The staff is off to a fabulous year! Students are so excited to be back in school. Our school has a complete team that has raised the bar for student expectations. Family Engagement nights will be scheduled for the second Tuesday of every month. With the newly passed Alaska Reads Act, our district has adopted a new reading curriculum, and the staff will be developing Individual Reading Intervention Plans (Irip) for all students in grades K-3. Volunteers will be needed, and we are asking parents and community members to become involved in helping our children become excellent readers.

I want to welcome new staff members: Mary Swanson is our Kindergarten teacher, and she is mentoring a student teacher; Joan Martin is welcomed back to be our 1st-grade teacher; Patrick O’Toole is our secondary Math teacher; Tamika Galvin is our secondary English teacher; Danny Cheek is our secondary Social Teacher; Susan McCullough is our Career Counselor; and Mai Higgins has joined the team in leading our Music program for grades K-12. Patrick Johnston joined us as our new 4th-grade teacher. Our students and staff are the best team.

I look forward to the upcoming year with great hope and enthusiasm. I look forward to meeting all parents and community members and working together to educate our children.

Helen Cheek
Hoonah City School District


Helen Cheek

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and become a part of the history of Hoonah. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and was adopted at eight years old. My father died when I was 15, and my mother was left alone and could not drive. I became the family's sole breadwinner and worked at a truck stop bussing tables until I married my high school sweetheart. In November, we will have been married for 47 years.

After we were married, Danny joined the Navy, and I became a Navy wife. This meant many months without a spouse in the home. I/we raised three children and now have eight grandchildren. We have lived worldwide, and my children keep asking us when we are moving back to Missouri. I can never answer this question. Danny and I are having too much fun and still trying to decide what we want to be when we grow up. I am very excited to be in Hoonah and guiding a team of professionals to educate your children.

My door is always open, and I welcome parents to come for coffee and a chat.

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