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A few miles of scoria roads, a widened spot in a road used as a landing strip, no harbor, supplies and visitors delivered four times a year - 800 miles (and days of travel) west of Anchorage sitting on the bluff overlooking the wild Bering sea - talk about isolation! And yet, in an earlier days, a thriving fur trade center - one of the principle reasons that Alaska was bought from Russia. Fortunes have been made here, cultures have mingled and political controversy has washed the shores of this 35 square mile island.
The three-teacher elementary school on St. George was operated by the State Operated School District under a contract with the Department of Commerce during that period. When students graduated from eighth grade they went to high school thousands of miles away - Kodiak, Sitka, or to Haskall in Lawrence, Kansas!
The teacherage was 50 yards from the school, so each day, my "drive to work" took all of 5 minutes - down the fog shrouded path to the school located close to the shore.
About 45 students attended here over the two years between 1971 and 1973. The Aleut language was still much in use. We learned a great deal about Alaska history and the relationship between a government and the people governed. Our mail was at times dropped on the village by a U.S. C-130 Coast Guard plane - and we were immersed in government on the village, state and national level. I intend to tell some of those stories here and share pictures of this remarkable teaching experience. Teaching has always been an adventure for me.
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William R. Eubank
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East Lansing, Michigan 48823
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