Category Archives: Staff Picks

Young Entrepreneurs

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer 

Albrim Zhuta was the first victim of Besjan Kamberi’s haircuts. “Don’t do that, don’t do that Besjan” he yelled from the bathroom while Kamberi, his older cousin was experimenting with his hair. 

We all have great ideas of what we want to do in life but it takes that special spark in someone to move forward and to actually make something of them. Besjan Kamberi a young entrepreneur, who has been making strides forward to pursue his career goals.

Kamberi has been cutting hair in a small room in his house for three years, he dedicates about 20 cumulative hours a week to giving haircuts. Kamberi has spent around $600 on equipment. He spends $120 on clippers, $60 on balders, $60 on trimmers, $30 on scissors, $20 on straight razors, and $15 on shaving gel.  

What made Kamberi want to start cutting hair was his drive for change. 

“All I saw was the same hair cut between people in town, I didn’t see any fades or different types of hair styles, so I thought to myself ‘what if I bring something new?” 

Kamberi taught himself how to cut hair by watching videos and by trial and error.

“On my free time I would watch Youtube videos on how to do certain hairstyles and learn the basics of styling hair, my first haircut was on my little cousin he was kind of my practice dummy.” 

Kamberi hopes to pursue this as a career in the future, he sees himself owning a barbershop in less than 10 years and hopes to return to Ketchikan in the future to open a new shop. 

“College has never been something of interest to me, the thought of going to more and more school isn’t how I want to spend my life, I want to go to barber school which isn’t nearly as long as actual college. I can get a degree in cosmetology then open my own barbershop/salon and maybe even come back later and open a good shop down here in Ketchikan and bring something new to Ketchikan.” 

So what made people trust Besjan to cut their hair? Especially since he didn’t have much experience as any other shops in town? Senior Jackson Kaye said he wanted to support a friend willing to take a risk.

“For me it wasn’t really about trusting Besjan to give me a good haircut, when he started out all I wanted to do was support a friend even if there was a chance of it being bad.” 

Kaye has been very satisfied with Kamberi’s work. 

“He’s always given me good cuts, one thing I love about Besjan’s haircut is that he takes his time giving me the best cut he possibly can, you can’t say the same about the other places in town.” 

Kamberi has been an easy and quick resource for high school students. He is available at any time of the day as junior Patrick Garcia said, “He always has time even if it’s 10 p.m. he’ll be ready to cut, he’s easy to contact and he works around your schedule if needed.” 

High school hustle
The term “side hustle” has become the expression for adults who have their career, but a side job that explores a passion at some level. This isn’t typical for high school students but Ketchikan seems to be fostering the teenage equivalent.

Kayhi teacher Allegra Machado has been teaching the enterneruship class for three years and said it is no surprise that every year Kayhi has multiple young entrepreneurs. Machado thinks that this generation is big on doing their own thing and believes that kids want to make a difference and be “unique and successful.” 

“I think it’s this generation in general, if you think about all the young vloggers, youtubers and people reviewing and promoting products online. I think especially with social media, if you have any product you want to market it’s really easy for people to do it from home.” 

While Kayhi has an entrepreneurship class only one student that has their own side hustle is in the class this year, while the others are doing it on their own. 

Riley Deal’s product is wood work, he combines epoxy and resin in a process called fractal wood burning. What got Deal to begin doing this was his love for science and gift giving. 

“I love science and woodworking and I needed a gift for my dad, I came across the process and started doing it.” 

Isabella Schreckhise draws and paints, and is an accomplished graphic design artist. Some of her drawings are featured at Gold Pan, around the city and even in Kayhi. 

Dearly Villaflor paints hydro flasks for friends and even painted hydro flasks for the Cross Country Runners for their end of season banquet. Villflor started painting hydroflasks because no one else was doing it in town at that time. “What’s unique about me painting hydro flasks was that nobody in town was really doing it, I wanted to start something new.” 

