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Igiugig School graduates class of one

Avery Lill/ KDLG

Igiugig School's only senior, 17-year-old Dolly Zharoff, graduates this week. In the fall, she will attend the University of Alaska Anchorage

Dolly Zharoff will have the stage to herself as she graduates from Igiugig School on Tuesday. She will head to the University of Alaska Anchorage in August for a two-year Culinary Arts program.

In recent years the village has taken trips to New Zealand and Arizona for cultural exchange with native communities in those areas. Fundraising for these trips piqued her interest in baking.

“Throughout the school year and on my free time I bake a lot and cook. For fundraising to go to New Zealand and Arizona we hosted dinners and movie nights, and we cooked and baked a lot for that. That got me interested more to do culinary arts,” says Zharoff.

The village of about 70 people has 17 students in school this year. In the five years that head teacher Tate Gooden has taught at the school, Zharoff is his fifth graduate.

“We’ll definitely be losing our leader. She’s one of those students who volunteers for everything, a proactive student. She sees something that needs to be done, and then she does it, and then she moves onto the next thing that needs to be done,” says Gooden.

This summer, between graduation and starting classes at UAA, Zharoff will work at Igiugig Lodge.

Contact the author at or 907-842-2200.