Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Classes start Tuesday for most students


Weather permitting, students will be able to walk to Haines School next week on a new sidewalk.

Classes for students in grades 1-12 resume 8:20 a.m. Tuesday in town and at Mosquito Lake. Kindergarten starts Monday, Aug. 26, with a day that ends 1:30 p.m. Classes at Klukwan School also start Aug. 26.

“There will be no graffiti in the sidewalk by kids getting out of class,” said Dave Stickler of Stickler Construction. Its workers were pouring and shaping curbs near the Haines School entrance this week. “I believe we’re going to have the sidewalk, curb and gutter in front of the school done by the first day of school. We have every intention of doing that.”

The project has been envisioned since the elementary school and high school were combined and rebuilt with an entrance facing Old Haines Highway in 2007.

Students in Haines will see some new faces, but there are no major changes to district policy or schedules, said secretary Lori Giddings. The school year typically starts with all-school assemblies, including explanation of expected student behavior.

Tammy Hamilton is the new second-grade teacher, replacing Akela Silkman. Pete Degen moves into a junior high science and math position formerly held by Ella Bredthauer. Bredthauer will lead elementary special education, a job previously done by Rosie Milligan. Kristy Totten is the district’s new music teacher . Kate Baerlocher will fill in for Mosquito Lake teacher Kathy Holmes, who is taking a year’s leave.

(New teacher profiles will be published in next week’s CVN.)

New coaches include Tara Bicknell, who will lead the cross-country team and Amanda Stossel, coach of Drama, Debate and Forensics.

The district is projecting a significant drop in enrollment, and subsequent loss of state funding, but until students show up, district officials aren’t venturing a guess. “We’re still waiting,” said district superintendent Michael Byer. “We’ve heard so many different things, we have no clue.”