Parent engagement is essential

Ed Graff, superintendentEd Graff


Anchorage School District


5530 E Northern Lights Blvd.

Anchorage, AK 99504-3135


Dory Hunt

Executive Assistant



Biography for Mr. Graff

Ed Graff was appointed superintendent of the Anchorage School District on March 18, 2013.


Mr. Graff began his teaching career in 1991 at Gladys Wood Elementary School. Nine years later, he became an elementary school principal in the district. In 2008, Mr. Graff was named executive director of Elementary Education. The following year, he became the Chief Academic Officer, a position formerly referred to as assistant superintendent for instruction. A graduate in Elementary Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Mr. Graff holds a Master's Degree in Education Administration from University of Southern Mississippi. He has post-masters coursework in curriculum, educational leadership and instruction. Mr. Graff has served on several boards and professional organizations, including Junior Achievement, School Business Partnerships and Alaska Learning Network.


Originally from Minnesota, he has lived in several Alaska towns and villages, including Hooper Bay and Savoonga. He is married to Michelle Prince, an ASD elementary school principal. They have one son.


 Download Mr. Graff's full biography


Dec. 17, 2014


I had the pleasure of meeting Begich Middle School eighth-grader Sean Matias and his parents a few weeks ago. Sean was recognized by local business partners for having perfect attendance during the first quarter of school.


As we were preparing to surprise Begich students with the announcement, I asked his parents to list some things about their son that I could share as clues about the winner to the student audience.


They told me his favorite class was Applied Tech, he liked sports, he was usually the first one awake in their home each morning and he enjoyed coming to school every day. While the request was simple, the ability of Sean's parents to answer so readily reminded me of how important it is to stay connected with your child.


Our lives are busy but it's important to remember that what appear to be passing, casual exchanges with our children are actually crucial steps in developing better communication and deeper relationships with them.


Sometimes it can be hard to get something more than "fine" in response to asking about a child's day. Leading your child into more involved communication can be as simple as changing the question.


  • What made you laugh today?
  • What are three things that make you a great person?
  • Who do you think admires you the most?
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be?
  • What is one way in which your family can support you?


Detailed questions can lead to more involved answers that help us learn more about our children, their hopes and fears, issues they are struggling with, and joys that may otherwise go unnoticed.


Our middle schools have Start the Conversation at Family Meals kits that provide parents with additional ideas, thanks to a partnership with the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition. Parents with children of any age can speak to their child's teacher or principal to learn more ways to improve communication with their child.


Thank you for continuing to take an active role in your child's education.


This time of year is a good reminder to be thankful for the opportunities we have with our children.




Ed Graff



Additional resources


Communicating with Your Child, courtesy of the CDC


Parents' Guides to Student Success, courtesy of PTA


Communicating with Children: You Make the Difference, courtesy of PTA


Communication Tips for Parents, courtesy of the American Psychological Association

Destination 2020

Destination 2020

Destination 2020 is the district’s comprehensive, multi-year plan to increase student achievement. The plan focuses on improving the performance of every child to ensure at least one year’s academic growth each year. Destination 2020 is built on the district's mission, vision and core values as outlined by the school board.


About Destination 2020


Attendance matters

Attendance matters every day, all day. Watch the video then  Download the Attendance Matters flier


Every minute counts. Watch the video to find out why it's so important for kids to arrive on time and not leave early.