Local News

Sitka shops for teachers at Seattle fair

Blatchley Middle School Principal Ben White staffs the Sitka booth at the Seattle teaching fair. (KCAW photo/Ed Ronco)

Blatchley Middle School Principal Ben White staffs the Sitka booth at the Seattle teaching fair. (KCAW photo/Ed Ronco)

The Sitka School District went looking for teachers over the weekend. Three administrators from Sitka traveled to the Seattle area to attend job fairs full of applicants hoping to teach in Alaska. Casey Demmert is principal of Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. He says there are 14 positions open in Sitka schools, including four at Keet, which serves grades 2 through 5.

“We’re at a point now in Sitka where we are really starting to have turnover with some of our more seasoned veteran teachers. Being able to bring in young teachers who can still get some mentoring and learn from some of those older teachers is important, too.”

Demmert, along with Blatchley Principal Ben White, and special education Director Mandy Evans, attended two different job fairs. The first was a large event in Tacoma open to districts across the Northwest, and the second was a smaller event only for Alaska districts.

That second event was put on by Alaska Teacher Placement, which is a program run by the University of Alaska system. It acts as a gateway for applicants hoping to work in the state. Toni McFadden is manages the teacher placement program. She says districts DO look inside Alaska for people to teach Alaskan children…

“…The problem is, we have a greater need for teachers than what our state is producing. We have a need for teachers to go to our rural communities. We might have teachers very willing to stay in Fairbanks if they went to UAF, or to stay in Anchorage if they went to UAA, finding people willing and excited to go to our rural communities is really more of a challenge.”

Sitka was among 17 Alaska school districts participating in Saturday’s job fair. The state as a whole has about 55 school districts, employing more than 8,100 teachers. Information on teaching jobs in Alaska is available at Alaska Teacher Dot Org.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Raven Radio is a whale of a station!

If you love herring(!) community radio every day, please click here to support local voices and local stories from your community station! Thanks to Richard Nelson of Encountersnorth.org for the photo!

Miyasato says ‘experience matters’ in Sitka’s budget crisis

Ben Miyasato left Sitka two weeks after high school "to see how far my wings would carry me." He's since lived in Anchorage and Nome, and spent 20 years in the Army National Guard. He's home now -- and "I walk everywhere." (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
Ben Miyasato is wrapping up three years on the assembly -- while also serving on the Sitka Tribal Council. But if he’s elected mayor, he'll step down from the Tribe to focus on broad er issues in the community. more