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Meet the Board of Education Members

about 1 month 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.


Elizabeth (Ebett) Siddon, Vice President

Elizabeth grew up in New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire for her undergraduate degree (in Marine and Freshwater Biology). She moved to Juneau in 2002 where she since completed a Masters and PhD in Fisheries at UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. She is married to Chris, who works at ADF&G, and they have one son.

Elizabeth works at NOAA Fisheries for the Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment Program. Her work, focused in the Bering Sea, connects ecosystem science to management. In 2019, Elizabeth was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government.

Elizabeth is very committed to education and outreach here in Juneau and beyond. She co-founded SouthEast Exchange (SEE), a community partnership between local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professionals and teachers in the Juneau School District. SEE helps bring place-based and hands-on science experiences into classrooms. She also co-teaches a summer field course at the Shoals Marine Laboratory (off the coast of Maine) called Integrated Ecosystem Research & Management. Elizabeth has been the statewide parent representative to the Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council (coordinating programs and services for children prenatal through age 8) since January 2017 and was elected to the Juneau School Board in 2018.


Paul Kelly, Clerk

Paul is a third generation Alaskan. He graduated from Dimond High in Anchorage in 2003, and from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2016. He has a degree in Computer Systems Engineering, and minors in Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and French. After graduating, he came down to Juneau in January of 2017 to work as a legislative staffer. He now works at DOT&PF as an Analyst/Programmer.

Having received 100% of his education through public institutions in Alaska, Paul is committed to ensuring that our students have the same opportunities he had and more. This includes ensuring that students are prepared for higher education, the trades, or both; depending on their talents and interests.

When not sitting on the Board, Paul is pursuing his Masters in Public Administration at UAS, and is an active member of his union. Being a former staffer, he follows the legislature closely while they’re in session, and advocates for the needs of our schools. Paul enjoys hiking, skiing, and traveling.


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.


Kevin Allen, Member


Deedie Sorensen, Member


Emil Mackey, Member

Emil Robert Mackey was born and raised in Little Rock Arkansas. He moved to Alaska in 2007 after finishing his Ph.D. in Public Policy, emphasizing Educational Policy & Leadership, from the University of Arkansas. A lifelong learner, he later completed a M.Ed in Curriculum Design and Instruction from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2015. Since moving to Alaska in 2007, he lived and worked in Fairbanks (2007-2009), Kotzebue (2009-2013) and Fairbanks (2013-Present). He is married to Dayna Mackey and has a son, Emil Mackey IV, born in 2017. 

Emil Mackey has spent a career in Public Service. Starting as an Americorps/VISTA volunteer in 1995, he has worked for the Southwest Arkansas Community Development Corporation, The University of Arkansas Little Rock, the Arkansas Division of Youth Services, The University of Arkansas, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Chukchi Campus, and the State of Alaska. He is currently moving to the private sector and plans to open an insurance agency in January 2020.