School of Arts and Sciences

English, Education Alumnus Describes Teaching in Alaska as Greatest Experience of His Life

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Pictured is Simon Huff, Point Park education alumnus and high school teacher at Lower Kuskokwim School District in Goodnews Bay, Alaska. | Photo by Christina Huff


Meet Simon Huff

"I chose Point Park as an undergraduate student for its generous scholarships, campus location in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh and intimate class settings. The quality of the education I received brought me back for more as a graduate student."

-- Simon Huff



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Job title: High School Generalist Teacher
Employer: Lower Kuskokwim School District
Degrees earned: B.A. in English, Point Park University, 2010; M.A. in Linguistics, University of Rochester, 2012 and M.A. in Secondary Education, Point Park University, 2014
College activities: The Body Christian Fellowship, weightlifting and playing music
Hometown: Scottdale, Pa.
High school: Southmoreland High School
Now living in: Goodnews Bay, Alaska
Hobbies/interests: Hunting, fishing, trapping, music, basketball, cultures and languages
Blog about life in Alaska: twohuffsinthebush.blogspot.com

What led you to pursue a teaching position in Alaska?

Alaska has always intrigued me — it’s so vast, untamed and remote. After spending the last eight years in higher education, I was ready for an adventure and to apply my skills to a challenging situation.

As a teacher in Alaska, what have been your favorite experiences and biggest challenges?

Alaska is currently very popular in the cultural zeitgeist. You only have to turn on your television to confirm that. But to be able to live and work with a native culture, to hunt and fish and live and learn with them, has been the greatest experience of my life. At the same time, education is not as much of a priority where the subsistence lifestyle is practiced. This makes my job as an educator challenging, especially during peak hunting and gathering seasons when families are often migratory. 

Why did you choose Point Park for both your undergraduate and graduate studies?

Pictured is Simon Huff, Point Park education alumnus and high school teacher at Lower Kuskokwim School District in Goodnews Bay, Alaska. | Photo by Christina Huff
Huff shows his Pittsburgh Pirates pride in his Alaskan classroom.

I chose Point Park as an undergraduate student for its generous scholarships, campus location in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh and intimate class settings. The quality of the education I received brought me back for more as a graduate student looking to make myself more marketable. 

How has Point Park prepared you for your current position?

As a high school generalist, the quality of the classes I took across the Point Park curriculum has been critical to my success. (This semester I’m teaching physical education, reading, math, Alaska Studies, American History, trapping and Literature II.) Every department at Point Park has leaders in their respective fields who have given me the knowledge and skills I needed to meet the diverse needs of my students. 

What are your career goals?

My current goal includes not being eaten by bears or wolves. If successful, I plan to make the transition to administration or higher education after completing a doctoral program.

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