Category Archives: Feature

Not so new teacher on the block

Photo taken from Kayhi’s wall of top seniors.

Liam Kiffer
Staff Editor

Though this is Anne Elliot’s first time being a full time teacher at Kayhi, this is not her first time within the walls of Kayhi. Elliot graduated from Kayhi in 2003, and was just recently hired as the new long term sub to replace Mrs.Troina for the rest of the 2018-19 school year. Since 2003, Elliot has taught English is 3 different countries, studied at 4 different colleges and even played a little bit of college basketball.
“I graduated from Kayhi and I immediately left and started my life,” said Elliot. “I was so excited to start my life and I didnt really look back.”
Elliot left Ketchikan and began her journey after high school at the University of Connecticut.
“UConn was my first stop after high school,” said Elliot. “I quickly realized I didn’t fit there and made a change.”
After her brief time in Connecticut, Elliot transferred all the way to Arizona and attended San Diego Mesa College. While Elliot was at Kayhi, as well as graduating in the top of her class grade wise, she lettered in basketball, soccer and volleyball. Elliot was good enough at basketball to play in college.
“At San Diego Mesa, I actually played basketball, which was certainly an experience,” said Elliot. “I don’t know if it was necessarily what I wanted to do with my life but I had fun doing it.”
Elliot spent two years at San Diego Mesa and quickly realized that was not where she wanted to be either. Elliot decided to follow in the footsteps of a teacher who inspired her at Kayhi while she was a student.
“After UConn and San Diego, I actually volunteered for the Peace Corps,” said Elliot. “I remembered Mrs. Bowlen telling me all about her experiences working with them and it sounded like something I would be interested in doing.”
Elliot applied to the Peace Corps and was quickly assigned to work in a foreign country in Central Asia.
“It seemed like it all happened in a day, but next thing I knew I was on my was to Kyrgyzstan,” said Elliot. “While I was there, I mostly did volunteer work and stayed there for about 2.5 years.”
Elliot finished her time with the Peace Corps, but was not finished with her time overseas.
“I got a for real, non volunteer, teaching job in a middle eastern country near Saudi Arabia called Qatar,” said Elliot. “While I was there, I taught English and history to high school kids, and spent about two years there.”
Elliot enjoyed her time overseas, but she decided to finish her education and apply to graduate school. Elliot moved back home and subbed at Kayhi for a little while and then was accepted into Columbia University in New York.
“I got accepted into Columbia and even though I was in a 2 year English masters program, I finished in 1.5 years because I studied during the summers,” said Elliot. “I was also able to graduate with little to no student loans because of the money I had saved up from teaching, and with the help of a Peace Corps fellowship scholarship I received while I was with them.”
Elliot received her degree and then decided to stay in the New York area.
“I earned my degree quicker than usual and I stayed in Harlem,” said Elliot. “I stayed for about a year and again taught high school English.”
Once Elliot finished teaching in New York, she once again returned home, and once again left.
“I stayed home for a little bit and then decided to move to Phoenix for a job opportunity, “ said Elliot. “I lived in Arizona for about 3 years and worked mostly online.”
Elliot worked for a company called BookRags that writes and collects study guides and study resources for literature all around the world.
“I was an editor for BookRags and I still do a little bit for them part time,” said Elliot. “Basically what I did was read books and create lesson plans and analyses for them.”
After her three years in Phoenix, Elliot again returned home.
“I wanted to go back home to see my parents and travel the world a little bit more,” said Elliot. “My plan was to stay home for at least a little while and substitute teach.”
17 days after Elliot returned home, she received a call from Mr. Rafter, who is the Director of Human Resources in the Ketchikan School district.
“Mr. Rafter called me almost immediately after I settled in back home, and explained to me the situation of Boyle’s resigning and how that eventually led down to Mrs. Troina’s job being vacated for the rest of the year,” said Elliot. “He offered me the job of being her long term sub for the rest of the year and I accepted.”
Mrs.Troina’s job will be posted again at the end of the year for anyone qualified.
“I am hoping to be able to continue working here and eventually get a regular teaching position after this year,” said Elliot. “I am excited to be there and would love to be a teacher here for many more years to come.”

