Ketchikan school superintendent on leave after husband’s death from COVID-19

A school building
Ketchikan High School. (KRBD)

Ketchikan’s superintendent of schools is on temporary leave following a personal tragedy. Her husband — a school superintendent in western Alaska — recently passed away following complications from COVID-19.

David Lougee was the superintendent of Kashunamiut School District in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta community of Chevak. He had been hospitalized at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, a hospital spokesperson said.

Ketchikan School District Business Manager Katie Parrott asked district employees to offer prayers and condolences in an email on Monday.

The Kashunamiut School District wrote on its website that David Lougee was “dedicated to the students, committed to the community, and stepped up to serve in a variety of capacities. He was a strong believer in the worth and abilities of the students of Chevak.”

Members of the small Y-K Delta community offered remembrances online. Chevak restauranteur Earl Atchak extolled David Lougee’s work as an educator.

“Dave Lougee’s entire being was for the success and Wellbeing of all Students in Chevak,” Atchak wrote on Facebook.

Other community members offered prayers and commended his service to Chevak’s youth.

Parrott and senior administrator Bob Hewitt have been serving as acting superintendents since the winter break, Parrott said in a statement to KRBD.

She offered thoughts and prayers for the Lougee family. Parrott encouraged staff on Monday to “take some time out today to hold those you love a little tighter.”

The death of Beth Lougee’s husband will delay her twice-yearly performance review. She had faced criticism from some faculty members and tribal leaders in the community over her leadership style, but that’s on hold for now.

School Board President Kim Hodne said the board wanted to respect the superintendent’s privacy.

The board began a twice-yearly evaluation process last month. Beth Lougee was hired on a permanent basis last year.

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