The students and staff of Mount Edgecumbe High School recently completed a Walk To New York wellness program that saw one team walk the entire distance from Sitka to New York City (2,897 miles, according to Allison Sayer, who coordinated the program for the state-run boarding school).
This voluntary program for students and staff started on Jan. 28 and ended April 15. Teams had 12 members. Each participant received a pedometer and logged their steps each day on charts posted throughout the dormitories, Allison said. Many students took additional trips “over the bridge” to town to get more steps (Mount Edgecumbe High School is located on Japonski Island, across the O’Connell Bridge from downtown Sitka located on Baranof Island). There also were walking events at night in the school’s B.J. McGillis Gymnasium.
Maps helped record the students’ and staff members’ progress as they walked across the continent, and students won various prizes donated by local merchants for reaching different milestones. All of the teams that reached Chicago (2,329 miles from Sitka, using airline mileage charts) were invited to participate on a cruise on the Eyak, donated by David Castle, to Medvejie Hatchery just outside Sitka.
One team, Team No. 4, made it all the way to New York City and will celebrate with a party. The team included students Hannah Kimber, Caelin Murray, Pearl Jackson, Coral Jackson, Jewel Jackson, Taylor Stumpf, Shannon Ongtowasruk and Evelyn Evans, plus staff members Ron Grimm, Lacey Wolfe, Rose Demmert and Jessie Natkong.