by Greg Lincoln
The staff and students at the Kuskokwim Learning Academy (KLA) celebrated a memorable commencement program on May 13th, 2017, with the conferring of 21 diplomas. The students hail from Scammon Bay to Kwethluk and in between.
It is a yearly tradition for each of the graduates at KLA (formerly the Bethel Alternative Boarding School) to deliver speeches. The seniors thanked their parents and their teachers, and reflected on their time at KLA.
“It is an honor to be standing here before you,” said graduate Alma Rose Shavings of Mekoryuk. “My KLA family. Well, we did it. We accomplished a milestone in the journey of our lives.”
“Congratulations,” said Stephanie Qaluk Wise to her fellow classmates. She is from Nunapitchuk. “We kept fighting as students to get this far. Thank you for pushing me. Remember, all things are possible with God. That is why I am standing here today.”
This is the second graduating class that endured, persevered, and flourished after the devastating fire of November 3rd, 2015 that burned their school at the former Kilbuck building.
Let’s take a look at some of the quotes that they chose to display during their slide show:
Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you have always imagined; You cannot recover three things in life: the word after it’s said, the moment after it’s missed and the time after it’s gone; What feels like the end is often the beginning; I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength; Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying; and Work hard in silence and let success make the noise.
You inspire me, quyana and congratulations!
2017 Kuskokwim Learning Academy Graduates
Jessie Alexie, Nunapitchuk
Michael “Mikey” Asicksik, Tununak
Austin Nathaniel Atcherian, Chevak
David Jimmy Walter “An’ngii” Attie, Kipnuk
Jennifer LeAnn “Arna” Chaney, Bethel
Meline A. Carl, Kwigillingok
Robert A. Chiklak, Bethel
Clinton Christiansen, Bethel
Darcy Mae Flynn, Chefornak
Elizabeth Renae “Cuuk” Fox, Bethel
Fannie Kathering “Ket” George, Kwethluk/Bethel
Rhett Nerista Jackson, Kwethluk
Joanne Lisa Kameroff, Bethel
Michael P. Lincoln, Tununak
Henrietta Nicholai, Atmautluak
Melissa Kristy Eliza Raphael, Bethel
Ivana Cheyenne Rivers, Scammon Bay
Alma Rose Shavings, Mekoryuk
Kenlynn Breann “Tumaggalek” Slats, Bethel
Garner Boyd Unok, Kotlik
Stephanie A. “Qaluk” Wise, Nunapitchuk
Cori Safford, Site Admin.; Hugh Dyment, Dean of Students; Staff: Eli Barsy, Agatha Charlie, Danielle Craven, Katelyn Eisen, Chip Hagedorn, Deborah Hagedorn, Rose Henderson, Yvonne Jackson, Lucy Kuhns, Arliss Michaelson, Vicky Spencer, Jason Suckow, Clark Taylor, and Ryan Wheeler.