• Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    Too often these days we hear people say, “what’s in it for me?” It seems some people feel they need to be compensated or recognized for even the slightest bit of effort. Which is why, I guess, it is always so refreshing to see or hear about someone doing something for a friend or neighbor with no expectation of a reward. It is particularly heartwarming to me when the person doing the nice gesture is a kid. As a former kid myself, I’m well aware of the pervasive stereotype of the lazy and selfish teen. But there are kids right here in our own community who defy this label and have gone out of their way to assist those around them.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION Happy Friday. Today I would like you to meet Mia Stewart and her pup, Speck. Mia is a fourth grader in Pamela Gray’s class at East Elementary School. Speck is a 10 year-old shelter rescue and has been in the Stewart family for about five years. Speck is amazing. Mia and her family spend a lot of time doing outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking and snowboarding and Speck is always right there in the middle of the action.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: ELIZABETH ERICKSON As the school year winds to a close, most Kodiak High School seniors are busily finishing up projects and assignments and preparing for graduation. Before long, it will be time for many of them to head off to college or start looking for a job. However, for some members of the Class of 2020, that process started a long time ago.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    When I talk to families about the adjustments they’ve had to make during the pandemic, many say “having the kids at home all day” is one of the biggest. With their kids no longer in school, parents are now having to deal with managing online meetings, class lessons and homework, coordinating lunches and snacks and honestly, just dealing with kids in their face all day long. This can be particularly challenging for working parents, who are now doing their job from home.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    MORE THAN JUST EXERCISE. As a little kid, one of my favorite parts of the school day was PE class. I absolutely loved PE. It was a great time to go crazy with my buddies, run off some energy and participate in some of my favorite games like dodgeball and freeze tag. I learned how to play all kinds of sports, I learned how to swim and I learned useful things like basic first aid. But not all the lessons I learned in PE were so obvious. Some I didn’t even realize I had learned until I was much older.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    ALWAYS BY HER SIDE Today I would like to introduce you to Hanna Moody and her puppy dog, Suzi. Hanna is a 9th grader at Kodiak High School. You might recognize Hanna as one of the KHS cheerleaders on the sidelines of Bears basketball games this season. Suzi is a 14 year old Chihuahua that absolutely adores Hanna and is always by her side, whether they are inside or out. Hanna and Suzi love taking walks together and going to the beach.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    I have spoken to a lot of students, teachers and administrators since the schools shut down back in March. Everybody, whether they are on the teaching end, the learning end or implementing policy, has been forced out of their normal school routine. I was curious to find out how teachers of Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes like welding, woods technology and auto shop were approaching distance learning. While the bulk of instruction in these classes is typically hands-on, I was surprised to find out there is plenty of book learning involved as well.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    SOMEONE YOU CAN COUNT ON I have always been impressed with the people who knew from an early age what they wanted to do with their lives. The people that started making a game plan in high school for their future. They took all the right classes, they apprenticed at the right companies, they took every necessary step to get where they needed to be. But I’ve also been equally impressed with people who find their passion almost by accident and end up making a career out of it.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    A LITTLE KEEPSAKE As I was writing my article last week about community, I felt compelled to find a way to help out. I got to thinking about our high school kids and their virtual prom and it made me realize that they won’t get a chance to pose for a traditional keepsake prom photo this year. I do a little photography work on the side, so, inspired by the recent “front porch photo sessions” trend, I thought maybe I could go to the kids stuck at home and take a nice photo for them for no charge. I put my offer on our local Friends of Kodiak Facebook page the Thursday before Prom. I had no idea how many people would respond. I was happy when students and parents started to message me. Before long I had a list of interested people and a schedule set up for Saturday.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    EVEN A SPIDER WOULD BE GREAT. I’ve decided to make Fridays my day for showcasing people and their pets. I think it’s a great way to end a long workweek and to start the weekend with a smile. Today I want you to meet Olivia Diemer. Olivia is a fourth grader at North Star Elementary.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    When I was a kid growing up in Kodiak, I couldn’t wait to get out of town and go live in the “real world.” I wanted to go to a place where there were hundreds of restaurants to choose from, a place where I could drive for thousands of miles, a place where it wasn’t raining all the time, a place where everybody didn’t know everybody else’s business. I was convinced I hated this place and needed to be somewhere else. I spent a lot of years moving around, trying to find the perfect spot that wasn’t like Kodiak.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    LET’S DANCE My grandfather was the king of catchphrases and one-liners. There was not a situation you could throw at him that he couldn’t come up with a clever expression to go along with it. My family and I continue to use many of these witticisms to this day. I recall one time, he had fixed up an old pickup truck of his for my cousin to use. The truck rattled and sputtered, had rusty fenders and mismatched tires and I’m pretty sure it had burlap bags covering the exposed springs in the driver’s seat. But it ran.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: MASON CHANDLER Since I’ve started writing this column, many people have called, emailed or stopped me in the grocery store to give me ideas for topics to cover and people to write about. One common suggestion I get is to provide the students’ point of view. I’ve always thought this was a good idea and now, having spoken to many students from all different grade levels, I think I will make it a regular thing. This past weekend I had a conversation with Mason Chandler, a senior at Kodiak High School. We talked about the good and bad aspects of distance learning, her future plans and the prospect of not having a real prom.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    FURRY FRIENDS TO THE RESCUE We have been talking for weeks now about the stresses and frustrations of dealing with the coronavirus. I can honestly say I’ve not talked to anyone yet who hasn’t been affected by the pandemic in at least some small way. Everyone has their own ways of coping, whether it’s running a couple miles, meditation, cooking, walking on a beach or diving into a good book. One thing I’ve noticed over the years that helps me calm down and relax is having my pets close by.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    RESILIENCE When we talk about what it takes to get through difficult situations, one word seems to pop up fairly frequently: resilience. If you are familiar with the history of Kodiak, you know that resilience is a necessary trait, woven into the fabric of our town and its people over centuries. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis. Even a routine winter Northeaster can try the hardiest of souls. Our latest test of resilience is the coronavirus pandemic and its associated quarantines, school lockdowns, business closures and supply shortages.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    EARTH DAY Today is April 22, a day full of celebrations. For starters, it is Administrative Professionals Day. Previously known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day, it is a day to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, client services representatives, and other administrative support professionals. It is also Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day as well as National Jelly Bean Day. But one of the most important things we celebrate every April 22 is Earth Day.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak

