Thanks for reading the Hawk Highlights, the only newspaper in the entire world that really cares about Galena, Alaska ... Written by Galena students for the communities they love...

Mr. A becomes new media tech teacher... Louden Tribal Council contributes $5,000 to Galena NYO... Dorms get new counselor

Students from all over Alaska attend our annual Health Academy...
Galena teachers and students tour hospitals and colleges to improve our health courses.

Join us at the Galena Interior Learning Academy!

"Building Alaska's Future"

Visit GILA's website

Enroll today !

"Make your paper a perfect mirror of everything done in your county that its citizens ought to know."
Horace Greeley

Thank you for your support of Galena writers and students
    The Hawk Highlights appreciates the increasing readership we've had throughout the year and support and kindness from those who have backed our efforts. The GILA journalism class provides students a real-life opportunity to apply language arts skills on behalf of the school district and learn how to handle themselves in a professional, mature manner while working with the public. The lessons learned here will last a lifetime.
Mr. A    

The Hawk Highlights welcomes comments, letters to the editor, and inquiries. Email or write to Hawk Highlights, Galena Interior Learning Academy, P.O. Box 359, Galena, AK 99741. Our phone is (907) 656-2053.

School starts Monday, August 18

Welcome back to our returning students
and greetings to our new students

New teachers arriving this fall


Staff writers

  Galena students will meet three new high school teachers next year, according to Beth Buchanan, principal of curriculum and instruction.

  Kate Quinn will be teaching language arts at the GILA Campus. She is living in Fairbanks, Alaska and did her student teaching at North Pole High School.

  Corrie Lambrecht will be teaching math and science at the SHS campus. She applied for a resident advisor position at Ptarmigan Hall last year and was accepted, but decided to finish her master's degree instead. She has taught at North Pole High School before.

  Brian Davis will be teaching social studies at the GILA Campus. Mr. Davis is living in Juneau, Alaska right now, and has taught in the Yupiit School District.

  The position is still open to replace the departing Wilma Omnik as the cosmetology instructor.

Published 10 July 2014 at 4:40 p.m.

Two GILA students first at NYO

Alumnus takes silver in Eskimo stick pull

NYO coach Joel Wilkinson (left) and gold medal winner Archie Andrews, a GILA junior, at NYO yesterday.
Photo courtesy Ineke Wilkinson

  Two Galena athletes earned gold medals at the Native Youth Olympics in Anchorage.

  Derrick Black, a junior from Napakiak, came in first in the seal hop with a distance of 152 feet, 9 1/2 inches. His first place effort took place on Saturday, April 26.

  Archie Andrews won the gold medal in the Alaskan high kick with an effort of 90 inches during the first day of Native Youth Olympics competition on Thursday, April 24, at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage. Archie is a junior from Emmonak

  Archie's gold medal came with no misses on all of his attempts. Second place went to Scott Charlie of the Lower Kuskokwim School District at 87 inches with no misses; third place went to Evan Diment of Bethel, at 87 inches with one miss.

  None of the Galena students competing Friday, April 25, were in the top five spots in that day's competiton, according to the NYO website. Assistant coach Ineke Wilkinson said students taking part in Friday's gamers were Neka Sherman-Luce (wrist carry), Cedric Waska (wrist carry), John Usugan (carrier) Archie Andrews (carrier) and Derrick Black (kneel jump.)

  GILA alumnus Ravell Sanford, now attending Effie Kokrine High School in Fairbanks, came in second in the Eskimo stick pull on Friday. Ravell attended GILA from 2010 to 2013.

  Athletes taking part on Saturday, April 26, were Archie Andrews (two-foot high kick, one arm reach), Veronica Kameroff (one arm reach), Thomasina Sheldon (Eskimo stick pull), John Usugan (Eskimo stick pull), and Derrick Black (toe kick).

Many thanks to Ineke Wilkinson for providing this information... Additional information provided by Alfred Omnik... Published 25 April 2014 at 10:19 a.m.... Updated 26 April 2014 at 9:28 a.m.

Louden Council gives NYO $5,000

NYO athlete Derrick Black shows off his skills at the March fundraiser.


Staff writers

  The Louden Tribal Council donated $5,000 to the Galena Native Youth Olympics athletes who went to Anchorage this past weekend (April 24-26).

  "Every year Louden contributes to Galena's kids by funding extracurricular activities," said a Louden spokesperson.

  Two team members, Archie Andrews and Derrick Black, came home with gold medals from NYO.

  "It's been a great pleasure to be a coach… thanks to everyone for their support and generosity," said Joel Wilkinson, the NYO coach.

  Galena's NYO team also received $3,000 dollars for the trip to Anchorage from a fundraiser in March. The team sponsored a community dinner provided by Chef Rand and his culinary class staff serving spaghetti and other food. They provided a demonstration for the community to see what the NYO students are capable of. Ravn Airlines provided prizes; Starbucks gave its support; and a PlayStation 4 was raffled.

  Other contributors to the team were KIYU radio, the Galena Liquor Store, and Sweetsir's Store.

  The school district provided a discount for the flight for eight students and the two coaches.

Published 29 April 2014 at 8:53 p.m.
Updated 30 April 2014 at 2:09 p.m.

Village Science Expo / SHS Elementary Science Fair

      Photo gallery

Cyberbullying law proposed


Staff writers

  Galena students will be protected by a new cyber bullying law that is now in the hands of the Governor of Alaska.

  Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples would be: mean text messages, posting on social networking sites, embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles according to

  On April 3, Sen. Kevin Meyer passed the Senate Bill 128 19-0. The sponsor statement for SB128 says that any harassment of a person under 18 years of age by electronic communication is a class B misdemeanor.

  For Galena students, cyber bullying is "treated the same way we treat bullying," says Jana Rider, a counselor at Galena Interior Learning Academy.

  "Similar to any kind of bullying, it beats down the person's self-esteem and can affect every part of their life," said Ms. Rider. She then went on to say more about how cyber bullying is hard to walk away from because more people get involved, compared to in-person bullying, where you can walk away from the person.

  Kids who are cyber bullied are most likely to use alcohol and drugs, skip school, experience in-person bullying, be unwilling to attend school, receive poor grades, have lower self-esteem, and have more health problems, according to the website

  Galena Interior Learning Academy handles bullying and cyber bullying by their code of conduct. The consequences may vary on whether or not you are a city school student or a boarding school student.

  Because bullying is a major infraction in the code of conduct, the consequences get more intense the more you get in trouble for it. For GILA students, the first offense is three to four days of floor restriction; the second offense is five days of floor; and the third offense is five days of out-of-school suspension.

  For a student that is not living at the boarding school, the number of days that you get OSS increases. The first offense is one day of OSS; the second offense is three days of OSS; and the third offense is three to 10 days of OSS. These consequences are not just for bullying, it is many other major infractions as well.

Published 10 July 2014 at 10:47 a.m.

Student takes first solo flight

Toby Monroe with the GILA aviation program plane before his solo flight.
Photo courtesy GILA aviation program


Staff writer

  I knew I wanted to be a pilot from the start.

  The councilor asked me if I wanted to be in ground school, and I took the opportunity.

  The GILA aviation program gave me opportunities that teenagers my age would never experience; I flew 258 miles by myself in one day. This feat is unheard of for high school students, and I didn't have to pay a thing for training. I took my check-ride in May and earned with my private pilot's license.

  Over the next three years, I constantly worked at studying, learning, and practiced towards this moment.

  My flight to Tanana made my week great. The weather was great, the sun was shining and my school day lasted till about 7 in the evening, but it was worth the effort. The intensity of my solo flight gives me a challenge that is well worth my time. I really appreciate the GILA aviation program with my flight instructor, Josh Kaufield.

Published 10 July 2014 at 10:01 a.m.

Aviation student achievements and licenses over the years

Private pilot licenses
1. Ben Pederson
2. Trent Walker (2007)
3. Melinda Hruby(2008)
4. Kallie Brown (2008)
5. Daniel Wilhite (2007)
6. Garret Bargis (2010)
7. Michael Ford (2011)
8. Jeremiah Stewart (2012)
9. Kaylin Kopp (2012)
10. Elijah Jensen (2012)

Solo pilots
1. Ben Pederson
2. Daniel Wilhite (2006)
3. Trent Walker (2007)
4. Brandon Walker (2007)
5. Donovan Nickoli (2007)
6. Kallie Brown (2007)
7. Melinda Hruby (2008)
8. Garret Bargis (2010)
9. Magdelyn Lee (2010)
10. Richard Sommer (2010)
11. Michael Ford (2011)
12. Justin Arrow (2011)

13. Kaylin Kopp (2011)
14. Elijah Jensen (2011)
15. Jeremiah Stewart (2011)
16. Sid Huhndorf (2012)
17. Robert Worel (2012)
18. Greg Cholok (2012)
19. Ahtallah Dillon (2012)
20. Roland Bergey (2012)
21. Stephan Waska (2012)
22. Dale Deleon (2013)
23. Rodney Hildebrand (2013)
24. Branden Waska (2013)

AK school board director visits


Staff writer

  The executive director of the Association of Alaska School Boards recently visited our campuses.

  "I was really impressed and had heard a lot about it within the last 16 years, but never got around to actually seeing it [our campus]," said Joseph Reeves, executive director of the Association of Alaska School Boards during his visit on April 17.

  Mr. Reeves also commented that our students were very focused and that it was a great opportunity to view our school. He also went on to say that he was amazed at how the school had the feel of a university rather than a high school.

  Mr. Reeves stressed the need for educational opportunity and added that the vocational classes were something that students should really become involved in, if they were not yet already.

Published 10 July 2014 at 11:32 a.m.

Burley plays in All-Star game


Staff writers

  Galena Lady Hawk Shaina Burley played in the state All-Star game in April.

  "I'm very excited and nervous because college scouts will be watching the games," said Shaina in an interview before the game.

  Two other girls from the Aurora Conference, Kiana Edwards from Hutchison and Jess Reiter from Delta Junction, will also be participating in the games, according to the Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches.

  "I'm excited to be playing with them," said Shaina.

  The All-Star game was at the Anchorage Christian Schools gym in Anchorage on April 11. There were two games over the course of the weekend. The All-Star game was only for seniors and was a mix of 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A division players.

  "I have been going to open gym to prepare for the games," said Shaina. "I would like to thank [Galena Lady Hawks] Beth Buchanan, Claudette and Charlie Green, and my mom and dad for making it possible to play in the All-Star games."

Published 10 July 2014 at 10:26 a.m.

Ineke Wilkinson new counselor

Ineke Wilkinson


Staff writer

  Ineke Wilkinson will become the dorm counselor next school year.

  "It's my first job in official counseling," said Mrs. Wilkinson.

