Category Archives: Feature

Positive Distractions

Erin Shea
Staff Writer

“What a week” I said to myself laying down Sunday night reflecting on the worst week I’ve had in my life.

A week that just felt like everything was going bad, no matter how hard I tried to make it right. Family issues, friend issues, bad grades, and even boy issues. All these things just kept adding up as the week went on.

I tried to read, watch movies and even just sleep to avoid my problems but I couldn’t. It made me think of them even more. I would watch a show and everything I saw would relate back to my problems.

I knew that these problems in my life were both temporary and fixable, but I just made them worse.

Finally I decided to try google, I thought “maybe if I google my situation there will be answers from other people.” That wasn’t exactly the case..

After reading article after article on “how to forgive a friend” or “getting along with my mom.” I realized that it was a waste of my time, until I came across an article about positive distractions.

A positive distraction, something that would both benefit me while taking my mind off of all of the stress and drama I had in my life.

This article consisted of ideas such as working out, painting/drawing, yoga and a few other basic ways to clear your mind. I decided that working out sounded like the only one I’d actually try.

I dug out my old running shoes along with my workout gear and headed to the gym. This not being something I usually do, felt kind of strange. I had not been in the gym in so long I didn’t even know what machine to use.

The only machine I knew to use was the treadmill, I honestly didn’t think a quick run would distract me at all, but I was wrong. I ended up running for half an hour with my playlist on shuffle not even picking my phone up once to change the song.

After my run, I felt so relaxed and like a pile of stress had been lifted off my shoulders, all my problems didn’t seem to be as serious as I thought.

Sometimes the stress can really pile on, and as much as we want to fix everything right away, it’s also important to relax, take some time to clear your mind and look at the situation after that.

Finding the right distraction for me helped, especially because it’s something that benefited me.

Concussion Protocol

Sully Schulz
Staff Editor

A simple blow to the head or an accidental fall could end a high school season. Concussions get in the way of high school sports all across the country. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) 15% of highschool students experience one concussion. Another study done by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) says that 9542 cases are reported each school year on average. 

In the last year, concussions have affected many student athlete’s seasons. Six Kayhi athletes have reported concussions including some that have had them multiple times. 

First Experiences:
Freshmen Joeben Lorenzo, JJ Parker, and Annelise Hiatt have all been diagnosed with a concussion in the first two months of basketball season. 

“It makes the transition hard,” said Lorenzo. “I got my concussion in the championship game of the Clarke and missed my first weekend of travel with the team because of it.”

Boys basketball varsity head coach Eric Stockhausen said that it’s not all about losing a key player in your line up but more about the health of the student.

“Of course it matters in the long run of the team when a player gets a concussion,” said Stockhausen. “That’s not all it is about though, the first thing that comes to my head in that situation is, ‘is he okay’ and ‘we need to get help’, our team can deal with the loss of the player later.”

Multiple experiences:
The same study by the APA also said that 6% of students that have had a concussion, report having more than one later in high school. Senior Madison Rose has had multiple concussions in her time in high school.

“Last year I missed the entire beginning of the season with my biggest concussion yet,” said Rose.  “It was hard not playing basketball because it was my main focus at the time, but I was able to stay involved by being on the bench at all the games, and helping at practice.”  

Rose got a concussion at the beginning of the season last year. She was placed on concussion protocol for the beginning of the season and returned to play at the regional tournament. Varsity head coach Kelly Smith says that it feels worse every time.

“I always worry when someone initially gets a concussion,” said Smith. “But when someone has another it always freaks me out because I would expect this one to be worse than the last.” 

Smith also said the medical professionals at the games are always a huge help.

“Having them around always gives me relief. I know my player is in good hands when they come by,” he said. 

Not only physical sports: 
Concussions don’t only affect competitive sports such as football or basketball. Last year at Regions the cheer team suffered a huge loss when one of their flyers Lauren Scarzella took a fall during practice and was placed on concussion protocol.

“It was awful,” said Szarzella. “We had to change our entire regions routine to make up for it and to add on to it one of our stuntmen was also injured the same day.” 

The team ended up finishing first in the competition even though they had lost a valuable member.

“I was very proud of the team, they made it through the competition and even when they thought all hope was lost they still came out stronger than they ever had before,” she said. 

Amongst all sports the CDC says that cheerleading is the only sport in which concussions happen more often in practice than in real competition. 

What comes next:
In the result of a concussion or even the thought of a possible concussion the student athlete is placed on concussion protocol. Protocol consists of removal from play, a check up by a medical professional, and a ten day waiting period before being reevaluated by a medical professional to return to play. JJ Parker is currently on concussion protocol, he received a concussion two weekends ago when playing Thunder Mountain high school.

