Valdez High School

Buccaneers - Achieving Excellence

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  • Valdez High School is a comprehensive accredited high school, proudly serving the needs of 9th-12th grade students residing in the City of Valdez.

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  • Valdez High School



    Dear Valdez High School,

    It is with great excitement and pleasure that I introduce myself and the better part of my life, My Family to you as a member of the crew. I have expressed my dearest gratitude to be selected as the Principal of Valdez High for many reasons: 1. I have noticed from afar the brilliance that exists in the school district. 2. I then investigated why it was brilliant and found the “why”.

    You care about the individual student as much as the collective student body. It was tangible and real. In order to catch up and share with you why I hope I’m a good fit, here is a quick history of my experiences.

    I began working in education as a paraeducator in my hometown of Utquiagvik, Alaska. I was then asked to be a long-term substitute in Nuiqsut, Alaska in a 2nd-grade classroom. Although I enjoyed being in the classroom, that’s where I fell in love with the “light bulb moments.” After a few years out of education where I lived in Guatemala and finished my undergraduate degree at Utah Valley University, I came back to Alaska through North Pole High where I began teaching Spanish and Special Education classes. This is when I fell in love with my own “light bulb moments” as an educator.

    There was an opportunity to go to West Valley and teach Spanish, so we took it. That is where the seed| to effect change for students on a greater scale was planted. I had a classroom that was the center for fun and relaxation. We played, cooked, partied, danced, got married (not real ceremonies by the way), and competed at the state level. It was by far the most satisfying role I assumed in education to that date. During my last year at West Valley, 2016/17, I searched for a hands-on University that would offer me experience and knowledge at the same time. Unfortunately for this cold-loving guy, that took us back down to Utah where I finished my administrative degree while working at schools like Skyridge High, Mountain Ridge Jr. High, Dry Creek Elementary, and a few others. These in-person experiences allowed me to gain valuable moments to bring with me as I ventured down to the much too-warm, Southern Utah.  

    It took us 2 weeks to make the decision to move to Escalante and it’s taken even longer to find a position that could pull us out of this wonderful town. That position was always Valdez City Schools. I had attempted to come to Valdez at least 1 other time and didn’t cut the mustard so to speak. I spent this last year preparing myself professionally and personally to try again when the job became available. I was worried that it would take longer than just a year, but I was surprised and overjoyed to try again this last winter.

    So, without further ado, here is what makes me who I am: Loyalty, Progress, and Joy. These three pillars are what I confide in to make all my decisions because they make up who I am.

    My wife, Hayley, has only agreed to come back to Alaska because it is Valdez. She was born and raised in Fairbanks and froze for 30 years there before thawing out here in Southern Utah. Her decision to come back was just as important as mine.

    We have 6 children, Peter IV (we call him Reggie after Reggie Joule and Reggie Jackson) 16, Miquela and Zooey (I know, it looks like zoo -ey) 12, Eleanor 9, Prudence 5, and Margaret (Peggy) 2. This group of kids keeps us happy and alive! I would have more if I wasn’t so old and out of shape!

    Our interests include music, sports (anything Pittsburgh), traveling as a family, game time in the family, and dance parties. We want to be part of the community so we will seek to get involved as quickly as possible. Hayley is severely talented with the violin. She teaches the Suzuki Method out of the house, but she enjoys the numbers. Her current passion is running payroll for 4 different companies while she is working towards a CPA. Her brilliance is only rivaled by her beauty and personality. I’m way out of my league with her.

    Although we have close to 2 decades of experience in education, I do not rest on what I’ve learned as the end all say all. I continue to set yearly goals to progress as a building leader. I achieve those most of the time and I redouble my efforts when I fall short.

    Our story is just at the good part because we are now where we have wanted to be. Valdez will be home, and we would like to throw our roots deep into the ground. The kids are young and love adventure so, bring it on!

    Baksis family photo

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