© 2019 AFLA

Our AFLA Board


Elizabeth Dick

Elizabeth teaches German from 1 to AP at South High School in Anchorage.  Her background ranges from working on the AP German exam development committee to supporting student travel through a GAPP exchange to serving as President of the Alaska Chapter of the AATG (American Association of Teachers of German).



Elizabeth's postsecondary educational background started at Washington State University where she earned her BA in Spanish/German/Secondary Education, then on to an MA in German from the University of South Carolina, and ultimately a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Washington University.  She also spent two years living and studying in Germany!

Past President 2018

Solvejg Rogers

Solvejg Rogers has been a world language educator for more than 20. She holds an MA in Russian, Sociology, and Pedagogy. Her background spans from teaching at German immersion schools in Riga, Latvia, being active in refugee adult education and teaching juvenile delinquents in Germany, to teaching as Assistant Professor for Russian at UAA.


She has taught in the MatSu Valley for 14 years in many capacities and in a wide range of contexts. Solvejg finally found her home at Birchtree Charter School, where she has been teaching since the school opened in 2010. She teaches 1-8th grade German at Birchtree Charter School, which is a Waldorf inspired school. She has also devoted a large amount of effort to curriculum writing and development.

She lives with her family and animals in the Valley and likes to spend time with her family, kayaking, boating, hiking and doing fiber arts.

Incoming president

Catherine Freeman

Catherine Freeman grew up in Bordeaux France.   While living in Germany she met her husband, and since relocating with him to the U.S. has lived in 8 states before moving to Alaska in 2013. She graduated from Elmira College in upstate NY, and is now teaching at South Anchorage High School after four years at Romig and Hanshew middle schools.


Catherine enjoys all that Alaska is offering as well as traveling with students to France. She is an active member of the French Language Advocate Anchorage, which through its efforts has recently won approval for the opening of the French Immersion school opening in the Fall 2019. 


Julia Stutzer

Julia currently teaches Spanish at Dimond High School in Anchorage.  She has also taught French at Dimond and Russian as an assistant professor at UAA.  

Being from Homer Alaska, Julia was encouraged at an early age by her parents and teachers to leave the small town and explore.  She spent her junior year in high school on exchange in the Dominican Republic and during her college years, spent a year teaching English in France and another winter exploring Russia.  

She holds a dual-languages degree in French and Russian from UAA and has always appreciated how languages have opened doors to a world beyond Alaska.



PNCFL Representative

Emanuela Pokryfki

Emanuela teaches language and Career Technology for the Kenai School District. She has also worked for the Haines School District. 

Her educational background includes a double major in French in English studies in Italy, with a minor in Italian Studies. Additionally, Emanuela earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Alaska, Southeast. 


Additionally, she says that in a "previous life I have been a graphic designer, and now I am a passionate potter"! 


Valerie Ekberg-Brown

Valerie is a Russian and Social Studies teacher who works at Chugiak High School in the Anchorage School District. She has also worked at the UAA Eagle River Campus and Community Schools. 

She earned her Bachelors from the University of Washington with a Russian Langauge major along with a minor in German. The then went on to earn her Masters of Education in Integrated Studies, specializing in multiple intelligences, from Cambridge College. 

In addition to her commitment to her community, Valerie raised over 200 chinchilas while growing up in Anchorage!


Charles Beattie

Charles Beattie teaches German and Mathematics at Dimond High School in in the Anchorage School District. He's an energetic member of the German community even though he describes his German degree as "an accidental degree due to taking too many classes for fun while pursuing a mathematics Bachelor". 

While he teaches in Anchorage now, his past teaching experience includes working at the Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium in Dresden, Germany.

Southcentral Alaska Regional Representative

Carla Swick

Carla teaches Japanese at Palmer High School, where her true love of language, other cultures, and people began as a student. 


A high school exchange in Saroma, Japan ignited a desire to explore the world. After high school, she studied in Gnosjo, Sweden for one year as an AFS exchange student. She majored in Secondary English Education and minored in Japanese Language at the University of Wyoming. She studied as a Rotary Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She returned to Saroma to teach English, working as an educator and translator for the local school board. She taught in Japan for three and a half years and is now in her 21st year of teaching Japanese. 


When she’s not teaching, you can find her in Alaska's outdoors with her husband Lance, six-year old son Billy, and dog Situk. She loves hiking, playing hockey, floating the Kenai, watching Kansas City Chiefs football games, and traveling.


Nicole Ayers

Nicole teaches French and English at Chugiak High School, just outside of Anchorage. In addition to teaching at the high school she has also taught French for the University of Alaska. 

Before moving to Alaska, she moved a lot while earning her Bachelors in French Language. Along the way she studied in Pau and Grenoble, France before graudating from the University of Alaska Anchorage. After that Nicole moved on to earn her Masters of Arts in Teaching, also from UAA. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctorate in Education in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education through Indiana University. 

Beyond teaching Nicole loves traveling where ever she can and hiking throughout Alaska.