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New special education teacher returns to Galena

New special education teacher Lillian DeWilde.

New special education teacher Lillian DeWilde.

By HAILEY AMBROSE, staff writer

Lillian DeWilde, a former Galena student, has returned as the new special education teacher.

Ms. DeWilde was born in Koyukuk, and she was raised in Galena, where she attended elementary and high school. She said that she is related to the Settles, Pelkolas, Fennimores, Demoskis, Nollners, Kriskas, Williams, and the Huntingtons.

She was raised by Franklin Dayton, Jane Dayton, and Martha Dayton. She said that she comes from a very large family which consists of 6 brothers and 8 sisters. Two sisters work as administrative secretaries in Fairbanks, Alaska, two other sisters are accountants, and two brothers are heavy equipment operators.

Ms. DeWilde left Galena at 17 to attend UAF and earn her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She then got a master’s in special education through UAS, and is currently working towards a masters’ degree in educational leadership through UAA.

Over the years, Ms. DeWilde has had a ton of teaching experience. She was a parent volunteer at her children’s elementary school for 16 years, spent five years as a cultural resource specialist for the Fairbanks-North Star Borough School District, worked three years as a third grade teacher, and has five years experience as a special education teacher.

“I strongly feel that students with special needs need to have someone who can help them become successful adults,” she said.

Ms. DeWilde said she would like her students to know that they can go to her if they are struggling with anything.