May 16, 2019: District Proposal to KPEA and KPESA

KPBSD_2017-2022_StrategicPlan_SealKenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) for three years: 2018-2019; 2019-2020; 2020-2021

This proposal is based on the Arbitrator’s recommendations, with applicability to everyone who is employed on the date of ratification. The May 16, 2019, proposal includes an additional modification beyond the Arbitrator’s Report recommendations.
Terms and conditions: the current negotiated agreement, items already TA’d in bargaining, and these changes:

What is the length of the contract?
Three years: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2021

 

What are the changes to the Health Care plan?
High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Traditional Plan (TP)

  • A revised health insurance Article 27 for KPESA that sets forth the 70%/30% split over the cap, as recommended by the Advisory Arbitrator.
    The District portion of the current 50%/50% split above the cap increases by 20% to 70%. The employee 50% portion decreases to 30%, which is a 20% decrease to the employee.
  • 2018-2019 Traditional Plan retroactive overpayment refund of $920:
    For FY19, KPESA employees on the TP as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70%/30% split in the amount of $920. FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • 2018-2019 HDHP retroactive overpayment refund of $600:
    For FY19, KPESA employees on the HDHP as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70%/30% split in the amount of $600. The FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • District contribution to the healthcare cap increases by $50 per month
    This proposal is more favorable to KPESA employees than the Arbitrator’s Recommendation. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the district will increase its portion of the monthly cap by $50 for each plan. Therefore, the District’s contribution for the TP shall increase to $1781.45/month, and the District’s contribution to the HDHP will increase to $1695.61/month.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.

What are the changes to wages and working conditions?

Retroactive salary payments for 2018-2019 will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.

  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of:
    • .5 % in 2018-2019
    • 1 % in 2019-2020
    • 2 % in 2020-2021
  • If you are a KPESA employee eligible to receive an annual step increase which averages 4.98%, the district’s offer reflects an 18.44% average salary increase over the three-year duration.
  • KPESA employees not receiving a step increase will receive an additional .5 % in 2018-2019; 1 % in 2019-2020; and 2 % in 2020-2021, off the base salary in that year’s Column H.
  • Swing Shift and Graveyard Shift hourly pay increase
    A new shift differential for KPESA, for Article 17, Section A in the amounts of 40 cents per hour for swing shift and 60 cents per hour for graveyard shift.
  • KPESA support employees would now be eligible to receive extra curricular stipends.

KPESA rejected this proposal to settle the contract on May 16, 2019.

This proposal expires May 31, 2019.

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KPBSD_2017-2022_StrategicPlan_SealKenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) for three years: 2018-2019; 2019-2020; 2020-2021

This proposal is based on the Arbitrator’s recommendations, with applicability to everyone who is employed on the date of ratification. The May 16, 2019, proposal includes an additional modification beyond the Arbitrator’s Report recommendations. Terms and conditions: the current negotiated agreement, items already TA’d in bargaining, and these changes:

What is the length of the contract?
Three years: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2021

 

What are the changes to the Health Care plan?
High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Traditional Plan (TP)

  • District contribution to the healthcare cap increases by $50 per month
    This proposal is more favorable to KPEA employees than the Arbitrator’s Recommendation. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the district will increase its portion of the monthly cap by $50 for each plan. Therefore, the District’s contribution for the TP shall increase to $1781.45/month, and the District’s contribution to the HDHP will increase to $1695.61/month.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.

What are the changes to wages and working conditions?
Retroactive salary payments for 2018-2019 will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.

  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of:
    • .5 % in 2018-2019
    • 1 % in 2019-2020
    • 2 % in 2020-2021
  • If you are a KPEA employee eligible to receive an annual step increase which averages 2.67%, the district’s offer reflects an 11.51% average salary increase over the three-year duration.
  • KPEA employees not receiving a step increase at C+90/M-T will receive an additional .5 % in 2018-2019; 1 % in 2019-2020; and 2 % in 2020-2021, off the base salary at C+90/M-T.

KPEA rejected this proposal to settle the contract on May 16, 2019.

This proposal expires May 31, 2019.

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Links

Collective Bargaining Update: May 16, 2019

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Collective Bargaining Update: May 16, 2019

Soldotna, May 16, 2019—The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) met with the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) for collective bargaining on May 16, 2019.

The District did not accept the KPEA and KPESA May 13, 2019, last best offer, and proposed separate counter offers to each Association.

