Bob Adkins, Class of 1958
Bob Adkins now holds two very special honors when it comes to the Lakeshore community. In 1958, Adkins was the very first graduate to be handed his diploma from the newly formed Lakeshore High School. Now, the Lakeshore High School Alumni Association and Lakeshore Excellence Foundation have named the retired educator, pilot, photographer, and author as their 2023 Distinguished Alumni Recipient.
Bob Adkins’ professional life was rooted in education. After graduating from Lakeshore, he completed both his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Masters Degree in Counseling at Western Michigan University. Adkins went on to teach math, and serve as a counselor, at high schools in Haines, Sitka and Anchorage, Alaska. He also worked as an elementary and high school Principal after completing his second masters degree in School Administration at the University of Alaska.
Adkins’ experience outside the academic world took him to the water where he captained his own commercial fishing boat for 14 seasons. You could also find Adkins in the cockpit of a Haines Airways plane, where he served as a bush/taxi pilot, and later as a commercial pilot.
Adkins is also very creative.
In 1998, he started working as a wildlife photographer and photo tour guide. Hundreds of his photos and articles have been featured in publications such as Golf Digest, Parade, Fur, Fish & Game, and Alaska Magazine. In 2005, Adkins published a book of Alaskan and Yukon photos called The Golden Circle, and in 2021 published another book based on his flying experiences called Panhandle Pilot – Twenty Years of Flying in Southwest Alaska.
The Lakeshore grad was also focused on giving back to his community and the great outdoors. Adkins has served as a planning commissioner and as a board member of both the Bald Eagle Foundation and Sheldon Museum in Haines, Alaska. He also dedicated his time as a volunteer firefighter and was captain of the ambulance crew of the Haines Volunteer Ambulance Service – which was named Outstanding Ambulance Service during his time in charge.
The Lakeshore Distinguished Alumni is chosen through a formal nomination and review process. Lakeshore Alumni Association President and Lakeshore Excellence Foundation Trustee, Chad Deja, says after receiving Adkins nomination from Tom and Janet Frakes of Stevensville, he was blown away by Bob’s many accomplishments in life and his community.
“Bob was a perfect candidate for this award,” said Deja. “His career path, experiences in nature, and service to his community are a roadmap to becoming distinguished.”
Adkins recalls how he felt when he was told about the nomination and that he was Lakeshore’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni.
“I was literally speechless,” said Adkins. “It had never crossed my mind that I would actually be chosen and so honored. Lakeshore has had thousands of graduates since 1958, and I’m sure the list of graduates includes doctors, lawyers, captains of industry, politicians, military heroes and many other prominent folks – all of them worthy of being considered as Distinguished Alumni. I can’t begin to express how grateful and humbled I am to have been chosen for such an award.”
The Lakeshore Alumni Association and Lakeshore Excellence Foundation will recognize Bob Adkins at a special reception Friday, June 2nd, followed by an awards presentation during Lakeshore High School’s Graduation Ceremony.