Cook Inlet Academy

Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2006


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  Lindsay Bauder

Mike Kytonen stops for a hug on his way to the stage in Cook Inlet Academy's graduation May 21.

Photos courtesy of Samantha McNu

Leaving the classrooms and hallways of the school that have occupied a young person’s life for the majority of their time alive may be traumatic for some, but not for Stephanie McNutt of Soldotna.

“I’m ready to move on,” she said.

This from a student who has attended Cook Inlet Academy from kindergarten through 12th grade graduation earlier this month, but she said she knows it’s time to turn the page to the next chapter of life.

“I’ve lived in Alaska, and almost the same house, for my whole life. I want to experience new people and culture. I want to experience something different,” she said.

To do that, McNutt will be traveling Outside to continue her education at Grace College, a Christian School in Winona Lake, Ind.

“They have a good athletic training program,” she said.

As to why she chose that particular scholastic major, McNutt said it was somewhat of an epiphany.

“I was injured in basketball last January,” she said.


Marcus Brown shakes hands with Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp after receiving a scholarship.

Photos courtesy of Samantha McNu

While making a sudden move in a game, McNutt took a bad step that resulted in her riding the bench for the remainder of the basketball season and into track season.

“I tore the ligaments in my knee,” she said.

She said it was an injury that was as emotionally painful as it was physical for the avid athlete, but while recuperating she was helped by some inspirational people, and she decided that was what she wanted to do.

“I want to help people in the same way. I want to help people continue to play,” she said.

Knowing what she wants to do with her post-high school life made McNutt’s graduation ceremony much less of a tear-jerker than it was for some of her classmates.


Stephanie McNutt walks toward the stage in CIA's auditorium.

Photos courtesy of Samantha McNu

“It wasn’t very emotional for me. It was fun,” she said.

However, McNutt was quick to point out that doesn’t mean she won’t miss the friends and families she has grown so close to over the last 12 years.

“It was a really good experience going to Cook Inlet Academy. I loved the teachers and the principals, Mr. C. and Mr. Spence the last few years. They have all been a huge part of my life,” she said.

Cook Inlet Academy class of 2006

Lindsay Bauder

Marcus Brown

Steven Burger

Alyse Cialek

Jeremy Franchino

Adam Gu

Mike Kytonen

Stephanie McNutt

Valerie Olson

Josiah Warren

Sara Wood


Lindsay Bauder


Lindsay Bauder

Lindsay Bauder, daughter of Dr. Robert and Molly Bauder of Soldotna, was honored as the 2006 valedictorian during CIA’s graduation ceremony. Lindsay, a member of the student council and National Honor Society for the past two years, served in Thailand last summer, ministering to the survivors of the recent tsunami. She plans on enrolling in the 4-12 Commission, a year-long intensive Bible/ministry training program before going on to college and a career in missions work.

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