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City Of Unalaska Recognizes Longtime UCSD Staff Members For Going The 'Extra Mile'

Courtesy of Lauren Adams

The Unalaska City Council recognized two educators last week for their service to the community. Unalaska City School District Superintendent John Conwell and Eagle's View Elementary Achigaalux̂ kindergarten teacher Wilma Adams received the city's "Extra Mile" award.


As Unalaska Mayor Vince Tutiakoff Sr. presented the award to Adams, he thanked her for decades of service.


"Wilma has been a teacher in Alaska for 39 years," Tutiakoff said. "Wilma has taught third grade from 1982 through 1990 — eight years, and kindergarten from 1990 to 2021 — 31 years. Over her teaching career in Unalaska, she has taught approximately 1,088 students." 


The award is given to community members who have put in extra effort and made noteworthy contributions to city functions or events.


Adams was recognized for her dedication to her students and fellow staff members. It was an honor to receive the award, she said. 


"I love my job," Adams said. "I don't remember all one thousand names, but every one of the kids were so special. I can't imagine teaching anywhere else." 


Mayor Tutiakoff Sr. also thanked Superintendent Conwell for his service to the district for almost a quarter of a decade.


"The city and community of Unalaska have been fortunate beneficiaries of your time commitment, and we extend our endless thanks for your countless hours of service here at home and representing our school district beyond our shores, in advocating for our district," Tutiakoff said.


Conwell worked as an assistant principal and then high school principal for 10 years before becoming the district's superintendent.


Both Conwell and Adams will be retiring at the end of the school year.And several council members said their absence would be felt.


Council member Dennis Robinson said all seven of his kids had been impacted by the commitment of Adams and Conwell.


"My kids' lives were touched by the dedication of these two people and we really appreciate you," Robinson said. "And like I said, we have some serious shoes to be filled here." 

While both Conwell and Adams will soon be retiring from teaching and administrative work, Adams plans to stick around the island to teach summer school before heading to Washington to enjoy some leisure time at her cabin.

Conwell said after retiring, he'll be heading down south as well, to do some sight-seeing and to be closer to family.


Hailing from Southwest Washington, Maggie moved to Unalaska in 2019. She's dabbled in independent print journalism in Oregon and completed her Master of Arts in English Studies at Western Washington University — where she also taught Rhetoric and Composition courses.
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