Alaska Native/Indigenous People

Martha Gould-Lehe – Athabascan Teacher Recognized

Martha Gould-Lehe was recently recognized for her contributions toward education in Alaska. I’ve watched Martha from a distance over the years. She is a quiet lady who has worked tirelessly to especially help Alaska Native students succeed. Now retired, Martha still makes time to visit students at the Alaska Native Culture Charter School.

Representative Max Gruenberg and Senator Bill Wielechowski presented Martha Gould-Lehe with a plaque in recognition for her contributions toward public education in Alaska. Left-right: Representative Max Gruenberg, Martha Gould Lehe, John Lehe, and Senator Bill Wielechowski. Photo by Robert Strick
Representative Max Gruenberg and Senator Bill Wielechowski presented Martha Gould-Lehe with a plaque in recognition for her contributions toward public education in Alaska. Left-right: Representative Max Gruenberg, Martha Gould Lehe, John Lehe, and Senator Bill Wielechowski. Photo by Robert Strick

Here are the words on the plaque she received from the Twenty-eighth Alaska State Legislature.

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*Honoring*
*Martha Gould-Lehe*

     The Twenty-eighth Alaska State Legislature is proud to honor Martha Gould-Lehe for her work in public education.

     Martha has taught in the Anchorage School District for 25 years and is the founder of the Alaska Native Culture Charter School. Her work in education has improved the lives of many young Alaskans.

     Martha was born in Medfra. She is Upper Kuskokwim Athabaskan of the Caribou People Clan. She grew up in McGrath and graduated from Dillingham High School in 1970 at the age of 17. She married a classmate from the Aleutian Islands and moved to King Cove where she raised three children. She graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in special education.

     Martha’s teaching career began with the Anchorage School District as a substitute teacher. She has since taught at several elementary schools including Ursa Minor, Muldoon, Chugiak and Kasuun. In 1993, she earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Kansas, where she began to focus on developing math and science courses for Native American students with the goal of one day opening an Alaska Native charter school.

     With a lot of extraordinarily dedicated people, she began to lay the foundation for the charter school she would eventually build. In 2007, their hard work paid off, and the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School opened its doors. Starting in a small church and then moving to an old furniture store, the school now has its own building, serving 215 students, pre-school through 7th grade.

     The School offers students a curriculum with a rigorous focus on reading, writing, and math. The Alaska Native Charter School also focuses on Alaska Native culture. Students have participated in activities, including creating replicas of Native artifacts, butchering seals and berry picking. The School focuses on involving families and elders. In the 2011-2012 school year, ANCCS was named a Title I Distinguished School by the Department of Education and Early Development for closing the achievement gap between student groups.

     Education is one of the primary building blocks necessary for our state and nation to succeed. Teachers with passion and new ideas will shape the future of our children and push them to succeed. The Twenty-eighth Alaska State legislature honors Martha Gould-Lehe for her dedication and for being a leader in public education.

Signed by
Rep. Mike Chenault, Speaker of the House
Sen. Charlie Huggins, Senate President
Sen. Bill Wielechowski, Prime Sponsor
Rep. Max Gruenberg, Prime Sponsor

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Kudos to Martha! Ana basee’ for your contributions to education in Alaska!

Read more about Martha Gould-Lehe in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Green & Gold News!

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