“Greatest school ever!”
“Polaris is a place of love, laughter, joy, and hope. It will forever be a place I look back at and realize, I would not be where I am without the love and support from teachers at Polaris.
“Polar (that’s what we called it back then) taught me so many lessons. To be kind and accepting of different people and life styles and that friends can come from all different walks of life. You don’t have to stick to the ones who dress like you, think like you, who come from the same background. Polar taught me that I am different and that’s ok. You don’t have to fit into a mold. That you don’t have to put other people down to be cool. That you should build people up to be the best version of themselves that that can be. To be supportive of individuals and their interests. To show up and be happy to be there. I believe that the way they teach there helped he be ready for college. Placing the responsibility of the student on them to turn in homework and be in charge of their own learning prepared me to succeed in college and life."
"Polaris taught me to be a lifetime learner. Even though my path was not direct the drive to keep learning and to achieve success was always there. So many great memories from Polaris it’s difficult to pinpoint one in particular. From watching then murals going up to traveling around the world through intensives. I hear so many people complain about their high school years but I always look back on my school years with fondness.”
“The Polaris community changed me in an amazing amount of positive ways, and I am proud to have been a part of it since the first year. Many many good memories, and on the rare occasion that I make it back to Anchorage, I always make sure to reconnect with old friends who were former students as well as teachers."
“The building blocks Polaris gave me have been instrumental in me landing my dream job, and in advocating for myself and my community. I never would have thought that skills in self-direction and caring about community would drive me to getting a Masters degree, or doing political work.”
"I didn't really realize until I left Polaris (and probably not until after college) how well it had set me up to think critically and have confidence in my ability to accomplish my goals. I might not have known as many hard facts as some of my college friends, but I knew how to learn, how to manage my time, how to ask critical questions, and how to dig deeper into issues instead of accepting them at face value -- all skills that I have found to be incredibly important. "
"I loved the freedom and opportunities Polaris offered me to expand my knowledge in creative and fun ways that always made me want to learn more outside of classes and assignments. I also developed the ability to make friendships with people of all ages and backgrounds, which has been invaluable as I've traveled and entered the workforce."
"The first year of Polar was so unique in terms of really demanding action, activism, and engagement from students. I feel grateful for that experience in light of the current really stressful and scary political climate - so glad that such levels of participation and responsibility were just a given in those formative years."
"Polaris is definitely an awesome school and I’m glad to have gone there. It’s unique perspective on education and the encouragement they gave us the opportunity to be ourselves and find who we are was incredible. I wouldn’t be who I am without it. I can’t believe how fast time has gone by since I’ve graduated."
"All of the staff at Polaris were very encouraging, the community was everything at Polaris—all of the alternative schools in Anchorage are wonderful for this quality. I loved the fact that Polaris was a K-12 school and I enjoyed being part of the positive energy of a new school. As a Senior in my first and final year at Polaris, I was proud to be a yearbook editor with Josh Allen, whom I had known for many years."
“I attended Polaris for my entire scholastic career, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The opportunities I was afforded through the Ellipsis, Sispille, and Taekwondo classes were unique the mural-patterned hallways that were my academic home for 13 unforgettable years.”
“I think fondly of my time at Polaris every time someone shares a horror story from high school. While it wasn't perfect, I loved my time there and miss the people I met there and the things we did together every year.”
"Honestly when my parents told me they were pulling me from my high school and sending me to Polar I was less than happy. I still feel like I may have missed out on a few things that a large high school might have had to offer me but the things I learned not only educationally but about myself and the world around me made up for it a hundred times over.”
“After graduating from Polaris I started college at UAF. I was in and out of college for years and never really found my niche. For a while I held a well-paying but soul-crushing job. I returned to college and got my BA in Human Services from APU. A few years later in obtained my MS in counseling psychology from Northeastern University in Boston. I’m now working as a therapist."
"After Polaris, I took a gap year to travel and volunteer internationally before attending college. I then went to college at the University of Puget Sound and majored in Politics and Government/International Relations (after changing, re-changing, broadening, and re-defining my interests and plans :). After graduation I knew I wanted to work internationally, so I moved to Laos with a Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship and ended up working there for 3 years on a project working with local organizations that work with people with disabilities. I am now in graduate school at Johns Hopkins pursuing Master of Public Health and Master of Business Administration degrees. I'm not sure what is next, but I know it will be somewhere closer to the mountains!"
“Be prepared for surprises in life. When I was at Polaris, I was very creative. I was in art classes, choir, dance and theater. I never would have guessed I would become a Pro Athlete in Downhill mountain biking. The skills that you learn, and the knowledge that you gain about yourself and the world will allow you to go anywhere and do anything. Strive to be a better "you" everyday and you never know where you'll end up.”
"It is okay to not have everything figured out as a senior in high school, that it is fine to have plans but to be open to other opportunities because plans are made to change, and that it is important to reach toward goals, but to also focus on enjoying the present."
“1. Stay weird
2. Keep taking that step out of your comfort zone
3. Remember you love each other”
“Polaris taught me to go outside my comfort zone, the importance of taking responsibility for your own quality of life, to serve others, create, travel to far exotic lands to fight bigotry, work hard, and play outside often!!!”
“Have fun, the opportunities are practically lying around and all you need is the courage to pick them up. It's scary to try it but once you start it's too much fun to stop.”
"The advice I would give to current and graduating polarians would be to cherish what time you have. Take advantage of the opportunities life gives you. Don’t worry too much and enjoy life. You are special and you can make a difference. "
"Say "yes and..." -- listen to others, build on their ideas, be open to, and jump at unexpected opportunities that sound interesting because you never know where they might lead."