Junior Achievement special section
JA Educator and Volunteer of the Year
Celebrating two of many dedicated to educating Alaska’s next workforce
Contributed by Junior Achievement of Alaska
Linson Thompson
Junior Achievement of Alaska
Junior Achievement of Alaska Educator of the Year

and Lake Elementary Principal Linson Thompson has been selected as the Junior Achievement of Alaska Educator of the Year. Thompson has been a strong supporter of Junior Achievement’s mission to encourage entrepreneurship and help Alaska’s youth build workforce readiness and financial literacy skills.

Through the annual JA in a Day event at Sand Lake Elementary School, in partnership with ExxonMobil, students are given the opportunity to interact with professionals from the business community while participating in hands-on, experiential learning activities that will prepare them for the future.

For the past several years, Thompson’s support of community partnership and collaboration has been inspiring. “The teachers and principal at Sand Lake go above and beyond for their students to insure they will be prepared for future success,” says Flora Teo, president of Junior Achievement of Alaska. “Every year we look forward to working with their students in this really beautiful collaboration of educators and business professionals. Principal Thompson makes it a point to come to welcome all the volunteers and thank them all for taking time off for the students at Sand Lake. People remember that, and we appreciate his dedication and support.”

Jenna Compehos
Denaa Photography | Jenna Compehos
Junior Achievement of Alaska Volunteer of the Year

enna Compehos, a compliance specialist for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, has been selected as the Junior Achievement of Alaska Volunteer of the Year. Compehos serves as the community committee chair in Valdez. As such, she works with members of the professional community to recruit volunteers to teach Junior Achievement programs at Hermon Hutchens Elementary School and has done so for several years.

“People like Jenna are inspiring because, in a place like Alaska, access to opportunity can be a real barrier for students. Junior Achievement would not be able to provide programming to students in Valdez if it weren’t for the dedication of volunteers,” says Teo. Despite significant geographic and technological challenges, the Valdez committee is one of Alaska’s longest standing committees, right after Anchorage and Fairbanks.

The benefit of Junior Achievement’s K-12 programs is that lessons are intended to be taught each year, so the student receives lessons that build on concepts from the prior year. Because of this, Junior Achievement alumni report 20 percent higher gross incomes when compared with their peers, are 45 percent less likely to be unemployed, and 1 in 5 grow up to work in the same industry as their Junior Achievement volunteer. This is something that volunteers in Valdez understand, and they are committed to providing this benefit for their students. “Valdez has been going strong for several decades in Alaska, and without people like Jenna it would not be possible,” says Teo.