Every year AAEC solicits nominations from across Alaska to honor ‘Alaska’s Champions of Arts in Education’.  There were many nominees this year and they are all worthy, but there are only four categories. This year’s honorees are:
  • Lake Argus Siner, Arts Student
  • Sally Grimsrud, Arts Educator
  • Miah Lager, Arts Advocate
  • Ginger Crockett, Arts Leader


Lake Argus Siner, 2018 Arts Student
Thunder Mountain High School, Juneau

In the art classroom at Thunder Mountain there is something called The Lake  Effect. When  Lake  works  on  the  pottery  wheel,  everyone  around  him  is affected!  Lake  is  a  once  in  a  career  student.  Many  students  have  an  artistic  gift  but  with  Lake pottery has grown into his passion.

My  love  for  clay  and  art  has  increased  but  better  yet  is  the  students  around Lake who are  to  work  up  to  his  level  of  perfection.  The  atmosphere  in  my  classroom  has changed from a place  of  reservation  at  the  risk  of  failure  to  one  of  risk  taking  to  achieve  the  standards
set  by  Lake.

Example  Impact:  When  Lake  makes  lids  he  became  obsessed  with  a  perfect  fit  which  is
complicated  and  difficult.  Lake  experimented  with  many  techniques  to  achieve  a  fit  he  would  be satisfied  with  to  the  point  of  using  silica  carbide-a technique for professional quality precision. His 3-piece set  was  a  testament  to  his  skills–all lids are a perfect fit!   The shapes, forms, feet, surface, and  glaze  pull these pieces together for a presentation that won Lake Best of Show in the 2017 All-State Art Competition.

Nominated by his teacher, Angela  Imboden

Sally Grimsrud, 2018 Arts Educator
Gambell School, Gambell                                       

Sally  has  been  an  educator  in  Bering Strait School District for six years, and hired to pilot an  arts program in John Apangalook School in Gambell.  She  will  retire  from  teaching  next  year  after  18  years  in service.

She  has  also  been  a  huge  advocate  and  force  for  students  to  show  their  work  on  local,  regional  and statewide  levels.   Along with celebrating world cultures,  Sally  is  especially  adept  at  fostering  a  sense  ofplace  and  connection  to  cultural  identity in  the  projects  she  teaches. For example, her  class  created  a collaborative crankie  story  depicting  a  traditional  legend from St. Lawrence Island,  which  was  told  and  performed  at  the  Yup’ik  Days celebration. She has led students in creating clay sculptures of the Giant that  created  Sivuqaq,  based  on the island’s creation story.  She draws from local resources and people to inspire students’s artwork.

Nominated by Arts Specialist Robin Child



Miah Lager, 2018 Arts Advocate
Dzantiki’  Heeni  Middle  School, Juneau

Miah  is  a  consummate  artist,  down  to  the  details  in  how  she  lives  her  life.  She  is always  slowing  things  down,  seeking  out  and  creating  the  beautiful  in  her  life with  her students, family and friends.

She  works  tirelessly  in  her  commitment  to  the  arts,  holds  very  high expectations from  her  art  students,  and  as  a  result  they  produce  beautiful  work.

Miah  creates  everything  into  art,  for  the  sake  of  art, championing art  causes,  from attending  rallies  with  her  children  at  the  capitol,  to  creating  a  gingerbread  long-house  for  the  Governor’s Open  House.  In  the  photo are some huge puppets that Miah, her students and her mother, SuAnn Randall, made.  She brought these puppets to the capitol with her children to express her support of arts in education funding.

Nominated by Summer Koester

Ginger Crockett, 2018 Arts Leader
Brevig Mission School, Brevig Mission

Ginger is a fantastic principal and because of her the arts have become a backbone in the Brevig Mission School.  Through her tenure she has supported staff and students to cultivate and practice the Studio Habits of Mind, which help tackle everyday challenges.  She is  an  extraordinary  example  of  an  individual  who  believes  in  the  power of  the arts to transform, inspire, and motivate  students to  be  the  best  version  of  themselves.  Ginger  uses  the  arts  as a vehicle to support students in expressing emotion, strengthening resilience, celebrating culture and community values, and building a positive school environment.

Nominated by Arts Specialist Robin Child