School News

Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Aurora Borealis Charter School

The Aurora Borealis junior high students participated in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Youth Essay Contest. This year's theme was "What Does it Mean to be Patriotic?" ABCS student essays were judged according to guidelines established by the VFW for the contest.

Aaron Lampman-Reid, Whitney Rysdyk and Danielle Severson were the authors of the selected essays that were sent to the district competition. These essays were due to be judged again Monday for placing.

Kenai Peninsula College Education student Vicki Hollingsworth taught the fifth- and sixth-graders how to create their own version of Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" painting. If you have a chance, come and check out the "Louvre-like" display of their creations in the hallway.

Mountain View Elementary

The December Student of the Month luncheon is today at 11:25 a.m.

Family Math and Science Night will be Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. If you wish to order pizza for your family for the night, call Darolyn at 283-6148.

The school spelling bee will be Jan. 26, and the school forensics tournament will be Feb. 13 and 14.

The Kenai Middle School-Mountain View Talent Show will be Jan. 30. Tryouts are being held this week.

Mr. Daniel's students are following their investigation into Ben Franklin's static electricity experiments by applying their new knowledge to the related topic of current electricity. Students will explore series and parallel circuits.

Mrs. Ermold's and Mrs. Gustkey's classes are having a Tupperware fund-raiser. To buy from a special Tupperware selection, see a student. The class that sells the most will receive a treat from Mrs. Wolf, the regional Tupperware director.

Mrs. Steward picked her Students of the Month for December. Each turned in all their homework, corrected all grades to at least a C and had positive behavior all month: Kayla Anderson, Zach Beeson, Beth Deardoff, Reed Ehrhardt, Megan Gabriel, Kris Larson, Billy Ritchie, Brenda Rodriguez, Nate Saltzgiver, Jenn Sassi, Megan Sienkiewich, Ronni Sounart, Kyla Steward and Justin Wisniewski. Beth is the school Student of the Month.

Nikiski Elementary

An awards assembly is scheduled for today at 10 a.m. All parents and family members are encouraged to attend. Perfect attendance, most improved and more awards will be handed out.

Winter has arrived, so be sure to send your children to school with proper winter clothing.

The PTA reports that the QSP Magazine fund-raiser brought in more than $1,300.

The PTA has established its nominating committee to replace the board of directors for the 2000-01 school year. All positions will be vacant. If you are interested in volunteering for one of these positions, contact Nan Weaver, Julie Williams, Annie Kendall or Nora Ribbens at 776-4132.

North Star Elementary

Report cards will be sent home today.

Science Club for Girls will meet Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The PTA meets in the library Monday at 6:30 p.m.

Mrs. Pilatti invites all school families to contribute to the display on the history of the toy, Hot Wheels, in the showcase. All items will be kept under lock.

The winter concert, held Dec. 12, is online at or at the district Web page via the "Video Library" link at the bottom of the page. Choose the 2000-01 school year and find the North Star link on the list of concerts on that page. If you've never heard the tune, "When It's Winter in Nikiski," now you can hear it from the Internet. Copies of the performance are for sale for $5 each or $3, if you provide the videotape. For more information, order through Mrs. Pilatti.

Preschool will be Jan. 24 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in activity room 7. This month's theme is "Winter Time Fun." This is a free activity for the public. Children from ages 2 to 5 are invited join.

Check the lost and found for any of your items. The bin is full.

Redoubt Elementary

Patrick Moore won the geography bee Jan. 9. Patrick will take the state qualifying exam to determine his participation in the state bee. Thomas Wyatt was runner-up, and Paul Blacklock was third.

Blaine Carver, Karen Senette, Brandon Bixby, Mavica McLane, Chet Syverson and Lauren Senette won the Elks Hoop Shoot Contest and represented Redoubt at Soldotna Middle School on Saturday.

Taylor Benner, Hannah Romberg, Ryan Helminski and Luke Lanyon are Redoubt's third- and fourth-grade Battle of the Books team.

Matt Silver and Claire Gabler were the Campbell's Soup label drawing winners, and Tyler Dobson, Lauren Steffy and Neeta Denison were the Big G Box Tops drawing winners.

