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Joseph "Arrssauyaq" Slats
Joseph Arrssauyaq "Joe" Slats is Yup'ik/Cup'ik and was born on November 28, 1953 to Monica (Friday) and Gregory Slats in Chevak, Alaska. He grew up in Chevak, and went to high school in St. Mary’s for one-and-a-half years, in Bethel for one semester, and another year-and-a-half in Anchorage. He also participated in a program that took him to Japan for three months. After high school, Joe attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) for three years, transferring to the University of Alaska Anchorage with a teaching scholarship. Joe has had many years of experience in education. Beginning in 1977, he taught Yup’ik and Language Arts for three years and then returned to his home community of Chevak where he taught for two years. In 1982, he taught in Akiachak for one-and-a-half years, when the high school was a part of the Lower Kuskokwim (LKSD). He finished the remainder of the 1983-84 academic year in Nightmute, where he was the principal. He returned to Chevak to teach for three years and then went on to Atmautluak. In 1990, Joe earned his masters degree in Public Administration from UAF, and became the director of the Yup’ik Studies Program in Bethel. He returned to Fairbanks to work with an alternative school restructuring program, and taught in North Pole. Joe was the school principal in Napakiak from 1996-1998, and then was hired as the Assistant Superintendent of the Yupiit School District (YSD) in Akiachak in 1998. In 2000, Joe was hired as Superintendent of the YSD, becoming the first Native from this area to become a district superintendent. He believes in the importance of youth receiving higher education in order to better support themselves and the needs of daily life. Joe also served as a director for the Akiachak Mushers Association.
Biography written by Mary Frederick of the Yupiit School District.