News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Saturday March 17th 2018



BSSD Paraprofessionls Attend Intensive

BSSD paraprofessionals enrolled in UAF NW Campus course BIO 100 Human Biology met in Unalakleet on November 3 and 4, 2007 for a two day intensive where the students completed the lab portion of the class. The first half of the intensive was spent examining slides and the second day was dedicated to dissecting a pig. David Smith, UAF NW Campus Biology Professor conducted the sessions with the students. All of the paraprofessionals are working toward their education degree and the course is required on their degree plan. Those attended the class were Rachel Olson, Camillus Pete, Doris Amaktoolik, Zilma Gologergen, Frank Amaktoolik, Jane Olanna, Cynthia Barr, Amanda Paniptchuk, Andrea Olanna, Lisa Jack.

BIO 100 Class Members



Can you drink water while standing on your head?

By Ms Standafer, Wales

Students in my class are studying the body systems in science. After reading from the book, tracing their body on a large piece of paper, and drawing the digestion system organs on other paper with name and purpose on the back, I asked the students if they could stand on their heads and drink water. Half of the class said yes and half said no. So, I asked who wanted to prove their answers. Below Carrie Komonaseak assists Marissa Oxereok and Vanessa Tingook by holding a cup of water for them to drink. They found out you can drink while on your head even though Marissa didn’t take a full swallow the first time and the water came back out her nose. We went back to the room and book to find out why drinking while standing on your head is possible. Alas, we learned about peristalsis. Marissa said that she will never forget that word since she proved she could do it.

Karmen Tittle draws Katherine Kitchen’s body shape. Vanessa Tingook works on her digestive system drawing.


Marissa and Carrie Vanessa and Carrie


Ready, Exercise and Drink Water

Carrie Komonaseak and some elementary students meet in Ms Standafer’s classroom to exercise at least twice a week. Emphasis is on being healthy and so Ms Standafer, Vicki Lash and Victoria Ongtowasruk join in as good role models. No candy or pop is allowed in the room. In fact, Carrie pushes/reminds Ms Standafer to drink her 64 ounces of water daily by also only drinking water throughout the day and night. Now, Ms Standafer has challenged Mrs. Lash to drink water. There is a penalty if Mrs. Lash does not drink 32 oz and Ms Standafer does not drink 64 oz by 4:00 P.M. Carrie has gone a couple of months not drinking pop and Ms Standafer has not had pop going on two years this coming Feb. She also has not had caffeine pop since June 28, 2003. Great going everyone and keep up the good work. Stay healthy!
By Ms Standafer

Pictured are Michael Ahkinga, Jr, Molly Mazonna, Carrie Komonaseak, Rueben (Archie) Olanna, Jr, and Rebecca Tokeinna.


Understanding Subsistence

In Wales, subsistence living is still alive. Raymond Seetook, Jr, is the History reporter/writer at Kingikmiut for our monthly news, the Sea wolves Newsletter. He wrote this particular article for our Nov. edition. Raymond is an avid walrus hunter and is now on his father’s whaling crew. He lives, eats, and breathes traditional values. Raymond (JR) is not the only resident that lives and feels this way by any means, but I feel I must share this piece of writing with all. Vicki Lash – Teacher at Wales

Understanding Subsistence Hunting is Important for All Mankind

By Raymond Seetook, Jr

There are many reasons to support and believe in subsistence hunting. No other type of existence has been as healthy to mankind and toward the health of the earth. Subsistence living encourages each person to understand the web of life and our place in that web. As a hunter I am part of that land. It keeps me healthy in my body and soul. The prey and I are really part of each other. When I kill my prey I respect the life that I had taken and with respect I take that food to my family.

As a hunter I must learn vital skills. Among those skills is a knowledge of the animals I hunt. I and my people know far more about biology than any city professor. I am familiar with the thrill of the hunt and the quiet sadness that comes over me when I realize I have taken the life of a living being. I know that its death allows my family to live and I am grateful for the food I get from the earth. There is no life without death.

As a subsistence hunter I have had to face my own fears and I know the satisfaction of meeting nature on its own terms. I also believe that subsistence hunting provides a good example to the world which is a lesson that my ancestors knew and practiced for thousands of years.

Subsistence hunting also supports strong families. The life of each member of the family depends on the actions of each member of the family. The adult male has a natural and important role in the family. He knows he is vital to the will being of his family. He has true value.

In subsistence families woman are valued as the source of all human life. As that source of life the woman was respected and I many ways worshipped as the sole link between the visible and the spiritual world.

I would encourage anyone to leave his or her filthy city and breathe the clean air that nature intended. Only subsistence living can preserve the species of mankind for millions of years. I can argue from the history of eons that only subsistence living has proved to work and endure for millions of years. I urge you to try my life style for only one short year. You will not be disappointed.


Elim DART Overview

Thursday evening, November 15, was a time for Aniguiin School and Elim community members to teach and learn from each other. The evening of sharing was highlighted with a short video created and edited by Derek Moses, senior at Aniguiin School, and Dianna Gharst, Elim’s math and technology teacher. This video was a simple tutorial, illustrating the role DART plays in the educational process for teachers, students and parents. It also demonstrated how the data could be used to plan for academic success, establish a pace of learning for students to achieve goals, and empower parents to become an active participant in the educational process.