  She will be working alongside her husband, current dorm counselor Joel.

  When asked what it be like working with her husband, Mrs. Wilkinson said, "I am very excited, we love working together and are anticipating a great school year next year."

  "I will be starting groups like a relationship skills group," she said.

  She will also counsel groups, have individual sessions, and address crisis situations.

  She is from Grand Rapids, Mich., and will graduate May 3 with a master's degree in counseling from Cornerstone University, which is also located in Grand Rapids.

  She moved to Alaska after hearing about the opportunity for working at GILA.

Published 27 April 2014 at 9:03 p.m.
Updated 29 April 2014 at 9:13 p.m.

Academy teaches skills

Emergency trauma technician classes bring students from around the state

Hawk Highlights staff writer Candace Cox goes beyond the call of duty volunteering to have her blodd pressure taken by a fellow student at the recent health academy.

Galena junior Julia Grant role-plays being an accident victim during the health academy training.

Health academy teacher Jan Dick (far right) shows students how to preform rescue medicine.
Photos courtesy Susan Paskvan


Staff writer

  "If the opportunity passed and something bad happened, you would feel terrible," said Sara Loehr, a high school student from Sterling, Alaska, who has wanted a job in the medical field since she was a little girl.

  She was just one of the 23 students taking part in the emergency trauma technician (ETT) health academy classes offered at GILA during the past two weeks.

  Students from Galena's Interior Distance Education Alaska (IDEA) program and Yukon-Koyukuk School District were given the chance visit Galena and receive their ETT license, provided they're able to pass a test and remember how to assemble an oxygen tank.

  I was able to join one of the classes in the auditorium at GILA and was fortunate to have my blood pressure taken by Charann Alick, a senior from Palmer.

  "There's a lot of stuff to learn and remember," Charann told me as she searched for my brachial artery. She explained to me that taking blood pressure is a routine ETT action that is made when someone is in need of help.

  After that, she took my pulse. While wrapping a cusp around my bicep she told me about her plans to work as a certified nurse's assistant. The cusp she used, she explained to me, is a large Velcro bandage that cuts off circulation making it easier to find a patient's pulse. After taking thirty second to count each beat from my pulse, Charann multiplied the number by two and informed that I have a regular, strong, pulse.

  Logan Holt, a junior from Juneau and Brandyn Lessmann, a sophomore from Fairbanks, also practiced taking pulses with Ashlee Chandler, a junior from Fairbanks. Ashlee sat between Logan and Brandyn, each boy holding her hand and counting her pulse. They told me about their haste to complete a skill sheet, a check list of all 16 ETT procedures they needed to perfect.

  Students Sara Loehr and Mariah Neglaska, a sophomore from Kaltag who is a GILA alumnus, were working together to make the chest of a dummy rise and fall. They attempted to do this with a bag valve mask. Mariah held the large mask with one hand on a large air-filled pouch and used the other hand to hold the attached mask on the dummy face. As she tipped back the dummy head, she squeezed the pouch attached to the mask and was successful. At the same time, Sarah counted each administration of air.

  Mariah and Sara explained to me that using the bag valve mask is necessary for use on patients who are having trouble breathing, and is better than mouth to mouth CPR because it's more sanitary.

  Bob Hawkins, an CTE instructor and head chaperone from Fairbanks, pointed to an oxygen tank, which he described as "that black thing that looks like a doughnut."

  Very carefully, Sara Henderson, a junior from Huslia, twisted a valve onto an oxygen tank she had been setting up. A loud SWOOSH sound escaped from the tank. Several of us who had been watching jumped but continued in our observations.

  After completing the assembly of the tank, Sara began to talk to her "patient."

  "I'm going to put an oxygen mask on you so you can feel better," Sara said. Misty Alick, a junior from Palmer gave her confirmation. While putting an oxygen mask on Misty, Sara asked questions like, "Are you comfortable? And are you feeling okay? … I'm gonna take this off," she said finally, and then disassembled the tank.

  There had been more role-playing in the class.

  Amanda Kopp, a freshman from Galena, lay on the floor as Sara Loehr asked her who the president of the United States is. "Obama," Amanda said. Sara continued to ask her the time, where she is, and what had happened, completing the person, place, event procedure that she had learned earlier.

  Jan Dick, another ETT instructor, observed as Sara assessed Amanda's skin, noticing the color, temperature, and condition, completing another procedure required of an ETT.

  "You're gonna run into a situation one of these days - what are you gonna do?" said Mr. Dick, who then recounted a story one of his former students had told him. "Right now we're just learning the steps, turn it into a process."

  Mr. Dick was very encouraging to all of the students, and the students were appreciative of all the mentoring they had been receiving.

  "(My favorite part is) getting to meet all the new people and learning things I didn't know," Amanda said.

  Aside from the fun, most students has had some challenges to face, too. For Brandyn, it's recreating what the instructors tell him to do, and for others it's passing the test and memorizing the vocabulary. For the most part though, the students enjoyed their time in Galena and are excited to be learning and meeting new people.

Published 27 April 2014 at 8:17 p.m.

Health careers focus of trip


Staff writers

  Students and teachers from Galena recently went to Fairbanks gathering information and making contacts to improve GILA's health sciences program.

  Students Tiffany George, a junior from Galena, and Cynthia Kruger, also a junior, from Anvik, were accompanied by teachers Stephanie Weter and Keilah Redman in Fairbanks to explore health science programs April 6-10.

  The students were given the opportunity to tour The Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center, Hutchison High School, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, the UAF Health science program, and the Chena Goldstream Fire and Rescue Department.

  "Having an opportunity to observe health science programs in place and knowing what our students need to succeed made this trip very beneficial for our growing health science program," said Ms. Redman.

  While touring the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Cynthia, Tiffany, and Ms. Redman got to job shadow staff who were working in different areas of the hospital.

  Cynthia job shadowed in the woman's health center, Tiffany job shadowed in the E.R., and Ms. Redman job shadowed staff working with ultr sound. "(Job shadowing) might have swayed their thoughts on what they want to do after high school," said Ms. Redman.

  Going to Fairbanks was beneficial to the GCSD because of plans within the district to bolster the health science program in Galena for students to get interested in the health careers.

Published 27 April 2014 at 8:41 p.m.
Updated 29 April 2014 at 10:09 p.m.

Mr. A is the new tech teacher

Mr. Apfelbeck
Mr. Apfelbeck
Photo courtesy Adrian Johnson


Staff writer

  Paul Apfelbeck is changing teaching positions in the Galena City School District for the next school year. He's now teaching journalism and language arts.

  Next fall, Mr. Apfelbeck will be teaching four media classes - journalism, web page design, video production and digital photography, along with three introduction to computer classes.

  "I've always tried to incorporate appropriate technology in my classes. In 2001, I had a computer-based classroom and over time, that has gone away, so I'm glad it's coming back," he said.

  The computer classes will include career training and planning, as well as training students in the use of Microsoft Office software such as Word and Excel, along with some Adobe products. Students will be able to get certified in Microsoft office software in his classes, and he wants to get Microsoft certified himself in Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint.

  Mr. Apfelbeck said he wants to teach students the basic information about Microsoft software so when they graduate they will have the basic knowledge of computers in their future careers. He also said he wants to create something called Microsoft IT Academy.

  Mr. Apfelbeck lives in Galena and has been working for Galena Interior Learning Academy for 14 years. He has a master's degree in education technology from the American College of Education in Chicago. He also has a bachelor's degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C., as well as a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. He has a wife named Isabella; they have been married for 17 years and have a son named Joe. He also has a dog, two turtles, hundreds of fish and a huge garden.

Published 28 April 2014 at 7:43 p.m.

Women beat girls at shootout

Mr. Apfelbeck
The members of the "Pass The Oxygen, Please" team, winners of the 2014 Yukon River Shootout
Photo courtesy Trisha Esmailka


Staff writers

  The first place women's team for the 2014 Yukon River Shootout was the "Pass the Oxygen, Please" team. They played against the SHS Girls team, which had players from the Lady Hawks basketball team and some SHS alumni.

  "It was hard to play against the SHS girls because we're such big fans," said Trisha Esmailka, a member of the women's championship team.

  The team consisted of Tabitha Ramos, Sharon Susook, Stacy Demientieff, Jessica McGinty, Janell Burgett, Trisha Esmailka, Keilah Redman, Myra Harris, Stephanie Weter and Carolyn Sam.

  The 2014 Yukon River Shootout took place in the SHS gymnasium April 11-13.

  The Koyukuk Raiders roster was Arnold Huntington, Brian Settle, Chris Kriska, Gerad Wholecheese, Leo Huntington, Brian Todd Olin-Duncan, Dax Lolnitz, Arthur Roberts, Quentin Demoski and John Williams.

  In the championship game, the Raiders faced the GILA Squad, which consisted of various GILA RAs and students.

Published 28 April 2014 at 8:26 p.m.

GILA eyes grant for small engines and welding classes


Staff writer

  A grant for GILA to purchase new equipment for the small engines program and also for the welding program and help support the CTE classes has been requested by principal John Riddle.

  The school is asking for $29,600 and the district will be contributing $25,056 with a total of $54,656, said Mr. Riddle.

  The grant will provide travel for people from AVTEC to come here and talk to students about job opportunities in that profession. The grant will also support the teachers to travel to AVTECT to see what they can do to prepare our GILA students for their school.

  The grant will help is asking the Department of Labor and the Alaska Workforce Investment Board for a grant to help support the GILA's CTE classes. The grant will be a part of Project Post-Secondary Articulation Automotive Construction Trades(PAACT), said Mr. Riddle.

Published 14 April 2014 at 10:25 a.m.

Galena cross country ski team at the WISA meet. Back row, from left, Jonathan Miller, Carolyn Sam, Sarah Brown, Daniel Kopp, Walter Lord, and Trenton Ambrose; middle row, from left, Isaac McElwee, Kiana Korta, and Kaleb Korta; front row, from left, Jesslyn West and Jacob Moos.
Photo courtesy Megan Attla-Lord

Skiers dominate WISA

Three skimeisters for Galena!

  Galena skiiers earned three of the four skimeister awards at the Western Interior Ski Biathlon Association competition, as well as coming away with a multitude of first place finishes and medals.

  The Galena team is this year's 2014 Cloud Cup recipient, awarded to the best team at the meet. Galena will hold the cup until 2015 WISA events. The winning team next year will receive the cup from Galena.

  Kaleb Korta, a high school sophomore from Galena, was named high school skimeister. SHS eighth-grade students Jacob Moos and Kiana Korta won the boy's and girl's skimeister awards in the junior high category. A female skiier from Nome won the fourth honor.

  The Galena skiiers took many first places at the WISA meet.

