Polaris K-12 School provides a different atmosphere and educational experience for Anchorage students and their parents. There is an emphasis placed on appreciation for the arts, while challenging the student body to be accountable for their classwork and studies.

"At our school, everybody goes by their first name," said Mike McGee. "[We refer to each other by first names] just to kind of promote that community, and we call our classrooms 'family groups' because we stay together for two years at a time, so [students and teachers] spend a lot of time together."

McGee started teaching later in his professional life, inspired by his time as a stay-at-home dad. He now teaches a hybrid second and third grade class which provides two years of opportunity for growth with each student.

"I like the multi-age group and I like being in a K-12 school because the younger students really look up to the older students," he said. "The older students have a lot of opportunities to be good role models and to be teachers, and the younger students have opportunities to be teachers too."

McGee has the special ability to reach his students through understanding. His students say he's kind and points out their mistakes gently.

"It's just fun coming to school everyday and trying to help them learn new things, and help them have a great day everyday," McGee said.

McGee says he wants his students to mirror his enthusiasm and hopes the lessons explored in his class will set his students up for a bright future.

"I hope they're ready for fourth grade and I hope they learn how to start resolving conflicts on their own in a peaceful way, hope they're asking questions and still curious," he said.

Mike McGee is KTVA 11's Head of the Class, nurturing educational experience through love and understanding.

Know an educator who deserves recognition? Nominate them for KTVA's Head of the Class.

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