Around the District

Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Students of the Month announced

The following students were named January Students of the Month at Kenai Middle School:

Hailey Nelson, Haylee Hunter, Russell Dukowitz, Dylan Lawrence, Larry Dean Tunseth, Sinead Baker, and Billy Kiefer.

Scholarships offered to high school seniors

· The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary of the Jerry V. Horn Memorial Post No. 10046 in Soldotna is offering the Vickie Webb Nelson Memorial Scholarship. The recipient must be a graduating Alaska high school senior or an Alaskan enrolled in a home-study program with a desire to further his or her education. Citizenship, leadership and financial need will be considered. Monetary awards will be given to local winners, who will have the chance to compete for the $1,000 scholarship to be awarded to the statewide winner.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 15. For more information, call 262-9220 or 262-1262 or see your school counselor.

· The Soldotna Rotary Club will award five $1,000 scholarships to college-bound high school seniors in the Soldotna area. Criteria for the Service Above Self scholarships is based on community service that has been completed during the applicant’s high school career. For more information or an application, call your area high school counseling office or Leonor at 262-4949. Deadline for submission is March 1.

· The Kenai River Sportfishing Association is accepting applications for The Senator Ted Stevens Scholarship Program. It will award seven full tuition scholarships. The three scholarship categories are: Two annual tuition scholarships to students attending or planning to attend Kenai Peninsula College. Students must be pursuing an associate of arts or associate of applied science degree with intentions of either going onto a four-year degree program in the sciences, or hoping to land an entry level technician job in fisheries or natural resources; four annual tuitions will be awarded to students with more than 60 college credits (sophomore or junior standing in the year of application) pursuing a bachelor of science degree at any University of Alaska campus; and one annual tuition scholarship to students pursuing a bachelor of science degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Anchorage or Alaska Southeast.

For complete information, requirements, deadlines and other scholarships the Kenai River Sportfishing Association has to offer, ask your high school counselor for its brochure, visit or go into its office at 224 Kenai Avenue, Suite 102, Soldotna.

· Kenai Borough Employees Association is offering three, $500 scholarships. Scholarships are open to all 2006 graduates of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, including public schools, private schools and home-schooled students.

Applications and instructions are available from Kenai Peninsula Borough high school counselor offices, at the Borough building in Soldotna and online at

Applications must be delivered or postmarked by March 31. Applications can be mailed or dropped off at the Kenai Peninsula Borough, KBEA Scholarship Committee, 144 North Binkley Street, Soldotna AK. 99669.


The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will hold learning activities for home-schooled students in grades kindergarten through sixth from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Friday. Call Nicole Johnson at 262-7021 for more information or to sign up.

Book orders for February are available at the office and online. Orders are due March 1.

The Standards Based Assessments item samplers and practice tests for grades three through nine are available on the assessment Web site at Samplers.html.

If your child is interested in a cooking or sewing class, call Lesly Gordon at 262-6089.

For information on the Space-Explorers Web site, practice tests for state testing,, or the Accelerated Reader Program, call your advisor at 714-8880.

Semester grade reports were due Jan. 16.

The Nikiski office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in the gray portable behind Nikiski High School.

Terra Nova testing begins this week for grades five and seven at the Kenai River Center. Call the office at 714-8880 for more information.

Test preparation and testing material is available at the office. Materials are located in the second building.

Cook Inlet Academy

Congratulations to the fifth-graders for winning a reading contest sponsored by Mrs. Beeson. Their reward for reading books and completing book reports was a “Fear Factor” party which included eating chicken hearts and fish heads and competing in an obstacle course in below zero weather. The class thanks Mrs. Beeson for providing the contest.

The kindergartners began an art unit on Claude Monet by watching the movie “Linnea,” which took students on a tour of Monet’s art museum and gardens. Following the example of their favorite painting, the “Japanese Foot Bridge,” they created their own impressionistic works of art with tempera paint, watercolor and markers.

The varsity basketball teams traveled to Barrow last weekend for two games. Their trip included getting to see a polar bear on the frozen Arctic Ocean, learning about permafrost and befriending students from various cultures. The teams’ next games are Thursday through Saturday at Nenana.

Students of the Week are Paige Chumley, Adam O’Guinn, Sophie Thomas, Alex Schmelzenbach, Paula McGlasson, Joe Murphy, Ellie Nelson, Connor Yarnes, Robert Walsh, Richele McGahan, Emma Seldon, Megan Bauder, Mikala Mudrick, Bethany Estes and Katie Dutcher.

