Iditarod Elementary School Principal Robin Jones gathers with students for a visit from Dr. Ben Carson on Aug. 21.

Just days after Anchorage Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt abruptly blocked national hero, Dr. Ben Carson, from visiting with students at Mountain View Elementary School, the Mat-Su School District welcomed the Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree with open arms.

Joined by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Alaska Education Commissioner Deena Bishop and Mat-Su Superintendent Randy Trani, Dr. Carson spoke to hundreds of children at Iditarod Elementary School in Wasilla on Aug. 21. He was joined by his wife Candy Carson, with whom he founded the Carson Scholars Fund, designed to provide scholarships to students in grades 4–11 for “academic excellence and humanitarian qualities”

Carson came to Alaska at the invitation of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club, but has made himself available for other appearances as well. After being scheduled to visit with students at Mountain View Elementary, Superintendent Bryantt nixed the appearance without justification.

Carson, a former Republican presidential candidate, served as a cabinet secretary under President Trump. In the 1980s, he gained national attention as an exceptionally talented brain surgeon when he became person to successfully separate conjoined twins who were attached at the back of the head.

From left, Candy Carson, Dr. Ben Carson, Iditarod Principal Robin Jones, Education Commissioner Deena Bishop and Gov. Mike Dunleavy visit Iditarod Elementary School in Wasilla on Aug. 21.

Growing up in Detroit, living with his divorced mother, Carson overcame poverty and a broken family when his mother continually challenged him and his brother with reading and writing assignments that were above and beyond their regular schoolwork. Prior to gaining international renown as a surgeon, Carson became the youngest person to direct pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.

His life story has inspired countless Americans, and he has become an advocate for educational reform of America’s struggling school system.

During his visit to Iditarod Elementary, he highlighted a recent book he co-authored – “Why America Matters.” The children’s book notes the Judeo-Christian values of America and its founding, as well as the importance of faith, liberty, community and life.

While the Anchorage School District has inexplicably banned Carson from seeing area students, Mayor Dave Bronson plans to take him to several private schools in town prior to his talks for the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club.

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Mat-Su School District welcomes Dr. Carson, after Anchorage bars him from visiting students

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.