• Quyana to the Staff and Students at Kasuun Elementary

     

    I am a Technician with IT Field Services and have been traveling around the district and visiting schools to troubleshoot technical issues. I don't know exactly how many schools I have visited, but the number is easily in the dozens. That said, Kasuun Elementary has had everyone that I saw on my visit properly following COVID mask and social distances procedures. 

    I am so impressed with the staff at Kasuun, from the mechanical/janitorial staff to teachers to the admin team, and everyone in between. In my visit today (Jan 20), I saw close to a dozen-and-a-half staff members and at least double that number of kids and every single one was following procedures and ensuring the safety of everybody else. It truly felt like the team at Kasuun truly cared and was putting out the effort to ensure the safety and functionality of the school start.

    I wish that I knew some of the individuals at Kasuun Elementary so I could thank them personally. In lieu of that, I hope this message can be used to recognize the entire staff. You all were awesome and made me feel safe and cared about when I came to perform technical maintenance for one of your teachers.

     

    - Evan Jones, IT Field Services

  • Quyana to Laurel Andrews at Lake Hood Elementary

     

    Nurse Laurel is one of the most self-less, compassionate and kind-hearted people I have the honor of working and being friends with. Nurse Laurel has gone above and beyond to help our community during this most unique of times. She is one of our courageous front-line workers who strives daily to help keep us all safe and sound so that we can resume our lives again. Her empathy for others is genuine and she is highly respected by her peers. We all greatly appreciate all that she does, day in and day out. Thank you Nurse Laurel!

     

    - Shannon Basner, Peer

  • Quyana to Mike Moore at Steller Secondary

     

    I really appreciate the way you approach teaching kids. You know just how to ignite a spark of interest and grow it into excitement.  My kid was always telling me about the cool experiment you did or the silly song you played to help them memorize otherwise dull science facts. The fact that she told me says everything. I normally have to pry to get information out of my reticent child.

     

    - Donna Brechan, Parent

  • Quyana to Peggy Benton at Ptarmigan Elementary

     

    Peggy Benton generously offered her time and talents during the first semester to provide Music Zooms for my Virtual Kindergarten class.  She adjusted her already busy schedule to make time for my students.

     

    As a part of the ASD Virtual program, we do not have a formal music class, but when I asked Mrs. Benton if she would be willing to have a class with my kids, she immediately and enthusiastically said "Yes!"  She not only taught my students music, but she also incorporated  content from other curricular areas and prepared them for their return to brick and mortar education by introducing them to specialist instruction.  Mrs. Benton always goes above and beyond as an educator and does so with kindness and enthusiasm!  We are so lucky to have her in ASD!

     

    -Denise Ray, Peer

  • Quyana to Maria Adams at Ptarmigan Elementary School

     

    I would like to thank Mrs. Adams for her contribution to Ptarmigan Elementary School.  She is one of our Indian Education Tutors.  Her commitment to the education of students and staff when it comes to Alaska History and Culture is an outstanding contribution to our positive and inclusive culture at Ptarmigan Elementary.  She reminds us all of the history in simple but meaningful ways.  She is an advocate for students and families by reaching out and offering support outside of her job duties at school. Having Mrs. Adams at Ptarmigan heightens  our cultural awareness.  Thank you Mrs. Adams for all you do for all of us at Ptarmigan Elementary School!

     

    -Carol Tucker, Peer

  • Quyana to Bob Vandergriff and Nobuo Toba at Steller Secondary

     

    Bob has been a fantastic advisor and English teacher for our daughter. He's very focused on getting the best out of all of his students and advisees; the Steller Community is lucky to have him.

     

    Mr. Toba's dedication to the Steller Band is apparent to all who meet him. He encourages his students to challenge themselves and gives them the support and guidance they need to accomplish their goals. He has worked tirelessly to find ways for the band to continue to grow and shine despite the obstacles of distance learning and we thank him!

     

    -Brandon and Rebecca Brooks, Parents

  • Quyana to Library Resources at Anchorage School District

     

    The people who work in ASD's Library Resources are the unsung heroes of ASD libraries.  They are hard working, positive and ready to help at the turn of a page.  Because of this amazing small group, we (ASD librarians) are able to get books into the hands of our ASD students, staff and community...quyana...

     

    - Amy Brabec, Library Peep

  • Quyana to Rosa Hohnstein and Troy Fast at Steller Secondary

     

    Rosa was an amazing teacher! Her enthusiasm for teaching is wonderful. She made learning fun with hands on activities and all sorts of things. My time at Steller would not have been the same if it was not for Rosa. She has been an amazing role model and loves to be involved with the school. I have has so many fun experiences with her especially the ones when traveling!

    Troy was a wonderful advisor! He helped me grow over the past 6 in so many ways. He is such a charismatic person and loves kids. I can tell that everyone really loves his gym classes. Troy is also a great teacher and I give him props for teaching 2 different subjects. I?ve made some amazing memories in my time at Steller and the snowboarding intensive at Alyeska with Troy was a great one!!

     

    - Syri S., Steller Graduate

  • Quyana to Maestro Richard Zelinsky at Rabbit Creek Elementary

     

    Mr. Zelinsky has gone above and beyond to help and instruct 6th grade band students.  We had anticipated that learning an instrument via video was going to be a challenge for our 6th grader, but he has made it seem like private, in person lessons. He offers ZOOM meetings by instrument and posts videos of himself playing each lesson.  Then, he has compiled individually submitted recordings from his students to make a master mix of audio and video of the students 'playing' together.   An awesome showing of his passion for teaching.

