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Christina Kionka 1966
 
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About Christina: Her first love was always the woods. After high school, Christina went to Oakland Community College, since she could not afford to move away from home. At OCC, Christina earned a scholarship to Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, where they had a Forestry program. After she received her BS degree in Forestry in 1972, Christina sat in a fire tower in northern California as a lookout for 5 months - a great job! She read a lot of books there in between fires. Her sweetheart from college, Walter Summers, then proposed, came out to California and they eloped. They lived in Allegan, Hastings, and Iron Mountain, Michigan. Christina cleaned a lot of pit toilets and registered a lot of campers in the Allegan State Game Area and Yankee Springs Recreation Area.

In 1983, her son Tristan was born. Walt and Christina divorced in 1984. She went back to school for a teaching degree in elementary education - something she had sworn she would never do! Survival. Again, she went to school for an endorsement in bilingual education for the Ojibwe Language. She obtained a job teaching the Ojibwe Language and Culture in L'Anse and Baraga Public Schools.

Christina met her husband, Tom Brzezinski, on a canoe trip in the Sylvania Recreation Area and then, 2 years later, on a Boundary Waters canoe trip. Tristan was 5 and took a liking to Tom on the trip - and so did Christina! They married in 1989 and Tristan and Christina moved back to Iron Mountain, MI, where Tom had a job as a Speech and Language Pathologist. Christina went back to school, again, (groan) for a Reading Specialist degree and Master's degree to obtain a job. She taught in Wausaukee and Goodman, Wisconsin schools as a Reading Specialist for 20 years. The students were great and the drive through the northern woods was always welcome.

Now, Tom and Christina are retired and they are able to camp, hike, bird and play in the woods to their heart's content. She serves on the Commission of the Fumee Lake Natural Area nearby. She is also a colored pencil artist and regularly shows her work in Escanaba and Houghton, MI. Her son, Tristan Summers, works at BOSS Snowplow in Iron Mountain as a Mechanical Design Engineer.

Christina says her life has been hard, scary at times, and blessed. And, she still loves the woods.

Message to Classmates: "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

 
  This page was last updated on October 28, 2015.