Board of Directors2023-2024
Teresa Novakovich, President
Board Seat: Student (Term ends in March 2024)
Teresa Novakovich started classes at UAA in 1987 as a young adult. She dropped out in 1988 to marry and start a family. At the time, she felt that she had to choose between being a parent and having a college degree. She chose to be a parent thinking she had burned her bridges for an education. She was a stay-at-home mom for the next 20-plus years as she raised five wonderful children. Financial hardship hit Teresa’s family in 2016. She found herself working in an entry-level job with little hope of promotion due to her lack of formal education. She knew that she had untapped potential and had a lot to give to her employer and community. Teresa re-enrolled in UAA at 53 years old. Since then, she has received three promotions and is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in spring of 2022. Teresa has personally experienced the opportunities that having a college degree offers. She would like to inspire and help others in similar situations overcome barriers to postsecondary education and enjoy those opportunities.
Marcy Herman, Vice President-President Elect
Board Seat: At Large (Term ends in March 2025)
Marcy Herman grew up in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Marcy in now the Director of Strategic Projects & Initiatives at Cook Inlet Tribal Council. She graduated from the University of Alaska Southeast with a Bachelor’s in Business Management. After graduating high school and attending college, Marcy moved to Juneau with her family and lived there while raising her family. While in Juneau, Marcy served as the Director of Development at a local 8(a) construction firm as well as the Legislative Liaison at the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development for 10 years. During her time at the department, she was part of the team that helped pass legislation establishing the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS). In addition to the APS legislation, Marcy oversaw the Governor’s legislative agenda around education under three Commissioners. In 2019, she returned to her hometown of Anchorage to be closer to her parents. At CITC Marcy is currently working on a grant with DEED to explore culturally relevant ways to remove barriers in education for Alaska Native and American Indian students and expanding the Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) to a Super FabLab that will include expanded youth programs, entrepreneurship, and a community maker space. Marcy is passionate about education and students. She is interested in student outcomes and helping learners to follow their passion beyond K12 education.
Kate Hillenbrand, Vice President-Immediate Past President
Board Seat: Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (Term ends with Office)
Kate Hillenbrand is a longtime supporter of postsecondary education and access, and has been an AlaskaCAN member since its inception in 2015. Growing up in Massachusetts, Kate moved to Alaska in 2005 and has been grateful and fortunate to call this beautiful land her home ever since. After moving to Alaska, Kate held positions at public and private postsecondary institutions, with responsibilities and oversight in admissions, recruiting, marketing, strategic planning, and change management. Currently, Kate serves as the Director of Communications & Outreach for ACPE and was appointed to the ACPE seat on the AlaskaCAN Board of Directors in early 2020. Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast, Kate is committed to the mission of AlaskaCAN in building and strengthening partnerships to increase the percentage of Alaskans completing postsecondary education.
Angela Peacock, Treasurer
Board Seat: Vocational/Tribal (Term ends in March 2024)
Angela Peacock is Bristol Bay Foundation’s Deputy Director, whose mission is to provide support for Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) shareholders to pursue educational opportunities, and to promote and preserve cultural heritage. Angela currently lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska. She is Yupik Eskimo and grew up around the Bristol Bay Region living in Twin Hills, Aleknagik, Togiak, Manokotak and Dillingham, Alaska. Angela is married to Noyuk Peacock and has three children, Camryn, Aviana, and Fin. Angela’s background reflects over eighteen years of experience working in the nonprofit sector; she has established a reputation facilitating programs working with Alaska Native Youth to better direct services to support students and connecting them to their future through job training, education, and guidance. Prior to her current role, Angela worked at Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) where she managed daily youth operations; developing, planning, and monitoring of youth opportunities programs and directly worked with staff overseeing numerous program budgets daily for operation. Angela also collected necessary data, maintained and managed the electronic information for grants management and documented program updates as needed for reporting quarterly updates to grantors. Angela completed the Foraker Group’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Foraker is a recognized organization that provides guidance to nonprofits. Angela is a graduate of Bristol Bay Native Corporation’s Training Without Walls Program, designed for emerging leaders and she also participated and completed Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s PLANT program, a year and a half leadership program for promoting employee development. Angela recently served on the Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee where she successfully completed a three year term as secretary. The JOM committee met quarterly and discussions and decisions were made on where funds of discretionary grants from the Bureau of Indian Affairs would be delegated to with all of these funds supporting Alaska Native and American Indian Youth K-12 in the Anchorage School District.
