Presidents Day is a holiday for students

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2000

Students have a three-day weekend coming up. Monday, Presidents Day, is an in-service training day for teachers. Regular classes for students resume Tuesday.

Education commissioner visits

Rick Cross, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, is coming to visit the Kenai Peninsula Tuesday, Feb. 23 and 24.

He will be talking and answering questions about the Quality Schools Initiative, the Benchmark Assessments tests and the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam.

Cross will meet with school employees and high school students, appear on peninsula radio talk shows and address chambers of commerce in Kenai and Soldotna and the Homer Rotary Club.

School board meets Monday

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's Board of Education meets Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Borough Building in Soldotna. All school board meetings are open to the public.

Agendas are available at the meeting or at the district's Web site at

Nominations for outstanding educators sought

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Recognition Committee is requesting nominations for outstanding employees and volunteers. The committee is aware that each school site has many outstanding employees and volunteers, and without help it is unlikely they will be recognized for their achievements and contributions.

Nomination forms are available from school offices.

Soroptimists invite girls to conference

Soroptimist International Twin Cities of Kenai and Soldotna is sponsoring "2000 and Beyond," a conference for girls in grades six through eight. The program features a choices program, speakers, activities, luncheon, attendance prizes and a grand prize. The conference is March 4 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Solid Rock Camp. Cost is $10. Seating is limited, and preregistration is required. Call 260-3800 to reserve a place.

Scholarship applications available

The scholarship committee of the Kenai Borough Employees Association is accepting applications for three $500 scholarships. These scholarships are available to all 2000 graduates of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, including public, private and home schools.

Applications and instructions are available from any Kenai Peninsula Borough high school counselor's office or at the information desk of the Borough Building in Soldotna. Applications must be delivered or postmarked by March 31 and can be mailed or dropped off at KBEA, 144 N. Binkley St. Soldotna, AK 99669, ATTN: Scholarship Committee.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Mrs. Carter's fifth-sixth grade class visited Slikok Creek this month and had a memorable hike through the snow. Living here is filled with challenges and opportunities. Mr. Thad Henry is student teaching with the class. While building sophisticated hot air balloons and launching them on a cold winter's day, the students learned through experience the properties of air, the interactions of hot and cold air and air density.

Mrs. Dover's second-graders have been studying nutrition with cooking activities, poetry, art, reading labels and learning about foods we eat and how they are good for us. The class is learning about fractions and thermometers in math.

Physical education students for the week of Jan. 24-28 were Zach Hibberd, Joclynn Tri-Cobban, Josh Allison, Shawnacee Brooks, Kyle Toler, Brittany Hegwer, Chad Hatten, Jamie Duke, Jalissa Stonecipher, Everett Martin, Kirsten Giles, Daniel Woitel, Morgan Hintermeister and Kortnee Rice-Harvey.

Mr. Daniels' third-grade class, the Anacondas, is excited. They are going to be part of a real NASA space mission to rendezvous with an asteroid. The class is training, and the rocket launch is at the end of the month. The class made telescopes to view the constellations. Students made artwork and a myth to represent the constellation.

McNeil Canyon Elementary

Congratulations to the third- and fourth-grade Battle of the Books team. They won the district competition against 15 other schools and will compete at the state level in a few weeks. The fifth- and sixth-grade team won round one. Thanks to everyone who coached the students. They did a great job.

Friday is an activity day. Homer High School is hosting a ski meet at McNeil Canyon Ski Trail that day. McNeil Canyon Elementary students will spend part of the day at Homer High School participating in some special activities and taking part in the ski meet festivities.

Thanks to Olga Reutov who filled in as bilingual aide in Ulita Martusheff's absence.

Also, thanks to students and parents for their excellent cooperation during the recent school closure.

Mark your calendars: Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m., McNeil Family Talent Show and Ice Cream Social.

