District School News

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Aurora Borealis Charter School

Before Christmas, Aurora Borealis sent its first robotics team to the Lego League contest in Anchorage. Team members worked tirelessly for four weeks, constructing and programming a robot designed to accomplish various tasks in the mission, as well as researching and developing a hypothesis on global warming.

Representing the Aurora Borealis Polar Bear Team, Spencer McAuliffe programmed throughout the competition day, Ben Phillips diligently kept the robot in working condition and Maya Chay, Michael Bruxvoort, Nikita Naumoff and Jackie Palm valiantly supported those efforts in addition to presenting the hypothesis to the judging panel.

The team gained valuable knowledge on programming, building robots and working together during the intense training for the mission. They would like to thank their parents and team leaders for all their support. They already are looking forward to next year's competition.

Cooper Landing Elementary

Finalists from grades four through eight competed in the school geography bee Dec. 14. Finalists were Jessica Stewart, Josh Hawthorne, Mike Williams, Marisa Skolnick, Kirstin Forbes, Stan Westerman, Emma Westerman, Emily Bellinger, Erick Romig, Austin Hawthorne, Kelsey Skolnick, Sasha Forbes and Travis Gephardt. Congratulations to Erick Romig, runner-up, and the school champion for the second year in a row, Emily Bellinger. Emily will take a written test in January to qualify for the National Geographic Geography Bee competition.

Students competed in a Lego League contest for robotics in December. Team members were Emily Bellinger, Travis Gephardt, Emma Westerman, Nick Hawthorne, Austin Hawthorne, Logan Day, Erick Romig, Sasha Forbes and Kelsey Skolnick. Their robot competed in three rounds. They also completed three missions in round two and two in round three. Cooper Landing ended up with two of the nine awards presented at the end of the day, an impressive job for a rookie team. Cooper Landing appreciates the parents who drove students to the tournament.

The school thanks everyone who came to the annual Christmas program, the "X-mas Files." Students put on a wonderful performance. Many helped behind the scenes and parents provided treats for after the program.

North Star Elementary

Schoolpop is an Internet site of more than 300 online, store and catalog merchants who provide a percentage of their profits back to North Star. Schoolpop is one way to buy the gifts needed and contribute to North Star Elementary with each purchase made. To access Schoolpop, go to www.schoolpop.com.

The local BP employees saw the request for help to Nikiski Neighbors and joined together to make a large donation to the children of Nikiski. North Star is thankful.

Does your child need academic help? After the Bell II, a program offered in partnership between the Boys and Girls Club and the school district, might be just what your child needs to succeed in school. After the Bell will offer enrichment, tutoring and homework assistance after school until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at Nikiski Elementary. Transportation will be provided from North Star to Nikiski Elementary. Applications are available in the office.

The PTO sponsors a literature and arts program. This year's theme is "To me, freedom means ..." Students in kindergarten through sixth grade may enter one piece in each category: visual arts, photography, music composition and literature. Cash prizes will be awarded. Entries are due Jan. 18. Guidelines are available in the office.

Sears Elementary

Remember to send your child to school with appropriate outdoor clothes for winter. Students go outside everyday unless the temperature dips below 10 degrees.

Students at Sears have been busy getting back into the school routine and beginning new units.

Nurses Day is Jan. 23. Remember to thank nurse Bekkie for the things she does at Sears.

Clip your box tops off General Mills and Betty Crocker products. The funds raised from box tops will go toward level books and critical incident supplies for students.

It's not too late to help with the memory book. The memory book is a great way to preserve memories of your child's elementary school years and is fun to help put it together. If you are interested in helping out, call Natasha at 283-0878.

Soldotna Elementary

Soldotna Christmas elves worked with school nurse Tammy Dudley and put together Christmas gifts and dinners for Soldotna Elementary families in need. The school thanks Janet Poppin, Trudy Andree and Marquitta Andrus for their dedication to the spirit of giving.

Congratulations to Logan Hutchings for winning the school geography bee Dec. 20. Theresa Ramponi was runner up. Classroom competitions were held, and classroom winners who participated in the school bee included Cody Dutcher, Ryan Sanders, Dary Langfitt, Ally McConnell, Theresa Ramponi, Monica Maryott, Logan Hutchings, Aric Williamson, Jeff Pindras, Cyril Zufelt, Darrell VinZant, Paige Blackburn and Tanner Waterbury. School winners will now take a written test, and up to 100 of the top scorers in each state will compete in the state bee April 5.

