skip to main content

Meet the Board of Education Members

11 months ago

Brian Holst, President

Brian Holst is a graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School and his parents and most of his extended family live here in Juneau. He is married to Estela and they have four children. 

Brian directs the Juneau Economic Development Council since 2008. Before that, he spent 20 years working internationally in community and economic development, mostly in Latin America and Eastern Europe.  He served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in small business development and has worked as an international consultant and small business owner. Brian participates in service groups, coaches summer soccer, loves bike riding and travel—especially to new places.

Brian is committed to the prosperity of Juneau. He knows that strong economies require great schools. He believes every student has potential and we must support our families and teachers in engaging students where they are and helping them develop their talents. He recognizes that we are fortunate in Juneau to have a community that supports education strongly. With tight budgets, we need to continue to expand partnerships to support youth. Wise investments in early education have a great return for society, families and the individual students and should be supported.

Josh Keaton, Vice President

Josh Keaton was raised in a small farm town in Northeast Ohio before moving to Sitka, Alaska in 1996.  While attending college in Sitka, Alaska he met his wife, Crystal, and they married after moving to Juneau, Alaska.  Together they have two kids, a son named Elijah who is nine years old and a daughter named Dalnoi who is six years old.  Josh is a devoted family man, preferring to spend any free time with his family in the outdoors where they fish, ski and explore the vast wilderness of Alaska.  He is an avid fly fisherman and annually travels to remote areas of Alaska and around the world for new fishing adventures. 

Josh Keaton received a B.S in Marine Biology/Fisheries from Sheldon Jackson College in 2000 and a M.S. in Geographic Information System Technology from University of Arizona in 2015.  In 2000, he spent six months at sea as a North Pacific Fishery Observer before starting a professional career with NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Regional Office in 2001. Over the past 15 years, he has used his knowledge and experience to manage some of the largest fisheries in the world.  He specializes in developing unique management methods and fostering collaborative partnerships to ensure that North Pacific fisheries are sustainably managed. He has a deep interest in education and believes that a high-quality and robust education can greatly improve an individual’s life.  He strives to provide a world-class education for the students that live in Alaska’s capitol city by serving as an elected school board member and volunteering in the schools whenever possible.  

Andi Story, Clerk

Andi Story, a homemaker, former social worker and co-founder of the Great Alaska Schools Coalition ( has served on the Board for four terms, putting her focus on budget decisions that until recently have allowed lower class sizes and more resources to the classroom. The Base Student Allocation in the state operating budget has not been increased since 2010 and over 100 jobs have been lost in Juneau, 55 jobs last year. Andi urges concerned parents and community members statewide to contact their Legislative representatives regarding education funding. “Nothing, nothing is more important than the development of our most valuable resource, our children”.

Story cites higher math and literacy standards, raised graduation standards, increased teacher and staff training, which is resulting in steadily improving student achievement data compared to national standards (way to go staff and students!) as accomplishments of the Board during her tenure. Story also has put her focus on better communications between the District office, teaching staff and families. “We need to improve communication with students and families,” she said. Story's term expires in 2015.

Emil "Robert" Mackey, Member

Emil Mackey born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from Little Rock Parkview Fine Arts Magnet School in 1989 where he participated in musical arts, drama, and played football. He is married to Dayna Mackey and lives in Mendenhall Valley.

After moving to Fairbanks, Alaska in 2007, Emil worked for the University of Alaska until 2013 and lived in Fairbanks, Kotzebue, and Juneau. Emil now works for the State of Alaska Division of Insurance and holds a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Arkansas, a Masters of Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas - Little Rock, a Bachelors of Education from Southern Arkansas University, and a Bachelor of General Studies from Arkansas State University. Significant prior public service includes serving on the Clinton School of Public Service Consortium, the Clinton Presidential Library "Three Bridges" Subcommittee, Governor Mike Huckabee's Integrated Justice Task Force, and the Juneau International Airport Board. Emil holds an Alaska Professional Social Studies 7-12 Teacher Certification and has attained "highly qualified" status in the subject areas of Geography, World & US History, Government/Political Science, English, Business Education, and Social Studies.

Dan DeBartolo, Member

Dan DeBartolo, a father of three ages 6 and under, is serving his first term in an elected office.  Dan and his wife intend to see their children through the Juneau School District until they all graduate high school, and this was a primary motivator in getting Dan involved on the School Board.  Dan attended Southern Illinois University for his undergrad in Media and Business Communication and has an OE in Accounting from the University of Alaska Southeast. He is currently a Director of Administrative Services for the Department of Revenue at the State of Alaska where budget creation and oversight is his primary responsibility.

Dan is interested in seeing parent/teacher direct communication improved and standardized within the district.  There is a multitude of inexpensive, electronic options for this type of communication and we should be embracing the availability of that technology.  Dan is also interested in looking at core achievement and how we can improve our numbers in comparison to the lower 48. Our students shouldn't head off to college at an academic disadvantage, and closing that achievement gap is an important long-term priority in Dan's vision for the Juneau School District.

Steve Whitney, Member

Jeff Short, Member

Jeff Short moved to Juneau in 1972 after attending the University of California at Riverside, with majors in biochemistry and philosophy.  He later earned an MS in physical chemistry from UC Santa Cruz and PhD in Fisheries Biology from UAF.  He is married to Wendy Whelan, and has two children who attended the Juneau school system through high school.  He worked most of his career at the Auke Bay Lab as a research chemist, retiring in 2008, and now works as a part-time consultant.  He and Wendy have supported and coached Academic Decathlon at JDHS for the last five years.  Jeff enjoys hiking, hunting, fishing, and reading.

Jeff believes that a strong educational foundation is essential for a vibrant and prosperous community.  While all the component parts of our public education system require careful management, some of the greatest opportunities for improvement are in K5 education, career technology education, and culture and language programs for Alaska Natives.  Our students who don't go to college are the ones who are most likely to remain in Juneau, and they need a strong educational foundation just as much as those who do go to college to lead satisfying and productive lives here.