Board of Directors

Kids Voting North Alaska Board of Directors is composed of community members living in Fairbanks with a vested interest in civic education.

Profile Picture of Ellen Weiser

Ellen Weiser

"I believe practicing voting is not enough, promoting civic education and lifelong learning is the key to an informed and engaged community." 

Kids Voting has combined Ellen’s two passions, education, and the political process. She was a teacher for 35 years in Philadelphia, where she taught English to high school students and started a ninth-grade alternative school. Towards the end of her career, Ellen became a partner in a non-profit that paired school children with community groups to create open-space gardens. Her hobbies are mushing dogs, reading, knitting, and baking, especially bread- thanks to the recent pandemic.

Profile Picture of Judy Rae Smith

Judy Rae Smith

"I believe voting to be an immense privilege and responsibility denied by many."

Judy has lived in the Goldstream Valley for 51 years in a home that she and her husband built.  Her son went through the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and is now a professor of political science at the University of Florida, Gainsville. She has worked as a chemist in multiple research labs and a hospital and as an elementary teacher. She has been the scholarship chairman of the Fairbanks Retired Teachers’ Association for the past 9 years and a volunteer at the Hospice plant sale for the past 15 years.

Melissa Proper

Profile Picture of Gary Black

Gary Black

Cheyenne Dibert

Kuba Grzeda

Profile Picture of Brandy Harty

Brandy Harty, Board Member

"With decades of low voter turnout both nationally and locally, I see Kids Voting as an invaluable resource to our community, supporting informed civic participation at a young age leads to informed voting throughout a person's lifetime."

Brandy is a certified Elementary and Special Education teacher with an MEd in Special Education. She is currently serving as an elected member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board of Education. Brandy was born and raised in Fairbanks and is a proud product of Fairbanks public schools. She participated in Kids Voting as a child and also facilitated her own classroom participation when she taught 5th grade at Hunter Elementary. Brandy and her family enjoy getting outside and skiing, both alpine and Nordic, and going on cabin trips when possible. She is also an artist in her free time and enjoys working in her home studio on all manner of creative pursuits.

Profile Picture of Diana Lingle

Diana Lingle, Board Member

"I think it is critical that young people learn how our government works and understand the importance of the three branches of government that provide checks and balances to one another."

Diana has been an RN for 36 years, retiring in 2014. Currently, she volunteers with Hospice, Fairbanks Arts Association, Aging at Home Fairbanks, and Kids Voting North Alaska. Her son had an excellent experience participating in We the People while he was at West Valley High School. Diana joined Kids Voting North Alaska because she believes Kids Voting can enhance students’ knowledge and enthusiasm for civic education, encouraging them to participate in our democracy as informed voters or future politicians.

Amanda McColley

Kate Rose

Tamara Kruse Roselius

Staff and Liaisons

Fawn Jelinek
Education Coordinator

"It is important to understand how our governments work at all levels and the roles that each of us has in those systems."

Pursuing her vocation of teaching, Fawn served in the Peace Corps in Kiribati in the Central Pacific as a teacher trainer and taught in Quinhagak in Western Alaska. Upon returning home to Fairbanks, she worked for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District providing professional development to teachers with linguistically diverse students in their classrooms, earned an MS in Educational Administration, and worked for the Association of Interior Native Educators. Most recently, Fawn taught upper grades at Hunter Elementary for twelve years until she retired in 2022. One of her favorite parts of teaching was helping students understand the world beyond the classroom and their own power in helping make that world a better place. 

Amy Gallaway
Secondary Liaison