ASD to honor Denali Award recipients for spring 2015


May 18, 2015



Contact: Heidi Embley
ASD Communications Department
Phone: 907-742-4158


Two ASD employees and one team of colleagues were selected by a panel of judges as recipients of the Denali Award, a biannual recognition program that honors employees who have shown outstanding achievement, service and dedication in ensuring every student has the opportunity to achieve his or her potential. The Anchorage School Board will recognize the winners at its meeting tonight.


The spring 2015 winners are:


  • Leroy Jones, physical education teacher, Willow Crest Elementary School

‌Twenty-year ASD veteran Leroy Jones leads by example and always gives 110 percent to his students, colleagues and school community. As the PE teacher, he interacts with students in every grade level. According to his principal, he makes a difference each day just by walking through the doors. He commands respect through the relationships he has formed with students. He stays late every day waiting for parents to pick up students from after-school sports and he uses every moment to teach a lesson, whether it’s a math concept or a life skill. Jones uses personal and realistic situations to demonstrate how the choices that we make can affect our future and talks to students regularly about the importance of respecting their teachers and parents.


  • Chemene Breiner, secretary, West High School

Chemene Breiner makes a difference in the lives of students, staff, parents and community members by exuding the utmost professionalism, with genuine care and concern for all. She provides prompt and courteous service to others with a smile; even when a pleasant demeanor is not reciprocated. In addition to her role as front office secretary, Breiner also enthusiastically spearheads the sales of spirit gear. Proceeds from spirit gear sales have generated more than $14,000 for West in just three years. A female student said, “The absolute best quality about Mrs. Breiner is by far how positive and empathetic she is. Students in high school find it hard to open up to an older role model who will be there for them and can be someone they trust. Mrs. Breiner is definitely my role model.”


  • Katherine Clawson and Allison Susel, district test coordinators, Assessment and Evaluation

‌As district test coordinators, Katherine Clawson and Allison Susel work with principals, building test coordinators, teachers and community groups in the administration of standardized tests with the focus of providing safe and effective testing environments. These tests include Alternate Assessment, ACCESS, HSGQE, WorkKeys, Standards Based Assessment (SBA) and SBA Science and Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP). Their efforts benefit just about every student in ASD.


Professional colleagues consistently rave about their dedication to our schools and advocacy of school staff. “The relationship they have established with EED on behalf of ASD is based on honesty, integrity and trust,” said Elizabeth Davis, testing administrator for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.


A major shift in the way testing is conducted and delivered in Alaska greatly impacted their job. Katherine and Allison have demonstrated their forward-thinking and leadership skills during this transition period. Successful implementation was crucial to ASD and they handled it with purpose, efficiency and effectiveness.


Read more about the winners’ work and contributions to students in the school board memorandum at     


Supervisors have the opportunity to nominate employees each fall and spring. Nominations often include letters of support from co-workers, members of the community and students detailing why the employees are considered outstanding in their field of work. The awards are judged by a group of their peers.


ASD applauds these employees, and all nominees, for their amazing service to our students and this community.



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