2018 State Trainers and Planners Conference


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Key Speakers - 2018 State Trainers & Planners Conference






Liz MC 

Liz Medicine Crow, Tlingit, and Haida, President/CEO of First Alaskans  Institute.

Liz Medicine Crow is a Tlingit and Haida from Kake, Alaska.  On her Tlingit side, she is Raven Kaach.adi, Fresh Water-marked Sockeye Salmon.  On her Haida side, she is Eagle Tiits Gitee Nei, Hummingbird.  The major theme of her education and work experience has been the continued integration of Native values, lifeways, and traditional knowledge into Tribal governments, Tribal organizations, and relationships with other governments and organizations to affect a policy landscape that works with Alaska Natives to improve the lives of Native People.



Patrick Sidmore, MSW Planner, Alaska Mental Health Board 

Patrick Sidmore is currently the senior health planner for the Alaska Mental Health Board and Board of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Mr. Sidmore has extensive years of experience and expertise in social work, economics, and management of public programs. He developed the Boards’ trauma initiative, Overcoming ACEs in Alaska, including providing extensive analysis of clinical, social, epidemiological, economic, and qualitative research and data. Patrick has worked with state, national, and international experts to quantify the impact of childhood trauma on Alaskans and their families, communities, and economy. 



Commissioner Michael Johnson, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

Commissioner Johnson served in the Copper River School District (central interior Alaska) as superintendent, school principal, district curriculum and staff development director, elementary teacher, and special education program assistant. During his tenure as its principal, Glennallen Elementary School was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Johnson also is a recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award.  

Commissioner Johnson holds a bachelor of arts degree and a master of arts in teaching degree in elementary education from Columbia International University, and a doctorate of philosophy in education and intercultural studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.



Heather Coulehan, AASB and the Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement  (ICE)

Heather Coulehan, Social and Emotional Learning Coordinator for the Association of Alaska School Boards, works with seven school districts across Alaska to integrate culturally responsive embedded social and emotional learning (CRESEL) into the core functioning of districts and schools.   Heather’s work focuses on building partnerships between communities, Alaska Native organizations and Tribes, families and schools to co-create SEL in place-based, cultural contexts, increasing academic achievement and other positive outcomes for students.

Heather has been engaged in SEL (social and emotional learning), positive youth development, and prevention work for over 20 years in Alaska.  Heather combines her experience supporting educators in the urban context of the Anchorage School District with her background in anthropology, teaching in rural South Africa, and experience in rural Alaska to collaborate with school districts across the state.    Heather holds a Masters Degree in Education and an Alaska K-12 School Counseling Certificate.


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