Stories 2022

Educators in their Element:
Stories from the Field

Meet the 12,000+ members who work in Alaska’s public schools.

From Napakiak, to Fairbanks, to St. Paul, Craig and everywhere in between, you will find NEA-Alaska’s hard-working members. With members in 213 of Alaska’s 229 communities, our members are the heart and soul of the union. Our differences are our strengths, and as a team, we are stronger together. This is a place to learn more about your educators, who they are, where they live, what they do, and why their membership in NEA-Alaska matters so much to them.

Our Stories

The Local President

Nathan Erfurth wakes up every morning focused on how he can support the educators of the Kenai Peninsula Education Association. With 430 members, spread out across 42 schools in an area the size of West Virginia, this can be a daunting task, but one he is eager to accept.

“My primary responsibility is to listen to my members, hear what they’re going through, and find ways to articulate those into policy changes.”

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Robert Frasher had a full career before he took an official role as a teacher in 2007 with the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC).

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The Welding Instructor

Jesse Bjorkman knows to never waste food or a good learning opportunity.

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The Outdoor Education Teacher

Education support professionals are the unsung heroes of our public schools.

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The Education Support Professionals

For Kate Hamre, the classroom goes beyond her four walls.

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The Elementary School Teacher

Glenn Charlie never expected he’d be building up his community through education instead of wood and nails.

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The Rural Educator

John Hudson's classroom shows the history and culture of the region where he teaches.

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The Alaska Native Arts Teacher

From her resource room, Leilani runs a small reading group for fifth-graders.

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The Paraeducator

Melinda Dooley’s culinary arts program is inspiring Anchorage students and setting them up for lifelong success.

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The Culinary Arts Teacher