Mountain View Elementary

Congratulations to Mountain View's fifth-grade Battle of the Books team consisting of Hannah Watkins, Brad Denesen, Nicole Lefebvre, Amanda Sassi, Kim Kurzendoerfer and Nikki Napier. With the help of their coach, Margaret Gilman, they placed second in the district competition. Mary Estes volunteers to coordinate the Battle of the Books competitions each year.

The student of the month pizza luncheon is today at 11:25 a.m.

Hawaii Day and Gum Day were great, and the school looks forward to Twin Day on Feb. 23.

Family math and science activity night is Thursday from 6 to 7:30. The theme is "the heart" due to February being Valentine's month. Come join in the fun heart activities. If you wish to order a pizza, call Debbie White at 283-6148.

Nikiski Elementary

The yearbooks are coming. Order your 1999-2000 yearbook now for only $10. Because "love lines" are so popular the school is including them in the yearbooks again this year. Love lines are short messages to your child placed on a page in the yearbook. Each love line is an additional $1.

Reflections update: First-grader Abigail Chadwick's "Spaceship" and preschooler Lydia Chadwick's "Flower" have been selected to go to state competition.

Julie Williams is interested in putting together a program for students titled "Australia, Down Under." She is looking for anyone interested in helping. If you can assist or have any souvenirs, pictures or other valuable to lend the school, or if you want to be a guest speaker for this event, contact Julie at 776-4132.

The PTA is selling raffle tickets for a beautiful handmade quilt made and donated by Connie Goltz. The quilt is hanging in the school hallway. Raffle tickets are on sale now ($1 each or 6 for $5) at the school office. The drawing is Feb. 29.

The PTA is still seeking individuals interested in serving on the board next year. This organization can be very fulfilling and lots of fun. Call Nan Weaver at 776-4132 if you can help.

North Star Elementary

Cross country skiing is today after school.

The school spelling bee is Thursday at 2 p.m.

Thursday is Title I night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the computer labs, and the computer lab is open from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tinikling meets Tuesday from 3:20 to 4:45 p.m. in the activity room.

Wrestling is Tuesday after school.

Tuesday is patriotic day and George Washington's birthday. Wear red, white, and blue to school.

On Feb. 23, preschool meets from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The school forensics meet is that day and cross country skiing is after school.

Effective this week, Super Skippers no longer practice on Tuesdays. Instead, they will meet Mondays from 3:20 to 4:30 in the gym. The next practice will be Feb. 28.

Volunteers are needed for the family fun night on Feb. 25. Contact Rachele Martin with your name and phone number at 283-7518 (work), 283-3312 (home) or e-mail

Does anyone have a VCR to donate to the school?

Redoubt Elementary

Hobo Jim will perform at Redoubt on March 24 for family fun night. The school will host a picnic in the gym. Pizza will be available to order and drinks provided. More information will be coming home with students.

Redoubt needs books for Bingo for Books, especially those geared for kindergartners through third-graders. If you have any to donate, send them to school before Feb. 29.

Family Reading Night is in the school library tonight from 6 to 7:30. Plan to join in and read with your child. The school will have guest readers, reading activities and refreshments.

February is Love of Reading Month. All students are reminded to keep track of their reading and turn their forms in for the school-wide reading challenge. Parents should come by the school and check out the giant thermometers in the front hall to see how many books the students have read.

Parent teacher conferences went well, thanks to all of the Redoubt parents and staff.

Redoubt will host a Parent to Parent workshop. Dates are March 6, 9, 13 and 16. All sessions run from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Child care and refreshments will be provided. Call nurse Donna at the school at 262-9006 with any questions and to sign up.

Sears Elementary

The Seal award winners are George Navarre, Sam Schilling, Mardell Deardorf, Antonia Talmadge, Donny Dormady and Jesse Carrasco. Congratulations to all of the winners.