Amy Bristor, Secretary
Board Seat: Postsecondary Education (Term ends in March 2025)
Amy Bristor has over 20 years of experience in student services at the post-secondary level with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Areas of experience include working in the realm of career and technical education in promoting occupational endorsements through associate degrees, Tech Prep, professional development and continuing education units, admissions, scholarships, and advising. Currently, she is focused on dual enrollment as the coordinator of the Alaska Advantage program which is a virtual middle college model for students around the state of Alaska. Her passion lies in helping students find the program or educational journey that works for them, as well as coaching students and families through the web that navigating post-secondary education can sometimes feel like.
Board Seat: At Large (Term ends in March 2024)
As the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE’s) K-12 Specialist, Shelly Morgan manages the early college & career exploration programs I Know I Can and Kids2College, connects schools with Early Career Explorer educational resources, and assists upper elementary and middle school classrooms with establishing AKCIS Junior curriculum. Shelly trains volunteers, teachers, campuses, and coordinators in program implementation and best practices. She currently serves as Highland Academy Charter School’s PTSO President, and a member of their Academic Policy Committee. After completing a middle college program during her junior and senior years of high school, Shelly earned her Associate degree in Biology and Multiple Disciplinary Studies from DeAnza College in California. She moved to Santa Cruz, California to complete her Bachelor Degree in Biology and Environmental Studies and spent six years working as a field biologist before moving to Alaska to work for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). While working with TNC, she managed the Board of Trustees, developed a volunteer program, and worked on conservation projects. While volunteering during the Presidential campaign season of 2008, Shelly was hired to the campaign, and shortly after began work in the Alaska State Legislature as staff to Senator Bill Wielechowski. With a young child at home, Shelly knew that her next career interest was to help others find and achieve opportunities, which led to her current position at ACPE, where she has worked since 2011. An avid gardener and student advocate, Shelly enjoys planting seeds, nurturing them, and watching them grow!
Board Seat: At Large (Term ends in March 2024)
Alexander Dattilo is a training facilitator in Utqiagvik Alaska. He studied History Education at BYU-Idaho, and has worked in rural Alaska for over 15 years providing services to the unemployed and underemployed. He has developed a diverse set of skills while working here, paramount among them being his interpersonal communication, and intercultural communication. He works closely with grade schools, helping them meet their educational needs that are often lacking in rural Alaska. He works with commercial and industrial partners to ensure their staff have the proper training to do their work. Over the years of work, he has learned so much from the communities that he teaches, and it is time to take what he has learned and share it with AlaskaCAN. Alexander is a perfect fit to represent large and diverse groups as he understands the difficulties that small rural communities face, and he is skilled at teaching in these remote areas. Alexander is equally capable of holding discussions with educators both in the university and the grade school sector, he knows how to bridge certain gaps that are affecting our youth in schools. We need to act creatively and work together to bridge the gaps between secondary and postsecondary education.
Board Seat: Business (Term ends in March 2024)
Board Seat: Rural Alaska (Term ends in March 2025)
Kacey was raised in Dillingham and has lived and worked in Nome, Alaska the past 21 years. Kacey is UAF’s College of Rural and Community Development Student Services Director and is a founding AlaskaCAN Board of Director and active member since 2013. Her professional experience and expertise have fostered formation of several long standing successful regional postsecondary working groups and workforce development initiatives. Her career has focused on developing rural student success strategies, secondary exposure experiences, and regionally relevant credential and workforce development opportunities. Kacey’s extensive network of nonprofit, tribal, workforce, and academic connections across Alaska brings energy to the Alaska Postsecondary Access & Completion Network and AlaskaCAN’s purpose and priorities. With increased shipping activity and resource development targeted at rural regions across the state, local dialogue and coordination must include local, tribal and regionally relevant training priorities and hiring preferences. Kaceys historical, postsecondary and rural perspective strengthens AlaskaCAN’s initiatives and pursuit in reaching a statewide 65% postsecondary credential goal.
