School News

Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Aurora Borealis Charter School

Students recently participated in the 2000-01 Youth Essay Program sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary. Whitney Rysdyk, a seventh-grade student at Aurora Borealis, received first place for the school and for the area overall. Danielle Severson placed second and Aaron Lampman-Reid received third in the school.

The school participated in the Elks Hoop Shoot. Congratulations to the following winners: John Rysdyk and Karissa Risung in the age 8-9 category; Jedediah Schlung and Cadee Turkington for ages 10-11; Caleb Gordon and Kendra Lucas for ages 12-13; and James Hilbish and Michelle Gutsch for ages 14 and older.

Mountain View Elementary

Halyn Lipps from Mrs. Keating's class is the school champion in the Mountain View geography bee. The runner-up is Brandon Gustafson. Other classroom winners were Sean McGahan, Ian Uponen, Robin Davis, Ronni Sounart, Copper Fuller, Colton Daugherty, Brittnay Walters, Marisa Navarre and Matt Barrett.

Mrs. Heath's class has been reading tall tales and making tall tale dolls out of clothespins. They soon will have a flapjack lunch like the people in the stories.

Be sure to return the permission slip as soon as possible if you want your child to participate in the immunization clinic at Mountain View on Feb. 2. For more information, call the nurse's office any day between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 283-6148.

Nikiski Elementary

Today is Chinese New Year's. It is the year of the golden snake, and students at Nikiski Elementary will celebrate with a parade throughout the school. Dragons and lions will dance through the halls and musicians will play while good luck candy is tossed to everyone attending.

The first meeting of the Nikiski Fly Tying Club will be Feb. 8 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in room 3. Members will tie the Coho fly and the wooly bugger. If you are in fourth through sixth grade and interested, pick up a permission form from the office and return it to Mr. Hufford no later than Feb. 7, arrange a ride home after the club and bring a positive attitude. For more information, contact Mr. Hufford at 776-8553.

North Star Elementary

Spike Hamman is the winner of the school geography bee. Elisha Chenault placed second and Julia Baker took third. The other class finalists were Brandon Coffield, Timothy Copple, Elaina Hitchcock, Tyler Bethune, Dakota DeVolld and Katie Moon.

Preschool meets today in the lower activity room from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

The school honored students who had perfect attendance for the entire first semester:

Kindergartners Caleb Alkire and Lacy Elsey; first-graders Nichelle Bliss, Sallee McClure, Dylan Nickel and Alex Robinson; second-graders Sean Shoemaker, Sebastian Strickland and Tanner Thompson; third-graders Kylee Bartlett, Katherine Bliss, Brittany Foster, Jordan Harrison, Shelby Rumford and Gabriel Strickland; fourth-graders Zachary Alkire, Anne Bliss, Ashley Diamond, Jenna Frederick, Colter Holliday, David Lettington, Richard Morgan, Heather Tallman and Matthew Thompson; fifth-graders Amanda Bliss, Jesy Diamond, Brandon Foster, Benjamin Heaverly, Matthew O'Brien, Josh Vance; and sixth-graders Julia Baker, Sarah Bliss, Kimberly Harbick, Kyla Jorgensen, Emily Kennedy, Hannah Thompson and Abby Womack.

Redoubt Elementary

Celia Anderson, district art specialist, will teach art to Redoubt students in all grades during the next two weeks.

Stop in and see wall hangings in the school hallway by fiber artist Connie Goltz.

Redoubt's Elks Hoop Shoot winners were Blaine Carver, Karen Senette and Chet Syverson, first; and Mavica McLane, second.

Mitchell Thompson was the Big G Box Tops winner, and T'essa Tovoli won the Campbell's Soup label drawing.

Eric Shapley, Rebekah Summer, Rosemary Houglum and Danika Summer, alternate, are Redoubt's fifth- and sixth-grade Battle of the Books team.

The site-based council needs a parent representative to serve through May. To apply, submit a letter to Mr. Meacham by Jan. 31.

Title I presents Bingo for Books Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the gym. The school needs books for this family event, especially for kindergarten through third grade. For more information, call Sharon Hale at 260-4337.

Brownie Troop 207 has a book drive to help kindergartners. Books will be donated to the Kenai Health Clinic, where each child receiving a five-year booster shot will receive a book. The troop needs new or "good as new" books for 5-year-olds. The book drive runs through Feb. 19.

