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Megan Mazurek

Stories by Megan Mazurek

  • 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 […]

  • Lifestyle

    Wireless World Pt. 2: Cellphone addiction

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 05, 8:59

    In the digital age, people rely on their phones for almost everything. That constant use can have people feeling anxious when their phone isn’t nearby. In fact, the term nomophobia is used to describe the fear of not having your cellphone. “Right now, with social media and texting and group texting, if there is something going […]

  • Lifestyle

    Wireless World Pt. 1: Smartphone benefits

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 04, 8:54

    It’s hard to imagine going a day without using your smartphone. The technology is now in the hands of 91 percent of Americans and it’s how most people communicate and connect with the online world. “I think the positive use of cellphones is that we can stay really connected, which is tremendously beneficial for our […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Erin Munro

    by Megan Mazurek on Oct 12, 11:50

    She’s an English teacher whose actions speak louder than words. “I do really hope they know someone appreciated seeing them every day,” said Erin Munro, who teaches at East Anchorage High School. Olivia Webster, a student at East, says Munro always has a smile on her face. “If you’re having a bad day, she never […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Kelly Hughes

    by Megan Mazurek on Sep 29, 9:12

    Kelly Hughes brings a bit of German culture to her students each and every day. “German is hard. It’s a hard language to learn,” said Hughes, a German teacher at Bartlett High School. “I try to balance everything: Grammar, listening, reading, writing.” Hughes says with the help of the Internet, the world is getting smaller. […]

  • National

    Alaskan athletes bringing home 9 medals from Special Olympics World Games

    by Megan Mazurek on Aug 02, 18:27

    Alaska’s four Special Olympics World Games athletes are bringing home nine medals, collectively. Christine Quick earned the last of the nine in Saturday’s 4 x 50 relay. She and her team finished in first place. The World Games’ closing ceremonies will be held Sunday. The past week has been a time of reflection for the […]

  • Sports

    Palmer golfer takes bronze at Special Olympics World Games

    by Megan Mazurek on Aug 01, 12:05

    A golfer from Palmer is a bronze medal winner at the Special Olympics World Games. Garrett Stortz, 24, played in four 18-rounds of golf at Griffith Park. Stortz is a level 5 golfer and improved his personal best every day of play throughout the competition. It was something his coach, Scott Johnson, always knew was […]