“It’s really a drain,” said Parker. “I try to be here for my team whenever I can, but there’s not much you can do other than be supportive when you can’t actually get on the court.” 

He said he has filled his time with other jobs at practice.

“Basically I help run the clock, pull out the ball racks, sweep the floors, and any other handy work Coach Stockhausen wants me to do.” 

A concussion usually comes after a hard blow to the head or a fast jolt. Although loss of consciousness is common after receiving  a concussion it is not always the case. Symptoms include dizziness, headache, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, and confusion. Recovery from a concussion would include an appointment with your medical professional, rest from any activities, medicine such as ibuprofen to help with inflammation and headaches, and stay away from any activities that require a lot of concentration. 

Trooper Life

Patrick Garcia
Staff Writer

It’s 3 a.m. on a December night and Greg Garcia is searching for poachers with his spotlight in the middle of the Bering Sea. 

In Alaska there are only 300 state troopers, Alaska has approximately 586,412 square miles, and 89 wildlife troopers which means there is only 1 trooper per every 6,588 square miles. 

The Toll
Retired State Trooper, Greg Garcia, has never once regretted his 27 year career as a trooper despite the constant pain he goes through everyday. 

“Every day I wake up in more and more pain in my lower back but I know the cause of the pain is from helping others so that helps me tolerate it,”  said Garcia. “I was in the Bering Sea on patrol looking out for poachers, on the barge when someone had fallen overboard I went in after him and when I was pulling him out I had tweaked my back and it’s never been the same since.”

The main goal for a trooper is always to help others while minimizing injuries but sometimes you just can’t help it.

As there is physical pain with the job there is also mental pain and emotional abuse that come with this job, there are always things you  wish had happened or wish you had control over. 

State trooper Joey Boden has been a trooper for 17 years, went through training in Sitka when he was 22,  and is a father of four which makes Boden have empathy for things he sees on the job. 

“The thing that hurts me most as a trooper is seeing kids in bad living situations where the parents aren’t capable of doing a good job raising and I dont have the authority to just take them away,” said Boden. 

Another major factor that affects every trooper that no one thinks to take into consideration is how understaffed every outpost is in the state of Alaska, a trooper will be gone for weeks or months away from family and their home. 

Garcia used the expression ‘they rob Paul to pay Peter’ when explaining on the travel, they will send one trooper away up north and they will find another one to fill in for him. 

“The way they do it is you don’t really have a choice they’ll take me or another trooper from my home in Ketchikan and send me up north to Bristol Bay and honestly over everything the travel is the hardest part for me, always being away from home,” said Garcia. 

There are things you just can’t control while being a trooper, but the thing they can is how they transition back to their everyday life.

For Boden he believes being at home and being a trooper are along the same guidelines but if a work day is hard he will never take it home with him.

“Being a trooper then being a husband and father for me is easy because it’s the same rules, you follow and give directions and orders and make decisions all the time,”  said Boden. “But there are days where it’s hard at work so I will give myself time to get away from [the] work stress so I don’t bring it home.”

Being a trooper means that there is potential of getting hurt or injured, for some troopers the thought of making it through the day seems very distant at times and for some it’s not. 

Boden is an optimist and always thinks of his family to help him get through his day. 

“I have never had the feeling where I may not come home but there are times where I have nightmares of scenarios where bad things happen but everyday my goal is to go home and have dinner with my wife and family.”

The word community goes a long way when talking about Alaska, it spans from the north all the way to the coast.

Garcia said that so much of the Alaska state trooper unit (AST) is so low we have a few drug investigators that take part with the KPD, with even a smaller amount wildlife troopers. 

“There were 3 wildlife troopers when I worked and 5 AST in ketchikan, they cover to the south of the Canadian border to Hyder, and to the north of Ernest sound, the mid SE troopers will cover Wrangell and Petersburg and the POW has 2 wildlife troopers and 3 AST, Ketchikan Police only covers city limits.”

The fact that there are so many people in SouthEast Alaska and only 15 troopers to be responsible for them.

Garcia  listed even more places he had to patrol while on duty.

“Troopers will boat over to very remote places to the Southern Baranof Port Alexander, Point Baker on Northern POW, Meyers Chuck, Kassan, and the list goes on and on, Troopers have the responsibility for all of those areas and more we access those areas by fast and safe patrol vessels,” Garcia said.

The Ketchikan community is still a very large area to cover while only having eight troopers and they do their best to always do the right thing.

The relationships with the community and the people is a key thing for a trooper. 

For Garcia, being a trooper has helped him be familiar with most people in the community and being retired he is always noticed and greeted well.

