By the Highlights staff
When a construction worker fell off the Ptarmigan Hall roof on Wednesday evening, the first medical responder on the scene was GILA senior Emmie Ellis.
Emmie became a state certified emergency trauma technician in 2013 following her training in GILA's health sciences program. When the construction worker tumbled 35 feet to the ground after slipping on a rain-slick rooftop, Emmie was meeting with residence hall dean of students Ben Blasco.
"We saw him fall," she said. After calling 911, she and Mr. Blasco ran outside. "He looked like he had partially fallen onto the concrete."
Emmie's emergency medical training kicked in. "He was obviously distraught," Emmie said. The 17-year-old from Delta Junction told the construction worker she was an emergency medical technician, and she asked several questions to check his coherence.
Mr. Blasco went to get the ambulance. "I stayed with the patient," she said. "I made sure he didn't move. He might have had cervical spine injuries."
Without a first aid kit, Emmie said her primary obligation was to stay and comfort the fallen man and wait for assistance.
"That was one of the first real critical situations I had been in," she said. "I kept my skills with me and responded how I was trained to."
After graduation, Emmie plans to get her degree in biology from Idaho State University, followed by advanced degrees at Washington Medical School in Seattle, where she wants to be either an emergency room doctor or an oncologist.
Tim Fritzler, the worksite superintendent for Wolverine Supply of Wasilla, was on the roof 25 feet away from his coworker when the accident occurred. He said the worker was tearing off the old roofing as it was raining about 6:15 p.m.
"Since it was wet and slick, [the roofing material] slipped out of his hands and he fell backwards," he said.
Mr. Fritzler said the construction worker was 22 years old from Anchorage.
The worker had six broken ribs, one of which punctured his left lung, although about 85 percent of the lung capacity could still be used. "He has about a 1-inch laceration to the head," he said. "He will have to have surgery for a broken jaw."
The worker was lucky to have fallen in mud, he said. "He left a 4-inch impression in the ground."
Workers from Wolverine Supply have been replacing the old roof on the residence hall, which has been leaking. They're replacing the old roof with 8 inches of new insulation, a layer of material containing fiberglass and sheet rock, and a water barrier. The work is due to be done after Labor Day.
Galena Chief of Police Aaron Parker said he received many calls from concerned people after the worker fell from the roof. The clinic ambulance arrived shortly after receiving the calls, and Lifeflight air transport carried the man to Providence Hospital in Anchorage around 8:30 p.m.
Even though the accident had the potential to be life-threatening, "he is expected to survive and recover fully," Chief Parker said. "It was quite a relief this morning to find out he's going to be fine."
Elementary and high school teachers gathered at the SHS campus on Thursday to focus on strengthening curriculum and improving instruction.
The returning staff was joined by three new teachers - language arts teacher Kate Quinn, social studies teacher Brian Davis, and science and math teacher Corrie Lambrecht.
There are a number of new classes being offered at the school this year. The media and information technology classes will offer digital photography, a new class that joins digital video, web page authoring, and journalism. The three computer instruction classes will offer students the opportunity to earn Microsoft Office certification.
There are also new classes in emergency medical technician training, Alaska fisheries, college writing, and small engine repair, and there's a new focus on rural sustainability.
Those taking physical education classes will need to bring gym shoes, outside shoes (such as tennis shoes), and swim wear. Every student will be in the pool, so they need to be prepared as well as ready to work inside and outside.
Cross-country athletes begin daily practices 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at SHS. Every runner needs to have a physical before taking part in practices. Cross-country athletes with questions should call coach Bifelt.
Volleyball players should arrive at school with updated physicals and tennis shoes. Players with questions should call coach Redman.
It's natural for Kate Quinn to be in the classroom.
"I've always wanted to teach in some capacity," she said, sharing stories about how she'd draw schools, like a young architect, for fun when she was a child.
Maybe it runs in the family. Miss Quinn's mother, Wendy Quinn, has been working as an an elementary school teacher since 1977, including a long-time stint as the fifth and sixth grade teacher at University Park Elementary School in Fairbanks. Miss Quinn's father, Dennis Quinn, worked for the Alaska Railroad.
Miss Quinn will be teaching American literature, composition, and creative writing at the GILA campus.
She was born and raised in Fairbanks, going to elementary school at University Park and high school at West Valley. She graduated in 2006. During her time at West Valley, she was a member of the National Honor Society and played for the soccer team and track and field in shot put and discus.
She was also the kicker for the West Valley Wolfpack football team, scoring one point during her season. "My team sucked. I'm not going to lie," she said.
Miss Quinn earned her bachelor of arts in English, with a minor in Spanish, from Washington State University in 2010.
