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FNSBSD Press Release: Denali Elementary School Recognized as National ESEA Distinguished School | November 15, 2022

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Subject: Denali Elementary School Recognized as National ESEA Distinguished School

FAIRBANKS–The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is pleased to announce that Denali Elementary School has been named a National ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Distinguished School by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.

Denali was selected as a Category 2 of the ESEA Award–A school that has significantly closed the achievement gap between student groups. Denali is one of up to 100 schools throughout the country being nationally recognized for exceptional student achievement in 2022. Only two schools per state can be named each year.

The National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes qualifying federally funded schools for the outstanding academic achievements of their students. It highlights the efforts of schools across the country making significant improvements for their students-including economically disadvantaged students.

“This award is an especially prestigious honor for your school, staff, and students. Congratulations for the hard work put into increasing student achievement and providing opportunities for all students to succeed.” Heidi Teshner, Acting Commissioner, Alaska Department of Education & Early Development

Denali is the oldest operating school in Fairbanks, having been established in 1951. The school serves approximately 400 students in pre-K through 5th grade. Becky Zaverl has been the principal at Denali for the last two years and a teacher in the building for 19 years. 

“Our school shares this distinction with our entire community. Fairbanks has so many dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to make our schools a great place to learn. The last few years have been difficult for families and schools alike. We are now all focused, district wide, at getting down to business and helping our kids learn, grow and be successful in their lives,” said Principal Becky Zaverl. “Our staff at Denali has a primary focus on literacy. Everyone on our staff is being used to aid in helping our kids get to the next level. This award reinforces our work and encourages us to do better for our kids every single day.” 

The last time a FNSBSD school received National ESEA recognition was in 2014 when Salcha Elementary received the ESEA Category 2 award.

Learn more about National ESEA Distinguished Schools.

For questions, please contact: Joshua DuVall, Director of Communications, (907) 452-2000 ext.11438,