“The community in Alaska is amazing and I notice all the respect I was given when was in uniform with people shaking my hand and always waving, with the good people in the community there are also the bad ones,” Garcia said. “ The way I look at criminals is different from the others, I always try to see the good in them, no one person is just bad they just have been raised wrong or went through a traumatic time in their lives.”

Even teenagers have a say about the Alaska State troopers and their line of work.

Kayhi graduate Brandon Wieber said he has never had problems with the troopers and knows how busy they are.

“I’ve never encountered the troopers, I’ve seen more of the city police only because they are more in town and involved with sports, but I know the troopers do their job and they take it seriously they never had time to be involved in much because they’ll be gone or on call, and I know that they’re good people,” said Wieber.

Seen on their website the top 5 rules to follow as a trooper is,

  1. To maintain public peace and order.
  2. Enforce criminal laws and investigate violations of those laws.
  3. Enforce traffic laws and regulations and investigate violations of those laws and regulations.
  4. Conduct search and rescue operations.

For more information visit the AST website 

It’s Okay Not to Know

Delaney Neilson 
Staff Writer 

“What do you want to do after high school?” 

You might feel like you are the only person that doesn’t know what you want to do, but more people than you think don’t know what they want to do after highschool. Even teachers and adults you look up to didn’t know what they wanted to be. 

According to a study done by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an estimated 20 to 50 percent enter college as undecided. 

Finding their way
Math teacher Terri Whyte thought she knew what she wanted to be, but it turned out that she didn’t. 

“I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist, but in order to get there you had to declare a major so you could get into the special physical therapy school,” said Whyte. “ So instead of physical therapy I decided to go to school for Microbiology.” 

Whyte said that once she started school for Microbiology she began to hate every lab class that she ever took.

“I didn’t mind the theoretical stuff, but I hated the labs and when you’re a science major there are a lot of labs,” said Whyte. “One day we had just finished up balancing equations, and we had gone back to the science stuff, and I was like aww I miss doing the math part of it and that is when it hit me and it was like a light bulb turned on and I knew what I really wanted to do.”

Whyte said that before she went to college she would feel pressure when people would ask her what she wanted to do after high school. 

“I felt like when people would ask me what I wanted to do I would feel pressure to come up with something to say that I thought was a good enough thing to tell people,” said Whyte.

Most people end up going to college thinking that they are going to school for the thing they want, but about 80% of students end up changing their major at least once (NCES). On average college students change their major at least three times over their college career, sometimes more. 

Science and Chemistry teacher Sean Powell didn’t know what he wanted to be going into college. 

“I started off wanting to be an Astrophysicist, so my first college major was Astrophysics,” said Powell. “During my class I made a huge mistake and the professor told me if I ever became an astrophysicist that there would be consequences, so I decided to change jobs and become a teacher.” 

Powell said he felt a lot of pressure to know what he wanted to do after high school, but he feels like there is more pressure put on teenagers today then there used to be. 

“I felt a lot of pressure, but I feel like it is worse today then it used to be,” said Powell. “Now they start talking about college with kids when they are in middle school, and if you don’t know what you want to be by the time you are in high school you really start to feel that pressure.” 

Pressure comes from everywhere 
Everyone feels some type of pressure at some point in life, but for everyone the pressure comes from different people and places. Some people feel pressure from their community and school, but for others they feel pressure from their family, friends, and peers. 

Senior Jared Valentine said that he has felt the most pressure from his peers to know what he wants to do. 

“I have always wanted to become an engineer and start my own firm after high school,” said Valentine. “Even though I have always appreciated engineers, the idea only came about because of the pressure from my peers to find something I’m good at, and think of something to do with it.” 

Pressure to choose a path
Robert McClory is a guidance counselor at Kayhi and he helps many students decide what they want to do after high school. 

“I think there is pressure put on kids for everything these days,” said McClory. “A lot of kids feel an early demand to know what they want to do after high school, and it’s hard

to help kids with that because I think that knowing what you want to do after high school you have to know something about yourself first.”

McClory said that finding a good career path is a matter of matching your skills and interests with the career that you think would fit you best. 

“I think that people spend their whole lives looking for the perfect direction to go,” said McClory. “People are constantly looking to find out who they are, what their about, and what is most important to them.” 

McClory said that when you are young it is harder to know what you want to be, because you aren’t as exposed to all the different options there are for career paths. 

“There are over 20,000 jobs in America, so you’re not just gonna know what you want to be when you don’t even know all of the options there are,” said McClory. “I think that knowing comes with age and experience, trial and error; I think of it as trying on a job to see how it fits, just like trying on a suit to see how it fits, you don’t know until you try it.”