Super Bowl LIII

Super “Bowl”

Some call it a national holiday. Some don’t even pay attention to it. Super Bowl Sunday is more than just a football game to some people. It’s the biggest day in sports all year. Tons of delicious food, gathering of friends, crazy fans and commercials that people anticipate all year.
Biology teacher and NFL super fan D Jay O’Brien
“The Super Bowl is the ultimate American sports drama. I put on all the outfits, and sometimes I’ve gone to peoples houses,” said O’Brien. “When I root for teams, I think they can hear me. I feel like they can hear my efforts and that I’m having an impact on the outcome.”
Every year, foods like buffalo wings, chili, baby back ribs, dipping sauces, pizza, and potato chips are all served during the popular sporting event.
Junior Alex Malouf says he enjoys eating pigs in a blanket, and pulled pork sandwiches during the game.
“Well I have never been to a Super Bowl party that does not have some form of pulled pork sandwiches” said Malouf. “My personal favorite is pulled pork on Hawaiian rolls”
A commercial during the Super Bowl can cost up to $5 million dollars, which seems like an outrageous price, but the annual sporting event is viewed each year by people who specifically watch for the commercials.
“I love the Super Bowl commercials” said Senior Grace Clark, “Popular brands get to showcase their newest products in front of millions of viewers. You get to see what will be popular on the market this year.”
The Super Bowl starts this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS, with Maroon 5 and Travis Scott performing at halftime.

-Tarrant Sasser, Staff Writer

Staff Pick 1/28

Who’s going to win the Super Bowl?

Mr. O’Brien: Patriots! “We’re still here!” There are “no days off” with this team. Be sure and “do your job” and root for the Patriots.  Mission 6!

Alex Malouf: The Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl. Brady has the experience and the tools to overcome Gurley and the Rams. Gurley will most likely have a historic rushing performance, but if Brady has the ball late in the game with a chance to win, he will capitalize on that opportunity. The Rams are a young high flying team, but that will only get a team to the big game. It might not be enough to win it all.

Cristopher Carlson: Who’s going to win the Super Bowl? The Patriots. Who do I want to win? The Rams. I already know Tom Brady is gonna do his thing and find a way to come out on top. The man is just so dominant and he turns nothing into something every single year. I think the game is going to be really close because the Rams defense is stacked, they have the best defensive line and some of the best corners in the league and you can never count out the Patriots offense.

Brandon Wieber: I couldn’t care any less… I would’ve loved to see the chiefs or Saints but now I gotta choose. I want the Rams to win only because the Patriots just win so often and I’d like to see another team win the championship more often. Also, Jared Goff is a good young quarterback with a lot more potential and Todd Gurley is a stud. Im rooting for a younger team also with the youngest head coach ever in the history of the NFL. Lastly,  the Rams defense is intense with arguably the best defensive lineman (Aaron Donald) in the league and a very good coordinator (Wade Phillips).

Early morning music


Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 1.00.10 PM
From left to right:  Senior William Biss, freshman Caleb Eisenhower, and sophomores John Call and Judy Meiresonne.

