Alaska’s National Distinguished Principal

Anita Stevens, Principal of Chinook Elemntary is Alaska's 2015 National Distinguish Principal
Anita Stevens, Principal of Chinook Elementary, is Alaska’s 2015 National Distinguish Principal

NDP_Logo_color_Web_5_2The National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who ensure that America’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement. The program was established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families, and staffs in their learning communities.
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Past NDP Recipients

Do you have a photo of a past Alaska NDP recipient? Please send it to the AAESP Executive Director (contact info at bottom-right).

ACSA- EDUCATION BULLETIN – APRIL 2015

ACSA_sqrAlaska Council of School Administrators – Education Bulletin

The Education Bulletin is a publication produced by ACSA, featuring articles from ACSA board members and other school administrators or officials, as well as the Executive Directors of AASA, AAESP, and AASSP.

ACSA Education Bulletin April 2015

Spend a Little Now or Pay a Lot Later: Early Childhood Education’s Essential Role in Alaska’s Future

by Jennifer Schmitz, ACSA/AAESP President; Principal, Scenic Park Elementary

A t the end of February, I had the pleasure of attending the National Association of Elementary Principals (NAESP) Leaders Conference in Washington, DC. It was my second time attending the conference and, once again, I left feeling proud and excited about being an elementary principal.

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Closing Thoughts Before the Close

by Dr. Lisa Skiles Parady, ACSA/ASA Executive Director

As we move forward, let’s understand that education can choose to be the victim of change or the advocates of change. Let’s collaborate with education stakeholders to be the architects of our own fate.

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Advocate for Public Education

by Todd Poage, ASA President; Superintendent, Alaska Gateway School District

Our passionate voices must continue to be heard through accurate real-life examples and stories that illustrate the impact public schools have on kids’ lives now and in the future.

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Opting Out, Not a Good Choice

by Dr. Stephen Atwater, ASA Past President; Associate Vice President for K-12 Outreach, University of Alaska

Since the election of President Obama in 2008, our country has been increasingly divided between those who feel that government should play a minimal role in their lives and those who feel that it should be responsible for helping to ensure their well-being.

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Managing Change

by Amy Lujan, Executive Director, ALASBO

In February I had the opportunity to attend the ASBO International Executive Leadership Forum along with several ALASBO colleagues. One of the excellent interactive presentations we heard from was by the Blanchard Institute on Managing Change.

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Previous Bulletin:
Feb 2015

ACSA- Education Bulletin – February 2015

ACSA_sqrAlaska Council of School Administrators – Education Bulletin

The Education Bulletin is a publication produced by ACSA, featuring articles from ACSA board members and other school administrators or officials, as well as the Executive Directors of AASA, AAESP, and AASSP.

ACSA Education Bulletin_February 2015

The Power of Peers; Doing Something More for Principals

by Jennifer Schmitz, ACSA/AAESP President; Principal, Scenic Park Elementary & Mary McMahon, AASSP President Elect; Principal, Colony Middle School

We first met a few years ago when we had the opportunity to plan the State Principals’ Conference together. Since then, we have both become more involved in and committed to positions in our respective organizations. On a national level, we are delighted to see NAESP and NASSP moving into a shared space, and we look forward to seeing the ways in which their future collaboration will benefit our efforts.

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Alaska Education: Innovative Practices or Unfunded Mandates?

by Todd Poage, ASA President; Superintendent, Alaska Gateway School District

My dad recently retired after 26 years as the superintendent of two districts in Kansas—twice as long as I envision myself being at the helm. At one point, it appeared I would be retired from education before my father ever decided to hang up the symbolic ―golden apple.

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The Past 100 Years: Putting Crisis in Context

by Dr. Michael Johnson, ASA President-Elect; Superintendent, Copper River
School District

To even a casual observer, the inevitability of changes coming for Alaska’s schools is readily apparent. We continue to adapt to the significant adjustments our schools and communities have already experienced over the last couple of years, especially in rural Alaska, while we prepare for more change.

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Education Remains a Priority in the Fiscal Storm – Stay the Course!

by Dr. Lisa Skiles Parady, ACSA/ASA Executive Director

Last year, when the legislature adjourned soon after passing HB 278, the just-completed session was labeled the ―Education Session. The Legislature considered and enabled education reform by building a structure to develop its future by implementing three studies.

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Previous Bulletins:
October 2014

ACSA Education Bulletin – October 2014

ACSA_sqrAlaska Council of School Administrators – Education Bulletin

The Education Bulletin is a publication produced by ACSA, featuring articles from ACSA board members and other school administrators or officials, as well as the Executive Directors of AASA, AAESP, and AASSP.

Great Things Surround Us

by John Pothast, President AAESP; Principal, Redoubt Elementary

In 2007, writer Gene Weingarten conducted an experiment to gauge our ability, or inability, to recognize the beauty that surrounds us amidst our hectic lives. In his April, 2007, Washington Post article titled -Pearls before Breakfast, Weingarten writes that he developed the idea ―as an experiment in context, perception and priorities—as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting, at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?

