ASMP celebrates 20 years of mentoring Alaska teachers

A group of 27 adults wearing matching light blue vests with gold patches gathered for a group photo on the steps of the Akasofu Building at UAF
Photo courtesy of ASMP
ASMP's 2023-2024 mentor group, with Sue McIntosh, program director, (second from right, back row) and Glenda Findlay, K-12 outreach director at UAF's School of Education, (third row, left).

The Alaska Statewide Mentor Project recently marked its 20th year of mentoring first- and second-year teachers in schools all over Alaska. 

The project provides individualized support to first- and second-year teachers, with the aim of developing an effective teaching force that is responsive to the diverse academic needs and cultural backgrounds of all students. ASMP operates under the K-12 outreach umbrella at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ School of Education.

Education leaders, superintendents, administrators, mentors and mentees gathered Oct. 12 in Anchorage to celebrate and share stories. The gathering included representatives from ASMP’s long-term partners, the University of Alaska and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

ASMP got its start in 2003, when the University of Alaska obtained funding for a pilot project that provided one mentor to serve teachers in five school districts. By April 2004, the program had grown to include 22 full-time mentors. In the 2004-05 school year, mentors worked with more than 300 early-career teachers in 31 Alaska school districts.

30 smiling adults gathered for a group photo
Photo courtesy of ASMP
ASMP's 2004-2005 founding mentor group. Lorrie Scoles, founder, is second from right, middle row, in light green.

As of this year, ASMP has trained 157 mentors and served nearly 5,000 new teachers in 500 schools in 215 communities across all 54 Alaska school districts. As districts struggle to fill teaching positions, the program is seeking to expand its service to teachers new to the state and from overseas.

ASMP’s goals are:

  • Improved quality of instruction
  • Increased teacher retentions
  • Improved student achievement

More information about ASMP is available on the website.