Although a person may not be able to watch the video one time and become a DART/academic adviser expert, in full control of all academic planning, it was a super overview, creating a quick look at its potential. Gharst and Moses captured the key points through the use of several technological tools (video, snapshots, smartboard and more), all highlighted with a clear audio recording by Moses to help personalize and bring the images to life.


CLICK HERE to access the video for your own use and viewing pleasure.


In Memoriam: Ernest Wayne Butts

January 13, 1951 – November 11, 2007

Ernie Butts was born in Creston, Iowa, in 1951 where he lived on a farm and enjoyed a farm boy’s life. He graduated High School in 1969 and entered the Air Force and served 4 years. During the onset of the Vietnam War, Ernie reenlisted and did a tour of duty in Vietnam lasting 18 months. He later became a teacher and landed his first teaching job in Alaska in the Yukon-Koyukuk School District as a long-term substitute. He joined the Bering Strait School District 7 years ago in Teller then moved to Nome to help inaugurate the opening of the new Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center where he remained for three years. Ernie transferred to Stebbins two years ago to teach vocational classes, after school programs, history, and whatever else came his way.

Ernie summered in Branson, Missouri, with his siblings. Ernie is survived by three brothers, Larry, Gary, and Ray, and two sisters, Lucille and Violet and many others who came to know and love him. Ernie was an easy-going person with a ready joke and a great sense of humor. He was patriotic and determined that others should respect and appreciate the country he served so proudly.We will remember Ernie for his sense of humor, his delight in making people happy, and, of course, his love of hotdogs. Ernie loved simplicity and tried to take life as it came and advised others to do likewise. He was modest about his own accomplishments yet continually praised the achievements of others, no matter how small. Although he was hard working and fun loving, Ernie was a thoughtful person who enjoyed his moments of solitude as well. With so many experiences behind him, Ernie’s philosophy can be summed up in the words of one of his favorite singers, Johnny Cash: “I’m just thankful for the journey.”

We would like to thank Ernie for his presence in our lives. We will miss you.

Click here to view Ernie’s memorial video.

Reading in Wales

The more students are exposed to poetry of all kinds, the more likely they are to develop a meaningful connection to it. My class started out looking at many poetry books from our library, whether they were Dr. Seuss or Maya Angelou. I wanted to make sure they knew some of the different elements that make up poetry and why authors’ use them, so they were to write a story using at least ten elements i.e. alliteration, rhyme, similes, hyperbole, etc. We looked at a few individual poems and discussed form, elements, author’s purpose, comprehension, etc. A list of eighteen forms of poetry is posted and we discuss and write one example together as a class. The students then are assigned poems to write themselves. Our school has a special place in the lobby called Poetry Corner where students can display the poems they have written. They may also choose to display them on our school’s writing wall, also in the lobby, or submit their poems to the school’s newsletter, BSSD blog, or soon on the Wales website.

Students started off saying how they hated poetry and can’t write poems, but it has been wonderful seeing them write, discuss, share and especially sound out syllables needed amongst them selves. So far we have completed I Am, Five Senses, Sense of Time, Clerihew, Diamante/Diamond, Acrostic, VIP, Haiku, Senryu, Cinquain poems and Odes. I can’t wait to study Ballads and Sonnets.

Here are some examples of their writings. Visit our blog site for more.

I know Lloyd

Who likes Pink Floyd

He sings all day

And to God I pray.

By: MarissaO



The color of an evergreen tree

Feelings of happiness and joy

People singing and bells ringing

I smell the Christmas feast

I can taste the pumpkin pie

People sharing their love and gifts


The mouse

small but cute

running and crying


By: VanessaT

Ode to Naomi

Naomi Marian Grace

Crawling around to find something to put in your mouth

Kissing her reflection in the old TV makes me tickle

My little Bebe

My little spoiled baby

All the hugs and kisses you give me

Talking and telling me stories

My Mut-mums

Little Chunk-a-munk

So round and rolly

Just the way you are just makes me love you

My sweetie

By: HelenaO


FTA Help Decorate Classrooms

The students of Future Teachers of Alaska in Wales decided to contribute to decorating classrooms for Halloween by carving a pumpkin for each teacher. First, the members chose a pumpkin and had to remove the pulp and the seeds from it by scooping them all out. This was a bit messy, but it was interesting to see and smell the inside of a real pumpkin. The next job was a bit tedious, punching holes on the lines of the face to be cut out. After that part was over, the girls just sawed from punch to punch and ended up cutting out some intricate designs without the walls collapsing. The pumpkin was then proudly taken to each teacher for display.
The best part of the project was cooking the pulp and making pumpkin bread, then boiling and roasting the seeds for each class.

img_2084_2.JPGPictured are Stacey Tokeinna, Sherrie Crisci and Alicia Crisci

Written by Vicki Lash

Picture by Judy Standafer

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