Shareholder Spotlight: Bev Kokrine
Follow your dreams. Plan for your future. Smile. Live simply. Look at the world as half filled. A clear mind with a positive outlook makes life so much easier. These are the wise words from the recently selected permanent principal of Ticasuk Brown Elementary School, Bev Kokrine.
Kokrine has been an educator and leader in the Interior community for over 20 years. She was raised in Huslia and is the daughter of the late Franklin and Lillian Simon. Growing up, her parents instilled in her early on that education was crucial and college was certainly in her future.
I lived at Victor and Edith Nicholas’ home in Nulato for one year of high school as a boarding home student. Edith set a wonderful example for me as she was an educator, along with my Nulato sisters,” Kokrine said. She also credits Richard and Lorraine David as being essential to who she has become, calling the couple “heroes that took in five teenage rebel girls, fresh off the Koyukuk River!”
Kokrine continues to return to the Koyukuk River and visit with Elders in the village. “The Elders are knowledge bearers. I especially love hearing stories of our ancestors,” she said.
Kokrine’s entire education career has been based in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has taught at many schools including Ticasuk Brown, Nordale, Midnight Sun and Woodriver. Kokrine has also held education and leadership positions with the Fairbanks Native Association, Tanana Chiefs Conference and Doyon, Limited.
Becoming a principal in Fairbanks had been a goal of Kokrine’s for many years and it was a journey of perseverance. “After completing the UAS Leadership program, I started interviewing for principal jobs. It was clear that I wasn’t ready as I interviewed for seven years. Finally, last spring, I made it a priority to learn to speak confidently during interviews. It took 11 different interviews and asking for specific feedback to help myself grow,” Kokrine said.Thank you, God, for the opportunity to be a principal.”
“I hope to inspire others to become educators. It is an overwhelming feeling of happiness as you give back to the community by molding the minds of youth,” Kokrine said. “Please remember to encourage each other to thrive and succeed in whatever your dreams are – be sure to dream! Dream big. Anything is possible in this world. Who would have ever thought that a shy village girl with an accent and grammar challenges would be a principal of a school with over 470 students? I am learning something new every day! Keep on learning!”
Doyon congratulates Kokrine on her new position as principal of Ticasuk Brown Elementary, and looks forward to hearing all of the success stories that will come to fruition in her new role.