Each Association rejected the District’s May 16, 2019, counter offer.

No further bargaining has been scheduled.

Following bargaining this morning, the Associations distributed a quote to members and on social media attributed to the District’s bargaining team spokesperson. This is the accurate context of the quote, “…put up or shut up…” transcribed from the May 16, 2019, recording during bargaining.

Listen to the May 16, 2019 audio clip from collective bargaining:

“We have listened to Mr. Fischer and others talk about how the broker has been overly, well I don’t want to say excessive, in its recommendations to or analysis as to what the costs are going to be in the next school year. We think the broker has accurately, to the best of the information available to it, considered all of the factors that go in to a health care program. We believe that the request by the association that somehow, the district should accept your proposals and not have a cap, is not accurate.

We do not believe that what you’ve told us, that in your opinion the costs are going to go down next year to such an extent that even though the district may be giving up its cap, it’s not going to be impacted by that. We don’t believe that. We don’t agree with that.

But we do know, that if you agree with that, then your health care committee on the HDHP has the ability to set your members rates at whatever it wants. If you think the $367 rate that the hundred percent migration comes out to per month for the high deductible plan comes out to, and will not be what it’s going to be shown when it comes to June 30, 2020, or whenever, March of next year, set it at $200. Have every one of your members pay $200 per month. Have your health care committee going crazy for the first nine months of next year to see how it can reduce the cost. But if you believe the broker is not right, then put up and shut up or shut up on that. Do what you want the district to do. You want us to pay the higher cost if the broker is accurate–but why don’t you pay the lower cost while you think the broker is wrong, and you’ve solved the problem of your memberships costs next year.

So based upon our analysis, our review, we have a proposal for you. For each of the Associations. We have told you that we will not remove a cap, and we’re not removing a cap. We’ve told you that we respect KPESA’s determination that it wants to stick with KPEA, but our proposals remain separate.”

Links

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KPBSD Inspiration, Annaleah Karron, Seward High School #ClassOf2003

KPBSD Inspiration, Annaleah Karron, Seward High School, Class of 2003

Annaleah Karron

Annaleah Karron teaches 7th to 12th grade social studies at River City Academy, a KPBSD performance based school in Soldotna, Alaska, and in her spare time runs a fun, small business teaching Paint & Sip art classes in the community called “Easy As D.I.Y – Custom Paint Events.”

She grew up in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, attending K-Beach Elementary, Nikiski Elementary, Sears Elementary, Seward Elementary, Seward Middle School, and graduated from Seward High School in 2003. She followed the footprints of her mother and grandmother to become an educator, after earning her degree at the University of Northern Colorado in Secondary Education and History.

Annaleah says, “My grandmother and mom were both amazing educators. My grandmother was a single mom who put herself through college and taught special education at a time when behavior modification and positive encouragement were ‘new’ ideas in behavior classrooms. She had amazing stories about the kids she worked with, the college classes she was able to teach as a professor at the University of Montana School of Education, all of which had a huge impact on my desire to become a teacher. I used to sit in my mom’s classroom and put fake grades in a blank grade book! As a teacher’s kid I spent countless hours at school, on sports trips with the teams my mom was coaching, or watching her grade papers or prep projects at the dining room table. My oldest daughter already has that teacher mindset … if you spend enough time in that environment it cannot help but shape and mold you.”

Work life as a teacher!

“If you have not had the opportunity to visit River City Academy (RCA) where I teach, I highly encourage everyone to visit and step inside our building. Just walking through the front door has an inviting feel and a climate that is different from any other school in our district. My favorite part of the day is when my Learning Team greets me every morning—they literally race down the hallway as I come into the building to be the first ones into my classroom. With a school of only 85 students in 7th-12th grade, I know every kid I teach, but my Learning Team is my mentorship group. We sit and set goals, talk about their interests, problem solve struggles, and I get to know each kid on a personal level. One student told me this week that I was the ‘mom’ of the school, and I truly feel like each kid at my school is my own! We celebrate each success (high fives and silly pictures!) and dig deep to overcome some really challenging hurdles (often with tears and a cup of tea on my big comfy sofa).”

