49 Voices: Frank Hauser of Anchorage

Frank Hauser of Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

This week we’re hearing from Frank Hauser in Anchorage. Hauser is principal of Robert Service High School in Anchorage and was selected last week by the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals as 2019 Principal of the Year.

HAUSER: My dad worked in the oil fields. I was born in California, and I moved to Alaska when my dad was transferred up on the Slope in ’85. He opened up Milne Point, and we moved out to Palmer.

I’ve always kind of liked teaching. I was a swimmer; I taught swimming, water safety instruction for a number of years. But when I went to college, I actually was a P.E. major who turned into a marine biology major, who ended up being a musician. And I was working on my master’s in music up at [University of Alaska] Fairbanks, when the opportunity to get a teaching endorsement came up.

I think the thing that I would would really say makes a good educator is somebody who listens. Somebody who is connected to the community, connected to their students. As I step back and I look at the one thing that has served me throughout the years is building that connection with kids, building that connection with students and making sure that they know you care. They know that you’re there to support them.

Next year will be my fourth year, so the class of 2020 will be the first group of students that I started as freshmen. That will have a special for me, absolutely, because we started together. So, when they finally walk across the stage, it will be the first group that’s actually come through and had the same time with me — the learning, the building of the community, the relationships. It will be a very touching moment for me to shake the hands of these students and see them go on, after knowing that, for the last four years, I’ve been an important part of their high school experience.

I moved up here when I was in middle school. Alaska is my home. It’s where I live, I have my friends, my family, my community. The Service community is an important part of who I am and I love giving back to the students and the community here. Alaska is my end goal.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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