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History of Voznesenka School

История Вознесенской Школы

The past thirty-plus years have brought tremendous growth and change to

Voznesenka School. From 1986, when seventeen students were first taught on the dirt

floor of Serpion Reutov’s basement, to our current school that includes a main building

with a computer lab and three portables for a hundred plus students in preschool through

twelfth grade. At first, education was provided through the school district’s correspond-

ence program overseen by John Szajkowski for Voznesenka, Kachemak Selo, and Dolina.

Marya Kalugin was the first bilingual instructor.

A two-room school house was built by the community in 1988 for 28 students in

kindergarten through eighth grade. The school consisted of seven staff members: Stan and

Anisia White, Dave and Bonnie Evans, Marya Kalugin, Agafia Molodih, and Sandy

Martushev as the school secretary. All photocopies were made at McNeil Canyon School

for there wasn’t a copy machine or even a telephone on site. There was only an outhouse

for restroom facilities.

The community was unprepared for the growth of the school. In 1989, the

school had 56 students, and the building was overcrowded. The district brought a porta-

ble and established a special education program in 1990. Efrocia Polushkin was the spe-

cial education aide and David Lewis the teacher. Soon, even with the portable, the school

was congested. In the summer of 1993, the community expanded the two-room school by

adding an additional three classrooms, a library, a large work area, two bathrooms, and

an office for a 110 students. Finally, the district brought in an additional two portables

that have brought the school to its current state.

Over time, the slow flow of staff—we are proud to have little turnover—-has

each left an impression on the school we are today. We are proud of our school and the

programs we offer our students. The school provides an education in the students’ native

language, recognizing the value of bilingual education. A preschool was established in

1998 and continues strong, with even a waiting list to get in. Our peak year of enrollment

was in the 2002 to 2003 school year with 148 students. A wrestling program was created

in 2004 with continued success, and a Head of the Bay football team existed from 2012-

2017. For the past five years, combined village sports of cross country running and girls’

soccer were also made available. Other educational enhancements offered include Family

and Consumer Science, Construction, Art, Youth Court, Weight Lifting, Project Grad, etc.

A special thanks to the teachers, staff, and coaches who have worked so hard to develop

and maintain these opportunities for our youth.

Today marks our twenty-fourth graduation ceremony, and our thirty-third year

school anniversary. These great accomplishments would not have been possible without

the tremendous effort and support of the community and school staff. We extend a sin-

cere and boisterous Thank You, Спасибо!

Each year brings changes. The end of this year, we salute Linda Etzwiler, our

legendary K-2 teacher, to retirement after 35 years teaching, 15 of those at Voznesenka.

We also wish Rick Foster, our beloved Science/Social Studies teacher, a restorative year as

he takes a year’s leave of absence. Additionally, we wave off Megan Green, our innova-

tive Migrant/ Title 1 teacher as she moves to Dillingham. We are so thankful for the many

ways they’ve brightened and enlightened our lives. We wish them all the best and will

always embrace them as part of our Voznesenka School family.

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