Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Three new teachers start school in Haines


By Sara Callaghan Chapell

Three new Haines School teachers have joined the staff in the 2012-2013 school year.

Kristin White is the third grade teacher. She was born in Ketchikan, and grew up in Southeast Alaska on a commercial fishing boat based in Haines. She graduated valedictorian of Haines High School in 1997 and worked briefly as KHNS news director. She graduated magna cum laude from Western Washington University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. White received her Master of Arts in Teaching in 2006 from the University of Alaska Southeast.

White has taught first, fourth and fifth grade, as well as middle school social studies. This is her first year teaching third grade. “It’s a perfect fit,” White said. “The curriculum calls us to examine our local community. As this is where I grew up, it’s fitting that I get the opportunity to present the concept of Haines, and more broadly what a community is, to students.”

White’s teaching philosophy is rooted in the belief that positive relationships lead to success in the classroom. “I believe how we feel affects how we learn,” explained White. “I strive to engage students, treating them as active, responsible participants in their own learning.”

Ella Bredthauer is responsible for middle school science and sixth grade science, math and social studies.

Bredthauer grew up near Austin, Texas. She knew she wanted to live in Alaska from an early age, and convinced her family to let her study “abroad” at University of Alaska-Fairbanks when she was 19. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and biology from the University of Texas. She worked as a natural history guide on the Kenai Peninsula for much of her twenties. “I realized I loved the teaching aspect of guiding and wanted to pursue education as my career.”

Bredthauer has worked as a middle school teacher in Anchorage, Texas and New Mexico. “I love this age group because they are so enthusiastic about life and learning about the world around them.”

She also looks forward to working in a smaller school district. “It offers amazing opportunities for learning that are not possible in a large school, like project-based learning” explains Bredthauer. “The kids are very much connected and proud of their place. They have rich life experience that we’re able to bring into the classroom.”

Bredthauer is a triathlete who competed in an “Iron Man” triathlon in 2009. She also bakes bagels. “When I lived in New Mexico, I couldn’t find good bread.” She picked up a cookbook and taught herself to make bagels. “Let me know if you need a good bagel,” said Bredthauer. Her favorite creation is her jalepeno and cheese “fire in the hole.”

Rosie Milligan is the elementary special education teacher. Milligan was born in Kodiak, Alaska. Her family moved to Juneau when Milligan was in eighth grade. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She received her master’s degree in teaching from University of Alaska-Southeast.

Milligan’s first job was as a teaching assistant in the Juneau Montessori School. She spent a year student teaching a fourth grade class in Juneau, and completed her master’s degree last year.

Milligan believes that students learn more effectively when they are interested in content. “I challenge my students by setting high expectations and scaffolding my instruction for individual student success.”

Milligan will work with students individually and in small groups. “I enjoy being an extra resource to help best accommodate all the students in the class,” said Milligan. “That includes extending lessons for students who may be ready for an extra challenge and modifying instruction for students that may need accommodations.”

She’s also interested in starting an elementary school newspaper written and edited by students.


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