Amazing Grace Academy

Educating Alaska's Pre-K through High School Students for Today and Eternity

MEET THE TEAM

Karen Carlton
Principal

Karen Carlton

Mrs. Carlton came to teaching through a different route than most. She graduated from Walla Walla College (University now) with a B. A. in Business Administration after switching away from education. After becoming a mom and realizing that teaching and education is something she loves, she went back to school to get her M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Walla Walla University.

Mrs. Carlton has been in the education field for the past 14 years and has been a classroom teacher, music teacher, and school administrator. She moved to Alaska in 2021 from Washington State. Her favorite thing about education is working with a team to see the kids learn and grow.

When not at the school, Mrs. Carlton loves to take nature photos, explore Alaska, garden (until the weeds come up), and spend time with her two adult daughters and husband. She also loves to read historical fiction, specifically about the Oregon Trail.

Tricia Biloff
Administrative Assistant, Treasurer

Tricia Biloff

Mrs. Biloff is a graduate of Boise State University with a B.S. in Accounting. She is also licensed as a Certified Public Account since 2002. She has been married to her wonderful husband, Matt for nine years and they have a son together.
Mrs. Biloff loves the Alaskan weather, growing flowers in the summer, and reading a good book.

 Ashley Bailey
Administrative Assistant, Music Teacher

Ashley Bailey

Mrs. Bailey has been serving Amazing Grace Academy in many capacities for the last 15 years. You can find her teaching Elementary Music to grades PreK through 6th grade, working as Administrative Assistant, or subbing for a teacher. Her passion is to help her students learn how to use music as a platform for processing every aspect of life and giving glory to God.

Mrs. Bailey has been actively pursuing her degree in Early Childhood Education and recently graduated from Grand Canyon University with a BS in Applied Management.

Missy  Harris
Teacher PreK and K

Missy Harris

Miss Harriss graduated from Southwestern Adventist University with a B. S. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the Alaska Conference since 2009 and since 2012 at Amazing Grace Academy. She has taught students grades PreK through second grade.

When she is not teaching, Miss Harriss enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, camping, x-county skiing and traveling.

Marita McLin
Teacher 1 and 2

Marita McLin

Mrs. McLin graduated from Walla Walla University with a BA in Elementary Education and minors in History and TESL (teaching English as second language). She also attended Turku University in Finland and completed a study in educational pedagogy.

Mrs. McLin has worked with children from a young age. She was a counselor at several summer camps in Finland and enjoyed spending time with them.

Mrs. McLin has taught in 5 schools previous to AGA. She has taught in Thailand, California, and Washington. This is her 26th year of teaching. She has taught grades K-5, Home Economics and Choir for grades 7-12.

Mrs. McLin comes originally from Finland, where her parents and siblings still live. She is married to Jason, who teaches grades 5 & 6 at AGA as well. They have two adult children.

Mrs. McLin is a nurturing teacher who cares for her students deeply. She is often referred to as the ‘mother bear’. She strives for her classroom environment to be safe and welcoming, where each child feels loved.

Mrs. McLin’s goal is for each child to learn to love Jesus and others. She strives for students to be respectful and kind. Her classroom is an organized place, but every now and then students might say there is also silliness. Students have heard their teacher speak in different accents or even languages!

In her free time Mrs. McLin loves to cook, read, visit with family and friends, travel, and spend time outdoors gardening and hiking.

Carol  Woodward
Teacher 3 and 4

Carol Woodward

Mrs. Woodward graduated from Central Washington University with a B.A. in Elementary Education. Her career has spanned 25 years of teaching a variety of grades from 1st to 6th, including ELL.

What she most enjoys about teaching is helping her students to see their potential and to become independent thinkers. She is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus throughout the day. Her favorite subjects to teach are language arts, math, and art.

When not teaching, Mrs. Woodward can be found enjoying the great Alaskan outdoors either hiking in the mountains, skiing the slopes, or fishing the Alaskan waters. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two grown sons.

Jason McLin
Teacher 5 and 6

Jason McLin

Mr. McLin has been teaching since 1997 in grades 4 though 9. He has a degree in History and English from Walla Walla College. He has taught in Thailand and the Czech Republic, California, Washington, and Alaska.

Along the way he spent 6 years as a teaching principal as well as a Jr. High and High school basketball, volleyball, and soccer coach.

He enjoys a good adventure, hiking, building things, dreaming of that cabin he will build some day, traveling, a good Asian restaurant, and coffee.

He feels that God has truly blessed and protected him. He looks forward to someday seeing his students in heaven.

Lauren Salazar
Teacher 7 and 8

Lauren Salazar

Mrs. Salazar graduated from Walla Walla University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in history. She has been a teacher for five years and has worked with grades 1-2 and 5-8.
Mrs. Salazar loves to make learning practical and fun. Whenever possible, Mrs. Salazar enjoys taking her students on field trips and outdoor adventures to expand learning beyond the walls of the classroom and pages of a textbook. Most of all though, she enjoys sharing her energy and love for Jesus with her students each day. It is her desire that her students learn to see and experience God and His love for them, and in turn, that they will share that love and light with those around them.
When Mrs. Salazar is not in the classroom, you could likely find her adventuring out in nature, working on a project with calligraphy or ink art, or curled up with her cats, a cup of hot tea, and a good book.

