FRED & SARA MACHETANZAt the May 20, 2009 School Board meeting, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District School Board unanimously chose the new name for the new elementary school--the Fred and Sara Machetanz Elementary School. School Board President Jim Colver said, “I am very pleased and proud the School Board named the new school in recognition of two, talented local artists, Fred and Sara Machetanz. Both Fred and Sara made significant contributions to our state, including writing children’s books and participating in Disney movies about Alaska which helped educate a generation of American Children about Alaska and undoubtedly helped with the drive for statehood. Fred Machetanz is recognized as one of the top Alaskan artists of the last century.” Colver added, “The Machetanzes were very supportive and involved in Valley schools. Naming the school with a beautiful vista of Pioneer Peak is a fitting tribute to them.”
The naming committee included educators, community members, and parents. Looking at several names, the committee considered the contributions of the Machetanzes, their long heritage in the Valley, and the lasting impact this couple had on their community. When Where Else But Alaska was published in 1954, the story of the adventures of the pair came to life.