Story last updated at 4/25/2012 - 11:31 am
Four Southeast Alaska teachers were among more than 30 Alaska teachers honored as 2012 BP Teachers of Excellence. The statewide program attracted more than 1,400 nominations.
The BP Teachers of Excellence are:
Jo Dahl, Johnson Youth Center, Juneau;
Michael Mahoney, Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka;
Tom McKenna, Harborview Elementary School, Juneau; and
Mark O'Brien, Houghtaling Elementary School, Ketchikan.
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.
Teachers of Excellence biographies:
Jo Dahl teaches grades nine through 12 at Johnson Youth Center in Juneau, where she has taught 13 years of her 37-year education career. She works to establish a firm teacher-to-student relationship and instill a long-term work ethic that leads to high school graduation.
Michael Mahoney teaches grades nine through 12 at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. A life-long Alaskan, Mahoney grew up in Kodiak and has been teaching for 14 years at Mt. Edgecumbe. In partnership with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Mahoney created a sea-technology internship program where his students study whale acoustics.
Tom McKenna teaches fourth grade at Harborview Elementary School in Juneau. During his 18-year education career, McKenna recognized that connecting with families is the key to students reaching their full potential. He uses technology to connect students to outside resources. His students learn about Alaska's regions and environment by communicating with students in Barrow. Parents are able to view his classroom work, newsletters and calendar online.
Mark O'Brien teaches fifth grade at Houghtaling Elementary School in Ketchikan. He maintains an after-school homework club and plans to start a robotics program in the coming school year. O'Brien encourages connections in the community. His students adopted the Pioneer Home as their class community service program. O'Brien also serves on the Alaska Science Consortium, which provides professional development opportunities for teachers throughout the state.