Principal’s Corner

March 2018

Dear Parents, guardians, friends and family,

Spring is just around the corner and we are in the middle of having a strong finish for this year and making preparations for next year. These are exciting times. With that in mind, we are in the middle of looking for new staff members to replace those that are moving to new positions in GCSD or moving on to other adventures or retiring. We have an accepted offer from an art teacher who will most likely also be teaching Spanish. Her name is Katie Galauska and she has several years of Alaska teaching experience.

She has been in Anchorage, Fairbanks, North Slope and Bethel. She will be teaching K-12 Art and is excited about our art curriculum. We have filled the Resource Room Coordinator position to run the libraries in Galena. Shayla Schwoch has agreed to take on this challenge, moving over from her Academic Support teaching position. There were several good internal applicants and we would like to thank them for looking at other ways they can serve the students in our schools. On the SHS campus we have hired a science teacher. His name is Richard Reifsnyder and will be moving here from Florida with his family. We have also hired an Academic support teacher, Kristin Canon, who will also be teaching chemistry.

We have posted an opening for an Assistant Principal as Mr. Harris is moving on to other adventures. We wish him well and will truly miss him and his family. We will continue to look for good qualified staff as we move forward. We would also like to thank Judy Burgett for her many years of service to our students, community and guests. We will miss her as she moves on in retirement. We have posted her position.

The elementary staff has developed a plan for next year that should work for all of our staff and students.

Jared would have the PreK- 4 and K for the entire day. That is about 13 students.

Claudette would have the kindergarten of about 6 students.

Debbie would have second and third with12 students.

Rachel would have fourth and fifth for a total of 20.

Bruce would have 7th and 8th for a total of 10 students.

There may be some parents of 4th and 5th grade students who have questions about how the combined class will work next year. Due to the nature of possibly wanting to discuss individual students and their needs, Ms. Wied and I have asked that we meet with individual parents and families, initially, rather than with a group of families where we would be unable to discuss individual students. Keilah Havener will again teach elementary PE from 9:00 until 10:30 every day and the Katie Galauska will have the elementary art every day from 12:50 until 2:20. We will also have our regular library time with Ayla Kalke.

The end of the quarter was on the 13th with Parent/Teacher conferences on the 16th. We have 4 teachers that have been working together with Mr. Merriner and the site administrators to develop a common protocol to have the students involved with student lead conferences with their parents. We look forward with continuing this program to increase communication with parents about their students’ growth and learning.

The SHS PAC held their regular monthly meeting on March 7th. As usual, there was some lively debate and a good bit of fun. There was discussion about the GCSD wellness committee with information provided from district office by Isabella Apfelbeck. It is clear that GCSD does need to have an active wellness committee to comply with the requirements of the National School Lunch Program and to help insure the health of our students and staff. The PAC encourages the GCSD board to create such a committee and the PAC would volunteer to have representation on that body. There were also representatives from the American Lung Association, who spoke to the PAC regarding GCSD having a tobacco free campus. They have changed their criteria since they were last in Galena to present to the GCSD board and it appears that it may be more feasible to adopt more of their suggested policy changes than with their last all or nothing proposal.

With the new art teacher coming and her enthusiasm for our art curriculum, we need to help her have access to a group of local experts to help her with our students. I know that this is important to the PAC and that Lillian DeWilde is very interested in helping bring cultural activities and people to the school. The PAC is actively engaged to get the Local Knowledge Experts group together.

The next PAC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, 2018 in the Charles Evans Library at 5:30 PM. The public is invited to attend.

Thank you,

Ken Essex
SHS Principal


Letters from the Principal
 March SHS Principal’s corner
 December 2017 SHS Parent Letter
 November SHS Parent Letter
 October 2017 Parent letter
 2017 fall Principal’s corner letter
 Spring 2017 EOY parent letter
 May 2017 parent letter
 3rd quarter parent letter
 February 2017 SHS parent letter
 January 2017 SHS parent letter
 2016 2nd mid quarter Parent letter
 August 2016 parent letter