Cathy Smith
Process Improvement Advisor, Alaska Communications
8th Grade Math Network


How long have you been with Alaska Communications?
8 years

What do you like about working for Alaska Communications?
I’m proud that Alaska Communications is an Alaska-based company with many ties to the community.  It’s the wonderful people here who make coming to work so fulfilling.  They know that we’re providing services that enrich our customers’ lives and businesses and it shows in the way they approach their work.  I’m very glad to be part of this great team of employees.

How did you hear about the 90% by 2020 Partnership?
I first heard about the 90% by 2020 initiative through Carol Comeau, former Anchorage School District Superintendent; I learned about the Network opportunity through Anand Vadapalli, Alaska Communications CEO and President, and Heather Cavanaugh, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications.  They both serve on the 90% by 2020 Leadership Team.

What made you want to join the 90% by 2020 Partnership?
Today’s students are the parents of Anchorage’s future children.  If we can equip today’s students with the ability to adequately provide for their children, we can help stamp out childhood poverty and provide a solid foundation for future generations of Alaskans.

What project(s) in the Network are you involved in?
Girl Centric, focusing on a select group of girls at Central Middle School.

How does your day-to-day work relate to the 90% by 2020 Partnership?
I facilitate and lead teams to improve processes with the goal to continually provide an excellent customer experience.  The Girl Centric team has awesome members who all have specific roles and responsibilities.  They do all of the heavy lifting while I simply facilitate our meetings to ensure we have the framework to achieve the goal of 90% attendance for 85% of the Girl Centric students by the end of the year.

What do you hope for the future of the network/projects?
My hope is that we will be able to achieve the partnership goal of a 90% graduation rate by 2020 by leveraging what we have learned through a greater number of network partners in future years.

Use three words to describe your 90% by 2020 experience thus far:

  • continuous improvement
  • enriching
  • involvement