BOARD PROFILE: Starr Marsett

Starr Marsett, President, Anchorage School District

How did you come to be in Alaska?

My husband is retired Air Force and was stationed in Alaska twice Anchorage 1977 to 1980 and Fairbanks 1984 to 1993. We retired in 1995 and returned to Fairbanks.

How long have you lived in your community?

Upon our return in 1995 we lived in Fairbanks and North Pole from 1995 until 2002 when I was recruited by Alaska USA Federal Credit Union and moved to Anchorage.

What are your career background and current job?

I am currently a Realtor. Sixteen years in the banking industry, starting as a teller in Michigan and working up to Vice President of Electronic Services at First National Bank of Alaska

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

As a member of the YMCA Armed Services Board, I had the opportunity to do an arrested landing and a catapult launch on the U.S.S. Stennis.

Why did you run for the school board?

When we adopted our special needs grandson, he was referred to Mt. Illimani. It was a school for children with aggressive and violent behaviors. There were restraints and seclusion in this school for their students. Not fully understanding this I decided to quit my job and started substitute teaching at Mt. Illimani. I not only taught at that school but other schools within the district. I realize that there was not equity in the way we were educating our children. I then began joining every committee possible in the Anchorage School District.

After several years I felt ready and confident to run for school board and help make the changes needed for students to succeed.

What special strengths do you bring to the board?

I bring passion, leadership and a commitment to our students. Through my job experience, I bring project management experience, budgeting, personnel management and working in a team environment.

What goals do you hope to achieve during your term?

Increase reading proficiency by third grade, academic equity, diversity in our staff, teachers and leadership positions within the District.

How have you helped to improve education in your district?

Voting for a new ELL curriculum aimed at improving reading proficiency. Purposing a volunteer program within our school district to help take the burden off teachers, so they have more time to teaching. I have also started an ad hoc committee of community members and ASD staff to look at ways of increasing diversity within the staff, teachers, and administration.

What’s the hardest thing about being a board member?

As President, keeping board members focused on goals and not individuals going in 7 different directions.

What’s the best thing about being a board member?

Going into our schools and visiting with teachers, students, and staff. Observing the great things happening and being there to listen.

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