Kitty Deal, Ph.D., CRC
- Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies: Education and Pedagogy, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- M.S. in Counseling, San Francisco State University
- B.S. in Education, The University of Alabama
Cama’i (Hello in Alutiiq) everyone! I hope you are reading this page because you are looking to contact me—I look forward to talking with you soon! My given name is Kitty—it’s not a nickname. I was named for my mom’s sister, my “Aunt Kitty.” Feel free to call me by my first name.
I am a full time Education faculty member at Kodiak College, a rural campus of UAA. I have a joint appointment with Kodiak College/UAA, and the UAS College of Education, so I can help our island community “grow our own” local teachers. I absolutely love my Kodiak Island home!
I worked as a special education teacher in birth- to- grade 12, and adult education settings, for 23 years before I made the jump to higher education (university level). My family first moved to Alaska in 2001 and I worked in the Kodiak Island Borough School District. I began at the University of Alaska in 2009, teaching in the Elementary, Early Childhood, and Special Education programs and supporting local education majors as clinical faculty. I coordinate a grant called “The Munartet Project.” Munartet is an Alutiiq word which means artist. The goal of the grant is to teach current and future educators to teach in and through the Arts and cultures of Kodiak.
When I’m not working, I enjoy quilting, reading, photography, and outdoor activities such as hiking, berry picking, and fishing.
I chose to become a teacher to encourage students’ love of learning in an encouraging and motivating environment. I have benefited from amazing teachers who promoted my academic aspirations, and in turn, I wanted to provide that level of support to others.
Even as a child, I wanted to become a teacher. I followed a traditional path of attending college directly after high school. I earned my Bachelor’s in Special Education and am certified birth through grade 12. I began teaching immediately after graduation and have persisted in the education field for over 35 years. This vocation served me well as a US Coast Guard spouse. My husband and I spent 28.5 years moving to a new duty station every two to four years so I’m somewhat of an expert on navigating states’ processes for reciprocal teaching licenses! I’ve been in Alaska for 17 years and working for the University of Alaska Anchorage at Kodiak College since 2009. I’m a tenured faculty member, currently joint appointed at UAA and UAS. I love teaching teachers to teach!
I have been involved in two Civil Rights movements and am pretty passionate about equal access to education. I grew up in the south in the 1960s and experienced first-hand the racial desegregation of public schools and the angst, trauma, and even the violence that accompanied the times. It was the right thing and long overdue. I also experienced the passing and implementation of Public Law 94-142 which guaranteed the right to a free, appropriate, public education for children with exceptionalities (the pre-IDEA initiative). When I was in college studying to become a special education teacher, a huge part of my education was what would happen, and how teachers and schools would serve students as they were de-institutionalized—some from lock & key facilities. Think about that. Prior to 1975, students with exceptionalities did not have to be educated.
In fact, my Aunt Hazel, my mother’s sister, was cognitively challenged. When she was 11 years old, the local school told my grandparents she wasn’t welcome to come back to school. She had to stay home because she wasn’t able to keep up academically with her typically-developing peers as they moved beyond elementary school. “Least restrictive environment” and “inclusion” came later, much later—too late—for my Aunt Hazel. I have lived these Civil Rights movements and can tell you that although our country sometimes makes changes at (or what feels like) a glacial pace, at least in these cases, we have been moving in the right direction. Perhaps now you know why I'm passionate about the right to equal access to education.
I enjoy the collegial UAS faculty and staff in the School of Education. We share the common goal of helping students succeed and achieve their dreams to become Alaska’ future educators!
Joint Appointment with Kodiak College