Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
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UNALASKA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

  • The superintendent of Unalaska’s schools, Robbie Swint Jr., has resigned. The school board accepted his resignation in a unanimous vote at a meeting Wednesday night. According to a statement from the board, Swint is moving off the island to be closer to his family. Swint said he is sorry that he won’t be fulfilling his commitment to the district. He was just over a year into his three-year contract. But he feels that he wasn’t supported by the school board and wants to put his family’s needs first. “I don't want to say any derogatory thing against anyone,” Swint said. “I will just say I don't believe it was a good fit for me for a number of reasons. And so that's why I submitted my resignation.”
  • On this year’s ballot for Unalaska’s Municipal Election, there are two school board seats up for grabs. Bob Cummings is running unopposed for reelection for Seat C and David Gibson is running against incumbent Nicole Bice for Seat D.KUCB held a live forum for the candidates on Sept. 14. with Cummings and Gibson. Bice was unable to attend due to a work conflict.
  • With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, fuel costs spiked across the nation, inciting a rise in air travel costs. Then a slew of factors compounded the problem: inflation, bad weather, pilot shortages and loads of people traveling sent those prices even higher. And in Unalaska, 800 air miles from Anchorage, nestled between the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, those costs are landing a hard blow.
  • Schools in Unalaska opened today and the district welcomed seven new staff members this school year. KUCB's youth media producer, Eldred Paradeza, is on a mission to interview all of them and tell the community more about their background, hobbies and hopes for the new school year.
  • Schools in Unalaska opened today and the district welcomed seven new staff members this school year. KUCB's youth media producer, Eldred Paradeza, is on a mission to interview all of them and tell the community more about their background, hobbies and hopes for the new school year.
  • Schools in Unalaska opened today and the district welcomed seven new staff members this school year. KUCB's youth media producer, Eldred Paradeza, is on a mission to interview all of them and tell the community more about their background, hobbies and hopes for the new school year.
  • Unalaska teachers will get an 8% bump in their salaries over the next three years, and they’ll also have fewer days with students.That comes after the Unalaska school board approved the new teacher contracts at a meeting Wednesday.The district will give teachers more money for professional development and more flexibility for sick leave, and new hires will get a larger stipend for moving to the community.
  • For the friends and families of 16-year-old Karly McDonald and 18-year-old Kiara Renteria Haist, the spring of 2019 brought unfathomable change and an immeasurable rift of time. May 9 marked the three-year anniversary of a tragic car accident on Unalaska's Mount Ballyhoo that cost McDonald and Renteria Haist their lives. Both died when their classmate drove his truck off the mountain, while they were inside. To honor the memory of the young girls, several dozen Unalaskans gathered outside the Burma Road Chapel on a foggy afternoon, waving signs, chatting softly and offering each other hugs and support. Passersby waved from their cars, honking their horns in solidarity.
  • In a unanimous vote, City Council members granted the Unalaska School District its full funding request of roughly $5 million — a 6.5% increase from last year. The school district is expecting a drastic drop in student enrollment next fiscal year. And officials said that means they’ll be getting less money from the state. Overall, the projected budget is about $8 million — less than a 2% increase from last year. Still, the budget has a deficit of more than $200,000. District officials said a large part of that is due to trying to combat learning losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • While Alaska’s lawmakers consider increasing public school funding, the Unalaska City School District prepares for a significant decrease in revenue due to a drop in enrollment. And with that, the district is looking to the city for about $5 million to cover its budget for fiscal year 2023. At a City Council meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Robbie Swint Jr. presented the Unalaska City School District’s proposed budget, which is based on an estimated enrollment of 345 students.