After graduation, she went to Grenada, Spain, for three months to study Spanish language, culture, and literature. When she returned, she spent a year substituting in Fairbanks schools.
Her master's degree work consisted of a long commute between Alaska and Washington, D.C. While she was in Washington, D.C., she worked on her master's degree in literature at American University; while in Fairbanks, she focused on the UAF teaching credential program. Miss Quinn graduated from American University in May 2014.
Galena is her first teaching assignment. She said that her goal was to have students embrace literature and enjoy reading. Miss Quinn said she really likes music, literature, and art from the modernism era in the 1920s, which includes writers such as Hemingway, Joyce, and Fitzgerald.
Corrie Lambrecht comes to Galena via the heavens.
Ten years ago, the new science and math teacher was peering into the night sky at the Los Alamos National Laboratory's observatory, working on projects during the summer to go along with her undergraduate work in astrophysics. "I fell in love with astronomy when I was in high school," she said.
Even in the retelling about her experiences at Los Alamos, she is upbeat and excited describing the first time she saw Saturn though the telescope, the thrill of seeing the four largest Jovian moons, or the joy of seeing distant globular clusters and galaxies while setting up the specialized cameras needed for astronomy.
Like all workplaces, though, there's a downside. "I loved astronomy, but I get bored working by myself," she said. "I like science, but I like people, too."
Ms. Lambrecht will teach physical science, geology, and algebra 1 in the upcoming school year. Her classroom is at the SHS campus.
Ms. Lambrecht was born in Evansville, Ind., the daughter of the Rev. Buzz and Diane Lambrecht. Her father was a pastor for the United Methodist Church. Most of her childhood was spent in western Kansas. "The town I'm probably the fondest of is Protection," she said.
Most of the towns she grew up in had several hundred residents - the smallest about 200, the rest around 500-600, so Galena's population isn't a surprise. She graduated valedictorian in a class of 43 from Wabaunsee High School in Alma, Kan. "It was the biggest school I went to," she said.
After spending several years at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology's astrophysics program, she moved to Albuquerque, deciding to earn her bachelor of arts degree in cultural anthropology, with a minor in religious studies, from the University of New Mexico.
While living in Albuquerque, she volunteered with Catholic Charities to work with refugees, most notably from civil wars in central Africa, the genocide in Rwanda, and resettlement of Tibetans in New Mexico.
During this time, she started tutoring children from local families, with a focus on science and math.
After earning her bachelor's degree, she moved to Alaska, where she earned her master's degree in secondary education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This is her first teaching assignment. "I'm really excited to live by the banks of the Yukon River," she said.
Ms. Lambrecht arrives in Galena with her companion Nick Hruby, whose sister Melinda is a 2008 alumnus of GILA. He is originally from Tok.
Mr. Hruby most recently worked as a mechanical engineer in aerospace design for Reitech Global, but quit his position to join Ms. Lambrecht in Galena. He's interested in sustainable energy and has already reached out to those involved with the boarding school's biomass energy project.
Galena's new social studies teacher says he's pretty much done it all. He's not kidding.
Brian Davis spent 10 years at the Open Bible Christian School in Newberg, Ore., a small, private school for elementary and high school students.
"I was the only high school social studies teacher there," he said, where he taught courses ranging from world history and United States history to advanced placement European history, economics, philosophy, psychology, comparative politics, and a seminar on World War II. And physical education classes. And Bible study. Plus he worked at times as the vice-principal, the lead teacher, and the student activities director.
"And my last year I ran our own very small athletic department," he said.
But there was something waiting over the horizon. "I've always dreamt of living in Alaska," he said, adding that he's had a lifelong interest in different cultures and seeing how other people live. For three years, Mr. Davis was the high school social studies teacher in the villages of Scammon Bay and Marshall.
He said the Galena's reputation for education excellence was well known in the villages where he taught.
Mr. Davis will teach government, Alaska studies, and geography at the GILA campus.
"My goal is to get the kids to have the same passion and love for history that I have," he said.
The son of Winnie and Gary Davis, he was born and raised in Salem, Ore., where he graduated from McKay High School in 1993. Following graduation, he earned a bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in political science, from Regis University in Denver. His history degree focused on Asian and European studies.
Mr. Davis has also did post-baccalaureate coursework at Corban University in Salem, Ore., for social studies education. He completed the program in 1999.
By SHEILA GEORGE
and BETHANY GREEN
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.
The Hawk Highlights website is operated and managed by Paul Apfelbeck, the media and information technology teacher at the Galena Interior Learning Academy. Text and images may not be reproduced without permission from Mr. Apfelbeck. Copyright 2014.