News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Sunday February 18th 2018



Close-up Trip to Juneau

By Calvin Aldrich

Shaktoolik Teacher


January 28th through February 1st, Bering Strait School District sent five students and one chaperone to Close-up in Juneau. Participants included Lawrence Bradley & Makiyan Ivanoff from Unalakleet, Cheryl Nagaruk from Elim, Jessie Paniptchuck from Shaktoolik, Allyssa Strachan from Koyuk, and chaperone Calvin Aldrich from Shaktoolik. The group arrived late Sunday night and on Monday they were up bright and early to attend the opening 2013 sessions of both the Alaska State Senate and Alaska State House. During the session all of the students were introduced to the each House.


Explanation of Close-Up:

“Students meet and network with other Alaskan students and teachers to learn about the three branches of state government and how they work together to govern the people of Alaska.  Work with Legislators and others in state government to solve a local problem.  Visit various government sites, hold standing committee simulations and a mock legislative session.”


After the opening session Allyssa and Calvin where invited to visit with Sen. Mike Dunleavy who is a former teacher from Koyuk. On Wednesday, the BSSD group met Sen. Donald Olson and then Rep. Neal Foster. Each student had a chance to ask questions of both men. On Thursday Rep. Foster meet the BSSD students for a luncheon at the Baranof Hotel in downtown Juneau. The group is grateful for the men taking time out of their busy schedule to answer question and talk about concerns from the students.


During the week the students attended class where they learned how government works, held standing committee simulations, and a mock legislative session. They also argued current bills and voted on those Bills.


Other activities for the week included touring the Governors Mansion, and the State Capital Building.  The group attended a court session and visited with the Judge after the session. They also visited Lemon Creek Maximum Security Prison. There they meet with guards and inmates for question and answers that ranged from why they were incarcerated or choose to be a guard, to how their families dealt with them being an inmate or a guard.

From Left to Right:  Aldrich, Paniptchuck, Bradley, Strachan, Ivanoff, Nagaruk, Rep. Foster.

From Left to Right: Aldrich, Paniptchuck, Bradley, Strachan, Ivanoff, Nagaruk, Rep. Foster.


The evenings were also filled with fun activities with new friends in a new place.


Jessie said, “This trip was fun, enjoyable and a great learning experience.”  The BSSD group returned to their Villages on Saturday after making new friends and having many learning experiences.