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I believe…

“As we see unprecedented changes in education, I feel my role is to continue to support all our kids and all schools. It is important to be a stable, constant in this otherwise chaotic culture. Our students rely on their schools and teachers to equip them for an unknown future. We must teach kids critical thinking and problem solving. Allow them opportunities for community involvement and advocacy for the things that are important to them and provide them meaningful feedback to practice revision and improvement. I am excited that River City Academy has become a Summit Partner School and we are specifically teaching skills that are transferrable to any path our students choose to take. This summer I accepted the opportunity to be a Summit Fellow! I will travel to Chicago and Spokane to help facilitate training for new teachers on the performance based, standards based model. This is something I would have never dreamed of had KPBSD not provided me with opportunities to share my voice and passion for personalized learning and innovative practices. I am excited to see the new opportunities that sharing my voice with other teachers and our community will spark.”

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Guidance to teens

“Be confident in who you are, what you believe and what you are capable of! I was one of those kids who worked hard, got good grades, participated in all the activities but still struggled to find my voice among the crowd. I had dozens of successful, talented adults encouraging me, but I continued to struggle to ‘fit in’ with my peers. I am so thankful for the community of Seward and the many, many opportunities I was given (summer jobs, internships, exchange programs, etc.) and the incredible educators who showed never failing faith in the adult I would become. It was not until I got to college that I found a mishmash group of likeminded individuals who helped me build the best version of myself. I now know how important it is to share the positives, support the successes, and I strive to do that in my role as a teacher. I encourage all my students to find the best opportunity and what works for you! Especially in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District where our teachers, schools, and administrators are supporting personalized learning—if you do not have what you need or have an idea that can help you be successful, use your voice and advocate for yourself!”

 

Connect with Annaleah at her “Easy As D.I.Y – Custom Paint Events”

Facebook: facebook.com/easyasdiypaintandsip
Instagram: @easyasdiy_ak
Online: www.squareup.com/store/easyasdiy

Facebook: River City Academy School

Do you have a story tip about a KPBSD graduate to profile in our Wednesday Inspiration? Kindly email Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD communications liaison, Pegge@KPBSD.org.

 

Collective Bargaining Update: May 13, 2019

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Collective Bargaining Update: May 13, 2019

Soldotna, May 13, 2019—Proposals were exchanged between The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD), and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) during collective bargaining on May 13, 2019. The Associations rejected the District proposals.

Collective Bargaining will continue on Thursday, May 16, 2019, beginning at 9:00 AM.

Link

School district Collective Bargaining webpage, includes Advisory Arbitration April 2019 report to KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA documents, and most recent proposals.

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Collective Bargaining: May 8, 2019 KPBSD proposals to KPESA and KPEA

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Soldotna, May 8, 2019—The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposals to Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA)

KPBSD proposal to KPESA*
Attached is the District proposal to KPESA that accepts the recommendations in the Arbitrator’s report.
The proposal was rejected by KPESA at bargaining on May 8, 2019.

KPBSD proposal to KPEA**
Attached is the District proposal to KPEA that accepts the recommendations in the Arbitrator’s report.
The proposal was rejected by KPEA at bargaining on May 8, 2019.

Link
School district Collective Bargaining webpage, includes Advisory Arbitration April 2019 report to KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA documents.

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*KPBSD proposal to KPESA

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to
Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA)
to settle the FY19, FY20, FY21 bargaining

The current agreement continues for FY 19-21 except for all previous TAs that modify existing language.  The Advisory Arbitrator’s Report is accepted as follows, with applicability to those employed on the date of ratification.

  • A change to the duration for July 1, 2018-June 30, 2021.
  • A new shift differential for KPESA, for Article 17, Section A in the amounts of 40 cents per hour for split shift and 60 cents per hour for graveyard shift.
  • A revised health insurance Article 27 for KPESA that sets forth the 70/30 split over the cap, as recommended by the Advisory Arbitrator.
  • For FY19, KPESA employees on the traditional plan as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70/30 in the amount of $920. FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • For FY19, KPESA employees on the high deductible health plan as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70/30 in the amount of $600. FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.
  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20, and 2 percent in FY21.
  • KPESA employees not receiving a step increase will receive an additional .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20, and 2 percent in FY21, off base salary in that year’s Column H.
  • FY19 retro salary payments will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • Addition of Article 37 Extracurricular Programs, attached.

This proposal expires May 31, 2019.

**KPBSD proposal to KPEA

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to
Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA)
to settle the FY19, FY20, FY21 bargaining

The current agreement continues for FY 19-21 except for all previous TAs that modify existing language.  The Advisory Arbitrator’s Report is accepted as follows, with applicability to those employed on the date of ratification.