Dametre Williams-Martin makes copper and silver native jewelry. Kelleigh Nickich has her own photography page where she takes pictures of categories ranging from senior portraits to basketball game pictures and is also a lead photographer for the Kayhi Yearbook. 

Lyla Seludo hand makes scrunchies she does not sell her product but gifts them for the time being.  

CJ Paule and Micah Britt produce their own videography with their business JMC Productions. Britt and Paule make short films for whoever is in need of them. Paule even got a job with a home rental business and helped them with their photography and videography films. Britt is currently the Social Media Marketing Manager for Cape Fox Lodge and got an offer to film a marriage proposal at his job. 

Distraction vs Product
In the entrepreneurial world, not everything is created equal. There are products that improve or add to a life and there is a separate world of entertainment. It’s no secret that humans want the path of least resistance, which is why many might look to make money on social media by creating a viewership rather than a product. A distraction or entertainment, rather than a tangible item. 

Connecticut teenager Charli D’Amelio is taking over the Tik Tok realm and has gone viral simply by standing in front of her phone and recording herself dancing while Noa Mintz young entrepreneur started executing her ideas at the age of 10, she was running art classes for kids during the summer and two years later she founded a children’s party planning business. Now Mintz is 16 years old and runs a full-service childcare agency in New York City. Mintz has even hired a whole staff to help her execute her big ideas. 

English teacher and freelance writer, Jeff Lund who also co-founded LMT (a lifestyle apparel brand) in 2014 but left the business completely in 2017 believes that selling a product that helps people in some way is what customers want. 

“I think everything ends up being more fun and sustainable when you’re able to provide a quality product for others. Something they can use, whether it be a thing, or words or ideas. I want my readers to be people, not suckers.“

When asked if he would rather be Youtube famous or have a successful business Kamberi was quick to answer “have my own successful hair cutting business.” 

Kamberi likes to serve a purpose to his customers. 

“I like seeing people feel good about themselves with my haircuts. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right when they leave feeling confident and good about themselves.” 

Where it All Started

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Editor

Winning Region championships is only a recent habit for the Lady Kings. Juneau has dominated the Region with 22 Region titles since 1984. Kayhi has only 12. Since 2014, Kayhi has reversed that trend and has won six straight Region titles, one shy of Juneau’s streak of seven consecutive from 2002-2008. It all started with a core of underdogs that changed the culture for the Lady Kings. 

Catching up with the Starters
The point guard was Charley Edwardson. She was the “floor general” of the team and was “unpressable” according to coach Kelly Smith. She would always get the ball down the court and make sure her players were where they needed to be. 

Edwardson coached the Lady Kings JV/C team in 2018. She is now focused on herself and her studies. 

Eliah Anderson was a dominant forward, a crafty player, and an impact player. She attacked the basket and finished very well.  By the end of her senior year Anderson surpassed the 1000-point mark. 

Anderson is currently a senior at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan studying psychology, neuroscience and french. Her career goals are to pursue a PhD in School Psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology. 

Anderson’s goals in her high school days were to go and play college basketball but could not because of a herniated disc in her back. She has since had back surgery but unfortunately her days of competitive sports are over. She hopes to maybe coach one day but right now is focused on her studies. 

What Anderson misses most about playing basketball is the environment that Kayhi and the community brought.

“I miss playing in such a supportive atmosphere. I don’t think there is any other place in Alaska or even the country that supports girls basketball like Kayhi does. The pep band, pep club, cheerleaders, highlights, fans, [they] all contribute to make it a truly magical environment,” said Anderson. “It was special to be a part of  and it is special to go back at Christmas and watch the traditions continue.”

A.J Dela Cruz was a year younger than the other four starters and became the important bridge between the core of four that started the streak, and the future that continued it. She was the shooter/backup point guard. Dela Cruz was confident with the ball, gave the team a second ball handler but everyone knew she could shoot the ball, she was quick and had a shot both outside of the three point line and a couple feet inside. 