    THE NEW KID PT 2 Starting out as a first time teacher can be scary, exciting, fun, exhausting, nerve wracking, overwhelming. There is a lot of pressure to get to know a lot of new faces quickly and figure out how best to educate each one while also worrying about meeting the expectations of your new principal and School District. It can be a daunting process. So, imagine that you’re finally getting the hang of it, you’ve got your classroom set up just how you like and suddenly you are told you will have to learn an entirely different way of doing it.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    THE NEW KID PT 1 Starting out as a first time teacher can be scary, exciting, fun, exhausting, nerve wracking, overwhelming. There is a lot of pressure to get to know a lot of new faces quickly and figure out how best to educate each one while also worrying about meeting the expectations of your new principal and School District.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    THE COLLECTOR I first met Moe Butler about nineteen years ago when I started dating her daughter, Jamie. At that first meeting I remember she was holding a plastic grocery bag full of dirty paper and old beer cans. She had mud on her hands and legs and her shoes were soaking wet. She told me she had just returned from a walk around the neighborhood and had taken the bag to pick up trash along the way.

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  • Learn. Together. Kodiak.

    LOVE LETTERS When I was younger, I was a prolific letter writer. I wrote letters all the time. To family, friends, penpals. Sometimes a quick note, sometimes a ten page narrative. I loved to include drawings I’d done or photographs I had shot or newspaper articles I found interesting. For years I kept a sizeable stash of beautiful or clever greeting cards and postcards that I had collected in my travels to send to people. I truly enjoyed the act of letter writing. The only thing better than sending one was getting one back.

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