by Mary Samson
May 5, 2021 marked the graduation date for the Akiachak School. Kindergarten, eighth grade, and seniors walked the aisle to the stage as ticketed guests were seated in small family groups.
Special recognition given to Dr. Willie Kasayulie by the principal James Boldosser, began the ceremony in the opening remarks, as Dr. Kasayulie village leader and ap’a recently returned from his graduation ceremony in Fairbanks where he received his honorary doctorate from UAF.
Graduation speaker, Mr. Barron Sample, gave a speech to the graduates about all the important lessons learned in kindergarten which may be useful to the graduates today. A few of those lessons include: play together, wash your hands, as well as pick up after yourself.
As the music “Thank You For It All” by Marvin Sapp filled the gym, the senior graduates presented lovely yellow roses to their mothers and fathers in appreciation for supporting their educational efforts.
Valedictorian Leah Alexie, daughter of Moselle and Aaron Alexie, granddaughter of Lillian Alexie and the late David Alexie, and Ina and James Nicholai, gave pause to the graduates and audience to respect the memory of those who have passed this year during the pandemic. Her message to her cousins and friends was to be grateful for this life.
Salutatorian Stephen Frederick, son of Mary and Moses Frederick, grandson of the late Pauline and Herman Frederick, and the late Willie and Mary Nicholai, spoke of memories all of the students shared together and wished them all good luck in their futures.
A message from Senator Lyman Hoffman was read by counselor Kathy Snider, and a beautiful iMovie presented to the crowd portrayed the graduates from early childhood, hunting scenes, to today’s graduation. A special thanks goes out to Chelsea Kasayulie for her technical assistance with the iMovie creation.
After the presentation of the graduates, the processional song: “Good Job” played as the students were honored.
The class of 2021 includes the following students:
Leah Alexie, Stephen Frederick, Cody George, Shareese Jackson, Sophie Karl, Rhea Pasitnak, Tyler Chingliak, Tia Frederick, Ataat Henry, Peter Karl, Faye Nose, and Clarence Wassilie.
Special thanks to the high school teachers: Mr. Mark Casseri, Mr. Ickley Charles, Mr. Matt Eardley, Mr. Brian Sacry, Mr. Barron Sample, Ms. Mary Samson, and Mr. Marshal Talbot.
Thanks also to our principal Mr. James Boldosser and acting superintendent Mr. John Stackhouse, as well our school board members Mr. Robert Charles and Ms. Lillian Alexie for presenting the diplomas.
Thank you to our parents, families and friends who have helped and encouraged all the graduates towards graduation!