     

    - Jennifer Mattingly, Parent

  • Quyana to Mary Koehler at Whaley School

     

    Mary Koehler is our secretary, front desk manager, and jane-of-all-trades.  Including doing her regular duties well, Mary makes sure everyone is supported, filling in when necessary, and being sensitive to our needs. Recently she helped finish a project when I was absent. Thanks Mary!!

     

    - Nancy Bale, Peer

  • Quyana to Jennifer Barclay at Ptarmigan Elementary

     

    Mrs. Barclay is not only a new ASD teacher but also a new Structured Learning Classroom teacher. Over the course of the year, she has quickly completed training, established distance services for her students, directed her TAs and rapidly learned the case management responsibilities special education teachers complete. Mrs. Barclay is a wonderful new team member at Ptarmigan and sets an example for her peers.

     

    - Michael Kage, Peer

  • Quyana to Marla Sanders at Steller Secondary School

     

    Last spring, when school was on line, you were one of the few teachers who had an online presence perfect for the situation. This was because you had  hours of video lectures ready, made new ones as needed and provided generous extra zoom sessions to go over as many examples as the kids needed until they "got it".  All of this was likely a lot of extra work for you, but you kept your sense of humor and upbeat attitude with the kids. Thanks for all your hard work Marla!

     

    - Donna L Brechan, Parent

  • Quyana to Annette Johnson at Steller Secondary School

     

    Annette, thank you so much for all the times you helped my daughter with her medical issues. She is comfortable asking for your help and I feel better knowing you are there for her.

     

    - Donna Brechan, Parent

  • Quyana to Amey Tamagni at ASD Special Education Department

     

    Quyana to Amey Tamagni, Administrative Assistant for Section 504 Plans!

    Amey readily and generously shares her expertise. As a novice 504 Coordinator, Amey helped me navigate the 504 process with patience and professionalism - focused on delivering optimum academic services for our students. Amey exemplifies ASD teamwork in action!

     

    - Laura Murray, Peer

  • Quyana to Simone Sanders and Ken Varee at Steller Secondary School

     

    Simone,  I am so glad I have been able to take your study skills class. You have really helped me improve my grades and give me good life advice. Thank you so much for helping me improve my skills. Thank you for taking your time and putting all your effort into helping me with math and other school projects that I was struggling with. I could always come to you if I ever needed help with anything and I really appreciate that. You are a great teacher and a great mentor. Thank you for everything you have done for me.

     

    Ken, I am glad to be in your advisory class and the other few classes that I had with you. Thank you for helping me become a better person and a better student. You were always there when I needed you and you would do whatever it took to help me. You helped me stay on track with school and I really appreciate everything you have done for me. I learned a lot from you in your classes, through advisory, and from you guiding me on the right path. I will be very sad to not have that kind of guidance and help throughout the rest of my life after I graduate. Thank you.

     

    - Vala S., Student

  • Quyana to Brian Gehring Steller Secondary School

     

    It is a pleasure to be able to express my thanks to an outstanding teacher, Brian Gehring.  His love of learning and his gift for teaching difficult and exciting concepts in the field of science and related fields has had an enormously positive impact on my son Michael and his classmates.  Brian is so smart, curious and funny and has a special way of bringing out the best in his students.  Everyday he helps his students celebrate a passion for learning and the desire to make the world a better place.

     

    - Jonathan Halpern, Parent

  •  

    Quyana to Jazerae Howell at Steller Secondary School

     

    Jazerae is a force of positive energy! She pushes her students to dream big and stretch in their playing abilities. Teaching orchestra over zoom is quite a challenge; Jazerae made it work and I believe they learned a lot in the process.

     

    - Donna L Brechan, Parent

  • Quyana to Sarah Osborne at Central Middle School

     

    Quyana to Sarah for being such a fabulous virtual teacher and site coordinator at Central Middles School! Sarah is devoted to her students, demonstrates great teamwork even with teachers from outside her school, and is willing to think outside of the box to help students be successful. I appreciate her and am encouraged to work even harder for my students when I work with Sarah!

     

    - Meghan Card, Peer

  • Quyana to Lynne Botwinick at Steller Secondary

     

    In addition to being a pleasant voice and first contact when we call the school, and all her regular duties, Lynne has taken on the challenge of updating the school Website. I really appreciate Lynne stepping up to do this at a time when ASD staff are already facing heavy workloads related to the pandemic, and she is new to the school.  On top of all that she has generously offered to coordinate with Parent Group.  Quyana Lynne!

     

    Quyana to Jennifer Hall Jones at Steller Secondary

     

    Jennifer has been an important part of the Steller community for many years.  Her dedication to making Steller a better place is evident in everything she does - from her role in the Steller Parent Group in the past, to her everyday work with students.  Steller appreciates you Jennifer! 

     

    Quyana to Jean Poulsen at Steller Secondary

     

    I really appreciate Jean's super chill tone, the way she takes interest in what students are interested in, and the way she implements Steller's philosophy of "responsible freedom" in all her classes. I especially appreciated these qualities during the pressure of online learning.

     

    - Kirsten Tschofen, Parent

  • Quyana to Frank Shaffer at Service High School

     

    Frank Shaffer continues to go above and beyond to support ASD students. Recently I shared with him that so many more of our students and their families are now struggling to have enough food every day due to the pandemic. Frank took the issue to heart and raised hundreds of dollars to provide food resources for students in our community by supporting The Giving Tree and Food Bank of Alaska. Frank is an educator who reaches out to students and staff and inspires us to look for the positive in ourselves by supporting others in our community. We are a better school district and better Anchorage because of teachers like Frank Shaffer.

