Ursa Minor Elementary School’s kindergarten teacher has been wowing young students on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson since 2008, with her knack for making learning fun.


“I think being silly, having fun with them, and not taking it too serious, because they’re five and six,” explained McAllister.


KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week carefully weaves work and play into her daily lessons. McAllister’s ability to cater to her students has also served as an important lesson to her support staff.


“Whenever she makes her lessons she doesn’t think of, ‘it’s just kindergarten.’ She thinks, who in the class is going to enjoy it the most?” said kindergarten aide Alex Troxtell.


McAllister said the secret to her success is simply having a career she loves.


“It has to come natural. If I didn’t like teaching, it wouldn’t be fun for the kids,” McAllister explained. “So whatever you do, it has to be something you enjoy and it’s fun because every day I get up and I come here and I’m like, ‘where else do I go I’m getting hugs, I have people tell me I love you, I get all these cute little pictures?’ And it’s like, that makes your day perfect.”


McAllister attributes some of her success to her husband Mark McAllister, who pulled extra hours while in the Army to help put her through graduate school. Now retired, her husband’s service in the Army is what brought their family to Alaska in 2001.