Category Archives: Ketchikan

Balance between Sports and Education

Largim Zhuta
Staff Writer

It’s no secret that the United States trails other countries in the classroom, but
would the United States be willing to sacrifice its sports supremacy to fix its educational system?
Kayhi principal Bob Marshall believes participating in high school sports has positive impacts that go beyond academics.
“[The] team element–where you’re having to work with people– [is] going to be huge one day in the workplace, but also in life,” said Marshall. “With sports, your going to have those competitions but there’s rules and regulations. Which just like life, there’s going to be competition but you have to work within the guidelines that are presented.”
For Kayhi senior baseball player, Tug Olson, sports don’t only benefit the athletes participating in them, but the entire school is positively influenced by them.
“[School sports] keep morale up. Xavier (the exchange student from Belgium) was telling us they don’t have school sports in Belgium, and he loves it here,” said Olson. “He gets to go out and cheer, participate, and have his fellow high schoolers cheer him on. It’s a whole other experience.”
Sports clearly play a considerable role in students’ lives that affect them in other ways besides their academic performance.
Kayhi vocational teacher and business owner Todd Henke thinks sports also play a larger, more communal role.
“Is the whole athletic program apart of the community identity? I think in a small town it definitely is,” said Henke. “It helps the community in being a community. It gives a sense of pride and belonging.”
Countries like South Korea and Singapore do indeed have better performing education institutions without the use of athletics. But, these are also the same countries which are described as “pressure-cookers” when it comes to academia.
Teacher Joey Fama, who has wrestled and is now coaching at Kayhi, was surprised at the strictness and high stress environment of South Korean schooling.
“I had an exchange student from South Korea a couple years ago, and it was pretty crazy hearing about the testing amount and how stressed they are,” said Fama. “I mean there were suicides.”
The system that boasts efficiency and success comes with a cost.
“She couldn’t do what she wanted to do for a career,” said Fama. “In third grade she got a B on her English test, and now she can’t be a doctor.”
When exchange students like Xavier come to the United States, they say high school is fun and are surprised with different schooling experiences. With all the focus being on graduation rates, GPAs, and so on, the fun aspect of high school may get neglected in other countries.
Marshall thinks the emotional well being of students is just as important as their success in school. Sports meet the emotional needs of students.
“I think investing in those type of activities is important and it’s not a waste of money,” said Marshall. “I just think it’s fun. Most people when they do it, have some enjoyment. It gets kids involved that otherwise wouldn’t be.”

Earthquake causes little panic

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake south of Kodiak Island at 12:30 a.m. triggered an emergency tsunami response.
Kayhi teacher Peter Stanton said he received the emergency message then went back to sleep.
“My wife woke me up as soon as the warning went off,” said Stanton. “I went back to sleep right away because I knew if it was going to hit me I wouldn’t wake up anyways.”
Senior Dawson Daniels said he reacted the same way.
“I was up when the warning was sent to my phone,” said Daniels. “I didn’t really care because I knew nothing was going to happen.”
The warning comes shortly after a ballistic missile warning in Hawaii that was mistakenly reported as “not a drill.” It prompted hysteria in the state.
The Anchorage Daily News reported the tallest tsunami wave was 8.5 inches above the tide.
The earthquake was felt as far south as Vancouver, Canada.

Flu Season Strikes Back

The Ketchikan Public Health Center reported that the number of flu cases in Ketchikan has doubled from last year. Ketchikan High School Principal Bob Marshall is fully aware of the problem and wants to take care of it.
“Anytime a student misses class, there’s going to be things that they miss that could ultimately cause them to get behind and I know with the current flu, people are out for days.”
The Department of Health and Services has taken action and has spread awareness.
“The Ketchikan Public Health Center wanted to reach out to the school district about this year’s flu season, the number of confirmed flu cases have double from last year, the entire country is seeing increase cases of flu. It is so important to prevent the flu by vaccination, proper cough etiquette, hand hygiene, and stay home when ill.”

Sam Pitcher Memorial Concert

The Sam Pitcher Memorial Concert will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Kayhi Auditorium. There will be a series of performances by groups including the Windjammers, the Scattered Sunshine Trombone Choir, as well as the Schoenbar Jazz Band. The Kayhi Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz Choir will also be performing.
Senior, and first year Jazz Choir member, Adrian Ronquillo, said he is not worried about performing with many talented groups at this concert.
“This isn’t a competition,” Ronquillo said. “We’re just here to show the community what jazz is all about.”

KOI at Kayhi

Chanell Browne
Staff Writer

PBIS is a new education program created by KOI (Knowledge Outcomes Impact) that’s being implemented in schools across the country. The goal of the program is to help students focus more in school and to stabilize their behavior.
Principal Bob Marshall said he is excited to implement the program at Kayhi. He hopes it will improve student’s abilities to learn and process new information at school. The program is targeted towards students who lack focus and aren’t succeeding as a result.
“As you know most kids come to school from families where parents are present and have a good foundation, other kids don’t have some of those things,” said Marshall. “It’s figuring out how to help students who have a lack of behavior leading to their lack of success.”
Marshall selected the teachers he wanted to participate in the program. Those teachers received two days of training and instruction in finding effective ways to approach students who need additional guidance.
“There was a site team decided by me so I got to choose teachers that were going to be good leaders in learning what KOI is and how it works,” said Marshall. “Basically it’s a school wide positive behavior interventions and support training. It’s a program that tries to encourage more positive behaviors.”
The site team will meet again in March and the program created by the site team will be rolled out next year.

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet

Largim Zhuta
Staff Writer

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet performed a condensed version of The Nutcracker at the Ketchikan Public Library and the Ketchikan Pioneer Home on Sunday.
Sugar Plum Fairy, Chasing Klein said she enjoys being able to put on a show for the youth in the community.
“My favorite part is always interacting with the kids after the show,” said Klein. “I remember being their age and wanting to meet the cast so badly, and with the addition of these shows it gives the kids in the community that opportunity.”
The Nutcracker director, Zach Leighton, sees the shows as a good way for KTB to get positive exposure in the community and gain new recruits who might be interested in ballet. Leighton said he was glad the shows went well and welcomed the feedback from the audiences.
“Some positive feedback I got was that the dancing and costumes were beautiful, and the dancer interaction afterwards was excellent,” said Leighton. “Some room for improvement was that the performances were too short, but I feel it’s better to have them asking for more than to bore them.”
The actual full-length showing of the Nutcracker will be held in the Kayhi Auditorium on the 1st and 2nd of December.

Clara – Paige Avila
Snow Queen – Grace Jackson
Dew Drop Fairy – Meagan Jorgensen
Sugar Plum Fairy – Chasina Klein
Spanish Princess – Gabrielle Perro
Dawn Fairy – Claire Rhein
Rat King – Collette Rhein
Marzipan – Bella Roberts
Arabian Princess – Devyn Sader
Nutcracker Prince – Largim Zhuta