Board of Directors Bios

Photo of Katie Oliver.

Katie Oliver

President, Kodiak Island Borough

Bio

Katie Oliver has served on the Kodiak Island Borough School Board since 2011, and joined the AASB Board of Directors in 2018. She serves as Executive Director of the Kodiak Arts Council, was a member of the Alaska Arts Standards Task Force (2015 – 2017), and is a Partner Lead in Kodiak’s Munartet Project – a professional development initiative to increase the number and tenure of Alaska educators who are confident and competent in teaching in and through arts and culture. She believes a well-rounded public education is one where Alaska kids lead creative and expressive lives, are encouraged to discover and develop their innate talents and passions, and graduate with a vision for life as an engaged citizen. Katie is a lifelong Alaskan and lives in Kodiak with her husband Jared, an Associate Professor of English at University of Alaska/Kodiak College, and their five children.

Pete Hoepfner

President Elect, Cordova

Bio

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.

Photo of Kasaŋnaaluk, Marie Greene.

Kasaŋnaaluk, Marie Greene

Secretary/Treasurer, Northwest Arctic Borough 

Bio

Kasaŋnaaluk, Marie N. Greene is an Iñupiaq from the Native Village of Deering, Alaska. She brings a wealth of cultural insight along with many years of senior- level leadership experience. In 2015, Greene was appointed by President Obama to serve as Commissioner on the United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC).

After serving a 20-year career at NANA Regional Corporation (NANA), 13 as president and CEO, Greene retired in 2015. Under her tenure, Greene achieved multiple accomplishments by cultivating the corporation’s cultural and economic resources while collaborating with other regional organizations to improve the quality of life for the Inupiat. In partnership under the Northwest Arctic Leadership Team on the critical focus areas in Language and Culture, Healthy Communities and Wellness, Education and Workforce Development, Economic Development and Infrastructure and Basic Services.

Greene has also served on a number of international, state , regional and local organizations including the Alaska Redistricting Board, ICC Delegate, President and Mayor Pro-Tem of Northwest Arctic Borough and the Board of Alaska Federation of Natives. As an advocate for the students and the Northwest Arctic Borough School District, she currently is serving a three-year term as a member of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District. Her term ends 2020.

Michael Swain photo

Michael Swain

Past President, Bristol Bay

Bio

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.

Photo of Penny Vadla.

Penny Vadla

Kenai Peninsula

Bio

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.

Bio

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.

Photo of Brian Holst.

Brian Holst

Juneau

Bio

Brian is serving his third term on the Juneau Board of Education. He also served on the Board of Education of the International School of Belgrade in Serbia, for two years. Between the two boards, he has served seven years as a Board Chair. 

Brian directs the Juneau Economic Development Council since 2008. Before that, he spent 20 years working internationally in community and economic development, mostly in Latin America and Eastern Europe.  He served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in small business development and has worked as an international consultant and small business owner. Brian participates in service groups, coaches summer soccer, loves bike riding and travel—especially to new places.

Brian is committed to the prosperity of Alaska. He knows that strong economies require great schools. He believes every student has potential and we must support our families and teachers in engaging students. With tight budgets, we need to continue to expand partnerships to support youth. Wise investments in early education have a great return for society.

Brian Holst is a graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School. He is married to Estela and they have four children. 

Photo of Chrya Sanderson.

Chrya Sanderson

Fairbanks Northstar Borough 

Bio

Biography coming soon!

Photo of Dana Mock.

Dana Mock

Delta Greely

Bio

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.

Andy Holleman

Anchorage

Bio

Seat D through April 2023, second term Anchorage SD 

CommitteesGovernance, Communications (Chair), MECAC

Andy Holleman believes parents and students need to be engaged in their local schools as much as possible and emphasizes the importance of the school community. He also believes strongly in high academic achievement for all students.

Graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Andy earned a Bachelor’s degrees in education and biology. He was a tutor in ASD’s Migrant Education Program before becoming a teacher at Dimond High School in 1996. He spent most of his teaching career at Goldenview Middle School in business education and computer skills classes, and served as the building’s technology coordinator. Andy became involved with policy and funding issues for education at the local and state levels, and advocated for public education as a cornerstone of our democracy. He served as president of the Anchorage Education Association for four years.

