The 47th Annual Outstanding Student Awards event was held April 25 at Kenai Central High School in the Renee Henderson Auditorium. This event is sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Masonic Lodges, Seward No. 6, Kenai No. 11, and Sterling No. 22. Thirty-two schools from the Kenai Peninsula School District were represented, as well as one from Nome. In addition, the Kenai Peninsula Masonic Lodges also presented eight $1,000 scholarships
The goal of the event is to give each student public acknowledgement, recognition and reinforcement that dedication to learning, being an active and positive participant in the school, school activities and helping other students is noticed, encouraged, and rewarded, and that this positive reinforcement leads the students to become a benefit to and productive members of their communities.
For this award each student also received a Unites States Mint 1-ounce fine silver, Silver Eagle, a book published by the Scottish Rite called “Dynamic Freedoms,” a gold embossed certificate from the Lodges, a personalized certificate of recognition signed by Gov. Sean Parnell, and an engraved name tag for the large award plaque at each school.
The program was opened by W. Joe Ragsdale Master of Kenai lodge No. 11, with an invocation preformed by Marcus Ashkenasy, Senior Warden for Kenai Lodge No. 11. The awards were presented by Soldotna Mayor Dr. Nels Anderson; Kenai Mayor Pat Porter: V.W. Bill Roberts, District Deputy for district No. 2 of Alaska Grand lodge; R.W. Carl Lindstorm, Grand Senior Warden For the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alaska; and Dr. Steve Atwater, Superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. The Master of Ceremonies was W. Ralph Sterling of Soldotna, Chairman of the Masonic Outstanding Student awards program, and also the Secretary for Kenai Lodge No. 11. Al-Aska Past Potentate Nik Nikolas of the Alaska Shriners was in attendance and offered assistance for many issues for children with spinal and other problems. If you know of a child in need contact a Shriner.
Refreshments were provided by The Star of the North Chapter No. 17 Eastern Star. A flag presentation was done by the Heroes of ‘76 of Alaska of the National Sojourners, who put on a flag history demonstration with flags used for our country from 1775 to present day. The members were wearing traditional uniforms of the day.
Participation of each school is voluntary and each school chooses its student award winner.
The 47th Annual Masonic Outstanding Student Awards recipients: Voznesenka School, Savely Kalugin; Susan B. English, Olivia Turner; Razdolna School, Zoya Basargin; Homer Flex School, Alannah Campbell; West Homer Elementary, Noah Fisk; Homer Middle School, Andie Sonnen; Homer High School, Sydney Paulino; Kachemak Selo School, Michael Reutov; Seward High School, Brooke Estes; Seward Elementary, Madilyn Moore; Chapman School, Jack Heimbold; Cooper Landing Elementary, Leihla Harrison; Cooper Landing High School, Hope Quinn; Sterling Elementary School, Victoria Kitson; Nikiski High School, Richard Vollertson; Nikiski Middle School, Donovan Smith; Nikiski North Star, Rosalie Anderson; Ninilchik School, Jessica Rogers; Skyview High School, Tiffany Allen; K-Beach Elementary, Hudson Metcalf; Soldotna High School, Makayla Wong; Soldotna Middle School, Jode Sparks; Soldotna Elementary, Tim Cashman; River City Academy, Sheilyn Pogue; Redoubt Elementary School, Cameron Blackwell; Kenai Central High School, Courtney Stroh; Kenai Middle School, Karl Danielson; Mountain View Elementary, Haven Walluk; Kenai Alternative High School, Jesse Abe; Aurora Borealis School, Matthew Torkelson; Connections Home School, “Mika” Morton.
$1,000 Scholarship Awards recipients are: Brittany Hollers, Skyview High School; Sawyer Gillilan, Interior Distance Education; Jessica Rogers, Ninilchik High School; Serena Marie Prior, Soldotna High School; Dawn Wehde, Nome-Beltz High School; Sheilyn Samantha Pogue, River City Academy; Shelby Fletcher, River City Academy; Brooke Taralyn Estes, Seward High School.
We take this opportunity to thank all the people who have made this awards program so successful, with special recognition for school staff, and administrators; but more importantly, these noteworthy students who have worked so hard on their leadership and academic studies.
— Information submitted by W. Ralph Sterling