Board of Directors Bios
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 skills as a board member and encouraging other board members to develop their skills to improve their role 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.
President-Elect, Bristol Bay
Michael Swain is a lifelong resident of King Salmon, Alaska and has been on the Bristol Bay Borough School Board since 2003, serving as president for over ten years. He was first elected to the AASB Board of Directors in 2011 and has been on the leadership team of the association since 2015. Michael also serves on the National American Indian Alaska Native Council of School Board Members to the National School Boards Association as the Pacific Region Director. His passion for education includes transforming what education looks like in Alaska and exploring alternative delivery methods to ensure every Alaskan student has quality education opportunities. Michael and his wife, Mary, have been married since 1995 and have two sons, Trey and Dawson. Michael freely admits that without the love and his support of his wife and sons he wouldn’t be able to do the work he does on behalf of Alaska’s youth. He is employed by the State of Alaska DOT as a mechanic and regularly travels to outlying villages to maintain or repair equipment.
Secretary/Treasurer, Kodiak Island Borough
Bio Coming Soon!
Past President, Cordova
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. Pete 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.
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 with the best education possible. Dana is married to Eileen Mock, a teacher at Delta Elementary School, and they have two 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. He 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 seven years prior to his 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 four years. He is also a new member of the National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs. He 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.
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.
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.
Starr Marsett has been a children’s advocate for more than 30 years. Starr has served on many executive boards such as Armed Forces YMCA, Resource Center for Parents and Children, and Friends of CASA. She’s been PTA president at various schools, served on an advisory committee to start the first alternative school in North Pole, Alaska, and was appointed to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Policy Committee. In the Anchorage School District, Starr was appointed to the Multicultural Education Advisory Committee, Capital Improvement Advisory Committee and served as chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee. She has also served on ASD committees to review educational specifications and school calendars.
With more than 16 years’ experience in the financial industry, Starr is currently a Realtor® and serves on the Thread Board and a member of the United Way Leadership for 90 by 2020. She also worked for five years as a substitute teacher in ASD. Starr has extensive experience in project management, human resources, budget, negotiations and strategic planning. She earned her bachelor’s of science degree in Business Management from Northern Michigan University while working and raising her two children.
Starr met her husband while they were both serving in the military. In addition to their two grown children, they adopted their grandson who has special needs and graduated from East High School. They also have a grandson who attends Bear Valley Elementary School.
Northwest Arctic Borough
Tillie Ticket, born in Kotzebue, raised in Selawik, Alaska by her father, Johnnie Ticket Sr., and late mother who was a wonderful advocate for children, Marjorie Downey Ticket. She graduated from Selawik School in 1981 and worked as the school secretary for five years before transferring to Kotzebue to work at the School District Office. Tillie has three children, Glenn, Cheyenne, and Ian and three grandchildren, Zamara, Logan, and Bryant. She’s been on the Northwest Arctic Borough School District as a Member, Secretary, Vice President since August 2008. She’s been with her employer for 17 years as the Realty Director for the Native Village of Selawik. Tillie has also served on the local Advisory School Board for more than two years. Tillie moved back to her hometown of Selawik after living in Anchorage, Alaska for 12 years to take care of her father after her mother passed in 2001. Selawik is where she raised her children where they graduated high school. “Growing her own” teacher, she supports her daughter who’s becoming an elementary education teacher. Tillie enjoys being involved with the students, riding her snow machine, ice fishing, and spending time with her father and family.
Elizabeth (Ebett) Siddon was elected to the Juneau School Board and to the AASB Board of Directors in 2018. Elizabeth has served as the statewide parent representative to the Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council (AECCC) that coordinates state programs and services for children prenatal through age 8 since January 2017 and has also served as a parent representative to the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education’s Early Intervention Committee since 2015. Elizabeth is a Research Fishery Biologist for NOAA Fisheries at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Juneau. Her research focuses on the Bering Sea region and she helps to provide ecosystem information, including Local Knowledge and Traditional Knowledge, to the management of fish stocks.
Committees: Communications (chair), Governance, Federation of Community Councils, 90% by 2020, Alaska Association of School Boards, National School Board Association. Deena Mitchell strongly believes in public education; to support every child in reaching their potential and prepare them to successfully navigate our changing world, to build a strong future for Alaska, and to instill principles of citizenship that are critical for our democracy.
Every child has great potential, and Deena uses her voice to support our schools’ work in nurturing and developing that potential. Deena studied Economics at the University of Colorado, and holds graduate degrees in Economics, Finance and Marketing from Indiana University. She worked in Advertising before focusing on raising her three children (two are graduates of the ASD, and one is a senior at West). Deena has spent decades supporting public education in many ways, from being a room parent and PTA volunteer, to running a “Student Government Program” for the League of Women Voters, to her Great Alaska Schools advocacy work. Deena also served on the “Tribal and Community Impact” committee for the Governor’s Alaska Education Challenge.
Deena believes that by holding every student to high standards, through strong community and family engagement, and with a district comprised of engaged, dedicated, creative and supported professionals, we will close our achievement gaps, and graduate all students on a path to success, whether that takes them to college, vocational training, or directly into the workforce.
Lawrence Jones, Sr.
Northwest Arctic Borough
Bio Coming Soon!
Bio Coming Soon!
Bio Coming Soon!