Karen Bloxsom named Alaska’s 2023 Assistant Principal of the Year 

October, 2022 – NEWS RELEASE

Karen Bloxsom has been named the 2023 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP). She is also recognized as the 2023 Alaska Region VIII Assistant Principal of the Year.

The AASSP Assistant Principal of the Year program annually recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have successfully provided high-quality learning opportunities for students. In addition, these assistant principals are acknowledged by their peers for the exemplary contributions they have made to the profession.

AASSP President Brendan Wilson said, “Karen Bloxsom is an extraordinary leader who has created a school culture where students thrive. It is the distinct privilege of the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals to announce her as the 2023 Alaska Assistant Principal of Year!”

Bloxsom has been an Assistant Principal at Wasilla High School in the Mat-Su School District for the last four years.

“Karen Bloxsom is an invaluable part of Warrior Nation,” Jason Marvel, Principal at Wasilla High School said. “Her relational capacity with both students and staff is impressive. She has singlehandedly doubled our Advanced Placement numbers in the last year and her focus on equity has helped transform our school. I don’t know of anyone more deserving.”

Bloxsom shared her process for changing outcome, “WHS was struggling in multiple areas and therefore needed to rebrand. I challenged myself to change our culture and climate. This vision four years ago to revamp Wasilla High became reality through implementing multiple new processes on day one.” 

Dr. Randy Trani, Superintendent of the Mat-Su School District, said Bloxsom is a champion for all students. He said, “Karen relentlessly pursues equity for disadvantaged students and maintains high academic standards for all.” 

Since 2019, Wasilla High School has lowered its major disciple referrals by 13% and has provided more community and job-ready opportunities for its students. 

KB Holbrook, Counselor at Wasilla High School said, “Karen Bloxsom is supportive, a problem solver, and she is willing to address uncomfortable issues.” He added, “Karen strikes a balance between relationship building and holding students accountable for their natural consequences. She is conscious of how her actions affect not individual students as well as our school culture.”  

Robin Lockwood, Wasilla High School Math teacher shared, “Karen Bloxsom is a thoughtful and thorough Assistant Principal. I am impressed with instructional leadership strategies; her years of classroom experience show through her leadership style. She is our AP champion, over doubling the number of students enrolled in AP courses. She truly is the definition of a trauma informed administrator.” 

Karen Bloxsom was recognized as the 2023 Alaska Assistant Principal of the Year during the 56th Annual Alaska Principals’ Conference on October 14th in Anchorage. 

56th Annual Alaska Principals’ Conference


Calling all principals and assistant principals in Alaska…
Mark your calendars for the 56th Annual Alaska Principals’ Conference! It will be held October 14-15 at the Hilton in Downtown Anchorage. Join your colleagues to connect with each other and learn from amazing keynote presenters.

Click here to register today. Contact cgiron@alaskaacsa.org with any questions.

 Mat-Su School District Principal Mary Fulp Named Alaska’s 2022 Principal of the Year

 The Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) is proud to announce our Alaska Principal of the Year for 2022 is Mary Fulp, principal of Colony Middle School in Palmer, Alaska. 

Principal Fulp is a lifelong Alaskan who received her Bachelor’s in Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She also completed her Master’s in Educational Leadership, with a Superintendent Endorsement from UAA. Fulp has spent 24 years working in education in Alaska and 17 years as a principal in the Mat-Su School District. 

Principal Fulp has been an advocate for education throughout her career, serving as Past-President of the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) and the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals. She also serves as a principal mentor for the Alaska School Leadership Academy. She was selected by her peers as the AASSP Region 8 Principal of the Year for 2022. 

Brendan Wilson, President of ACSA and AASSP, said that Fulp is deserving of this recognition. “Principal Fulp has been a statewide leader for as long as I have known her.” Wilson added, “She is a passionate and effective advocate for our kids, for education, and for principals.” 

As a Principal, Fulp wants her staff to realize their power when they work with students. “We have the power to change lives every single day, and when we wake up, I hope we are excited to go to work.” Fulp said that as a leader, she gives her best everyday and inspires her staff to do the same because, “So goes the leadership, so goes the school.” 

Dr. Randy Trani, Superintendent of the Mat-Su School District, said that Fulp epitomizes student-centered leadership. “Principal Fulp is uncompromising in her expectations for 

student achievement. She expects all students to make progress and works diligently to instill a growth mindset in all students at Colony Middle School.” 

Dr. Trani said that he was pleased to learn that Fulp was recognized as Alaska Principal of the Year and added, “I am so thankful Principal Fulp has dedicated herself to serving the students of the Mat-Su. She is truly an inspirational leader.” 

Dr. Michael Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development, extended his congratulations to Fulp. “By recognizing Mary Fulp, we all express our commitment to the values and student-centered leadership she demonstrates each day in her school. We also express our desire to extend Mary’s leadership to schools across our state.” 

