The FUNd Stuff at PNA!

Distance Makes

the Heart Grow Fonder

By: Sarah Mariner

PNA Middle School Teacher

I've always been a strong believer in Pacific Northern Academy’s mission, philosophy, and methodologies. But never have I believed in them more than through this last trimester of distance learning. It was as if students and teachers had been in training their whole PNA careers for this moment…. These students had to be independent thinkers to navigate all the problems that might pop up. They had to help their younger siblings and family members in roles they had never had before. They had to be responsible and take charge of their own learning. Middle Schoolers rose to the challenge and led the way. Time and time again, strong roots in community have proven to play a significant role in positive responses to crisis. Maintaining ties between students, teachers, and families was PNA’s main focus. Without community, who are we? Through community we knew we could continue to grow and learn despite the obstacles.

Watch PNA's 8th Grade Graduation video: CLICK HERE

Once things stabilized, we were able to sit back and watch our students relax in their new routines. And while we spent some time learning new technologies and problem solving glitchy devices, we relied on our strengths. For Middle Schoolers, Project Based Learning found its most authentic place. 8th Graders worked on their graduation speeches and learned how to make them into videos for the 2020 Graduation Ceremony. In Social Studies, all students kept a primary source journal documenting and reflecting on daily challenges and developments of the pandemic. In science, students learned about the nature of viruses and how they work and then explored in depth any aspect of pathogens that was of interest to them specifically.

Pathogens Infographic Book: (CLICK HERE)

But when we let them choose whatever they wanted to focus on and develop their own interest, they truly shined. Students followed a plan that they created and adapted for themselves toward a goal they wanted to achieve. Interests ranged from photography - to cooking - to reimagining interior airplane design - to sewing - to coding - to art - to anatomy and history of medicine - to training a puppy - to running - to building a trebuchet - and others!

MS Project Book CLICK HERE

For me, distance learning has reinforced all of PNA’s strengths and deepened their meaning. I have seen the community, the integrity, and the independent thinking in action. I am very proud of our school and the families that make up our community. And while I am not fond of distance learning, I know that if we have to continue with some form of it, PNA is the place I would want to be.

8th Grade Graduation & Celebration!

Despite an unusual ending to their 8th grade year, all of us at PNA could not wait to celebrate all of our students' accomplishments.

After PNA's Virtual Graduation, staff and families surprised our 8th graders with a parade of cars, cheers, and air hugs. We can't wait to see what these amazing kids do next.

PNA's Virtual Cocktail Party

Pacific Northern Academy strives to be innovative. That's why, when our annual in-person auction was unable to occur this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought, why not have a virtual party?!

In a short time, we were able to put together an interactive virtual event that was part party, part auction and part fundraiser.

We are proud to have brought together such an amazing group of people who value the work we do and believe in our dedication to providing the best independent education possible. Our connection with PNA families, friends and alumni only make us stronger and we truly value those who are a part of our PNA community.

With the help of our incredible PNA community, we were able to reach our fundraising goal!

Postcards from the (Virtual) Classroom

Click any picture to jump into the slideshow.

If you want to check out students final passion projects from the end of the school year visit: and read our teacher blogs.

Like What You See?

You Can Support It!

Your gift benefits today's students and everyone's future.

Spread the word, and don't let PNA be Anchorage's best kept secret. Let your friends know!

To make a donation or refer a family to PNA, Call (907) 333-1080 or click here to visit the giving page on our website.

Other Ways to Support PNA

Link your Fred Meyer rewards card:

Link your Rewards Card to Pacific Northern Academy by visiting

Whenever you use your Rewards card when shopping at Fred Meyer, you’ll be helping PNA earn a donation from Fred Meyer.

Rewards Customers still get the Rewards Points, Fuel Points and Rebates

Shop with Amazon Smile:

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

On your first visit to, you need to select Pacific Northern Academy from the list of charitable organizations before you begin shopping.


Pick.Click.Give. allows Alaskans to donate a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividend to causes they care about statewide.

While applying for your PFD online, your can choose to Pick.Click.Give to Pacific Northern Academy. All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive tax documentation from the State once their donations have been processed. Permanent Fund Dividend applications are available from January 1 to March 31, though Alaskans may choose to add or adjust their pledges online through August 31.

Just One More...

Thank you to PNA students, staff, families, friends and community for another wonderful school year. We couldn't have made it through without you!

Many Thanks to

John Hardwick and Ral West

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

Skiva Investments LLC

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? Get in touch! (907) 333-1080 or


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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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Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 3:15 pm

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