SVS News

Susitna Valley Junior/Senior High School: "Home of the Rams"



Dear SVS Families,

Whew! We did it! What a crazy ending to our school year. As we settle into the summer months, I just want to say thank you to all of you in our SVS community. It did take all of us to keep things moving along during the extended school closure. We missed your children, and we look forward to seeing them again next fall. For now, we hope you all enjoy our gorgeous Alaska summer!

In addition, I want to take a moment to honor our staff who are leaving us for other life adventures, and introduce to you our new staff joining our SVS family. See below for parting words, and introductions.

The district is opening up registration for the 2020-2021 school year on June 29. This is later than usual, and the hope is that we will all have more information on what the opening of school might look like later in the summer. We hope to see all of your children in person in the fall! No matter what the new school year holds, we know it won't be fully "normal". Please watch for emails and texts in July as I return to work and let you know how we will start the year.

For now, for your planning purposes:

  • Registration opens June 29 (see link below, and watch email and text for more information to come)
  • School start for students, at this time, is August 13 (this is subject to change)
  • We will do a longer than usual add/drop period for class schedules, beginning in late July. Watch your email and texts for more information as we return to work in July. We will make sure everyone has plenty of time to make changes since schedules did not get mailed to students this spring.
  • Incoming 6th graders and parents, we will do a special orientation in the fall, just for you, since we did not have our normal move-up day this spring. Stay tuned to email and text for more information in late July.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions, concerns, or needs. We are here for you.

Partners in education,

Lisa Shelby, SVS Principal



What an honor to spend twenty-seven years as a teacher at Susitna Valley with exceptional students and smart and passionate colleagues. The best education should present an experience, and especially one in which a child learns to think for themselves, and that is exactly for what Su Valley strives. Now I will toodle off, play my ukulele and write poetry, and let the next generation of incredible teachers take my place. Farewell and thank you Susitna Valley ramily. #suvalleyproud.


Mrs. Trump



I am practicing what I preach to all of my students: Create a goal, put it on your vision-board, nab that opportunity. I’m leaving SVS with a heavy heart, forever bleeding Blue and Gold but also understanding that I have a path taking me elsewhere. That “elsewhere” is leading Midnight Sun Charter School as the new teaching-principal. It’s scary new territory for me but like graduates of SVS, I feel that my years at Susitna Valley have prepared me to tackle obstacles much bigger than my stature. Thank you , students, parents, and all of the administrators over the years that have supported me through all of my endeavors! Staff, I will miss all of you.


Mrs. Harren


Dearest Ramily,

I have been lucky to both grow up in and teach in this loving, accepting family. Thank you so much for helping me become who I am today. My experiences as a student and as a teacher at Su Valley have been very formative and I am so grateful. I was shocked to discover that my awkward teen years were either not remembered or set aside by the stellar teachers I worked with. That in itself was a huge gift but the Su Valley staff didn’t stop there. They were, and are, incredibly dedicated to their students and to their subject matter.

Students, I am going to miss you so much. I have taught some of you since you were very little and it blows my mind when I stop and think about how much you have grown. I was looking forward to the day you graduated high school, to seeing all of your accomplishments, cheering you on in your basketball games, and more low key crying sessions during class when you do something that makes me unbearably proud of you.

However, pre-Covid my family and I decided that we needed to move. While I know that this move will be best for my family and my biological children, I will always hold you in my heart as my honorary children. I have spent hours over the years thinking of you and hoping the best for you and I will continue to do so. You have taught me so much. I’m not sure I even consciously realize all that I have learned from you. I had soooooooooo much fun with you in will choir, band, and elementary music classes and I hold them close to my heart. But regardless of where I live I am always here for you.

Keep in touch,

Mrs. Kayti


Hello SVS Community,

In the 2006-2007 school year, I was an intern teacher at Su-Valley, and it was a wonderful experience. I knew that my family would ultimately settle in this area, but we first wanted to explore more of Alaska and beyond. Over the past 13 years, I have taught math, science, and other assorted subjects to middle and high school students in McGrath, Healy, Bangkok, and Tunis, Tunisia. It’s been a long time coming, but my family and I are eager to settle and join the community, and I am excited to meet my new students next year.


Mrs. Burcar


Dear SVS Community,

I was born and raised in Indiana. My curiosity for people, culture, and history eventually led me to the University of Southern Indiana; where I earned a degree in History and a minor in Anthropology and Secondary Education. I fell in love with traveling in college while exploring the countryside of Ireland and the waterways of Northern Ontario.

I am a personable, outgoing, and honest person. I take great pride in being an educator and I love to help students achieve their goals. I am a lifelong learner. My hobbies are hiking, backpacking, fishing, basketball, playing banjo, and woodworking.

In 2015, I moved to Southeast Alaska to work as a Tour Guide in Skagway, where I quickly fell in love with Alaska. In the spring of 2016, my work with Alaska Nature Guides brought me to Talkeetna. I've spent the past four summers in the area working in Denali State Park, with the intention of making a home in Talkeetna.

My wife and I have recently moved back to Alaska to be closer to family, friends, and the slower pace of life that Alaska offers. We are excited to be a part of the Talkeetna community.


Mr. Dick


Dear SVS Community,

My name is Mrs.Clark and I am thrilled to be your Music Teacher this year! It is going to be a FUN year filled with lots of learning and new adventures. I can’t wait to meet you and get to know you better!

I grew up in Wasilla and graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with my Bachelors in Music Education. I have been working around MSBSD for the last 4 years before I decided to venture to the Talkeetna area. My husband, Ben, and I have been married for 1 year. We have 6 fur-kids; three dogs and three cats. They are my pride and joy!

Here are a few of My Favorite Things…

Favorite Color: Blue/Teal

Favorite Drink: Pepsi Free

Favorite Season: Fall

Favorite Hobby: Travel

Favorite Animal: Dogs

Favorite Composer: Mozart

Favorite Activity: Bon-Fires

Favorite Movie: Shrek


Mrs. Clark


Watch for more details to come to you via email and text about registering your child(ren) for the 2020-2021 school year. Registration has been pushed to June 29 to allow for more information to be readily available regarding COVID-19.