Mt. Eccles teacher receives master’s from UAS

Mt. Eccles Elementary School teacher Stefanie Tschappat delivers a lesson on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (Jan. 18, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Mt. Eccles Elementary School fourth grade teacher Stefanie Tschappat recently received a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Alaska Southeast in December. Tschappat’s studies, which were conducted online, focused on early education.

Tschappat is well known at Mt. Eccles for integrating art into her lessons. Previous art projects have included expressionist self-portraits and a student-made poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. Tschappat’s studies at UAS emphasized unifying different lessons by connecting them to one central concept, and integrating subject matter like art into everyday learning activities, she said.

“It’s been really neat to see the student artwork that’s coming out of [Tschappat’s] classroom,” sixth grade teacher Krysta Williams said. “It brightens the hallways.”

When Tschappat initially began studying education, she was uncertain how fully she wanted to devote herself to work in the field, she said. However, Cordova’s robust teaching culture and the enthusiastic support of then Principal Gayle Groff convinced her to commit fully to teaching.

“I just thought, ‘Wow, what an incredible place!’” Tschappat said. “Mt. Eccles inspired me to go back and to pursue this program.”

UAS is a Juneau-based university. UAS graduates include prolific lithographer and sculptor R. T. Wallen, who received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2006.