Meet the Faculty

Gaetano Brancaleone, Principal

Saaqat Sivungaq?! Whanga aatqa Qawaagpak (Gaetano David Brancaleone III) and this is my 8th year in Savoonga. I spent 2 years teaching 4th grade, 1 year teaching 2nd grade, and 4 years as the assistant principal in Savoonga. This year I am excited and humbled to be serving our community as the Principal. I am originally from Sint Maarten in the Caribbean but moved to Pennsylvania when I was 7 years old. I have the most wonderful wife, a son who I love to the moon and back, and a dog that is probably part seal who live with me on this beautiful island! I love to spend time with family, explore the outdoors, play VR, and learn new things everyday from our students, community, and staff. I am excited to team up and overcome any challenges this year has to offer, and I look forward to Building the Future Together!

Laura Huggins, Assistant Principal

I'm a Mom to 8 and grandma to 20. I grew up on a ranch in Wyoming and worked as a chef for 20+ years. My greatest loves are cooking, gardening, knitting and doll making. I am excited about another year of serving the students of Savoonga!

Kirstin Klebanski

HS English Language Arts

This is my sixth year teaching and living in Savoonga, but I am originally from the rural part of New York State. I have a Masters in Special Education, and am currently working on a Masters in Educational Administration. My hobbies are reading, baking, and hanging out with friends.

Aaron Freeman

K-12 Art

I am now on my third year as the k-12 Art Teacher in Savoonga. I'm originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado. I go there to visit my family over the summer while I go hiking and camping. I spend a lot of my free time working on my personal art work where I do large paintings or work on illustrating comics and children books. I believe everyone has a story that they can express through art and I love working with students to bring that story to life. My dog Rey is my best friend.

Barb Harberts

ECE Teacher

This is my 20th year teaching in Savoonga and my 10th year as the Early Childhood teacher. Prior to that I taught elementary. I spend my summers in South Dakota and am the youngest of 7 children.

Kathryn Mansfield

Middle School Language Arts

I am a first year teacher from South Mississippi. I went to the University of Wyoming and earned a degree in Secondary Education/English. I have a passion for teaching and for helping students learn. My favorite area of study is William Shakespeare or 19th Century Literature. My ideal day off is either to be outside or sitting on the couch, curled up with a good book. I am very excited to be here and to be a part of the Husky Family!

David Mitchell

High School Social Studies

Kaitlyn Piekarski

Kindergarten teacher

This is my third year teaching for BSSD, and second year in Savoonga. This year I will be teaching kindergarten. I am originally from the east coast, born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania. The arts have held a huge role in my life. Growing up I was involved in various choirs, dance, theater, instrument lessons, painting classes, and more. In addition to the arts, I enjoy being outdoors, traveling, running, and spending time with those I love. I am very excited to be here in Savoonga and greatly look forward to sharing my passion of learning with my students.

David Mock

Middle School Math and Social studies

Hello! My name is David Mock, and this is my fifth year as a teacher, but my first-year teaching in Savoonga, Alaska. I grew up between Burns, Oregon and Glenrock, Wyoming and graduated from Boise State University with a Master’s in history. For the past four years, I taught grades 6-12 English and social studies in Jacksonville, Florida. This year though, I will be teaching middle school math and social studies right here in Savoonga. I enjoy reading, hiking/walking with my dog, Bonnie, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. I am excited about this school year and look forward to seeing and helping my students grow and learn.

Nicholas Czelusniak

Middle/High School Special Education

Nicholas Riddick

Middle School Language Arts

Beth Lockwood

Elementary Special Education

Bernardo Untalasco

4th Grade Teacher

Bernardo Untalasco---been teaching here going on 12 years, taught 9 years in the Y-K Delta, I spend my summers in Juneau, Alaska where I was born and raised, and travel as well. My wife and I have two children, and two grandkids.

Brian Klebanski

HS Math Teacher

I came from from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to teach in Savoonga back in 2013. I enjoy spending my time playing video games and board games. Here in Savoonga, I love going out with my friends fishing, hunting, and riding.

Kathleen Kerkhoff

3rd Grade Teacher

Kathleen Kerkhoff 3rd grade. This is my second year teaching and living in Alaska, though I have visited cousins in Hyder, AK many times. My husband, Ken, was a youth pastor for 31 years - we had kids in our home ALL THE TIME! He died suddenly six years ago; his death started me on the adventure which has led me to Savoonga.

I have three grown children: Cole lives in Albany, OR. Elle and her husband, Brandon, also live in Albany, OR. Madeline and her husband Corbin live in Chicago, IL.

I still have a home in Albany, where I enjoy gardening, biking, reading, hiking, antiquing, quilting, sewing, baking, travel, games, visiting friends, music, camping, and church activities.

Josephine Daniels

1st grade teacher

My name is Josephine Daniels, and I am the new first grade teacher. I am from Golovin/Elim/Soldotna, and graduated from University of Alaska Southeast in May. I am very excited to be here in Savoonga and am very grateful for the kindness the community has shown me. I am glad to get to know your children and help them achieve amazing things as we learn this year.

Scott Herrmann

MS Math and Science Teacher

Hello everyone, for those who may not know, my name is Scott Herrmann and I teach middle school math and science. This is my 13th year in Savoonga, and I’m looking forward to exploring a new activity centered science program with my students this school year.

I grew up camping, hunting, fishing, and berry picking in northeast Washington state. So, it should be no surprise to anyone who knows me that my summers are spent camping and wandering wilderness areas and national parks. The picture is taken on top of 13,000 foot Wheeler Peak located in Great Basin National Park, Nevada.

Celeste Foster

5th grade teacher

I graduated from Simpson University in 2012. My first teaching position was in St. Michael, AK. I have worked or volunteered in the school systems for 22 years. I have three children, Tessa age 30, Lane almost 19, and Sam age 16. I am going to be a Grandma next year!

Tiffany Gerwig

2nd grade teacher

Melissa Schuyler-Carlson

HS Science Teacher

This is my 4tth year in Savoonga, but my 11th year in Alaska (also taught in Kipnuk, Tok, Barrow) and my 13th year teaching. My summer home is in Hastings, Michigan. I am married to Larry Carlson and have one adult daughter, Sydney.

Kristen Woodie

Whanga aatqa, Piitesighaghta. Growing up, I was amazed by the jars of gold nuggets that my grandmother had and the stories of how her father mined the gold in both Oregon and Alaska. When I was twelve, my family visited my aunt and uncle in Juneau for the first time. On that unforgettable trip our pilot crashed his 8 seater float plane, and while we waited for him to get us with his 4 seater we encountered an enormous grizzly bear on Admiralty Island. The glacier has changed a lot since then! If you visit Juneau, keep an eye out for my uncle Woodie's paintings. In my eighth year here in Sivungaq, I'm fulfilling a promise to my first class of students. I promised to watch them graduate, and I can't wait to see them in caps and gowns! As the Instructional Coach I work with teachers to reach their goals and strengthen their instruction so that all students can achieve great things.