Juneau’s Toni Mallott is the AFN Citizen of the Year.
Mallott was selected for the award because of her work in education as a public school elementary teacher and her work with students who speak English as a second language. She taught for more than 30 years in Anchorage, Juneau and Yakutat.
Mallott received the award Friday morning during the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention being held in Fairbanks.
AFN president Julie Kitka said Mallott was given the award for the impact she has had on so many young children’s lives.
“Toni Mallott is such a remarkable person that you can see her character through the lives of the children she has loved and taught,” Kitka said. “Toni embodies our traditional Native values and all that we admire in a teacher, an educator and a citizen of our community.”
Mallott said she was shocked to receive the award. She said she accepted it on behalf of all teachers, who spend every day trying to make a difference in the lives of their students. Mallott also called for a strong partnership between teachers and parents.
“The parents are the primary teachers of their children, and it’s really crucial that we have a teacher and parent relationship that’s cemented,” she said.
She accepted the award flanked by a number of family members, including a sister and brother, two of Mallott’s five children, several grandchildren, and her husband, gubernatorial hopeful and former Juneau Mayor Byron Mallott.
Toni Mallott grew up in Rampart and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.