     

    - Barb Dexter, Peer

  • Quyana to Leigh Anne Bonney at Steller Secondary

     

    Leigh Anne has been an excellent and consistent teacher this year, keeping her energy up despite often looking at a screen full of kids with their cameras turned off! She has guided students through  challenging work in 8th grade seminar class, generating a lot of interesting, timely discussions both at school and at home. Thank you, Leigh Anne!

     

    - Jessica Cochran, Parent

  • Quyana to Ashley Van Hemert at Steller Secondary

     

     I really appreciate that Ashley is very clear with instructions and has embraced some fun tools for on-line learning. She uses lots of visual elements and interactive websites. She is very understanding, and just kind of gets the awkwardness of being on Zoom and found some cool ways to make it less weird to participate at the beginning of the school year.

     

    - Lily Pannkuk, Student

  • Quyana to Brian Gehring at Steller Secondary

     

    Brian was back teaching on zoom 2 days after having back surgery! That is dedication. Brian also brings endless creativity and energy to his classes, and is always adding new elements to engage students in the material.

     

    - Jessica Cochran, Steller Secondary

  • Quyana to Jason Collins at Steller Secondary

     

    Jason is always very clear about expectations and assignments, and that is especially important this year.  He made sure there was more than one way to access the materials (live zooms, videos, sample problems.) Plus, he's super nice.

     

    - Jackson Pannkuk , Student

  • Quyana to Philip Flecktenstein at Steller Secondary

     

    This quarter, my daughter has Philip for 2 of 3 classes. We appreciate that Philip holds his students to consistently high standards, but also clearly conveys empathy for this year's unusual circumstances. This combination is highly motivating for my daughter and much appreciated!

     

    - Jessica Cochran, Parent

  • Quyana to ASD Information Technology at the Almighty Service Desk

     

    My computer locked me out of the ASD website, Zoom, and Tienet from Friday morning at 9:15 am to Monday morning at 8:15 am. I spent hours on the phone Friday with three different techs, who kindly worked on my problem.  Over the weekend Kief worked to reconnect my computer, and set it up so when I phoned at 8 am and spoke to Todd, he could tell me what to do in three strokes to reconnect.

    Thank you, IT techs!  You went above and beyond to help me reconnect with my students.  You guys are amazing!!!

     

    - Janet Copping, Peer

  • Quyana to ALL OF THE SCHOOL NURSES at Anchorage School District

     

    The school nurses demonstrated that they are powerhouses of public health. The massive flu shot roll out was epic!  I think that they deserve a nod and thank you for the contact tracing, flu shots and the care coordination. ASD nurses work tirelessly to meet the needs of the families they serve. The best learning happens when kids and ASD staff are healthy and engaged.

     

    Thank you school nurses.

     

    - Kitty Wellmann, Parent and Community Member

  • Quyana to Laura Freeman at O'Malley Elementary

     

    Mrs. Freeman has gone above and beyond for her 5th and 6th graders. She is the definition of patience, compassion, and professional. We feel lucky to have her teaching our son this year!

     

    Mrs. Freeman has gone above and beyond for her students. She puts in extra hours to ensure kids are being challenged, as well as just being there with an encouraging word. She is the reason that our daughter is excelling at school during this difficult year.

     

    - Chelsea Vukovich, Parent

    - Ali Selvik, Parent

  • Quyana to Misschel Eldred, Maria Adams and Nancy Schultz  at Ptarmigan Elementary

     

    Misschel has been supporting me with Clipboard Checks for my 1st graders. She has put together the most efficient and thorough data binder! She has been an incredible help to me!

     

    Mrs. Adams and I have worked together for three years now. She is an amazing and integral part of my class. She supports me and my students daily in many ways. Tsin'aen Mrs. Adams! 

     

    Thank you Mrs. Schultz for being a part of my team! We know we can depend on you! You are an important part of our class.

     

    -Marty Imhof, Peer

  • Quyana to Rebecca Gerrik at Steller Secondary School

     

    Both my children have had the wonderful experience of being taught English by Becky.  Her love of language, high expectations, and sense of fun are some of her most obvious attributes, but what makes her such a wonderful teacher is her love and care for her students.  We are grateful to have her!

     

    - Kirsten Tschofen, Parent

  • Quyana to Marianne Pedersen at Steller Secondary School

     

    Marianne Pedersen made a big difference for my son by listening, understanding, and advising at a moment when he most needed it.

     

    -Dee Dee Zobian Mason, Parent

  • Quyana to Kathy-Sue Justus at Airport Heights Elementary

     

    I am new to Alaska, Anchorage, ASD, AND Airport Heights.  Kathy-Sue Justus, Life Skills teacher has been pivotal and gracious in answering all my many questions in this very complex time.  As you can imagine, a new district, a new school, and all the e-learning technology tools that have been introduced to me upon my arrival has been overwhelming.  Kathy-Sue is at school every day with a smile on her face and always willing to offer me an answer to another question, offering her lunch in the frig because I forgot to bring mine, or even outside , personal questions, such as recommendations on churches,  shopping, and hair salons.  She invites me to all of the functions outside of school that she thinks I would enjoy and she has no idea how much I appreciate her , not only as a teacher , but more importantly, as a generous, thoughtful human being.

    Thank you so much Kathy Sue.

