First day for Perkins County is Wednesday, Aug. 14. School will start at 8 a.m. and dismiss at 1:30 p.m. for all students K-12.
By Jan Rahn
Students will meet several new faces this school year, one of them being a newly hired interim superintendent.
William L. Hakonson comes to Perkins County Schools from Cheyenne, Wyo., on a one-year contract to replace former superintendent Tobin Buchanan.
Hakonson’s most recent position in Nebraska was at Morrill, and prior to that at Leyton School District which serves the communities of Gurley and Dalton. Perkins County makes his third interim job, and Hakonson said, “I like and appreciate the culture of western Nebraska, the work ethic and family values. I am back in the game because I missed it and because it makes me happy.”
He is anxious to have the hallways fill with voices and laughter when the 2013-14 term gets underway Aug. 14.
Hakonson (pronounced ‘Hawk’-onson) started July 1 and has become acquainted with staff and faculty. He looks forward to settling into routine with teachers and students while also getting to know the district’s patrons.
His wife passed away seven years ago, and he said working again has made his life better.
Hakonson has two children and five grandchildren, of whom he says, “Both of my kids are educators and my four grandsons and one granddaughter are extremely handsome, very pretty, brilliantly smart and spoiled beyond all measure by their grandpa!”
Hakonson is a 1966 Wayne State graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences. He received a Master of Science in education administration from Wayne State in 1980, followed by an Educational Specialist Degree in 1983.
His career began in Gurley Public Schools as principal, science teacher and coach in 1967.
Eight years later he became the guidance counselor at Creighton Community Schools, also teaching science and coaching.
Hakonson served as administrator assistant and guidance counselor in Auburn Public Schools from 1980-81.
He was secondary principal at Wisner-Pilger Public Schools from 1981-85 and then became superintendent of the school until 2001.
He then moved to Lander, Wyo., where he served as superintendent of the Fremont County School District until he retired in 2005.
Coming out of retirement to serve as interim superintendent of Perkins County Schools, Hakonson said, “I’m looking forward to being a Plainsman—I’ve been every other animal in the jungle—it’s nice to be a human again!”
There are six new instructors to the district, along with two who are already serving in the schools who have accepted different or additional teaching/coaching positions. So the new school year brings with it lots of people to meet and changes to be incorporated.
Watch for stories on these teachers/coaches in upcoming issues.