State Board of Education & Early Development
State Board Chair Jim Merriner
A lifelong Alaskan and a graduate of Bristol Bay’s Dillingham High School, Merriner holds a B.A. in Modern European History from Harvard College and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Cambridge University. He currently administrates at the Interior Distance Education of Alaska (IDEA) statewide correspondence school, has worked as a teacher and administrator in both public and private schools in Alaska, and has commercial fished in Bristol Bay every summer since 1985. Merriner also served as then-Lt. Governor Sean Parnell's Chief of Staff. In addition to his volunteer work as the State Board Chair, Merriner volunteers as a Commissioner of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE), as a State Board representative on the Statewide Advisory Council of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ College of Rural and Community Development (CRCD), and as a member of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. Merriner enjoys engaging in Alaska’s myriad outdoor activities with his four school-age children and his wife of 20 years, particularly backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing.