NEW STUYAHOK, Alaska - Roughly 3,000 miles from Beloit, Meghan (Rogstad) Redmond continues to make a difference in a tiny town far away from the hustle and bustle of conventional city life.
Redmond, a 2003 graduate of Beloit Turner High School, her husband, Andy, and their three children live in New Stuyahok, Alaska. Population: 500.
She is the vice principal/guidance counselor at Chief Ivan Blunka School, a pre-school through grade 12 institution with an enrollment of 134 pupils.
Recently, the National Association of Secondary School Principals named her National Assistant Principal of 2019.
"It is very humbling, but I don't do my job for awards," Redmond said during a recent phone conversation.
"I try to help ensure students here have the same opportunities as they do in larger districts. We have a lot of technology and virtual college visits," she said.
Redmond and her husband first moved to Alaska nine years ago from Baldwin, Wisconsin, where she taught. Next, they moved to Twin Hills, Alaska, where she was the lead teacher for five years and he was an instructional aide. They moved to New Stuyahok three years ago when she accepted the vice principal job. She works at the school and her husband stays home with their children, the youngest of whom is just 3 months old.
When asked why they moved to such remote places, Redmond did not hesitate.
She and her husband had always wanted to visit the state and once they arrived, they fell in love with it.
"It's an absolutely incredible place to live. Beautiful. Especially if you like the outdoors; we got a completely different lifestyle and we can take more time to enjoy our family," she said.
Just as the vice principal is appreciative of her job and surroundings, so is the school and community appreciative of her, according to Chief Ivan Blunka School Principal Robin Jones.
Jones nominated Redmond for the state award, which then went on to the national competition. Jones has known her vice principal for nine years and says they are also good friends.
"I just think no one is more deserving than Meghan," of the award. "She's resourceful and creative and uses a personable approach with staff, students and the community. I appreciate how she best meets our school needs and complements the team," Jones said.
Redmond also helps students with career planning and has been instrumental in working with the Brystol Bay technology Program for students. In addition, she helps plan student trips, teaches quilting, sewing and cross stitchery. Redmond also incorporates the Yup'ik language and culture of the New Stuyahok people into the school day.
Besides working as the vice principal and guidance counselor, Redmond also is the student council adviser and senior class adviser.
After graduating from Beloit Turner High School, Redmond graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2007, taught three years in Baldwin and then moved to Alaska in 2010.
The family travels back to Wisconsin to see relatives about every other year, said Meghan Redmond's mother, Tina (Quillen) Rogstad of Beloit.