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Dr. O’Brien moved to Alaska in 1976 after four years of teaching in New York City and accepted a teaching position in 1977 at Mikelnguut Elitnaurviat (M.E.) in Bethel where she worked for eight years before taking time off to complete her doctorate studies.
During this interval she worked as a University Supervisor for teachers training to work with at-risk students and oversaw the evaluation of the Portland Teachers Program, a cooperative effort between Portland State University, Portland Community College, and Portland Public School to increase minority representation in the teaching profession.
Upon her return to Alaska she worked as a research associate at ISER/UAA, overseeing the Class Size Reduction Pilot Project for the State of Alaska; principal at Old Harbor School on Kodiak Island; and continues as adjunct faculty for UAA, APU and UAF.
She received her BS in Education from Boston University in 1971, MS in Education from Queens College the City University of New York in 1976, and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Portland State University in 1994.
Secretary, Superintendent and Board of Education