  The Hawk Highlights plans to talk with the skiers and coach Jon Korta in an upcoming issue.

  The events were hosted this year by Nenana High School.

 According to the WISA website, results for the Galena Hawks in selected events are:

  • Cross-country ski race, Thursday, March 27 at Birch Hill, Fairbanks, high school boys - Kaleb Korta, first place, 30:26; Isaac McElwee, second place, 34:44; Walter Lord, third place, 36:21.

  • Cross-country ski race, Thursday, March 27 at Birch Hill, Fairbanks, high school girls - Sarah Brown, fourth place, 29:25; Carolyn Sam, fifth place, 30:46.

  • Cross-country ski race, Thursday, March 27 at Birch Hill, Fairbanks, junior high boys - Jacob Moos, first place, 20:25; Trenton Ambrose, second place, 21:47; Jonathan Miller, fifth place, 23:05; Daniel Kopp, sixth place, 23:32.

  • Cross-country ski race, Thursday, March 27 at Birch Hill, Fairbanks, junior high girls - Kiana Korta, first place, 24:53; Jesslyn West, third place, 26:02.

  • Biathlon, Friday, March 28, high school boys - Kaleb Korta, first place; Isaac McElwee, second place; Walter Lord, fifth place.

  • Biathlon, Friday, March 28, high school girls - Carolyn Sam, fourth place; Sarah Brown, fifth place.

  • Biathlon, Friday, March 28, junior high boys - Jacob Moos, first place; Trenton Ambrose, second place; Daniel Kopp, third place; Jonathan Miller, fourth place.

  • Biathlon, Friday, March 28, junior school girls - Jesslyn West, first place; Kiana Korta, second place.

  • Relay race, Saturday, March 29, high school boys - Kaleb Korta and Isaac McElwee, first place.

  • Relay race, Saturday, March 29, high school girls - Sarah Brown and Carolyn Sam, third place.

  • Relay race, Saturday, March 29, junior high boys - Trenton Ambrose and Jacob Moos, first place.

  • Relay race, Saturday, March 29, junior high girls - Jesslyn West and Kiana Korta, first place.

Published 3 April 2014 at 2:07 p.m.

Skiers sweep Arctic Games

Galena skier Jacob Moos (blue uniform) in one of the snowshoe events at the Arctic Winter Games.
Photo courtesy Connie Moos


Staff writers

  Three Galena athletes earned five medals in five different events during this year's Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks. The games ended on March 22 with the closing ceremony at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

  The final results for the Galena Hawks, according to the Arctic Winter Games website:

  • Jacob Moos, 13, an eighth-grader from Galena, got a gold medal in the 2.5-kilometer cross country juvenile snowshoeing event with a time of 12:20.13 and another gold medal in the 5-kilometer cross country juvenile snowshoeing event with a time of 26:01.

  • Isaac McElwee, 16, a junior from White Mountain, earned a silver medal in 3-by-2.0 kilometer relay snowshoeing event and a bronze medal in 3-kilometer sprint junior male snowshoeing event. He also placed fourth in the 4-kilometer junior mass start event for snowshoeing. This was the first time Isaac had ever competed in the sport.

  • Kaleb Korta, 16, a sophomore from Galena, earned a silver medal in the 3-by-4.5 kilometer relay junior mix skiing event. He also placed fourth in the 6.0-kilometer sprint for skiing, fifth in the 7.5-kilometer mass start junior male skiing event, and sixth in the 7.5-kilometer individual junior male skiing event.

Published 3 April 2014 at 3:21 p.m.

Students hear relationship talk


Staff writers

  School counselors sponsored a healthy relationship talk for the high school girls at both the Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA) auditorium and Sidney Huntington School (SHS) little gym on March 15 during the Saturday school day.

  Before the healthy relationship talk, we asked GILA counselor Jana Rider what she and SHS counselor Maria Riedel would like to accomplish through these meetings.

  Ms. Rider had said that the three things they would be focusing on would be looking at the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, infatuation vs. love (a compare and contrast between the two), and the Dating Bill of Rights (the rights you have in a relationship).

  A lot of the presentation was about self-empowerment and situational awareness in a relationship and knowing the danger zone in a relationship.

  "[Students learned] what is and what is not a healthy relationship," said Ms. Rider, adding that the counselors wanted to touch base with the female students on this subject.

  "We see a lot of unhealthy relationships," she said.

  Ms. Rider said the goal of the meeting was to help establish a better understanding of relationships and to provide teenage girls with information so they'll be capable of recognizing an unhealthy relationship.

  It was a great opportunity. Quite a few girls attended and received several handouts with bullet points on the main ideas, while Ms. Rider and Ms. Reidel talked to the crowd.

  Originally, the meeting was planned to be a small piece at the end of the sex ed night for ladies that Galena's Dr. Tamera Huntington had done, but here was not enough time and the counselors wanted to be able to speak of it in more depth.

  Hopefully the girls of GILA and SHS now know a few more things about the dating world and enable them to identify an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

Published 14 April 2014 at 1:16 p.m.

Galena coaches honored

Mrs. Buchanan - 3A Coach of the Year

Lady Hawks coach Beth Buchanan


Staff writers

  The 2014 Division 3A Basketball Coach of the Year is Beth Buchanan, the Galena Lady Hawks basketball coach.

  Mrs. Buchanan is also the principal of curriculum and instruction for the Galena City Schools.

  Mrs. Buchanan is very thankful for the community always supporting the basketball teams. "The greatest accomplishment this year was sticking together and creating a tight bond as a team," said Mrs. Buchanan.

  Coach Buchanan has been awarded three Aurora Conference awards for Coach of the Year in the past, and one division 2A Coach of the Year award while coaching in Nulato.

  Mrs. Buchanan graduated from Havre High School in 1987, she said during a recent interview. After high school, she went to Northern Montana College, which is where she first started coaching.

  In 1991, Mrs. Buchanan graduated from college, and that same year she married Jon Buchanan. The following year, the Buchanans moved up to Nulato to work at the school, and Mrs. Buchanan started coaching that same year there.

  During her time in Nulato, Mrs. Buchanan had three children - Jenna, who now plays for the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, and Sarah and Evan, both of whom are juniors and play varsity ball for Galena.

  Mrs. Buchanan's first time at a state tournament was in 1998 with the Nulato Lady Wolves. That same year, Beth earned 2A Aurora Conference Coach of the Year. She coached until 1999 in Nulato, and then in 2000 the family moved to Galena. The first year in Galena she started coaching, and has been ever since.

  When asked to compare 2A basketball to 3A basketball, she said she had more wins in 2A, but in 3A she took two first-place trophies in the regional tournament.

  In 2012, the Lady Hawks placed second in the regional tournament, but afterwards went on to win the 3A State Championship, which was Mrs. Buchanan's first state title.

  Throughout Mrs. Buchanan's coaching years here, she said many coaches have influenced her. Assistant Coach Keliah Redman always gives a lot of helpful advice.

  Mrs. Buchanan said she is glad she doesn't have to do it alone. Lou Karlberg's first year as the boy's head coach earned him 3A Aurora Conference Coach of the Year. She said Mr. Karlberg has taught her a lot just in the first year of watching him coach.

  "He is always so positive," said coach Buchanan.

  This summer after the Galena flood, the team stuck together and attended team camps in Fairbanks and Wasilla. The team stayed together in this difficult time after the flood.

  This year, the Lady Hawks record was 19 wins and 6 losses. Mrs. Buchanan said she loved this year and is proud of the team. Throughout the season, there were many close games.

  During Christmas break, the team had the opportunity to attend a 4A tournament in Wasilla, which was very helpful and they learned a lot.

Published 3 April 2014 at 9:32 a.m.

Mr. Karlberg is named the Aurora Conference Coach of the Year

Hawks coach Lou Karlberg


Staff writer

  Lou Karlberg was named the 2014 Aurora Conference Coach of the Year on March 8, 2014, during the conference playoffs in Delta Junction, Alaska.

  This is his first year as the coach of the Galena Hawks boys basketball team.

  "I felt very honored and was initially surprised because of the amount of good coaches in the conference," he said.

  Mr. Karlberg said he grew up playing basketball. He played all through elementary to high school, and was a member of the Grace Christian High School team in Anchorage. He also played for four years at a small college in Chicago.

  His dad coached in St. Mary's when he was young and also coached the Grizzlies in Anchorage, he said. His uncle also coached several 3A and 4A teams and won two state championships while directing NBC basketball camps in the summer. His brother and cousin also won 3A and 4A Player of the Year awards, so he comes from a basketball family.

  Mr. Karlberg is 25 years old and has been married to Ellie Karlberg since July 2011. He is a resident advisor at GILA's Ptarmigan Hall residence hall and plans to return next year.

Published 3 April 2014 at 9:44 a.m.

Lady Hawks fifth at state tourney


Staff writers

  The Galena Lady Hawks came in fifth place in this year's division 3A girls state basketball tournament played at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage from March 20- 22.

  The Lady Hawks played the Bethel Lady Warriors for the first round of the tournament on Thursday, March 22, and came out with the win in the nail biter with a score of 36-35. Bethany Green had a team high 13 points for Galena, and for the Lady Warriors, Riana Joseph had 15 points, according the ASAA website. The Lady Hawks then advanced to the semifinals.

  In the semifinals round the following day, the Lady Hawks played against the number one ranked Anchorage Christian Schools Lions and lost 53-65. Galena's top scorers were Shaina Burley with 19 points and Sarah Buchanan with 14 points, according to the ASAA website. For ACS, Dallas Dickerson, the division 3A girls player of the year, had a game high 23 points and Michelle Coderre had 14 points.

  For the third-place game, Galena played the Barrow Lady Whalers on Saturday, March 22, but lost 35-41. Shaina Burley scored 17 points for the Hawks, and for the Whalers, Angela Miguel scored 18 points, according to the ASAA website.

Published 14 April 2014 at 11:50 a.m.

Galena marches for respect

Students and people in the commnity gather at SHS school with the "Choose Respect" banner.
Photo courtesy Pam Pitka


Staff writer

  Galena's community gathered together for the annual March for Respect, walking from the Galena City Hall to Sweetsir's store on Thursday, March 27, to show support against domestic violence and sexual assault.

  Among the marchers on Thursday was Laura Brooks, the Choose Respect Ambassador selected by Alaskan governor Sean Parnell to represent the state in Galena. Ms. Brooks is the deputy director and health care administrator for the Alaska Department of Corrections.

  Ms. Brooks stated very strong opinions regarding domestic violence and feels the most important thing that people who suffer from it need to know is that it's not their fault.

  "It's time we talked about domestic violence and sexual assault," said Ms. Brooks. "People need to talk about it."

