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Math teacher Mr. Skokan to be deployed to Kosovo

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Courtesy of Michael Lang

Comparing and contrasting Active Army Duty vs. Army National Guard

Math teacher Mr. Skokan deployed to Kosovo

By Michael Lang

Mr. Skokan, a United States Army National Guardsman, is being deployed to Kosovo in Eastern Europe for a year, beginning in January of 2020.

While Mr. Skokan’s role doesn’t fully entail the aspects of active duty personnel when not deployed, it does include training that occurs at least once a month and two or more continuous weeks a year. However, National Guardsmen complete the same training as active duty Soldiers, and attend the same Army schools as their active duty counterparts.

This gives Mr. Skokan the opportunity to serve part time while still carrying out a civilian career.

Additionally, this is his first deployment anywhere as a National Guardsman.

“Five years ago, we were supposed to go to Afghanistan, but there was a draw down at the time, so our deployment was cancelled,” Mr. Skokan said. “This [mission] is a go.”

As such, the federal government plays a part in allocating soldiers to certain areas where additional support is needed. In the case of Mr. Skokan, Oregon Army National Guardsmen are being sent to Kosovo due to past turmoil in that country.

Following World War II, modern-day Kosovo was established as a province of Serbia in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with Serbs primarily making up the ethnic group of the region. In addition, the predominant religion was Christian Orthodox, which conflicted with the Islamic religion of many Albanians, the former majority ethnic group that resided within the region of Kosovo.

By the 1980s, many Albanians living in Kosovo rioted and called for the independence of the country. Albanian leaders organized a referendum, declaring Kosovo independent in 1991.

Serbia responded with repressive actions and later conducted a campaign that led to massacres and expulsions of ethnic Albanians from their homes, displacing thousands.

This further escalated to the involvement of NATO forces. In 1999, NATO began airstrikes over Serbian forces for 11 weeks until a peace accord was signed in June.

Since then, tensions have begun to ease within Kosovo. However, sporadic violence continued to occur early in the 21st century with riots claiming the lives of several individuals.

NATO forces have been deployed to Kosovo during the country’s recovery since then, including U.S. forces, including the brigade Mr. Skokan is in, the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The entire mission for Mr. Skokan will begin on January 4th and, because of this, a few structural changes to the math department have been made.

Mr. Cowal is now the head of the math department, taking on the former role of Mr. Skokan. Calculus classes have also been shifted to different teachers in the absence of Mr. Skokan.

While Jesuit will miss Mr. Skokan when he leaves, many students continue to respect the duties of teachers at Jesuit that have served.

“I am honored to have teachers that have served us before and are serving us now,” senior Kyle Leglar said.

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About the Writer
Photo of Michael Lang
Michael Lang, Alumni 2019-2020







Michael Lang is going into his senior year at Jesuit High School. Born in Portland, Oregon, Michael has two older siblings at the University...

New Faculty and Staff

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New Teachers answer shadow questions

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Francisco Hernandez

If you could make a mix of any politician and food, what would you do?: I think I would take Pete Buttigieg and a burrito. I don’t really know why but I feel that he has something about him that makes me think that would be a good combination.

What are you the most excited about this year now that you have entered the Jesuit community?: The thing I am looking forward to most in joining the Jesuit community, is to continue growing. I want to continue growing in my profession as a teacher, as a coach, as a member of the community, and as a Catholic. 

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Sara Holman

Would you rather have super strength or be able to fly?: I’d rather fly so that I could travel quickly and easily to see places and people I love.

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: The community of Jesuit has been so welcoming and so I am very excited to be a part of it and everything it stands for. I look forward to participating in all types of events throughout the year.

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Teri Calcagno

Would you rather be able to read minds or fly?: I would rather fly!

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: I haven’t been in high school for a while, so I am excited to be back with students. I am also excited about the campus ministry at Jesuit and the sustainability measures!

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Lauren Blumhardt

If you could make a mix of any animal and food, what would you do?: I would mix a puff Cheeto and a giraffe. So a life-size puff Cheeto in the shape of a giraffe.

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: I am excited for a tremendous school year with my world history and seminar crews! I love the culture of Jesuit and all of the awesome people who are apart of the Sader family. OH! And I always look forward to lacrosse season. GO CRUSADERS!

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Wes Hueston

Do you think cereal is soup?: Yes, if SpaghettiOs are Fruit Loops.

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: Getting to spend every day here!

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Kim Basatble

Would you rather only eat pineapple pizza forever or pistachio flavored ice cream forever?: Ice cream forever!

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: The most exciting about being at Jesuit is the hope I see in the student population. I see the hope in the way students have reached out to me to welcome me as a new face on campus, empathetically asking me how things are going.  If we keep treating each other like that, with respect and love, this world is going to be ok.

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Michele Hoover

Is a hotdog a sandwich?: I think a hotdog is a sandwich.

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: I am most excited about getting to know the students and being able to support them.

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Terry Moore

Would rather fight a chicken sized horse or 100 horse sized chickens?: One chicken-sized horse is the way to go.

What are you the most excited about this year now that you have entered the Jesuit community?: I’m most excited about getting back in the classroom again. It’s a great way to help others and watch students grow!

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Austin Salzwedel

Would rather fight a chicken sized horse or 100 horse sized chickens?: One chicken-sized horse is the way to go.

What are you the most excited about this year now that you have entered the Jesuit community?: I’m most excited about getting back in the classroom again. It’s a great way to help others and watch students grow!

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Kirk Soule

Would you rather have spoons for arms or forks for legs?: I would rather have forks for legs…as long as they were “full sized” ones and NOT salad forks!

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: I am excited to RETURN to Jesuit this year(I started teaching here 40 years ago but left for a while). It’s wonderful to reconnect with many old friends and coworkers.

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Wally Waibel

If you could make a mix of any natural disaster and politician, what would it be?: I don’t like politicians…. So I guess I will lump them all into one group and call them a plague. 

What are you the most excited about this year now that you’ve entered the Jesuit community?: I have actually been involved in the Jesuit community ever since I graduated from JHS in 2008 so I guess what I am most excited about is being more deeply involved in the lives and growth of the students. Jesuit helped grow and shape me into the man that I am today… I am also excited for the student/staff basketball game! 

About the Writer
Photo of Jayla Lowery
Jayla Lowery, Alumni 2019-2020

Jayla Lowery is a current senior at Jesuit High School. She enjoys biking, reading, swimming, music, daydreaming, watching movies, and writing mediocre...

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