It’s okay to be undecided
Whyte said that when kids confide in her for advice on what to do, she tells them that it’s okay not to know. 

 “What I tell kids now is it’s okay to change and not know what you want to do, it’s okay to switch schools and change your mind about not going to school, but I think some form of professional training in something you love to do is important,” said Whyte.

McClory said that many students come to him when they aren’t sure what they want to do. 

“When students come to me not knowing what they want to do, I tell them that no one really ever does,” said McClory. “ I tell students this because no one really ever knows what they want to do and it’s okay to not know, people spend their whole lives trying to find the thing that they really want to do, so if a student doesn’t know what they want to do it shouldn’t be a problem.” 

Where Did Our Love for Books Go?

Carlee Zartman
Staff Writer

Reading a text is reading, but not really. Nowadays the only reading we’ll do is on our phones. 

Reading is in decline because the population is now composed of fewer readers.

In his article for Forbes magazine Jordan Shapiro wrote, ”According to government studies, Since 1984, the percent of 13 year olds who are weekly readers went down from 70% to 53%, and the percent of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers went from 64% to 40%.”

Senior Breanna Gentry, recognizes that teens don’t find reading books useful anymore. 

“They do not see a reason to read and find information, because they have it all in front of them by using a phone,” Gentry said.

In her english class, Gentry read a book titled “Fahrenheit 451,” where they aren’t aloud to read or think. 

“In the book all of their emotions are taken away,” Gentry said. “They don’t know how to love, and they don’t know what relationships are.”

The characters in the book influenced the government for a different type of society. 

“In Fahrenheit 451 the people wanted a more dystopian society,” she said. “At first it was enforced by the people, then the government took control.”  

Not reading can affect brain growth, and the ability to comprehend according to Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute. 

“Teens now read anything on social media or things they see on their phones,” she said. “I don’t think it is beneficial, or making them smarter in any way.” 

Caitlyn Jacobson, Kayhi’s school librarian, realizes the statistics of student reading has gone down. 

“The statistics have gone down, but adults are just as guilty of looking at their phones, scrolling through facebook, and playing games,” Jacobson said. “The problem isn’t just with teens it’s with all of us and the use of technology.” 

Chart where reading declines among all age groups 

She believes as a teacher they should be making students read as a crucial part of their education.

“Our job is to educate you and part of education is to read,” she said. ”That’s one of the most important things to do as a human is to read a book because you learn something about the outside world. 

Typical reluctance 
In his article for Forbes magazine Jordan Shapiro wrote,” Technophobes think we are raising a generation that doesn’t understand the value of literature.. Books are a crucial part of one’s education.”

Junior Patrick Garcia believes students lost touch in reading because they don’t know the main purpose of it. 

“Kids lost their touch in reading because they can’t imagine it in their own way,” Garcia said. ”They are being told how it is.”

Garcia learned the value of reading at a young age.  

“I used to read for fun as a kid, I would always read with my mom before I went to bed,” he said. “The main reason why I read for fun was because my mom encouraged me too.” 

As his life moved forward he found that he didn’t have enough free time to read.

“In 6th grade I stopped reading,” Garcia said. “It felt like a chore and I haven’t attempted trying to read again because I’m caught up with everything else.”

Why did you stop reading? 
My mother, Christina Zartman, grew up reading books and made me read a little bit of magic tree house every night from 1st grade until 2nd grade. 

“With the right book, it could be life changing,” Zartman said. “This will allow you to broaden your horizons and use your imagination.”

Picking up a book you like can educate you and overall make you a well-rounded person.

“You have to make the content relevant by picking up a book once in a while that interests you as well as inform you,” she said.

Does it matter?
In Will Shuabe’s article The Week he wrote, “While my parents gave me some of my earliest favorites, teachers guided me to many of the favorite books that would shape my life.” 

Delaney Neilson explains the importance of books and how parents should put in effort to inform their kids about reading. 

“I think it’s super important to read to kids when they are little and teach them the importance of books at an early age so that hopefully they will continue to read when they are older,” Neilson said.

When you read you take in more than electronics. 

“When you read, it teaches kids something that TV and video games can’t,” she said. 

Erin Shea, a junior, encourages reading and thinks we should enforce it more. 

“One way to get students to read more is to have teachers to enforce it,”  Shea said. “This way they will find ways to motivate themselves to read.”  

In Elena Aguilar’s article Student Engagement she wrote, “If we’re going to encourage kids to read we need to do it too. Read for pleasure, information, instructions, connecting with others, and so on.”

