Juneau teachers win career & technical education awards

Pictured left to right: Justin Fantasia, Kari Monagle, CTE Coordinator Carin Smolin (holding Patrick Roach’s award), and Colin Dukes. Photo courtesy Juneau School District.

Four Juneau teachers and a community program partner have been recognized by the Alaska Association for Career and Technical Education as 2013 Outstanding Teachers.

The awards came at the association’s annual conference in Anchorage on Oct. 30th , according to Carin Smolin, Career and Technical Education Coordinator for the Juneau School District.

The association’s mission is to strengthen career and technical education and develop an Alaska workforce.

JDHS Health Sciences Teacher Kari Monagle is the Outstanding Health Services Teacher of the Year.

Monagle is a Juneau Douglas High School graduate and has been teaching science there for about 20 years.  Smolin says Monagle helped develop the health sciences curriculum.

“We have alignment with the university so students can earn dual credit with high school and university credits.  We know that health sciences is a high demand occupation in our state along with the country. And she’s been very dedicated and passionate about her work and her teaching, and students just love her as well,” Smolin says.

Colin Dukes has been teaching at JDHS for six years and has earned the Outstanding Industrial/Technology Teacher of the Year award for his classes in wood, construction, house building, and CAD, or computer-aided design.

Smolin calls Dukes’ classes a model of applied learning that incorporate literacy, math, and science skills in meaningful projects.

She reads from a letter supporting Dukes for the award:

“He customizes classroom learning to meet student needs and teams of colleagues to create classroom projects and build student engagement in meaningful learning.”

One of the most popular classes at Thunder Mountain High School is taught by Patrick Roach.  He’s received the Outstanding New CTE Teacher of the Year award for preparing and cooking food, otherwise known as culinary arts.

He’s also been teaching less than three years, an important part of the category for the new CTE teacher award.

Smolin says this is not the first award Roach has received in the short time he’s been teaching.

“This past spring he also was recognized by the state and he won the Alaska 2013 Teacher of the Year by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, and he won the Alaska Educators’ Excellence award,” she says.

The Community Contribution award has gone to Justin Fantasia,  a SAGA employee who is construction manager for the JDHS House Build Program.

Fantasia has been working with the program for five years.  Smolin says his award recognizes the connection between a school and a workplace.

“He has been a mentor for students and helps them transition  into the construction field following high school and he engages in class as well as on site with the work,” she says. “He’s truly dedicated to our students.”

The JDHS House Build program currently has a house for sale in the Lemon Creek area and is building another.

The Juneau teachers who won the awards competed with other career and technical education instructors from across the state.  Smolin says the applications are accompanied by letters of support, many from students and former students, and all are reviewed by an impartial committee of business leaders and the association.