Johanna Eurich

Managing Editor

Johanna Eurich's vivid broadcast productions have been widely heard on National Public Radio since 1978. She spent her childhood speaking Thai, then learned English as a teenager and was educated at a dance academy, boarding schools and with leading intellectuals at her grandparents' dinner table in Philadelphia.

Eurich learned broadcasting in 1974 and helped advocate for the work of independent radio producers and stations. She moved to Alaska to be News Director of KSKA in Anchorage after helping put WVMR on the air - a solar heated radio station in one of the poorest parts of Appalachia. 

She has worked for the Alaska Public Radio Network, KTNA in Talkeetna, KDLG in Dillingham, as well as periods at KCUK, in Chevak and KBRW in Barrow. She was at KYUK in 1996 and returned as Managing Editor in 2016.

A young boy picks up his breakfast and lunch from a "Meals on Wheels" bus set-up by the Lower Kuskokwim School District during state mandated school closures. March 23, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

On Monday, Aug. 24, the first day of school, Bethel students will remain at home instead of heading to classrooms. School administrators hope that the kids will be able to come into classrooms part-time by Sept. 8, as originally planned. Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Kimberly Hankins says that this will depend on whether the recent spike of coronavirus cases is contained.

Free Airport testing at Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The head of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation says that it’s time to put more teeth in the area’s COVID-19 prevention measures, and he says that both the state and the city have the power to do it. Dan Winkelman, the Chief Executive Officer and President of YKHC, says that the state and city should mandate COVID-19 testing for both state workers and private employees traveling into bush communities. 

Ethan Sundown / KYUK

Limited in-person schooling, sports, and after-school activities are all scheduled to begin Aug. 24 for Lower Kuskokwim School District students. But Superintendent Kimberly Hankins says that the district is keeping an eye on the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 in the region.

Greg Lincoln / Delta Discovery

Kids going to school in the Lower Kuskokwim School District this year will be spending the entire time with the same small group of students, 12 or less, according to the plan described by Superintendent Kimberly Hankins. It will mean that students will be spending most of the time in classrooms together, and even eating lunch there. It’s called a “cohort” system.

Bailey McCallson

Bailey McCallson flies a unique plane. It is a Ventura ultralight amphibious airplane that came in a box. He put it together, and has been using it to explore the region.  

Katie Basile / KYUK

With the start of the school year rapidly approaching, what will school look like? The answers are changing as guidelines from the state change and the pandemic spikes in Alaska. 

A COVID-19 testing sample at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The first person in Bethel died of COVID-19 this weekend. Dr. Ellen Hodges, Chief of Staff with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, says that the case was travel related, and there’s no indication that anyone else in the region was infected.

Dean Swope / KYUK

Concern about the coronavirus is delaying the start of school by a couple of weeks. The new start date is Aug. 24. Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Kimberly Hankins said that the district is requiring all teachers flying into the region to be tested for COVID-19 at the airport, and self-quarantine for two weeks before taking on classroom duties. 

With the beginning of the school year around the corner, the Bethel 4-H Program is still working to put its after-school programs in place. The problem is how to do it safely to protect students and staff from the coronavirus.


Compared to the rate at the beginning of this decade, almost twice as many kids entering the Lower Kuskokwim School District are now successfully graduating.