The FUNd Stuff at PNA!

"Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information but of unlearning old limits."

- Alan Cohen

Process vs. Product

by Brenna McCormick | PNA K/1st Grade Teacher

At PNA, we believe our students are capable of more than they know. We have high expectations for students, and we strive to challenge them each and every day, providing scaffolding and support as we push them beyond their comfort zones.

The products that our students create are impressive, but the process tends to be even more impressive. It is the process that stretches, helps eliminate old limits, and builds perseverance and grit, important character traits that cannot be otherwise taught. The challenges that arise throughout the process provide the fun, engaging, and meaningful bits of learning and growing, the bits that build character, community, and a desire to overcome challenges and make a difference. In other words, the challenges, and the way students learn to overcome them, set PNA students apart and provide them with the character skills that are necessary to be successful in, and enjoy, life.

Growth mindset is an especially tricky concept for kindergartners, but the ability to embrace and learn from challenges, mistakes, and "failures" is an important skill for even our youngest students to learn. Challenges and mistakes are an inevitable part of life. The way you face them makes all the difference.

By focusing on the learning process, we equip students to not only overcome challenges, but to embrace them as opportunities to grow. It is uncomfortable at times, but it becomes more and more natural over time. As students engage in facing and overcoming obstacles, they learn to take initiative and persevere. They develop determination, learn to think flexibly, and become problem solvers. In short, they develop a growth mindset, which allows them to see challenges and the mistakes that come with them as opportunities to grow instead of obstacles and failures.

Going through life without making mistakes is impossible. Embracing challenges and learning from mistakes as you try to overcome them is an invaluable skill for success in all areas of life. Developing a growth mindset helps students to embrace and overcome challenges and to enjoy the process, obstacles and all. Trying to learn involves embracing challenges, taking risks, and collaborating with others and having fun helps us remember to enjoy the process, even when it is challenging.

These photos were taken during Brown Bag, an annual event where students harness their courage and perform magic tricks, skits, songs, tell jokes, and show off their talents to fellow students, parents, and community members.

Postcards from the Classroom

Click on any photo to jump into the slideshow!

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To make a donation or refer a family to PNA,

call (907) 333-1080 today!

Coming Right Up

Family Outdoor Night

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Three Musketeers

3rd through 8th Grade Musical

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Break

Monday, March 5

through Friday, March 16, 2018

No School

ERB Testing Week

2nd-8th Grade

April 2 through April 6, 2018

Once Upon...

Annual Auction Gala

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pacific Northern Academy Campus

For a full listing of events, please visit

the Calendar page on our website!

In Appreciation

We are grateful to our corporate supporters and individual donors who help make PNA and independent education possible for students and their families in Anchorage, Eagle River, and the Matanuska Valley. We couldn't do it without you!

John Hardwick and Ral West


APU Vestibular Laboratory

Imaging Associates

Plastic Surgeons of Alaska


Friends of PNA

Skiva Investments

Dr. Steven and Lindsay Tucker

Underwriters and In-Kind Donors​


Buzzbizz Creative

Who's Behind this FUNd Stuff madness, anyway?

The FUNd Stuff Editorial Staff

Jennie Tschappat

Kathy Heinlein

Contributing articles this week from

Brenna McCormick, and PNA's student performers.

You can find all the blogs here.

The FUNd Stuff is a bi-monthly (or so) publication from the staff, students, parents, and teachers of PNA.

Want to know more about anything we've highlighted here?

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Thank You! 

As always, our continued success is shared with the people and companies that support us.


Many thanks to... 

John Hardwick and Ral West


Skiva Investments LLC



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Extended Day Program: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm

Front Office 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Contact information


2511 Sentry Drive, Suite 100

Anchorage, Alaska 99507

Tel: (907) 333-1080 Fax: (907) 333-1652

Pacific northerN academy is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization
tax id: 92-0145501