When the school year ended Thursday, Unalaska students said goodbye to longtime teacher Galena Roraback.
She's retired from the Unalaska City School District after 27 years as the high school's world language instructor. Before that, she spent 11 years as a teacher in the former Soviet Union.
Roraback was honored at this week's City Council meeting, where she received a standing ovation.
"I just want to say thank you to the people of Unalaska, who were so supportive of everything I did with my students," said Roraback. "To the administration of the Unalaska City School, thank you very much."
In turn, Mayor and School Board President Frank Kelty thanked Roraback for her years of teaching German, Russian, and Spanish.
He also praised her for developing a program that succeeds at state language competitions and incorporates cultural lessons into classwork.
"Mrs. Roraback teaches her students to dance the salsa and western line dancing," said Kelty. "Students learn about world culture through the preparation of cultural foods. And when talking to others about her students, she always addresses them as her 'lovelies.'"
Roraback isn't the only teacher leaving the school district this year.
Resigning are health and gym teacher Casey Clausius, ELL teacher Joey Fordyce, industrial arts teacher Josh Good, Eagle's View Elementary Achigaalux principal Joanna "JJ" Hinderberger, English teacher Erin Knight, and social studies teacher Mike Price.
Amy Purevsuren is also taking a year off from the English department, while business education teacher Chad Eichenlaub is moving into the principal's job at Eagle's View.
District officials said they've filled all but two of those vacancies. They're planning to recruit at job fairs this summer in Anchorage and Texas.
The next school year will begin Aug. 19.