Educators Rising Alaska conference scheduled for Feb. 28–March 1

by Green & Gold News  |   

Educators Rising Alaska 2020-2021 conference logoEducators Rising Alaska will host its annual conference virtually Feb. 28-March 1. The theme for this year’s EdRisingAK is “Rising Above Adversity.” Advance registration is required for members of the public.

EdRisingAK seeks to support middle school through collegiate students as they become Alaska educators.

Notable speakers at this year’s conference will include:

  • Nick Iligutchiak Hanson, the “Eskimo Ninja,” keynote speaker
  • Michael Johnson, Alaska commissioner of education
  • Pat Pitney, University of Alaska interim president
  • Kinchel Doerner, dean of the UAF College of Natural Science and Mathematics
  • Amy Gallaway, Alaska’s 2020 teacher of the year
  • Steve Atwater, dean of the UA College of Education
  • David Song, UAS student recruiter

Haliehana Alaĝum Ayagaa Stepetin, an artist, scholar and activist originally from Akutan in the Aleutian Islands, will speak and offer a virtual dance performance. Fairbanks’ Pavva Iñupiaq Dancers, with UAF Professor Sean Asiqłuq Topkok and BLaST coordinator Amy Topkok, will also perform.

“Our offices have been delivering materials and events virtually for years, and it’s exciting to embrace our current situation and offer an entirely remote conference,” said Glenda Findlay, director of K-12 Outreach at UAF, which hosts EdRisingAK. “This is a unique opportunity, where we can reach more students who might not normally attend a live conference.”

The EdRisingAK Leadership Conference will follow several days of student competitions in various categories, including public speaking, lesson planning and children’s literature. Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) testing will be available. Leadership activities include a workforce workshop and Indigenous student support. Breakout activities will include a photo booth and a scavenger hunt.

“EdRisingAK is excited to offer leadership skills to students from all over Alaska,” said Barbara Wadlinger, EdRisingAK program manager. “We hope this event can help to inspire more Alaska students to become teachers in their communities or other Alaska locations.”

The 2021 student officers worked to design a conference logo, cover social media, and boost student interest and involvement with the program. Past student officers and national student officers will offer panel discussions as well.

For the safety of students, members of the public must register prior to the conference.

For more information about this event or EdRisingAK, please contact

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