Alaska Association of School Librarians

Advancing high standards for the school library profession in Alaska

Alaska Association of School Librarians - Advancing high standards for the school library profession in Alaska

Executive Board

e-Board Minutes
Previous e-Boards


President:  Dona Helmer

College Gate Elementary School, Anchorage

Dona Helmer has been the librarian at College Gate Elementary School in Anchorage since 1998. Prior to that time, she was an associate professor and director of the Curriculum Resource Center at Montana State University-Billings. In addition to her MLS from Northern Illinois University, Helmer has an MA in American Intellectual history, an Educational Specialist Degree in Media and Technology and her doctoral work in Administration and Curriculum Articulation is from the University of Southern Mississippi where she also taught in the school of library science.  She has been lucky to have spent over 30 years in a profession which she loves. During that time, as a librarian, university professor and reviewer, she has seen many changes in collection development, book publishing, reference, reviewing and children’s services.  She has served on a variety of AkASL, AkLA and ALA committees including the Caldecott, Newbery, and Sibert Award committees. She feels her major accomplishments are yet to come.


President-Elect: Sheryl Wittig

Auke Bay Elementary School, Juneau

Sheryl Wittig has been the librarian & music teacher at Auke Bay Elementary in Juneau since 2009.  She was the gifted & talented teacher at Riverbend Elementary for the twelve years prior to that, and spent the first eight years of her teaching career teaching in logging camps for Southeast Island School District.  She completed the University of Washington School Library Professional program in 2011.


Past-President:  Deborah Rinio


Hutchison High School, Fairbanks

Deborah Rinio is the librarian at Hutchison High School. She moved to Alaska in 2003 after finishing her MA from the University of Arizona. Since she began pursuit of her masters, she has worked in elementary, middle, and high school libraries as well as governmental, academic, and public libraries. She is currently pursuing her doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Secretary:  Amelia Mitchell

Amelia Mitchell

Ryan Middle School, Fairbanks
National Board Certified Teacher in Library Media

Amelia has 14 years of experience as a school librarian, 13 ½ at a large high school in North Carolina, and 6 months at a Middle School in Fairbanks. She has served at the State Delta Kappa Gamma level in North Carolina for 7 years, on a variety of committees, including the communications committee. This committee was responsible for creating standards of chapter communication in line withinternational standards, creating an evaluation and awards system reflecting these standards, and personally evaluating and critiquing every issue of every NC chapter newsletter, handout and website published over a two year period. Amelia is new to the state of Alaska as an Army spouse.


Treasurer:  Laura Guest


Turnagain Elementary School, Anchorage


Region 1 Rep (Northern):  Cayla Armatti


North Pole Senior High School, Fairbanks


Region 2 Rep (South Central): Jill Gann

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Kenai Peninusula School District

Jill is currently the librarian at Kenai Central High School and Kenai Middle School in the KPBSD school district. Prior to this she spent 14 years working as an elementary librarian and PE teacher, a middle school librarian and a high school librarian in the Anchorage School District. She has a passion for teaching, a love of reading and share that excitement with anyone who will listen. Living on the Kenai Peninsula provides many opportunities for adventures in the outdoors. She loves to fish, hike and bike if I am not curled up with a good book.

Region 3 Rep (Anchorage): Darla Grediagin

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Begich Middle School, Anchorage


Region 4 Rep (Southeast): Caitlin Jacobson


Ketchikan High School, Ketchikan

Caitlin is the librarian at Ketchikan High School.  She was previously librarian at Schoenbar Middle School and has been with Ketchikan school libraries since 2004, after 10 years in public libraries in the Lower ’48.  She is a graduate of Whitworth College in Spokane, WA and received her MLS from Catholic University, DC, in 1992.  Caitlin has served as Secretary in AkLA, and as both chair and member of various ALA committees, including Notable Books for Children, Program Coordinating, Newbery (The Graveyard Book), and Caldecott (My Friend Rabbit).  Caitlin is a Ketchikan HS graduate, and is glad to be back home after 20 years “off the rock”.  She lives with her husband, Al, and dogs Rosco and Sadie.


Membership:  Katie Conover


Goose Bay Elementary School, Wasilla

Over the past 18 years she has taught children in grades K-8, serving as a physical education teacher, classroom teacher, Title I teacher, reading specialist, technology specialist, and middle school math and science teacher. Then, nine years ago, she discovered school library and fell in love. She completed a Masters in Arts in Information and Communication Technology in 2002 (University of Otago, New Zealand) and a School Library Professional Certificate in 2008 (University of Washington). In 2011, Katie completed her National Board Certification in Library Media. She currently teaches kindergarten, first and second grade students at Goose Bay Elementary in the Mat-Su School District. Katie lives in Anchorage with her husband, Paul, and son, Finley (2 years).

Grants Coordinator:  Karla Barkman


District Librarian/Technology Coach, KPBSD

Awards Chair:  Sheryl Wittig
Auke Bay Elementary School, Juneau


Ex-Officio & Appointed, Non-voting members:

Battle of the Books:  Shelly Logsdon
Wasilla High School, Wasilla

Battle of the Books:  Erika Drain
Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka

Battle of the Books:  Laura Guest
Turnagain Elementary School, Anchorage

Puffin Online NewsletterCayla Armatti
North Pole Senior High School, Fairbanks

Online Communication Coordinator (web):  Staci Cox

West-Romig Librarian, Anchorage

Alaska State Library, School Library Consultant:
Jared Shucha

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Alaska State Library/SERRC