Stories about education.

With a pandemic looming over the whole world, one of the biggest disappointments came as a blow to the graduating seniors of 2020. Due to social distancing mandates, the classes of 2020 were not able to celebrate their accomplishments with family, friends, and teachers. KYUK wanted to give each senior the opportunity to hear their name publically shared over the radio, and the chance to be recognized for their accomplishments. KYUK reached out to the Kuspuk School District to participate in the radio graduations. Congratulations to the Aniak Jr. Sr. High School's and George Morgan Sr. High School’s graduating classes of 2020! 

Graduating seniors could not gather with family, friends, and teachers for a commencement ceremony this spring. KYUK wanted to give them a graduation over the radio so that they could hear their names read aloud publicly and share in traditional commencement addresses. KYUK reached out to schools in the Lower Kuskokwim School District to participate in the radio graduations, and many were happy to partner. Congratulations 2020 graduates!

Dean Swope / KYUK

Bethel Regional High School will have a new principal next school year. The Bethel Advisory School Board is interviewing two candidates for the position on May 13, and the public is invited to join the virtual meeting to listen and ask questions. Both candidates currently work in the school district and have held multiple school administrative positions.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

This is the time of year that graduating college students walk down the aisle solemnly, sometimes awkwardly. Families and friends smile, and hold up phones and cameras to snap pictures. University leaders and professors give speeches.

But the coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools, prompting all of them to cancel graduation ceremonies. The University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel was no exception. Instead, staff took to the KYUK airwaves to recognize its 2020 graduates on May 1. 

Kuspuk School District and Lower Yukon School District appoint new superintendents for the next school year.
Kuspuk SD/LYSD

School leadership is changing hands around the Y-K Delta. The Kuspuk School District, made up of schools on the upper Kuskokwim River, and the Lower Yukon School District have both selected new superintendents for the upcoming school year.

Homework packets were available for parents to pick up at Gladys Jung Elementary School on March 18, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Many parents and students in the Lower Kuskokwim School District are now familiar with paper work packets substituting for classroom teachers. At LKSD’s last board meeting, one member blasted the work packets for being demotivating. Superintendent Dan Walker agrees with those complaints, but says that it’s hard when the most logical alternative, online learning, is not an option.

LKSD Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Hankins and her daughter Lauren wave at teachers from Gladys Jung Elementary School as they drive by in the teacher parade on April 3, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

On April 3, Gladys Jung Elementary School students stepped outside their homes to see their teachers honking, waving, and holding signs in a parade of teachers that followed the Bethel school bus route.

Bethel Regional High School's class of 2019 graduated May 17, 2019. The class of 2020 will likely not attend their graduation the same way this year.
Greg Kim / KYUK

All schools in Alaska are closed to students until at least May 1, but that’s only a small part of how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the Lower Kuskokwim School District. In a board meeting on April 2, the school board changed graduation requirements for seniors, planned for using schools as quarantine shelters, and adjusted schedules for construction projects.

Former Alaska Lt. Gov. Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, right, speaks Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, during the Gathering at the Egan Center, Anchorage, Alaska.
Tripp Crouse / KNBA

On March 25, Alaska Pacific University announced that Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson will succeed its current president, Dr. Robert Onders, on April 25.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives a press conference about the novel coronavirus in early March in Anchorage.
Joey Mendolia / APM

Alaska’s public and private schools will remain closed to students through at least May 1, extending the prior classroom shutdown by a month in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, state officials announced on March 20.