Pilot Point, Alaska

So far, I don't know a ton about Pilot Point (aka PIP).  Mostly, it's just hard to find information about the village because so few people live there.  I did stumble across this blog, which is written by someone who previously lived and taught in the village. I've also talked to the principal quite a bit and the current teacher who I am replacing.  Honestly, I'll be pretty stoked to get to the village and start learning more about it firsthand.  That's always my favorite part of moving somewhere new anyways.


One of the things that I do know is that there are between 65-80 people living in PIP. This will be a HUGE change from our lives in Juneau, a town a 30,000 people.  It will be a smaller change compared to our lives here in Northern Michigan on Beaver Island, which boasts only about 300 year-round residents.  PIP is only accessible by airplane, another non-adjustment for Cody and I because we haven't lived on the road system since 2011.  However, that, coupled with the low number of people, will make it the most isolated place we've ever lived.  The isolation is probably going to be one of the biggest adjustments to our lives, and we are certainly thinking about how our lives will change (for better or worse) because of this isolation.

Because of the small population, the school is in danger of closing almost every year.  In Alaska, a school must have ten children enrolled to stay open.  Pilot Point will have 11-14 children enrolled this year, in grades K-11.  The school only has two teachers, and they must work very collaboratively to serve the wide grade ranges.  I'll primarily be working with elementary students for core academic subjects, and I'll also be serving as the sites Head Teacher (think added responsibility when the principal isn't on site and lots of paperwork). Another random factoid that I've learned, thus far, is that there are three school-owned teacher housing units.  There is a one bedroom, a two bedroom, and a four bedroom. The one bedroom is strictly used for the principal or other itinerant staff when they travel to the village. All of the houses have basic furnishings (furniture, washer/dryer, etc) and are located only steps from the school doors.


Businesses are hard to come by in the community, but there are three establishments: the grocery store, the post office, and the medical clinic. The medical clinic sounds similar to the Beaver Island Rural Health Center that Cody and I currently use.  There is a medical professional on-staff, but you have to be flown to Anchorage for anything serious (on BI we have to be flown to Charlevoix). As, for the post office, mail will be slooooow.  Think, like, ordering something and waiting six weeks for it to arrive.  Lots of planning is going to be needed for holidays and such. All of our household goods will have to be mailed to PIP from Beaver Island in Rubbermaid totes WAY in advance.

The information I've gathered so far has definitely been eye opening.  No matter how much we learn, I do not doubt that this move will be a huge change and adventure for my family.  At this point in our lives, we feel totally up to the challenge and overwhelmingly excited to get moving on everything.  It'll be fun to share this new adventure on the blog, and I hope everyone is looking forward to the shift in content!

Your turn...What are some interesting facts about the town that you live in?
Currently listening to...Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - 40 Day Dream





Comments

  1. It sounds like your going to have a great adventure! I thought I lived in a small town (around 10,000) but this is the true definition of small town living. I love that the town is on the coast. It looks absolutely beautiful. Best of luck on your move!

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    1. Thank you! It's certainly going to be a change. Even though we are only living with a couple hundred people now, double digits is reeeeeally tiny. Haha.

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  2. Wow, sounds like you are in for one interesting adventure. I live in an average size town. Pretty over crowded, and not much special. it once was an outstanding and beautiful community. Things have changed.

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    1. Overcrowding is something I'm definitely not a fan of in a hometown. There's just something about living super rural that I really love.

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  3. I didn't know you were moving! What an adventure! 10 kids at a school, I can't imagine that. What a cool experience to get to now those kids so well.

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    1. I'm very excited for the small school! I currently teach at a school of only 50 kids, so this will be a fun downsizing experience.

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  4. That definitely sounds like a big culture shock. I know I would never be able to do it. I have to around a lot of people since I am an extrovert. I give you a lot of credit for doing it and look forward to reading your blog to see how it's all going.

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    1. Thank you! It's great to hear you're still interested in reading. I'm also an extrovert, to some extent. I like how intimate socializing is in super small, isolated communities though.

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  5. That definitely sounds like a big culture shock. I know I would never be able to do it. I have to around a lot of people since I am an extrovert. I give you a lot of credit for doing it and look forward to reading your blog to see how it's all going.

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  6. I believe Warren is the second or third largest city in Michigan. It's growing on me. I love being close to tons of restaurants and shopping. That would be hard planning 6 weeks in advance.

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  7. For sure this is going to be a big move. Hope you and your family can adjust well with this big change!

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  8. How exciting!
    I haven't visited that part of the state, but all of the pics I've seen are so beautiful. And as much as I love my village here, I really think I would love to be in a really small one. Can't wait to read about your adventures!

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    1. Thanks! It will definitely be an adventure. I've done the big village thing in King Salmon, but a village of only 70ish is a big change. How many people live in yours?

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