Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Skagway history teacher recognized

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NEW YORK - Mary McCaffrey, a second- and third-grade teacher at Skagway City School, was named Alaska History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America.

McCaffrey will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be in the running for the National History Teacher of the Year Award to be selected this fall. Skagway City School's library will receive a core archive of history books and materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

"This award gives us the chance to recognize great history teachers across the country," said Lesley Herrmann, executive director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. "It puts exceptional educators front and center."

Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award is designed to promote and celebrate the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. It honors one exceptional kindergarten through 12th-grade teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory. This year, only K-6 teachers were eligible for nomination.

The selection of the state winner is based upon several criteria, including classroom experience; a career commitment to teaching American history; evidence of creativity in the classroom that address literacy and content beyond state standards; close attention to primary documents, artifacts, historic sites and other primary materials of history, including oral history; and evidence of thoughtful assessment of student achievement.

Fort Richardsonsoldier killed in Iraq

FORT RICHARDSON, Alaska - A Fort Richardson paratrooper has been killed in Iraq, an Army official said Monday.

The soldier, who was on mounted patrol, died Sunday when a roadside bomb detonated close to his vehicle near Owaset, Army spokesman Capt. Richard C. Hyde said.

The soldier's name was not immediately released, but Hyde said relatives had been notified.

Two other paratroopers were injured in the incident, one seriously. Both were taken to a military hospital in Iraq.

Man sentenced on exploitation charge

ANCHORAGE - A 49-year-old Palmer man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a child, authorities said Monday.

Steven Knights' federal sentence is part of a joint plea agreement with federal and state prosecutors that calls for him to serve a total prison sentence of 19 years.

Knights' state sentencing is scheduled Tuesday in Palmer Superior Court.

Knights earlier pleaded no contest to state charges of attempted sexual abuse of a minor and distribution of child pornography.

In connection with the federal plea, Knights admitted that in the summer of 2003 and again in the spring of 2004, he went to Oklahoma for job training.

Prosecutors said he traveled with a minor child whom he knew was 14, and later, 15 years of age.

Federal prosecutors said while in Oklahoma, Knights took sexually explicit digital photographs of the minor child, then brought them back to Alaska.

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