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 Bachelor of Arts in Modern European History from Harvard College and a Master of Philosophy in School Development 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), 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 21 years, particularly backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing.