Principal’s Corner

We promise to …

•Help our students increase their math performance 4% annually and their reading performance 3% annually,
•Treat all students with compassion, dignity, and respect so that at least 80% will continue schooling with GCSD, and
•Personalize instruction for each student based on assessment data.

August 22nd 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians of our GILA students,

It is with warm regard that I send you this greeting along with a letter from our Superintendent, Mr. Jim Merriner.

We are so very honored that you have chosen to let your child live and school at The Galena Interior Learning Academy.  This is a privilege for us and a tremendous responsibility.  We met with all students last night.  They were engaged in many activities but I would like for you to know the most important thing we wanted them to hear.  If they forgot everything else we said we wanted the messages below to stick:

1.        “You are THE most precious thing to someone back home.  Whoever allowed to come to GILA expects to get you back in better shape than when they sent you.”

2.       “We will always be looking out for you.  However, sometimes that’s not enough.  Looking out for yourself is not your only responsibility.  We ALL have the responsibility to look out for each other.”

We talked at length about the statements above.  We stated to the students how important it is that they reach out to SOME adult when they are having troubles.

We assured them that we would help them handle difficult situations without making it worse for them.  For instance, we modeled what would happen if a student reported that they were being bullied.  We explained that we would work with them to develop options and that we wouldn’t take action (in most cases) unless they and their parent or guardian were ok with the option selected.

I will get back to you with  more information soon.  For now, please let us know if your student is really struggling with homesickness or some other problem.  Please don’t assume we know.  There are caring adults surrounding these kids.  You are a crucial part of your child’s educational team.  Please share your concerns with us.

Please do not hesitate to call or text (texting is best) me if you have a concern.  If you text just please let me know who you are and your child’s name.  Know too-I will do my very best not to make the situation worse.  I have been doing this job for a long time and I have a strong track record in this area.  Kids can’t learn if they don’t feel wanted, safe, and comfortable.  Let’s all work together to make sure they feel that way!

On behalf of everyone here at GILA thank you for sharing your cool kid with us!


John Riddle
Principal of Boarding School Operations
907-656-2053 ext 108
656-7193 (cell)

Letters from the Principal
 GILA Parent Letter August 22, 2018
 GILA Parent Letter March 3, 2018
 GILA Parent Letter February 24, 2018
 GILA Parent Letter February 9, 2018
 GILA Parent Letter November 27, 2017
 GILA Parent Letter September 5, 2017
GILA Parent Letter April 10, 2017
 GILA Parent Letter January 18, 2017
 GILA Parent Letter September 15, 2016
 GILA Parent Letter August 8, 2016