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State Mandated Trainings

posted Aug 2, 2012, 12:27 PM by Arleen Casey   [ updated Aug 2, 2012, 12:29 PM ]

The yearly state mandated trainings will be due this fall.
Contact Arleen Casey for what trainings you need to complete.

The website is:

MEHS Librarian Honored

posted Apr 28, 2012, 9:04 AM by Mark Nance

Courtesy Daily Sitka Sentinel


Mt. Edgecumbe High School librarian Erika Drain says she feels a little strange as an individual receiving the statewide service award for librarians.


“I’m surprised I got this award, because I’ve never done any of these service things by myself,” Drain said, noting she has collaborated on most projects with local librarians and librarians across Alaska.


Drain, the MEHS librarian for the last eight years, is this year’s recipient of the Linda K. Barrett Service Award given by the Alaska Association of School Librarians. The award is given annually to a librarian who has demonstrated outstanding service to the school library profession and provided significant contributions to state and local activities.


The honor was presented at the annual AkASL conference banquet in February in Fairbanks.


“I almost didn’t make it to the awards,” Drain said. She and Blatchley Middle School librarian Kari Sagel were exploring a comic book store in Fairbanks on the afternoon of the banquet, when Sagel – who knew Drain was going to receive the award – urged her friend out of the store and to the event.  Sitka High librarian Ginny Blackson said the award is well deserved.


“She is one of the finest librarians I have ever worked with,” Blackson said. “Her ability to meet the needs of one of the most diverse patron groups has always amazed me. The students come from all over the state and represent every culture, every reading level and every social belief.”


 Drain thinks she may have been selected for the award for her work as co-chair of both the statewide Battle of the Books program and her work on the Alaska Spirit of Reading. Drain said she enjoys participating in both programs, particularly working with other Sitka librarians who are also statewide leaders in reading programs.


“This group of librarians down here in this town is pretty spectacular,” Drain said.


 She participated in the project of “sorting, archiving, loading and packing” the valuable book collection from Sheldon Jackson College, after it closed in 2007.

    Past president of AkASL Robin Turk said Drain has served on the nonprofit organization’s board since 2005, and has “delivered innovative ideas for improving the goals and services of AkASL.” Drain wrote grants for providing READ poster CDs and training for librarians, wrote grants for professional development, led the reform of association policies and “most importantly worked to organize support for the passage and funding of the School Library Collection Grant.”


 A news release from AkASL said that Drain coordinated a letter-writing campaign to legislators, created flyers, brochures and a website to coordinate the campaign.


Drain more recently was instrumental in the Sitka observance of World Book Night Monday, in which librarians, reading advocates and staff from Old Harbor Books coordinated a book giveaway along a bus route from Burkhart Street to O’Connell Bridge. The supply of several hundred books ran out before the bus was able to cross the bridge to reach Drain’s students at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, but plans were immediately started to collect donations and finish the route this afternoon.


Drain rode the bus the whole way, getting off at the various stops to pass out the eight selected titles, candy and various other books.


Drain grew up in Montana and received her degree in elementary education and art education from Montana State University in Billings. She taught kindergarten through grade 8 for seven years in Billings Catholic schools, then returned to school to receive a master’s degree in technology from Leslie College in Cambridge, Mass.


She moved to Southwest Alaska in 2000, as a technical integration specialist working with teachers on how to use technology as a teaching tool. While working fulltime, Drain also earned her librarian endorsement through the University of Washington distance learning program, with two summers of on-campus studies. After receiving her certificate, she became the Southwest Region School District library media specialist, living in Dillingham and traveling from Koliganek to Tokiak. She said she enjoys working at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.


“It is one of my favorite jobs ever,” Drain said. “The kids who go here are great. There are a lot of people who are starving for good literature who love coming in this library. And a lot of kids who graduate, I hear from them, and they say, ‘I miss our library.’”


Drain said she was happy to receive the statewide service award, but had a twinge of guilt. “I felt there should’ve been several people in the award,” she said.

