• Shine Bright

    ASD Shine Bright Project
    focuses on the good




    Meet Hanshew Middle School math teacher and cross-country coach Cody Priest. This fall, Cody WON the Wasatch 100 Ultramarathon in Utah. He ran 100 miles in 21 hours and 24 minutes! Cody carries his race-training mentality into the classroom. He says you don’t wake up one day and run 100 miles, and similarly, you don’t wake up one day and know math. Both practice and work every day. Cody says his peak training took place during summer vacation when he had more time. He doesn’t know when his next big race will be, but for now he will enjoy running in his free time. Way to go, Cody!


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    Anchorage School District School Resource Officers (SRO) Jon Butler, left, and John Goetz, right, along with the Eagle River Wolves High School Hockey Team stand in front of the Anchorage Police Department S.W.A.T. vehicle and a patrol car filled with gifts for Toys for Tots. The toys were collected by students at Eagle River High School and there was a competition with Chugiak High School to see which school could collect the most toys for the Toys for Tots program.


    Come cheer on these two fantastic teams as they face each other on the ice this Saturday, December4, at the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center in Eagle River at 7 p.m.


     three students

    Meet Azalea, Sharon, and Ashton, the secretary/treasurer, president, and vice president of the Bartlett Culture Club.


    Here's what Culture Club means to them:


    From Azalea:

    I really want to engage in my culture and interact with others who share the same culture as me. I really want to spread my culture to those who don’t know about it, especially because we are on native land and a lot of our surroundings are reflected in native culture. What culture club means to mean to me is really interacting with my older culture that I might not know about and just getting to know other people’s point of views, which can also help spread cultural awareness, just for more recognition. It’s also a really fun program for people to be with each other and share each others experiences. I also love meeting new people.



    Culture Club is a space for young people to express themselves and their culture. It is such an important space in Bartlett because many students don’t know how to share their values in social settings and Culture Club fosters these skills.



    I think culture club is a great way to show your culture and be proud of your culture. Coming from the lower 48, I feel welcome as a Native American. 


    Campfire partnered with ASD during the early days of COVID-19 distance learning to provide in-person learning pods to students most in need of support. Campfire learning pods help keep students engaged and on track with learning. The partnership continued this summer with before and aftercare programs during summer school. Campfire staff were weaved into the school day at select Title 1 schools, providing STEM activities, outdoor play, and even helped plant school gardens with students.

    campfire club

    From left, Campfire Alaska Board Treasurer Katherine Burrill, CEO Barbara Dubovich, Alaska State Rep. David Nelson, Program Coordinator Cisco Mercado and School Age Program Director Theresa Rinehart stand for a photograph after receiving a Legislative Citation for their before and afterschool program within ASD during the pandemic.





    Williwaw Elementary School has been focusing on kindness over the last month. From writing cards to making signs, to celebrating victories, the focus on BEING KIND rings through the halls of this school. Enjoy these photos and captions from Williwaw Principal Likka McCauley and Assistant Principal Abby O'Neill:


    Williwaw houses some of the best people that ASD has to offer. Mr. Jovi (Jovito Susi) and Mr. Mario (Mario Jacobo) are some of the real behind-the-scenes rock stars that keep our school beautiful and kind.



    Aurora Elementary students glide into the final week of school before Winter Break.


    Students in Mr. Dahl’s physical education class at Aurora Elementary enjoy new kick sleds and fat bikes as part of their P.E. curriculum. Both are unique activities that can only be done in specific environments and are not always available on school curriculums. By teaching these sports/skills, it helps students connect to the unique place they live. This sense of place can help military students who move regularly find a feeling of place within their community. It creates a lasting bond between the student, place, activity, and other participants.


    The equipment was purchased through a grant and provides the opportunity for challenge-by-choice. More competitive students can have races, and less competitive students may choose to simply participate, and students new to the sport benefit from more 1-on-1 coaching/instruction from the teacher.


    By learning both of these activities, students have the skill set to do these skills outside of a school setting. This is important because Alaska's cold/dark winters can be challenging to find activities to do to stay active. These two sports just add to the list of activities available to them in the winter months. By having more activities to do outside during the winter months, students will remain in better physical and mental health.





    Kindergarten students in Kjerstin Thomas' class at Denali Montessori learned about traditional Scandinavian and Italian St. Lucia's Day celebrations. Students paraded around the school, sang, and handed out traditional cookies. The candles represent the approaching solstice when light will begin to return, as well as the Christian celebration of the coming of “the light of the world."



    Students at Bowman Elementary had a opportunity to watch as Santa and his elf helper arrived for a visit on a dog sled. While there, students had a chance to snap photos with him, ask questions about his dog sled, which he said he uses around the North Pole and Alaska, and give him their Christmas wishes.



    Aurora Again! 

    When the JBER food pantry had a need for condiments, Aurora Elementary School gladly took on the challenge. Students at Aurora collected and donated 1,680 condiments as a community service project through their participation in Anchored4Life, an organization that provides resources and strategies to children, so they become resilient, confident, and resourceful.

    Way to shine bright, Aurora Elementary!