  • A change to the duration for July 1, 2018-June 30, 2021.
  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20 and 2 percent in FY21.
  • KPEA employees at C+90/M-T not receiving a step increase will receive an additional .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20, and 2 percent in FY21 based on the same year’s salary in the C+90/M-T.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.
  • FY19 retro salary payments will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.

 

News Release: Arbitrator’s Advisory Report

KPBSD_2017-2022_StrategicPlan_SealSoldotna, May 2, 2019—the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) received the Advisory Arbitration Report. The two days of Advisory Arbitration took place February 26-27, 2019, with the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA).

District administration and school board members are reviewing and analyzing Arbitrator Dorothy Fallon’s Report.

KPBSD, KPEA, and KPESA will meet to continue bargaining on May 8, 2019.

The Arbitrator’s Advisory Report can be viewed or downloaded from the KPBSD collective bargaining webpage, or via the KPBSD homepage from a link in the Community Interest section.

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Celebrate the Kenai 2019 BP Teachers of Excellence

KPBSD celebrates our three 2019 BP Teachers of Excellence and the 2019 Kenai Education Ally.

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I am very proud of all our finalists for this prestigious award,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent. “They all embody the qualities we want all of our teachers to exhibit, especially in how they ensure a strong, positive relationship with each and every student. Each finalist is very deserving of this recognition and I look forward to their continued excellence and leadership in our district.”

2019 Kenai BP Teachers of Excellence

click the name of each honoree to read an expanded online story

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Julie Doepken, William H. Seward Elementary School librarian
Her love for reading and books is contagious. Even though she only sees students once a week, she ignites a passion for books, reading and critical thinking in her students. In addition, most of all, she encourages a trait of curiosity, which will benefits students throughout their entire life.”
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Jennifer Hornung, Nikiski Middle-High School math and science teacher, and head volleyball coach for Nikiski middle school students
“Not only does Jennifer collaborate with and seek feedback from her colleagues to perfect her craft, but maybe more importantly, she seeks that feedback from her students. Students in her classes provide her with assessment data that continually drives her craft and instruction. She also discusses how our graduates do in the various programs they enter into post high school.”
IMG_3681Wendy Todd, Paul Banks Elementary School kindergarten teacher
“Kindergarten is most children’s first experience in school. Ms. Todd welcomes these young students into their first group-learning environment in a way that engages them in creative, consistent, meaningful activities that create a love of learning.”

BP Educational Ally Award, 2019 Kenai Peninsula

The award recognizes the unsung heroes in our schools who are work to inspire students and are making a difference in our schools and community.

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Martha Fleming, Seward High School guidance counselor and more | “Martha was a full partner in the creation of a program that truly put students’ needs at the center of all that Seward High does academically and managerially. This required a fundamental change in the way we thought about instruction, assessment, and credit acquisition and simply could not have been done without her advocacy and leadership throughout the process.”

“These teachers represent the best of Alaska education, and it’s an honor to recognize them with this award,” said BP Alaska President Janet Weiss. “At BP, we’re proud to play a part in supporting their continued success and showing our ongoing commitment to the state and to creating the leaders of tomorrow.”

For 24 years, the BP Teachers of Excellence program has honored K-12 teachers from public and private school districts statewide. Since the program’s inception in 1995, BP has recognized more than 750 teachers. Winning teachers receive a $500 gift card and a $500 matching grant to their school. Teachers also receive a trip to Prudhoe Bay to learn about BP’s operations and paid admission for the Alaska Resource Education’s teacher course.

Learn more

Click the individual awardee name to read an expanded story

BP Teachers of Excellence website

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Celebrate Wendy Todd, 2019 Kenai BP Teacher of Excellence

Celebrate Wendy Todd, 2019 Kenai BP Teacher of Excellence

BP 2019 Homer

“When I learned I was recognized as a BP Teacher of Excellence, I thought that this award truly goes to the Paul Banks Peanuts community; my special colleagues, committed parents, and the incredible students I am lucky enough to teach every day. It truly takes a “whole” team to help the “whole” child grow. I am so thankful I have been given the freedom while teaching to allow kids to explore, do, try, create, and learn to love school.  I feel passionate about helping students and parents get a positive start on their child’s education and get a foundation of skills to lean on for their future years.” – Wendy Todd

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Ms. Wendy Todd teaches kindergarten at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. She also coaches basketball at Homer High School, and she has a Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College and a Master’s in Education from the University of Alaska Southeast.

