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 students have ownership over their education,” she added.


Withers grew up in a small New Hampshire town and moved to Alaska with her husband in 2014. She loves getting outdoors whenever she can and encourages her students to do the same.


“Sometimes if we finish our classwork early, we’re going to go play basketball for 10 minutes,” Withers said. “I love these kids, but so many of them just go home and play video games.”


Withers’ upbeat personality and high energy level helps her students focus and she is actively individualizing her lessons to her students’ needs.


“She really is an upbeat person,” said Rey Rodriguez, a student at Highland Tech. “It’s kind of nice because math generally is a really quiet subject.”


“One of the good things about her is that she can change the way she teaches or speaks according to like how you need her to,” said Anna McAfee, a student at Highland Tech. “There are like different learning styles and I think she respects each one of them.”


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