Around the District

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Spring break starts Friday

Next week is spring break for students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Check with area private schools and preschools; many follow the same break calendar. Those schools will be closed Monday through March 23, with classes resuming March 26.

The third quarter at the public schools ends Friday. Students need to complete and turn in all work for the quarter before break.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula will have its Kenai clubhouse at the old Kenai Elementary School open during spring break from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The school board will not meet Monday. Its next regular meeting will be April 2.

The Clarion will not publish a Schools page March 21. Regular coverage will resume March 28.

KCHS principal promoted

Sam Stewart, principal of Kenai Central High School, has been named as the new director of secondary curriculum and assessment for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. The appointment was announced and approved at the March 5 school board meeting in Homer.

Stewart will replace Gary Whiteley, the current curriculum director. Whiteley will take over as assistant superintendent for instruction in July when Ed McLain, the current assistant superintendent, retires.

The appointment is part of a change in the administration of curriculum and testing. For the past several years, the district has had one director for curriculum and another for assessment. Starting this summer, the district will rearrange the positions into two directors, one for elementary and the other for secondary. Mark Leal, the current director of assessment, will become the director for elementary curriculum and assessment.

The principal's position at KCHS is being advertised. The district also is seeking new principal teachers for Cooper Landing School and Tebughna School in Tyonek.

Career club conference held

The districtwide CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organizations ) conference was Feb. 22 and 23.

More than 80 students began the conference with opening ceremonies at Soldotna High School followed by competitions in fields such as job interviews and culinary arts.

Gold Strike Lanes in Soldotna treated CTSO students from all over the district to a night of bowling, and numerous people and businesses contributed to the conference's success.

Feb. 23, Kenai Peninsula College hosted the students to listen to two keynote speakers, Crystal Poindexter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Edgar Blatchford, mayor of Seward. Following the speakers, students competed in welding, construction, drafting, extemporaneous speech, prepared speech, job interview finals, keyboarding, principles of technology and "buy, make and sell." In the afternoon the students and advisers were treated to host of round-table speakers, including John Payne from BP Alaska, Sandra Ghormley from HEA and Paul Gray of Gray Video Productions.

The state conference will be in Anchorage April 2-4.

SoHi students attend Model UN

Twenty-nine students from Soldotna High School attended the 19th Annual Model United Nations of Alaska on Feb. 23 and 24. SoHi was the only Kenai Peninsula school represented along with nine other high schools and a university team.

SoHi students formed delegations from the nations of Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, Denmark, Honduras, New Zealand, Portugal, Suriname, Ukraine and Vietnam.

The students spend two days discussing, debating, caucusing and working toward solutions with an international approach. This year's focus topic was "Globalization: the World Trade Organization and the UN in the 21st Century." In the process, the students learned about world events, geography, economics, politics and foreign cultures. Participation allows them to gain a greater appreciation of the dynamics of the relations among states and the United Nations' role in the international system.

The University of Alaska Anchorage has hosted the Model UN of Alaska, originally offered by Alaska Pacific University, since 1993. The Department of Political Science, within the UAA College of Arts and Sciences, coordinates the MUN. UAA students (The Secretariat) organize and participate in the simulation.

SeaLife Center seeks kids for squids

The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward invites students in grades three through 12 to enter a unique contest for "Operation Squid."

The inspiration is two giant squid that washed up on an Aleutian beach and were donated to the center. On June 2, the center will host special events for all ages focused on squid.

Students are invited to submit original essays about squid. Essays must be typed, no more than two pages long and include at least five facts about squid. The facts may deal with biology, commercial use or conservation issues. Essays must be postmarked no later than April 6 and sent to: Operation Squid Essay Contest, Alaska SeaLife Center, P.O. Box 1329, Seward, AK 99664-1329.

Organizers request no electronic submissions, no faxes and no phone calls. Questions should be e-mailed to

Essays will be judged in three age categories: grades three through five, six through eight and nine through 12. Winners will be notified in May.

Winners will receive free transportation to Seward, lodgings in a hotel there and the opportunity to join scientists in dissecting a 12-foot-long squid while the public watches via closed circuit television.

District braces for earthquakes

As recent events in Seattle show, preparations can reduce earthquake damage. The borough as a whole has participated in the federally funded Project Impact, which aims to prepare the area for emergency situations. Project Impact provided a $15,000 grant to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District to complete one important task: safeguarding new computer equipment.

Recently at Soldotna High School, senior Kalin Martushev and head custodian Buck George installed seismic restraint straps on the computers in the school's Dell lab so they will not fall off tables and break in a moderate quake.

