Meet Our Staff


Sean Mikels

Welcome to Shishmaref School, home of the Northern Lights! My name is Sean Mikels and I am the proud principal of our school.

I am happy to join the knowledgeable and dedicated staff here at Shishmaref School. As an educator I have had many rich experiences including time teaching 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, ASD, SpEd, 9-12 English, and 7-12 Science. During the 2018-2019 school year I was fortunate to be the Vice Principal here in Shishmaref and for the 2019-2020 school year I was the Principal/AP at a school in Florida.

Shishmaref School has a strong tradition of focusing on doing what is best for each child academically, socially, and emotionally. I look forward to working together in partnership to serve the students and families of our community.

Feel free to stop in and say hello, call (649-3021), or email ( Should you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please let me know.

Vice Principal

My name is Steve Bellande I am excited to be the Northern Lights new Vice Principal. I look forward to welcoming our families, community and students to Shishmaref School. I come to the Shishmaref with many different types of life experiences. I grew up in rural Washington State, went to Central Washington University and studied Athletic Training. I attended Portland State University to receive a Master of Science. Studied School Counseling at Saint Martin’s University and Educational Leadership at Seattle Pacific University. I have 17 years of experience in athletic training (sports medicine) at two Universities. 2 years as a school counselor on the Island of Molokai in Hawaii. 10 years of experience as a high school athletic director, and 3 years in school administration. I look forwarded in meeting members of the Shishmaref community. One of my greatest attributes is building strong relationships and being part of the community. Please come by introduce yourself I look forward to getting to know our families. Please feel free to call me at: (907) 649-3021 or email:


Kate Kokeok

I am originally from Shishmaref and have been teaching in Shishmaref since I graduated from college. I have 4 children, Edward, Carter, Elizabeth, and Cohen. I enjoy camping, boating, ice fishing, and sewing.

1st Grade

My name is Allison Hargrave, and I teach 1st grade. I'm originally from Colorado. I graduated with my B.A. in Art History and Humanities, from the University of Colorado-Boulder. I then moved to Seoul, Korea where I taught English as a Second Language. After I returned to the United States, I earned my M.A. in Teaching (K-6) from Colorado College, before moving to Alaska. This is now my 8th year as a teacher for the Bering Strait School District. I taught in Brevig Mission for two years and this will be my sixth year in Shishmaref. Outside of teaching, I'm studying to be a Reading Specialist.

2nd Grade

My name is Amy L. Eningowuk and I'm from Ohio. I attended Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. I graduated in 2009 with my Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Interventions Specialist, and a K-12 Reading Specialist Certification. In college I also studied abroad in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany; where I taught English to second graders. I moved to Shishmaref in August 2009. My first two years were spent teaching ECE. I also taught one year of 1st grade. However, this year is my eighth year teaching second grade. I married Barret Eningowuk in 2015. We love spending time together with our kids Trevor, Madalynn, Hayden, and Theo. An interesting fact about me is that I'm a former competitive swimmer and swim team coach.

3rd Grade

Angela Bennett

New this year to Shishmaref School

4th Grade

Sam Schmidt

I grew up and graduated from Nome Alaska. There I spent most of my time outdoors playing around the dredges and on tundra. Summers and spring I always like to get as many birds and fish as I can catch. I recently graduated from University of Alaska Fairbanks with B.A in Elementary Education and decided to teach my favorite grade in Shishmaref. So far it's been a great decision. I get to explore, teach, and I caught a bunch of salmon, so life is pretty great.


5th Grade

Tyler Yoder

New to Shishmaref School

6th Grade

Hello, my name is Poly. I have a dog named Maxwell. Maxwell is partially blind so I am his seeing eye human. He is my traveling companion. We have served in the military, travelled while teaching and exploring the world. We have family in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Montreal, Quebec.

Middle School Teacher

Daniel Barnett

I was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. My hobbies include camping, travel, downhill and cross-country skiing. This is my first year in Shishmaref. I'm excited to teach math and science to our middle school students. My goal is to give them the skills to be successful in high school. With my aviation background, I am excited to introduce students to basic piloting skills on our flight simulator.

Middle School Teacher

Roben Itchoak

My name is Nuiluk, Roben Itchoak. I grew up in Nome and went to

college in Nome, Sitka, and Oregon. My husband and I moved to

Shishmaref with four of our kids in the summer of 2019. I hope to

inspire students to engage in lifelong learning and to help them

become better readers, writers, thinkers, and communicators as they

learn about the history of the world and the United States.

Secondary Math Teacher

Bob Young

Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Brown county, St. Mary's Hospital, on October 11, 1965. I was adopted by Robert and Helen Young of Baraboo, Wisconsin at about 1 month of age. The Baraboo area has a state park 2 miles outside of town, Circus World Museum, the Al Ringling theater, a zoo, North Continent Railway Museum with real steam trains, and is 15 minutes from Wisconsin Dells and 45 minutes from the State Capitol in Madison, WI. South Central Wisconsin was a great place to grow up.

I have one sister, Shelly; A nephew, Josh; and a great nephew, Wyatt. No children- never married.