The school spelling bee is Friday.

The school board will meet Monday at 7 p.m.

Mass Choir is Monday and Tuesday.

Grace Lutheran

Congratulations to Scott Habermann for winning the school geography bee. Kathryn Love was runner-up. Scott is waiting for the results of his written test to see if he qualifies for the state bee March 31.

Class winners of the word power challenge are Cody Burow, Scott Habermann, Luke Burow, Nick Pokryfki and Ryan Burow. These students took a written test to see if they qualify for the state competition this spring.

Ryan Burow will represent the school at the state spelling bee. Kenny Werth was runner-up and Kathryn Love came in third.

On Thursday, the kindergarten class celebrated the 100th day of school. The class ate cake with 100 candles, made gorp out of 10 pieces of 10 different food items, wrote the numbers from one to 100, shared their 100 item collections and made a poster with 100 stickers.

The children provided entertainment at Monday’s FrOGS meeting. The preschoolers sang “Head and Shoulders” and “The Lord’s Army,” and kindergartners recited a poem and acted out “This Old Man.” The lower grade acted out “The Gingerbread Man” and the fifth- through eighth-graders sang “Twelve Days of Christmas” and “The Little White Duck.” They all sang “Jesus, Name Above all Names.”

In Christlight, the children are learning how God still helps them just as he helped the children of Israel conquer the city of Jericho and enter the promised land.

For more information about Grace Lutheran School’s programs, call 283-9551.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Congratulations to the school’s spelling bee champion, sixth-grader Dakota Bender. Annie Worsfold, third grade, is the runner-up. The staff would like to thank the families and students who helped out and participated. Thank you also to Mayor Dave Carey, Paula Christensen, Sammy Crawford and Tammy Hanley for helping officiate the event.

Christopher Dallas Cook, Brittany Hollers and Melanie Smith have reached the level of “math genius” in Mrs. Klaben’s math class.

Mr. Daniels’ class has made coral reef ecosystems and they are displayed outside their classroom. Their next project will be the study of Mars Rover missions.

The first-graders have begun their transportation unit. Look for their projects in the hallways at school later this month. They also studied author Jan Brett and learned how to draw hedgehogs and armadillos.

This week’s Friday morning meeting will feature Hannah Watkins and Ken Felchle.

The February SIGS activity will be roller-skating on Friday.

The PTA will meet after school in the teacher’s lounge Feb. 14.

Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences

Fun Fest is today from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The cost is $3 and permission slips are required.

Students in second and third grade explored how gases and heat can lead to explosive events in volcanoes.

The mural is beginning to take shape. Artist Ann Wilson is working with

students this week to complete the clay tiles. Parents are invited to stop by the science lab to see the project in action.

The book fair will be held during conferences Feb. 9 and 10. There will not be school on those days.

The APC will meet Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. in the library.

The teddy bear parade will be held Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. It is open to the public.

Now is the time to nominate an outstanding teacher as the BP Teacher of Excellence. Nominations will be accepted through March 3 and can be made online at or a form can be picked up in the office.

Kenai Central High

Today is job shadow luncheon at the Kenai chamber meeting.

Thursday is the once-a-month meeting for the National Honor Society in Mrs. Herring’s room at lunch.

Friday is job shadow orientation in the little theater at the school. The orientation will take place during periods one through five.

All juniors are asked to plan ahead as Feb. 8 will be the official job shadow day. All students involved will report to the cafeteria instead of their first period class. Business and community people involved with the activity also need to report to the cafeteria by 7:30 a.m.

On Monday and Tuesday the school will host Mass Choir. The event will conclude with a concert Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Also on Monday is a school board meeting.

Parent-teacher conferences are Feb. 9 from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. in the auditorium commons.

Activities for the week:

· Thursday — hockey regions at Soldotna High School and boys and girls varsity basketball against SoHi at 5 and 6:30 p.m.;

· Friday — boys and girls junior varsity and varsity basketball at Kodiak, hockey regionals at SoHi and state wrestling at Chugiak; and

· Saturday — boys and girls JV and varsity basketball at Kodiak; hockey regionals at SoHi, state wrestling at Chugiak and skiing boroughs at Nikiski.

Kenai Middle

Conferences will be Feb. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. It will be arena-style conferences where tables are set up and parents rotate through. It is a first-come, first-served conference. There are no conferences Feb. 10.

