New school activities director has strong ties to town

Mike Hoyt, who started work as the school district's activities director on Sept. 22, is no stranger to Wrangell.

His mother, Diane Comer, graduated high school here. His father, Mike Hoyt, was born in Wrangell. And his grandmother, Ethel Lund, who died last year, grew up in town and helped found the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

Though Hoyt grew up elsewhere, "I've been here pretty frequently throughout my life."

He moved to Wrangell a couple of months ago. In addition to taking on the activities director contract, he is substitute teaching at the schools.

The activities work opened up after Erik Scheib left the position soon after the school year started, when he took a full-time job with the borough.

Hoyt said he worked as a teacher in Nome for five years, and before that worked at culture camps operated by Goldbelt Inc. and Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau.

"He has served on the Juneau Tlingit and Haida Community Council since 2016 and as a delegate at Tlingit and Haida General Assembly since 2018," according to a 2020 posting on the Sealaska Heritage website. While in Nome, he was adviser to the Nome Native Youth Leadership Organization and "served the Nome Public Schools Equity Committee, which seeks to raise the achievement of all learners and eliminate the racial and socio-economic predictability and disproportionality of the highest- and lowest-achieving groups."

Sports and activities are an important part of student life, Hoyt said, adding that he has helped coach basketball and baseball at past jobs.

His goal in the new job, he said, is to look at what sports and activities can bring out, "not just for the school but for the community at large."

Among his challenges will be managing the crowded schedule at the gym, he said. Between practice times for sports teams, competition against visiting schools and all the other student activities that use the gym, he will put a lot of his time into managing the facility for everyone to share.

Hoyt works under contract and will be paid $8,500 for the balance of the school year, said Superintendent Bill Burr. He is the district's fourth activities director in the past three school years.


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