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  • 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: Marsha Williams

    by Megan Mazurek on Jan 09, 14:08

    Marsha Williams has always been a music person. She says there’s something about it that brings people together. “Anything we can do together to build community through music is my passion,” said Williams. She began teaching music at Williwaw Elementary after spending most of her career in special education. When a position opened up at the […]

  • 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: Randy Marsh

    by Megan Mazurek on Dec 12, 11:24

    He’s a math teacher by trade and aviator at heart. “It’s my hobby,” said Randy Marsh. “So you don’t say no to teaching your hobby.” Marsh is a math and aviation teacher at Clark Middle School. He uses model airplanes to go over math lessons and has students work on flight simulators during in-class exercises. […]

  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 […]

  • 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: Perry Lewis

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 26, 15:06

    Perry Lewis’ classroom at Eagle River High School is his stage. His script is an adaptation of the history books. “I kind of joke that I’m a frustrated actor, and here’s my captive audience,” he said of his students. Perry’s performances are history lessons that could be characterized as dramatic comedies. And that could very […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Monika Oldham

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 19, 12:26

    A special shelf in Monika Oldham’s classroom at Willow Crest Elementary School holds nearly two decades’ worth of letters from her former students, all noting the lasting impression she’s made on them. Oldham, who teaches first grade, says she still tears up when she reads some of the notes. They’re a reminder that her work and […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Debbie Wakefield

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 12, 12:34

    For nearly three decades, Debbie Wakefield has been teaching music at Bayshore Elementary. This week, she’s KTVA’s Teacher of the Week. Wakefield has left a mark on her students in 28 years of teaching, some of which are the children of her former students, just like her music teacher left on her years ago. When […]

  • 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. […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Nominate a teacher for KTVA’s ‘Teacher of the Week’

    by on Aug 19, 9:44

    View the complete list of past winners.

  • 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 […]