Report cards were sent out last week. If you did not receive one, call the office at 283-4896 to verify your address.

Congratulations to the following students for winning the Character Counts pizza drawing: Jessi Garrett and Tyler Tankersley.

Avery Amend and Vinnie Madrid won the box top drawing. They received a coupon to spend at the school store.

Dates to remember:

· Today — Terra Nova testing;

· Thursday — Terra Nova;

· Saturday — volleyball at Soldotna Middle School at 9 a.m., skiing at Seward at noon;

· Tuesday — volleyball at the school at 3 p.m.;

· Feb. 8 — dance for seventh and eighth grade from 6 to 8 p.m.;

· Feb. 9 — Conferences from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; and

· Feb. 10 — Teacher inservice, no school and no conferences.

Kenai Montessori

Last week the students read stories about Mozart and listened to recordings of his music in honor of his 250th birthday.

Last Wednesday, Lily Ramsey and her mother, Laura, presented a lesson about the Scottish poet Robert Burns for the Scottish Holiday Burns Night. The Ramseys are from Scotland and they recited some of Burns’ most popular poems in Old Scots Tongue, as well as described some of their holiday rituals that take place in Scotland on Jan. 25 in honor of his birthday, which included sharing shortbread biscuits with the class.

On Monday, the students celebrated the Chinese New Year with festivities and sushi for lunch made by Cindy Glassmaker.

For more information visit or call 283-0424.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start

School was not in session last Wednesday and Thursday due to extreme weather temperatures. Swimming field trips have been postponed until March and April. The children have not been able to play outside recently and said that they are looking forward to warmer weather.

Raising a Reader has begun. Call your child’s teacher if you haven’t had a chance to read and sign the contract for your child to be able to take books home with them. The staff would like to encourage all parents to find time to read with their children.

The children will focus on the letters “L,” “U” and “V” in February. The shape of the month is the heart and the color is pink.

The little ones have been learning Dena’ina songs.

Mountain View Elementary

Congratulations to the talent show winners: Madison Cunningham and Courtney Stroh, first place; Katarina Anderson, second place; and Ivy Howland, third place. The staff wishes to congratulate everyone for doing a great job. Other contestants were Molly Rowley, Becca Elliott, Sydney Taylor, Krystal Hamman, Makenzi Magiera, Keir Johnson, Rachel Moulton, Emily Evans, Makayla George, Victoria Thompson and Jodi Cook. Thank you also to Mrs. Bird for putting on the program.

February is Love of Reading month. The school has many activities scheduled.

Nikiski Middle-Senior

Middle school spelling bee winners are Kylee Bartlett, champion; and Caty Reid , runner-up. Congratulations to the following middle school students who represented their language arts classes at the school Word Power challenges: seventh-graders Thomas Pilatti, Sawyer Skiba, Tanner Thompson, Sebastian Strickland, Eli Ward, Caty Reid, and Haley Tum-Suden; and eighth-graders Gabe Strickland, Charlotte Thurman, Dillon Smith, Alina Eldgredge, Chase Amador, Chris Ward and Amber Galley.

Tanner Thompson won the seventh grade challenge and Charlotte Thurman won the eighth grade challenge. Tanner and Charlotte hopefully will qualify to represent the school at the state competition in March.

The school would like to thank its Aspirations mentors for their time, effort and dedication to students in the Aspirations mentoring program: Pam Clark (coordinator) and mentors Amanda Fagain, Judene VanCleave and Bob Harrison.

Parent-teacher conferences will be held Feb. 9 from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

There will be no school Feb. 9 or 10.

Events schedule is available at

Nikiski North Star Elementary

The site council meets the first Tuesday of the month.

The PTA meets the first Thursday of the month.

Artist in Residence Shala Dobson will offer an open studio Wednesday and Thursday. An open studio provides a time to watch an artist working on their project and the school project while creating projects of one’s own using available materials. It is made possible through an Artist in the Schools grant.

February is designated as Love of Reading Month. There will be door decorating competitions, reading slips that are redeemable for pencils all month and a trivia challenge for a Dr. Seuss book. Students are encouraged to read.

Redoubt Elementary

Teachers will send forms home to schedule parent conferences Feb. 9 and 10. Parents are asked to return their forms as soon as possible.

Turn Off Your TV Week ends Thursday. The class with the highest percentage of participation for the entire week will win an ice cream sundae party.