  Many students marching from the SHS campus were full of energy, especially the elementary school students, as they walked ahead of the group carrying "Choose Respect" flags. "It's not human to pick on others," said Craig Beans, 16, a junior from Mountain Village. He seemed to be enlightened by the walk and waved his flag high.

  "Getting together as a community helps [spread awareness]," said Amanda Kopp, a 14-year-old freshman from Galena.

  The walk was followed by a luncheon.

Published 28 March 2014 at 3:10 p.m.

Junior high snowshoer earns international gold medal

Jacob Moos
Galena snowshoe biathlon athlete Jacob Moos shows off the gold medal he won on Monday, March 17, at the Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks. He came in more than 50 seconds ahead of the second-place snowshoer from Russia.
Photo courtesy Connie Moos


Staff writers

  Galena eighth grader Jacob Moos, came in first place in cross-country snowshoeing competition on Monday, March 17 at this year's Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks.

  Jacob, 13, came in 50 seconds ahead of the second place competitor in the international competition.

  This is Jacob's second year competing in the sport. His final time for first place was 12:20:13, according to the Arctic Winter Games website.

  Two other Galena athletes are also participating in the Arctic Winter Games.

  GILA student Isaac McElwee, 16, from White Mountain, came in fourth place in the 4-kilometer mass start snowshoe race. He has never competed in a snowshoeing event before.

  Kaleb Korta, 16, from Galena, came in fifth place in the ski biathlon during Monday's 7.5 kilometer mass start competition. This is his sixth consecutive year in biathlon skiing.

  "Well, I was basically just trying to keep the Russians in sight during the race and I knew that if I could hang with them for a while, I'd be in good shape," said Kaleb during a phone interview from Fairbanks.

  He said he felt that he skied great, but his shooting is what put a damper on his medal winning chances. Kaleb will take part in additional competitions later on this week.

  "If I ski the same and shoot a little better, I'll be up there," said Kaleb.

Published 18 March 2014 at 8:06 p.m.

New police chief ready to serve

'We belong to you… the door is always open'

Chief Parker and Hawk Highlights staff writer Nick Hevezi
New Galena police chief Aaron Parker speaks with Hawk Highlights staff writer during a recent interview on the GILA campus.


Staff writer

  "Education [and prevention] is an extremely important part of my priorities," said Aaron Parker, the new Galena police chief, during an interview on February 25.

  "The police department and (these) other agencies are the community's agencies," said Mr. Parker. "We're there… in service to the community, we belong to you… so the door is always open for anybody."

  Besides phone and email, Mr. Parker says that his department is developing a webpage, "," and it will also have a Facebook page. He wants to be involved in community events in hopes to making his availability known to everyone in the community.

  "More than anything else it's developing those one on one relationships with people [that's most important]," he said.

  Mr. Parker said he doesn't want people to seek help from him as Police Chief Parker with the Galena Police Department.

  "Call Aaron, he might be able to help you," he said.

  With Galena's police department being an avenue to other public safety and enforcement services, he explained that the better he does at creating personal relationships within the community then the easier it will be to provide more of these much needed services for everyone.

  Parker also sees the potential of the boarding school to be a outlet of justice for other places in Alaska. "I have learned that law enforcement is most effective when it is born out of good relationships with people in the community," said Mr. Parker.

  He eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with students at the GILA dining hall, and he says that building this relationship with the students can influence them to have a positive attitude toward life back to in their home villages.

  "I am there to model and discuss healthy living and living a positive lifestyle … if I can communicate that and to encourage kids into further education which means (getting) better jobs and a better quality of life, that's a win.

  "I'd much rather help people learn to live good, healthy lives…than to go down the trail of the destruction that I see so many times in people's lives, that end up either putting them in jail or in the hospital," he added.

  " The opportunity to make a difference in Alaska is great here because we have students all over the state here… and if I can help one student improve their quality of life or build them up in a way that they can take those lessons back to their community then we've improved that community," said Mr. Parker.

  Police Chief Parker was born Sept. 29, 1967 in Monterey, Calif. He was raised by John and Sharon Parker in Kenai, where he graduated from Kenai Central High School.

  His postsecondary career includes studying at UAF, American InterContinental University, Life Bible College in California, and various military schools.

  Parker joined the Army as a cavalry scout and after six years transferred to the Navy, which allowed him to travel all over the world. He worked closely with law enforcement during his time in the armed forces and decided to study criminal justice and justice administration. After retiring from the Navy, he changed his career to law enforcement.

  After working in various villages across Alaska, Mr. Parker got wind of a new police chief position in Galena from a colleague while working in Bristol Bay Borough Police Department.

  "I know that Galena is a hub community to several other villages and there's the opportunity to develop a public safety department that can meet public safety needs, and that's not just enforcement, that's education, and prevention, fire safety, E.M.S., search and rescue, those types of things take and interest with me," said Mr. Parker.

  He wants to use programs such as DARE, P.A.C.T. 360, and a partnership with Drug- Free America to educate both youth and adults about how harmful drugs can be.

Published 20 March 2014 at 9:11 p.m.

Student performers on stage

Fashion show, improv, theater at GILA auditorium

Danyal Harvey
GILA sophomore Danyal Harvey models a prom dress during the Fifth Annual Boutique and Fashion Show during the March 15 show.


Staff writers

  The community of Galena had a fantastic time watching a night of theater on Saturday, March 15 in the GILA auditorium featuring a play by the SHS elementary students, a fashion show by Galena Young Life, a show from Matt McCann's improvisation group, and videos produced by Galena high school students for the annual Northern Echoes Film Festival.

  The performances completed a week of theater work done in the classrooms around the school by the Drama Ladies, a group of four visiting theater teachers from the University of Texas. The festival films had the help of Erick Robertson, a visiting filmmaker who has come to GILA on several other occasions.

  Students in Galena worked very hard for one week preparing for this year's performances.

  The elementary students put on a hilarious play, directed by Gwenyth Reitz and Spring Snyder, two of the visiting drama teachers. The play as a parody of the children's book The Stinky Cheese Man, with stories given an Alaskan theme written by the students.

  Ms. Reitz said that she loved how the kids she worked with were able to find themselves, and how they worked together quickly.

  "We have the best jobs," Ms. Snyder said. Both Ms. Snyder and Ms. Reitz were impressed by the student's performance and originality.

  Everyone enjoyed watching the children on stage.

  "The play displayed an engaging sense of originality," said Ross Tulloch, high school science teacher, whose daughter performed in the production. The play was very funny and was very well put together.

  The Young Life Fifth Annual Boutique and Fashion Show was another event that the community got to enjoy.

  "It's nice to see our young ladies all dressed up," said Molissa Bifelt, high school math teacher.

  High school girls from Galena Interior Learning Academy and Sidney Huntington School were all smiles as they walked across the stage in beautiful dresses and gowns in front of their friends and teachers.

  During intermission, the audience ate desserts made by culinary arts teacher Rand Rosecrans' culinary class.

  Following intermission, Ptarmigan Hall resident advisor Matt McCann presented his improvisation group and put on a short show.

  The evening ended with a showing of student-created movies for the Northern Echoes Film Festival.

  The movies were a huge hit amongst students.

  The first film made this year was I Thought, a romantic comedy starring Blaine Romo, Amanda Kopp, Ariana Swan, and Joe Apfelbeck. Visiting filmmaker Mr. Robertson said he loved I Thought because of the production quality.

  Behind the Bully was written by Kala Hendrickson. Her movie was a documentary about bullying in high school. It gave an important message to students about bullying and what a bully is.

  Shandeigh Roller wrote the screenplay for Gingsi. The horror movie stared myself as the Gingsi and Shandeigh as the heroine. Other actors in Gingsi were Chris Krueger, Teddie Ann Tom, Clayton Ticknor, and Derrick Black.

  IDA, which stands for "inappropriate display of affection," was a favorite among students. Mary Coolidge wrote and starred in this film along with Chris Semaken and Jayden Duny.

  Classroom Nightmare was horror film written by Marissa Jones and Matt McCann. This movie featured myself, Marissa Jones, and journalism teacher Paul Apfelbeck.

  The audience also viewed videos made by students in previous years as well.

Published 18 March 2014 at 1:57 p.m.

Saturday night theater at GILA!

The Foul Fish Man, And Other Alaskan Tales

      Photo gallery

Fifth Annual Boutique and Fashion Show

      Photo gallery

Ptarmigan Hall Improvisation Group

      Photo gallery

Lady Hawks headed to state!

Shaina Burley named conference MVP

Lady Hawks
The Lady Hawks are, back row, from left, Shaina Burley, Kameron Reitan, Carolyn Sam, Shiela George, and Sarah Buchanan; front row, from left, Julia Riddle, Romay Shayen, Courtney Carlo, and Bethany Green.
Shaina Burley
Aurora Conference MVP Shaina Burley (left) going up against Unalakleet on Jan. 11.


Staff writers

  The Galena Lady Hawk basketball team earned a trip to the state tournament with wins over the Delta lady Huskies and Valdez lady Buccaneers at the Aurora Conference regional tournament on March 6 and 7.

  The Lady Hawks beat Delta 53-42 on Thursday, March 6, and beat Valdez 69-60 on Friday, March 7, in the regional championship game. Lady Hawk Shaina Burley was named MVP for the Aurora Conference and Romay Shayen, Kameron Reitan and Sarah Buchanan earned spots on the All-Conference team.

  With the state tournament fast approaching on March 20, coach Beth Buchanan and the Lady Hawks are preparing in many different ways.

  "We want to avoid skip passes, make better passes, increase confidence against pressure and speed and transition faster," said coach Buchanan.

  One way the team is doing this is having the varsity boys come to practice to press the Lady Hawks in a scrimmage. Coach Buchanan also wants to keep the girls focused and on top of their grades.

  The Lady Hawks are scheduled to play the Bethel Lady Warriors on March 20 at 9:45 a.m. at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. The game will be broadcast locally at KIYU radio and streamed live at

  At the regional tournament, the Lady Hawks beat Valdez with three players in double figures. Romay Shayen had 19 points, Bethany Green added 17 points and Sarah Buchanan chipped in with 11 points. Top scorers for Valdez on Friday night were Veronica Hursch with 15 points and Marian Wamsley with 14 points.

Published 14 March 2014 at 8:03 p.m.

Buzzer beater beats boys


Staff writers

  Galena Boys lost a heartbreaking final game to the Valdez Buccaneers when Caj Rohrer made a last second buzzer beater at the Aurora Conference regionals on Friday, March 7.

  The regionals started on Thursday morning (March 6) when the Galena Hawks started off the regional tournament with a 59-45 win over the Eielson Ravens.

  The Hawks lead by 8 points at the half. Evan Buchanan finished the game with 15 points, Colin Reitan with 14 points, and Jacob Miller chipped in 13 points.

