A few months ago, ANSEP kicked off the inaugural year of its Acceleration High School (AAHS) at Valley Pathways, where 23 students began taking college courses in conjunction with high school coursework. Acceleration High School Assistant Mathematics Professor Matthew (Matt) Gho has been part of the ANSEP team for the past five years, previously leading several Acceleration Academy sessions.
“I really enjoyed leading hands-on activities at Acceleration Academy,” Matt said. “I loved having a group of students who were raised with similar values as me and therefore felt comfortable teaching them about our cultural history. As an Alaskan educator, I find a lot of Native students aren’t familiar with their cultural backgrounds, and that’s something I hope to incorporate in the day-to-day lives of my students.”
Matt’s ANSEP story began when he joined ANSEP as an undergraduate student, participating in Friday meetings with his ANSEP peers. Matt said the experience showed him how ANSEP can help support students throughout their academic careers and open the door to endless opportunities. Earlier this year when the opportunity to teach at a full-time, year-round ANSEP high school presented itself, Matt said he immediately jumped on board. Today, Matt is inspiring the next generation of Alaska’s future leaders and strives to show his students how math is applicable to the world around them.
“My goal as an educator is getting my students to look at how math drives the world we live in. I teach the content and then give it a real world application so students can make the connection,” Matt said.
At AAHS, Matt enjoys the accelerated curriculum and says it presents endless opportunities for the students.
“There is no cap on the students. They can go as far as they want to go, or as far as they are willing to work,” Matt said. “These classes are for anyone! Once they are in, we work with them to make sure they meet their educational potential. Students do have to be willing to put in the work, but we are there every step of the way to provide the support and guidance they need.”
According to Matt, AAHS curriculum is unique because it strives to teach each student the importance of problem solving and team building, and the small class sizes uphold the family-like feeling ANSEP is known for. Students interested in applying for ANSEP’s Acceleration High School component at the Valley Pathways School in Palmer can find the application here and have until Dec. 9, 2016, to submit their application for next semester.