Kindergarten is most children’s first experience in school. Ms. Todd welcomes these young students into their first group-learning environment in a way that engages them in creative, consistent, meaningful activities that create a love of learning.

One parent of a child just entering the school system wrote, “Our daughter comes home every day excited to share what she’s learned. She is not even six years old, yet her reading improves weekly and she loves playing math games. I’m amazed at Wendy’s knowledge of each individual child’s stage of learning.”

Stories are told that some parents have a hard time determining if their child is really sick or not, because the young students won’t risk missing school.

Ms. Todd creates a safe, kind classroom with clear expectations. Furthermore, she works to engage older mentors, regularly inviting high school students and parents to her classroom to help with what she calls “cooperative learning and personalized instruction.”

One of her biggest strengths is helping intensive needs students or behavioral students improve their behavior and learning. Thankfully, Wendy is generous with her time and experience, hosting several student teachers and many practicum students over the years. She also serves as the newspaper liaison to share all the exciting learning happening at Paul Banks with the community.

 

“Wendy Todd is one of those teachers who makes everyone around her better,” said Eric Peterson, Paul Banks principal. “She is a professional through and through. Many students have become great readers under her tutelage and instruction. From a principal’s viewpoint, she is one of those teachers you cannot replace, but revel in the fact that you had a chance to work with someone who is exemplar in the profession.”

I am very proud of all our finalists for this prestigious award,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent. “They all embody the qualities we want all of our teachers to exhibit, especially in how they ensure a strong, positive relationship with each and every student. Each finalist is very deserving of this recognition and I look forward to their continued excellence and leadership in our district.”

For 24 years, the BP Teachers of Excellence program has honored K-12 teachers from public and private school districts statewide. Since the program’s inception in 1995, BP has recognized more than 750 teachers. Winning teachers receive a $500 gift card and a $500 matching grant to their school. Teachers also receive a trip to Prudhoe Bay to learn about BP’s operations and paid admission for the Alaska Resource Education’s teacher course.
BP Teachers of Excellence website

 

Celebrate Jennifer Hornung, 2019 Kenai BP Teacher of Excellence

Celebrate Jennifer Hornung, 2019 Kenai BP Teacher of Excellence

BP 2019 Nikiski TOE

Ms. Hornung teaches a long list of math and science courses to sixth through twelfth graders at Nikiski Middle and High School, and she is also head volleyball coach for Nikiski Middle School. She holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in exercise physiology from the University of Wyoming, and another in education from Chadron State College. And, she earned a Masters Degree in Middle Level Mathematics.

Jennifer devotes much of her free time to volunteering in the community, attending STEM courses, serving as a mentor to new teachers, and creating educational experiences outside the classroom, for example, taking juniors and seniors to the elementary school to help younger kids set up science-fair projects. Recently, when a student was presentating to the Board of Education, he said that Ms. Hornung is the reason why he knows why he is learning what he is learning; it is not an obscure textbook answer, but something he can use in his everyday life.

She constantly looks for ways to help her students prepare for life beyond school. She’s known to even reach out to students after they’ve gone on to college to ask them how well they felt prepared so she can adapt her lessons to the constantly changing world. But it’s not just the college-bound students that Jennifer inspires. She teaches some of the most at-risk middle school students to build up their foundational skills so they can excel as they progress through school. She is the teacher who will meet all students where they are at and build their foundation to be successful.

In addition, to her many achievements? She says, “I measure them by the successes of my former students.”

BP 2019 Nikiski

Dan Carstens, her principal said, “Jennifer came to us five years ago from Wyoming searching for a school where she could develop her students and work collaboratively with her colleagues and principals. She has accomplished that and more here at Nikiski Middle-High School. She is our current physical science teacher, but has also recently taken on our engineering classes and anatomy as well; this makes it so that she ends up teaching seven classes where the typical teacher will see five. She welcomes these additional roles because it is what our students desire: opportunities for learning, succeeding, and having a vision for what their futures may hold. Jennifer does it for the kids.

Not only does Jennifer collaborate with and seek feedback from her colleagues to perfect her craft, but maybe more importantly, she seeks that feedback from her students. Students in her classes provide her with assessment data that continually drives her craft and instruction. She also discusses how our graduates do in the various programs they enter into post high school. I cannot tell you just how many students give her feedback, but she has an insatiable appetite to ensure what she is doing for kids will prepare them and help them to be as successful as they possible can after they leave our doors.

