January Update

Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals

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Happy New Year!

On my first day back at work, I reflected on my great Christmas break. It was wonderful playing games like Yahtzee and Life with my 16, 11, 10, and 8-year-olds, and I enjoyed staying up late and watching movies with my wife. This time helped me re-energize and roll into the new year with great excitement about the work ahead. It also reminds me about the importance of taking the time throughout the second semester to take care of ourselves so that we do not experience the burnout that faces educators so often.

January not only brings renewed energy but the annual MTSS/RTI Conference. There is a fantastic lineup of presenters and sessions. If you still need to sign up, check out the link below. It is great professional development and time with your colleagues for your staff and yourself. I will be there, so please do make sure you stop and say hello.

Testing season is right around the corner. If you have ELD students, the WIDA opens up in February, and it is good to be planning and preparing now.

Don’t forget about your staff. A little treat or note goes a long way. Make sure they know they are appreciated.

Have a great January,

Joshua Gill

AAESP President

Meet your 2023 AAESP Board!

We are here for you! Please reach out to any one of us, at any time, if we can be of service!

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Congratulations to AAESP member, and Finger Lake (MSBSD) Principal Juli Hardy who had the winning ticket for the Alaska Airlines ticket raffle. Juli is the lucky winner of TWO Alaska Airlines vouchers for anywhere the airline flies! Congratulations, Juli - We're excited to see where you're off to!

A BIG thank you to all who purchased raffle tickets, and to Alaska Airlines for partnering with our association on this, and providing travel to our National Distinguished Principal to attend the awards ceremony in Washington D.C. Read below to see how you, or someone you know, can be nominated for this prestigious award!

National Distinguished Principal and National Outstanding Assistant Principal Nominations Due!

Each year, AAESP selects one principal to serve as the National Distinguished Principal for the state of Alaska and represent our state at the national level. Nominations are now open, and anyone can nominate a principal with a minimum of five years of experience in the principalship and three consecutive years of membership in NAESP.

New this year - AAESP is also accepting nominations for the National Outstanding Assistant Principal Award. Nominations are open for a practicing assistant principal who demonstrates exceptional leadership and has at least two years of experience in the role.

More information on both of these award programs can be found at: https://www.naesp.org/programs/.

Please submit your nominations to akelementaryprincipals@gmail.com by February 15th, 2023.

Professional Development Opportunities

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Do you have an aspiring leader in your building that has expressed interest in becoming a principal? Or perhaps you see their great leadership potential and they have yet to discover it! Building Educational Leaders for Alaska, BELA, is a new program aimed at identifying those future leaders and helping them develop their leadership skills and potential. Please reach out to jschmitz@alaskaacsa.org or jrinaldi@alaskaacsa.org to share the names of those who you believe should be a part of this program. We are planning now for our first event this spring, so don't delay!

Don't miss the upcoming RTI/MTSS Effective Instruction Conference scheduled for January 28th and 29th in Anchorage! Hear from nationally recognized experts and explore the latest research on what is working, now. We will also have a BELA table at the event for our aspiring Alaskan leaders, so be sure to stop by and encourage those you know who would be great leaders to do the same. The link to register is: https://web.cvent.com/event/09adbe51-ad3e-40dc-8716-746684ae584b/summary. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Also, mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Science of Reading Symposium to be held in Anchorage April 28th - 30th, 2023. Registration is available at Alaska Science of Reading Symposium.

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Our Alaska PK-12 Monthly Collaboration Meetings are scheduled for the third Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Susy McKenzie with DEED will be presenting critical information on the Alaska Reads Act during our January meeting which is Tuesday, January 17th at 10:00 a.m. The link to the meeting is:


We look forward to seeing you there!

Call for Student Art!

The Alaska Council of School Administrators needs your students’ artwork! We are excited to announce the Alaska Council of School Administrators “Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art” — the 8th Annual Student Art Show.

This is an opportunity to showcase student creativity and expression in The Andrew P. Kashevaroff Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, in Juneau. Our goal is to have art from each of our 54 school districts. Submissions will be displayed for school administrators and legislators at the end of February at the APK Building in Juneau. Students who participate in the auction will receive 60% of the final bidding price; the other 40% will go to art scholarships.

Please share this entry form, which includes all the art guidelines, with your teachers: ART GUIDELINES AND SUBMISSION FORM

Please make sure the artwork arrives in Juneau by Sunday, February 26, 2023 or inform us if your Superintendent or Principal will bringing the art work with them to Juneau. Submission can be shipped to Juneau at the following address:

ACSA Exhibit Submission

234 Gold St

Juneau, AK 99801

For questions, please reach out to Chala Giron at cgiron@alaskaacsa.org or call (907) 586-9702.

We’re thrilled to see the beautiful artwork from your students!

Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals

Jennifer Schmitz, Executive Director

Jen Rinaldi, Deputy Director