Cook Inlet Academy is excited to introduce our new Administrative Team! The Administrative Team model is based upon our conversations with a school in British Columbia who has utilized an Administrative Team at their Christian school for the past five years with great success. We are excited to watch how God uses the strengths of each of our team members to bring excellence to Cook Inlet Academy in all areas of operation, and to share the love of Christ in the communities on the Kenai Peninsula. Please join us in praying for our team, each of whom has a long history at CIA, as they work together to determine their specific roles in the smooth operation of our school. We will keep you updated so you know whom to contact with your questions.

GINNI HAGEDORN

joins us with much history at Cook Inlet Academy, as well as other roles in administration in our community. Ginni is a 2000 graduate of CIA. She completed her B.A. in Elementary Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She taught Kindergarten, 1st and 6th grades at CIA for five years after which she became the Children’s Director at Birch Ridge Community Church. She founded the church’s ‘Chosen’ ministry in 2017, which has become a vital outreach to adoptive and foster families in our community. Ginni’s gifts of service, administration, love for kids of all ages, organization and creativity will be great assets on our administrative team! Ginni is married to Joel Hagedorn and is mom to 4 children, and a revolving door of extras; her oldest graduated from CIA, and the next three will continue at CIA this year.

DON SHIELDS

returns to CIA after 8 years of pursuing other interests with his wife of 52 years, Jan. Don and Jan both have a rich history at CIA, as well as 15 years of experience in administration at other Christian schools in Alaska and Canada. Don also started a Christian school in Ayacucho, Peru in 1995. Don taught in CIA’s elementary/junior high departments for 21 years and is remembered fondly for many reasons, not the least of which are his yearly Swanson River canoe trips, backpacking trips and being the originator of the Yukon Trip. Not many of our CIA alumni didn’t have Don for a teacher!! Don and Jan have four kids, 3 of whom graduated from CIA, and one who graduated to Heaven a couple of years ago, as well as 8 grandkids. Don brings to us years of experience, wisdom in administration and a firm belief that, in order for kids to learn, they must have fun! He has been used by God to bring great success to other Christian schools and we feel extremely blessed to have his influence back at CIA this year!

GARY LEITER

has been at CIA since 1994, as both teacher and assistant administrator. Most recently, he has been teaching dual credit courses for CIA online as he has been traveling with his wife of 39 years, Jill. However, after finishing his PhD. in Education this past spring, Gary will be staying in Alaska to teach online for University of Alaska, Southeast, which gives him the opportunity to be on-campus once again at CIA. Gary has two daughters, both of whom graduated from CIA, and 9 grandkids. He has worked with kids in camp ministry, as a youth pastor, teacher and backpacking guide. He brings to us the gifts of administration, curriculum development, an ability to develop rapport with kids of any age, a sense of humor which allows him not to take himself too seriously….and awesome hair (his words!)

All three team members have a deep love for Jesus, and a commitment to lead and disciple kids to love and follow Him. They are excited to work together with Administrative Assistant, KELLEY CIZEK, our amazing teachers, our school board, students and parents to build our school and the Kingdom for Jesus Christ.