The annual Love of Reading Teddy Bear Parade was a great success. Students enjoyed parading through the school to show off their favorite stuffed friend. Mrs. Newton's kindergarten took advantage of having all of the stuffed toys in the classroom by learning how to measure the animals. Many classes made special hats for the parade. One class even wore jammies.

Shayla Dobson, the artist in residence, returned this week to show the students the art of sculpture.

Parent volunteer training given by Mr. Wykis and Mrs. Imle-Steckle will be Friday at 10 a.m. in the library. This is a review session for parent volunteers with open discussion, input, suggestions and surveys for future training, plus a segment on volunteers as instructional aides in the classroom. This is optional training, and parents wishing to become volunteers may also attend.

Parents, keep those box tops coming -- they really add up.

Mark your calendar for Dr. Seuss's birthday celebration Feb. 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Sears library with stories, cake and fun.

Soldotna Elementary

Mrs. Buben's second-grade class won the Box Tops for Education pizza party. Mrs. Erwin's first-graders were a close second. Third was Mrs. Banas' preschool.

Jump Rope for Heart is this week. This is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

Sterling Elementary

Thanks to noted Alaska author and historian Claire Murphy for coming to share her writing expertise with the fourth-grade students. Special thanks also to Mrs. Cindy Davis-Bryant for being auctioneer.

The Sterling Elementary Student Council will host an After School Falcon Fun Hour today. Cost is $2 per student and free if accompanied by a parent. There will be games, fun and prizes. Time is 3:45 to 5 p.m. Students must be from Sterling only and have a signed participation form to attend.

The Annual Reading is Fundamental (R.I.F.) book give-away will be Thursday during school hours. The R.I.F. bingo will be Friday night in the library from 6 to 8 with lots of fabulous prizes. There will be sodas and nachos for sale during the event. Everybody is welcome to attend.

We want to thank Mrs. Terri Zopf-Schoessler and her students for their assistance in working with the aspiring young forensics contestants. On Feb. 23, these Skyview High School drama students will be in the classrooms to judge the preliminary round of the grade level forensics competition. The children are excited about their participation.

Tustumena Elementary

Don't forget that Friday is spirit day. Wear your white and green or school shirts or sweatshirts.

Nurse Sam reported that Safety Seal will be visiting kindergarten through second grades on Friday to discuss winter fun safety.

After becoming district champions, the fifth- and sixth-grade Battle of the Books team will do battle at the state level on Feb. 24. Thanks to all teachers and parents who provided support. Good luck, team.

School principal Lisa J. Stroh is encouraging parents to attend an informal discussion group meeting scheduled for Feb. 24. Gail Moore will make a short presentation about the Quest (gifted and talented) program. The intent of these meetings is to informally discuss what is on parents' minds and to answer questions about the school. Bring your suggestions for topics for future meetings.

The Feb. 29 meeting of Girl Scouts has been canceled.

Homer Middle School

Mark Feb. 21 on your calendars. It is teacher in-service day, which means no school for students.

The school's drama club will perform a one-act play of Aesop Fables at a dinner theater on Feb. 23. Tickets for a lasagna dinner, served by the club's travel group, can be obtained by calling or coming by the school office, 235-5291. They sell for $8 for adults, $5 for children under 10 years of age and $25 for families.

During February, March and April students will participate in a number of assessment activities. Suggestions for encouraging them to their best include:

Make sure the student gets enough rest the night before the test;

Make sure the student eats breakfast before the test;

Make sure the student has enough time in the morning to get ready for school without having to rush;

Explain to the student the importance of doing his or her best on the test; and

Let the student know that he or she will have your support regardless of how well he or she does on the test.

Kenai Middle School

Saturday KMS hosts a Kenai invitational wrestling tournament, and the volleyball team travels to Homer.

The KMS site council meets Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the school library.

The staff will be on critical incident training Monday while the students have the in-service day off.

The school spelling bee is today at 12:30 p.m. For the first time, the bee will be televised live to all the classrooms so that everyone can participate. Thanks to Mr. Fischer for this making this possible.

