Mr. Garrett Schmelzenbach

Phone: 350-4255


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Garrett Schmelzenbach


Oops. Sorry. Feeling a little cooped up… you know…. like I have been ‘sheltering-in-place’ for weeks and because I don’t have a dramatic outlet and captive audience 1 that I have a little bit of dramatic energy spewing 2 around.

So. We are heading into Q4 and ‘new materials/phase 2’ of remote learning in this global pandemic. Fun 3.  This means you are checking here because of Life Skills, or Drama or Careers… probably Life Skills because those students haven’t been in classes with me…. Mostly.

Sooo… Hi. Um… generic teacher stuff? Born and raised in Alaska…Started commercial fishing 4 when I was 11 years old and I am still a commercial fisherman because I have to support my teaching habit somehow. My summers out on the ocean fishing in a small boat with 4 or more people is VERY weirdly like shelter-in-place is like now. Uh…took way to many History and Drama classes in school…? (If you want to know other things ask me.) I have been a CLASSROOM teacher for like 1000 years 5, which obviously means I enjoy it and feel successful at it. This is not the current feeling I have in the remote learning world.

Several things. I recognize the extreme circumstances that we are all in. Some much much worse than others, and that the feeling I have from my family (and speaking with lots of other students and families) is that they are completely overloaded and overwhelmed with everything. We are all just trying to get by, stay safe for the sake of those who are vulnerable, and not go completely-underpants-on-your-head crazy 6.

So for all of my classes as we head into phase 2 7… I want to be very very clear. The materials and tasks for my classes, in the packets and online, are supplemental, optional, and entirely your choice to do, or not to do at all. I do not want to contribute to the stress of what we are under in any way. It is my intention to give students materials to try some things… to think about some things… and a space where they can not feel like they don’t have to do ‘get stuff done’ but still connect with other students and a teacher who cares about them. All of the work is your choice, and your life circumstances (mine too!) are WAY more complicated than just getting school materials and figuring out how to do them and turn them in.

Let me be as blunt as possible. If you/your family is overwhelmed or overloaded or stressed at all… DO NOT DO THIS WORK 8.

The mental health of you, and yours, is much more critical during this time than Drama, or Careers or Life Skills class work. I don’t think we will really understand just how much this pandemic has impacted us personally or as a world for a long time… anything you can do now to be more healthy as an individual, as a family, as a community and beyond, is what needs to be the focus right now. Okay? Ok.

It would be nice if you nosed around my TEAMS classes every now and then… or looked at the work… and I will give feedback to anything students do…but… well see above.

If you have questions or concerns or comments please do not hesitate to contact me



1 No audience other than my beautiful daughters that is… who now communicate with me exclusively with eye-rolls or the occasional deep sigh.

2 what a terrible word. ‘Spew.’ Waynes World anyone?

3 And by Fun I mean not fun at all

4 Commercial fishing is where you have a boat and nets or longline and you are cruising around in the ocean trying to catch loads of fish to sell for money so you can buy shoes for the baby. Not the rod and reel thing… that just seems silly to me.

5 Which is how it feels currently, the reality is 17 years. Wait… really? Man I am old.

6 You have done this before. I know you have.

7 Phase 2 sounds just so ominous… you know where they have you strapped to a wall with the lasers and vat of squid and the guy with the emerald for an eyeball says ‘activate phase 2’ in a horrid raspy voice.

8 No seriously. You and your family is more important than this stuff.