  For the Ravens, Chance Padgett was the high scorer with 14 points.

  On Thursday evening (March 6) our boys lost a hard fought game against the Delta Huskies with a 36-26 outcome. Both teams played a game of strong defense, but our Hawks could not answer to the huskies fourth quarter run. Evan Buchanan ended the game with a high score of 9 points, Anthony Sam had 8 points, and Colin Reitan with 5.

  On Friday evening (March 7), the Galena Hawks went up against the Valdez Buccaneers with an intense overtime loss, 74-71.

  Our Hawks played a great game against Valdez. The two teams were evenly matched and battled all game long.

  At the half, the Bucs only lead by 3. Nine of Jacob Miller's 19 points came from the free throw line. Evan Buchanan trailed with 18 points, making three clutch 3's in the fourth quarter. Senior Sonny Kruger dished in 15 points.

  Leads went back and forth between both teams, but Valdez connected in the last seconds over overtime when Caj Rohrer hit a bank three point buzzer beater. Rohrer ended the game with 21 points.

Published 20 March 2014 at 1:55 p.m.

Iditarod biker wheels through

Iditarod biker
Iditarod cyclist Donald Kane.
Photo by Ariana Swan


Staff writer

  Donald Kane is a participant of the Iditarod Trail Invitational spent a night here in Galena on March 8.

  The Iditarod Trail Invitational is a cycling race consisting of two races. The shorter race starts at Knik, and ends in McGrath (350 miles). Mr. Kane is in the process of completing the 1,000-mile race which also starts in Knik and ends in Nome. He and his competitors started their bike race on February 23.

  Mr. Kane is originally from Scotland but currently lives in Western Australia. He was born July 21, 1961. He loves biking, and he bikes 12 to 14 miles each day.

Published 14 April 2014 at 2:52 p.m.
Updated 14 April 2014 at 7:45 p.m.

Community supports students going to Arctic Winter Games

Fundraiser cake walk
SHS eighth grader Kiana Korta gets ready for another round of cake walkers at the Arctic Winter Games fundraiser.
Isaac McElwee
Isaac McElwee
Jacob Moos
Jacob Moos

  The community turned out at the SHS gym Wednesday night (March 5) to support three Galena athletes headed to international competition at Arctic Winter Games latter this month.

  Residents shared a potluck dinner and took part in raffles, sales, and a cake walk. Students headed to the Arctic Winter Games are Jacob Moos, an eighth-grader at SHS; Kaleb Korta, a sophomore from Galena; and Isaac McElwee, a junior from White Mountain.

  The Arctic Winter Games bring together competitors from all the circumpolar nations in skiing, snowshoeing, curling, traditional games, and other athletic events. The games are March 15-22 in Fairbanks.

  "Our community has been great about supporting these kids," said Jon Korta, the school's cross-country skiing coach who has been working with all three students getting prepared for the events.

  All three student athletes come off a successful meet on March 1-2 where Galena came in first place at the Nenana Invitational Cross-Country Event against other high schoolers from Watershed and Nenana.

  Both Kaleb and Isaac qualified for the Arctic Winter Games after coming in first and second, respectively, at last year's WISA meet, said coach Korta. As the student coming in first at WISA, Kaleb had first choice between ski biathlon or snowshoe biathlon. Kaleb choose the ski event.

  Kaleb couldn't attend the community event since he was playing with the basketball team at regionals. Coach Korta, his father, said his son has been training along with basketball practice throughout the winter.

  The practice for the biathlon, Kaleb has been "dry firing," an exercise that consists of Kaleb quickly and smoothly going through the motions of sighting in the gun and firing at a target without discharging a bullet, said coach Korta.

  For Jacob, qualifying for the Arctic Winter Games required a "postal tryout," said coach Korta.

  Four students - Carolyn Sam, Jesslyn West, Sarah Brown, and Jacob - all trained with Mr. Korta at Boomerang Lake. The culmination of the training is a timed 2-mile and ¼-mile courses. The results are mailed to the Arctic Winter Game officials, who select the athlete.

  This was the way that Carolyn went to the games several years ago, said coach Korta.

  Isaac said he's excited about the upcoming games.

  "I'm just happy I made it," he said.

  Isaac's event, the snowshoe biathlon, consists of four events - a mass start race, an interval start race, a relay race, and a sprint. Kaleb's ski biathlon has four similar events.

  Jacob will be snowshoeing in a variety of distance races - 5 kilometer, 3 kilometer, 1200 meter, 400 meter, and 100 meter.

Read the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner's story about Galena skiiers coming in first place at the Nenana Invitational Cross-Country meet

Published 6 March 2014 at 9:37 a.m.

Galena youth delegates heading to Tanana Chief's convention


Staff writer

  Four Galena high school students will be attending as youth delegates at the Tanana Chief's Conference convention from Mar. 10-13 in Fairbanks.

  The students are Cameron Hildebrand, 15, from Koyukuk; Julia Grant, 16, from Galena; Kaylen Gray, 17, from Allakaket; and Logan Marshall, 17, from Galena. All of these students are currently attending our school at SHS or GILA.

  The four students will be attending the conference as youth delegates chosen to represent their subregions, said Katina Charles, employment training and youth manager for TCC. In total, 12 students were selected to represent 42 tribes in the conference.

  The youth delegates will meet with Jerry Isaac, TCC president, as well as the Doyon Foundation, the non-profit subsidiary of the Doyon Corp. which provides scholarships for shareholders and assists students with post-secondary education opportunities.

  "We like to get them to think about what happens after high school," said Ms. Charles.

  The students were selected based on letters of recommendation and from written answers to questions about being a role model, future goals, and the importance of education.

  Troy A. Eid, Chair of the Indian Law and Order Commission, was chosen by TCC to be this year's keynote speaker, according to the TCC website. He will be addressing the ongoing issue of public safety in Alaska Native communities and how it will affect villages within the region.

Published 5 March 2014 at 1:01 p.m.
Updated 6 March 2014 at 8:52 a.m.

Iditaread arrives in Galena

GILA sophomore Regina Harry reads a book to Galena elementary student Lily Esmailka.

  Dozens of children and their families sat down and read a good book on Monday evening during the annual Iditaread kick-off readathon at the SHS library.

  Hundreds of free books were available for kids so they could take place in the annual reading competition. Elementary students match pages read in books to the miles in the Iditarod sled dog race, said Connie Moos, the elementary school library. Students earn one mile for 10 pages in a picture book, or five miles for every 10 pages read in a chapter book. A parent's signature for a reading slip doubles the mileage.

  Students both attending the elementary school, along with homeschool students, have been placed in mixed-grade groups for the contest. The winning team who earns the greatest amount of miles gets a free book for each team member during the school's annual book fair on Wednesday, March 12.

  In addition to the parents and their children, high school students from Trisha Esmailka's reading achievement class read books to elementary kids.

  The high school students were Brody Ulroan, 16, from Chevak; Brian Olin-Duncan, 15, from Galena; Regina Harry, 16, from Alakanuk; Nina Myers, 15, from Pilot Station; and Jon Susook, 15, from Galena.

  More than two dozen pizzas for the event were donated by Rand Rosecrans and the students in GILA's culinary arts program. Other food and desserts were donated by the Galena Education Association.

Published 3 March 2014 at 8:01 p.m.

Senior appreciation night

      Photo gallery

Saturday night results - March 1

Galena Lady Hawks 55 - Hutchison Lady Hawks 51

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Galena Hawks 56 - Hutchison Hawks 69

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Friday night results - February 28

Galena girls C team 23 - Galena JV Lady Hawks 16

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Galena Lady Hawks 33 - Hutchison Lady Hawks 30

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Galena Hawks 56 - Hutchison Hawks 48

      Photo gallery

Galena girls sweep road trip


Staff writers

  The Galena Lady Hawks went 3-0 during the weekend road trip Feb. 20-22, beating the Delta Huskies and sweeping the Monroe Catholic Lady Rams.

  The Lady Hawks are now 7-1 in the Aurora Conference.

  On Thursday night (Feb. 20), the Galena Lady Hawks defeated the Delta Huskies 61-51, with a solid game performance from the senior veterans Shaina Burley and Bethany Green. Shaina put up 10 points, Bethany contributed another 18 points and Sarah Buchanan added 17 more for the Lady Hawks. For the Delta Huskies, Jess Reiter scored 23 points.

  "I was really happy with the leadership from the girls," said coach Beth Buchanan.

  Friday night (Feb. 21), the girls rallied past the Monroe Catholic Lady Rams 38-24. Senior Shaina Burley scored 13 points to lead the Lady Hawks and freshmen Kameron Reitan added another 10. For the Lady Rams, senior Sara Hajdukovich scored 9 points.

  The Lady Hawks defeated the Lady Rams 35-28 in the Saturday night (Feb. 22) game during the doubleheader. Sara Hajdukovich led the Lady Rams with 17 points.

  "We are really happy about the three wins and we know exactly what we need to do to prepare for the regional tournament," said coach Buchanan.

Published 26 February 2014 at 7:47 p.m.

Boys battle against Monroe, Delta


Staff writers

  The Galena Hawks fought hard over the weekend of Feb. 20-22 against the Delta Huskies and Monroe Rams.

  The Monroe team is considered by many to be the best basketball team in the state.

  "I was very proud of how our guys played this weekend, especially given our situation of missing three players," said coach Lou Karlberg.

  "For us to be down to Monroe by only 14 at the half and hold them to 66 points for the game shows exactly what great effort our players gave."

  On Thursday evening (Feb. 20), the Galena Hawks lost to the Delta Huskies with a final score of 56-36. At halftime, our boys were down by three, and at one point in the fourth quarter, they were down by nine. Our boys happened to collapse in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. Senior Colin Reitan had the game high of 11 points and Kaleb Korta chipped in 9 points.

  On Friday (Feb. 21), our boys went up against the undefeated Monroe Rams, who took the win of 66-24. Kaleb Korta left the game after fouling out with a high score of 7 points. Colin Reitan had 5 points.

  The following evening, on Saturday (Feb. 22), the boy's game ended in a 76-35 win for Monroe. Josh Prokopiof had a high score with 11 points, nine of them from the field.

Published 26 February 2014 at 8:06 p.m.

Grant assists truck restoration

Auto shop works on junker
Automotive teacher Josh Pittsenbarger (left) guides students Zelek McNeilley (in vehicle) and Lynn-Victor Lonewolf working on the flood-damaged truck.

  The Galena automotive program is restoring a truck damaged in last year's flood, thanks in part to a $100 grant from the Alaska Retired Educators Association.

  The 1984 Toyota 4-Runner was found among the damaged vehicles behind the Galena water treatment plant, said Josh Pittsenbarger, the automotive technology teacher. He and his students plan to have the truck fully restored by May 2015.

