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Governor Parnell Announces More Board Appointments

August 27, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced his appointments to the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education and the State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee.

Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education

Governor Parnell appointed Art Delaune, Heidi Haas and Ernest Manzie, and reappointed Julie Broyles, Eric Gebhart and Ric Nelson to the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education. The council serves as the interdepartmental planning and coordinating agency of the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education and Early Development, and other departments that deliver services to people with disabilities or provide special education.

Delaune, of Fairbanks, has 15 years of experience working with developmentally disabled children. He currently works with people with disabilities at Access Alaska. Delaune is also a parent navigator for the Fairbanks Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic Team under the AlaskaCenter for Children and Adults, a licensed foster parent, and a former terminal and operations manager for Lynden Transport. He served in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Delaune is appointed to a consumer seat.

Haas, of Fairbanks, is the founder and president of the Autism Society of Alaska, as well as a community member of the Play N Learn Community Head Start Program. She is also a member of the Autism Society of America and was presented the society’s Alaskan Volunteer of the Year award and the Flint Hills United Way Golden Hearts award. As the mother of a child with a disability, Haas is appointed to a secondary consumer seat.

Manzie, of Fairbanks, is the director of educational programs at the Boys and Girls Home for Family Centered Services of Alaska. Manzie served as superintendent of the Valdez City Schools and as assistant superintendent in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. Manzie is appointed to a seat reserved for a special education director.

Broyles, of Anchorage, is a special education teacher at ServiceHigh School and a board member of the Alaska Down Syndrome Congress. Broyles earned a bachelor's degree in education from University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master's degree in special education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has 12 years of teaching experience. Broyles is appointed to a special education teacher seat.

Gebhart, of Nenana, is the superintendent of the NenanaCitySchool District. Formerly a superintendent and principal in the Kake School district, Gebhart was also a member of the Kake Economic Development Council and Kake City Council. Gebhart is reappointed to a secondary consumer seat.

Nelson, of Anchorage, is a regional president of TASH International, an advocacy organization for people with disabilities from birth. Nelson has received an associate’s degree in small business management from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in business management. Nelson is reappointed to a primary consumer seat.

State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee

Governor Parnell reappointed Teresa Sarabia, Pamela Stratton and Pat Wendt to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee. The committee promotes employment of people with disabilities by creating statewide interest in rehabilitation and employment. The committee serves as the State Rehabilitation Council for Alaska to ensure compliance with federal requirements for the provision of assistive technology devices and services and the receipt of federal financial assistance.

Sarabia, of Juneau, is currently the program manager of the Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program for the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. She worked for the State of Alaska for 17 years in various departments and for 10 years in various school districts. Sarabia has worked with Alaska Native students, primarily those with disabilities, in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. She is a recipient of the Oregon Indian Education Association’s Counselor of the Year award. Sarabia is reappointed to an Alaska Native organization seat.

Stratton, of Anchorage, has served on the State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee for the past 13 years. She is the executive director and owner of ASIST Inc. and has worked with client assistance programs since 1986. Stratton is reappointed to a client assistance program seat.

Wendt, of Anchorage, is a member of Hostelling International, recently completing terms on the national and regional boards. He has served as the president of the Alaska Music Guild, Hostelling International, Anchorage, and the Alaska Council AYH. He is a former deputy director, administrator, program director and training director for the Alaska Special Olympics. Wendt was executive director of Anchorage Housing Initiatives until his medical retirement. Wendt is reappointed to a business seat. 

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