Board Members

  • School Board 2019-20

    Top (L to R):Andy Holleman, Deena Mitchell, Elisa Vakalis, Dave Donley
    Bottom (L to R): Margo Bellamy, Starr Marsett, Alisha Hilde

     

    The seven-member Anchorage School Board is the governing body for the Anchorage School District. Elected each year for overlapping terms, each member serves for a three-year term. All school board seats are elected citywide with the seven school board members representing all residents.

     

    Email all board membersschoolboard@asdk12.org

    Note: This group email includes all School Board members, the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Communications Director, Special Projects Director, School Board Secretary, and Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

     

    Email the School board secretary: grant_katy@asdk12.org

     

    Individual Board member emails are linked below.

 Elisa Vakalis

Phone: 907-742-1101 ext. 5

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Elisa Vakalis

President
Seat G through April 2021, second term

Committees: Serves as Ex-Officio member for all Board standing committees, Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), CGCS Executive Committee (2017-21), National School Board Association (NSBA), ASD Student Advisory Board

Elisa Vakalis was born and raised in Anchorage. She attended Scenic Park Elementary, Wendler Jr High, and graduated from Bartlett High in 1996. In 2004, Elisa moved to Eagle River to raise her three children, Hanna, Marc and Curtis, who all currently attend an ASD school. 

For the past 20 years, Elisa has progressively advanced her career in the fields of business and accounting. At the same time, she has extensively volunteered in her community and served more than seven years on the Eagle River Valley Community Council as secretary, vice president, and president. She currently holds a seat on the Board of Directors and was elected to serve on the Executive Committee for the Council of Great City Schools.

Elisa’s vision for the Anchorage School District includes greater public accountability and transparency, fiscally conservative budget approaches, and delivering more alternative education choices for students at neighborhood schools. She strongly believes in high academic standards and school accountability. Elisa will work hard to ensure that ASD continues to improve student outcomes and that every dollar benefits children’s education. She will make certain that student achievement remains the highest priority by working collaboratively with parents, teachers and staff. She supports Destination 2020 and School Business Partnerships as both are rooted in a strategic plan for the future and are uniting the community with kids. 

As your school board member, she is working diligently to make sure that all students receive the academic skills and training necessary to prepare them for today’s competitive job market and college.

 

 Margo Bellamy

Phone: 907-742-1101 ext. 7

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Margo Bellamy

Vice President
Seat A through April 2022, first term

Committees: Communications (Chair), Finance, Federation of Community Councils, National Black Caucus of School Board Members (NSBA), National School Board Association (NSBA)

A forty-six year resident of Anchorage, Margo Bellamy has spent over forty years serving children and families. She has been a teacher, librarian, assistant principal, principal, executive director, mentor, and trainer of all. As a career educator, Margo brings a range of experience, from early to postsecondary education, to the Anchorage School Board along with a commitment to work every day to make the Anchorage School District a better place for all students, families, and staff.

Margo’s intent for her work in ASD is to enhance the collaboration with all stakeholders, including Board members, Superintendent, and families to create policies and a governance system that results in an education structure where every child has the opportunities that they need to be successful regardless of their individual needs, life experiences, or zip code. Margo’s vision includes giving voice to all parents for our children’s benefit, including those who are underrepresented. She maintains that Alaskans deserve great schools in a community that celebrates diversity and well-being of all children.

Margo is an Adjunct Professor in the Educational Leadership Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage where she supervises future principals. She also serves as a volunteer on the AdvanceED Engagement Review Team which looks at continuous improvements through the accreditation process. Margo currently serves on several local youth and family-focused organizations, including: Anchorage’s Promise Board of Directors, Kids Day Planning Committee, Clare House Advisory Committee, Ft. Valley State University Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (Pre-college), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the local chapter of the NAACP.

Margo is married and is the parent of two adult children, both ASD graduates; and grandparent to two grandsons ages 3 and 8. Her oldest grandson attends school in the Anchorage School District.

Margo’s experiences working with and for Alaska’s students, in schools and nonprofit boardrooms, has given her the knowledge, perspective, and experience to understand and work collaboratively with diverse groups. She believes that our public schools are the backbone of our community and we must work hard to ensure our schools are the best they can be so our students and community continue to thrive.

 

 Starr Marsett

Phone: 907-742-1101 ext. 2

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Starr Marsett

Treasurer
Seat B through April 2022, second term

Committees: Finance (Chair), Governance, Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB), AASB Executive Board, Multicultural Education Concerns Advisory Committee (MECAC), 90% by 2020, National School Board Association (NSBA)

Starr Marsett has been a children’s advocate for more than 30 years. Starr has served on many executive boards such as Armed Forces YMCA, Resource Center for Parents and Children, and Friends of CASA. She’s been PTA president at various schools, served on an advisory committee to start the first alternative school in North Pole, Alaska, and was appointed to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Policy Committee. In the Anchorage School District, Starr was appointed to the Multicultural Education Advisory Committee, Capital Improvement Advisory Committee and served as chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee.  She has also served on ASD committees to review educational specifications and school calendars.

With more than 16 years’ experience in the financial industry, Starr is currently a Realtor® and serves on the Thread Board and a member of the United Way Leadership for 90 by 2020. She also worked for five years as a substitute teacher in ASD. Starr has extensive experience in project management, human resources, budget, negotiations and strategic planning. She earned her bachelor’s of science degree in Business Management from Northern Michigan University while working and raising her two children.