Sears Elementary

Lots of exciting activities are happening this week with artists visiting Sears throughout the month. The students and staff have been enjoying book-making with Anchorage artist Susan Share and are starting lessons in the art of storytelling with New England artist Rona Levinthal. Rona also will give a community storytelling workshop Feb. 1 at Sears. It is open to the whole family. Students will enjoy supervised activities while Rona shares her expertise with interested parents. Watch for more information on this event.

Children's author David Greenberg will join the students at Sears on Jan 31. Signed copies of his books will be available at the school during his visit.

There will be a Fun Fest on Feb. 7 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Parent-teacher conferences will be Feb. 19 and 20.

A Berenstain Bears celebration is coming soon.

Soldotna Elementary

Fun Buck winners for this week are Timothy Price, Jordan Jones, Brandon Craddock and Chyna Conner. These students completed acts of kindness with other students and had their names chose for prizes.

School Nurse Day is today, and the school honors its special school nurse Robin Nyce. She cares about the health of everyone at Soldotna Elementary and is ready with her expertise to help. She sponsors the Peer Mediation Program and the Christmas Needy Family Drive.

Tustumena Elementary

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

Preregistration for 2001-02 kindergarten will be Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bring immunization records and birth certificates. Children must be 5 by Aug. 15.

There will be a Battle of Books assembly for third- and fourth-graders from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and fifth- and sixth-graders from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

Line dancers will perform at the school at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 2.

Conference slips, enclosed with the report cards sent home, must be returned by Feb. 5.

If you are interested in the district's long-range planning process, contact Sherry Karnikis if you have any ideas or thoughts to share Thursday or Friday.

Mrs. Worsfold's third-graders are seeking donations of smooth, flat pieces of cardboard, no smaller than 8-by-11 inches, for an upcoming art project.

If you have photos of schools outings or events, consider donating them for the upcoming memory book. Turn labeled copies in to the office or your child's teacher. Sorry, pictures will not be returned.

Intramural cross-country ski team is scheduled through Feb. 23 for students in grades two through six. For permission forms or detailed information, contact your student's classroom teacher or Mr. Michael.

Kenai Middle School

The sixth-grade students appreciated the presentation Bunny Swan Gease gave of songs and stories. Students on the Fischer-Green-Kaufman team went to the visitors' center and learned about Dena'ina history and culture from Ricky Gease. Students give a special thanks to this couple for sharing their knowledge and talents.

Report cards were mailed Friday. If you did not receive one, check at the office to see if fees are owed.

Today is School Nurse Day. The school thanks Pam Howard, who does a great job taking care of sick students.

The wrestlers travel to Ninilchik on Saturday for a tournament, and the cross-country skiers will go to Homer.

Congratulations to Kelcey Dunn, who won the Kenai division of the Elks Hoop Shoot, and Brandon Miles, who placed second for boys. Lindsay Keener, who recently transferred from Cook Inlet Academy, placed first in the Soldotna division.

The PTA has a raffle in the school store. The winner will receive a bag of gummy worms. Tickets are 25 cents and on sale at the store. The raffle will be near Valentine's Day.

Congratulations to the students who won cash awards in the VFW's Youth Essay Contest: Emily Kocinski placed first, Synneva Hagen-Lillevik took second; and Jessica Summer was third for the school. Lindsay Keener also placed third at CIA.

Soldotna Middle School

Dairy Queen winners of the week are student Darryl Magen and staff members David Boyle and Mary Dougherty.

Elliott Gauthier has been selected January Chamber Student of the Month.

Soldotna Middle School wrestling is in full swing. The talented eighth grade looks to be one of the toughest classes in recent years. SMS has one of the most successful programs in the state and encourages all students who want to be part of something special to come out and join the team. Organizers appreciate the parents of the wrestlers for their many sacrifices and support of this program.

Nick Byrne, from Mrs. Kiffmeyer's class, won the geography bee. Liana Purugganan and Becky Kilfoyle from Ms. Church's class tied for second. Fifty students competed in the bee this month.

Fortnight will be Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. After the Bell now offers a "pre-Fortnight" activity time from 2:30 to 6 p.m. It will provide a planned activity, pizza and a movie. All students must preregister and stay in the designated area until 6 p.m. There will be a fee for the pizza.


