photo of Michelle Kokauner

Middle childhood education major Michelle Koklauner '16 went from BW to Alaska for her first teaching job, an adventure she embraces with enthusiasm and resolve.

A Fantastic First Job in Alaska

March 9, 2017

photo of Michelle Kokauner

Adventure-minded Michelle Koklauner '16 didn't set her career compass for a 20-mile radius when it came time for her first job. Instead, the middle childhood education major went big.

The Parma native is now a junior high school teacher 3,000 miles away with the Lower Kuskokwim School District in southwest Alaska. The district spans about 100-thousand square miles.

"I am teaching all subjects in a classroom located in a village of 300 people. The people here are almost all native Alaskans," explained Koklauner. "Teachers live 30 feet from school. Kids knock on our doors so we can play with them every night of the week.

"It is an incredibly unique experience here in terms of teaching and living. It is all-encompassing because your day-to-day living and teaching experiences are so interwoven" she noted. "It's an adventure that is exciting and emotionally rewarding."