Brief history

History: Alaska Statewide Mentor Project
The University of Alaska obtained funding for a statewide mentoring pilot project which began in the 2003/2004 school year with one mentor working in five school districts. By early spring 2004, Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (EED) Commissioner Roger Sampson had learned enough about the mentoring program to ask University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton, "How can we make this happen statewide?"

EED linked arms with the University to make it happen, pooling both state and federal grant resources. By April 2004, 22 mentors were selected out of 150 exemplary teachers who applied. The teachers were released from their districts to work full time for the project and attended their first mentor training session in June of 2004. By the 2004/2005 school year, mentors were provided to over three hundred early career teachers in 31 school districts across Alaska.

"We know from talking to our mentors and early career teachers that what we are doing is having a positive impact on teachers and students alike," said Lorrie Scoles, former director of ASMP, "The Mentor Program is a shining star in Alaska and for other states that are looking to develop comprehensive mentoring programs. We are very proud of our state for recognizing the need to support our early career teachers, and I am very grateful to President Hamilton and Commissioner Sampson for working together to make it happen."