Students who completed good deeds and won fun bucks in the last two weeks include: James Lester, Cody Cockcroft, Jared Lingafelt, Brooke Hughes, Norman Holt, Shay Harrison, Jed Luton, Charlie Mason, Taran Edmondson, Tiana Lewis, Deserae Kirsch, Dusty Poole, Sean Endsley, Jenna Poppin, Kayln Croom and McKensie Harrop.

Sterling Elementary

Welcome, Sterling Falcons, to 2002.

The PTA will meet Thursday in the library at 4 p.m. If you are interested in becoming an officer for next school year, contact Lynn Lund, Charlene Oakes or Barbara Eastham. Join with the millions of people across the globe who make a difference in education.

Friday will be the awards assembly at 2:30 p.m. to honor those students for their good deeds in December.

Friday also will be a Falcon Fun Night for intermediate students from 4 to 6. The school would like to thank the staff, students and community members who gave so generously with money, toys and food items during the Christmas season.

Kenai Middle School

The Kenai Middle School and Mountain View Talent Show will be Jan. 29. Tryouts will start Monday.

Students of the Month for December were treated to lunch before Christmas break. Congratulations to the following students who were honored: Kyle Coleman, Kate Foley, Beau Forrest, Kim Kurzendoerfer, Brittany Magill, Rosa McDonald, Jonathan Rice, Chelaine Rust, Brittney Sparhawk and Cody Villa.

Progress reports were mailed just before Christmas break. If you did not receive one, call the school at 283-4896.

Soldotna Middle School

Showin' Off the Kids is a lip sync contest available for students up through eighth grade. The show is scheduled for March 2. Applications will be available in the winter-spring Soldotna Community Schools brochure, available in Soldotna mailboxes, the Soldotna and Kenai public libraries and at Dairy Queen.

Yearbooks are on sale at the office for $24. You can pay for them at the front office.

Cross-country skiing, volleyball and wrestling began Monday.


The Connections staff hopes that everyone had a fantastic holiday. The December sledding party will be rescheduled. Watch the school Web site and e-mail for the new date.

Second-quarter reports are due Jan. 25. If you did not use the new online form for the first-quarter report, you can find it at http://connect.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/progress/newdefault.htm. Remember to follow all the steps. Student numbers are available by contacting your adviser at 262-6315 or e-mail. Students enrolled in correspondence should complete classes and see their advisers about ordering second semester classes.

Do you have materials lying around you are no longer using? You do not have to wait until the end of the school year to bring things back. Returning materials now gives other parents and students a chance to use them. It also will lighten your return load considerably at year's end.

Home-school students are welcome to join the cross-country ski club. It will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Nikiski. Loretta Eaton organized the ski club through 4-H. Dale Bock will coach and is available to help skiers at all ability levels. For more information, call Loretta at 776-8688.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School

Bulldog athletes were on the road during Christmas break. The boys basketball team traveled to San Gabriel, Calif., for a tournament, and the football cheerleading squad visited Dallas for a competition.

Ninilchik School

There will be a Citizen of the Month assembly at 2:20 p.m. today.

The school thanks Dan Leman, Whitney Leman, Chris Hanson and Connor Cooper for doing such a great job of coaching the junior high basketball teams this year. They ended their season on high notes. The girls were undefeated, taking the small schools championship, and the boys placed second. All the players worked hard throughout the season. The school also appreciates all the help put forth in the tournament.

The Geobee will be Thursday in the library at 10:30 a.m.

Practice for junior high wrestling with Kevin Zimmerman, and volleyball with Ludi Link began Monday.

Ninilchik collected 627 pounds of food for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. The juniors brought in 136 cans to win the competition in the high school, and the fifth and sixth grade brought in the most cans for the elementary. Ms. Cruz's class won the box decorating competition.

Due to parking lot congestion at the end of the day, the following changes will begin Monday. Children who ride the bus home will be dismissed at 3:20 p.m., and the buses will leave school at 3:30 p.m. Parents who pick their children up at school are asked not to arrive before 3:30 p.m. Those children will be dismissed then.

Soldotna High School

Congratulations to the December Rotary Students of the Month: Charlene Collins, Jesse Bass, Amber Benson, Candice Evans, David Derleth, Adam Wickstrom, Charles Rehrig, Jared Gilliam, Mike Pate, Haylee Best, Danny Pate, Tatiana Ozhuwan, Randy Leach, TJ Stone, Rebecca Tempel and Brenda Anderson. The school thanks the Soldotna Rotary Club for providing pizza and pop to the winners each month.