    - Kristin Ferris MA, CCC-SLP

  • Quyana to Dawn Pedersen at Ptarmigan Elementary

     

    Dawn has provided me with a wealth of information & direction which has helped me transition into my position as a SpEd TA. Thank you very much Dawn!

     

    - Leilani Spellecacy, Peer

  • Quyana to the Mystery Man at Service High School

     

    I was jogging through the trails behind Service High one early morning and I sprained my ankle so bad that it was too painful to walk. This gentleman; who was picking trash in one of those bear-proof trash containers came over and asked me if I was alright. I told him that I've sprained my ankles and could barely walk and needed to go to my vehicle. So he then went and grabbed his loader and gave me ride to my car on the parking lot. He helped me get inside and asked me if I needed further assistance and I told that I'm good from here.

    I'll always remember that unfortunate moment to this day and I'm grateful that he was there.

    Whoever you are, thank you so much!

     

    - Tracy, Neighborhood Jogger

  • Quyana to Diana Hays at Chugiak Elementary

     

    Diana is an amazing and integral piece to our wonderful Team 5 at Chugiak Elementary. She goes above and beyond in all that she does to support our students. Diana's work in small groups and in helping to produce the Morning Announcements (starring our fifth graders!) has been valuable to all. Her kind and caring ways help to meet the needs of all of our students, especially during our distance learning format. It is a pleasure to work with Diana and I am thankful that she is a part of our team.

     

    -Stephanie Himes, Peer

  • Quyana to Reed Whitmore at Steller Secondary

     

    Reed has a generous way of leading that allows students, parents and staff to take ownership of what happens in the school.  He encourages everyone to take on new challenges, and provides the support needed to be successful. He is the embodiment of the Steller philosophy of responsible freedom.  His love of the students and staff at Steller shines through in everything he does.

     

    - Kirsten Tschofen, Parent

  • Quyana to Tracy Taylor at Scenic Park Elementary

     

    We are so thankful for you, Tracy! Quyana! You have been so diligent in helping us navigate COVID-19. You have fielded so many questions, sat through so many Zooms, and made yourself available to us whenever we need help! Thank you for going above and beyond for Scenic Park students, families, and staff. You keep us strong and healthy!

     

    -Lori Rucksdashel, Peer

  • Quyana to Erica Barbosa at Abbott Loop Library

     

    My family is so grateful for our school's librarian, Erica Barbosa. She has made a huge impact on my kids' lives during this pandemic, going out of her way to provide them with books and Zooms that keep them engaged and connected to their school while they are in the Virtual program. Library pick up day is like Christmas at our house because of Ms. Barbosa. Thank you!

     

    - Emily Coppa, Parent

  • Quyana to Max at the Warehouse

     

    Max is always so pleasant when he comes into our building. He is very personable and always willing to help. We want to thank him for his hard work and the positivity he brings each time he is here. Thank you Max!

     

    - Heather Patufka, Peer

  • Quyana to Tracy Taylor at Scenic Park Elementary

     

    We are so thankful for you, Tracy! Quyana! You have been so diligent in helping us navigate COVID-19. You have fielded so many questions, sat through so many Zooms, and made yourself available to us whenever we need help! Thank you for going above and beyond for Scenic Park students, families, and staff. You keep us strong and healthy!

     

    -Lori Rucksdashel, Peer

  • Quyana to Carol Cunningham-Turner at Chugiak Elementary

     

    Mrs. Turner is a specialist-generalist that is an invaluable part of our fifth grade team. Ms. Turner does record-keeping, live session class monitoring, small group tutoring, documentation, and so much more.  She works with students to create school announcements and helps foster friendships in an online environment.  Ms. Turner assists with building our Canvas and checking assignments.  She helps create Padlets and Kahoot for our classes.   Mrs. Turner goes above and beyond in her role as our specialist-generalist team member extraordinaire!

     

    - Sandra Christiansen, Peer

  • Quyana to Richard Lum at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Mr. Lum has truly given my son the gift of music.  Mr. Lum is patient, kind and loving.  He encourages my son to perform his best & believe in himself.  He has ignited a passion for music & singing in our home.  Mr. Lum is a humble, gentle, loving soul.  Thank you for all you do Mr. Lum.  I am grateful for all the years you have been in the Anchorage School District & am amazed by all the lives you have touched...especially my son's life.

     

    - Teresa Dearborn, Peer and Parent

  • Quyana to the Third Grade Team at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    The Third Grade Team (Mrs. Bentson, Mrs. Colgrove, and Mrs, Tippey) are an amazing group of teachers at Ravenwood Elementary! The team concept at Ravenwood has been so effective for the third grade. These three ladies show up everyday to zoom class with smiles on their faces and the best attitudes to teach these kids! Any IT issues that arise during zoom are swiftly corrected by Mrs. Tippey, not to mention, she keeps the kids engaged and moving using movement breaks.

     

    Mrs. Bentson and Mrs. Colgrove use the team concept to teach the main lesson and then breakout into small classrooms for questions and additional work. Over the last two months, the three of these ladies work seamlessly together and have streamlined their daily operation so that the students know exactly what to expect and are ready to face each day in the virtual environment. They are organized and thoughtful in their approach, and as a full time, at-home working parent, I truly appreciate all the time and effort these educators are doing to make virtual learning successful.

     

    The third graders at Ravenwood are truly thriving in this environment when so many other students might be struggling. Thank you to the Third Grade Team at Ravenwood!