Board Seat: Secondary Education (Term ends in March 2025)
Board Seat: State Agency (Term ends in March 2025)
Leslie A. Vines, born and raised in Butler, Alabama, moved to Anchorage in 1995. Early on, Leslie’s career path focused on social reform of low-income or socially disadvantaged adults, youth, and children. In 2001, Leslie began her career in the nonprofit sector with Nine Star Education and Employment Services, and her passion for improving opportunities for all people ignited. Throughout her 20-year nonprofit career, Leslie has leveraged her keen knowledge of programs and policies to provide professional development and community building to thousands of individuals in our community. Leslie’s passion for advocating for access to social programs for the vulnerable populations has afforded her the opportunity to train and engage some of the best-known nonprofits, Nine Star, YWCA, Campfire, Easter Seals and state department. She also has experience working with women who are survivors of physical, mental, and financial abuse. Leslie received her B.A. in Human Services minor in Business Studies from Wayland Baptist University. She also holds a master’s in human resource management, specializing in Organizational Development Wayland Baptist University. Since COVID-19, Leslie has developed a passion for cross country skiing and biking, while spending time with her three daughters, granddaughter. and dog, Buddy.
Board Seat: Alaska Native (Term ends in March 2026)
Board Seat: At Large (Term ends in March 2026)
Board Seat: Community Org/Non-Profit (Term ends in March 2026)
Jamie Klaes is an Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor. Employed at local nonprofit, Alaska EXCEL. Jamie has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, with the past five focusing on assisting rural Alaskan youth with their career goals. Born and raised in rural Alaska, Jamie specializes in the mentorship of rural Alaskan youth ages 15 to 24. Her avenue to a professional career was nontraditional, she believes in encouraging youth to seek out their individual paths based on their needs, unique personality and skill set. Jamie uses her experience to cultivate confidence and employability skills. Working as a pilot in remote areas of Alaska, and most recently flying for a local medevac company Jamie shares her knowledge of the aviation industry and all the careers available. Jamie has created introductory programs and entry level certificates for students to gain confidence to start their career into the aviation industry.
Board Seat: Postsecondary Student Services (Term ends in March 2026)
Working for the University of Alaska Southeast, Amanda has been helping students and families navigate postsecondary pathways for over 15 years. In her current role as an academic advisor, she works primarily with incoming first time freshmen, dual enrollment and other non-degree seeking students, many of whom are first generation college students or from underrepresented and underserved populations. In addition to advising, Amanda spent many years working in the registrar’s office and in the office of admissions which allowed her to see the student cycle from start to finish, identify pain points, and help remove institutional barriers for students. Originally from a small farm town in Ohio, Amanda moved to Juneau to attend UAS where she completed her BLA and is currently in the final stages of her MPA. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys going on adventures with her family, foraging in the woods for mushrooms, berries and other treats, watching hockey, and spending time at their cabin on Shelter Island.
Board Seat: Registered Apprenticeship (Term ends in March 2026)
My name is Amber Cartier. I am the Director of Apprenticeship with ABC of Alaska, a non-union registered apprenticeship program and am applying for the Registered Apprenticeship Board position. I am a lifelong Alaskan with no plans to leave this wonderful state. I attended UAA and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997. My family enjoys the many outdoor activities Alaska has to offer such as camping, hunting, and hockey, just to name a few. I grew up in a trade family, my father was a heavy equipment operator and my mother advocated for AGC and retired from Local 302. I have been with ABC of Alaska since September 2015 and have a passion for getting our young and sometimes not-so-young Alaskans into the workforce with on-the-job training and related instruction through our apprenticeship program. Holding a seat on the AlaskaCAN board will not only help ABC of Alaska better understand the needs of the communities we serve but will also help us equip our members and apprentices to meet those needs. I believe it is important for students and even adult learners to know and educate themselves about the many options other than college as a post-secondary choice to start a meaningful and rewarding career. Reaching the students of Alaska and teaching them about the many Alaskan-based registered apprenticeships will only help to keep growing our own workforce.