Showing posts from April, 2016

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, coup…

Lake and Peninsula School District

In my last post I announced that I would be accepting a job teaching in the Alaskan bush for the upcoming school year.  The school district that  I will be working for is the Lake and Peninsula School District.  I'm super excited to be joining the LPSD team and thought I might share a little bit of the information that I've learned about them, so far.

1.) LPSD is located on the Alaska Peninsula.
2.) None of the communities in the district can be reached by road.
3.) There are three national parks and two national wildlife refuges within the districts geographical boundaries. 
4.) The main office is located in King Salmon, which is where I used to live, but none of the district school sites are located there. 
5.) There are about 10,000 brown bears living in this region, which is more than the number of people. Eek! 
6.) Wolves, wolverines, moose, caribou, otters, whales, red fox, harbor seals, and sea lions are just a few of the other animals that call this region home. 
7.) T…

Chasing My Dreams to the Alaskan Bush

It has been over two years since I wrote this post detailing Cody and I's desire to pack up and move our entire lives to the Alaskan Bush. Anyone who knows me knows that this has been a dream of mine ever since I took that fateful job in King Salmon, Alaska in 2010.  That summer opened my eyes to a demographic and lifestyle that I frankly did not know existed in the United States.  In that odd environment, I thrived.  I loved the simplicity, the minimalism, and the community feeling that is brought on by cultural connections and the hardships of a unique lifestyle.

Years have passed since I wrote that post and many things have changed.  We moved away from Alaska after spending a few years living and loving in Juneau.  We headed back to Michigan, the state of my birth and the home of many family members.  We moved here with every intention of settling down and trying to assimilate back into life as lower 48 residents.  The problem being that we didn't move to a place that scre…

Animals at School

Beaver Island is such a rural place that we can often get away with things that big, urban schools cannot. One of the many hilarious things that we are able to get away with is bringing pets (and other animals) to school.  Our principal brings her black lab with her to school everyday.  The kids take her dog to recess, to lunch, and all over the school with them.  They've been begging me to bring Specks and Luna to school all year.  Luna is still a little too crazy and a little too skiddish to be out and about with children, but Specks is the perfect candidate for a school dog.  He hasn't worn a leash in years, he's a former service dog, and he loves children.  Last week, I decided that the time was finally right and brought him in for a visit.

He had a blast! I let him stay for 1/2 the day and then I sent him home at lunch with Cody.  The kids read him stories on the carpet, played fetch with him, and gave him roughly 1,000 belly rubs.  It was heaven for Specks and a gre…