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By ZACHARY HALASCHAK
Daily News Staff Writer
No one needed a new placard at Wednesday’s meeting of the Ketchikan School Board.
During the meeting, Diane Gubatayao, Glenn Brown and Glen Thompson were sworn in as members of the School Board.
Gubatayao and Brown are both incumbents, while Thompson previously served on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly for four full terms.
Gubatayao and Thompson are slated to serve full three-year terms, while Brown will only be serving a one-year term after the resignation of Misty Browne in July, which left a vacancy on the School Board.
Following the formalities of swearing the members in, the School Board handed the gavel over to Superintendent Bob Boyle to preside over elections for leadership positions within the newly convened body.
School Board Member Trevor Shaw, who previously served as president, was reelected by ballot following his nomination by Matt Eisenhower.
Glenn Brown was selected by acclamation to be the School Board’s vice president because nobody was nominated to run against him. The same occurred for Gubatayao, who is now the School Board’s treasurer.
After the “Pomp and Circumstance“ subsided, the new School Board took up a slim agenda. One item of interest was the district’s fishing program. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough owns a fishing vessel, the Jack Cotant, which the school district is now using to teach students about the commercial fishing industry.
The School Board heard from Jack Cotant captain Jim Castle, who talked a bit about the program’s success.
“(The program) is something that I like quite a bit,” Castle said. “Sharing my knowledge with the kids and taking them out and stuff, it’s a program I’m really excited about and I hope we can build it into something that lasts and lasts.”
One of the students, Cayden Thomas, also spoke to the School Board about the program. He noted that many students will ultimately work in the fishing or maritime industry and he pointed out just how special this program is.
“I think it’s a valuable resource,” Thomas said. “This, although it being fun, I get to learn things that I otherwise wouldn’t have learned just fishing with my friends or family.”
Brown noted enthusiasm with the program and implored Thomas to encourage more of his peers to go sign up to fish.
“Your job is to go out and talk it up — sell it,” Brown said. “The more kids that we can get out there and getting those experiences, the better.”
The program doesn’t just end at the end of the fishing line, though.
Ketchikan High School also has a culinary arts program that Doug Edwards has been running for 15 years. Edwards said his students helped cook and serve the fish that were caught by “the varsity fishing team,” as Boyle likes to call it.
Also during the Wednesday’s meeting the School Board:
• Heard an update from Boyle, as well as a report from student member Michael Starr.
• Heard an update from the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition about the new disc-golf course, which was totally funded by donations.
• Had a proclamation read, which was written by Gov. Walker, announcing October as Filipino American History Month.
• Approved travel for Trevor Shaw to attend the Alaska Association of School Boards conference.
• Nominated Shaw to serve on the board of directors for the AASB.
• Heard an annual update from Ketchikan Charter School Principal Julie McFarland.
The next School Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 25.