Mary Becker was surprised and thrilled when asked to be the grand marshal for the Douglas Fourth of July Parade.
"I was just speechless, and I said I would be very, very honored to do that," she said.
After a 30-year teaching career in the Juneau School District, Becker went on to spend nine years on the Juneau School Board.
"After being in the teaching field for so long in Juneau it was just to me a natural thing to go to the School Board and continue service in education," she said.
Becker did not seek re-election in the October municipal election and ended her service on the School Board in November. But she said she would still enjoy serving the community in another capacity.
"I am very interested in running for the Assembly," Becker said. "I'm not positive I'm going to do it because sometimes when incumbents are running and you don't feel there is any particular reason to remove them, it's difficult to do that."
Becker, whose husband, Jim, was born and raised in Juneau, moved to the community in 1966. Together they have four children and seven grandchildren.
"It's just a great place to live and raise families, and we've just been fortunate to do it," she said.
Becker said she is getting excited for today's Independence Day festivities.
"I'm just really, really thrilled to be able to be part of the Douglas celebration, especially because I have lived on Douglas Island almost all of my time in Juneau," she said.
Becker has heard the parade will be very large this year and is extra excited about the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood. She also said she's hoping her 3-year-old granddaughter will ride along the parade route with her.
"I love to go to watch the firemen and their hose race and see the sandcastle building and all the children races they have," she said. "It's a hometown Fourth of July, and I think it's probably my favorite event in Juneau. I love the Fourth of July."
Becker said she loves being involved in the community and public service. She presently serves on the city's Social Services Advisory Committee, which awards grants to nonprofit organizations. She also is serving as the statewide secretary of the Alaska Retired Teachers Association. She has been involved in the local chapter of The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a service and leadership organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20. During her time on the Juneau School Board, Becker also served as the state president of the Association of Alaska School Boards.