Report cards will be sent home Friday.

Title I presents Bingo for Books on Jan. 25. Complete information will go home soon. The school needs books for this family event. Any books you can donate will be appreciated. Drop them off at the school office. For more information, contact Sharon Hale at 260-4337.

Soldotna Elementary

Congratulations to J. Mohorcich for winning the school geography bee competition Thursday. John DeMallie was the runner-up. The school level bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 13th annual National Geographic Bee. Other classroom winners who competed were Zayan Aberkane, Theresa Ramponi, Anthony Griglione, Jeff Pindras, Ben Reaves, Perri Scott, Evan Druce, Brian Wilis, Michael Drobnick and Jon Horseley.

Fun Buck winners for this week are Dawson Herrick, Kyle Gray, Edward VanVelzor and Jesse Honrud.

Ted Spraker made a presentation to Mrs. Hurst's, Ms. Allen's, Mrs. Erwin's and Mrs. Vasilie's classes Thursday. He talked with primary students about moose safety and shared wolf, otter, lynx and beaver furs as part of Alaska studies.

The school's Hoop Shoot winners include Ryan Sanders, Dustin Poppin, Danny Hughes, Kaili Sholin, Iris Shangin and Melissa Fay. These students were able to participate in the local Hoop Shoot championship Saturday.

Tustumena Elementary

The site-based council selected Sherry Karnikis to represent Tustumena School in the district's long-range planning process. The planning group will meet Jan. 25 and 26 at the Kenai Merit Inn. If you have a thought or idea you wish expressed during this session, contact Sherry.

After much discussion, the staff decided to stop publishing Lynx Tales this spring. The school still resolves to teach writing skills. Some teachers will publish student work on the school's Web site.

Lynx Track activity will be today through Friday.

Report cards will be sent home Monday.

The site-based council will meet Jan. 29 at 4 p.m.

Preregistration for 2001-02 kindergarten will be Jan. 29 and 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bring your child's immunization records and birth certificate.

Cross-country skiing is gearing up in spite of uncooperative weather. Mr. Michael will run the program, and Mrs. Sinnott volunteered to help. The six-week season began Monday and runs through Feb. 23. Students in second through sixth grade are invited to take part. The team does not have enough snow now to use equipment without damaging it. The team will delay the season until snow is available. Permission forms and information are available through your student's classroom teacher or Mr. Michael.

Kenai Middle School

Eighth-grade drama students performed "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream" last week before the student body and for parents.

The KMS-Mountain View Talent Show will be Jan. 30. Tryouts are being held this week.

Conferences will be Feb. 19 and 20. Teachers will send home letters, so parents may choose the best time for them.

Kelcey Dunn, Brandon Miles, Kiersten Carlson and Harry Active won their respective age categories in the Elks Hoop Shoot competition at KMS and represented the school at the Kenai Recreation Center, competing against other winners from around the peninsula.

Bring your General Mills box tops to the office. A drawing is held each Friday, and one student receives a coupon for goodies at the school store.

Congratulations to seventh-grader Les Krusen, who won first place in the school geography bee for the second year in a row. He will take the written test to qualify for state and possibly national competition. Damien Bowles was the runner up, and JB Swan and Tony Bannock tied for third.

Clubs will start Feb. 2. Students will sign up for clubs Friday. The different club options are posted in the commons. Students should be sure to check out the options and have two or three choices in mind.

Yearbooks are still on sale for $20. Place your order at the office.

Soldotna Middle School

The Dairy Queen winners of the week were student Kyle Essert and staff members Shannon Wyatt and John Tabor.

Stephanie Moiles from Mrs. Pillifant's class was the Coke trivia winner of the week.

Report cards will be mailed around Jan. 25.

Congratulations to the following Elks Hoop Shoot winners Jeff Dolifka, Ryan Mercier, Allison Fay, Leslie Landess, Forrest Becker, Danny England, Stacy Foster and Brittany Howard. The winners from other schools in the area participated in the local championships at Soldotna Middle School on Saturday. The winners from this event will have their scores compared to scores from around the state, with the winners going to the regional competition in Portland, Ore.

