Highland Highlights

College and Career Information What will be your next step after graduating from Highland Tech?
We hope that this website provides the right resources for you to get started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructional Staff

Language Arts

 

Kelly Daugherty

Kelly Daugherty
Language Arts
email

Kelly Daugherty graduated from Washington State University in 1994.  She taught in Kent Washington for 1 year before joining the Peace Corps where she served in Ukraine for two and a half years. She taught English to High School students and professional development courses to Ukrainian teachers of English.  She directed a summer English immersion camp for Ukrainian university students.  After her Peace Corps experience, she spent two years as a youth program director in the Los Angeles area.  Kelly then took an opportunity to teach  English and American teaching methods to teachers at the University of Mongolia in Ulaanbatar for a semester. 

Still seeking new experiences, Kelly ventured to Alaska, and took a position with the Bering Strait School District, teaching Social Studies and Language Arts (7-12) in the village of Shaktoolik.  Kelly fell in love with Alaska and stayed in Shaktoolik for 8 years.  During her time there, the Bering Strait School District developed its own standards based education model.  Kelly served on both the writing, and the social studies curriculum teams to develop the standards, assessments, and teacher resources the district would use in this model.  She was also given the opportunity to become a board member of the Alaska State Writing Consortium, and shared her experiences by teaching a Teachers as Writers course in the BSSD. 

In 2004, Kelly moved to Anchorage where she became a Language Arts teacher, and the yearbook advisor at West Anchorage High School.  She also taught a class in Content Literacy as an adjunct professor for the teacher certification program at UAA.  This is Kelly's second year teaching at Highland Tech. She has a passion for standards and project based learning as a way to reach all students.

On a personal note, Kelly is passionate about hiking and camping, and almost all things outdoors.  She also enjoys arts and crafts of all kinds, and of course, as a Language Arts teacher, loves reading books.

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Karis Koett-Sena

Karis Koett-Sena
Language Arts
email

Karis Koett-Sena graduated from Houghton College in 2006 with a dual degree in English and Adolescent Education. She taught reading and writing in rural Alaska for four years using the standards-based model, and she taught science for a year with Cook Inlet Tribal Council here in Anchorage. In 2013, she began teaching here at Highland Tech Charter, and she could not be happier! She is back to teaching reading and writing at the middle school levels. She also enjoys teaching art and heading up the Running Club. Karis loves the outdoors and loves learning new things. Activities she most enjoys include running, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, traveling to new places, and spending time with her family. Her favorite book of all time is "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, her favorite poet is William Carlos Williams, and her favorite tool is a fine point pen.

Mathematics

 

 

Diana Burbank
Math, Science
email

I am embarking on my fourth year of teaching at Highland Tech Charter School. With the start of this school year, I am taking on the challenge of teaching Chemistry and level 5 Numeric Literacy alongside the middle school classes previously taught. My role as a middle-school advisor helps keep me young at heart!.
I am proud to say I have officially called Alaska home for all but the first two weeks of my life. Growing up in the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley introduced me to a life-long love of the great outdoors and adventure. When not working as a teacher, I spend my time traversing Resurrection Pass, racing Mt. Marathon, biking, playing soccer, slack lining, along with any other activity of the moment. During my periods of rest, I enjoy volunteering with the less fortunate in the community, participating in numerous craft activities, or spending time with my very large family.

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Todd Burnington

Todd Burningham
Special Education
with Math Focus
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School year 2014-2015 begins my 11th year teaching. I started teaching in Northern Michigan and spent 5 years getting my feet wet in the profession there. This is my 6th year here and I can now say that I have taught here in Alaska for longer than anywhere else. I have only taught at Highland since coming to Alaska. In my family we have two high schoolers and a 2 year old, cats and a dog. We take full advantage of summer by enjoying fishing and being outdoors as much as possible.

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Meghan Mahoney

Meghan Mahoney
Math
email

I love what I do everyday-- teach math in this beautiful state. I was raised in Nome, Alaska, and attended the University of Alaska Anchorage to receive both my BS in Mathematics and MAT in Teaching Mathematics. I have taught a variety of middle school and high school math and science courses over the past 8 years. I am highly qualified in Mathematics, Chemistry, Geology and Biology.

