beginning of the school year, Temperance Tinker has each of her students write down an intention on a piece of origami paper. “It takes us a long time to get 30 people to fold origami at the same time,” Tinker said. The origami is folded into cranes, which hang overhead in her classroom. […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Fish, berries, veggies and me — all Alaska grown

    by Megan Mazurek on Jul 22, 8:38

    I was 7 years old when I caught my first fish. It was during a canoe trip with my family on the Swanson River, somewhere between Sterling and Nikiski. I remember my dad helping me drop a line in a shallow, calm pool. When I looked down I could see dozens of fish swimming; their […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Jennifer Derks

    by Megan Mazurek on May 16, 11:04

    Jennifer Derks has her students end the school day with the same lesson, every day. “We end by doing appreciation,” she said. “The kids don’t know who they have to appreciate. We just randomly draw names and they have to find something to compliment that person on.” The purpose of the exercise is to build […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Julia Withers

    by Megan Mazurek on May 02, 12:54

    Julia Withers is all about the numbers. “Math was probably always one of my stronger subjects,” Withers said. She teaches math and physical education at Highland Tech Charter School in Anchorage. The school has small class sizes, something that makes Withers feel right at home. “I like that it’s small. I really like that the […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Rodney Wild

    by Megan Mazurek on Apr 19, 8:43

    Rodney Wild isn’t one to shy away from competition. “When you get knocked down, you get back up. Not literally but figuratively.” Wild explained from his classroom. “When things don’t go well, you have options you have choices. You can quit or you can get back up, get back in the game and compete.” Wild […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Angi Alexander

    by Megan Mazurek on Apr 04, 12:41

    ANCHORAGE — This is Angi Alexander’s first full year of teaching, and she’s already being recognized for her ability to bring out the best in her second-grade students. She’s been teaching them on how to implement small acts of kindness with people in their community in a program they call, World Changers. “This week, they […]

  • DayBreak

    Teacher of the Week: Joey Kottre

    by Megan Mazurek on Mar 21, 13:35

    ANCHORAGE — Joey Kottre is Alaska born and raised. The teacher incorporates Alaska Native culture into each of his lessons. “If they have a math lesson, the math lesson might be talking about guinea pigs,” Kottre said. “I’ll change it to caribou, something more they can relate to; somehow they connect more to it.” Kottre […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Anne Barnett

    by Megan Mazurek on Mar 07, 11:18

    Anne Barnett is all about dressing the part. On a recent weekday morning in her classroom, she sported a basketball jersey while reading poetry aloud to a room full of sixth-graders. “I dress up throughout the year,” said Barnett, who teaches at Begich Middle School. “So if we’re reading, like, detectives, then I have the mustache […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Robert Dyer

    by Megan Mazurek on Feb 22, 12:41

    Robert Dyer says teaching at Winterberry Charter School in Anchorage was an instant fit. “This is my dream job,” he said. Winterberry Charter School uses Waldorf methods, which encourage a lot of hands-on learning and creative play. It also means Dyer will have the same set of students from first grade through eighth grade, allowing […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Heather King

    by Megan Mazurek on Feb 08, 11:13

    Anchorage — Heather King describes herself as a three-dimensional thinker, who strives to make every lesson as hands-on and interactive as possible. “It’s the best job in the world,” King said. ” I don’t know why anyone would do anything else. Every day you make a difference and positive one for the future, which I […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Russell Hood

    by Megan Mazurek on Jan 11, 11:07

    Russell Hood has been teaching physics for 17 years and says he’s still learning something new every year and hopes his students see that too. “I want them to see that I love to learn,” said Hood, a physics teacher at East Anchorage High School. “I’m still learning, and they should do the same with their […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Kristen Ryder

    by Megan Mazurek on Dec 14, 7:59

    Kristen Ryder wears many hats; she’s a first-grade teacher, parent and expecting mom. “They love to learn, they work really, really hard,” said Kristen Ryder of her students at Williwaw Elementary School. “They say the funniest things. I could probably write a book with some of the stuff that they say every day.” Ryder is […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Sam Struempler

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 30, 10:56

    Sam Struempler says if you think you have middle-schoolers figured out, think again. “It’s right at that [age] where they start making decisions,” said Struempler, a music and drama teacher at Goldenview Middle School. “To be there at that moment is pretty cool.” Struempler has been helping his students find their voices for the past […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Mark Van Arsdale

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 16, 10:35

    The best teachers are the best learners — it’s a motto our Teacher of the Week lives by to help his students better understand science in the world around them. “I want them to leave with a love of science,” said Mark Van Arsdale, science teacher at Eagle River High School. “Some of them, I […]

  • Lifestyle

    Wireless World Pt. 3: Solutions to cope with cellphone addiction

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 06, 11:32

    Social media overload: It’s beginning to rear its ugly head and many digital natives are taking a stand, deactivating their online accounts. “Everything I did was for views and likes,” said Essena O’Neill, a famous Instagram teen who made headlines this week for denouncing social media and telling her millions of followers the truth about […]