Dela Cruz is a junior at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. and is majoring in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience. Dela Cruz ended up being the only one of these five starters to cut down the net all four years of high school. 

“I don’t think there are any words adequate enough to describe what it’s like to win a Region V title. After the first one, you just want to keep it going, especially at home,” said Dela Cruz. “That feeling of cutting down the net really never gets old.” 

Lexi Biggerstaff was a dynamic forward, she worked both inside and outside the paint. She attacked the basket very well just like Anderson and it was hard for her defender to guard her. 

She is currently a senior at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington where she plans on graduating college in the spring of 2020 with a degree in Communications (Concentration Media in Society).

After high school she continued her basketball career for two years at Everett Community College and finished her last two years of college basketball at Northwest University. 

Biggerstaff said what made this group of five girls so special was how close they were prior to high school and their common mind frame and goals.  

We had a tight bond, because we played, traveled and trained with each other for years before high school even began. We understood what it took to make it how far we did. We had resilience and a lot of exposure to how much effort and hard work it takes,” said Biggerstaff “We all had one goal. We were a family.”

Courtney Kemble was the voice and rock of this group, the “hypeman” according to Dela Cruz. She played the post, but stretched defenses with her 3-point shot. Her clutch free throws in overtime against Thunder Mountain helped deliver the second-straight title for the Lady Kings in 2015. 

Kemble is currently a senior at Washington State which is located in Pullman, Washington. studying accounting. She plans on graduating in December 2020. 

After high school Kemble continued her basketball career at Centralia College for two years then decided to focus on her studies and transferred to Washington State. 

Kemble said that it was easy playing for the girls next to her because of the hard work they had put into it.

 “We spent so much time working hard together, it was easy to play for the girl next to you. She had gone through the same stuff you had.” 

No one believed that this group could have won regions especially as young as they were when they did. 

“Everyone said it was going to be Thunder Mountain, and that a bunch of sophomores were not going to stop them,” said Kemble. “After that win, we set the expectation to keep winning. We had to work hard to keep the standards high.” 

After this core five group graduated everyone had their doubts about the Lady Kings program but Kemble and her crew knew that the Lady Kings program would be just fine.

“When we left, I know a lot of people had their doubts,” said Kemble. “I can speak for all of us seniors, we never did.”

Advice to younger girls
Focus on supporting one another on and off the court. Everyone has an equally valuable role on the team and true greatness is achieved when everyone does their job and helps bring out the best in their teammates. The scoreboard doesn’t measure heart and teamwork so no matter the outcome, you guys should be proud of continuing the legacy of Lady Kings basketball.” – Eliah Anderson

“Honestly, work hard, trust each other, and have some fun. There’s going to be distractions and people are going to talk, but none of that should matter when you step onto the court.” – A.J. Dela Cruz. 

“The best advice I could give to you is do the dirty work. Get in the gym more than anyone else, because inch by inch it’ll pay off in your individual game, your team and in life. Push through, be gritty and keep going even if your mind says to stop.”  – Lexi Biggerstaff

“Play together and for each other. Don’t let the pressure get to you. Have fun, and work as hard as you can. You’re going to miss this, so take it all in.” – Courtney Kemble 

Lady Kings Region titles by year
 (1985,1993, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) 

https://kayhicurrent.com/2020/03/06/region-v-basketball-brackets/

Staff Pick

Seniors! End of the year projects are…

Cody Kemble: They aren’t as bad as people make them. Most students just use the projects as something to complain about. By this point in my HS career, I am used to doing these. I know that I have to make time to do them and just go little by little and not just do it all in one night.

Tarrant Sasser: Stressful, but not that bad. I’ve been used to a huge workload around  this time a year from studying for finals. This year with no finals to study for the last couple projects make it feel like a normal ending. Although, sports and work haven’t made it easy. I would probably be done with them already if I didn’t leave town every weekend.