Soldotna Middle School

Congratulations to Amy Shoemaker, February Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month.

Mr. Tabor's class was stumped by the Fred Meyer Trivia Question of the week.

Laurie Booth won the schoolwide spelling bee. She advances to the state bee March 13 and 14. Miranda Ralston was the runner-up who will fill in for Laurie if she is unable to attend the state competition.

The Spartan Wrestlers are off to a busy few days of competition. On Feb. 5, 31 wrestlers traveled to Ninilchik, where they met most of the borough's wrestlers and came away with 22 place winners. Champions included Brandy Goracke, Norman Orr, Chad Paxton, Brandon Cleveland, Brad Stonecipher and Nick Pyfer. On Feb. 7, SMS hosted a dual with Kenai and proved victorious in 86 percent of its matches. The Spartans return to the wrestling room for three weeks of hard work in preparation for the borough meet in Nikiski on March 4.

SMS's first Blue Ribbon Chili Feed and Bingo night was Thursday during student-led conferences. The PTSA cooked up the chili and served it with salad and bread.

The next PTSA meeting is Thursday at 5 p.m.

Fortnightly is Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.


Persons interested in the Connections home school program are invited to informational and registration meetings for the 2000-01 school year at the following:

March 1 -- 1:30-3:30 p.m. Nikiski Senior Center;

March 2 -- 1:30-3:30 p.m. Kenai Visitor's Center;

March 6 -- 1-3p.m. Faith Lutheran Church in Homer;

March 6 -- 4-6p.m. Chapman Elementary School library in Anchor Point;

March 8 -- 1-3p.m.Seward Senior Center;

March 9 -- 7-9 p.m.Borough Assembly Room in Soldotna;

March 13 -- 6:30-8:30p.m. Sterling Senior Center;

March 14 -- 6:30-8:30p.m. Solid Rock/Lakeside Chapel;

March 16 -- 1-3p.m.Kasilof Community Church.

Connections provides opportunities for parents and children to get technical assistance and instruction in using various computer programs offered in the Dell computer lab at Soldotna High School. Parents may also find assistance from "Tips on Teaching Reading" at Kenai Middle School Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. in room 34.

The Alaska Benchmark Exams for grades three, six and eight and the Alaska State Qualifying Exam for 10th-graders are three days long and will be given March 7, 8, and 9 at Solid Rock Camp. If you have not received your notification by mail, call the office at 262-6315.

Kenai Central High School

Attention all junior parents: the After-Prom Activities Committee meets in the teachers' lounge Thursday night at 7. Your help is needed to provide a fun and safe evening for our students after prom on April 29. For questions call Susan Peterson at 283-7613.

"Fiddler on the Roof" will be performed at the KCHS Auditorium Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Fiddler also will be performed Feb. 24-26 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 27 at 3 p.m.

Next week will be homegoing week at KCHS. The spirit filled week will feature hallway decorating contests, float competitions, royalty, a pep assembly on Wednesday, dress up days, lunchtime activities and a dance Feb. 26.

The KCHS Skills USA VICA Club will host the eighth annual Kenai Peninsula Borough School District student leadership conference at Kenai Peninsula College on Feb. 25 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

KCHS is now online. Look for the Web site at For more information contact Cathy Zorbas, KCHS activities director, at 283-7524, or e-mail her at

Ninilchik School

This is spirit week. Today staff and students paint their faces. Thursday is class day, and Friday is best dressed day.

Three Ninilchik students who entered the Voice of Democracy essay contest in January received cash awards. Theresa Chihuly won first and $500; Gretchen Garroutte won second and $300; and Kevin Cleveland was third with $100.

AJ Berger won the school spelling bee and Brendan Cuffe placed second. All who participated did an outstanding job.

Grades four through six tackled the Fourth Annual Groundhog Day Multiplication Challenge. School was canceled Groundhog Day, so they resumed Friday and ended up with 78,968 multiplication problems. Cindy Schnabl rewarded everyone with pizzas.

