A Petersburg High School graduate is one of eleven Alaskans to be inducted into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame of 2023.
Izabelle Ith graduated Petersburg High School in 2017, and has since moved out of state for college and work. She says it was quite a shock to find her Hall of Fame letter in the mail earlier this month.
“It’s not something I was expecting,” said Ith. “I don’t think it’s very often that Southeast Alaska is represented in these types of things. So that definitely makes it extra special.”
After graduating from P-H-S, Ith went to Williams College in Massachusetts. After college, Ith settled in Boston, where she conducts pulmonary research at Boston Children’s Hospital. However, her hometown still holds a special place in her heart.
“My greater hope is that this reflects back on Petersburg,” said Ith. “Petersburg is so unique in that you can go from school to swim practice, to dance practice, and really get exposed to all of those things. I think what’s cool about this honor is that it highlights the important importance of interscholastic athletics and activities in rural Alaska. And I hope that Petersburg continues to encourage kids and make it possible for everyone to participate in sports.”
The award honors individuals who achieved excellence in high school athletics and personal conduct, according to the Alaska School Activities Association.
The Association is recognizing Ith for her achievements as a track and field athlete. She competed in many different categories, but mostly focused on the shorter events. She won four state track titles in the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump, and two in the 300-meter hurdles and the long jump. Ith said the lessons she learned from her track days are helping her navigate the “real world.”
“I think teamwork is a huge part of just the world we live in today,” said Ith. “Being able to get along with lots of different types of people and put in personal effort. In my work, I love working with the patients I work with now. And I work in a team every day to try to make medical research possible.”
Ith was nominated for the Hall of Fame title by her former teacher, JoAnn Day. She says her friends, family, and mentors in Petersburg played a huge role in her success.
“I definitely did not do this alone,” said Ith. “I had amazing classmates and surrounded myself with really high achieving inspiring friends like Emma Chase and Mariah Taylor, just to name a few. None of my achievements would have been possible without the amazing teachers at Petersburg High School. I want to thank my track coach, Brad Taylor. His belief in me was absolutely bottomless throughout middle and high school. And, of course, my mom, Marketa Ith. She continues to be a personal and athletic inspiration for me. She’s training for the Boston Marathon right now, actually.”
Ith’s running career didn’t end after college. She’s a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital running club, and helps coordinate the organization’s runs. She’s also training for a triathlon.
Ith will be inducted into the Alaska Hall of Fame on May 7th. She is the second Petersburg High School Graduate to receive the honor, following Cameron Severson, who was inducted in 2018.