Connor Wodehouse
Staff Writer

The Kayhi Jazz Band is a semi-advanced group of about 30 musicians who come together for zero hour to play and learn under the direction of Ms. Nuss.
Freshman and first-timers Julia Spigai and junior Jalina Williams spoke about early mornings and the jazz genre in general.
“I don’t mind waking up this early, I enjoy the music we play” said Spigai. “I don’t drink coffee, all I need is jazz band.”
“I’m generally not a morning person,” said Williams. “But I get up for jazz band.”
Jazz veteran seniors William Biss and Maurice Meiresonne disagree.
“At this point in school, I’m always tired,” said Biss. “I don’t think I can get any more tired.”
“I do enjoy jazz band most days,” said Meiresonne. “But I am in no way a morning person.”
The band plays several scheduled concerts throughout the year such as the Sam Pitcher Memorial Jazz Concert and a winter, fall, and spring concert.
“I love playing jazz, even when it gets tough,” said Biss. “Learning any music can be hard at first,  but what we do is on another level.”
The band also participates in some outside invitational gigs such as the Sitka Jazz Festival. “Jazz fest is in February, and I cannot wait,” said Biss. “I love going to Sitka.”
“I’m definitely excited for Sitka,” said Meiresonne. “It gets better every year.”
“Jazz fest is one of my favorite trips,” said Williams. “We get to hear the other bands from around southeast and pros from much farther away.”
Local music opportunities offer gigs to the band as well, such as the annual Boyer Company christmas party, which will feature senior Connor Wodehouse and junior Mady Purcell on vocals this Saturday.
“Boyer is awesome,” said Meiresonne. “Three hours of music with local pros for people who aren’t my parents make for some good memories.”
“Boyer is nerve wracking,” said Williams. “It’s not for a grade, it’s a gig. We call in people like Dave Kiffer and Dale Curtis to help out with 3 hours of stress, but when it’s over it feels amazing.”
Certain members of the band have been selected to participate in a new idea from Mrs. Nuss called jazz combos. These are groups of about 5-6 that practice and play together by request. This year’s three combos include The Snack Pack led by Connor Wodehouse, Tuesday Blues With Mady led by Senior Ezrie Andersen, and Swingin’ In The Rain led by Maurice Meiresonne.
“I’m in Tuesday Blues,” said Williams. “Ezrie is a great leader, sometimes it’s tough because the combos only meet once a week, but we still get good work done.”
The band plans to make waves this year with upcoming performances from the combos and the band itself. Ms. Nuss plans to gladly help them do exactly that, but they still have to be in class by 7:00 a.m.

Best Burger in Ketchikan

Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 1.21.00 PM

Conner O’Bryan
Staff Writer

In the United States, where fast food is especially popular, there’s one item that’s reigned supreme. It’s not the hotdog, or even pizza, but the humble cheeseburger. Here in Ketchikan there’s a couple of good burger places. The most popular seem to be AJ’s, Burger Queen, and the Burger Shack, but which one is the best?

Third Place – Burger Queen
Coming in third is Burger Queen, located right outside the tunnel. Don’t get me wrong, they are good, but something about them just isn’t as satisfying as the others on the list. They’ve got lettuce both under and on top of the burger, along with everything else you’d expect on a burger like pickles and tomatoes. They’re also the least economical burgers on this list, at $10.75 for a cheeseburger and small fries compared to AJ’s and the Burger Shack, which are both about $10 for a burger and fries. The milkshakes there are also pretty good, but really thick, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except that the straws are really small. High 7/10.

Second Place- Burger Shack
In second place is the Burger Shack, located by the Knudson Cove Marina. This place for sure has the best milkshakes in my opinion. They’re a similar price to the others, and come in a bigger cup, and there’s lots of flavors like cookies and cream, and rootbeer. The burgers themselves are also great, but in my experiences they fall apart too easily. There’s a couple of different types of burgers other than the basic hamburger or cheeseburger, like a bacon cheeseburger, and a hickory cheddar burger, but still not as many options as the other places. Truly a very solid choice.  8/10.

First Place- AJ’s 
Finally in first place is AJ’s, located on the side of the North Tongass Highway a little bit south of Walmart. It’s very good, the base cheeseburger has everything that should be on it, and nothing that shouldn’t. The fries are for sure the best fries you can buy on this island. They can compete with some of the best fast food fries in the country, and I’m certainly proud to say that they’re exclusive to here. They too offer more than just a couple types of burgers, in fact they have far more choices than the other places I’ve already mentioned. The most interesting ones to me are the shrimp burger, and the “Mac Daddy”, a barbecue bacon cheeseburger with deep fried mac and cheese as one of the toppings. AJ’s is to cheeseburgers, what the Burger Shack is to milkshakes. All in all this is my favorite place here in Ketchikan, and it deserves a 10/10.

Behind the scenes with Kayhi Activities principal

IMG_8111Carter Thomas
Staff Writer

Mellisa Johnson is almost a semester into her tenure as Kayhi’s athletics principal. I asked her some questions about how her new job has gone so far.

Current: How has your first semester been as the new athletics principal?

Johnson: My first semester as the Activities Principal has been amazing!  I graduated from Kayhi and love all aspects of Kayhi activities which makes this job the best!

