Steilacoom Historical School District Diversity Committee invited Father Michael Oleksa to the All Staff Welcome Back Event for the 2017-18 school year, Monday, August 28, 2017. Father Oleksa spoke on Cross-Cultural Communication in an engaging and storytelling fashion. Father Oleksa spoke of “the ball game of life as you see and play it”. All could relate to his scenarios in how we view our own and others cultures – not right or wrong, but different.
Later in the day, Father Oleksa was one of 20 presenters teaching 55 sessions of various professional development to staff. Monday was one of three staff professional development days prior to the first day of school, Thursday, August 31, 2017.
Father Michael Oleksa, Ph.D., was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He came to Alaska in 1970 from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York at the invitation of the Alutiiq village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Over the next three decades he served as a Russian Orthodox priest in over a dozen Alaska Native villages. In 1988 he completed his doctoral degree at the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Presov, Slovakia, with an emphasis in Native Alaskan History during the Alaska Russian period (1741-1867). Dr. Oleksa is a storyteller who seeks to foster greater understanding across boundaries of race and culture. A leader in the development of cross-cultural education in Alaska, an educator of Alaskan teachers, and a student of Alaska Native languages and cultures.
Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1 serves Steilacoom, DuPont, Anderson Island and portions of Lakewood and unincorporated Pierce County.