Meet the CRSD -Suzy Rhodes

Each month the CRSD Snippets will highlight one of our dedicated employees.   We will randomly draw a name so that every employee in the district has the opportunity to be recognized for his or her unique and essential role in providing a quality education in our rural environment.   This month, we are pleased to present Suzy Rhodes.

Name: Suzy Rhodes


Birthday: March 21st

Role in the CRSD: Instructional Aide

 Primary Campus: Glennallen

Where are you originally from? Glennallen, AK

Favorite Book/Author/TV Show: Childhood book: Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins. Movie: Identity Thief

Favorite Music Genre: Rock ’n Roll

Favorite Place in Alaska: My favorite place is McCarthy. It is waaaaay off the beaten path, very majestic and beautiful.   It is full of interesting history.

Favorite Place Outside of Alaska: California. I have 2 siblings who live there and they have “In ‘n Out” restaurants, which are the best.

Hobbies: Roller Derby, I play on a Glennallen team, The Copper River Rollers, and a Palmer team, the Denali Destroyer Dolls. Both teams are recruiting. I also enjoy four-wheeling and snowmachining, I go every chance I get. Reading, I love my Kindle app on my phone.  

Favorite Aspect of Teaching: Kids! You gotta love kids to work here. It’s awesome to see the amount of potential and then get to celebrate each achievement with the kiddos.SRhodes

One Interesting Thing About You That Might Be Surprising: I skate on the Palmer team, Denali Destroyer Dolls and for Copper River Rollers, the Glennallen team both of which are recruiting.

Favorite Beverage: Iced Tea

Favorite Snack: Pickles

In One Sentence, What Advice Do You Have for Students? I am an avid rider. Give me a 4-wheeler or a snowmachine and watch me go!!! I enjoy nothing more than spending a day going fast and seeing more of our beautiful state on one of my machines with my family.  

Mrs. Rhodes started working in the Copper River School District in 2011.   Send Mrs. Rhodes an email, buy her a jar of pickles or take her to a nice tall iced tea to let her know how much we appreciate her serving students and families in the CRSD.   Note of caution, don’t get in front of Suzy while she’s in a roller derby, you can give her the iced tea when the match is over.



Alaska education commissioner says state must fix or ditch standardized test | Alaska Dispatch News

Alaska school district superintendents have complained that results generated by the new test are too vague to inform changes in instruction.

Source: Alaska education commissioner says state must fix or ditch standardized test | Alaska Dispatch News

CRSD Snippets – Give a Book

IMG_2615Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever wondered why “My True Love” from the Twelve Days of Christmas song never sent a book?   Out of all those creative (or in my opinion strange) gifts, not once is a book mentioned. You would think at least once in the twelve days of Christmas it would have crossed his mind to give a book, or two, or twelve.   What would make someone think a partridge sitting in a pear tree would be better than a book?   And really, four calling birds?   The racket would be worse than the twelve drummers drumming, especially with all the lords leaping around the house.   And there’s no way those laying geese could offer the enjoyment of a really good book.   Anyway, geese fly south for the winter and books don’t.

Books are a wonderful gift.   They are easy to wrap, relatively inexpensive, and customizable to a recipient’s interest.   Books are timeless treasures and appropriate for any age.   There are books for each season of the year and for every season of life.   Good books keep on giving, even with repeated readings.   And last but not least, books are great for re-gifting.

Books are not gadgets, but you can read them on a gadget.   Books transcend technology and yet history has shown technology has made books available to everyone.   Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis famously said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.   Love of book is the best of all.”   There are a gazillion gadgets, movies, and trinkets you can give for Christmas this year, but none will surpass the value of a book.

Books are to be read, and reading has never been more essential.   Frederick Douglas, a former slave during the time of the Civil War said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”   The world is a messy place these days, and without books we won’t understand what made the mess or how to clean it up. Learning to read is important, but only if one reads; and to read, you have to have good books around.   We must be reading practitioners, reading often and well.   And by reading well, I mean reading to understand, not to be understood.   We should read some new books and old books that have made the world a better place.

So here is my Christmas plea: give books for Christmas.   I hope every child in our valley gets at least one good book for Christmas.   In fact, I hope every person in the valley gets a book for Christmas. If you need ideas, I can think of no better book-consultants that the dedicated folks at the Kenny Lake Public Library ( the Copper Valley Community Library in Glennallen ( The employees and volunteers at our local libraries provide better personal customer service than you’ll find at any bookstore chain.   Stop by or give them a call and you quickly realize our public libraries rival any of those stuffy big-city libraries down the road.

The CRSD also maintains libraries at each of our schools.   Mrs. Heinbaugh and Mrs. Doty can guide students to books that are the perfect fit.   If you need ideas for Christmas gifts, give them a call, send them an email, or stop by the school.   You can also download an app called “MyON” on your tablet that gives your children dozens of high-interest options for reading, all for free! You can watch a short video at to learn more about this terrific reading app for young readers.