  Students went to the junked vehicles and found some tires, a Chevy engine, and a Toyota transmission for use in the rebuilding effort. The students will have to install a special adapter for the Chevy engine to work in the Toyota, part of which was paid for with the grant, said Mr. Pittsenbarger.

  "The project of reclaiming and modifying a vehicle from a recent flood is indeed an educational exercise for the Automotive Shop program," stated the award letter from the retired educators association. The association commended Mr. Pittsenbarger for "your creative approach to helping your students learn."

  The association has only asked the automotive program to provide documentation so it can promote other opportunity grant projects in the future.

Published 24 February 2014 at 8:03 p.m.

Law officers recruit students

Visiting VPSO
Visiting VPSO Jody Potts.

  State and federal law enforcement officers met with Galena high school students on Feb. 25 to talk about career opportunities in their field.

  "We want you to be productive citizens no matter where you live," said Lt. Lonny Piscoya, who serves with the Alaska State Troopers in the Fairbanks detachment. "We want to help you with your goals."

  More than 200 students at two assemblies on the GILA and SHS campuses heard from representatives of the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Juvenile Probation Officers, the U.S. Marshalls Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Village Public Safety Officers, and the Galena Police Department.

  Much of the presentation focused on the needs of the Native Alaskan community.

  "There's never been a Native Alaskan special agent (in the FBI)," said Kurt Ormberge, an FBI special agent serving in the Anchorage office. "We'd like to see in seven or eight years an Alaskan Native special agent."

  Jody Juneby Potts, a village public safety officer who coordinates the program for the Tanana Chiefs Conference, spoke at length about her childhood in Eagle.

  "Having traditional values grounded me," she said. "It's great to give back to my people."

  "Aim high… all these agencies are recruiting," she said, telling students to stay out of trouble and avoid getting a criminal record. "Don't forget your traditional values."

  Others who spoke with students were Jeannine Santora, Alaska state trooper; Darrell Hildebrand, Alaska wildlife trooper from Galena; Robert Nunley, Alaska state trooper; Diana Dillard, juvenile probation officer; Jeremy Raychel, juvenile probation officer; Mick Bunn, U.S. Marshalls Service; Scott Ireton, U.S. Marshalls Service; Rick Sutherland, FBI special agent; Joshua Harville, village public safety officer; Sheri White, probation and parole officer for the Alaska Department of Corrections; Susan Phillips, FBI; Aaron Parker, city of Galena chief of police; Delila Schmidt, probation and parole officer for the Alaska Department of Corrections; Dawn Neer, task force officer for the FBI; and Phil Plessinger, village public safety officer.

Published 3 March 2014 at 9:11 p.m.

Drama Ladies return!

drama ladies
The Drama Ladies during their 2007 visit.
drama ladies
Students and the Drama Ladies doing some improvisation in 2007 preparing for a performance.


Staff writer

  The Drama Ladies are coming back to Galena.

  Kathryn Dawson, Spring Snyder, Lara Dossett, and Gwen Reitz, known as the Drama Ladies, are coming to Galena on March 9 through 14 to work with students and teachers so they can understand and develop new ways of learning through the Sustaining Drama-Based Instruction.

  The Drama Ladies are investigating the long-term impact of the Drama for Schools professional development model in a remote, rural communities, such as Galena. They will be getting together with some teachers and seven potential participants who were also involved in a 2005-2006 DFS training model. Their goal is to codesign instruction involving digital storytelling.

  "They are going to have a whole bunch of different, cool activities." said GILA principal John Riddle.

  They will also be working with Karrie Pavish Anderson, music director at GILA's Ptarmigan Hall. The Drama Ladies also have the possibility of participating in the spring event, Northern Echoes Film Festival, that's going to take place in Ptarmigan Hall.

  For more information on Drama for Schools, you can go to their homepage.

Published 20 February 2014 at 7:43 p.m.

IDEA visitors are enjoying school

IDEA students
Ricardo (left) and Shea study their aviation texts in the commons area in the composite building on the GILA campus.


Staff writers

  Six IDEA students visited GILA this month. Three of those students were here for the aviation program.

  The Interior Distance Education of Alaska program is a home school program provided by the Galena City School District that provides parents the tools to teach their children at home.

  IDEA students Patrick Brandt, 15, of Wasilla; Ricardo Medina, 15, of Fairbanks; and Shea Orr, 16, of North Pole all came for the aviation program.

  Patrick wants to pass his FAA knowledge exam, and he plans to come back as a GILA student. "This place is awesome, everybody is chill," he said.

  The three aviation students were joined by Emily Dukes, 15, of North Pole; Maggie Dukes, 16, also of North Pole; and Noel Duplantis, 19, of Nenana.

  Ricardo said he came to learn how to fly an airplane and also wants to return as a GILA student.

  Shea said, "I think the classes are really awesome and provide great opportunities." He hasn't decided if he wants to come back yet as a GILA student.

Published 20 February 2014 at 8:37 p.m.

Health Academy offered to students


Staff writer

  The Bridges Health Academy is coming to Galena.

  The Yukon-Koyukuk School District (YKSD) Bridges Health Academy is a homeschooling program that reaches to rural communities throughout Alaska to provide students with knowledge needed in the medical field.

  John Riddle, principal at the Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA), has been working with Interior Distance Education of Alaska, A homeschooling program that is part of the Galena City School District (GCSD), to bring the academy to Galena.

  A group of students from the GCSD and YKSD will be given the opportunity to take classes provided by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) training will be provided, as well as a class called "Store Outside Your Door," said Mr. Riddle.

  ETT training will give students the ability to recognize emergencies and to act on such occasions calmly, and with the all the knowledge necessary to attend to the patient's needs, according to information from the health academy.

  Some GILA students to have graduated from the program recently are Emilea Ellis, a junior from Delta Junction, and Cynthia Kruger, 17, another junior from Anvik. Both students seek professions in the medical field and urge students to go for it.

  "Store Outside Your Door" is a new class being offered this year. This class focuses on nutrition within the Native culture. Students will learn about medicinal and nutritional uses of Alaskan plants and animals from the Yukon region. They will be able to work hands on with recipes from Alaska Native Culture while learning about the recipe's background.

  In the past, GILA students have been allowed to participate in the classes, but this year classes will only be open to twenty-four students from IDEA and YKSD, said Mr. Riddle. Any empty spaces will be filled with GILA students who are excelling in all of their classes.

  Classes are expected to begin Monday, April 21, until Friday, May 2. The students will be in classes Monday through Friday each week during both the morning and afternoon followed by a study hour on Saturdays. During study hour on April 26 both IDEA and YKSD students will be given the chance to visit Galena's clinic, fire station, and elder center.

Published 21 February 2014 at 2:53 p.m.

Senior slide show photos needed

slide show
The title page of the 2009 slide show. Students can view this slide show by going to the Y: drive on the school server.


Staff writer

  Seniors need to give language arts teacher Paul Apfelbeck five pictures for the upcoming senior slideshow presented at the 2014 graduation ceremony on May 23 in the SHS gym.

  The senior slideshow is an annual graduation event that has occurred for the past 13 years, said Mr. Apfelbeck. He doesn't know when the slide show tradition began.

  The deadline for getting photos to Mr. Apfelbeck is March 28.

  In previous (and present) years, the seniors would give Mr. Apfelbeck photos on a flash drive or CD, or give him five print photos to scan.

  Seniors also may ask for a song to go along with the photos. Students can give Mr. Apfelbeck the music on a flash drive or CD that they would like to have playing as their pictures are shown, or the students can tell him the name and of an artist of the song they would prefer.

  "I love doing this," said Mr. Apfelbeck. This year he hopes the senior slideshow will be on YouTube so that the families of students can see the show at home after students walk down the aisle.

  If students want to see what a senior slideshow looks like, they may view the 2007 and 2009 slideshows on the computer Y: drive in the "senior slide show" folder. Students should open those files with Windows Media Player.

Published 19 February 2014 at 8:07 p.m.

New coach readies NYO team

NYO athlete
Archie Andrews, a junior from Emmonak, practices the Alaskan high kick in the GILA gym.
Photo courtesy Ellie Karlberg


Staff writers

  Joel Wilkinson, a residential counselor at Ptarmigan Hall, has stepped up as coach for Galena's Native Youth Olympics (NYO) team this year.

  "It is incredible the things that young people can do," he said. "I want our students to represent what they're doing."

  Mr. Wilkinson has never coached any sports before, but he has put in a lot of research and received much help from previous coaches.

  Some GILA students who have long participated in NYO games for their home villages are excited for this year's games, but feel like practices are a little different.

  "We don't do wall sits," said Derrick Black, a junior from Napakiak.

  Derrick has participated in the games for five years. He has a goal to beat the seal hop record this year.

  During practices, the team puts most of their focus on exercises which will increase their strength and flexibility. Derrick thinks that practices should be longer.

  Kenka Angiak, a junior from Nunapitchuk, likes how NYO helps to keep her in shape. She has participated in NYO for seven years.

  Events that the team have put the most focus on so far are the one-foot high kick, Alaska high kick, seal hop, and two-foot high kick.

  While there is no definite list of team members, about six students have showed up for practices indefinitely.

  The team is looking for more girls to join, and they are seeking team sponsors. The team needs funds for lodging, travel, equipment, and uniforms.

  "If people want to contribute just a little bit, it would be beneficial to the entire program," Mr. Wilkinson said.

  Practices are Wednesdays 6-7 p.m. and Saturdays 3-5 p.m. at the GILA gym. Mr. Wilkinson said he's hoping to increase practices to four days a week in March. By then, the team will be finalized.

  NYO will be at the Dena'ina Civic Convention Center in Anchorage on April 24-26.

Published 17 February 2014 at 8:37 p.m.
Updated 18 Feburary 2014 at 8:02 p.m.

Solo pilots soar over school


Staff writers

  GILA student Blane Romo, 17, of Aleknagik, made his first solo flight last semester in the aviation's program Cessna Sky Hawk 172. This is a important milestone as this student progresses through the aviation program.

  He made his flight on Dec. 2, 2013, flying in the skies around the Galena airport.

  I made my first solo flight the next day in the same Cessna. I'm a 17-year-old senior from Anchorage.

  Blane's solo flight is unusual because this is his first year in the aviation program. Normally, students require at least one year before taking his or her solo flight. Blane's advantages were that he's had training elsewhere, and his dad is a pilot.

  "I love flying, I don't feel tied down and for the most part just being in the air," he said The downside of flying? "Having to deal with regulations and the FAA makes flying hard but it's still amazing."

  The flight school this year is producing results thanks to Joshua Kaufield, the certified flight instructor for the GILA aviation program.

