Becky Dwinell, fondly known to a generation of Cook Inlet Academy (CIA) preschoolers as “Miss Becky” is moving on. At her farewell celebration May 1 at CIA, the gym was filled with old friends and former students who came to share their experiences with her over the last 27 years.
“Teaching young kids is what I always wanted to do from the time I was a student at the original CIA in the basement of the Soldotna Bible Chapel,” Dwinell said. “I was totally humbled by the turn out today, kids, parents, community members, my sister drove down from Anchorage to be here and it was an emotional day.”
She says she’s not leaving Alaska, but will join SOAR International ministries in Kenai and is traveling to Russia to deliver Christmas stockings and the gospel to orphans.
“I’m going to continue to ‘Soar’ like an ‘Eagle,’ but will miss the kids,” Dwinell said.
As well as the turn out for her farewell celebration, Dwinell said her jaw dropped when the CIA principal Mary Rowley asked her to guess what her going away present was.
“I’m a huge Celtic Thunder fan. I listen to their music all the time and they’re touring the U.S. this year,” Dwinell said. “I never thought I’d hear them live and when Mary (Rowley) said my present was a round trip plane ticket to whatever concert I chose to attend, with a ticket for any seat in the house of my choice and two nights’ hotel stay, my jaw dropped and the tears I’d working so hard to hold back all day just burst out. Then when they told me this year’s CIA Annual was being dedicated to me I lost it again. So much love went into those gifts I was just blown away.”
When asked what the highlight of her 27 years of teaching she replied, “the hugs! Whether they were in my class this year or whether they were in my class 26 years ago, they still come up and give me hugs and love that will never stop.”