FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks high school hockey coach has been chosen to fill a vacant seat on the University of Alaska Board of Regents.
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If confirmed by the state Legislature, Erik Drygas will serve out the unexpired term of Jim Hayes following his resignation last week, Gov. Sarah Palin announced Thursday.
"Erik's strong educational commitment to the state's children is very evident," Palin said in a prepared statement.
"In his young life, Erik's already established himself as someone with focus and determination to inspire the next generation through strong academic skills and a tireless work ethic. He will serve the state of Alaska and its students very well as a regent."
Drygas graduated in 2000 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in elementary education. He student taught at Weller Elementary School in Fairbanks and currently serves as the head hockey coach at West Valley High School.
With Drygas as coach, the team was awarded the State Academic Award for hockey in 2003, 2004, and 2006. The award reflects the highest cumulative grade point average of team members statewide.
"I look forward to making sure the University of Alaska, the faculty and especially the students are prepared to meet the diverse needs of Alaska's future," Drygas said in a statement.
The Legislature must confirm Drygas's appointment; the current legislative session ends May 16.
Hayes, a former Fairbanks mayor, resigned April 27 under pressure from Palin and lawmakers following a federal indictment on charges of fraud unrelated to his service on the University of Alaska Board of Regents. His terms ends in 2011.