Michael Angaiak

Michael Angaiak

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals has named Michael Angaiak, principal at Anne Wien Elementary School, the National Distinguished Principal for 2018.

Angaiak has been a principal for eight years, leading Anne Wien Elementary for the past five. He is invited to a principals conference in Washington, D.C., in October to join distinguished principals from each state and possibly meet President Donald Trump, said Deanna Beck, president of the Alaska association.

The professional organization announced Angaiak’s achievement this week. Karen Gaborik, superintendent of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, also announced the award at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday and in a newsletter to school district parents.

“Angaiak, a Yup’ik Alaska Native, leads by example inside his school and throughout the Fairbanks community,” Gaborik stated in the newsletter. “He has previously been recognized as an outstanding principal by the Fairbanks Principals’ Association.”

Beck said Angaiak’s nomination came from the superintendent’s office and that letters of support came from a teacher and an assistant superintendent. The principals association typically gets seven to eight nominations a year, and a committee whittles the list down to three for final selection by the association’s executive board. 

Candidates are judged on professional experience, other awards, service to the community, essays on what they consider their three most significant accomplishments and answers to questions related to leadership, said Kim Bautista, vice president of the association.

Angaiak reportedly stood out for community involvement and for having high expectations of his staff. He is an advocate of early childhood education and is a “servant leader,” said Assistant Superintendent Kate LaPlaunt, who told the principals association that Angaiak is “motivated by a deep moral conviction to make public education a place where every child can be loved and find personal success.”

Julie Tallberg, a kindergarten teacher at Anne Wien, said Angaiak epitomizes the school motto: “Work Hard, Play Fair and Take Care of Each Other.”

A reception will be planned for Angaiak after the school year ends, Gaborik told the school board. 

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7587. Follow her on Twitter:@FDNMborough.