Cristopher Carlson: Kind of pointless. I just feel like teachers make us do them to keep us busy for the last couple weeks of school. It’s hard finding time to get them done with everything going on at the end of the year. Everything is just now starting to get chaotic and busy with graduation coming up and all the senior activities and  Regions for all the sports. They just add on extra stress towards the end of the year that is unwanted and needed. I’d rather take a final test or exam at the end of the year that’s based on what we’ve learned in the class than write an 8 page paper that’s heavily weighted based on one subject or topic.

Jonathan Barron: Overwhelming and overall pointless. Seniors should be able to enjoy their last month of highschool without the stress of heavily weighted projects that affect their overall letter grade. Many of us have already enough on our minds with sports, scholarships, AP exam prep, and passing the classes that are graduation requirements. The whole reason for teachers to assign hefty projects is to accomodate for a final typically and a reflection of what they learned over the year. I can understand that, but overall the majority of us seniors have already lost motivation to do much more and will not try as hard as we would earlier in the year resulting in not our best effort which isn’t a true reflection of what we learned. Therefore, those big projects are essentially a waste of everyone’s time and overall pointless.

Staff Pick

Tourism is…

Jenna Miller: I love tourism. I mean, how could you not love it when there’s an extra 10,000 people in your home town crowding the sidewalks and walking out right in front of you when you’re driving. It’s also really fun that during the busiest time of the year there’s road construction going on downtown. It would make no sense to start these projects in the winter when nothing is going on. So thank you Ketchikan for choosing the most inconvenient time to do all this. Sincerely, everyone.

Madison Rose: What this town thrives off of. Ketchikan has sold its soul to the tourist industry and heavily depends for cruise ships to come. Revillagigedo needs these people to come and carelessly spend money so downtown stores and businesses can stock up and make a living. (Along with charter fishermen, tour guides, pilots, restaurants, and basically everyone who lives here.) Many people complain about the tourist season, but Ketchikan has grown a lot from this and without it we wouldn’t be able to provide for ourselves. On the other hand, we continue to entrust in this system and give up more towards tourism, rather than looking for better solutions. We tear down our roads and rebuild the side walks so they are more suitable for the visitors (who come once a year), while the local people are forced to handle construction in their daily lives. Are we actually becoming successful and making progress? Or have we made things worse for ourselves and become so desperate that we are willing to drain ourselves before tourism does.

Liam Kiffer: Tourism Is awesome. Most of the year, downtown Ketchikan is entirely dead. Besides Parnassus Book and Gifts, they’re open year round, 6 days a week. But other than them and a few other stores, downtown Ketchikan is almost completely empty. Tourism wakes up the downtown and makes the city feel alive again. I know people don’t really like tourists because they can be dumb, but I know I’d act the same way I was in a different country too. It’s so fun to see tons of new faces in town and meet new people from all over the world.

Staff Pick

Staff Pick 4/24
Prom is…

Cody Kemble: Prom is pretty fun and whatnot, but I’m not a huge fan. I think that prom for dudes, is something you do for your date and your parents. It really isn’t something I sit around and stress about. I don’t really care about it, but I’ll try my best to make it fun for everyone else.

Cristopher Carlson: Exciting but stressful.

Wyatt Barajas: Prom is fun but some parts are overrated. Getting dressed up and taking your woman out on the town for a night is fun. Dancing and hanging out with your classmates is a heck of a time. The overrated parts are the preparation, the getting fitted for a suit and deciding what to do for the night. These are things that no man honestly likes to do and it just tarnishes the experience. Decision making on nights like prom never go easy because of the stipulation that the night has to be perfect. But at the end of the night the good outweighs the bad.

Brendan Wong: Proms is arguably one of the most valued moments in high school. Most people look forward to it as a freshman. I was just never that person. To me, my most memorable time, is playing sports with my teammates. When I look back on high school, dances won’t be the thing I think about, the sports trips and games would be what I think and tell stories and talk about. Granted, prom is something special and I hope everybody gets that memorable time but it just is not for me and that is why I am choosing to go on a track trip instead of prom.

