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Nita Rearden (AK '94)

Language Development Specialist

Lower Kuskokwin School District
Bethel, AK

At the time of the Award, Nita Rearden was:

Kotzebue Elementary School
Kotzebue, AK

Biographical Information

Nita Rearden, who teaches kindergarten and pre-kindergarten at Kotzebue Elementary School in Kotzebue, thinks that children in her community today express themselves more readily. "We need to listen to what our children are saying their needs are", she says, in the belief that changes and problems in the community often surface in observations made by children. Communities in rural Alaska are undergoing a period of rapid change, and Mrs. Rearden must often serve as a mediator between children and their parents and between traditional and new forces in the community. She has participated in conferences on bilingualism, early childhood education, and elementary school science curriculum development. Mrs. Rearden is the author of "Fish Camp in Alaska", a text that is used widely throughout rural Alaska. "It has been very effective, she says, because it teaches rural Alaskan children in a context they already understand."