Last month, the Lower Kuskokwim School District lost Seat B Board Member Jonathan Lewis of Chefornak, who died in mid-October. At this month’s meeting, board members took a moment to reflect and remember their friend and colleague.
At the October meeting, LKSD Board members bowed their heads in somber silence to remember the late Jonathan Lewis.
“Stand and have a moment of silence before the pledge of allegiance,” said LKSD Board President Clarence Daniel.
Lewis joined the board in Seat B back in 2012, representing Chefornak, Kipnuk, Kwigillingok, and Mekoryuk. His term runs until 2020 and will be temporarily filled until the next municipal election by a special election in those communities. Towards the end of last week's meeting, board members shared their remembrances and condolences.
“Jonathan Lewis was very passionate and he cared about the students,” said Daniel. “His comments were very meaningful, very valuable, and he always justified his reason and would affect the way many people voted.”
Daniel said that among the things Lewis was passionate about were putting a stop to bullying and substance abuse in schools. He also wanted the district to do more to combat teacher turnover by creating more education career pathways for locals. In Chefornak, Lewis was an ordained deacon of the Catholic Church, a member of the Chefornak Traditional Council, and he volunteered with search and rescue for over 30 years.
“He was a quiet, humble man and we’re going to miss his spring hunts when he was out hunting with us,” said Edward Kinegak, a search and rescue volunteer who was also Lewis' hunting partner. “And we’re going to miss his presence here in the village. I’d like to send condolences to the family of his passing, and [speaks Yugtun] meaning “it’s not the end.” Hopefully we’ll see sometime again Jonathan when our time is up, that’s god willing.”
The LKSD Board sends its condolences to the Lewis family for their loss. Lewis is survived by his wife, Bernadette, and their children.