SoHi's site-based council and PTSA will meet Tuesday.

Parents of juniors will meet Monday at 7 p.m. in the staff lounge. Any parent of a junior interested in helping with the after-prom party is invited to attend. Parents of seniors will meet Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in the staff lounge. Any parent of a senior interested in helping with the after-graduation party is encouraged to attend.

Semester finals will be next week. Finals for language arts and social studies will be Monday and Tuesday. Science and math finals will be Wednesday and Thursday. Make-up tests are scheduled for Friday.

The annual SoHi Jazz Band Dessert Concert will be Jan. 22 and 24. For more information or tickets, see a member of the band or contact Vernel Schneider, band director.

Cook Inlet Academy

Chantal and Calder won the all-tournament awards at the Cook Inlet Classic in December. The school thanks Anthony Agosti for superb announcing. The girls team placed first; the boys took second. The next games will be Thursday in Kodiak.

Students of the Week ending Dec. 21 were Kaycee Munn, Kaitlyn Barkman, Lars Arneson, Addy Beller, Angie Utchman, Kevin Powers and the preschool class. Students of the Week for Dec. 14 were Miranda Beller, Alex Schmelzenbach, Dalton Johnson, Kendra Brush and Steven Carter.

CIA graduates from 1983 to 2001 and their families gathered for alumni night Dec. 28. Eric Minelga of Texas won the prize for living farthest from the school and Jennifer Barkman was from the oldest graduating class. Barkman and Micah Shields spoke about the Lord's work in their lives.

Cindy Rehms in the new leader of the music program, replacing Miss Tatiana. A familiar face at school, Mrs. Rehms has helped with programs and taught classes. She plans to introduce students to new instruments and expand music opportunities.

Summer school in Paris is available for academic credits. The Global Classroom Program still has openings for June. Chuck Crapuchettes, CIA principal, is organizing a group from the Kenai Peninsula. For more information, e-mail him at chuck@gci.net.

Wings Christian Academy

Wings now has a girls' high school basketball team. Team members just started practices and are looking forward to a fun season ahead of them.

Leah Howell and Jessica Boutwell collected 40 box tops each, earning two Denim Days apiece. Brandon Ruffridge collected 20 box tops, earning one Denim Day.

The students of Wings also have been collecting Campbell's Soup labels, earning students nonuniform and Denim Days. Joel and Troy Consiel have earned two Denim Days each, and Megan Ruffridge, Ashlynn Burger, Kelsey Jose, Ali Thompson, Melissa Newton and Zack Bargar, have all earned nonuniform days.

The girls of the upper learning center got together and visited at Miss Spilman's house over Christmas break. They had a great time.

Marcia Dutton and Naomi Pettey have both earned the cleanest desk of the week award.

Kenai Cooperative Preschool

Preschool students have been busy beginning new units and getting back into the school routines.

Spaces are available for new students ages 3 to 5. If you are interested in enrolling your child, call 283-3100 or Amy at 283-8413. The preschool offers a wide range of materials and activities to the child to foster growth and understanding.

Sterling Head Start

Sterling Head Start was awarded an Arctic Americorp Grant. It was one of 10 Head Start preschools to receive this grant from more than 30 applicants.

Brenda Hough, a former Kenai Peninsula College family literacy coordinator, will begin teaching the last week of January and be available to help Sterling residents with their quest to enhance literacy and strengthen the Sterling community. She will expand opportunities for residents to be involved in community activities and decision making.

"Repeating events connect families and hold memories to be shared in the future," said Rosemary Bushon, Sterling Head Start's family advocate. "Traditions help to make every family unique. If you don't have any (family traditions), it's never too late to start. Call a family meeting and make a determination about a tradition or traditions your family would like to start."

Last week the children at Sterling Head Start got to play with its new sleds and helped measure ingredients for bean soup used in the Christmas baskets. For art time, the children painted with apples.

To have information published in Schools, please send a description of the event or accomplishment to Shana Loshbaugh at P.O. Box 3009, Kenai, AK 99611. Information will be accepted by e-mail at clarion@alaska.net or by fax at 283-3299.

The deadline for submission is Thursday at 5 p.m. for publication in the following Wednesday's paper. For information, contact Shana Loshbaugh at 283-7551.

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