George said studies after recent California quakes showed that computer damage was one of the largest expenses.

The district plans to install similar safeguards in other area schools.

Intern application deadline approaches

Applications are available for graduating seniors from Alaska high school and college students for summer internships in Sen. Ted Stevens' Washington, D.C., office.

The forms must be completed and returned to the senator's Washington, D.C., office postmarked no later than March 30.

Forms are available at high school counselor or principal offices at or by calling 283-5808.

The intern program provides graduating Alaska high school seniors with the opportunity to work at Stevens' office during one of two month-long sessions. Interns assist in the day-to-day operations of the office, including monitoring committee hearings, conducting research, answering phones, typing, filing, carrying messages to the Senate floor and assisting with production of Stevens' weekly radio report.

The first session is from June 2-30 and the second session is from July 7 to Aug. 4.

School board honors Homer staff

When the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education met in Homer on March 5, members took time to honor the accomplishments of teachers and support staff from south peninsula schools.

Carolyn Venuti, a teacher at West Homer Elementary School, and Ceil Manchester, school nurse at Paul Banks Elementary School and Homer Flex School, received Golden Apple awards for their dedication to students and the district.

The board also gave certificates of appreciation to Kurt Racicot and Gail Thomas for honors they received earlier this school year. Racicot, who teaches at Homer High School, was selected district Vocational Education Instructor of the Year. Thomas, who serves five schools in the Kachemak Bay area, won the Barbara Berger Award for Excellence in Health Education.

School budget wins business award

The Association of School Business Officials International has awarded the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District its Meritorious Budget Award for the 2000-01 annual budget. The district received word of the honor March 6.

The award honors excellent standards in budget presentation based on professional criteria, according to a statement from the association.

The association, founded in 1910, is a professional association which promotes standards of school business management practices, professional growth and effective use of educational resources.

Public invited to planning meetings

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District invites parents, students and others to comment on and contribute to the new long-range plan, which will set the district's direction in years to come. It has been holding a series of meetings around the peninsula to discuss priorities and ideas.

The schedule for the remaining meetings is:

Today, 7 to 9 p.m., Kenai Central High School library; and

Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m., Nikiski Middle-Senior High School library.

Charter application deadline Friday

Aurora Borealis Charter School, a public school within the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, will conduct an enrollment lottery April 10. The lottery determines the 2001-02 school year placement of students now on a waiting list.

Personnel from Mikunda, Cottrell and Company, certified public accountants, will supervise the lottery. Applications and copies of the enrollment and lottery procedures are available at the school office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All applications for enrollment for the 2001-02 school year must be delivered in person to the school office no later than 4 p.m. Friday. The lottery results will be posted at the ABCS April 16. If your child has a lottery number, you will not need to go through another lottery. The school asks that if you no longer want to be on the waiting list, you contact Debbi Palm at 283-0292.

KCHS announces Students of the Month

Kenai Central High School has announced its Students of the Month for March: Kayla Saltzgiver, business; Preston Wendt, creative arts; Nadia Cherraj, English; Macy Nicholas, home economics and health; Scott Brown, world languages; Clifford Cochran, math; Brad Burck, music; Kari Palm, physical education; Katherine Amen, science; Jamie Montgomery, social studies; William Harper, special services; Nickolas Lee, vocational education; Nicole Spence, Rotary International; Jayme Taylor, Kenai Elks; Rachel Roberts, chamber of commerce; and Tim Kirby, Kard of the Deck. Mrs. Sievert is the Staffer of the Month.

The Student of the Month luncheon will be March 28 at 11:50 a.m. in the auditorium commons.

After the Bell offers break activity

After the Bell will offer a Spring Break Extravaganza at Soldotna Middle School Tuesday through March 23 for first- through eighth-grade students. The theme is "Cooking, Crafting and Serving."

The doors will open at 10 a.m., and all students must be picked up by 6 p.m. Each student will have a chance to cook, create and offer community service. Games, crafts and outside activities will be included along with a trip to the Nikiski pool Thursday

Students will need to bring a lunch each day. Snacks will be provided in the mornings and afternoons each day.

If you are interested in having your child attend this activity, pick up a registration form at Soldotna Middle School or Soldotna or Redoubt elementary schools from After the Bell site coordinators.

The deadline for registration is Thursday. There is no fee required if a student is enrolled in After the Bell or registered with the Kenai Boys and Girls Club program. If a student is not a member, he or she will need to fill out a Boys and Girls Club registration form and submit it with a $20 membership fee. For more information, call Jeanne Waldren at 283-2682 or 260-7085.

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.P>

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