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 Whaley has taken on a new role at King Career Center in early childhood education.


“I think it’s important for everyone to be able to know how to work with small children,” Whaley said.


Whaley has her master’s degree in early special childhood education. This year she’s working with two types of students; preschoolers and high school students. The older kids will learn the skills needed for a certification or summer job and the preschoolers get used to the routine of school.


“You can see the high school students are great with the preschoolers,” Whaley said.


Before King Career Center, Whaley taught Russian at East High School and West High School in Anchorage and says, in a way, her career has lead her back to the beginning.


“I was actually working in a preschool in college with Russian children. Now that I think about it, so my path has come full circle,” Whaley said.




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