EDTalk Hosts

Janelle Vanasse

Janelle Vanasse has been an educator in Alaska for over 25 years. As a principal at Bethel Regional High School, she led a transition from a school that was pronounced a “Drop-out Factory” to winning a National College Readiness Competition with Get Schooled and building a 70% college going rate. Janelle is currently the Superintendent of Mt. Edgecumbe High School working toward continued goals of college and career readiness for the primarily Alaska Native student population.

The topic of Janelle’s EDTalk will be “Inviting Indigenous Students into the College Preparation Process”.

High Schools across Alaska have high expectations and goals for post-secondary transitions for Alaska Native students. Despite years of effort and a whole lot of educators with big hearts, we still fall short of the dream.  It will not work to just try harder with the same techniques, it is time to think a bit differently. Many schools have embedded practices that are not reaching our Alaska Native students. This talk will provide some insight into hidden biases that may be lurking in your institutional practices. Well-intentioned teachers and counselors may be missing opportunities to help Alaska Native students build college preparation and navigational skills that are culturally responsive. Janelle Vanasse will draw on both research and past practices to provide questions for schools to use to consider opportunities to engage more Alaska Native students in a college prep pathway.


Trish Zugg

Trish Zugg currently serves as the CTE Program Administrator for the Mat-Su Borough School District. She brings 27 years of enthusiastic service to Career & Technical Education (CTE). Twenty four of those years were doing what she loves most, spending her days with students. Trish taught Business Education, and then with the Internet frenzy in 2000, she jumped headfirst into Computer Science instruction. Specifically, she taught the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum. She has served as President for the Alaska Association for Career and Technical Education (Alaska ACTE) and currently serves on the 18 Western States based, ACTE Region V Policy Committee. It was her honor to be awarded the Alaska Career & Technical Education Teacher of the Year, BP Teacher of Excellence, Business Education Teacher of the Year, and served as a Career & Technical Student Organization (CTSO) Advisor during her years in the classroom.

Trish holds an MS in Vocational Education, but before entering this field and after receiving her BA in Accounting, she spent time working as a finance specialist in the oil & gas industry and in the law sector. Never being afraid to work, she could also be found in the oilfield performing general labor, driving trucks, front-end loaders, and experiencing work at 40 below! Trish’s passion for Career & Technical Education has truly been hands-on, she has taught it, administered it, worked it, and lives it!

The topic of Trish’s EDTalk will be “Career & Technical Education: Ensuring Postsecondary Transition for Every Learner with a Dream and a Plan“.

A framework and structure that supports the development and implementation of sustainable career development, participation in and usage of Career & Technical Education Programs of Study (CTEPS), and transition plans to postsecondary options will be discussed. Participants will further their understanding of career-connected learning that is equity of access based, has structure, advising, data analysis and promising practices.