Andy has one son who received his education from ASD, attending an alternative school, an open-optional program housed in a neighborhood school, a neighborhood school, a charter school, a Seminar Program at a local high school, and finished with Alaska Pacific University’s Early Honors Program in conjunction with ASD. Andy’s wife, Donna, is a retired ASD educator. Boating and camping in the summer, along with a variety of winter sports when there’s snow, are Andy’s goals for his off-hours.

Photo of Clarence Daniel.

Clarence Daniel

Lower Kuskokwim

Bio

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.

Photo of Tillie Ticket.

Tillie Ticket

Northwest Arctic Borough

Bio

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.

Diane Gubatayao

Ketchikan

Bio

Ketchikan has been home to me for over 30 years, raising my five children here. I first served on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board 1995-98. I returned for a 3-year term in 2017, and I was re-elected to a new term in 2020. Education is my passion. I possess a lifetime California K-9 teaching credential, and I taught elementary math in the Peace Corps in the Philippines. Most of my work experience has focused on youth and non-profits. For example, I have been a director of a Boys and Girls Club. I was Director of PATCHWORKS here in Ketchikan that promoted the developmental asset model. More recently, I have worked for WISH, the only women’s shelter is southern SE Alaska, and for Community Connections.

Since I retired, I have devoted time to volunteering in the community. Currently, I referee youth soccer, serve on the WISH Board of Directors, participate in First City Rotary, and I am President of the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition Governing Board.

I am very excited for the opportunity to serve on the AASB State Board of Directors. AASB has been integral to my successful service as a school board member. I have the utmost respect for the organization, but even deeper respect for other school board members as I fully appreciate the dedication, time and energy required to support our young people. I look forward to contributing to the efforts and growth of AASB.

John Mark

Lower Kuskokwim

Bio

John Mark is from Quinhagak and holds Seat I on the 9 seat board. This seat serves the villages of Eek, Goodnews Bay, Kongiganak, Platinum, and Quinhagak.

In his own words, “My favorite part of being on the school board is having an opportunity to contribute for the benefit of the School District so that our students may be given the best education possible. I was motivated to be on the LKSD School Board by my sheer desire to advocate for our children and the staff that they rely on to learn.

“I am a firm believer of not having students fall through the cracks that prevent them from graduating at the end of their formal K-12 schooling. The school and the parents of all students need to work together to make sure the graduation rate is as high as possible annually. Having a High School Diploma is key to opening ones many opportunities to become self sufficient, more opportunity for higher education, and thus a better opportunity for higher paying jobs and to become a productive member of a community.

One thing not too many people know about John O. Mark is that he owns and plays an instrument called the trumpet. He said, “I do not play it publicly, only at my house during quiet times.”

Margo Bellamy

Anchorage

Bio

A forty-six year resident of Anchorage, Margo Bellamy has spent over forty years serving children and families. She has been a teacher, librarian, assistant principal, principal, executive director, mentor, and trainer of all. As a career educator, Margo brings a range of experience, from early to postsecondary education, to the Anchorage School Board along with a commitment to work every day to make the Anchorage School District a better place for all students, families, and staff.

Margo’s intent for her work in ASD is to enhance the collaboration with all stakeholders, including Board members, Superintendent, and families to create policies and a governance system that results in an education structure where every child has the opportunities that they need to be successful regardless of their individual needs, life experiences, or zip code. Margo’s vision includes giving voice to all parents for our children’s benefit, including those who are underrepresented. She maintains that Alaskans deserve great schools in a community that celebrates diversity and well-being of all children.

Margo is an Adjunct Professor in the Educational Leadership Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage where she supervises future principals. She also serves as a volunteer on the AdvanceED Engagement Review Team which looks at continuous improvements through the accreditation process. Margo currently serves on several local youth and family-focused organizations, including: Anchorage’s Promise Board of Directors, Kids Day Planning Committee, Clare House Advisory Committee, Ft. Valley State University Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (Pre-college), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the local chapter of the NAACP.

Margo is married and is the parent of two adult children, both ASD graduates; and grandparent to two grandsons ages 3 and 8. Her oldest grandson attends school in the Anchorage School District.

Margo’s experiences working with and for Alaska’s students, in schools and nonprofit boardrooms, has given her the knowledge, perspective, and experience to understand and work collaboratively with diverse groups. She believes that our public schools are the backbone of our community and we must work hard to ensure our schools are the best they can be so our students and community continue to thrive.