KPBSD Inspiration, Annaleah Karron, Seward High School, Class of 2003
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).”
“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.”
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: 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.