     

    -Whitney Lewis, Parent

  • Quyana to Deshia Cook at Ptarmigan Elementary

     

    Deshia has been a true inspiration to work with. Her hard work and the ability to stay calm is nothing less than professional. Deshia takes her time to make sure communications with staff and students is 100% understood. There has never been a time in my career that I have had the pleasure of working with such a kind and positive individual. Thank you Desia Cook!

     

    - Diane Hawley, Peer

  • Quyana to Barbara Williams at Kasuun Elementary

     

    We are SO THANKFUL to Ms. Williams for all of her efforts in facilitating online learning for her third grade class! Overseeing more than 30 students seems like an impossible task, but Ms. Williams does it every week with grace, humor, patience, and the assistance of a wonderful group of educators (Ms. Dodge, Ms. Brooke, Ms. Cheema, Ms. Rose, and others). Please keep up the good work - we appreciate you.

     

    - Audry Patrick

  • Quyana to Debbie Quiroz at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Mrs. Quiroz is amazing! My son started school off on the right foot thanks to her loving demeanor. I am able to frequently see her on zoom with her class this year, and the fact that she can keep a group of kindergartners entertained and engaged is a testament to her teaching ability. Ravenwood is so lucky to have her!!!

     

    -Meghan Foster, Parent

  • Quyana to Enrico Tutaan at Dimond Migrant Ed

     

    Quyana to Enrico for taking care of our equipment needs at such a short notice.  My son's personal computer was not working and Enrico got us up and running with everything my son needed to be successful for getting online and being able to participate in his classes!!!

     

    - Melissa Chisham, Peer

  • Quyana to Heather Mildon at Chugiak Elementary 

     

    Thank you for your positive, empathetic and educational leadership.  Ms. Mildon has provided professional development to improve her staff, yet at the same time she has been understanding to everyone's thoughts and feelings during Covid.  She works tirelessly, yet makes herself available to her staff and families and makes sure that our voices are heard.

     

    - Beth A Senchantixay, Peer

  • Quyana to Erica Arnold at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Mrs. Arnold is a true asset to Ravenwood Elementary.  She shows up every school day (several times a day)  on zoom with a bright smile and a positive attitude.  She is an inspiration to her students.  She is always willing to connect with parents no matter what time of day & no matter the issue.  She listens with an open heart AND teaches her heart out!!  Way to go Mrs. Arnold!  We love you!

     

    - Teresa Dearborn, Peer

  • Quyana to Alison Hamilton at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Mrs. Hamilton has managed to connect with my children through online video conferencing. I?m amazed at how she has managed to know my children and inspire them to do their work and be present all through zoom! I am also ever appreciative of her understanding and kindness when my 1st graders are simply tapped out on zooming and need a break. Because of her approach to this crazy school year, my children are staying engaged and motivated to learn. Thank you for everything you do, Mrs. Hamilton!

     

    -Genevieve Maurits, Parent

  • Quyana to Laura Guest at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Mrs. Guest goes above and beyond to help her students find books that are at the right reading level for them, or in their interest areas to make them want to become avid readers.  Thank you for taking time to reach each individual child's needs, especially, since it is more difficult to do this remotely!

     

    - Nicole, Parent

  • Quyana to Mrs. Lanehart, Mrs. Quiroz, Ms. Sam, Mrs. Figueroa, and Ms. Jaidyn at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    The entire Kindergarten team is knocking it out of the park.  Mrs. Lanehart, Mrs. Quiroz, Ms. Sam, Mrs. Figueroa, and Ms. Jaidyn have managed to make online learning a breeze.  They send home organized daily folders to make it easy enough for our kindergarteners to find all the tools they need on their own each day.  I am sure this takes extra prep time that they may not even be getting paid for, but it is life saving! Thank you!


    They are able to work seamlessly together, so that while one teacher is teaching the other teachers are able to search the video feeds to give children extra encouragement or praise as needed, or to be able to set up the next lesson, so the children don't have to wait while they troubleshoot any technological issues, or take a group of kids to a breakout room if needed.  They find interesting and entertaining ways to engage children at this young age to reach them remotely.  They are able to provide breaks in the day so the children can manage the digital time load, but also complete the necessary work.  This is not an easy balance to find, I am sure.


    They are using so many tools to make a difficult situation feel fun and manageable for 5 year olds.  They take time to engage with each child individually every day.  Be it in real time or over seesaw.  Every assignment on seesaw or on paper gets recognition from her teacher and she loves hearing Mrs. Lanehart's voice comments over seesaw, trying to read her positive comments on returned paper projects, or glowing with excitement from the encouraging stickers. She is so proud to be able to share her work, and to feel her teachers love and praise. 
    They are able to balance art projects with worksheets so that the learning feels like fun, and not just all work. They are able to stay calm and positive and encouraging no matter what the day throws at them.  Getting the privilege of watching them in action is a rare treat.  It is a real testament to how stellar these teachers are that they are able to take online learning to this age group so successfully.  Thank you for all the extra effort and time you have put in to create a brand new platform to teach your students in.  You are all amazing, and you are shining so brightly!

     

    - Nicole, Parent

     


    Mrs. Quiroz thank you for all you are doing this year to make my sons kindergarten experience a fun one. This is not how I pictured my last little one starting school but you are a positive light in all of this craziness!  Eli will say throughout the day ?mom I learned this from Mrs. Quiroz or mom look at this song Mrs. Quiroz taught me?. Your kindness and love have touched my family and we are so thankful for you. We are looking forward to singing and learning with you in person!