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At the Forefront: student mental health

by Jennifer Schmitz, ACSA/AAESP President Elect; Principal, Scenic Park Elementary

Over the past few months, I have had the privilege of working on the ACSA Joint Position Statements Committee. If you have never been a part of this process, I encourage you to get involved. It was more than empowering to spend time with educational professionals from the different ACSA affiliates as we came together to identify hot topics worthy of our attention and support during the upcoming year.

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Sharing Your Story

by Rod Morrison, AASSP President; Principal, Gilson Middle School

Many years ago, in Mr. Sanford‘s seventh grade math class, another student made an inappropriate comment. Before I realized what I was doing, I chimed in and made a comment of my own, and we both landed in the principal‘s office. I was your typical middle school (MS) student who dreaded school and felt uncomfortable about everything—

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JPS: The Foundation of Our Legislative Work

by Dr. Lisa Skiles Parady, ACSA Executive Director

The Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) is a professional organization committed to providing leadership and a collective professional voice in setting the educational agenda for Alaska. We are the umbrella of Alaska‘s four premier educational leadership organizations: elementary and secondary principals, superintendents, and school business officials.

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ASDN Upcoming Events

by Kelly Tonsmeire, Director ASDN

Join us for the fourth annual Alaska RTI Conference, Advancing Imple-mentation: A Deeper Dive Into RTI, January 24-25 at the Dena‘ina Center in Anchorage. Explore how to scale up your implementation of RTI. How do you move beyond the basics to improve core instruction, provide effective supplemental interventions, and ensure intensive academic and behavioral interventions when needed?

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Making a Difference, Principal Leadership Matters

by Mary McMahon, AASSP President Elect; Principal, Colony Middle School

This isn‘t just a job, it‘s a calling. We have the power to make a difference every single day. As the new school year begins, I find myself asking the question, -How do I inspire the teachers who I work with to realize they are the great gift‘ and have the power each day to make a positive difference in the lives of young people?

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Previous Bulletins:
April 2014

ESEA Waivers

US Department of Education – ESEA Waivers

us-department-education-logoAvailable via the U.S. Department of Education’s website are a set of materials that provide a substantive overview of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility process—also known as ESEA waivers—by which 34 states and the District of Columbia have applied for and received flexibility regarding certain provisions of ESEA. The intent of these materials—a brochure and five companion fact sheets—is to explain the rationale and intent of ESEA flexibility, as well as address its key components and highlight plan elements for a number of states approved for flexibility. For the ease of your members and affiliates, all of the documents can be easily printed and produced as front-to-back copies; the fact sheets are two-pagers, and the brochure is a tri-fold.

The brochure and fact sheets can be found on the Department’s updated ESEA flexibility web page:http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/. Individual links to the documents are below:

ACSA Education Bulletin – April 2014

ACSA_sqrAlaska Council of School Administrators – Education Bulletin

The Education Bulletin is a publication produced by ACSA, featuring articles from ACSA board members and other school administrators or officials, as well as the Executive Directors of AASA, AAESP, and AASSP.

As Education in Alaska Changes, Who Do You Want Leading the Charge?

by Rod Morrison, AASSP President; Principal, Gilson Middle School

I just returned from Juneau, where I had the opportunity to meet with state legislators and staff and spend time with many of our state’s leaders in education. One of the things we know for sure is that the face of education in Alaska is changing—everything from funding to standards, evaluations, and all of the resources we will need to prepare our students to succeed.

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ACSA Welcomes New Executive Director

by Lisa Parady, ACSA/AASA Incoming Executive Director

Let me begin my first column with a heartfelt thanks to our outgoing Executive Director, Bruce Johnson. Truly, it is worth recognizing the skills and experience he brought to us – statewide knowledge, deep education exeperience, and an ability to bring people together. My plan is to continue to walk in his path while I get my feet on the ground.

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Leading the Way with Instructional Tours

by Mary McMahon, AASSP President Elect; Principal, Colony Middle School

How do we adapt to meet the challenges coming our way with the new teacher evaluation and standards? One answer we’ve found is through our monthly instructional tours. At Colony Middle School, we have been leading the way with instructional tours over the years by hosting them monthly and working with teachers to come up with a process that works best.

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Think Different

by John Pothast, President AAESP; Principal, Redoubt Elementary

I have a school full of misfits, rebels, and troublemakers. A number of my students are round pegs trying to fit into square holes, and some are not fond of our rules. I also
have a school full of students who will change our world—who will be future politicians, scientists, lawyers, doctors, petroleum engineers, construction workers, and educators.

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Proud to be a Principal

by Jennifer Schmitz, AAESP President Elect; Principal, Scenic Park Elementary

This past week, it was my privilege and honor to attend the annual “Principal Fly-in” in Juneau as a representative of both the Anchorage Principals Association (APA) and the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals (AAESP).

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AAESP serves elementary, middle school, K-12, curriculum directors, university professors, and a variety of other educational organizations around the State of Alaska.