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Denali Montessori Staff, Following ASD Safety Measures

The Denali Montessori Staff followed ASD drill protocols for Active Intruder and Stay Put with precision and focus.  They are responsible for maintaining the safety of our children throughout the incident of a shooting in the school parking lot on October 3, 2018.

The Anchorage Police Department responded in 90 seconds. SROs, officers from the Patrol and Traffic Divisions, and officers coming off shift arrived in the parking lot to assist. Their quick response contained the altercation and helped keep Denali Montessori School safe. Their peaceful interaction with children and families as students were dismissed at the end of the day helped reassure parents, students, and staff.

School Resource Officer Ben Yoon’s efficient monitoring of the cameras and the event helped everyone know very quickly that the incident was confined to the outside. Officer Yoon remained at the school throughout the day helping to debrief with the staff after school.

The ASD Crisis Team of school psychologists were at Denali Montessori within a half hour and went into classrooms helping teachers and students.  They were invaluable in helping ease the tension and anxiety for students. 

Anchorage School District Security Department helped as a liaison between APD and the school. They assisted parent entry from the playground and the front office with increased traffic. Mr. Stephen Brown followed up the following week to help debrief the school’s systems to improve practice.

Mr. Eddie, BPO, and ASD Maintenance & Operations Department worked tirelessly to get the school clean and in order for students, staff, and family.

It takes all of us together to protect our ASD family. Thank you for all of your hard work, dedication, and bravery. You make ASD great!


Denali Montessori Staff

Ruth Dene, Principal


Alcira Espininoza-Vargas,

Kindergarten TA

Melissa Naszkiewics, (Nas-kee-a-veech) School Psychologist

Alicia Woods, AA

Helen O’Harra, teacher in Charge

Felicia Woods, School Secretary

Jennifer Hazen, PTSA president

Ed Pershing (Mr. Eddie), BPO

Anchorage Police Department

Chief Doll

Deputy Chief, Commanders, SRO Ben Yoon, and officers in attendance


Crisis Team


Security Department

Ashley Lally

Stephen Brown


Maintenance & Operations Dept

Kelly Kass

Rob Holland