Alexandria Teacher Louis Kokonis Doesn't Plan on Quitting After Six Decades

Louis Kokonis says teaching is his "life"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Louis Kokonis started working the day that Alexandria City Public Schools integrated, and he hasn't stopped since. News4's David Culver reports. (Published Friday, Jun 13, 2014)

    Louis Kokonis started working the day that Alexandria City Public Schools integrated, and he hasn't stopped since.

    "Ever since I was in high school, that's the only thing I ever wanted to do, be a teacher," Kokonis told News4's David Culver.

    Kokonis has taught in Alexandria City Public Schools for nearly six decades. Although his love of teaching hasn't changed, the enviroment he works in has.

    "I'm in a school where there's 60 different lanuages, and 80 different countries," Kokonis said. "So it's quite a contrast from when I first started teaching."

    In a tight-knit community like Alexandria -- especially after decades have piled up -- Kokonis has taught many children of former students.

    "My mom was his student," current student Iqra Mohyuddin said. "[It's] amazing that someone who's taught basically all of Alexandria is now teaching the next generation."

    Kokonis said seeing his former students' children makes him "feel old," but co-workers said he still has "it."

    Lexye Hearding, one of Kokonis' former students, returned to TC Williams as a science teacher.

    "We go to the copy room and we're like, 'Oh, these students,'" she joked. "Now I can relate [to him]."

    At 82, it would be understandable if Kokonis retired. But he said only one thing could stop him from doing what he loves.

    "If I feel like I'm not doing a good job, then I would retire," he said.