Louis Melchor
Teacher 9-12, Vice Principal

Louis Melchor

Mr. Melchor received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and Master of Arts in Teaching from La Sierra University. You will find him in variety of different places on campus as he serves as the high school science teacher, athletic director, and vice-principal. He loves taking advantage of any chance to have conversations about God and his complex yet beautiful creation through the lens of science.

He started his teaching career in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Tulsa Adventist Academy in 2015 where he was the science teacher and basketball coach. In 2017, Mr. Melchor accepted AGA’s invitation to become science teacher.

Mr. Melchor has senior academy endorsements in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physical and Earth Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Health, and Physical Education. He currently teaches all the high school level science courses along with middle school and high school Physical education, Health, and Practical Arts. In the fall, Mr. Melchor also coaches the AGA mixed-6 Volleyball team.

Mr. Melchor is married to Laura Ojeda Melchor and they have a 5-year old son named Abel. In his free time, you will find Mr. Melchor playing sports or enjoying the outdoors with one of his motorized off-road vehicles. Mr. Melchor hopes to explore more of Alaska on the road system and off as he continues he service at AGA.

Catherine Wieden
Teacher 9-12

Catherine Wieden

Mrs. Wieden graduated from Andrews University with a BS in Chemistry (2005), MAT in Secondary Education (2006), and a MDiv (2009). Her certifications are in Chemistry, Math, Physics, and Bible. She is currently working on certification for Art and Integrated Sciences.

Mrs. Wieden has been teaching since 2009 and has taught in West Virgina, Tennessee, and New York state before coming to Amazing Grace Academy. She has taught grades 7- 12 during her tenure focusing on mostly math, science, and Bible but has also taught Personal Finance, Practical Arts, Health, and Art.

Other responsibilities she has fulfilled in the past at previous schools include Vice Principal (2 years), Intern Girls’ Dean( 6 months), and Assistant Girls Dean (3 years). These were beyond the usual responsibilities of class sponsorships, helping or leading numerous mission trips, and sponsoring the yearbook teams in the two most recent schools.

Mrs. Wieden’s hobbies are many and varied. She loves spending time with her husband Duane, the outdoors, Pathfinders, animals, music, the arts (drawing, painting, pottery), crafting, and reading, Her passion is for the youth and loves her job as a teacher. She seeks always to fulfill the callings God has given her and follow Him wherever He leads

Nolan Salazar
Spanish teacher

Nolan Salazar

Mr. Salazar graduated from Andrews University with a dual degree in Agriculture and Spanish Studies and is now in his first year teaching high school Spanish here at Amazing Grace. He is passionate about teaching Spanish in a way that students can truly learn to use the language in the future to help them communicate in their travels or chance encounters. He learned the language himself while studying abroad in Argentina, and wishes to share his love of the language with his students.
Born and raised on the west coast, he loves life here in Alaska, and often refers to the saying, "The west is best." He enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and fishing, as well as creative projects working with his hands.

Ellen Clark
Teacher 9-12

Ellen Clark

Ms. Clark graduated from Walla Walla University with a B.A. in history and minors in music and education. She has senior academy endorsements in English, history, and music.
During her five years of teaching experience, Ms. Clark has taught English, history, and a number of electives including music appreciation, choir, computer coding, computer applications, and personal finance. She especially loves helping students to develop their creativity, use modern technology, and apply critical thinking skills.
When she has free time, Ms. Clark spends it repairing and remodeling her house, reading, and playing a variety of musical instruments. During summer weather, she also enjoys berry picking, kayaking, and badminton.

Michelle Pearson
Home and School Leader, Hot Lunch Progam

Michelle Pearson

Mrs. Pearson does countless things for the school, but her leadership with Home and School and the hot lunch program definitely rank highest.

Becky McNeil
PreK and Kindergarten Teacher's Assistant

Becky McNeil

Ms. Becky graduated from Southwestern Adventist University with a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She met her husband, Matt, while attending university. They share two children and have lived in Alaska for 10 years.

In her free time, Ms. Becky enjoys raising the family chickens, gardening, camping, and fishing.

Ryan Rogers
Pastor, Bible Teacher 11 and 12

Ryan Rogers

Pastor Ryan serves as the pastor of the Palmer Seventh Day Adventist Church. He teaches Bible class for grades 11 and 12 at Amazing Grace Academy. He enjoys spending time with his family, getting outside, making music, and growing in Jesus. He loves his job as a Pastor and also his job with AGA. You can find Pastor Ryan's sermons, podcast, and other ministry resources at PastorRyanRogers.com

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