A few weeks ago, I received a call from the principal of Eek School.
Eek is a Yup’ik, Eskimo, village 415 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska. Starting in 2007, I taught in the village school for seven years. Because it is a small village of 300 people, I quickly learned the name, and background, of nearly every student.
Everyone from pre-school to high school seniors are in one ten room building. Most of the time, I worked with small groups of students of various ages. However, the first year I taught a class of mostly sixth grade students. I watched them grow over the years from children, to teens and verging on adulthood. This year, in the largest graduation from in memory, eight students would receive their diploma from the school.
That’s why Brett, the principal of Eek School, called me a few weeks ago. Most of the students from my original sixth grade class would be graduating and, they wanted me to be there and speak at the ceremony.
I was excited to be back in the village, see so many friends and, most of all, to see these eight students graduate.