Ski season has started at SMS. The school has a good group of athletes with a lot of talent, and everyone is looking forward to a great season. The team needs parent volunteers, so if any adults are free from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon, join the team at the Tsalteshi Trails. The first meet is Saturday; spectators and volunteers are encouraged to come.


Crystal Poindexter of the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service will make a special presentation today for kindergarten through second grade and Thursday for third through sixth grade. She will present "Habitat for Life" information and activities. Bring paper and colored pencils, markers or crayons to make a practice habitat poster, which could be entered in a contest sponsored by the Conservation Service Office. The posters are due Feb. 21. Details will be available at the sessions, from 2 to 3 p.m. at Soldotna Elementary School in the career development room. Call Cathy Brothen at the office to sign up.

The family activity for January was a successful video and popcorn afternoon. The February family activity will be roller skating. Stay tuned to the Web site under "Forum" and check your e-mail for dates and times.

All Connections families must submit second quarter progress reports by Friday. These may be mailed, brought to the office or accessed and e-mailed at the Web site.

Analytical Writing Assessments, required for grades five, seven and nine, will be given Jan. 24 through 26 through Connections or at the school of your attendance area. Call Bill Rolph in the office to let him know which you will attend.

Kenai Central High School

The High School Senior Ball will be Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight at Alaska Great Skate in Soldotna. Tickets will not be sold at the door, so pick them up at school.

The last week in January, counselors will work with juniors on their plans for after high school. They will administer and interpret a career interest inventory, and students can research careers, colleges, vocational programs and scholarship opportunities. Results will start a transition plan to guide students and parents through the senior year and on to training, work or military service after high school.

Seniors needing financial aid for college or vocational school should pick up a Free Application for Federal Student Aid in the counseling office. FAFSAs should be submitted as soon as possible. Financial aid links can be found at the school's Web site via the link to "College Resources."

Congratulations to the students cast in the spring production of "Hamlet." Bryan Stocks, Katie Campbell, Preston Wendt, Sarah Stocks, Jason Young, Derek Lashot, Ken Butler, Amber Brown, Natalie Semmens, Shelah Moreno, Derek George, Rachael Uponen, Josie Carnegie, Amanda Svedlund-Trux, Courtney Wolf, Amy Rask, Cassie Walker, Jason Brown and Karla Wilson will perform in this play March 811.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School

Yearbook prices are $55, or $60 for a personalized cover. If you want your yearbook receipt, contact the office or Mrs. Jenness.

January's character cornerstones are: respect -- Melissa Leichliter, Travis McGahan and Joey Wicker; responsibility -- Elena Bird, Skyler Gallien and Jessica Sibolboro; kindness -- Roy Gladden and Jamie Peterson; and trustworthiness -- Zach Hall and Jesse Obert. Congratulations to all of the students who made the character cornerstones for this month.

The drama-debate team traveled to Service High School for competition last weekend. They left at 8 a.m. to get an early start. The students who participated included Breanna Butler, Niki Collier, Anna Floyd, Janine Kuehn, Tom Lassen, Jenny Miller, Aurora Zinck, Cassandra Williams and Russ Williams.

Ninilchik School

Congratulations to Bridgette Cuffe, who placed first, Janelle Moerlein, who took second, and Kourtney Hansen, who received third, in the Anchor Point VFW writing contest.

Brendan Cuffe was the first-place winner in the geography bee for the second year in a row, and Blaine Smith took second.

Ninilchik administrator Mike Wetherbee and wrestling coach Ron Records shaved their heads after the wrestling team placed first at the state tournament.

Skyview High School

The wrestling awards banquet will be tonight at 6 in the commons.

The senior class will sponsor the winter dance Friday, following the basketball game against Soldotna High. SoHi students also are invited. The dance will be from 9:30 p.m. to midnight in the commons. Cost is $5 each.

All basketball teams will receive team and individual photos at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24.

Soldotna High School

The second dessert band concert will be Thursday at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Tickets are $7.50 each and can be purchased from any band member.

Soldotna High School students are invited to attend a dance at Skyview High School Friday. The dance will start after the basketball game. Admission is $5 per person, and the dress code is casual. Students are encouraged to attend the games and stay for the dance.

