Movers and Shakers for Aug. 29
Chad Padgett was named the new state director for Sen. Dan Sullivan in his Alaska office. Padgett comes to Sullivan’s office from the Bureau of Land Management Alaska. As the career senior executive for BLM in Alaska, Padgett was responsible for the management of 72 million acres of federal lands in Alaska ranging from recreational lands to sole responsibility for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Prior to joining BLM Alaska, Padgett spent 10 years serving as state director for the Office of Congressman Don Young. He graduated from Seward High School and attended Boise State University, earning a degree in political science and international relations before returning to Alaska in 1994.
Noelle Dersé is the newest grants administrator for Alaska Staff Development Network, a statewide partnership administered by the Alaska Council of School Administrators that provides research-based professional development for Alaska’s teachers, school administrators and all education leaders. Dersé previously worked for the Juneau School District as their family engagement specialist, most recently coordinating the remote learning efforts for students and families without internet access. Dersé has a background in public education and government. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master of arts in communications from the University of Washington. Dominique Johnson recently joined the Alaska Council of School Administrators as their new Public Information officer. He has a background in communications with a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University. Johnson has worked in public radio as evening news host and in operations at KNAU in Flagstaff, Arizona and at KTOO in Juneau. For the last five years he served as the Director of Communications at the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. During his time at the archdiocese Johnson was the editor of two monthly newspaper publications, webmaster and media liaison for the organization.
Maj. Virginia R. Brickner assumed duties as deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District in July. She most recently served as the group engineer for the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., from 2018-21. Brickner enlisted in the Army in 2001 and served as a medium helicopter repairer until being accepted into the Green to Gold Active-Duty Commissioning Program in 2005. Brickner received an MBA from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2016. In 2007, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, where Brickner also received her commission into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Her military education includes the Army Engineer Officer Basic Course, Army Engineer Officer Career Course and Army Command and General Staff College. Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Basic Aircrewman Badge, Army Basic Parachutist Badge, Army Air Assault Badge as well as the Bronze de Fleury Medal.