Starr met her husband while they were both serving in the military. In addition to their two grown children, they adopted their grandson who has special needs and graduated from East High School. They also have a grandson who attends Bear Valley Elementary School.

 Andy Holleman

Phone: 907-742-1101 ext.1

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Andy Holleman

Clerk
Seat D through April 2023, second term 

Committees: Governance, Finance,  School Based Community Health Centers (ASBHC), National School Board Association (NSBA)

Andy Holleman believes parents and students need to be engaged in their local schools as much as possible and emphasizes the importance of the school community. He also believes strongly in high academic achievement for all students.

Graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Andy earned a Bachelor’s degrees in education and biology. He was a tutor in ASD’s Migrant Education Program before becoming a teacher at Dimond High School in 1996. He spent most of his teaching career at Goldenview Middle School in business education and computer skills classes, and served as the building’s technology coordinator. Andy became involved with policy and funding issues for education at the local and state levels, and advocated for public education as a cornerstone of our democracy. He served as president of the Anchorage Education Association for four years.

Andy has one son who received his education from ASD, attending an alternative school, an open-optional program housed in a neighborhood school, a neighborhood school, a charter school, a Seminar Program at a local high school, and finished with Alaska Pacific University's Early Honors Program in conjunction with ASD. Andy wife, Donna, is a retired ASD educator. Boating and camping in the summer, along with a variety of winter sports when there's snow, are Andy’s goals for his off-hours.

 
 Dave Donley

Phone: 907-742-1101 ext. 6

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Dave Donley

Seat C through April 2023, second term

Committees: Communications, National School Board Association (NSBA), Anchorage Chamber of Commerce

Dave Donley is working to ensure the Anchorage School District provides excellent educational opportunities for all students in the most cost-effective manner while maximizing parental involvement and recognizing paths to success other than formal higher education.

Dave Donley grew up in Spenard, attending Willow Crest Elementary and Romig, Central and Mears Junior High Schools. He graduated from Dimond High School in 1972 and went on to graduate from the University of Oregon Phi Beta Kappa and University of Washington School of Law.

Dave worked on the Alaska Pipeline’s construction as a firefighter, construction worker, and logger. He passed the Alaska Bar Exam his first attempt in 1979.  Dave represented Spenard in the State House from 1987-1992. There, he served as House Labor and Commerce Chair twice and Judiciary Committee Chair. Dave was a State Senator from 1993-2002, where he served on the Senate Finance Committee, holding roles as Co-chair and Vice Chair. Beginning in 2003, he served as Chief of Adjudications and Hearing Officer for the State of Alaska. He retired from the State of Alaska and Laborers’ Local 341 in 2008.

Since his first retirements, Dave worked for Hope Community Resources, Inc. and continued to practice law. He has been a State of Alaska military officer in the Alaska State Defense Force since 2009 and is currently a Colonel and the Staff Judge Advocate.  He is a FEMA trained emergency management professional and has served on the State Emergency Response Commission.  He is a certified BBB arbitrator.  Dave is a recipient of the Alaska State Community Service Medal.  Dave and his wife Jamie have three children: a son who graduated from Service High School and twins who attend Northern Lights ABC School.  Dave is currently a Deputy Commissioner with the State Department of Administration.

 Alisha Hilde

Phone: 907-742-1101 ext. 3

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Alisha Hilde

Seat E through April 2021, first term

Committees: Governance (Chair), School Business Partnerships, National School Board Association (NSBA)

Alisha Hilde grew up in Texas and attended West Texas A&M University where she earned a BA in K-12 music education. She briefly taught middle school band. She then attended the University of Minnesota where she earned a Masters of Public Policy concentrating in law and economics and a Law Degree. She's been involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, was a foster parent, and volunteers throughout Anchorage. She focuses on long-term planning for the school district and relies on well reviewed research in her decision making. She is passionate about making sure every student has the opportunity to receive a high quality education. Alisha advocates for accountability and transparency in all aspects of School Board governance and supports on-going review of how well students are learning. Alisha and her husband Jason have lived in Anchorage since 2010 and have three children in elementary school in ASD.

 Deena Mitchell

Phone: 907-742-1101 ext. 4

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Deena Mitchell

Seat F through April 2021, first term

Committees: Communications, 90% by 2020, Alaska Association of School Boards, Chugiak/Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, National School Board Association (NSBA), Native American/alaskan Native Caucus of NSBA

Deena Mitchell strongly believes in public education; to support every child in reaching their potential and prepare them to successfully navigate our changing world, to build a strong future for Alaska, and to instill principles of citizenship that are critical for our democracy.

Every child has great potential, and Deena uses her voice to support our schools’ work in nurturing and developing that potential. Deena studied Economics at the University of Colorado, and holds graduate degrees in Economics, Finance and Marketing from Indiana University. She worked in Advertising before focusing on raising her three children (two are graduates of the ASD, and one is a senior at West). Deena has spent decades supporting public education in many ways, from being a room parent and PTA volunteer, to running a “Student Government Program” for the League of Women Voters, to her Great Alaska Schools advocacy work. Deena also served on the “Tribal and Community Impact” committee for the Governor’s Alaska Education Challenge.

Deena believes that by holding every student to high standards, through strong community and family engagement, and with a district comprised of engaged, dedicated, creative and supported professionals, we will close our achievement gaps, and graduate all students on a path to success, whether that takes them to college, vocational training, or directly into the workforce.