The Rotary Student of the Month luncheon is today. The following students are being recognized for their positive attitudes and hard work and academic improvement: Chris McLain, Emily Daley, Thomas Anderson, Hollie Johnson, Anthony Stone, Bristol West, Adam Green, John Carsner, Veronica Anderson, Kate White, Chris Fulgham and Amy Renney.

Cook Inlet Academy

Two new furnaces have been installed in the library. Mrs. Beeson still needs sturdy book shelves.

Winners of the 13th annual Elks Hoop Shoot are Eric Bell, Amie Smithwicke, James Libert, Arlyn Query, Jeremy Franchino, Lindsey Keener, Andy Hall and Hannah Thornton. Seventy-eight Cook Inlet students participated, and the winners competed in a local championship Saturday.

Miss Becky thanks all the businesses that welcomed the elementary students who caroled during Christmas.

Mrs. Ireland's class will begin a four-week reading contest. The goal is to stir real interest in reading. Participants will win at least one book and more, according to books or pages read.

Swim lessons at Nikiski will start in February.

Mrs. Lyons is happy to be teaching at CIA again. She will start a unit on the Ukrainian folk tale, "The Mitten." The kindergartners will begin reading three-letter words.

The boys junior varsity basketball team took first and the girls junior varsity team placed second at a Kodiak JV tournament Jan. 4 through 6.

The 10th annual CIA Classic with Ninilchik, Tok and Unalaska will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday in CIA gym.

Board member Greg Bell is meeting regularly with the athletic committee throughout the season.

Wings Christian Academy

The second semester is starting up, and Wings has gained two new students: Courtney Bell and Austin Bradford.

The upper and lower learning centers are being remodeled. The two centers will be separated, and new dividers are being made.

The high school boys' and girls' basketball teams played their first games Jan. 5 and 6 against Community Christian School in Homer. The girls lost but played hard, and the boys' team won by 10 points. The boys also played Cook Inlet at Wings and did a great job.

The kindergartners have met their goals for the Book-It reading program for the last three months. Students will earn a pizza party if they continue to meet their goals.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

Head Start preschoolers have been learning about dinosaurs, the number eight, rectangles and the color blue. This week is short because the teaching staff is going to attend the Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Anchorage on Thursday and Friday.

The school is offering a 10-week workshop on "Developing Capable Young People," which began Tuesday. Head Start Director Connie Wirz and enrollment and training specialist Melva Duttle will present the classes from 6 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. A $25 fee will cover the cost of workbooks and texts. Space is limited. For registration, call 283-0707.

The Head Start Policy Council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and a parent meeting will follow at 6 p.m. Students will perform Dena'ina dances, and a family dinner will be served.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

This week's helpers are Jonah, Jordan, Shelby and Sidney. Helpers pass out papers and are line leaders.

Students will learn about the polar regions this week. The unit will include studying the animals that live in each region, discussing the climate and vegetation of each region and making a penguin.

Students are doing a great job of reciting the memory verses each week. This week's Bible story will be about Moses crossing the Red Sea.

For more information, call Chris at 262-1284.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool

Students are enjoying the transportation unit. Last week they visited the Central Emergency Services fire station in Soldotna and had a wonderful time, thanks to Jim, their tour guide. The students will continue to learn about transportation this week with fun activities and play.

Congratulations to Stephen, the new super preschooler.

The preschool will hold a Tupperware fund-raiser. There are many items for sale that are not currently offered elsewhere. For more information, call Patty at 260-7766.

For more information about classes, call 262-9149 or Evelyn at 262-1298.

Sterling Head Start

Sterling Head Start is getting ready to begin its preschool program Jan. 29. To be eligible, children must have been 3 or 4 years old by Aug. 15, 2000, and from families that meet federal income guidelines.

The program will run 3 1/2 hours per day, four days a week. Bus transportation will be provided within a designated service area, which includes Soldotna. Nutritious meals and snacks will be provided daily.

The new program is free to eligible children and their families. It is operated by the Rural Alaska Community Action Program based in Anchorage.

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 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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