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.
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.
Leslie Vines, Secretary
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: 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)
Amanda Sialofi is the Director of Covey Academy, which is part of Covenant House Alaska’s Bridge to Success initiative promoting youth workforce development by providing vocational training, apprenticeships, education, internships, and skills development. In this role, Amanda will lead efforts in developing trainings and programming that are trauma-informed and promotes education and employment opportunities for young people. Amanda grew up in Anchorage and moved to Utqiaġvik in 2011 after completing her undergrad studies and recently moved back to Anchorage.
Prior to joining Covenant House Alaska, Amanda spent a year as an Advocacy Program Manager providing oversight for staff, grants, and projects focused on domestic violence and sexual assault at the Alaska Native Justice Center. Her previous experiences also includes 10 years with Iḷisaġvik College, where she served in various capacities with her foremost role as Dean of Students. As Dean of Students, she provided leadership and coordination of student services programs to include student recruitment, adult education, disability services, student life, persistence and retention, title IX, student housing, transportation, and student dining services. Amanda holds a BAS in Justice Administration (minor in Psychology), a MS in Criminal Justice (with an emphasis on criminal behavior), an MPhil in Criminal Justice, and is currently working on her PhD in Criminal Justice.
Board Seat: Vocational/Tribal (Term ends in March 2024)
Angela Peacock is BBNC Education Foundation’s Deputy Director, whose mission is to provide support for 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 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 who 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, all of these funds support Alaska Native and American Indian Youth K-12 in the Anchorage School District.
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.
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: Secondary Education (Term ends in March 2025)
Missy Fraze is the CTE Director from the Anchorage School District. In her role as the CTE Director, Missy has implemented several new dual enrollment programs in Aviation Technology, Certified Nurse Assistant and Engineering. She is responsible for overseeing CTE programs across 10 middle schools, 8 comprehensive high schools, 1 technical high school and 2 alternative schools. Missy is a co-lead for the Career, College and Life Ready initiative in the Anchorage School District. She was recently selected as the Alaska ACTE Leader of the Year and the Project Lead the Way National Administrator of the Year. Missy served as the President for the Alaska ACTE Board and is an active member of the National Association for Career and Technical Education.