Board of Directors bios
Peter Hoepfner, first elected in 2005, serves on the Cordova School Board, and to the AASB board of directors in 2010. Presently Pete serves on the Cordova Family Resources Center board of directors since 2004, as well as being a member of the Pathways to Prevention, a statewide steering committee since 2011. He has been a commercial fisherman in Alaska since 1989. He and his wife, a nurse, have two daughters, born and raised in Cordova. During his spare time during the winter, Peter works with chocolate and berries that he harvests on the Copper River Delta.
Past President, Aleutians East
Tiffany Jackson is a wife, and mom to three children. She has served
on the Aleutians East Borough School Board since 2007, and served seven terms as President. Her service with AASB began in 2010. Since becoming a school board member, Tiffany has worked at developing her own skills as a board member, and encouraging other board members to develop their skills in order to improve their roll in governing our school districts, and becoming better advocates for all of Alaska’s students. In the spring of 2016, she won election to the National School Boards Association board, becoming the first Alaska Native/American Indian to win a seat on the NSBA’s governing body. Tiffany is also the Executive Director of the Qagan Tayagungin Tribe of Sand Point.
Andi Story is serving in her 12th year as a Juneau School Board member and sixth year as an AASB Board member. She and husband Mike Story are parents of three grown children. She first ran for her local School Board as her daughter was in a kindergarten class with 28 other students; she has learned that while class size matters, that alone will not get student growth in learning. She has her Masters in Social Work from San Diego State University.
Charlene Arneson and her family moved to Whittier in1964. Charlene feels fortunate to have been able to fulfill the duties and responsibilities as a Chugach School District Board member for the past fourteen years, a privilege that she has greatly enjoyed. She was elected to the board of directors of the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) in 2008, and in 2010 AASB recognized her as the Outstanding School Board Member of Alaska.
Kathleen Plunkett is a member of the Anchorage School Board. She is an Accountant for ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. She holds a Bachelor of
Business Administration with an Accounting major from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Kathleen, her husband Rex and their two sons all graduated from Anchorage high schools. Kathleen has been an active community volunteer for more than 30 years. She was born in Fairbanks and has lived in Fairbanks, Juneau, Seward, Whittier and Anchorage.
Kathleen is an advisory member of the School Business Partnership board
and an advocate and member of the ARISE (Anchorage Realizing Indigenous
Student Excellence) leadership council.
Kathleen has worked on and built three Anchorage East-side parks and is a
former member and chairman of the Anchorage Parks and Recreation
Sarah Welton was raised in upstate New York. She came to Alaska in 1983 and raised her family here. Sarah completed her Master’s degree from Alaska Pacific University in Counseling Psychology in 1998 and completed her PhD in Psychology in 2014 from Northcentral University, specializing in Organizational Psychology.
She is the owner of Alpha Counseling and Education Services in Wasilla since 2002. She is an adjunct professor at Mat Su College and has served four terms on the local school board. She rounds out her vocational service as an American Baptist minister.
Dana and his family moved to Fort Greely, Alaska in 2005. He has served on the Delta Greely School Board since 2010 and became an AASB Board of Directors member in 2015, serving all the kids in Alaska. He has worked on his professional development as a school board member and has reached the level of Master in Boardsmanship. Dana previously worked as a School Resource Office in Georgia and truly enjoys working with kids. He knows that our kids are the future and believes we must provide them the best education possible. Dana is married to Eileen Mock, a teacher at Delta Elementary School, and they have 2 boys.
Clarence’s Yup’ik name is Angapak, he moved to Bethel in 1998. He is the son of David and the late Barbara Daniel. Clarence is married to Julia Daniel and they have six children: Thomas, Ray, Felicia, Emma, Roselyn, and Paul. They enjoy hunting, fishing, and harvesting plants and berries as a family; boating and enjoying family time outdoors.
Clarence was born and raised in Tuntutuliak; he grew up fishing (both commercially and for subsistence), hunting, and participating in the daily routine of village life and travel in the Yukon Kuskokwim delta.
Clarence has been on the Lower Kuskokwim School District Board of Education since 2014 and was on the Bethel ASB for 7 years prior to service on the district board. He is on the Ayaprun Elitnaurvik Yup’ik Immersion Charter School’s Academic Policy Committee and has served since 2007 and the Alaska Bible Seminary Board of Trustees for 4 years. He is also a new member to the National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs.
Clarence has worked at AVCP since 2009 and before that he spent 11 and a half years working for AVCP Regional Housing Authority. He is also involved with other committees and boards as part of his employment.
President-Elect, Bristol Bay
Secretary/Treasurer, Northwest Arctic Borough
Barb (QasuGlana) Amarok, of Nome, is the daughter of Mary Ann Amarok Tiffany and granddaughter of Joseph and Maiyak Amarok. She was appointed to the Nome School Board in 2010, has been elected twice, and is serving her second year as President. Barb is passionate about education, has a Bachelor’s, Masters and doctoral degree in Education, and is retired after having worked for the Nome School District for twenty years. She also serves on the First Alaskans Institute Visionary Council and the Nome Social Justice Task Force. Barb has taught four times, and continues to teach, ED 420 Alaska Native Education to educators of the Bering Strait School District and Nome School District at the yearly Bering Strait Region Cultural Camp.
Cass Pook is Greek and Tlingit of the Eagle moiety, Killer whale clan of the Keet hit’ clan house of Angoon Alaska. Born and raised in Sitka, AK in 1962, attended Sitka School District K-12 and graduated with the class of 1980. Elected as a Sitka School Board Member in 2002, Cass is now serving her 6th term and is at present the President of the Sitka School Board. Cass served one 3-year term, one year incumbent and now one year elected seat.
Cass is the daughter of Pete and Bertha Karras of Sitka and the granddaughter of Mark and Annie Jacobs of Sitka, AK. Cass is married to Stewart T Pook of Bethlehem, PA. Together they have five children, Cassie, Chloe, Cayla, Seth and Cedar. Our youngest son Cedar is graduating from MEHS this May.
Cass is a master bead Artisan and well known for her jewelry. She has worked in the field of behavioral health for the past eighteen years with people suffering from substance abuse and chemical dependency. I give honor to my mother and her advocacy for the person that I have become. I would not be the person that I am without her advocacy, love and devotion to her children. I carry on her legacy of advocating for youth in Alaska.
After several years teaching in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, Penny Vadla moved to Alaska in 1977 to teach school in Emmonak. After a year, she moved to Ninilchik where she taught for 28 years. Penny retired from the Kenai Peninsula School District in 2006. She now teaches writing as an adjunct professor at Kenai River College. Penny earned a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in K-12 Administration and Curriculum Development.
Elected to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board in 2008, Penny currently serves as vice president. Education has been a focal point of her life, and she believes a solid education makes a positive difference in a child’s life.
As an advocate for positive change, Penny volunteers at many local events in her community, serves as a Soldotna Parks and Rec Commissioner, and recently served as a commissioner to establish Soldotna as a Home Rule City.
In 1984, Penny married Bruce Vadla, a life-long Alaskan. Their children Kaitlin and Brett completed post-secondary training and currently live, work, and adventure in Alaska. The family enjoys skiing, fishing, gardening, traveling, and family time.
(more bios coming soon!)