Jonathan Barron: Prom is supposed create memories that last forever and allow us to reflect on high school later in life, but I really don’t want one night to depict what I think about high school. I see girls spending several hundred dollars on a dress that they’ll only wear for one night, people making reservations to expensive restaurants, and spend a whole day getting ready for the event and to me the whole investment in prom is just absolutely ridiculous. I ordered my suit off amazon for a cheap $70, I did not make any special dinner reservations, and I am not spending a huge amount of time to ready myself all because I simply don’t care.

Staff Pick

What’s your favorite sign of spring?

Alex Malouf: My favorite sign of spring is the extended daylight. Spring is a good time for me to get caught up with winter projects that never got finished such as boat maintenance, and the extra daylight and improved weather provides some much needed motivation.

Cristopher Carlson:My favorite sign of spring is Easter. Spring doesnt really hit me until I start seeing random bunny and egg decorations around my house that my mom has put up. My family has always kept the same Easter traditions since I was little so thats how I recoginze that spring is finally here.

Micah Britt: My favorite sign of spring is the sun. When it’s bright outside in the morning, the birds are chirping, and there’s a light mist over the grass and trees, this is how I know it is spring. During the winter months it’s harder to get up and go to school, but when I wake up by a ray of sun peeking in through my window I tend to want to get up and go do things.

Jonathan Barron:There is one thing that sets spring different from the other seasons: the positive change in daylight hours. For me, I know spring’s arrived when my 6:30 a.m. alarm shudders me to the sight of sunshine beaming through the windows. In the winter, the lack of sun takes a toll on my mood whereas with the new abundance of natural light causes me to wake up immediately in a brighter mood and ready for the day. This new positive attitude only gets stronger as I peak at the budding trees and mostly sunny skies. Although the cold has only started to suppress, stepping into the fourty degree morning is rather refreshing, much different from winters’ horrid chilly thirty degrees.

Staff Pick

Seniors! One quarter left, how do you feel?

Olivia Kinunen:My emotions are all over the place at this point in the school year. Fourth quarter is going to be so busy and us seniors have a lot to look forward to, but I have zero motivation to get anything done schoolwise. High school went by way faster than I expected, but I am more than ready to be done. I’m just trying to get through these last two months so I can move on to new things and meet new people at college.

Tarrant Sasser:I’m in shock. I cannot believe that graduation day is getting so close. It feels like it was yesterday I got my first start in high school football. I would do anything to go back in time and do so much over again. I’m still waiting for someone to wake me up and tell me that this is all a dream. On the other hand, I am ready to turn the page and begin the next chapter in my life, and start fresh again.

Cristopher Carlson: Honestly I’m doing the least amount of work as possible and barely scraping by these last two months of school. I have no motivation left at all, I can barely get myself dressed and ready for school in the morning. I was sitting pretty high on a 4.0 the first semester then just put her right in cruise control and took 3rd quarter off. I’m pretty much the perfect representation of senioritis and i’m just ready for high school to be over.

Brandon Wieber: The time thing has not really hit me yet, but I can definitely feel the anticipation of being done for good coming. Freshman year I did not think high school was going to go by this fast, but one more quarter and it’s crazy. I am very excited to move on to the next chapter in my life and go to college, especially being able to play ball again. It feels good though, learning new things everyday, experiencing new things in life, and being able to go to the next step and be on my own.

Cody Kemble:It’s pretty weird. I remember freshman year first quarter and how I thought that high school was going to drag on forever, but it has been the complete opposite. I don’t really have a ton of motivation in my classes right now so that’s nice. I’m excited to move on to college and have new experiences, but I’ll miss Kayhi, I think that when we graduate it’s going to be something that just sort of happened and then we don’t really look back on it until we’re like in our 30s. It’s pretty hard to put time in perspective right now.