     

    - Susanne Balmer, Parent

  • Quyana to Adam Reid at ASD Virtual

     

    Adam Reid was a great support for my son as he navigated through virtual school this last quarter.  He communicated and pushed my son through his class with encouragement and support.

     

    - Elizabeth McGee, Parent

  • Quyana to Brian Gornick at Bartlett High School

     

    Mr. Gornick has been an extremely helpful and supportive teacher to my son as we navigated through virtual this last quarter.  His response to my son's emails were quick and he gave him hope that he could finish course.

     

    - Elizabeth McGee, Parent

  • Quyana to Erica Arnold at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Mrs. Arnold is amazing!  Her enthusiasm for learning is contagious. You can?t help but love her. Her excitement for her students shines through every day. We are grateful that my son has her this year as his teacher. With all that has been happening this year Mrs. Arnold continues to keep the students engaged. They know she cares about them and their learning. Thank you for all you do for the students at Ravenwood!

     

    - Susanne Balmer, Parent


     

    Thank you for being an amazing teacher.  You are able to bring a smile and a laugh to my child every day despite being only able to reach him remotely at the moment.  We sincerely appreciate all the extra effort and time you take to make it possible to reach your students in this new environment.  Please know all the extra work you are doing is not going unnoticed.

    You are a shining star. Your enthusiasm and positive cheer reaches your students no matter how physically far you are from them, it is a blessing for everyone who is lucky enough to share in your joy. 

     

    - Nicole, Parent


    Mrs. Arnold has been my child?s wishlist teacher for the last few years and when she found out she got in her class during the first ever online learning year, it didn?t dampen her spirits. She was very excited and has been rewarded with Mrs. Arnold?s enthusiasm, inspiration and leadership every day. A silver lining to this year has been my 4th graders newly cultivated independence with class assignments. I attribute this self managing skill to Mrs. Arnold?s presence in the virtual classroom. She sets a tone that brings out confidence in her students? ability to be the best students they can be. My daughter and I will be ever grateful for her amazing educational energy, virtually and in-person.

     

    - Genevieve Maurits, Parent

  • Quyana to Caitlin Ivary at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Mrs. Ivary is an incredible teacher. Her kindness and loving nature shine through to her students even through zoom!  This new kind of learning hasn't been easy but we are grateful that we are going through it with Mrs. Ivary. We can't wait until we can see her smiling face in person. Until then we will take her wonderful face on the screen!

     

    - Susanne Balmer, Parent

  • Quyana to Diane Vanagel at Homestead Elementary

     

    Mrs. Vanagel is a wonderful teacher! She is a compassionate teacher who keeps the children engaged and excited about learning.  Ned Vanagel maintains control over the class in a fun and respectful manner, and I feel incredibly lucky to have had her for both of my boys for first grade. They learned a lot and loved her as a teacher.

     

    - Tanya Barnett, Parent

  • Quyana to Teresa Dearborn at Nunaka Valley Elementary

     

    She is a chronic source of light and positivity!!! She is always a ray of sunshine and the school is incredibly lucky to have her serving the community!!!

     

    - Meghan Foster, Parent

  • Quyana to Brenda Evans at Eagle River High School

     

    She is such a positive influence on all of the kids!!! Her chronic positivity is contagious and the school is lucky to have her!!!

     

    - Meghan Foster, Parent

  • Quyanan to Caela Nielsen at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    She is the glue of Ravenwood! She provides numerous activities for the kids inside and outside of the school. She is a crowd favorite among the students and the parents.

     

    - Meghan Foster, Parent

  • Quyana to Debbie Weiss at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    She is the face of the school! She has chronic positivity and is such a bright light at all times for the students, faculty and staff!

     

    - Meghan Foster, Parent

  • Quyana to Jennifer Waisanen at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    She ignited an academic flame in both of my kids! We love her enthusiasm for teaching and her ability to bring the best out in her students. We miss her greatly!!!

     

    - Meghan Foster, Parent

  • Quyana to Kyle Contreras at Alaska State School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

     

    Through conversation with ACT staff, I was able to discover a desire for communication amongst each other and students who may be deaf or hard of hearing. I reached out to the the Alaska State School of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AKSD) and Kyle Contreras stepped up to the challenge of teaching adult learners.


    His immersion model of instruction engaged staff! When scrolling through staff videos you could see each of them mirroring the signs to process their learning.

     

    - Shawn Bernard, Peer

  • Quyana to Michael Kage at Ptarmigan Elementary

     

    I would like to recognize Mr. Kage for all the hard work he does as a Special Education Department Chair for five elementary schools.  His ability to balance the needs of all these schools is truly amazing.  He holds numerous meetings each week to inform the staff at each building.  At Ptarmigan, we have several new Teaching Assistants and he has reached out to them to begin finding out what training they may need and has either conducted that training or coordinated the Professional Development with various district resources.  Also at Ptarmigan we have a two new Structured Learning Center teachers. He has also providing Professional Development for them to prepare them for their new positions.  In just over a year, Mr. Kage has brought our school into compliance with all the needed meetings and paperwork.  He sets the example for others to follow and Ptarmigan is a better place because of the dedication Mr. Kage has to his job.

     

    - Kelly Ramey, Peer

  • Quyana to Title VI Indian Education at ASD Ed Center

     

    ASD Elementary Libraries received nine new books for their collection from Title VI. ASD students now have engaging new books to read about Alaskan animals and life in the Arctic, written and published by people who live in the Arctic. Thank you!

