School news around the peninsula

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Aurora Borealis Charter School

Mrs. Uponen's first- and second-grade class completed the Idid-a-read program. One minute of reading equals one mile. Many of the children beat the mushers to Nome.

The third- through eighth-grade art students have completed their surrealistic collages, which are on display in the main hall. They are now doing monochrome print-making. The final printing project will be a three-color print, which they are beginning now.

Michelle Gutsch will be awarded the Masonic student for Aurora Borealis Thursday. This award is based on excellence in character, academics and civic involvement. Michelle is an eighth-grade student and has attended Aurora Borealis for the past four years. Many thanks to her for the example she sets for others to follow and the help she always is willing to give.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Do not drop your kids off in the bus lane. The school thanks Steve Wright for his help every morning keeping the flow of the traffic going and getting the kids into the school safe.

The spring carnival will be Saturday, and volunteers are needed. If you can help out, contact Lela Rosin at 262-3591.

The site-based council will meet Monday at 2:45 p.m. in the school library.

Visit the school Web site for up-to-date information at and click on "news."

Mountain View Elementary

Mountain View will honor volunteers with a luncheon Thursday at 11:45 a.m.

Congratulations to all fifth-graders who graduated from DARE. The ceremony was Tuesday and well attended.

Fifth-grade students will visit Kenai Middle School today.

The Kenai Middle School parent meeting about next year's sixth-grade students will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in the KMS library.

Mrs. Zorbas' health students at Kenai Central High School will do a health fair for Mrs. Ermold's and Mrs. Gustkey's fifth-graders Thursday.

Mrs. Ermold's and Mrs. Heath's classes will travel to Anchorage to watch "Dib and Dob," a fable performed by Alaska Junior Theater. They also will visit the Alaska Heritage Center before returning home.

Mrs. Keating's class will attend Outdoor Education Camp April 26 and 27. Students are learning about preparedness for that field trip. The refuge staff helped prepare them with pretrip activities Monday. Parents have attended planning meetings and generously donated time to help at the camp. In addition, the class is selling "McDonald's Peelers" for $10 each as a fund-raiser for the Kenai Fjords field trip May 18.

Check out the PTA Book Fair Monday through April 27.

Friday will be Sports Day.

Nikiski Elementary

The new board of directors for the 2001-02 school year is Shawna Gillies, president; Ann Holloway, vice president; Denise Tuttle, secretary; Renee Payment, treasurer; and Judy Shields, teacher representative. Elections were April 10. The installation of officers is scheduled for May 8.

The Green Star Committee will sponsor an Earth Day party today. Students will pick up garbage around the school grounds and have juice and popcorn after. Stop by.

The Kenai Health Center will return to offer required hepatitis immunizations. For more information, contact the school nurse at 776-4136.

Kindergarten round-up continues through Friday. The school welcomes parents and prospective kindergartners to attend. Parents should sign up children by coming by or calling the school office at 776-8553. Remember to bring a copy of your student's birth certificate and immunizations records with you.

National Volunteer Week is Sunday through April 28. The staff appreciates the volunteers who help out in classrooms, drive for field trips, bring in food and supplies for holiday parties and support PTA and the site-based council throughout the school year.

North Star Elementary

Science Club for Girls will meet in room six from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and go to the Challenger Learning Center April 26.

The Fly Tying Club with Wally Hufford will meet from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Thursday in the lower activity room. The club is open to fourth through sixth grade.

Tinikling with all tiniklers will meet from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Tuesday.

PTA will meet in the library at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

April 25, preschool will meet from 9 to 10:30 a.m., a hepatitis clinic is at 9 a.m. and tinikling at Nikiski High School will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Permission slips for the clinic are in the office.

The Nikiski High Dance Concert will be April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. The tiniklers will perform. Tickets at the door will be $8 general admission and $6 for seniors.

Ben Heaverly was a state spelling bee contestant March 29. He placed in the top 50.

The North Star Running Club welcomes all fourth- through sixth-graders to join in spring training, which began Monday. Permission slips are in the office.

Volunteers are needed to run the Hershey Track and Field Day May 18 at the Nikiski High School track.