Regulations vs. Morals

Michael Thacker
Staff Writer

“If I could shoot 4 deer, I could technically keep them all,” D’Jay O’Brien said. “But I never would because I don’t need that many to feed my family.”

Need can be a funny thing. It’s often a perceived need that leads people to how much they harvest while hunting and fishing. Whether the need is for personal recognition or feeding their family, people tend to feel that the regulation amount is either just right, or not enough. What people fail to realize is that that’s why we have regulations. To protect the species that surround us from people’s personal beliefs. 

Ross Dorendorf from the Fish and Game Department of Ketchikan Alaska has first-hand knowledge of the regulations and why they’re updated. He knows the history of market hunting and how it impacted the start of hunting and fishing regulations.

“We have to limit people to a certain bag limit because if we didn’t they would harvest everything they could,” Dorendorf said. “Eventually, nothing would be left.”

Doerndorf gets complaints all the time about changing regulations and thinks the main issue is misinformed people. Many people blame the local Fish and Game Departments for regulations when most of them are made at the Federal level. 

“People put in proposals and they get to decide which ones get put in effect. Of course, the F&G Department put in most of the proposals for regulation changes cause we see them first-hand, but anyone anywhere in the world can do it,” Dorendorf said. “If more people knew that information, more people could make proposals to maybe cause a difference”

Morals are to blame for whether you open the door for a lady and how you eat at the table, it only makes sense they would affect the way you harvest game. The people with the best morals do whatever possible to conserve the wildlife, even if it puts them at risk. 

“The way people treat nature affects how we have to monitor the wildlife,” Dorendorf Said. ”An example of someone with great ethics would be if they reported themselves when there was no one else around for something like hitting 2 deer and going over a bag limit. Many people would try to keep it hushed up, just to get in a hot heap of trouble when they get reported.”

Mark Finses is a Wildlife State Trooper in Ketchikan, Alaska that deals with enforcing game regulations all year round he says he deals with issues all year round. He says the office gets up to 10 calls a day in summer and 10 calls a week in winter. Unfortunately, most big events are nearly impossible to prevent. 

 “It’s generally small things like fishermen snagging on the wrong side of the bridge in Hering Cove that’s quick to fix just by informing the public,” Finses said. “Big things though are almost impossible to resolve. Spotlight hunters on Gravina may never get reported, let alone tracked down and prosecuted.”

Finses feels personal ethics conflict with legal ethics and that’s where the problems start. 

“Personal ethics vs legal ethics conflict a lot. Most people have a different outlook on every regulation whether it be setting a higher standard for themselves or setting it even lower. For example, no law says you can’t shoot a duck on the water. Some people take this and information and refuse to shoot them until they’re flying. I, however, would shoot all I could while they were still.”

Learning ethics
Most people learn their morals from friends and family. The perfect example for me was my father, Jonathan Thacker, who is someone who sets the bar higher for himself because of the way he lived as a kid. I remember him throwing back my first catch as a child because it wasn’t big enough. He learned his respect for nature as a child. 

“As a kid, my family had little to no money. We relied on the rivers in Kentucky to feed us.” Thacker said. “We set out trotlines and checked them daily. We got tens of pounds of fish every day and threw back all the small catfish and everything after our limit. This meant that most of our fish went back into the muddy water they came from. It was our way of showing respect even though we needed the food. We respected the regulations and lived off the same river for almost 20 years. More if you count my father’s childhood.” 

Thacker has seen many people not share similar respect to nature and that’s why even today in Ketchikan he set’s the bar high. He feels that if everyone had the same respect for nature as he did as a child there would be no need for regulations.

“I see people hunt and fish in protected land all the time in my line of work. We’ve even had someone break into the Whitman Lake Hatchery and steal king salmon fry. People like that are why I set the bar so high for myself. To make up for what gets overlooked. and maybe give nature a chance to support everyone. Its an issue of respect for the land.”

Why it matters
In Ketchikan, Alaska the public has already been informed there is no harvest allowed for pelagic rockfish in the upcoming year. This is a perfect example of why it matters. If people did “the right thing” and released undersized fish, there would be no need to cut off harvest. 

O’Brien fears a future in which our beautiful species of wildlife have just disappeared.

 “I never want it to get to the point where we have to tell our grandkids that it used to be cool to be able to catch these things called yelloweye,” O’Brien said. “They grew really slow and if you caught one that’s a decent size it would be 60 years old just to hear, “Really grandpa I’ve never seen one of those.” That would be one of the most tragic things to hear. That’s why the regulations are here, to protect resources like our different fish species and I feel you should, at the minimum, adhere to them.”

Looking in the United States history alone shows plenty of examples of unfortunate species lost in time due to over-harvesting. 