Analytical Writing Assessments, required for grades five, seven and nine, will be given today through Friday in two sessions a day through Connections. Or take the assessments at the school of your attendance area. Call Bill Rolph in the office to let him know which you will attend. School buildings may have different testing schedules.

The online space science class for grades six through eight is accepting enrollment for the spring course. The course meets the state and district goals for science and prepares students for the Rendezvous With a Comet Mission at the Kenai Challenger Learning Center in May. Online classes begin Feb. 5. Connections and other home-school students are welcome. For more information, contact Tanya Boedeker.

Check the January newsletter for contests, pictures of the students during the fall Challenger Mission and other examples of successful student projects.

Kenai Central High School

The borough Academic Decathlon competition will be Jan. 31.

Plans for prom are under way, and the junior class is looking for parents to help with after-prom activities. If you would like to help plan, have something to donate or can chaperone, call Liana Bigham at 283-7524.

Mrs. DeVolld's senior English classes wish to thank the following Kenai Rotary Club members for their enthusiastic presentation of the Not For Sale program: Barry Eldridge, Randy Daly, Diana Spann, Teresa Colton, Matt Streiff, Kristine Holdridge, Duanne Bannock, Faron Owen, Nelson Amen, Troy Trickel, Rick Baldwin and Chris Rodriguez. The Not For Sale program presents real-life situations that require difficult business ethics decisions.

Calling all poetry lovers. You are invited to a beatnik cafe poetry reading Friday from 7:45 to 9:30 a.m. The advanced American literature classes will present original poetry for your auditory pleasure.

Next week 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 begin a transition plan to guide students on to training, work or military service after high school.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School

Today is School Nurse Day. Visit your school nurse and show your appreciation.

Yearbook prices are $55 ($60 for a personalized cover) but will increase. For a receipt, contact the office or Mrs. Jenness.

The Drama Debate and Forensics Team will attend a meet at West High School in Anchorage on Friday.

The KEY Club is a program focused on academic excellence in students' studies. Special awards go to students who stand out in their extra efforts. KEY Club met Jan. 17 about fund-raising and finances. There is talk about a magazine drive, among other fund raisers.

Congratulations to the following Students of the Month for January: Tiffany Baker, mathematics; Mikel Cox, metals (aide); Stacy Doner, band; Stephanie Groeneveld, mathematics; Richard Hilleard, advanced biology; Cara Mazurek, drafting; and Connie Muller, applied communications.

Ninilchik School

Report cards were mailed Monday.

National School Nurse Day is today. Let nurses Betty and Pam know how much you appreciate them.

Author Denise Deitz will visit the school in February.

Students need to be working on their anthology writings; they are due Jan. 31.

Skyview High School

Neil Strausbaugh was honored as the most outstanding wrestler, and Melina Hutchison was selected as the most inspirational wrestler at the wrestlers' award banquet. Neil completed the season with 45 wins, while Melina placed third in the state tournament. She was first for any female wrestler in Alaska.

SAT prep classes start the week of Feb. 5. These classes will prepare students for the March 31 exam. Students interested need to sign up with math or language arts teachers.

Basketball teams will receive team and individual photos today. The girls will get their photos at 5 p.m. and the boys at 5:30 p.m.

All parents of graduating seniors will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the library to plan the after-graduation activities. All parents are urged to attend and volunteer their services for this event.

Skyview's Homegoing Week will be Feb. 5 through 10. Activities during the lunch hour and an assembly will help break up cabin fever and stimulate school spirit. More information will be coming next week.

All Skyview news is available at or by contacting John Andrews, director of athletics and activities, at 260-2315.

Soldotna High School

Representatives from the Kenaitze Tribe and students who are participants in the Native Youth Olympics will be at SoHi today. Students will learn about the Native Youth Olympics, the origin of the various competitions and how to do the various skills. This presentation will be interactive, with SoHi students trying out the various competitions, with help from the student participants and their coaches.

Today is School Nurse Day. SoHi students, administration and staff appreciate their nurse, Nancy Campbell, and all she does for them.

Congratulations to the Students of the Month for January: Lucas Petersen, music; Tasha Zsoter, government; Daniel Harro, physical education; Isaac Hutchison, art; Alex Hundertmark, health; John Widman, math; Sierra Williams, science; Dane Poppin, English; and John Carsner, vocational education.