Larry Semmens from Aurora Borealis will speak at the North Star PTA meeting Monday at 7 p.m.

Redoubt Elementary

The talent show will be Friday at 2 p.m. in the gym.

Intramural basketball season has been extended through May 7 and changed to a double-elimination tournament. The remainder of the schedule will appear in this week's newsletter.

Send in your recipes for the school cookbook by Friday. Cookbooks are for sale for $10 and will be delivered this fall. Students can enter a contest to design the cookbook cover and category dividers. Prizes will be awarded for the winners. This is a PTA fund-raiser.

School pictures returns and money are due by Friday.

Redoubt will sponsor a summer activities fair April 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the gym. Representatives from area youth groups will provide information on summer programs and how to get your child involved. It's free and refreshments will be provided.

Students riding bicycles and scooters to school are reminded to wear helmets and practice all safety rules. Bicycles should be walked across the street at the crosswalk and parked in the bicycle racks at the end of the building. A bike lock is strongly recommended.

Sears Elementary

Next week is turn off TV week. Take the opportunity to play games and read with your child instead.

The volunteer appreciation luncheon will be Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the library. All school volunteers are invited.

Mrs. Hanson's class visited the Challenger Learning Center Tuesday and learned about space. The class also has been studying weather.

Mrs. Bryson's class will present a dinosaur program Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Families of her kindergartners are invited.

Miss Ralston's, Miss Fischer's, Mrs. Atchley's, Mrs. Anderson's, Mrs. Sorenson's, Mrs. Lafferty's and Mrs. Knudsen's classes will visit the Anchorage Zoo April 27. This field trip is a great way to learn about animals.

Mrs. Thomas' class has been studying dinosaurs. The dinosaurs even left footprints and a huge skeleton in class.

Title I has established a library with great books and tapes available for check-out. Stop by and take advantage of this resource.

Soldotna Elementary

The kindergarten round-up program is scheduled for Friday to welcome all new students to Soldotna Elementary School. Register first at the front desk to sign up and receive more information.

Congratulations to Fun Buck winners for this week: Jessica Bartelds, Michael Reese, Emily Peterson, Carley Hicks, Joe Works, Kayln Croom, Buddy Anderson and Julia Torwick. The school thanks the students for their good deeds to help make Soldotna Elementary a better place.

Fourth- through sixth-grade students will perform their spring concert at 5:30 p.m. Thursday under the direction of music educator Yvonne Emery. Band director Vernel Schneider will lead the fifth- and sixth-grade bands in performing that evening.

Representatives from Soldotna Middle School will visit with sixth-grade classes Tuesday to acquaint them with their new school and prepare plans for next year.

Congratulations to Brittany Hicks, Madison McConnell and Jamie Sinclair for their certificates of achievement for the study of the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution.

Sterling Elementary

This year's spring carnival had a medieval fair theme. It was a huge success, thanks to many peoples' help.

The PTA invites students and parents to order this year's 2001 Falcon yearbook today. The cost is $9 until April 30; then the price will be $12. For more information, call the school.

The Masonic Outstanding Student Award winner from Sterling Elementary this year is Nicole VanRyzin.

The final Falcon Fun Night of the year will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday. Fun nights are sponsored by the student council. Cost is $2 per student or free if parents come and participate. Only kindergarten through second-grade students are invited.

Mrs. Geller will hold open gym for third-graders Friday after the fun hour.

Ms. Hoffman's sixth-graders will leave Friday for Anchorage to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Mr. Wheat's fifth-grade will hold a bake sale Friday. His and Ms. Wimmer's classes will visit the Kenai Fjords Monday. Mrs. Hepner's Quest students will go on a field trip Monday and Tuesday.

Bus evacuation drills will be Tuesday morning in the parking lot.

Cindy Litzenberger, Soldotna Middle School counselor, will visit Sterling April 25 to address sixth-graders about their transition into SMS.

April 25 is Secretary's Day. The staff thanks Barbara Eastham for all she does each and every day.

Tustumena Elementary

The final site-based council meeting for this school year will be 4 p.m. Monday and is open to the public. The council will nominate people for two terms that need to be filled next year.

