NEW TRAIL – Asa Dow wears a mask as he cuts a branch placed at the exit of the new 907 single-track mountain bike trail loop off the Sitka Cross Trail to officially open the trail Monday afternoon. Dow was one of about a dozen volunteers who built the trail, the first of its type in Sitka. The single-lane trail is exclusively for bikers and runs south to north. The Sitka Cycling Club, which organized the construction, will be building a second bicycle trail off the Cross Trail. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Sitka Superintendent Takes University Job

Sentinel Staff Writer

After finishing her job as Sitka School District superintendent in June, Mary Wegner will take charge of educational leadership programs at the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, the district announced Friday.

Wegner told the Sentinel that she will serve as an “assistant professor at the Alaska College of Education, (in the) educational leadership faculty. The main focus of the position is to head up the masters (program) in educational leadership, that is required for people to become principals.”

Wegner earned her doctorate while studying distance learning through technology.

“Online learning is something I’m very passionate about, especially sametime synchronous online learning,” she said.

She said that one thing she will have to deal with is bandwidth issues that can cause problems with online learning in Alaska.

Wegner said her new position will involve teaching, administrative work, and interfacing between students and faculty.

This won’t be her first time as an assistant professor at UAS. She taught there in the early 2000s.

Wegner has worked in the Sitka School District for the last decade. She said she has enjoyed her time as superintendent, but it has been stressful. “I really have enjoyed being a superintendent, despite all the challenges and the stresses.

“I’ve really enjoyed doing it because of the ability to make systemic change… but it’s intense, it’s intense in work, it’s intense in expectations.”

Wegner added that moving to Juneau will allow her to spend more time with her grandchildren.

Looking back, she said, she’s “really most proud of our partnership with Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and what we’ve done to really make our schools more culturally responsive and really adjust the academic and social needs of our students.”

What will she miss most about Sitka?

“The people,” she said.

“It will be nice being closer to my grandkids. I have really appreciated being in Sitka, I feel connected to the community, I’m really proud of what we’ve done here,” she said.


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-3-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:10 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 18

Total statewide – 505

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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