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Martha Bakkila, who has been a member of the Gulf faculty for 27 years, will retire on December 31.

Mr. Imerson honored her at the faculty meeting today.

Mrs. Bakkila became a Gulf High School teacher in August 1977, at the same time the school moved from Louisiana Avenue to its current location. She has taught social studies, critical thinking, and reading. She was a reading specialist from 1985 to 1991. She recently has coordinated all testing at Gulf, including the FCAT and Advanced Placement exams.

Mrs. Bakkila has been the sponsor of Florida Future Educators of America. She is a member of the American Association of University Women and is a past president of the West Pasco Branch of AAUW. She is a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma educational sorority.

She has a B. A. degree in history from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, and an M. S. degree in education and a six-year diploma in reading, both from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut.

Martha Warner was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She grew up in Bethel, Connecticut, and taught for ten years at Bethel High School there before coming to Gulf. She was married for twenty years to Jay Bakkila, who died in 2000.

At today’s faculty meeting, Brian Hession, a member of the board of directors of the Pasco Education Foundation Inc. announced that Mrs. Bakkila has established an endowment which will fund future scholarships for Gulf students, primarily students who intend to become teachers. The scholarship will be known as the Bakkila-Imerson-Renneckar scholarship, as Mrs. Bakkila wanted it to commemorate the contributions made to education by the last two Gulf principals.