During the winter months, when I'm not at school, I can be found at the hot yoga studio, skate skiing on the Anchorage trails or practicing my mandolin next to the fireplace. During the summers I travel to faraway places such as Croatia, Botswana and Thailand.

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Julia Withers

Julia Withers
Math
email

My husband and I moved to Alaska from New Hampshire in 2014. I graduated from Keene State College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Secondary Education, and a minor in Statistics. I taught in Massachusetts and New Hampshire schools, prior to joining the faculty at Highland Tech.

I love teaching math and helping students understand just how many facets of life are built on mathematics. Exploring practical applications not only helps people better understand math, but also enables them to use it to their advantage and to build our world.

Outside of the classroom, you'll find me fishing, hiking, and playing with our puppy, Batman. I am looking forward to my first full year of teaching at Highland Tech and continuing to enjoy the great state of Alaska.

 

Science

 

Darren Kellerby

David Frame
Science
email

After being born in Ottawa, Ontario, growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, attending college in Bellingham, Washington, working for the United States Forest Service in Montrose, Colorado, and teaching in Cortez, Colorado, I have found myself with the privilege of teaching science at Highland Tech Charter School. Teaching science is one of my greatest passions. I believe that many of the world’s problems can be solved through the scientific exploration of solutions. I hope to help inspire students and members of our community to understand, embrace, and pursue the scientific understanding of our world.

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Darren Kellerby

Darren Kellerby
Science
email

Mr. Kellerby hails from Grand Junction, CO where he attended Colorado Mesa University. After a stint in Chicago, the only natural course of action was to move to the bush of Alaska. He spent two years coaching and teaching in the village of Napakiak, AK before moving to Anchorage to teach at Highland Tech in 2009. In 2011, he finished his master's degree in Science Education from Montana State University. Mr. Kellerby was awarded the NAGT Earth Science Teacher of the Year for the state of Alaska in 2014.

Here at Highland, Mr. Kellerby teaches in the middle school STEM cohort. His classes have been known to get messy, laugh a lot, and sometimes smell funny. He is also coach of the Lego Robotics team, coach of Highland Tech's NYO team, and the advisor of the prestigious Ironic Blues.

“Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.”-George Carlin

 

 

Social Environments

 

Nicole Crosby

Nicole Crosby
Social Environments
email

II was born and raised in Northeast Oregon and attended college at the University of Idaho. As a Vandal, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. This will be my sixth year teaching Social Environments at Highland Tech and this year I will be focusing on levels 3, 4 and the level 5 elective.

In 2013, my husband Trevor and I welcomed our first child, Brisbin and we have been on the go ever since. We spend most of our summer camping, fishing, playing softball, and BBQing in the sunshine! During the winter months I can be found playing volleyball, watching hockey, swimming, and indulging in a new television series.

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson
Social Environments
email

 

Mr. Robinson is very excited to be teaching at Highland. Highland is an amazing blend of diversity, rigor and self-directedness that fits his teaching philosophy very well. After five years, Mr. Robinson has become a graduate advisor.

For undergraduate studies, Fort Lewis College was chosen because of its quality academic reputation and proximity to snowboarding and biking. While there he explored many subjects like geology and philosophy, but American history is what captured his imagination and thus his degree. After college, Mr. Robinson travelled up to Anchorage and earned a Masters degree in teaching from UAA. During which time, he met a girl and married her.

Now they have two beautiful children, and live in a little home on Chester creek. Mr. Robinson is happier when he bikes along the creek path to work. In future years, he hopes to improve his teaching and usage of RISC tools, and wants to be an authority on Anchorage resources for Social Environments and outdoor recreation.

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Michael Welge

Michael Welge
Social Environments
email

2014 marks the beginning of my fourth year in Alaska and my fourth year at Highland Tech. After graduating from Appalachian State University in the Blue Ridge Mountains my wife and I leapt at the opportunity to move to Alaska. While I have lived in Virginia, Rhode Island, Texas, and North Carolina, Alaska has truly become home.

When I'm not teaching middle school Social Environments I like to spend my time out in the Last Frontier learning how to hunt, fish, and trap.