February is love of reading month. Evening activities are scheduled each week. The school-wide reading challenge is today through Feb. 28. Classroom prizes will include a pizza party. The school will celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday March 2.

Parents are reminded to send their children to school dressed for the weather, including a winter coat and snow pants or a snowsuit, a warm hood or hat, gloves or mittens and winter boots. Parents who need help acquiring these items may call the nurse.

Fifth-graders are taking Terra Nova tests this week.

Yearbooks are on sale for an “early bird” price of $15 through Friday. Yearbooks will arrive in May.

eScrip is a free way to help the school raise funds. Parents and others interested can register online at Call the school office for more information.

Ridgeway Preschool

The study of Asia is drawing to an end. Last week, a parent from Ukraine volunteered a lesson with the children. She also brought in a display of Russian items for the classroom geography center.

The children are making gyotaku (guh-yo-tah-koo), Japanese “fish prints.” This is an art and science project in which a real fish is painted and placed on paper and leaves an image of itself.

On Monday, the school celebrated the Chinese New Year with a Dragon Parade. Parents and older siblings helped create the dragon and everyone ushered in the Year of the Dog.

The older students have been making a continent book throughout the year and it is filling up. They will study Antarctica next month.

The 3-year-olds have made progress with their letter sounds and are putting together words.

The 4- and 5-year-olds have been working on teens numbers and are using the 100 board frequently.

The class hopes to have tadpoles in the classroom soon. They will study metamorphosei for a science project. The classroom menagerie includes brine shrimp, a goldfish and Percy, the rat. These pets provide many opportunities for the children, from science to practical life.

The school is having an open house Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. It is open to the public.

Sears Elementary

Ms. Ralston’s students created mosaics this week with KPBSD artist Debbie Harris. The first designs were made with symmetrical patterns. Then the students created small mosaics which are being used to create a large mural for everyone. The students also learned about warm and cool colors. In math the students are learning about the ones, 10s and 100s columns. This week’s author is Joanne Ryder. The students are listening to and reading her books and creating their own writings about the books during writers’ workshop.

Kindergarten students said they are enjoying the new snow. There are a lot of snow books that provide lead-ins to science, art, music and math activities. Some of the activities are catching and observing snowflakes, making ice cream, building snowmen with a variety of materials and using the sledding hill.

On Thursday, Mrs. Bryson’s class will have its Evening Winter program at 6:30 p.m. in the library.

Today is the Sears and Kaleidoscope Fun Fest after school from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Students will need $3 and a permission slip.

The book fair will be held during conferences Feb. 9 and 10.

Skyview High

Congratulations to art students who had work accepted by the Alaska Scholastic Art Competition. Erika Zumwalt’s sculpture won a Gold Award and will continue on to the national competition in New York. Brooke Jasky-Zuber won two Silver Awards for two drawings and Harly Maxson won a Silver Award for his sculpture. The exhibition will be held at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the Kimura Gallery in the Fine Arts Building, Room 222, through Sunday. The reception will be from 1 to 2 p.m. and the awards ceremony will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Other students who entered work are Bekah Adams, Jenny Andrus, Sarah Clinton, Joe Jackson, Aubrey Macorelle, Lisa Spencer, Alex West and Jeff Will.

Students in Mr. Sparks’ world history classes finished a medieval unit with a presentation of projects. Students created medieval weapons, clothing, castles and foods.

In Mr. Sparks’ government class students ended the semester with a congressional role play. While the House and Senate had a difficult time getting any legislation passed they finally agreed on a budget. The class ended with three representatives being taken into custody on charges of making terroristic threats. The “secret” surveillance being conducted by the president (Mr. Sparks) resulted in some heated class discussions on whether his actions were legal.

Soldotna Elementary

Taylor Speakman was the honor buck winner of the week for showing kindness and helping others.

Report cards went out last week and parents can either meet to discuss student progress at parent-teacher conferences Feb. 9 and 10 or call their student’s teacher to meet if an earlier time is desired.

PTA will meet Thursday at 3:45 p.m. in the library. Everyone is invited to be a part of PTA. Babysitting is provided.

Third-graders in Ms. Buben’s class are working with manipulatives to discover the essence and patterns of multiplication. Gaining such understanding paves the way for a better understanding of higher multiplication operations.

Parents are invited to look at the writing outside Mrs. Meyer’s classroom. Sixth grade students created written real estate portfolios for bird houses and utilized the six traits of writing in their creations.