The volunteer appreciation dessert social will be after school Thursday in the library. This is Public School Volunteer Week.

Sea Week starts Monday.

The Kenai Middle School counselor will visit the sixth-grade students today, and the Soldotna Middle School counselor Tuesday.

The talent show will be at 7 p.m. April 27 along with a student art display that evening in the multipurpose room. The cost for the talent show is $1 per person and $5 per family. Performers get in free.

To reserve a copy of the memory yearbook, fill out and return the envelope sent home last week with the newsletter to your child's teacher. The cost will be $5 before May 4 and $7 after that date. Checks should be made out to Tustumena PTO. The memory yearbook will be available May 22.

Take a look at the Web page for Tustumena at

Kenai Middle School

Orientation for 2001-02 sixth-grade parents will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the library.

The first track meet will be Friday at Soldotna High School.

Sixth-grade soccer begins Monday. Permission forms must be returned before practice.

Next year's parents are invited to orientation in the library Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. You can meet the staff and learn about new programs.

Volunteers are invited to a luncheon in their honor Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in the library. R.S.V.P. to Cindy or Terry at 283-4896.

The next hepatitis clinic will be April 27. For more information, call Pam Howard at 283-4896.

Stop by the Kenai Fine Arts Center to view the 12th annual Kenai Peninsula Borough School District student art show, "A Visual Feast." This is a juried show. Andrea Aburto placed first in printmaking; Daisy Kyriss placed first in the open category and third in sculpture; Meghan Thibodeau captured first in sculpture; Forrest Lehmkuhler, Amanda Leslie and Crystal Goggia received honorable mentions for drawing. Jessica White was first in painting; Larissa Cochran received teacher's choice with her painting; Jessica Summer represented the school in the drawing category; and Keeley Boyle in the sculpture category. The student work will be displayed until April 27.

The annual seventh- and eighth-grade borough forensics tournament was at Soldotna Middle School March 31. Congratulations to the following participants: Brandi Baughman, second in humorous poetry; Michelle Oberg, second in nonhumorous prose; Mistie Williams and Lorasu Stuart, third in nonhumorous poetry-multiple and Chelsea Baird, second in original poetry.

The wrestling team placed second in the borough tournament. Placing were Clark Buffington, Justin Tumbaga, Dakota Craig and Papapa Nicholas, borough champions; Rocky Ward and Sonny Nelson, borough runner-ups; Marcus Reemtsma, third place; and Eric Cox, Chris Speed and Ivan Schoolcraft, fourth place.

Students must turn in money by Thursday for mini-courses in May.

Soldotna Middle School

Congratulations to this week's Dairy Queen Student and Staff Member of the Week, eighth-grader Vanessa Williams and teacher Kristin Cannava.

Brennan Best, Brittany Osland, Alesya Trombley, Gabe Fellman, Dan Silver and Ben Tikka took Russian students with them to their classes April 11.

The school thanks the parents and students who brought Pepsi Notes in to Soldotna Middle School to help the "Share the Joy With Music" program. SMS collected 1,320 notes and used them to purchase two music stands and two 25-foot microphone cords.

Starting Monday, Mrs. Dougherty, the seventh-grade counselor, will hand out scheduling packets. These will explain the content of the core classes and what elective classes are available. Look at the packet of information with your child and help them choose electives for next year. This scheduling information is due back to the counseling office by April 30. For more information, call Mrs. Dougherty at 262-4344.

SMS will host the mass choir festival Saturday.

There will be another hepatitis clinic May 4 from 9 to 11:30 a.m.


The Connections Program is enrolling students for next year. Call for an appointment to discuss materials or visit the Web site for more information.

Ashley Rediske won the NASA-sponsored Alaska Schools Northern Lights Essay Competition for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. She will receive $50 and gifts. To view her entry online, go to or

Tuesday students in kindergarten through eighth-grade will learn about wildland fire prevention. State Forestry representative Tammy Westover will speak to kindergarten through third-grade students at 1:30 p.m. and to grades four through eight at 2:30 p.m. at Soldotna Elementary School in the career development room. Students will learn about fire prevention, watch a short video and receive learning materials. If you plan to attend, e-mail Cathy at

The enrollment deadline for the Kenai River rafting and hiking in May is fast approaching. Let Connections know if you plan to attend.

