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  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Highlights from the School Year

    by Daybreak Staff on May 22, 12:58

    Over the past school year, Daybreak has highlighted 35 educators for Teacher of the Week, from Palmer to south Anchorage. Here is a look back at all of our teachers’ contributions as they share the secret to their success. In lieu of summer break, our Teacher of the Week segment will begin be back when […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Amy Habberstad

    by James Gaddis on May 15, 12:06

    When South Anchorage High School opened in 2004, English teacher Amy Habberstad was one of the original staff members. Thirteen years later, she is still working to make sure her students don’t take their classes for granted. “Everyone writes on the job, and kids don’t think that,” explained Habberstad. “They think of English as sort […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Kathy Campbell

    by Megan Mazurek on May 08, 12:29

    Kathy Campbell has worked in active war zones and debriefed a four-star general in the United States Army, but she feels it’s in the classroom where she is making the most difference. “I feel like I’m making a difference in the world. I’m helping really truly to make citizens that every day I can see growth,” Campbell […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Tamela Kile

    by James Gaddis on May 01, 11:56

    Tamela Kile has nearly 40 years experience teaching elementary education. “I love children. I think they’re our tomorrow. I celebrate them,” said Kile. For the last three years she has taught third grade at Academy Charter School in Palmer. Before that she was a Montessori teacher in Texas for 35 years. She said she still […]

  • Teacher of the Week

    Teacher of the Week: Asdid Derouen

    by Megan Mazurek on Apr 24, 13:41

    From a very young age, Asdid Derouen knew her heart belonged with kids. “I love what I do,” Derouen said. “This is what I was meant to do.” Derouen is a life-long learner and has taught kids from preschool up to 4th grade. She currently teaches 2nd grade at Swanson Elementary School in Palmer; a place that […]

  • 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: Travis Harrington

    by Megan Mazurek on Apr 11, 9:10

    Travis Harrington is giving back to his community. He was a Chugiak Mustang and grew up playing the trumpet. “It was always my goal to come back to the community,” he said. “Being raised in such an awesome place and give back to it.” This is Harrington’s 20th year teaching band at Mirror Lake Middle School. […]

  • 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: Stefanie Stacey

    by Megan Mazurek on Mar 07, 12:32

    Second-grade teacher Stefanie Stacey believes in hands-on learning. “I try to do more projects because it seems to be more engaging for them,” said Frau (Mrs. in German) Stacey, who teaches at Rilke Shule German School in Anchorage. “It’s more fun for me, too.” Her classes are taught entirely in German, and her students don’t miss […]

  • 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: Joanne Christian

    by Megan Mazurek on Feb 20, 10:53

    Tudor Elementary Kindergarten teacher Joanne Christian is starting her students off with the basics — sounding and spelling three letter words and putting together sentences. “They come in not knowing how to write their name, read their name,” Christian said. She loves being there for the start of a child’s education. “I just love that they come […]

  • 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: Rebecca Julian

    by Megan Mazurek on Feb 06, 11:48

    Rebecca Julian says she may be strict, but her students know she cares about them “They [students] know the expectations and we get a lot done that way,” said  Julian, a third and fourth grade teacher at Nunaka Valley Elementary School. Julian has been teaching at Nunaka for 18 years, and says the school feels like one big […]

  • 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: Kaity Williamson

    by Megan Mazurek on Jan 23, 13:42

    For Kaity Williamson, teaching is her dream job. “Every day is different,” she explained. “The kids are awesome.” Williamson is a biology teacher at Service High School and is helping her students explore careers in biomedical sciences. “Health care is definitely an up and coming need in this nation and our kids are hopefully going […]

  • 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 […]