“It used to be perfectly legal to obtain and sell game products like meat and furs in masses,” Dorendorf said. “So many people did it that we eventually started harvesting so much we were killing off entire species like the buffaloes of the Midwest. Much of our past was like this.”

The Nutcracker opens tonight

Domenica Troina and Kelsey O’Brien after their second Nutcracker Performance

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Freshman Domenica Troina was in third grade the first time she was an angel in the Nutcracker and six years later she’s the lead angel. Troina would have never imagined having the opportunity and said with the higher role as the lead angel comes greater responsibilities. 

“As you get older you have to get stronger on point,” said Troina. “I never thought I’d be the lead role, it’s really cool to think that one year you can go from being in a group dance to working hard to have a solo.” 

Senior Bella Roberts has been a part of the Nutcracker for nine years and said her competitive drive has landed her some big roles in the Nutcracker.

“Some of my accomplishments have been me getting some of the biggest roles, such as Clara the main character. But also the more technical pieces such as Snow Queen and this year the biggest one is Sugar Plum,” said Roberts. 

Roberts said there’s a lot of preparation, time and work that come with being in the show. Numerous amount of hours are spent each day two weeks prior to the show as well as individual conditioning needed to maintain a good amount of stamina. 

 “Each of us dance six hours after school two weeks leading up to performance day. We try to maintain the stamina needed. The week leading up to the show I try to make sure I’m doing extra stuff like running after rehearsals and cross training.” 

Senior Carter Thomas got asked to play the role of a dad by Amanda Dale. It’s Thomas’s first year being a part of the show he said that it’s nothing like the sports he has done before, such as basketball and football. 

“It’s a lot different from the sports I’ve been playing like football and basketball, football and basketball you just play and if you make a mistake you can make it up but with dance it’s different because you have to be at an exact location on the stage at an exact time or it’ll mess up your whole performance,” said Thomas.       

The Parents

D Jay O’Brien whose daughter Kelsey is in the Nutcracker said the preparation needed to be a part of the Nutcracker is a big load for kids. O’Brien thinks that juggling school, dance, and any other activities that kids have during this time is a big to take on by kids. 

“It’s a big undertake” said O’Brien. “[The Nutcracker] it’s similar to march madness, or any of the other big events for athletes such as Regions. Are kids really able to juggle all the things that they have in that crucible week?”

Dominick Pader has two daughters in the Nutcracker this year, Pader jokingly stated that he has been their “personal unpaid uber driver”  throughout their years of being involved in the show. 

The Alumni

Largim Zhuta participated in the Nutcracker his senior year of high school which was two years ago (2019). Zhuta was reaching the end of his high school days and said he wanted to take a chance and venture outside of his comfort zone since. 

“An opportunity arose where I could take a risk and venture outside my comfort zone and doing ballet. I simply saw that I had never done anything outside my comfort, and when the opportunity arose for me to satisfy that desire I rationally took it. It was more of a “What have I got to lose?” process.”

Zhuta said that what the performers did was no joke and that the crucial amount of hours they spent perfecting their performance during “Hell Week” was a lot. Zhuta had never done this type of dancing before so he struggled he even explained how he had trouble with simple tasks such as warm ups. 

“The skill the ballerinas had was quite impressive. I remember doing a warm up routine with the some of the younger dancers and ballerinas, and I remember struggling with it,” said Zhuta.  “I do remember dress rehearsals during “Hell Week” being very long. We started right after school and went on till around 7. So actually if you do the math right there. We spent 4 hours a day at the school that week for 4 days. Then we performed two shows, one on friday and one on saturday. So if you add that all up you get a lot

The doors open for the Nutcracker tonight at 7 p.m.  the show will start at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show will start at 2 p.m. 


Q&A; with Kristian Pihl

Photo taken by Ronda Bouling

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Kristian Pihl is on his last year of his high school basketball career.  I asked him some personal questions about himself, the team and the upcoming season. 

Current: It’s your senior year of basketball what’s that feel like? 

Pihl: It’s a lot of emotions more than anything else I’d say. Growing up being one of the biggest fans of basketball I’ve never thought that my days of playing basketball would ever end but ever since I stepped into reality it’s been tough realizing that I really only have one more year.

Current: Winning State last year was huge has that “high” faded away or is it still there? 

Pihl: I think there is a time and a place where you can look back at your accomplishments and for me it took MONTHS to move on and realize that I need to start worrying and prioritizing this upcoming season, pat myself on the back of course for last year but it’s important to move on.

Current: Most of your offense was taken care of by the 9 seniors who graduated, how are you going to adapt that?

