New Year Alaska

On behalf of the Chatham School District’s administrative team and Board of Education, I hope you are having a happy, peaceful, and safe holiday break. Let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year. My focus for this year is to continue to create a safe and secure learning environment where strong partnerships and respectful relationships can flourish. 

During the first part of the year my administrative team, under the directive of the CSD School Board, has continued to develop and enhance a variety of our district’s processes and procedures that will enhance district operations. Here is a recap of some of the highlights:

  • In September the school board approved the repair of the Angoon High School Roof.

  • In October the district completed the strategic planning process with the board approving the five focus areas with objectives and tasks for this year.  The completed documents can be found on the district website at

  • We started a district-wide process to align the curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade. In November the board approved the appointment of Brad King as the CSD Curriculum Director. This is a large undertaking and one that will take some time, but it will be well worth the effort!

  • With a focus on improving the district's efforts to hire and retain quality teachers and staff, the school board approved the appointment of Michelle Shatswell as the CSD Human Resource Director. One of her primary roles is the development of a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan focused on hiring and retaining quality teachers for all of our schools.

  • Our congratulations go out to the coaches, athletes, and parents from our fall sports programs. Congratulations to Cheyenne Kookesh who qualified and represented CSD at the Cross Country State Championships as well as the Angoon Eagles and Gustavus Foxes Volleyball teams with both teams performing well at regionals and Gustavus taking top honors and qualifying for the State Championship tournament.  

During the second half of this school year, we will continue to focus on completing our curriculum mapping, and increasing enrollment in our virtual school program and brick-and-mortar schools. 

We have had some challenges along the way that have caused us to think differently as well. Supply chain and staffing issues continue to be a problem. Even with these challenges, we continue to focus on our strategic plan Mission to support students to become independent adults by promoting exceptional educational and cultural experiences.

As 2022 comes to a close, may you enjoy this holiday season and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with friends and family! I am so excited for 2023 and what the future holds for our wonderful district!


Warm Regards


Ralph Watkins

Chatham School District