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New students, teacher part of fresh Tri-Valley school year

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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:04 am | Updated: 10:34 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

School starts today in the Denali Borough.

There are a lot of new teachers and a lot of new students this fall. Enrollment at Tri-Valley School, the borough’s largest school, is expected to top 200 students. Anderson School has an estimated 17 students and Cantwell School has 22 students.

Cantwell continues its weekly SPAM awards this year, for safety, participation, attentive listening, mutual respect and sportsmanship. Cases of spam are ready for awards and imaginative food creation, according to Jeni Mason, Cantwell principal.

Anderson School hosts a community open house at

5 p.m. Thursday.

I have met just a few of the new teachers at Tri-Valley School, so here is a sneak preview:

New middle-school teacher Tim Coray has lived in Alaska for 10 years and taught in both King Cove and Fairbanks. He is an accomplished fiddle player. Earlier this summer, he performed with Bluegrass Legend Raymond McLain and harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens.

The new athletic director, Michael Gullett, lived in Healy when he was a young boy. Barb Walters tells me he was “rambunctious” but he denies any tales of bad behavior when he was little.

His dad was principal of Tri-Valley School in those days and Tina Graham, who was in middle school, was his babysitter.

New high school science teacher Kevin Gwinn looks just like Paulee Newton, who graduated from Tri-Valley School many years ago. He also was once a competitive archer.

The newest elementary teacher is the much-loved Susan Carlson from Cantwell. She is a perfect addition to our school, having lived in the borough for many years. She did her student teaching at Tri-Valley School.

There is also a new full-time counselor and some new special education staff. They have so far escaped my scrutiny.

The first school day of the year begins at 8:30 a.m. at Tri-Valley School.

To top off the inaugural day, come at 6:30 p.m. to the first-ever Alumni Soccer Scrimmage at the soccer field.

Hockey support

Customers who ate dinner at 49th State Brewing Company and let their servers know they were there for Healy Hockey last Saturday helped donate

10 percent of their bill to the popular nonsprofit.

The total donation came to $221, but 49th State Brewing Company doubled that and wrote a check to Healy Hockey for $442.

Hockey season is coming soon and once again, Miners Market/USA Gasoline will donate propane for the Zamboni to operate at the Healy Ice Pit this season.

Late honor

Think back to 2010, when Healy Hockey PeeWees won the state championship. Healy Hockey learned that Sen. Joe Thomas sponsored a legislative citation in the Alaska State Senate honoring the young hockey players.

Each player, the coach and manager will receive a copy of the citation.

Ilah Update

Former Motion Sensors Dance Troupe director Ilah Reynar is teaching dance in Estes Park, Colo.

All it took was for her new employer to watch a couple DVDs of our annual Healy dance performance and instantly, dance theatre was added to the roster of offerings.

Congratulations, Ilah!

Kris Capps is a freelance writer. Her column reporting Denali happenings appears weekly in the News-Miner. She can be reached at kcapps@mtaonline.net.

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