This is Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Postby marymatt718 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:07 pm

Hey guys,

I am leaving this district, the Galena City School District, to find a road system job (after having been in the bush for eight years) but I want to let all of you who are seeking to come to Alaska that Galena, with its integrated K-12 city school and 9-12 boarding school, is a great location to start your Alaska adventure. If you are fairly new to teaching and want to have an easy transition to the Alaska bush, or you are retired from the lower 48 and want to do something adventurous, but not too adventurous, this is the place to come. I have been here for five years, and there are some exciting things happening that are just going to make things better and better.

1. They are really making a serious effort to streamline and improve the curriculum and its progression, something I had been fighting for in Science for my entire five years here. It took getting a very experienced administrator, retired from over 30 years in Colorado, to get the ball rolling, and now they are working on it in all content areas.

2. The new STEM building has been completed. So math and science have a killer facility now.

3. A second building is on track to be completely remodeled for Language Arts and Social Studies.

4. The schedule is changing from alternating 90 minute blocks to a 6 period day, with double blocking for some CTE programs.

4.You can barge a vehicle out here at a reasonable expense. I sent my full size Chevy Silverado out here, FULL of stuff (including heavy IKEA flat pack shelving) for $1780.

5. There are two bush services that fly here directly from Fairbanks, so you are only one 80-90 minute plane ride from major shopping.

6. The district has a welcome committee that answers your questions and assists you in finding the best possible housing situation.

7. There is very low absenteeism, a big problem in bush schools, because it is a boarding school and because of the dedication of the local parents. Plus, the GILA (Galena Interior Learning Academy) students usually come here because they are a little more serious about school and want a better school than their village school, or there may not be a HS in their village, and they want to complete their education. (They're not perfect, they are teenagers, after all, but they do want to be here and to learn.)

Yes, it's cold in the winter, and these are not the over-the-top salaries you will find in NW Arctic or on the North Slope, but the trade off is that you DO get daylight in the winter months, the students are more motivated than at your average bush school, the staff is helpful, and the location is convenient for shopping and shipping. As someone who has lived in various locations in the bush, I can tell you that those things make a difference.

Also, here, YOU can make a difference.

The Human Resources "Department" is one man, so I HIGHLY recommend, after you complete your application on ATP, that you send an email to Principal David Casey and cc the superintendent Jim Merriner (for a sample email, see my posting on how to get your application noticed, here in this Forum.)

Their email addresses are

Both men are approachable and professional. Attach you current resume just to give them a sample of your application information.

Just a note about the Coronavirus: Our clinic started vaccinating in early January. As a result, Galena reached herd immunity on March 5 of this year. We have had a little scare with returning basketball players, but this community is SERIOUS about protecting its residents. You will not only enjoy teaching here, but you will be safe and protected here.

Good luck in your job search, but please consider Galena when you're checking places out. Please don't just look at the salaries available, but take everything into account in your research.

Thank you,
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:27 pm

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