A Chapter’s End

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

As the 2019 Iditarod Summer Camp for Educators is about to begin, my role as the Teacher on the Trail™ is coming to an end. My experience on the trail and teaching with the Iditarod has been amazing and extraordinary! I’m often asked to share my favorite moment from trail and I can definitively say that it is nearly impossible and incredibly challenging to do so. Additionally, being able to successfully summarize everything that I’ve done, in a few words, is tough!

I am very thankful for being given the opportunity to be the Teacher on the Trail™. I am honored to have met the many people- volunteers, Alaskans, teachers, and mushers- who have all been tremendously welcoming, kind, generous, and supportive. I am amazed at the level of care and love that the dogs are given by the mushers and volunteers. I am awestruck when I think about the beautiful and expansive Alaskan frontier. I am captivated by the perseverance, goal-setting, dedication, and level of commitment that everyone associated with the Iditarod exhibits. Although I am occasionally speechless and can’t fully articulate the things I’ve experienced as Teacher on the Trail™, I will forever have stories that I can share, knowledge that I can pass on, and memories that I can cherish.

Kelly Villar is officially the 2020 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™. She is going to do an unbelievable job creating lessons and inspiring students and teachers with The Last Great Race®. Make sure to follow her journey on the Iditarod EDU page throughout the year!

Enjoy some photos from my experience as the 2019 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™:

Native Dancing and Singing at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Beautiful Mural Painted By Students At My School

Eighth Graders Learning First-hand About Sled Dogs

Visiting And Presenting To Students In Alaska

Grace Hill Making Her Way To The Finish Line During The 2019 Jr. Iditarod


The Views From Above Are Amazing! Mt. Denali Was A Beautiful Sight On This Clear Day

Dan Entertaining Listeners At The Yentna Roadhouse

Enjoying My Experience At The Jr. Iditarod

A Couple Of Bald Eagles Hanging Around

The 2020 Teacher on The Trail™ Finalists

Approaching The Starting Line During The Restart As An Iditarider

Enthusiastic Iditarod Fans

Me and Ramey Smyth After Making It To Campbell Airstrip

Posing At The Starting Line In Willow

Sara Lamont- Iditarod Education Faculty And Dog Handler Coordinator

Jessie Holmes Officially Heading Toward Nome

The Alaskan Range

Jane Holmes, 2008 Teacher on the Trail™


Nell and Her Delicious Pies

Me and Susan Smith, Teacher And Principal In Takotna

Takotna Crew

Charley Bejna with his team being lead by Brown and Black

I Could Wake Up To This Every Day

Nothing But Love For The Dogs

Diane Johnson and Terrie Hanke

Josh From Insider

Taking Out The Snow Machines With Julien Schroder

Aliy Zirkle And Her Team

The Bering Sea Coast

Visting Safety Roadhouse

On Top Of White Mountain

White Mountain Crew

Me and Debski