  Both Blane and I are working very hard to get a check ride in late April. "For every hour of flying, there's two hours of studying," Blane said.

  Blane and I are flying every other day to meet Federal Aviation Administration requirements. Since December, I have now soloed three different times and Blaine has soloed five other times.

Published 17 February 2014 at 7:22 p.m.

Students create Valentine's placemats

Placemats for Valentine's Day
Some of the student posters about to become placemats at the Galena Elder Living Facility.
Photo by Mr. A

  Galena high school students have been spending the past few days signing Valentine's Day posters at the GILA front desk for use as placements at the Galena Elder Living Facility.

  Ptarmigan Hall's Vera Mountain, GILA community liaison, has been coordinating the effort. The placemats will be on display for Friday's couple dinner at the elder's center.

Students help at community dinner

Student volunteers
Some of the students who served food to the community were, from left, Autumn Jensen-Roehl, Grace Atchak, Maggie Flynn, Kala Hendrickson, and Ethan Ilmar.

  Students and staff from the Galena Interior Learning Academy helped make the Valentine's Day dinner at the elder's center a success.

  The prime rib was donated by the Gan'a Yoo Corporation, with salmon donated by people from Nulato, said Agnes Sweetsir, who helped organize the event.

  Money raised by the dinner went to the elder's nutrition program at the center.

  The dinner services themselves were donated by Rand Rosecrans, the culinary arts teacher at GILA.

  Four of the students came from the Elder's Center Bingo Club, said Vera Mountain, community affairs director at the Ptarmigan Hall dorms, with two other students who volunteered. The students were Ethan Ilmar of Napakiak, Grace Atchak of Stebbins, Kala Hendrickson of Bethel, Maggie Flynn of Stebbins, Wesley Yeager of Alegenik, and Autumn Jensen-Roehl of Pedro Bay.

Published 24 February 2014 at 8:46 p.m.

Mr. Lamkin welcomed to GILA

Les Lamkin
Las Lamkin in his GILA classroom.
Photo by Mr. A


Staff writers

  Les Lamkin is more than just the new language arts teacher on the GILA campus. He also loves playing music on the bass guitar.

  "I've had a chance to play here in Galena," he said. "I'm having more fun than I could possibly imagine."

  He enjoys it here.

  "So far, I really like Galena, it's much different than other schools I've taught at," said Mr. Lamkin. "The population is small. Even though it's a village, it doesn't feel like a village."

  Mr. Lamkin, 55, became the new language arts teacher here at GILA at the start of the second semester. He's bringing along with him almost a decade of teaching and substituting in a classroom.

  He was born on December 19, 1958, and was born and raised in Chelan, Washington. Mr. Lamkin said Chelan's population depends on the time of year because of the high influx of tourists. From October to April, the population is about 4,000, and from May to September the population greatly increases from 7,000 to 10,000.

  "More on the busy summer weekends," Mr. Lamkin said.

  He attended all his elementary and high school years in Chelan.

  Mr. Lamkin graduated from Chelan High School in 1977. He attended several different colleges. In 1999, he went to Wenatchee Valley College and got his associate's degree and graduated in 2001.

  In 2001, after going to Wenatchee Valley, he went to Central Washington University and got a bachelor's degree in English teaching and graduated in 2003. After graduation, he went to Mercy College in New York, where he got his master's degree in English literature. He graduated in 2011. He also attended Goddard College in Vermont, where he earned a master's in fine arts (MFA) in creative writing.

  Mr. Lamkin was an adjunct English instructor for two years at Wenatchee Valley College, where he taught English 101 (Basic Composition), English 201 (Advanced Composition), and Western Humanities from the fall of 2011 through the fall quarter of 2013.

  Before teaching in a college, he was teaching high school students in rural Alaska. He taught on the North Slope in Point Lay for three years.

  He has a wife and four children living in Chelan taking care of his home.

  Mr. Lamkin says one of his important goals is to help high school students in Galena pass the HSGQE test.

Published 10 February 2014 at 8:39 p.m.
Updated 11 February 2014 at 8:19 a.m.

Elementary teachers recognized for outstanding performance scores

SHS teacher Debbie Koontz and appreciative students
Students gave flowers to elementary teacher Debbie Koontz at the appreciation ceremony on Jan. 24.
Photo by Mr. A


Staff writers

  Teachers at the Galena City School were recognized for the outstanding ASPI scores received by the school district during an appreciation ceremony in the SHS gym on Jan. 23.

  Beth Buchanan, principal of curriculum and instruction, proudly announced that elementary students at the Galena City School ranked number 31 out of 500 elementary schools in Alaska as one of the top scorers on the Alaska School Performance Index.

  Mrs. Buchanan made it very clear that the teachers at the school play the biggest role in educating children.

  "We are grateful, extremely grateful for our entire staff," she said to the students gathered in the SHS gym. She said she was very humbled by the teacher's hard work and invited them to receive a flower from students in honor of their contributions.

  The highest possible Alaska School Performance Index rating is 100. Sidney C. Huntington Elementary School students were rated 96.84.

  Sidney Huntington School staff who were honored by the award were Claudette Green, Debbie Koontz, Kate Thurmond, Bruce Fennimore, Carrie Fennimore, Genny Brown, Keilah Redman, Patricia Erickson, Alyson Esmailka, Trisha Esmailka, Jusette Hill, Adriana Hevezi, Alicia Bjorgen, Maria Reidel, and Jason Harris.

Published 9 February 2014 at 2:34 p.m.
Updated 24 February 2014 at 8:16 p.m.

JV Tournament results - Sat., Feb. 1

Huslia boys 41 - Tanana boys 71

Huslia girls 45 - Tanana girls 30

Galena JV boys 75 - Galena boys C team 54

      Photo gallery

Shooting champions - William Dixon and Tiffany George, both of Galena

Galena JV girls 36 - Galena girls C team 19

      Photo gallery

Tanana Wolves 68 - Galena boys C team 42

Tanana Lady Wolves 38 - Galena girls C team 27

Galena JV boys 65 - Huslia Hustlers 37

      Photo gallery

Galena JV Lady Hawks 13 - Huslia Lady Hustlers 41

      Photo gallery

      Tournament award winners

JV Tournament results - Fri., Jan. 31

Huslia girls 47 - Galena girls C team 11

Huslia boys 40 - Galena boys C team 32

Tanana Lady Wolves 32 - Galena Lady Hawks JV team 21

      Photo gallery

Tanana boys 64 - Galena boys JV team 46

      Photo gallery / one

      Photo gallery / two

Galena boys, girls beat up Eielson

Bethany Green playing against Eielson
Lady Hawk Bethany Green returned to play against Eielson in the Jan. 24 game at the SHS gym after an injury sidelined her earlier in the year.
Photo by Mr. A


Staff writers

  The Galena Lady Hawks swept Eielson Ravens in conference basketball games on Jan. 24-25 at the SHS gym.

  The Lady Hawks basketball team beat the Eielson Ravens 56-42 during Friday night's game on Jan. 24. The next night, the girls beat Eielson 54-42, putting the Lady Hawks at 2-0 in the Aurora conference following the wins.

  "I thought we could have played better defensively," said coach Beth Buchanan after the Friday game. "It's good to have Bethany back." Lady Hawk Bethany Green, a senior from Galena, had been injured earlier in the season.

  In Friday's game, Galena player Romay Shayen put up 16 points, with Sarah Buchanan adding another 12 points. For the Eielson Ravens, Larissa Franklin scored 16 points.

  On Saturday, Lady Hawk Shaina Burley scored 25 points. Asia Do scored 8 points for the Ravens in that team's loss.

  "Shaina had a great shooting game and we played much better defensively," said coach Buchanan after Saturday's contest.

Bethany Green playing against Eielson
Nick Hevezi barrels down the court in the Hawk's overwhelming win against Eielson on Jan. 25.
Photo by Mr. A


Staff writer

  The Galena Hawks boys basketball team defeated the Eielson Ravens 60-15 on Jan. 24. The next evening, the boys took the win against Eielson with 68-28.

  The Galena Hawk Boys blew out Eielson by 45 points at the first game on Jan. 24. Jacob Miller, Kaleb Korta and Sonny Kruger had outstanding shots Friday night. Kaleb and Sonny each had a total score of 12 points. Kaleb drained three 3s in the second quarter of the Jan. 24 game. Jacob had a total of eighteen points.

  "I felt like our team played pretty good," said coach Lou Karlberg.

  "We were playing Eielson, who's not the strongest opponent that we'll have all year. Ours guys played pretty well, we want to perform good habits, and practice things that we aren't very good at yet. I feel that our guys gave good effort and played pretty good basketball."

  Saturday's game had quite a lot of steals. Jacob put up a total of 10 points. Sonny's assists made a total of 18 points. Josh Prokopiof had a total of 13 points.

Photo gallery of Jan. 24 game - Lady Hawks 56 / Eielson 42
Photo gallery of Jan. 24 game - Boys team - Hawks 60 / Eielson 15
Photo gallery - Little Hawks

Photo gallery of Jan. 25 game - Lady Hawks 58 / Eielson 30
Photo gallery of Jan. 25 game - Boys team - Hawks 68 / Eielson 28
Photo gallery - Junior varsity boys' and girls' teams vs. "C" teams

ACC recruiter visits campus

ACC recruiter with Galena students
Liz Chase, left, talks with several Galena students visiting her recruiting booth in the composite building commons area.
Photo by Mr. A

By Mr. A

Special to the Hawk Highlights

  A recruiter from Alaska Christian College, accompanied by a GILA alumni, is spending three days at our school telling students about her school in the college preparation and intro to occupations classes.

  Liz Chase, admissions counselor at ACC, was also recruiting students for the Soldotna-based college during her visit from Jan. 20-23. Chase was accompanied by Galena graduate and current ACC student Cora Foster, class of 2013.

  Chase said she focuses her recruiting efforts at GILA and Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. "We find that those students are more disciplined, more dedicated to college," she said.

  The small Christian college currently has 59 students, offering associate degrees in paraprofessional education and Christian ministry, as well as a certificate in Biblical studies. In addition to Foster, two other Galena graduates, Kaylin Kopp and Carmen Williams, are attending the college.

  Chase will also talk with students at Young Life and Campaigner club meetings this week.

  Galena grad Cora Foster, from Buckland, returns to GILA to help high school students choose what to do following graduation.

  "I want the students to be able to know what they want to be after high school," Foster said.

  Foster said she wants to work with children and teenagers after college graduation in Alaskan villages as a recruiter or youth pastor.

  This is the third year in a row that Chase has visited GILA recruiting students.

  She said her college has heavily recruited students from western Alaska, adding that her school can offer full scholarships for some applicants.

