About Us

The Partnership (PARLA) is a group of parents, community professionals and educators dedicated to bringing more choice to MSBSD high school students. PARLA strives to educate the community about the school’s mission, help create connections between staff, students, parents, and community, and provide financial support to the school. PARLA is registered as a nonprofit corporation with the State of Alaska (Entity # 10022417; follow this link [PARLA bylaws, initial] to view PARLA’s bylaws), has received an EIN from the federal government (EIN # 47-1546466), and is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization.


Membership in the Partnership

Any individual or organization interested in supporting PARLA may contribute and/or become a member. Parents of students who foresee being enrolled in the school are encouraged to be members. A member may withdraw at any time by giving notice to the secretary of the corporation. The PARLA secretary will keep a record of members.

Although referred to as members, the common use of this term does not imply legal membership in or financial obligation. Members contribute to the purpose of the corporation through

    • Time (participation in a committee) and/or
    • In-Kind Donations and/or
    • Cash donations


PARLA Board Members

Tony Kristich, president, is a parent of three children attending MSBSD schools. He teaches high school math at Career and Technical High School (CTHS) and loves to engage his family in outdoor activities. His wife, Peggy, is a teacher at Machetanz Elementary School.

Sierra Doherty, vice president, is an education specialist in the Palmer office of Alaska Department of Fish and Game. She has a master’s degree in Outdoor and Environmental Education from Alaska Pacific University.

Kimbrough Mauney, secretary & treasurer is subbing in the MSBSD as she completes her teaching certification. She has a master’s degree in Environmental Education from Western Washington University.

Anna Folsom is a parent of a second grader. She teaches 5th grade at Birchtree Charter School and has a passion for art.

Paul Morley is a high school teacher of language arts and fine arts with a BS in wildlife science, a BA in photography, and M.Ed in Cross-cultural education. He also holds an administrative (Type B) certificate. His personal interests include playing mandolin, boating, skiing, and world travel.

Ashley Nowak is a full-time officer with the Alaska Air National Guard and holds a master degree in International Relations and will complete a second in Outdoor & Environmental Education (APU) in the spring of 2015. She was an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY and a Headmaster for a Challenger Schools in Utah.

Steve Rubinstein is a parent of two girls who are home-schooled. He is the Director of Alaska Pacific University’s Graduate Program in Outdoor and Environmental Education. He received his M.S. in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, a B.S. in Psychology from Guilford College and a Certificate of Outdoor Leadership from Seljord Folk College. Steve has extensive experience in the field teaching and directing programs since 1987, including his work as Faculty and Founding Program Director in Outdoor Education at MT Hood Community College in Oregon, Program Director at Northwest Earth Institute and Education Coordinator & Asst. Director at North West Service Academy- AmeriCorps.

Mike Shea is an award-winning teacher in the MSBSD. He and his wife, Kristi, also a MSBSD teacher have two children attending MSBSD schools.

Rene Dervaes is a high school JROTC instructor for the Anchorage School District. He is veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, respectively. He is resident of Palmer, where he and his wife are raising three wonderful children. His personal interests include mountain biking, hiking, and writing music.

Barbara Johnson (bio coming soon)