2013 Board of Education Members
Sally Saddler, President
Sally Saddler is originally from Elyria, Ohio. She first came to Alaska in 1975 and then moved to Juneau permanently in 1977. She holds a BA in Economics from the George Washington University. Saddler is retired after most recently serving ten years as the Legislative Liaison for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. She is a member of the Downtown Juneau Rotary; Alaska/Yukon District Coordinator for Rotary Inbound Youth Exchange; Former Manager Juneau Reign Boys Soccer Team; Former Big Sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Former Soccer/Basketball Coach, Juneau Parks & Recreation; US Swimming Official. Saddler has also volunteered on the JDHS and DHMS Site Council; was a Parent/community member of JSD Vision and Strategic Planning Committee; Department of Education State Standards Workgroup Member; State Department of Education Career Development/Employability Standards Team Member; and Member of the Alaska Business Education Compact.
Saddler is focused on addressing the challenge of getting ALL students to take responsibility for their education and build skills for success after high school. She feels that a better-managed process helps every student identify interests, skills and abilities, and connects them with programs offered by the District to achieve their goals. That process includes setting system goals for student success; monitoring performance; changing school climate/culture to promote learning; ensuring students perform at grade level; providing career guidance, opportunities for student learning in the context of interests; and opportunities for activities/community experience to use students' skills and abilities.
Sean O'Brien, Vice President
Sean O’Brien is a life-long resident of Juneau. He served on Juneau’s School Board from 2006-2008, and then again as a successful write-in candidate beginning in 2011. He has enjoyed many years as a youth coach in basketball, soccer, and baseball in Juneau, and is active in Juneau’s Glacier Swim Club as a race official and past GSC Board member. Sean works for the State of Alaska as the Assistant Chief of Services for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to help ensure Alaskans with disabilities can successfully find and retain good jobs. Prior to that, he worked in the state’s workforce development system for many years. He attended UAS, Juneau for two years and went on to obtain his BS degree in Environmental Science from Western Washington University and then a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock in 2009. Sean and his wife Sue Reishus-O’Brien have raised 5 healthy children in the Juneau School District whose current ages range from 13 to 26.
Sean believes the success of our children ultimately relates to their successful engagement in our schools and community at large. He believes the key to our kids' success includes providing relevant, challenging, meaningful and interesting instruction coupled with a school and community that highly supports, respects and regards each and every kid. Sean believes individualized connection and instruction with each and every student that is driven by understanding who they are and tapping into their many strengths provides the foundation for our kids ultimate success within our schools and, more importantly, beyond our schools in further education and meaningful careers.
Andi Story, Clerk
Andi Story, a homemaker, former social worker and co-founder of the Great Alaska Schools Coalition (www.greatalaskaschools.org) 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.
Phyllis Carlson, Member
Phyllis Carlson, Director of Rural Education & Coordinator of Parents As Teachers at EED for State of Alaska, is in her fourth term as a member of the Board. Her focus has been on keeping the pupil-teacher ratio low and on helping to bring more resources to all student programs. “I want to see students graduate and be ready for their next steps in life,” she said.
“I’m excited that the Board took on the One-to-One Laptop program at Yakoosge,” Carlson said. The program, funded as a pilot project by the Legislature with the Alaska Association of School Boards, put laptops in the hands of each student at the alternative high school “We have students doing wonderful things there with this program,” she said. Carlson said she’s excited about the new secondary education plan for the District, bringing the new high school online, and she looks forward to putting additional focus on improving literacy at the elementary levels and on keeping more students connected to and in school until graduation. “We need diverse programs for our diverse community,” she said. “We need to close the achievement gap and give all students equal access to education in our system.” Carlson's term expires in 2015.
Destiny Sargeant, Member
Barbara Thurston, Member