Each year, the AASSP State Principal of the Year winners are submitted for consideration to be the NASSP National Principal of the Year. NASSP will announce three finalists in July. Fulp will travel to Washington DC in September for the NASSP Principals Institute. 

Will Chervenak named AASSP 2022 Alaska Assistant Principal of the Year

Will Chervenak has been named the 2022 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP). He is also recognized as the 2022 Alaska Region III Assistant Principal of the Year.
The AASSP Assistant Principal of the Year program annually recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have successfully provided high-quality learning opportunities for students. In addition, these assistant principals are acknowledged by their peers for the exemplary contributions they have made to the profession.
AASSP President and 2021 Alaska Principal of Year, Robin Jones said, “Will Chervenak is an extraordinary leader who has moved mountains to create a school culture where students and staff thrive, and it is our distinct privilege to announce him as the 2022 Alaska Assistant Principal of Year!”
Chervenak has been with the Kenai Peninsula School District (KPSD) for six years and Assistant Principal at Kenai Central High School for the last three years.
“Mr. Chervenak has a continual growth mindset,” Clayton Holland, Superintendent of KPSD, said. “He always seeks to find ways to improve and thereby become even more effective at positively impacting students. He is supportive of staff, and he seeks to include their voice on decisions made at the site level.” 
Sharing how he has continued to grow as a leader despite a pandemic, Chervenak said, “I have pushed myself to improve my professional practice and have taken a new approach to student discipline, focusing on restorative justice and building positive relationships.” 
This year Chervenak has facilitated the N.O.T. (Not On Tobacco) youth cessation program as part of this new approach. N.O.T focuses on tobacco product education and cessation, providing an alternative to out-of-school suspension for students found using tobacco products at school. He shared that he will continue to learn and advocate for response to intervention best practices techniques to bring back to his school. 
Kenai Central High School Principal Dan Beck shared his excitement about Chervenak’s recognition saying, “It has been a pleasure to join Will Chervenak on the administrative team at Kenai Central High School this year. He is a true advocate for our community and school.”
Chervenak said the success of Kenai Central High School comes from the dedication and leadership of everyone on staff, “I am very proud of the culture that exists at my school. We are focused on student voice and providing a student-centered curriculum that is further supported by the personalized learning framework.”
“Will is motivated to serve the community, specifically students, which makes him an effective educator,” said Peter Gundunas, Resource Teacher at Kenai Central High School. He taught with Chervenak for four years. 
Superintendent Holland added that KPBS staff and the community are excited to celebrate Chervenak’s accomplishments and recognition.

AASSP and AAESP Back to School Message from Robin Jones and Jennifer Rinaldi

We hope this message finds you well and that you were able to rest and recharge this summer. As we embark on what could be another challenging school year, the associations wanted to pass along some keepsakes to help you navigate leadership in uncertain times. 

We need to keep understanding

It is important for us to stay informed during the pandemic and equally essential for us to understand how the spread of COVID-19 will impact our students, staff, and communities in different ways.  

We need to keep growing… 

While it is easy to feel set back when things do not go as planned, we have to continue to cultivate and model resilience so we can optimize our opportunities for personal and professional growth.  

We need to keep moving…

The amount of loss that everyone has felt is overwhelming and unimaginable, but it is critical that we learn from our past experiences and keep moving forward. 

Our hope is that as we keep understanding, growing, and moving forward, we can still provide an excellent education for our students while taking care of ourselves and our families in the process. AASSP and AAESP are here to support you every step of the way!

2022 ACSA Legislative Fly-In, March 27-30 in Juneau

Mark your calendars. Let your voice be heard. Advocating for public education is important for our future. Register today!

Virtual Alaska Principals’ Conference, December 3, 2021.

The Principals’ Conference Planning Committee has decided that in the best interest of everyone’s health and wellbeing, the 55th Annual Alaska Principals’ Conference will be held virtually on December 3rd, 2021.

Calling all principals and assistant principals in Alaska…

Mark your calendars for the 55th Annual Alaska Principals’ Conference! It will be held Friday, December 3rd virtually, 8:00am-1:30pm. Join your colleagues online, “Leading Together,” to connect with each other and learn from amazing keynote presenters, Allyson ApseyJenni Donohoo and Dr. Panigkaq Agatha John-Shields. Click here to register today. Contact acsa@alaskaacsa.org with any questions.

Alaska School District Response Updates for COVID-19

(Click on image to view resources page.)

2020 ACSA Virtual Legislative Fly-In Recap

Click here for the recordings and slides.

Message from AASSP President Brendan Wilson

Brendan-Wilson

Welcome to the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals website!
AASSP is a professional organization promoting excellence in educational leadership across our great state. Whether you serve a large, urban school district or a small school community off the road system, I hope you can take advantage of the resources, support, and networking opportunities we are excited to share.

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