I attended the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater and graduated in 1991, with a BSE in Mathematics/Physics. I also earned two associates degrees. - Microcomputer Specialist and Network Specialist.

I have had several jobs in my lifetime: Delivering papers, de-tasseling corn, stocking shelves in a drug store, hardware store, factory, one-stop shop gas station, managed a Pizza Hut, managed my parent's tavern, half-way house manager, tutored, trained, etc.

I have enjoyed living and teaching in Shishmaref for eleven years. I look forward to the upcoming school year.

Reading/Language Arts Teacher

Shaun Milligan is the high school ELA instructor at Shishmaref School. He is a graduate of Burns Jr./Sr. High School in Burns, Wyoming. Milligan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Hastings College where he double-majored in Philosophy and International Studies. He then earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of Wyoming in the American Studies department. As well, he has completed a course of study at the l'Institut de Catholique de Paris in Paris, France in French and Photography. Milligan is an avid University of Wyoming athletics fan and he enjoys reading.

Science Teacher

Ken Stenek

Taught in Shishmaref for 21 years. Originally from Elma, WA. I moved to Alaska in 1995 to attend UAF. I completed my B.S. in General Biology, in 1997 and my M.A.T. in 1999. I accepted a teaching position here in Shishmaref at that time and have been here since. I married Lisa Stenek in October 2001. We have seven children together. All are attending school this year from pre-k through 11th grade. In my spare time I documented the bird species that use the surrounding area and so far have over 125 different species. I also enjoy subsistence activities like salmon fishing and berry picking.

Secondary Social Studies Teacher

Randy Holweger

Born and raised in Hatton, ND

Youngest of 5 children

Attended college in North Dakota

Taught 2 years in rural ND before moving to Shishmaref in the Fall of 2014.

Secondary Special Education

Hi! My name is Bethany. I'm originally from Ohio (Go Bucks!). I graduated in 1999 with my teaching degree from Marietta College in Ohio. I have been teaching ever since. This school year will be my 18th year teaching. I have taught in Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, and Alaska. Every state has offered new and exciting knowledge and challenges. In Alaska, I have taught in Holy Cross, Kotzebue, Nome, and now Shishmaref. This is my 4th year teaching Special Education. I can say that I love the village and kids in Shishmaref. Everyone has worked to make me feel welcome and part of the team. I look forward to an exciting and rewarding school year!

Metal Shop Teacher

David J Olson

I grew up in southwest Alaska, i've been a commercial fisherman all my life for salmon, cod, and crab(Deckhand, engineer, and Captain), welder, mechanic, and medic since 1988, pilot since 1984. I taught Emergency Medical, welding and small engine mechanics for UAF, UAS, Coast Guard Marine Medical, Kanakanak Hospital, and South Central Foundation. I have been working at the Shishmaref School since 2010. I received my NASP Certificate for Teaching CTE in 2013.

Art Teacher

George Guyver

I grew up in Colorado, and was indoctrinated into the kingdom of the outdoors, by parents and family who saw value in being outside and being active. I love skiing, camping, and rock climbing, as well as pleasure reading and creating art! Early on in life I developed a love for creating things with my hands. Thus, when I went to Boulder CU for my college, it was no surprise that I pursued my undergraduate degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Ceramics. After college, I went to Kaohsiung Taiwan to teach English. I very quickly realized how much I enjoyed the social aspect of teaching and how rewarding it was to contribute to student’s learning. Shortly thereafter, I started my masters degree in Arts Education. When I completed the education degree, I took an art teaching position in Kuwait. I soon found myself being called back to the places of expansive nature, and applied to teach in Alaska, which is how I made it here to the peaceful and friendly village: Shishmaref.

Librarian/Migrant Education

My name is Darlene Tocktoo, born and raised in Shishmaref, Alaska. This school year, I will be teaching Library Skills for grades K-6. I also will be continuing the Migrant Education Program, to help fund the necessary programs for our site. The library will have a lot more space for instructional time and be more library friendly. The computers will not be available, however, there will be a compute lab on the elementary side. I'm looking forward to the upcoming school year this fall.

Elementary Special Education

My name is Lisa Villano, and I am the Elementary Special Education teacher. I am one of the rare breed of Bush Alaska teachers that was actually raised in Alaska myself, as I am from Fairbanks. I am also a second-generation Bush Alaska teacher - my parents both taught in St. Mary's, Alaska, for three years in the 1970s. I graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in Psychology in 2010, and from the University of Alaska Anchorage with my teaching credential in 2014. Additionally, I worked in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for six years, until moving with my husband, Chioke, to Shish in 2016.

Bilingual/Bicultural Aide

Helenmarie Bessi (Senungetuk) Sinnok - Bilingual/Bicultural Aide since 2008. Married to Warren, mother of 4 children - all who graduated from this school. I am a grandmother of 2 boys and 1 girl. Born in Anchorage, lived most of my life in Shishmaref since I was 7. Graduated from the Shishmaref School. I love being outdoors, I enjoy the subsistence lifestyle, and preparing our foods. Dog mushing and racing off and on since the age of 16, snow machining, boating, camping, hunting, fishing.