Mrs. Boll's kindergarten and first-grade celebrated the 100th day of school by making items using only 100 objects to complete them. They are displayed in the front showcase.

The Battle of the Books high school team members Theresa Chihuly, Gretchen Garroutte, Anna Klapak, Victoria Florey and Jacob Boll did an excellent job in the district competition.

Nurse Gracie needs volunteers to help with spring screenings for height, weight, vision and hearing. Call 567-3301 on Thursdays or Fridays for information.

Ninilchik School will be one location to drop off items for the Wunderlich family, whose house burned this past week.

Seward Middle-Senior High School

Congratulations to the ski team, cheerleaders and basketball team this past weekend. They did a good job of cheering each other on and had some good results.

Congratulations also to Seward's National Ocean Sciences Teams. Team Resurrection (Bonnie Moore, Stephanie Christian, Erin McDonald and John Hughes) placed fourth overall with their paper discussing salmon management of Resurrection Bay during the weekend. Team Seward (Ben Steward, Adam Wilkie, Gwendolyn Luther, Jacqui Jacobson and Neil Logan) placed third overall on the quiz bowl, earning the distinction of holding the winning team (Juneau) to only 50 points.

Reminder: All artwork for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Visual Arts Competition and ASAA State Art Competition must be turned in to Mrs. Olver by March 1. After school art club resumed Tuesday. Congratulations to Erin McDonald and Mary Meeks; their drawings for the PTSA Reflections Competition have gone on from regions to the state competition in Anchorage.

Soldotna High School

The Renaissance Assembly is today at 2 p.m. Students with C's or better or a grade point average increase of .2 from the preceding semester will be honored. Larissa Renney made the winning Renaissance T-shirt design, and the Renaissance Teacher of the Year will be announced. A surprise new musical group will entertain. Kathy Gensel, Renaissance chair, will distribute prizes the community donated.

Future Problem Solvers hold their third competition Thursday during fifth and sixth periods.

Cross-country skiers visit Homer Friday and Saturday for their region competition. The team has done well this year .

Cinema Forum, a community film lecture-discussion group, meets Saturday in the school library from 4 to 7:30 p.m. This forum is free and is sponsored by Ashley Rolph, Molly Michal and Michele Lamb, members of the SoHi advanced placement government class. For information, call 262-4561.

National Honor Society's spring induction ceremony is Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the library. For more information call Bruce Rife at 262-7411.

The SoHi Swing Choir, directed by Trudy Petersen, holds its spring show Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. A silent auction will raise funds for the choir's trip to Orlando.

Cook Inlet Academy

Students of the week are Dylan Webb, Owen Phillips, Kelsey Brush, Michael Bauder, Jacob Franzman, Lindsey Keener, Lindsey Bauder, Wyatt Merritt and Stephanie Magee.

Bonnie Laber is the school contact for the Family Life Marriage Conference at the Anchorage Hilton, March 24-26.

Shawn Taplin, head coach for the elementary wrestlers, was encouraged by the adult volunteer help this year. Twenty-five boys, preschool through sixth grade, participate in the program. Coach Taplin said, in an interview with reporters from the fifth-grade newspaper, that wrestling can teach discipline, courage and character. He spoke at the Valentine's banquet, comparing agony and defeat with maturity and relationships.

Preschoolers are studying Bible truths in the story of Noah. Kindergartners learn about the Ten Commandments and Moses. Sin and repentance are the theme for first-second grade. Third-fourth graders are learning about miracles. The cycle of sin and how it applies to life is the Bible subject in the fifth grade.

Mrs. White's junior high is studying humility, leading to better understanding of others. In the unit called "Understanding The Times," Mr. C's class is gaining a better grip on the basics of faith, and the students are learning to defend their beliefs.

