Reflection on Retirements

Reflection on Retirements
Posted on 06/11/2022
Loddie Jones and Bill Wilkinson

As another school year comes to a close, LKSD would like to reflect and honor the staff who are retiring in 2022.

Each year comes with its own challenges, and our most seasoned staff have gone above and beyond for LKSD students.

Our teachers and staff are such powerhouses in each community that they serve, and while we’re sad to see them go, we can't wait to see what they do in their retirement.

Thank you to the following educators for their work in LKSD:

  •  Angel Harris
  •  Eric Leitz
  •  Andrea Engbretsen
  •  Carol Oulton
  •  Jill Hoffman
  •  Ledwina (Loddie) Jones
  •  Julie McWilliams
  •  Bill Wilkinson
  •  Rhoda Kohl
  •  Elsie Hooper
  •  Jeff Harris

Two powerhouse educators retiring from LKSD in 2022 have worked for the district for more than 40 years each.

Ledwina Ayaprun “Loddie” Jones and Bill Wilkinson, two educators who have worked in the Lower Kuskokwim School District since the 70s, have stated 2022 will be their last.

Wilkinson began his teaching career in 1978 at Ayagina'ar Elitnaurvik in Kongiganak. In 1986 he transferred to Lewis Angapak Memorial School in Tuntutuliak, and in 1989 he transferred to Kwigillingok, which is where he has worked since.

Carlton Kuhns, another longtime educator in LKSD and former assistant superintendent, began at the district in 1979, and worked with Wilkinson during his time at the district.

“[Bill] was a creative teacher, but he was a very demanding teacher and got results,” Kuhns said. “He was highly engaged in the community... He coached basketball and was one of the backbones of the school.”

Wilkinson technically retired in 2006 and was part of the retire and rehire program until 2010 when the state did away with the program. Rather than really retire he just unretired, until now.

Kuhns also worked with Ayaprun Jones, in addition to having her teach his three children.

“Her reputation was established,” Kuhns said. “We really wanted our child to be in her classroom. We totally, totally loved her teaching. She was such an inspiration and had such a great combination of high expectations but totally caring for each individual kid.”

Kuhns said Ayaprun had the ability to know what every kindergartener needed and where they were at.

Ayaprun taught for LKSD at Kilbuck school from the 1970s through the 95-96 school year, then taught at M.E. school for four years before working as a teacher at Ayaprun Elitnaurvik beginning in the 2000-01 school year.

Members of the Alaska State Legislature recognized Ayaprun Jones this year for her dedication to her Yup’ik culture and her many years as an educator in LKSD.

LKSD is deeply grateful to Bill and Loddie for their continued commitment to our communities and for inspiring younger generations of LKSD students and educators. We will miss seeing them in the hallways.

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