Saturday, May 06, 2006

164. Elder of the Year

(An article for the school newspaper by Delores, one of my students)

At the end of February, Deering high school students voted for Elder of the Year. We established three criteria for what makes a great elder: how he/she contributes to the community and region, how he/she works to preserve traditional culture, and, last but not least, how he/she is a good role model for everyone. One person scored perfectly on all three categories, Stella.

Stella contributes to the community and the region helping out as much as she can. She cooks for all the potlucks, she helps out here at the school, and is always doing extra things. At every school activity, whether it’s a 3-on-3, cakewalk, or anything else Stella is always there to support the school or bakes cakes for the cakewalks. She gives so much to Deering and the NANA region.

Stella works to preserve traditional culture by teaching Inupiaq language and sharing stories of Inupiaq. She has been teaching these subjects for 8 years now. The class is really fun, I had it when I was younger. She not only teaches Inupiaq but also does games and other fun indoor activities to keep students involved.

Perhaps the greatest reason Stella was chosen as Elder of the year is that she is such a good role model. She is a sweet, loving and kind mind and helps out with anything that she can help with. She does extra things for people and also for the school. She is a living model of the Inupiat Ilitqusiat, the system of values that define us as Inupiat.

On behalf of the Deering High School students I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Stella. We are very thankful to have you as a staff member, friend and role model.

We need more Stellas in the world. She seems sweet.
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