Soldotna High

Leaders of the National High School Rodeo Association named Sara Jensen, Colten Jensen and Paul Campbell of Soldotna to the Wrangler High School All Star Rodeo Team. Sara, Colten and Paul earned a position on the team based on leadership qualities, academic eligibility and athletic achievements.

The school will host the regional hockey tournament Thursday through Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center.

On Friday and Saturday, the wrestling team travels to Chugiak for the state tournament.

The construction class is taking orders for 10-by-16-foot storage sheds. The cost is $1,900. Information may be obtained by calling instructor Doug Gordon at 262-7411.

The Networking Plus class is looking for donated, functioning computers for class projects. Call Donna Bartman at 262-7411, ext. 258.

Soldotna Middle

The school’s newsletter is online at

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for Feb. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. There will be no school Feb. 9 and 10.

The administration and coaching staff would like to thank Leanne Abendroph for her help with intramural volleyball. Her positive attitude and love for the game have helped get nearly 100 girls out for the team.

Students who completed their first semester check-off forms will have their report cards mailed today.

Bingo is Friday. Congratulations to all the students who put forth their best efforts.

Congratulations to Kailey Mucha for being selected as the January Student of the Month.

On Jan. 21 a cross-country ski meet was hosted by the school at the Tsalteshi Trail System. The three-kilometer race utilized the new timing system from Tsalteshi Trails. Eighty-five skiers participated from Homer, Seward, Nikiski, Kenai and Cook Inlet.

The coaches thank the volunteers who helped. Pat Johnson was instrumental in organizing the volunteers.

Also thanks to Renee Merkes, Jon Lillevik and Marc Berezin for the timing results. The next ski race will be in Seward on Saturday at noon.

Gold Card Day is Feb. 8. If your student received seven gold cards, they might be eligible to enjoy this day off with parental permission. The February newsletter has more detail.

Sterling Elementary

The site-based decision-making committee will meet Monday at 3:45 p.m. in the conference room. The topics will be revision of the committee’s bylaws and elections for new members. It is open to the public.

Conference slips were sent home Thursday confirming conference times with teachers. If you have questions about your conference time or if need to reschedule, call 262-4944.

Conferences are being held from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 8 and all day Feb. 9.

Sterling RurAL CAP Head Start

The theme for the week was sound and movement. The Shooting Stars played instruments in an orchestra and imitated their favorite animal sounds. The children in the morning class also made paper chains, animal plates and a collage of things that move or make sounds.

The Rainbows danced and shook to the “Tooty Ta,” “Beanbag Boogie” and other songs. The afternoon preschoolers also practiced writing their names on wipe-off sheets, made patterns with beads and string, played with various musical instruments and created moving marble mazes.

The school will hold a fundraiser at 6 p.m. March 4 at the Sterling Senior Center. The fundraiser will consist of a prime rib dinner, auction and show.

Community members can purchase tickets or donate items to the parent fundraiser by calling the school at 260-7446. The theme this year is “Have a Luau of a time in Sterling.” The cost is $25 per ticket.

Tustumena Elementary

Campbell Soup labels are appreciated and being employed to supply hands-on activities to classrooms. Several science-related items arrived last week. Items entitled Magnetic Mania, Famous Experiments, The Human Body, Chemistry for the Classroom, Simple Machines and Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis were among those first to be claimed. The box of Legos seemed to be a big hit for children in the kindergarten classroom.

The school would like to thank Mr. Cowans and Sheila Garrant for their efforts in obtaining these materials.

Members of the Battle of the Books teams will be announced Feb. 8. There will be two assemblies that day. The session to announce the third and fourth grade team will begin at 10 a.m. The assembly to announce the fifth and sixth grade team will begin at 1:15 p.m. Parents are invited to attend.

The PTO-sponsored winter poetry contest will conclude Monday. Gift certificates ($15, $10 and $5) at River City Books will be awarded to the top three entries at each grade level. This event is open to all students.

Wings Christian Academy

Alexander Pettey won the cleanest desk of the week award for the Learning Center.

A new mystery person begins this month. The first clue is “ I was born in Poland, but Paris was my home. Pierre was my partner.” If anyone thinks that they have the answer, call 283-9361 and ask for Melissa Newton.

The kindergartners have learned how to spell numbers from zero through six and are visiting China through their social studies.

The winner of Multiplication Bingo this month was Ashlynn Burger.

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