Changes Coming to West

Paola Gomez, Student

West Anchorage High School is proud of being the oldest high school in Anchorage. West is well-known to have high diversity within its student body, which makes it a pretty great school full of different cultures and backgrounds.  Since the year it was established in 1953, West has gone through a series of changes with its academics, administration and its architecture and more changes are in the works.

Head Principal Sven Gustafson, former principal of Romig Middle School, has gone through his first semester at West as the new principal and has loved every second of it. Gustafson has been working with kids for 25 years.  “I learned that it’s totally fun to be principal at high school, West has cool teachers, cool students and cool programs. The night before school restarted from break I was excited I couldn’t sleep because I wanted to get back,” said Gustafson about his first semester at West.

New changes have taken place for second semester bell schedule. In order to create the schedule, Gustafson and a group of teachers got together to create the updated schedule for it to work for both students and teachers.

BethAnn Brogan with her junior English class.  Brogan has worked at West for 17 years.

Apart from small changes like the bell schedule, Gustafson believes there will be more opportunities for career technology education (CTE), more opportunities for internships and externships, and hopes for growth in the engineering program. “I want to figure how we can give kids opportunity give student different experience different things, make sure they all have a pathway to want they want,” Gustafson said on bigger changes for West and the students.

At the front office you can find yourself with Vicky Filemu-Tueipi, who has been working at West  since 2016.  Filemu-Tueipi has liked working with the new administration this past semester and sees good things happening in the future of the school. “I hope we have more stuff to do after school like after school programs I think we need that,” Filemu-Tueipi says.

Beth Ann Brogan is an English teacher at West and has a passion for teaching. Brogan has been working at West for 17 years. “I love West; I don’t want to go anywhere else.  If I wasn’t teaching at West I wouldn’t be working for the ASD,” Brogan said.

Last year when it was announced that a new principal and administration would be introduced, Brogan said she had a few hesitations. “I feared there’d be big changes all at once I think a good leader like Mr. G will take some time to observe on how things go. He’s made small but positive changes and kept things that work and that’s very good,” says Brogan.

Brogan has been here through many changes at West. For her the most outstanding is the architecture and how the building itself has changed. The CTE wing has been added on and there’s new construction of the library counseling offices. Brogan says it’s amazing to think back to 17 years ago and how much the building and programs have evolved.