Kalifonsky Christian School

Kindergarten through second grade started swimming and also are learning about playground safety.

First through second grades are learning root words and suffix prefixes.

Third-graders are swimming in fractions. They also are studying the history of the United States. The dictionary is helping them figure out some of the big words.

Fourth grade is diving deeper into government and the way it is organized. Although they yawn from time to time, anything different than studying fractions is a good thing.

Third and fourth grades are studying posture and the names of bones.

Fifth-graders are studying temperature and sixth-graders are learning about math. Both grades are busy writing reports. Adam Trippe is writing about Henry Ford and Megan Fortner is writing about Abraham Lincoln.

Wings Christian Academy

Boys varsity basketball is in full swing, and Wings recently played Skyview High School and lost 65-45 but it was a good game and everyone was in good spirits. Thursday the Eagles play Nikolai at Wings at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday they play Lumen Christi at Mears Junior High in Anchorage and Corner Stone at Corner Stone in Anchorage.

Recently the honor roll students were treated to a sledding trip to Solid Rock Camp and then taken out to lunch.

The students went on a field trip to Kenai City Hall and to the police and fire stations. They learned how the city government works and all kinds of cool things.

The lower learning center art class made Valentines gifts for their moms.

Ashlynn Burger has made the high goal of the 4,000s club, and she is still pressing on.

Joel and Troy Consiel both brought in 20 box tops each and earned themselves a denim day. Leah Howel and Miss Amy Grant also earned denim days. Jessica Davis and Julianne Pettey both earned non-uniform days for bringing in 10 box tops each.

Leah Howel earned the award for the cleanest desk of the week.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start Preschool

The Head Start preschoolers are learning about taking care of themselves this month. They will be doing activities focusing on healthy foods and the food pyramid and the importance of exercise. Each class will visit the Kenai Recreation Center this month and play for an hour in the gym.

The children performed Dena'ina songs and dances last Thursday evening during the Kenaitze Indian Tribe's annual Heyi program at Fort Kenay. The children sang and danced "The Mosquito Song" and danced several other traditional Dena'ina drumming songs. The Jabila'ina Dancers performed "The Whale Hunter" for the audience.

The children celebrated Valentines Day with an open centers party last week. The school appreciates the parents and families who joined in the fun.

Ricky Gease, from the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, visited the school last week and talked about ice worms. The children learned that ice worms are black and come out at night and live in the snow and ice. They pretended to be ice worms and hid in the daytime and came out at night.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

The Valentine's party was great fun. The students enjoyed the potato sack relay races. It was fun to watch the students getting in and out of the bags. Parents provided refreshments for the party. Their participation is always greatly appreciated.

Dental health will be the focus this week. The students will learn about the three sizes of teeth, look at the instruments dentists use and make a tooth care book. A discussion of healthy foods will be included in the lesson.

The new Wednesday-Friday class begins today. There is still space available for those interested in enrolling. For more information, call 262-1284.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool

The post office field trip was a hit. The preschoolers made something special at school. They then went to the post office, had a tour, purchased stamps, stuck them on their envelopes and mailed them off to their moms. The kids were amazed at the huge stacks of magazines.

The Valentine's party was a hit. How fun to give and receive valentines, not to mention all the "nummy" treats.

This week is "Books We Love." Children will pick their favorite books at school and bring books from home for their pajama party. Yep, it is just like it sounds ... pajamas, pillows and teddy bears.

It is time to think about preschool for next year. The preschool is starting fall 2000-01 registration for 3- , 4- and 5-year-olds. If you are interested in enrolling your child or have any questions call Evelyn at 262-1298. Also, the co-op is looking for a few willing people to serve on the board for next year; for more information, direct your questions to Evelyn also.

The Safe Kids Fair will be at Kenai Central High School this year on March 4. The preschool will be offering scholastics, cookbooks, baked goods, and you even can order some Tupperware to help support the Soldotna Coop Preschool.

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 also 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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