I recently had a discussion with a graduating senior this year, one who typically does not speak out much on teachers. When she learned about Jennifer being recognized as a BP Teacher of Excellence, she was not surprised. She simply said: “Yeah, that’s the kind of teacher she is. She cares about what I learn and pushes me to be my absolute best in her class and beyond. If I don’t understand something, she doesn’t just give me a hint or an answer, she asks me more questions and makes me think deeper and problem solve more.”

Jennifer is an example of one of the many things that are right with our education community and specifically here in Nikiski. But what we need to understand is that she does not do this for the recognition. When she learned about the recognition being in Anchorage, she immediately said, “Oh man, am I going to miss school for the day?”…she was relieved to learn it would be in the evening where she could first be with her students. Her first thought was with her kids … which is where her thoughts are every single day.”

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I am very proud of all our finalists for this prestigious award,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent. “They all embody the qualities we want all of our teachers to exhibit, especially in how they ensure a strong, positive relationship with each and every student. Each finalist is very deserving of this recognition and I look forward to their continued excellence and leadership in our district.”

For 24 years, the BP Teachers of Excellence program has honored K-12 teachers from public and private school districts statewide. Since the program’s inception in 1995, BP has recognized more than 750 teachers. Winning teachers receive a $500 gift card and a $500 matching grant to their school. Teachers also receive a trip to Prudhoe Bay to learn about BP’s operations and paid admission for the Alaska Resource Education’s teacher course.

BP Teachers of Excellence website

Congratulations, Jennifer Hornung, BP Teacher of Excellence.

 

 

Celebrate Julie Doepken, 2019 Kenai BP Teacher of Excellence

Congratulations, Julie Doepken, 2019 Kenai BP Teacher of Excellence

BP 2019 Seward TOE

“When I found out I was nominated as a BP Teacher of Excellence, I was rather giddy at the thought that someone noticed what I do and took the time to nominate me. Multiply that by at least 100 to come close to the exhilarated astonishment I felt at being named one of the finalists. I am surrounded by amazing teachers at Seward Elementary and have amazing library colleagues throughout our district. My own teaching has only improved by collaborating with them and learning from them. School librarians and library staff are too often on the chopping block when districts are faced with making cuts, and I hope my receiving this award will shine a light on the important work we do every day in our school libraries to foster a love of reading in our students.” –Julie Doepken

Ms. Doepken is the librarian at William H. Seward Elementary School. She teaches library classes and Title One Reading Intervention to pre-kindergarten through fifth graders. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Indianapolis in English and Spanish and her master’s in library science from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

As a librarian, Ms. Doepken’s classes do not have a set curriculum. Her lessons vary greatly from year to year, focusing on library, research and digital citizenship skills. However, her main job, as she puts it, is to “spark a love of reading, and then keep fanning the flames.”

Her love for reading and books is contagious. Even though she only sees students once a week, she ignites a passion for books, reading and critical thinking in her students. In addition, most of all, she encourages a trait of curiosity, which will benefits students throughout their entire life.

One of her student’s parents wrote, “I am certain Mrs. Doepken has inspired many children to become lifelong readers. She makes the library the best place to be in the school.”

She reads as many new books as possible so she can “book talk” with her students, conducting mini-conferences during checkout to discuss and express excitement about their reading selections. However, her ultimate goal is to create a place that each student feels welcomed, valued and safe. She says, “each student has incredible potential in myriad ways and I truly feel it is my job as a teacher librarian to foster a love for learning in ways that clearly show I respect and care for each and every child.”

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I am very proud of all our finalists for this prestigious award,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent. “They all embody the qualities we want all of our teachers to exhibit, especially in how they ensure a strong, positive relationship with each and every student. Each finalist is very deserving of this recognition and I look forward to their continued excellence and leadership in our district.”

For 24 years, the BP Teachers of Excellence program has honored K-12 teachers from public and private school districts statewide. Since the program’s inception in 1995, BP has recognized more than 750 teachers. Winning teachers receive a $500 gift card and a $500 matching grant to their school. Teachers also receive a trip to Prudhoe Bay to learn about BP’s operations and paid admission for the Alaska Resource Education’s teacher course.

BP Teachers of Excellence website

Congratulations, Julie Doepken, BP Teacher of Excellence.