GMS’s Tom Arts honored with 2018 BP Education Allies Award

Outstanding Alaska teachers celebrated for excellence in education

ANCHORAGE– BP once again will honor a select group of teachers from across Alaska for their exceptional performance in the classroom, dedication to students and contribution to the state’s future. This year the BP Teachers of Excellence program will recognize 29 Alaska teachers and six BP Educational Allies statewide.

“BP is honored to continue supporting this great program and celebrating teachers who represent the best of our state,” said BP Alaska Regional President Janet Weiss. “It’s part of BP’s ongoing commitment to the communities where we live and work and to the future of Alaska.”

Now in its 23rd year, the BP Teachers of Excellence program honors K-12 teachers from all school districts statewide, including public and private schools. In 2018, the program attracted more than 1,000 nominations for both teachers and the newly added BP Educational Allies award, recognizing additional unsung heroes in Alaska’s schools.

Education Allies Honorees: 

Tom Arts: George: H. Gilson Middle School, Valdez, custodian
Tina Audap: Knik Elementary School, Wasilla, special education assistant
Marilyn Gallardo: Gruening Middle School, Anchorage, safety and security personnel
Aaron Gordon: Kalifornsky Beach Elementary, Soldotna, intensive needs aide
Laverne Maynard Lee: Anchorage School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, educational interpreter
Cheryl Mayo-Kriska Fairbanks North Star Borough Alaska Native education graduation and attendance liaison

For the complete list of winners across the state visit:

About BP in Alaska: Alaska is one of the nation’s five largest oil producing states. BP operate the Prudhoe Bay oilfield, which produces more than 50 percent of oil production in the state. In Alaska BP employs 1,600 people and supports more than 10,000 Alaska jobs through its business activities. Annually BP contributes more than $3 million to education and community organizations in Alaska.


Mr. Arts will be recognized for the BP Educational Allies Award at awards ceremony on Friday morning at 9:00 am on May 11, 2018 at the GMS gym. A BP representative will attend to recognize Mr. Tom Arts.

When: Friday, May 11, 2018, AT 9:00 am
Where: Gilson Middle School gym

Tom was nominated by a group of parents and staff of Valdez City Schools. Here are a few quotes from the nomination forms:

“Mr. Arts goes out of his way to make every child feel special. Mr. Arts is the beacon of happiness. He has a special way with children and even their parents. He gets to really know the child and helps them find their way to the things that help them to be successful.”

“Mr. Arts contributes to the social emotional groups as part of the school’s advisory program, as well as hosting his own “foul shot” basketball competition for students during lunch. Tom sets a high standard that motivates staff to work up to the level of performance that he does. Tom brings everyone up around him.”

“Tom Arts cares deeply for the school and all the people at the school. He always makes sure that the school is beautiful and volunteers to help at all the events. He is a very special person.”

“Mr. Arts is humble and soft spoken, and easy to like…no easy to love. He is by far the hardest worker, and is always willing to go above and beyond. Our school notices when Mr. Arts is absent – there is a comfort in knowing he’s in our building watching over us as we go about our daily routines.”

“Tom Arts is a true treasure to our school and community.”

“Tom Arts knows every student’s name and spends time with them, to find out their interest in school, personal hobbies, sports and other activities.”