After spending time in Anchorage, working as a carpenter, Glenn Charlie wanted to go back to the village to build things — he never expected he’d be building up his community through education instead of wood and nails.

Glenn was born and raised in Scammon Bay and now calls Napakiak, on the banks of the Kuskokwim River, home. He works as a Elementary Teacher’s Aide at William N. Miller School in Napakiak.  In a few years, he expects to be a teacher himself, thanks to the T.E.A.C.H. program (Training Educators for Achieving Certificated Hire). This program assists Yugtun fluent and literate educators in the district in becoming certified teachers, in partnership with the UAF Kuskowkim campus.

He called his own education “brutal,” and swore he’d never go back to school. “After high school I told myself: ‘I’ll never go back to school.’ But four years after I graduated, I went to Job Corps to become a certified carpenter. After that I said, ‘I’m not going back to school. Then coming back to Napakiak, working in the school made me think, why not become a teacher?” Glenn said. “So everything I said about not going back to school — I ate what I said.”

Looking back, he knows his teachers really wanted him to learn, and as an aide and future teacher, he’s developed those same goals, albeit with his own ideas about how to help a struggling student to succeed — it involves a lot of encouragement.