2012 BP Teachers of Excellence

posted Apr 28, 2012, 8:57 AM by Mark Nance

Courtesy Daily Sitka Sentinel


Mt. Edgecumbe High School teacher Michael Mahoney was among four Southeast Alaska teachers honored as 2012 BP Teachers of Excellence. The program was expanded in 2012 and opened to all Alaska school districts. Thirty Alaska teachers were honored. The statewide program attracted more than 1,400 nominations.


Mahoney teaches grades nine through 12. A lifelong Alaskan, Mahoney grew up in Kodiak and has been teaching at MEHS for 14 years. In partnership with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Mahoney created a sea-technology internship program where his students study whale acoustics.

The BP Teachers of Excellence program recognizes teachers for their dedication to teaching and for inspiring students. Each teacher receives a $500 gift card and an award certificate. In addition, the teacher’s school receives a matching $500.

Halloween 2011

posted Nov 7, 2011, 2:47 PM by Mark Nance

A couple PLC updates from Wednesday November 24th

posted Nov 30, 2010, 9:08 AM by Mark Nance   [ updated Jan 21, 2011, 4:29 PM ]

Technology Department


Our PLC continued the discussion about what to say to the Administrators when we meet with them again.  We also discussed if it would be better to look into a 1 to 1 lease for all the students or look into a cart in each room.  We discussed both plans and have not come to a conclusion yet.  We had two members absent for the meeting.


Electives Department


The Electives PLC meeting last week was held at the Highliner and consisted of us working out our wish list for the title money.  Not very exciting, but it was actually fun!  It was like looking through the Sears' catalogue putting stars next to the things we want:)  The next time we meet we are going to discuss what we want to accomplish next semester

Social Studies Department


The Social Studies Department began the collaborative process by formalizing our professional meeting standards.  We reviewed student placements within our department and shared insights into strengths and areas of need for many of our returning students.  The MEHS administration trained all teachers in the use of D.I.A.S.A., which is a web-based interface, which allows teachers an unlimited opportunity to examine student standardized test scores.  Our department explored some of the possibilities for utilizing current and future student test data in connection with our areas of emphasis or Power Standards.  Employing the best practice of drawing from many sources, Ms. Dionne Jackson represented the S.S. Dept. at the State of Alaska’s Curriculum Alignment Workshop in Anchorage on November 8th and 9th. 


More recently, our department has continued to itemize and prioritize our proposals for the use of title IX funds.  Also, along with each other academic department, MEHS administration and teachers are striving to offer a schedule of classes that offer maximum benefit and flexibility to students while incorporating the requirements of the new Alaska Performance Scholarship, which is being phased in this year.  Most recently our department met with Mr.Gurule and Mr. Hawk in an ongoing effort at strategic planning with the Social Studies in order to provide the best for MEHS students.

Professional Learning Community updates from November 3rd

posted Nov 8, 2010, 10:56 AM by Mark Nance   [ updated Jan 21, 2011, 4:29 PM ]


The English department had a visit from Cindy Litman who is a researcher for the READING APPRENTICESHIP program.  She discussed strategies that all content area teachers can use to enhance student understanding of difficult text.



The electives department discussed our efforts to integrate the Brave Writing Guide into our classes through use of paragraph writing. All teachers agreed that it was useful and beneficial to our individual disciplines and were planning to continue its use. We also considered issues that would arise from changing graduation requirements to reflect the Governor's Scholarship program requirements, the impact of those issues on the school community and programming, and possible ways to modify our graduation requirements while also strengthening the course offerings at MEHS.



The science department brainstormed several ideas to help our students become eligible for the upcoming Governor's Scholarship.  We also came up with a list of items that the science department desperately needs.



The Technology department worked on budgeting new technology for the school.  We are also working on the current curriculum and how it can be used to improve technology use in other classes.  We also discussed the purchase of either a iPad cart or Laptop Cart.

Staff Article 1

posted Apr 4, 2010, 7:32 PM by Mark Nance   [ updated Jan 21, 2011, 4:29 PM ]

This is where articles for staff would go.

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