  The associate degree in paraprofessional education allows students to get employment as a teacher's aide, an important career choice for students from villages where the school is one of the most important employers, she said. "This sets you up to be a teacher."

  The associate degree in Christian ministry would allow a graduate to take a position as a youth pastor or church camp counselor, she said, adding that the degree could be used as a stepping stone for a counseling degree.

  "We are a small college by design," she said. "It's not a place for everyone… but it's an awesome place to start."

Published 21 January 2014 at 1:56 p.m.

Potlatch welcomes new residents

Gan'a'Yoo honors Student and Shareholder of the Year

Gan'a'Yoo Student of the Year Joyelyn Sommer
Joyelyn Sommer, class of 2005, was honored as the Gan'a'Yoo Student of the Year at the welcome potlatch. She is the daughter of Chris and Albertha Sommer.
Photo by Mr. A
Gan'a'Yoo Shareholder of the Year Dick Evans
Dick Evans was named Shareholder of the Year at the potlatch. One of the many efforts he makes for our community is driving the school bus for Galena students.
Photo by Mr. A

By Mr. A

Special for the Hawk Highlights

  The community of Galena welcomed new teachers and dorm staff to the community at its annual welcoming potlatch in the SHS gym on Sept. 6.

  "Welcome to our community. Become a part of it," said Beth Buchanan, principal of curriculum and instruction, to those gathered in the gym. "It's an awesome place to be."

  The community also welcomed newcomers to the health clinic and fish and wildlife office. The potlatch was supported in part by 23 volunteers to help the community with flood remediation efforts who were from the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission.

  The new teachers are Josh Pittsenbarger, automotive technology; Chuck McNeilly, careers; Susan Martens, computers and technical education; Wade Fridley, social studies; and Richard Carver, language arts.

  Dr. Tammy Huntington introduced the new director of the Galena health clinic, Sharon Susook, her husband Daniel Susook, and their children Dion, 20, Johnathan, 15, Aaron, 12, and Raeanne, 7. Clarice Essex, the former counselor at the GILA dorm, will now serve the community as a behavioral health provider.

  The new pilot and biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is Ed Mallek.

Published 10 September 2013 at 8:29 p.m.

Dorm counselor now at GILA

Jana Rider
The new GILA counselor, Jana Rider, shares a laugh while constructing a poster for students arriving on the first day of school.
Photo by Mr. A

By MR. A

Special for the Hawk Highlights

  The new counselor for the Galena Interior Learning Academy is a familiar face for returning students.

  Jana Rider has moved her office from the dorms to the composite building, where she begins work this year as the school counselor. Ms. Rider was one of two counselors serving students at Ptarmigan Hall last year.

  As the school counselor, Ms. Rider will help students schedule classes, prepare for college and careers following high school, make sure students fulfill graduation requirements, and sees to it that each student maintains success in the classroom.

  "Counselors are the Jack-of-all-trades," she said. "We fill in where we're needed."

  Ms. Rider, 25, was born in Pismo Beach, Calif., but was raised on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai in the town of Kilauea. She attended Kula Intermediate and High School, graduating in 2006. She said the experience was somewhat like that shared by many of her students in Alaska.

  "There were only 16 people in my graduating class," she said, adding that she's moved from "one isolated area to anothers, but that's OK with me."

  Ms. Rider graduated from Azusa Pacific University, a private Christian college in Los Angeles, wiith a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in counseling. She earned her master's degree in school counseling from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.

  She said she enjoyed camping and hiking during her time in Oregon.

  Ms. Rider was hired right out of college in 2012. She worked in the dorms serving about 200 boarding school students along with her fellow counselor Clarice Essex.

  She is married to Jaimie Sperling, who works as a chef in the GILA dining hall.

Published 5 September 2013 at 7:16 p.m.
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Hawk Highlights photo galleries
Class of 2013 graduation - first photo gallery
Class of 2013 graduation - second photo gallery
Class of 2013 graduation - third photo gallery
Class of 2013 graduation - fourth photo gallery
Prom 2013 - first gallery
Prom 2013 - second gallery
Prom 2013 - third gallery
Afterprom party
Feb. 15, 2013, basketball games
Lady Hawks 49, Monroe 25
Galena boys 23, Monroe 40
Feb. 16, 2013, basketball games
Galena boys 38, Monroe 79
Lady Hawks 42, Monroe 45
Graduating seniors honored
Little Hawks - future champions on the court
Feb. 1, 2013, basketball games
Galena boys 59, Delta 55
Lady Hawks 46, Delta 43
Feb. 2, 2013, basketball games
Lady Hawks 46, Delta 50
Galena boys 51, Delta 54
Jan. 18, 2013 JV tournament basketball games
Lady Hawks against Huslia
Galena boys against Huslia
Lady Hawks against Tanana
Jan. 19, 2013, JV tournament basketball games
Galena boys against Tanana
Lady Hawks against Huslia
Galena boys against Huslia
Award ceremony winners

JV intersquad game Jan. 11, 2013
Varsity boys vs. Tikigaq Jan. 11, 2013
JV intersquad Jan. 12, 2013
Lady Hawks intersquad Jan. 12, 2013
Varsity boys vs. Tikigaq Jan. 12, 2013

Lady Hawks vs. Nome Dec. 15, 2012
Lady Hawks vs. Nome Dec. 14, 2012

Galena swim meet November 2012
Hawk wrestlers demo exhibition November 2012
Veteran's Day gala by elementary students Nov. 8, 2012
Stephen Blanchett at elder's center Nov. 7, 2012
Stephen Blanchett working with students Nov. 8, 2012
Halloween parade at senior center Oct. 31, 2012
Halloween carnival Oct. 31, 2012
Junior high basketball tournament Oct. 20, 2012
Yukon Jamboree Oct. 6, 2012

WISA photos day one - ski racing March 2012
WISA photos day two - biathlon March 2012
WISA photos day three - relay race March 2012
WISA photos day three - awards ceremony March 2012

Spring carnival photos (page two) March 2012
Spring carnival photos (page one) March 2012

News articles
January-May 2013
Graduation ceremony
Village Science Expo shows traditions in a new way
Military Youth Academy leader joins respect march
EXTREME Face-Off winner crowned
New admissions coordinator joins GILA staff
Get ready for testing
Firefighting classes offered to Galena students
Changes coming next year
IDEA Battle of the Books teams take state titles
Readfest event links students and families to books
Iron Dog kids head out
BMX bikers talk and perform at the SHS gym
Aviation teacher Josh Kaufield named Pilot of the Year
'I was the only person on Earth'
Five GILA aviation students take their first solo flights
Compost at the dining hall
Big stink wafts across campus
New solar panels supplying power for Galena students
Student filmmakers put on show
Doyon officials visit school seeking potential hires
District seeks money to create HQ building classrooms
Automotive classes are getting driving simulator
August-December 2012
Cosmetology program earns national recognition
College recruiters on campus
Newest school board member promotes success
Presidential election survey has surprising results
Career preparation program begins
Administrators switch positions
Students in drug-free week celebration
GILA student invited to elders and youth conference
Motivational speaker warmly greeted
New shop building dedicated
Sen. Murkowski speaks to journalism class
Orientation starts the school year
Community welcomes teachers at potluck
Summer 2012
Staff gathers for group photo before school starts
Winter cold won't bother new GILA principal
Ms. Brokaw is new middle school teacher
New social studies teacher welcomed to GILA
Student-grown potatoes are growing well
January-May 2012
Students finish year earning private pilot's licenses
Elementary science fair shows off knowledge to community
Kids swarm all over GILA campus searching for Easter eggs
March for Respect in Galena
Man runs frozen river for suicide prevention
ERA Aviation gives school major donation
Riff@n*Hook Festival was exhilarating
New cosmo teacher welcomed to GILA
Students survive record cold temps with ease
Galena performer has CD celebration
Globetrotters dazzle Galena students

January-May 2013
Activities Fair shows off Galena student talents
Staff writer honored with Washington D.C. internship
Science fair brings crowds to elementary gym
Galena students going to Arctic Winter Games
Swim meet
Welding class builds new gym equipment
All seven girls place at state wrestling tournament
Hawks go up against Hutchison, Monroe Catholic
GILA junior makes winning shot
Lady Hawks finally beat Harpoonerettes in Pt. Hope
Cross-country skiing starts
Huslia Hustlers sweep Junior Varsity Tournament
August-December 2012
Four wrestlers compete at state tournament
Preseason basketball preview
Galena swim team raises $760 at mock meet for athletes
Two wrestlers take top honors at Hutch Meltdown
Hawk wrestlers demonstrate diverse skills at exhibition
Galena volleyball player named to All-Tourney squad
WNBA player shares life experiences
Mom's achievement inspires GILA teen
Lady Hawks volleyball team wins sportsmanship award
Two wrestlers earn Bush Brawl tourney medals
Galena junior high teams sweep tourney 1,2,3
Hawk wrestlers make it to finals
Galena runner fifth at state championship
January-May 2012
Galena swimmer headed to Junior Olympic trials
Lady Hawks win state championship, community honors effort

Hawk Highlights audio
Graduation ceremony - May 17, 2013
Listen to the outstanding performance by Curtis Richardson of the song "Soul Shine" at the 2013 Galena graduation ceremony
Riff@n*Hook finale concert podcast - March 30, 2013

Hawk Highlights video
Galena teachers Alyson Esmailka and Cathy Evans were showcased for their talents in their art classes on KTUU Channel 2's newshour on March 13, 2013. Thanks to Channel 2 reporter Dan Carpenter for highlighting the hard work of Galena teachers.
BMX bikers demonstrate skills at the SHS gym - March 2013.
Freshman Anthony Sam's full-court basket at the buzzer at the end of the Huslia game - Jan. 11, 2013
2013 EXTREME Face-Off performers
      Curtis Richardson - first
      Dylan Paslov
      Kayla Stepetin
      Candace Cox
      Kenny Chaliak
      Curtis Richardson - second
      Aaron Cox
Many thanks to Isaac McElwee for these video clips
Need to know what's coming up?
Galena event planner
Updated regularly!

Community calendar

Event notices can be emailed or call (907) 656-2053 weekdays.

Tuesday, July 29
New ballfield and community park meeting
A meeting to discuss the new ballfield and a proposed community park is 6:30 p.m. at the community hall. For information, call Jon at 656-1981.

Monday, August 4
Cross-country running
Cross-country running practice begins. For information, call coach Bifelt.

Wednesday, July 30 - Tuesday, August 5
Science camp
Science camp meets at the ballfields and community gardens, 10 a.m. to noon for kids kindergarten through second grade, and 1-3:30 p.m. for kids grades 3-6. This year's theme is identification and use of local plants. For more information, call 656-1231 or 656-2328.