High marks for Lutes
The sky is a brilliant blue as Paul Berg ’71 and his wife, Virginia, pull up to the Akiachak (ACK – ee – Uh – chuck) airfield to pick us up.
Right after introductions, Berg jumps into saying how pleased he is that John Froschauer – PLU photographer and I are here to record and share the story of eight Lutes who are teaching in this remote and rural district in Alaska.
“The level of professionalism and preparation they come with is just unmatched,” Berg says of the Lutes – all recent graduates, most this past May.
These Lutes are here to teach pre-K through 3rd grade in a summer program that runs from June 5 to June 21.
Berg has been working with the Yupiit School District for a number of years. The connection he’s seen develop with PLU’s School of Education and the caliber of teachers they produce has him in a constant state of thanks.
“It’s just so positive,” he said.
After dropping off our gear at the school, which is every bit equipped to provide an education as any new school in a big city, John and I headed to the Yupiit School District main office to meet with Acting Superintendent Kim Langton and Assistant Superintendent Diane George.
Langton starts our meeting by saying, “These young women are just ahead of so many other people their age,” speaking about the PLU teachers.
“My opinion is they are of the highest caliber,” George echoed.
And they are equally impressed of the ideas and enthusiasm Jan Weiss brings to the district. The PLU professor was first contacted by George about bringing PLU teachers to the village district in 2012.
The experiences the eight Lutes and Weiss have had teaching in Namibia brings their ability to educate to another level, Langton said.
“These ladies understand we need to look at the whole child,” Langton said.
(Next…meeting our Lute teachers…McKenzie Allen ‘13 and Nataly Meyer ’13 bring us along for a walk through the village to get students excited about the summer program.)
-Chris Albert, Web Content Manager