Current: How stressful is the activities principal job?

Johnson: The activities principal position is not stressful because I work with an amazing team of people.  I am very organized and have an amazing aid, Carter Thomas, which makes my job super rewarding.
(Carter Thomas wrote this.) 

Current: What types of things does the activities principal do?

Johnson: Some of my duties are: Eligibility of all activities through Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), Scheduling all travel home and away, academic grade checks, organizing home events (officials, announcers, concession stand, doors, etc.), ensuring payments of activities fees, talking to the media (like the Ketchikan Daily news), meetings with players, parents, and coaches, drug testing, organizing sport physicals, answering questions from parents, supporting coaches, helping with fundraising, budgets, future scheduling, etc.

Current: With the Clarke coming up, how stressful is setting up the tournament?

Johnson: The CCCC is a tournament that the town expects and the tradition is something that people talk about for years.  I played and coached in the Clarke and watched the tournament when my kids were playing in it so I try to make sure the event is a success! There are many moving parts to the tournament and I want to make sure I don’t drop the ball on any of it.

Current: What goes into preparing a big tournament like the Clarke Cochrane?

Johnson: Preparing for the CCCC is a ton of work but I have a great team of people!  I have Lorelei Richardson, our office manager, and she knows all of the answers to my many questions.  She was the office manager when I was in high school. Phaedra will help anytime I ask, Coach Stockhausen and Coach Smith help with the details of the games.  Mrs Kern has been a great asset to the concession stand. Matt Hamilton and I have worked hard on the Sweatshirts and T-Shirts. Steve Kemble is helping with the officials.  Mr. Marshall and Mr. Maxwell will be at the event helping. Mrs. Bowlen is another good helper. The community will bring their energy and we will have some great games!

Current: What is your favorite part of the job?

Johnson: My Favorite part of the job is working with the students, the students are super fun to get to know and I love watching them kick some Juneau butt!

Current: What made you want to be the athletics principal?

Johnson: I wanted to be the activities principal because I absolutely love Kayhi and watch all of the events. I love to watch kids participate in activities they work hard in.  I love to talk to students and community members. The staff of Kayhi is super fun and I love the environment! I’m an alumni of Kayhi and my grandfather graduated in the 1930’s.  My kids are 4th generation Kayhi graduates and hopefully their kids will graduate from Kayhi too. Go Kings!


