Amy Jo Meiners Named Alaska Teacher of the Year
Amy Jo Meiners, who teaches extended learning at Auke Bay Elementary and Riverbend Elementary in the Juneau School District, has been named Alaska Teacher of the Year for 2016. Mike Hanley, Commissioner of Education and Early Development, presented the award to Meiners’ at the annual conference of the Association of Alaska School Boards. Meiners’ term begins January 1, 2016.
“Ms. Meiners is very knowledgeable in her field, and dedicated to student learning. Ms. Meiners inspires and encourages fellow staff and students. She is a teacher who works to help the students and better the profession,” Hanley said. “She is a dedicated, selfless, and professional teacher that will represent Alaska well.”
Ms. Meiners has taught for 26 years, nine in her current position. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University and has over 100 credits in continuing education classes through the University of Alaska Anchorage.
“As a teacher, I have the chance to inspire curiosity and lifelong learning; therefore, questioning skills, along with reasoning, integrating, and adapting, are key elements within my teaching practice,” Ms. Meiners said in her application. “To this end, I believe starting with students’ interests and personal goals, knowing their needs and challenges, is critical to make learning meaningful with skills that transfer to real life.”
Commissioner Hanley also announced that Frances Roberts, who teaches mathematics at Homer High School in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, has been named Alternate Teacher of the Year. Roberts will serve as Alaska Teacher of the Year if Meiners’ is named National Teacher of the Year.
“It’s always a pleasure to recognize outstanding teachers,” said Alaska Education Commissioner Mike Hanley. “Ms. Meiners and Ms. Roberts are active in their communities, as well as in their schools. In their enthusiasm for teaching and dedication to their students, they truly represent the entire profession.”
Ms. Roberts, the Teacher of the Year alternate, has taught for 22 years, all in her present position. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a master’s degree from Montana State University. Ms. Roberts became an educator after a career as a meteorologist and co-owner of a sheep and cattle ranch.
“As a mathematics teacher, I find it important to encourage a curiosity about our world,” Ms. Roberts said in her application. “Learning does not stop when one leaves a formal school system. It is important to convey to students that they will never stop learning.”