     

    - Lisa Sam, Library Services Supervisor

  • Quyana to Diane Johannes at Homestead Elementary

     

    Mrs. Johannes is an amazing teacher. She is truly gifted in teaching - keeping the kids engaged in learning and on track. She is a memorable and loved teacher who is incredibly talented and kind.

     

    -Tanya Barnett, Parent

  • Quyana to Melissa van Haastert at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Ms. van Haastert goes above and beyond as a teacher! She is fair, caring, and professional. She is committed to teaching our children to be kind and knowledgeable people. She has been my son's teacher for two years in a row. His excitement at finding out she was his teacher this year tells me she is amazing. Thank you, Ms. van Haastert, for making this year as wonderful as can be for our kids!

     

    -Danielle Wolak, Parent

  • Quyana to Mrs. Tippey at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    She's taken on a different role due to these unfortunate Covid times. She's been such an amazing support for the 3rd graders! We appreciate the new role you've taken on and we LOVE seeing your smiling face at packet pick up Thursdays. Thank you!

     

    -Merlyn Savikko, Parent

  • Quyana to Erin Colgrove at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Thank you Mrs. Colgrove!
    My child looks forward to school because of you! You?re fun and kind. You?re always willing to take extra time out of your day to make sure my child is understanding her schoolwork. Thank you for being an amazing person and teacher. Your hard work doesn?t go unnoticed!

     

    - Merlyn Savikko, Parent

  • Quyana to Debbie Quiroz at Ravenwood Elementary

     

    Thank you to Mrs. Quiroz!
    She is working so hard to make distance learning engaging and fun on and off screen. She is understanding and kind with her students. Her hard work and dedication to teaching doesn?t go unnoticed. We appreciate her!

     

    - Merlyn Savikko, Parent

  • Quyana to Vicki Jefts at Special Education Records

     

    I work in a neighboring school district and last month had an immediate need for records for a transferring student.  Vickie was instrumental in getting me the records right away.  I very much appreciated her professionalism and great customer service!

     

    - Diane Lemon, MatSu District

  • Quyana to Suzie Spackman at Chugiak Elementary

     

    Suzie is our extraordinary Music teacher, normally.  But without hesitation, she has stepped into the role of a generalist.  She is flexible, dependable and has a positive attitude.  She offers a "study hall/tech hour" to help with kids who are  struggling to keep up.  Her support is very much appreciated.

     

    - Beth Senchantixay, Peer

  • Quyana to Jen Cryder at Chugiak Elementary

     

    Jen is an amazingly patient and dedicated TA.  She works in small groups on zoom to help some of our most challenged students have success.  She is always present, patient and flexible.   Thanks Ms. Cryder, you are making a huge difference in their lives.

     

    - Beth Senchantixay, Peer

  • Quyana to Joy Chastagner, Sandra Medina, Megan Schmidt at ASD Human Resources/Benefits

     

    The staff in the benefits department have been kind, patient, and professional throughout the school closure in supporting staff as they navigate the challenges of work and parenting. They are a fantastic team and have helped make a challenging time of balancing work and home commitments much less stressful. Thank you for everything you do!

     

    - Kristine Stout, Peer

  • Quyana to Luke Geisler at Information Technology

     

    My TA's submitted help tickets in the first week of September, and followed up with multiple phone calls. On September 23rd, Luke answered the phone and was able to remotely help both TA's re-image their computers. Thank you!

     

    - Sarah Winters, Peer

  • Quyana to Chris Eisert at South Anchorage High School

     

    Mr. Eisert has been wonderful during online learning!  It's truly amazing that he can show up every morning and greet his high school students with a smile, a joke, or even a song.  He keeps my 16 year old son giggling at 8:00 am from the kitchen table with his humor.  What a gift you are to our family, Mr. Eisert!  You are a ROCKSTAR in our book!  Thank you for your hard work and heart for kids!

     

    - Katrina Rhodes, Peer

  • Quyana to Sonya, Donte, and Andrew at the Office of Equity and Compliance

     

    While doing my annual trainings, I noted a discrepancy in a preferred national term vs what was used in the training. It didn't even take 5 minutes to start a dialogue towards amending the error, and the team was very kind and understanding. I am so proud to work for a school district that is able to respond so warmly and effectively to errors that are often very sensitive in nature. Coming from a workplace that was less responsive to this sort of thing, entering into a dialogue that resulted in change was very refreshing. Thank you again.

     

    -Elisabeth Bomhof, Peer

  • Quyana to Margaret Obermeyer at Occupational Therapy/Related Services

     

    Margaret is one of the best OTs that I know! She has tirelessly worked for ASD both during the school year and ESY since she became an OT, and is an amazing resource. Her kind patience and understanding sets parents and staff at ease, and her ability to advocate for her students means that they get the best services possible. She is a true asset to the district, and helpful interdisciplinary resource when I have questions about policy or procedures.

     

    -Elisabeth Bomhof, Peer

  • Quyana to Bright Nygard at Bowman Elementary

     

    When I started this job to this day she is always willing and able to help me in anyway possible.  And has the ability to share directions in a very understandable way.  She is a true asset to ASD!

     

    - Doreen Joyner, Peer

  • Quyana to Celeste Erikson at Rabbit Creek Elementary

     

    Celeste is our Art Teacher and has spent the last two weeks collaborating with the 6th grade team.  She has looked over our Science and Social Studies lessons and created dynamic Art lessons to go with our lessons that will be posted on our classroom Canvas page.  I appreciate Celeste's willingness to dive in and support our kids with fun and exciting projects that are perfect extensions of our curriculum!  Thank you for the support and partnership, Celeste!  Our students are lucky to have you!