Pihl: Well I’m someone who tries not to worry about my personal shots I just try to go with the flow of the game but I think it will be in the best interest to look to score more which will be hard for me. My first three years I never really had to worry about trying to do everything, the other guys took care of that but I think I’m ready for that role.

Current: It seems as though you guys will have a very young team this year, what do you think about that?

Pihl: The people on the outside will definitely look at this year as a “rebuilding” year, me personally I think that’s a ridiculous statement, being my senior year I’m not going to let that be an excuse for us to underachieve, anyone can think whatever they want, last “rebuilding” year we had we ended up finishing in third and that was probably the most fun teams I’ve been a part of.

Current: What advice do you have for the young ones coming up? 

Pihl: First of all, I think they should show up, play their game, be ready to be coached and be ready to play hard. Just be willing to play any role that they need to play for the team to be successful.

Current: What’s your personal goal for this upcoming season?

Pihl: To win another region and state championship and to grow not as a basketball player but as a person and as a leader.

An all natural solution

Madison Rose
Staff Writer

For years Kayhi staff member Kelli Auger has dealt with a severe chronic cough. From medications to throat surgery, nothing has helped ease this constant coughing. It wasn’t until Kayhi senior Maia Caballero notice the trouble Auger was having and decided to gift her a diffuser (a machine used to disperse small molecules of essential oils through the air, that way it can be breathed into the body.)

Auger finds that having the diffuser in her office helps her relax and be more productive. Although it does not cure her condition, it has helped soothed and change the atmosphere.

“I enjoy having it in my room,” Auger said. “It makes the work environment more friendly and gives a more welcoming feel to my office space.”

After being introduced to dōTERRA products and seeing them in stores, Auger sparked an interest and looks forward to further research.

“I want to learn more about it and see the benefits it has for others,” Auger said. “I definitely recommend it to other people and suggest that they take the time to invest in this product.”

Ketchikan STAC church staff Beth Fazakerley Is a dedicated dōTERRA user. She not only uses the common oils and diffusers but also uses it as a disinfectant spray, hand soap, shampoo, cream, lotion, toothpaste, cough drops, vitamins and other edibles. She believes that it has made an impact on her and her family.

“I use to have really bad acid reflux, but after taking these vitamins and supplements my symptoms were basically cured,” Fazakerley said. “It helps with a lot of problems, and from personal experience it has kept ear infections, common cold and sicknesses away. It’s nice to have a safe product that isn’t medically prescribed, and actually works. This makes trips to the doctors a lot less and life not as stressful.”

Fazakerley understands that completely switching regular life habits into a more natural herb and oil base one can be intimidating, but she says that it’s worth the research and people should try and experiment with it.

“It might seem like a complex thing, but it’s really easy to get into if you start with one and stick to it,”  Fazakerley said. “It can be hard to remember but after becoming more comfortable with it, you can learn to be more proficient.”

The All Natural Revolution

In addition to dōTERRA, Young Living, Plant Therapy, Rocky Mountain Oils and Revive are just a few companies who are providing people with all-natural alternatives – meaning that their products are naturally made of aromatic compounds that are found in plants and seeds. This goes through a process of extracting in a low-heat steam distillation, while it is pressurized to circulate through the plants materials.

Another known way to produce these oils is to use expression, meaning “cold press”, which is the opposite of steam distillation. Even though this is considered as a type of science, many see it as a form of art that requires skills in harvesting.

The reason people who commonly use oils choose dōTERRA over other brands, is because they are able to determine its superior quality in safety and effectiveness.

Ketchikan Alaska home multi level marketer Dominique King has years of experience using dōTERRA and joined the business of selling these oils because they are a entrusted company that her family can be supported from.

“The CEO sure makes ton of money but they certainly don’t take away from the families involved with their own business, whereas most big corporations are sneaky with their profits and don’t fully share the income,” King said. “This way people can live their lives and get paid fair wage, since we are basically the adveriters employed by the company to make our own business.”

“Anyone can do this, which is why those companies typically fail. But even with the big risk, dōTERRA has been very successful since tons of people want to buy it and need a consistent program,” King said.

She started with selling lotions but made the transfer to dōTERRA because of their goals to create family businesses and provide healing revenues. Their theme is “a healer in every home.” The hope is to get people educated and spread the word about healthy and peaceful living.

“It blows my mind how hundreds of people come together just for this product, and instantly fall in love after using it,” King said. “It seemed bizarre to me at first not knowing what it was, but after being introduced and encouraged by my friends, along with participating in some conventions, I soon learned why people instantly became attached.”