Access information about SoHi activities and calendars on the Web at

Cook Inlet Academy

JV basketball athletes won top honors at the Kodiak Invitational Tournament. Calder Hillyer made the all-tournament team; Chet Nettles earned MVP, 3-point competition champ and the all-tournament team. Chantal Reese, Britanny Leiter, Kristen Zimmerman and Sarah McLeod were named to the all-tournament team. Brittany Leiter won the 3-point competition. The boys team placed first and the girls team placed second. Coaches praised the positive attitudes of the players.

Elementary Students of the Week are Chemaine Yarnes, Jessie McNutt, Colton Vann, Ian Orth, Drew Fowler, Megan English and Molly Fenton. These students were presented at chapel Wednesday for improvement in attitudes, behaviors, creative writing and reading.

Used spice bottles are needed in the office for ice containers.

The next parent-teacher fellowship will be Monday at 7 p.m.

Missions Week will be Feb. 5 through 9.

The Russia mission team will be gone April 12-21. The Peru 2001 team goes to Ayacucho from March 19 to April 7. Teams will meet regularly to practice skits, learn communication skills, prepare testimonies, accumulate necessary paperwork, pray and prepare financial support.

Wings Christian Academy

Students took a trip to the Challenger Learning Center last week and had fun learning cool things about space and science while going on a mission.

The high school basketball teams have three games this week. The girls play Ninilchik at home Thursday at 5 p.m. and the boys play at 6:30 p.m. They play Cornerstone at the Palmer borough gym Friday. The girls play at 6 p.m. and the boys at 8 p.m. Saturday they play Cornerstone again; the girls start at 9 a.m. and the boys at 10:30 a.m.

The kindergarten class is making wonderful progress. They are doing math drills for the six family and are learning what half of something is. They also are learning some things about taking care of themselves, such as how to care for their teeth and hair.

Alisha Thompson and Andy Gunter met their "Book-it" goals for January. They both earned a certificate from Pizza Hut.

Julianne Pettey of the upper learning center and Jessica Saunders from the lower learning center had the cleanest desks of the week.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

Preschoolers are learning how to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in Dena'ina and have been playing a matching game with Dena'ina numbers, one through six.

The children are tumbling with Miss Donna during active play, and they have been learning the right and left sides of their bodies. They will go swimming and visit the Kenai Recreation Center this week.

Seats are still available for the 10-week workshop, "Developing Capable Young People," which began Jan. 16. Melva Duttle, an enrollment and training specialist, said people can borrow videotapes to catch up on material from previous sessions. The group meets from 6 to 8:30 p.m. today. The remainder of the classes will be Mondays at the same time. A $25 fee covers the cost of workbooks and text. For more information or to register, call 283-0707.

The Head Start Policy Council will meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. A parent meeting will follow at 6 p.m. The Head Start students will perform Dena'ina dances with Maggie Moonin, who also will teach participants how to make dream catchers. A family dinner will be served.

The teaching staff attended the Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Anchorage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

This week's helpers are Allie, Dani, Alex and Mieka. Helpers do a great job by being line leaders, passing out papers and saying meal time prayers.

This week students are studying about popcorn. Students will learn about the history of popcorn, do counting activities with popcorn and pop it for snacks. Students have been practicing writing the alphabet and the number nine.

This week's Bible lesson will be on the Ten Commandments. Students will make tablets with the commandments on them.

The school would like to thank Short Stop for donating spoons for the ice cream project the preschool did last week.

For more information about the preschool, call 262-1284.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool

Happy Hawaii Day. Today the children are celebrating with shorts, bathing suits and sunglasses. They finished their transportation unit by "flying" in their cardboard airplane to Hawaii and are making leis, finding shells and playing in the water.

The Tupperware fund-raiser is continuing. If you need a sandwich keeper, some little snack cups or any other Tupperware item, call Patty at 260-7766 or 262-9149.

The preschool will continue to accept new students for a new afternoon class. Children should be 3- to 5-years-old and ready for fun. This is a wonderful class for younger students who have not been in a preschool setting before. This class also can be tailored for the older preschooler who is almost ready for kindergarten, depending on the needs of the students coming in. For more information, call 262-9149 or Evelyn at 262-1298.

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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