GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

2nd Member Resigns From School Board

Sentinel Staff Writer

After four years on the Sitka School Board, the last one as president, Elias Erickson has submitted his resignation.

“These past four years have not been easy, but I am encouraged by the work we have done together advocating for students, and ensuring fair and effective governance,” Erickson said in a statement.

Erickson was a senior at Sitka High when he was elected to the board in 2017, following his year-long honorary membership on the board as the non-voting Sitka High representative.

After last year’s election, when board president Jennifer McNichol’s term expired, he succeeded her as board president.

“I am thankful to have been given the chance to give back to my community in this way, and I will always smile when I reflect on this time,” Erickson said in his statement.

The board accepted the resignation of member Dionne Brady-Howard earlier this month, kicking off a search for a replacement for that vacancy until this year’s city election in October. The board terms of both Erickson and Brady-Howard were expiring this year.

The other three members of the board, a bare quorum, are scheduled to make interim appointments to the two open positions at Wednesday’s board meeting. The board had advertised for applicants to fill the vacancy created by Dionne-Brady’s resignation, and received responses from Blossom Twitchell, Mitch Mork, Mary Suminski, Andrew Hames and Cathleen Pook.

For the first time since the beginning of the global pandemic, the meeting will be held in person. Those interested in viewing from a distance can do so over Zoom. School Board meetings held over Zoom became standard after the pandemic started.

The information needed to join the meeting on Zoom can be found on the school district website,

The board will convene in the Sitka High School commons at 5 p.m. for the board candidate interviews, and the regular meeting will follow at 6 p.m. 

In addition, the board meets again this Thursday to discuss plans for the coming school year. Interim Superintendent John Holst said that the board will vote on whether to push the school start date from August 20 to August 27. Holst added that the Thursday meeting will be the first for the two new members who will be picked Wednesday.


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

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 noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

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

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




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



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