Exchange Students at Kayhi

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 1.03.22 PM

Abbigail Gaugler
Staff Writer

In Kayhi we have nutrition break; in France, they have smoke break.
This is one of the many differences French exchange student Bertille Gautron is experiencing during her time at Kayhi.
“There’s a smoke area in every high school because so many people smoke,” said  Gautron. “I’m in a group of 15 people and of those people, 12 of them smoke every day. That sucks.”
Gautron is enjoying her temporary stay in Ketchikan and is adapting to the Alaskan lifestyle quickly. Standing across from me wearing a raincoat and extra tuffs, she looks like any other student at Kayhi.
“My first choice was Canada because I was afraid to go in the South of the USA, like Florida or places like that,” said Gautron. “But Alaska is really really perfect.”
She arrived here as one of two exchange students, along with Max Gonzalez. The Mexican exchange student came from a city not far from Mexico City, a place with around 8.8 million inhabitants — while Ketchikan has a population of only 8,200.
“It was pretty shocking – the lack of people – because I’m from a big city, but people in big cities are not usually as polite as they are in small cities like Ketchikan,” said Gonzalez. “The first day of school is when I realized how nice people are here. There were a bunch of people greeting me and I didn’t expect that.”
The two have made big changes in order to adapt to life here. France and Mexico tend to have temperatures over 60 degrees on average with very little rain.
“It’s way colder than my city in Mexico,” said Gonzalez. “I already brought a million coats and ended up buying more here. I’ve also bought a pair of extra tuffs, but I’m going to leave them here.”
Their first encounter with Alaska was different than what they assumed. Not having done much research on where they were going, the two expected to be knee deep in snow and secluded on a mountain.
“I was excited, but my mom was like ‘you’re  going to Alaska, there’s nothing there,’” said Gonzalez. “I actually did think you guys lived in igloos.”
Despite the rainy and windy weather, the exchange students have been able to experience a huge part of the Alaskan lifestyle. The two combined have gone zip lining, fishing, and crabbing. They’ve also hiked Deer Mountain and took a ride on the Aleutian Ballad.
“Everything is different, like the size of the cars, the school, the food, the time when you eat, the food that you eat,” said Gautron. “For example, we eat dinner with family at around 8 p.m. and every day at school we have one hour to eat a real meal, like appetizer and dessert and stuff like that – we don’t snack.”
Like any other exchange students, Gonzalez and Gautron have had to make adjustments. They’ve both noticed more modifications in their social and daily situations than geographical.
“Here you get to wear whatever you want, but in Mexico you have to wear uniforms,” said Gonzalez. “Here you move from class to class and change students, but in Mexico the teachers come to you. We don’t change groups and we don’t get to pick classes.”
Gautron believes that there are more rules in France, as many extracurricular activities happen outside the school. There, school starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. and allows an hour or more to eat lunch.
With the first quarter ending recently, Gonzalez and Gautron have gotten a taste of the Ketchikan and U.S. norm.
“First quarter has been good I think,” said Gonzalez. “My grades were good, but it was hard. I’m taking PE, drawing and painting, and chemistry. And I really don’t like chemistry but I have to take it.”
Gautron and Gonzalez fit in so well that the only thing setting them apart from the rest of the students as Kayhi is their accents. Their ability to change and adapt to their new life is what makes them so special.
“I really like being his host family. He’s really nice to have around,” said Phillip Smith, Gonzalez’s host family. “He’s like the brother I never had.”
Being able to experience and embrace the different culture in Alaska has made the exchange well worth it for Gonzalez and Gautron.
“She has a big personality,” said Cameo McRoberts, Gautron’s  Culinary Arts teacher. “It’s fun having someone that has a different perspective on different kinds of food and pronunciations and things like that, plus she’s really nice. She’s super sweet and has a lot of energy. She comes to class with great stories and she’s really just a cool kid.”
So, does Gautron like her new and temporary lifestyle?
“I’m living an American life I guess, not the French life. In a way, I like it better.”

Q & A With Matt Hamilton


Isabella Schreckhise
Staff Writer

Matt Hamilton is a 1999 graduate of Revilla High School and a two-time Alaska state champion wrestler. He is now a local artist that makes designs for different events. His art can be found at Creative Hustler.

Interested in how he got his start, I asked him a few questions, hoping I can follow a similar path.

Current: How old were you when you started drawing? And what originally inspired you to draw?

Hamilton: I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. I took the first skill that was offered in preschool, and made a career out of it.

Current: Is there a message you hope to send with your art? If so, what is the message?

Hamilton: I have a recipe when I am creating a design. I make something odd relatable, or I take something relatable and make it odd. That formula brings out a reaction that builds strong bonds with the people viewing my art.

Current: At what point did you feel your art was good enough to sell?

Hamilton: I have imposter syndrome, I still can’t believe people want to give me their hard earned money for the art I produce.
When I first got paying gigs, I was offered money from family and friends. They saw my skills as an investment into a person they cared about.  I would eventually branch out to their friends. My first real art sale was when I was offered an art show in a gallery,  and I sold all my pieces that opening night. I never looked back after that.

Current: What program do you use for digital drawing? And what would you recommend for beginners?

Hamilton: Sketchbook Autodesk is a free app on the iPad. I built my whole company around it. I am a caveman when it comes to digital art, I don’t use a stylus to do any of my art. I use my finger to draw everything.

Current: Who or what would you say is your biggest inspiration or influence?

Hamilton: My biggest influence starting out was my grandmother Opal Amundson.  I then moved into street art in my teens, and became a big fan of artist Shepard Fairey that created the brand Obey. Right now I really enjoy the content Aaron Draplin puts out.

Current: What advice would you give for kids in high school who want to make a career out of their drawings or ideas?

Hamilton: I am addicted to failure. I try new things all the time. I love the process of learning new skills and displaying them in new art pieces. It’s all a gamble until you get good enough you can rig the system for you to win pretty regularly.