High School Students Hammer Things Out in Class


Erik Wander/KMXT

Several carpentry students from village schools are in town this week, working with students from Kodiak High School on an ambitious construction project in the hopes of raising funds for the Ahkiok school.

Six students from Ahkiok, one from Old Harbor and six from Kodiak High School are busy constructing a shed and a small banya just outside the high school, which they hope to have completed by the end of the week. Ahkiok, Larsen Bay, Karluk and Danger Bay principal Phil Johnson said the carpentry program was developed with a Native Education grant. Last year, Port Lions ran the first year-long carpentry program for rural schools. Two buildings were built and sold there and one was built in Old Harbor this year. This year, Ahkiok wanted to get involved.

(Johnson 1 45 sec. "This is funded through … when they come out here.")

Johnson said the program is relatively rare in the state and wants to see such educational construction opportunities expand statewide.

(Johnson 2 22 sec. "Stacey Simmons, who works … observe our program.")

Ahkiok shop teacher Mike Hinman agreed that practical, hands-on learning is critical for students learning the carpentry trade, and that the experience goes far beyond merely earning a grade for a class.

(Hinman 1 28 sec. "In order to learn it … it’s the real thing.")

Dylan Peterson from Ahkiok is one of the students taking part in the project. He said he expects to have the two buildings completed by Friday. He also said he’s no newcomer to such projects.

(Peterson 1 16 sec. "It’s going really smoothly … learn a lot from it you know.")

Johnson said the shed has already been sold, which is the usual way the program works. However, Ahkiok wanted to do a fundraiser for the banya, selling it to the highest bidder. Johnson said that once construction is complete, a minimum bid will be established based on the program’s construction costs and the school will then advertise for bids. The banya will be delivered to the site of the winning bidder.

I’m Erik Wander.


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