C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors, wrote, “The great thing is to be always reading but not to get bored – treat it not like work, more as a vice! Your book bill ought to be your biggest extravagance.”   Buy lots of books this Christmas…for everyone on your list. Take your family down to the library and enjoy checking out good books together. Have a “book trading” party with friends. Everybody brings a book to share.   Make a book basket and leave it on someone’s door step with a nice note, and maybe include some tea or chocolate. Go caroling and leave a book after you sing to add some extra IMG_2617cheer to someone’s holiday.

Skip the turtle doves and French hens by using your creativity to give a book!   I’m positive it will bring a smile to you and them.   And if you have time, send me an email and let me know what books you gave and what books you get this Christmas. I might want to add them to my list for next year!

As you can tell, “My True Love” missed a wonderful opportunity.   A book would have gone perfectly with all the warm milk those maids were providing.   Don’t make the same mistake he did: Give a book to somebody this Christmas.

I wish all of you a book-filled Merry Christmas

Gov. Walker proposes income tax for Alaskans: 10 things you need to know | Local News – Anchorage

Gov. Bill Walker is proposing a personal state income tax as part of his plan to close Alaska’s $3.5 billion budget gap, he announced Wednesday.

Source: Gov. Walker proposes income tax for Alaskans: 10 things you need to know | Local News – Anchorage

Snippets – General Updates Edition December 3, 2015

This is a “General Update” edition of the CRSD Snippets.   Please visit for more district news and information.


On November 9, 2015, the Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) publicly released statewide results for the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) mandated assessment taken by students in grades 3-10 last spring. CRSD teachers and administrators have also received and initially reviewed CRSD specific data.   DEED will send individual student reports to districts soon.   Once we receive those reports, they will be mailed from school offices directly to parents.   AMP is not comparable to the more familiar Standards-Based Assessments (SBAs) from previous years.   In DEED’s words, “Alaska’s current standards are more demanding than the former standards. As a result, AMP is a more difficult assessment than the state’s former assessment.” The percentage of students statewide meeting the new Language Arts standards was 34.76%.   In math, 31.17% of students statewide met standards.   In their press release, DEED summarized the initial AMP data: “Statewide, results varied from grade to grade. In English Language Arts, the percentage of students who met the standards ranged from approximately 29 percent to 42 percent. In mathematics, the percentage of students who met the standards ranged from approximately 21 percent to 41 percent. The remaining students partially met the standards, to varying degrees.” CRSD results were slightly better than the state percentages.   In Language Arts, 38.06% of CRSD students met the new standards with 36.94% of CRSD students meeting the math standards. Our teachers, administrators and students have been working hard to incorporate the new standards into the daily curriculum.   You can find district and school results at


The United States Senate and United States House of Representatives are nearing consensus on a comprehensive revision of the Elementary Education and Secondary Act, commonly known as the “No Child Left Behind Act.”   Media reports have noted the new law will allow more flexibility for states and reduce some of the regulations that have been particularly costly and difficult for rural Alaskan Schools.   Senator Murkowski has been a key participant in crafting the “Every Child Succeeds Act,” pushing other legislators to understand the unique context of schools in Alaska.   Once a bill is passed and receives President Obama’s signature, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development will begin writing new state regulations in order to comply with the updated federal law.   You can learn more about the “Every Child Succeeds Act” through a internet search or by visiting


By the time you read this edition of the Snippets, the Board will have held its regular monthly meeting for December.   The agenda included: approval for new hires, approval of revised graduation date for Kenny Lake School, approve required resolutions for hazardous bus routes and impact aid designee.   The meeting will also include a budget revision based on actual enrollment from the October count period used to determine 2015-2016 revenue.   Please visit and click on ‘BoardDocs’ to see the full agenda and related documents.

2015 EVERY KID in a PARK

Thanks to a grant written by Marne Graham, BLM Glennallen Field Office Public Affairs Specialist and W.I.S.E. Executive Director Robin Underwood, all CRSD 4th graders will get to visit the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.   The award notification says, “It is my pleasure to inform you that Glennallen Field Office has been awarded a 2015 Every Kid in A Park Transportation Grant, funds intended to support connecting fourth grade students with our federal lands and waters. You will receive $1900 for your National Park Foundation (NPF) approved project, “Your Big Backyard!.” This grant was made possible through the generous support of DISNEY and Individual and Foundation Donors.”   To say “thank you” and find out more information, you can contact Marnie at or Robin at On behalf of all CRSD 4th graders, THANK YOU Marnie and Robin.


There is much to celebrate this time of year.   I hope you’ll join our students as they show us how to enjoy the Christmas season.   Please note the following dates and times for school Christmas programs:

December 10th – Slana School Christmas Program at 6:00PM

December 11th – Upstream Learning Dinner & the Arts 6:00PM (Contact Upstream Learning Office for more information and to RSVP)

christmas-clip-art-Christmas_tree_decoratedDecember 15th – Kenny Lake Christmas Concert at 5:30PM
December 15th – Glennallen Junior/Senior High School “A Night of Christmas Music” 6:30PM

December 17th – Glennallen Elementary School Christmas Program at 6:30PM


If you have questions or comments regarding information in this edition of the Snippets, please call 822-3234 ext. 223 or email me at