Career and Technical Education Wing Grand Opening


Principal Rick Stone giving a speech at West Anchorage High school, during the grand opening of the Career and Technical Education wing on March 31, 2016.

Branden Truong, Reporter

On March 31, 2016 West Anchorage High School, had a grand opening for a newly constructed wing of the school. Around 50 to 60 people came out to the showing, which had Romig students serving cookies to the crowd.

During the Grand Opening of the CTE Wing, Superintendent Ed Graff, West High principal, Rick Stone and Romig principal, Sven Gustafson, spoke on opening day. When asked about how he prepared his speech, Stone said, “Ah, wing it, like I normally do.”

After the opening, Alex Sutton, a West High student, had thoughts on Principal Stone’s speech. “I liked his speech, I think he’s excited for the new wing, and happy to see this many people come out to support. The whole thing was pretty stressful, so I think he is happy it’s done,” he said.

Matt Stephl, West High Alumni, Class of 1973, said ”I was happy to see the new wing, I think it is a real opportunity for the kids. When I came to school here it was mostly fundamentals, they didn’t even have a King Career Center, and it’s nice to see the curriculum diversify.”  

Cutting the ribbon for West High, Timber Kirkpatrick, who was recommended, by teachers.

“The Career and Technical Education (CTE) wing was in construction for one and a half to two years, but was first planned out 10 years ago,” said Principal Rick Stone. For the creation of the new building it cost up to $20 million and the people who led the design, were Kumin and Cornerstone Construction.

Although the new building cost so much Principal Stone does think it was a good investment for the school to make. Even Alumni, Stephl, said, “$20 million sounds about right,” when asked if the price was fair.

When asked if the rest of West High would be rebuilt as well, Stone said, “Hopefully, eventually, probably not in my lifetime, but probably.”

Along with the new wing, there is a sculpture that is hanging in the atrium. Sutton, had thoughts on the sculpture, “I think that sculpture, is the ugliest thing in the world, I think we could have had an eagle sculpture instead,” said Sutton.

Programs that were inducted into the CTE wing, the Operator Academy (process technology and engineering), Medical Academy, and Journalism and Broadcasting.

There are three teachers involved with the Operator Academy: Sven Berglund, Bryan Friedrichs and Leif Jacobsen. Berglund, teaches Geology and Process Technology I. Friedrichs, teaches Process Technology and Geology. Jacobsen instructs Geometry, Math Studies I and II.

Teaching the Medical Academy, are Kirsten Davis, Scott Elmore and Evelyne Tunley. Davis, teaches Human Anatomy, Medical Terminology and Introduction to Pharmacy. Elmore, instructs, Physiology of Wellness. Tunley, teaches Emergency Trauma Technician, Health Occupation Essentials, and Essentials of Athletic Injury Management.

Lastly, Tim Davis and Rachel Stephl are the staff who run the Broadcast Journalism and Production Technology Program. Davis, he teaches Media Foundations and Production Technologies. Stephl, who has taught Journalism at West High for 3 years, teaches Journalism I and II and Media Foundations.