School board welcomes new rep


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education introduced their new student representative Monday night. Annaleah Ernst, from Nikiski Middle/High School was unanimously approved as the student representative to the board.

“I look forward to representing the students of our district as effectively and thoroughly as possible,” Ernst said to the board. 

One board member, Sunni Hilts, said Ernst has already made an impact.

“She’s already been a delightful addition,” Hilts said during the meeting. “You are going to hear a lot from her, I guarantee you.”

Ernst, a junior, and Nikiski Student Body President, has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica, volunteered with Cook Inletkeeper and the Red Cross among many other community organizations.

The board was recognized by Joe Cannava, deputy director the Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska, and Bill Tappan, president of the PCHS board with the 2011 Collaborator of the Year Award. PCHS and the KPBSD have been collaborating since 1994, with PCHS providing special education personnel to aide special education needs in the district’s schools, among other community events such as the Head Back Healthy program.

“The fact that’s been going on since 1994 should be an indication the relationship works,” Tappan said. “This is a real relationship that we’re proud of.”

School board President Joe Arness said perhaps the award should be the other way around.

“It sounds like it should be us thanking you,” Arness said. “But I guess that’s why we call it a collaboration.”

Arness was elected as board president after he was sworn in with Penny Vadla, who was voted the board’s clerk during the reorganization process. Liz Downing was elected as the vice president, and Lynn Hohl was elected treasurer. 

Tommy Gossard, Cooper Landing School teacher, along with students Clara LaRock and Linnaea Gossard, made a presentation to the board about the school and the students that attend. LaRock and Linnaea Gossard were responsible for creating the presentation.

In other business, the district’s superintendent, Dr. Steve Atwater announced that Spring Creek High will be closed and the youth offender program will move to Anchorage in July 2012. Atwater also announced the track at Homer High School has officially been closed due to the track’s poor condition.

The next school board meeting will be November 14.


Logan Tuttle can be reached at



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