     

    - Katrina Rhodes, Peer

  • Quyana to Gavin Northey at ASD Student Nutrition

     

    Gavin works overtime to fix forms and programs to make the manager's life easier. He goes above the call of duty to help us all.

     

    - Laura Homan, Peer

  • Quyana to Tiffiny Hatcher and Kimberly Hughes at Scenic Park Elementary

     

    Huge shout out and Quyana to the front office power team of Tiffiny and Kim! These two amazing women are dedicated problem solvers, gracious in their work with others and somehow keep a sense of humor through it all. Thank you for all your hard work, laughter, and for helping us thrive at Scenic Park! You are appreciated!

     

    - Lori Rucksdashel, Principal

  • Quyana to Calvin Harris at ASD Information Technology

     

    Calvin has gone above and beyond to assist the Communications Department in answering questions and helping parents navigate the first week of school with regards to technology. Amazing!

     

    - Robert DeBerry, ASD Communications

  • Quyana to Todd Sullivan at ASD Information Technology

     

    Todd is such a great help at IT.  He is always positive and patient!  He is knowledgable  and willing to work through multiple issues.  It is nice to hear such an encouraging voice in these times.

     

    - Dorissa Martin, Peer

  • Quyana to Jerry Finkler at Frontier Charter School

     

    Jerry, our Principal, is a great help to the Frontier staff.  He rolls up his sleeves and helps any staff member at any time, no matter what the job is. He wears many hats.  He does teacher work,  janitorial work, maintenance man, customer service rep, and the last few days he has been answering the main telephone.  There is nothing he won?t help us on and he still keeps smiling.  He wants to make sure Frontier runs as smoothly as possible and from me, as well as other staff, from being too overloaded!  There are not many Principals like Jerry!

    Thank you, Jerry, for being such great help to all of us!

     

    -Margie Mitchell, Peer

  • Quyana to the staff at Fire Lake Elementary

     

    A huge Quyana to the staff at Fire Lake Elementary as they helped make my transition to this team smooth. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and encouragement!

     

    - Susan Best, Peer

  • Quyana to Jack Johnson, Dave Frankford, and Joe Barron at ASD Information Technology

     

    Jack, Dave, and Joe supported the special education department in facilitating webinar format trainings to support both our classified and certified staff members. They were swift with their responses and addressing our needs.

    Thanks for all that you do to support our staff and our students.

     

    - Shawn Bernard, Peer

  • Quyana to Cynthia Hawkins at PAIDEIA Cooperative School

     

    I've read stories and heard from parents whose children were not at PAIDEIA, as well as those who were; and I just have to stop and pour out our gratitude to Cynthia. The contrast is night and day. Cynthia provided an AMAZING Zoom program 3 times daily that kept our kids engaged in a HIGH level of Academics across subjects and always in attendance. Her dedication and interest in each of our kids is extremely visible in the support she provides our children. Many of us don't always have the chance to just drop by the class room, but with the Zoom meetings, due to Covid-19, we were able to see her in action!
    THANK YOU!!!

     

    -Jalam Plunkett, Parent

  • Quyana to Michael Ireland at ASD Education Center

     

    Mike is extremely helpful and easy to work with. He responds quickly and is always willing to help solve issues related to our security camera's. We appreciate you !!!

     

    - Rick Stone, Peer

  • Quyana to Amy Larsen at ASD iSchool

     

    I have tried to show my appreciation for Amy Larsen and her team at iSchool any chance I get. As a teacher myself at iSchool, the interactions with families and the support needed can be different than at a traditional brick-and-mortar. Every time I have needed help with a student matter, technical issue, or general question, someone at ASD iSchool is so quick to respond, help, or give clarification and feedback to resolve whatever the issue is. I try to handle most issues myself, but sometimes I need their support, and I never have to wait long for it. I can only imagine how many emails, phone calls, and texts they must have to send in a day to keep iSchool running, and it does not go unnoticed by me. I am so thankful for Amy and her team, and I look forward to many more years being able to work with them.

     

    - Jason Collins, peer

  • Quyana to Tanya Tyson at Birchwood ABC

     

    Thank you Ms. Tyson for providing such a seamless transition to online learning with a clear learning plan, when it became necessary last March. Our family appreciates you!

     

    - Anne Clark, Parent

  • Quyana to Karen Rakos at Campbell STEM Elementary!

     

    I would like to thank Ms. Rakos for making my sons first semester at Campbell Stem an awesome experience.  He adjusted well into his new classroom, made new friends, and always came home eager and excited to have learned something new everyday.

     

    - Gwendolyn Francis, Parent

  • Quyana to Hamimah Bjorkman at Abbott Loop Elementary

     

    I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank Mrs. Bjorkman for taking the time for her students, to identify their needs and support them in the best way possible. My family is very grateful for her generous spirit and commitment.

     

    - James Miller, Parent

  • Quyana to Thelma Guerrero, Rob Snelson, Dallas Price and Leslie Dodd at Bayshore Elementary

     

    A note of appreciation to Thelma Guerrero, Rob Snelson, Dallas Price, Leslie Dodd, and to the entire team of incredible staff at Bayshore Elementary- You Eagles soar above and beyond each day making working at Bayshore a rewarding experience! Many thank-yous from the bottom of my heart!

     

    - Heidi Packer, Peer