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Murkowski Honors Alaska Middle School Principal of The Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski traveled to the communities of Upper and Lower Kalskag on the Kuskokwim River to honor Greg Wohlman, the principal of the Kalskag schools. Murkowski worked with Kalskag leaders to plan a surprise potluck attended by hundreds of students and parents to honor the humble educator for his contribution to the community.

The traditional gathering, held yesterday, included speeches by an elder, Kuspuk School District Superintendent Brad Allen and Senator Murkowski.  The Native Village of Kalskag also presented Principal Wohlman with a malagg'aayaq, or traditional Yup’ik fur hat made out of fox.

“I was blown away when Principal Wohlman told me about the great things happening in Kalskag, and I was even more impressed when I visited the schools and saw firsthand how passionate these kids are about learning,” said Sen. Murkowski.  “All 33 students at Zakar Levi Elementary were in an afterschool tutoring when I met them.  They had been at the school since 9am, and at 5:30pm, they were still excited about what they were learning.”

Sen. Murkowski met the Kuspuk School District principal for the first time on September 20th when he was in Washington, D.C. to receive the national honor of being named the Alaska Middle School Principal of the year.    

When Principal Wohlman arrived in the Kuskokwim village five years ago, student proficiency rates were in the high teens and the schools were plagued by high staff turnover, low school attendance, and low parent participation.  Under his leadership, things are turning around, with marked improvement in Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind and student excitement about life-long learning.

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