Anchorage School Board: Meet the candidates


Bettye Davis

Age: 74

Party registration: Democrat

Occupation(s): Retired; worked for Department of Health and Social Services, 1972-1986

Professional, community and service organizations: Anchorage School Board, 1982-89, 1998-99; state representative, 1990-96; Alaska State Senate, 2000-2012; Zonta Club, Common Ground, Delta Sigma Theta, Athena, NAACP, League of Women Voters, Church Women United

Spouse: deceased

Children: 51 and 53

Website, blog, Twitter handle, Facebook page: Yes

Why running: Education is my passion having spent my political life working to improve the lives of children.

Don Smith

Age: 73

Party registration: Political party not a requirement. I am a registered Republican.

Occupation: Retired. RCA Alaska, 1962-1963; IBM, 1963-1968; owned business, 1968-2002; legislative assistant, 2002-2003; state Department of Transportation, 2003-2005

Professional, Community and Service Organizations: Greater Anchorage Borough Assembly, 1965; Alaska State House, 1966-1968; Anchorage Charter Commission, 1972?; Anchorage Municipal Assembly, 1975-1985; Anchorage School Board, 2010-present; Jaycees, Anchorage Lions Club, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce

Spouse: Katherine

Children: 53, 51, 50, 43, plus 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren

Facebook: on Facebook

Why running: To continue to make a difference in Anchorage. My family has been in Anchorage since 1915. I am a third-generation Anchorage resident. My mother was the eighth child born in Anchorage (1916).


Stephanie Cornwell-George

Age: 31

Party registration: not affiliated

Occupation(s): Special education program director, Special Education Service Agency; Yukon-Koyukuk Schools, 2004-2005; St. Mary's School District, 2005-2007; Anchorage School District, 2008-2012

Professional, community and service organizations: Vice president of union in St. Mary's.

Spouse: Randall George, construction management student at UAA.

Children: 3, 6

Why running: To utilize my knowledge, experiences, and perspectives to bring a well rounded voice to the School Board.

Eric Croft

Age: 48

Party registration: Democrat

Occupation(s): Attorney, The Croft Law Office, present; owner and founder, Alaska Bar Review, 1996-2006; prosecutor, Municipality of Anchorage, 1997-2007

Professional, community and service organizations: Alaska House of Representatives, 1997-2007; STAR Board, 2001-09; Blood Bank Board, 2011-present

Spouse: Joanna, architect

Children: 14, 12

Website, blog, Twitter handle, Facebook page:

Why running: I believe in the importance of public education and I have seen our schools and teachers do remarkable things for our children, but know we can do better.

David Nees

Age: 57

Party registration: Republican, although there is not a Democratic or Republican way to teach reading, writing and math

Occupation(s): Math teacher, 1983-2011; current employer, DGS; coach (cross-country running, cross-country skiing, track) 1983-2011 (75 seasons)

Professional, community and service organizations: Boy Scouts

Spouse: Christine, teacher

Children: 23 and 25


Twitter: @nees4schoolboard

Facebook: nees 4 school board


Why running: I feel I can help improve schools in Anchorage because of my teaching experience and knowledge. The district is adrift and needs to be brought back to its only mission, educating all of Anchorage's students. It is currently failing 30 percent of its students (failure to graduate them)