She says that by buying their products you are funding other important associations. This is different from store owners advertising that your money is going to charity, when actually they keep it for themselves. Whereas dōTERRA decides to be independently checked out and look for foundations in need. Research shows that they are consistent with the truth and have proof for what is presented.

“dōTERRA are creators of the healing hands nonprofit organization,” King said. “This helps causes like Days for Girls (DfG), sanitary inspections and anti-sex trafficking programs.”

dōTERRA also uses this money to help support families in need world wide. King says that she loves how it not only benefits her family but also people in poverty.

“Why wouldn’t I want to help people in third world countries,” King said. “The money promised goes directly to those places.”

Wait, teachers haven’t been teachers forever?


Olivia Kinunen
Staff Writer

Working at a restaurant is hard. There have been so many times when I have been yelled at for “messing up” an order, even if it was not my fault. I hate having to deal with angry customers but when I’m working I remind myself that someday I won’t have to handle difficult situations and customers left and right. My teachers are just like me in that way, they have all had some jobs that weren’t their favorite but those jobs helped lead them to a job they love.

“Every job has its virtues and bright sides,” said science teacher Leif Sivertsen.

Sivertsen said his hardest job was working as a stop and slow flagger when the pulp mill was closing.

“I only had four hour shifts but they were the longest four hours of my life,” said Sivertsen. “I passed time by trying to count as many different plants as I could see on the side of the road.”

Being a flagger made Sivertsen appreciate the hard work and long hours flaggers and other road workers do to keep everyone safe on the road.

“One time I let a motorcycle go by and I switched to stop. The dump truck was trying to come up the hill and the rest of the Harley’s blew right through by my sign,” said Sivertsen. “It was terrible and I felt so bad. I ended up only having that job for a week.”
Yearbook teacher Allegra Machado worked at Subway when she was in high school.

“It was the worst. I had to close the store at night and clean the bathrooms, and it was disgusting,” said Machado. “It made me really respect custodians and people who work for minimum wage. Now when I use public restrooms, I am really cautious about cleaning up because they get bombed and it’s disgusting.”

Machado said that it has affected the way that she parents her children and she reminds them they have to clean up their own messes because it’s disrespectful to leave it for someone else.

Similar to Machado, math teacher Evan Raber worked various small jobs, and a few of them still affect the way that he lives today.

One job that Raber had was working as a night janitor at his college’s basketball arena that seated 10,000.

“I’m a clock puncher, you know, go get your job done,” said Raber. “We had a list of duties and everyday there was a task to do, you were able to complete the task and grind away . . . and listen to books on tape.”

Raber also worked in a supermarket making donuts.

“It was the worst because I had to be there at three in the morning and I was young so I was out late,” said Raber. “I only did that for a few months and I still don’t eat donuts, and that was 15 years ago.”

While some teachers like Raber worked jobs to pay their way through school, Vice Principal Cole Maxwell was tired of studying and decided to drop out of college. He ended up taking a job at Missoula Concrete, where he made concrete blocks for septic tanks. Maxwell worked there for five months and made about one concrete block every two days.

“I stopped going to school and I just wanted to work. Then I had that job and said ‘no I have to go back to school and figure this out,’” said Maxwell. “So the best part about it was it made me go back to school but it was the worst job ever making concrete septic tanks.”

History teacher Leigh Woodward was 19 when she had her most difficult job. She came back to Ketchikan for the summer after her first year of college and worked in Misty Fjords National Monument for the Forservice.

“I thought that I was going to be doing interpreting on kayaks, but when I went out on one of the first trips and they saw that I could hike and work, so they immediately moved me to trail and cabin crew,” said Woodward.

She would spend two weeks out in the field making trails, camping the whole time. Woodward and the rest of her crew could only travel by kayak, and they weren’t allowed to use any power tools.

“I’ve never worked that hard in my entire life, we built trails and spent all day digging for 8 hours. That was it,” said Woodward. “We had honest eight hours everyday and we would have to pack everything, dig holes to poop, and hang our clothes to dry.”

Since Woodward was working such a labor intensive job, she didn’t have the kind of summer that she imagined she was going to have, but is happy she did it.

“It was almost perfect for me as a 19 year old because I probably would have gotten into a lot of trouble that summer if I wouldn’t have been out in the wilderness every single night and not in town with my friends.”

As well as keeping her out of trouble, Woodward said working in the Forservice made her more appreciative of her home.

“I grew to have an appreciation for the outdoors that I don’t really think I had before that,” said Woodward. “You grow up in Alaska and you’re like ‘oh it’s pretty’ but you don’t have a deep appreciation, and I think some of those deep appreciations come from when you’re with people from other places and they’re seeing how beautiful Alaska is.”