Order forms for Troll and Scholastic Book Clubs are available in the Connections office. This will be the last order for this school year. Make checks payable to the companies you order from. Orders are due April 25.

Kenai Central High School

Students interested in running for student council office positions need to turn in petitions to Ms. Bigham today.

A representative from the Coast Guard Academy will visit school today. Interested students should be in the top 10 to 15 percent of their class. For more information, see Mr. Manuel.

Soccer parents meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in the teachers' lounge.

The after-prom committee will meet Monday at 7 p.m. in the teachers' lounge.

Shot clinic will be Tuesday. The school nurse will administer hepatitis A and B shots and DT boosters to students who submit permission forms by the deadline Monday.

Prom will be April 28 from 8 p.m. to midnight. Promenade begins at 8:30 p.m.; line-up for promenade begins at 8.

The annual Kenai Central High School Cultural Fair, sponsored by the world languages department, will be May 1 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. Students, families and staff are welcome.

Lauren Brewer, Claire Mishou and Aaron Trickel of the KCHS drama department have prepared a special program, "The Masks We Wear," in conjunction with the culture fair to close the curtain on the 2000-01 school year. The show will be 6:30 p.m. in the Little Theater. Admission is free.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School

The Nikiski drama debate forensic team had a great state meet, taking first in debate and second overall. Every student on the state team did no less than fifth place in at least one category.

The following students were character cornerstones for this month: Laura Key and Travis McGahan for trustworthiness; Justin Vance, Lindsey Holland and Jason Gerke for respect; Jeanette Copeland, Lance Penhale and Billy Kensinger for kindness; and Dawson Herman, John Sacaloff, Nicholle Clark and Layne Griffith for responsibility.

The 12th annual KPBSD annual student art show is on display throughout April att he Kenai Fine Arts Center. Nikiski entered in four categories and took home three firsts and two seconds. Les Nelson took first in painting. Travis Anderson and Nichole McIrvin were awarded honorable mentions in painting. Myrna Rooker took first in the drawing category. Mindy Cason took first in jewelry, with Misti Hemphill taking second. Reuben Floyd took second in sculpture. Nikiski entered 18 pieces and had seven chosen for awards.

The volunteer luncheon will be Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Congratulations to Scott Anderson, who was chosen as Technology Teacher of the Year by Mississippi State University.

Congratulations to the VICA participants who traveled to Anchorage and competed, bringing home medals.

Skyview High School

Soccer and track athletes will receive team and individual photos today at practice.

Elections for executive board positions for 2001-02 will be Thursday. Petitions for class offices will be available Monday.

The Skyview parade of bands will be April 30 at 7 p.m. in the commons. Students from Tustumena, Kalifornsky Beach and Sterling elementary schools will perform along with Skyview students.

The Skyview Cleanup Campaign will be April 26. Student council, various clubs and teams will join to help pick up trash on campus as well as along the highway approaching the school. Parent volunteers are welcome to join the effort. For more information, call John Andrews.

Soldotna High School

Soldotna High School students took the National Geography Olympiad test Thursday. The top 10 individual scores combine to make a team score for the school. SoHi's top 10 this year exceeded any previous year's combined scores. Ben Histand, Drew Staley, Matt Neal, Sam Gerber, Billy Moiles, Travis Warner, Denise Metcalf, Jenna Pitts, Ellen Landess and Ty Schwiegert were the top 10. Congratulations also to SoHi history teacher Ron Becker for his perfect score on this difficult test.

Today is the last Rotary Student of the Month lunch. The school thanks the Soldotna Rotary Club for its support this year.

The last four performances of "Annie Get Your Gun" will be this weekend. Performances will be Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m., and the final performance will be a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday.

Eight SoHi student council members will travel to Monroe Catholic High School today to attend the Spring Alaska School Activities Association Conference. They will participate in leadership training, resolution writing and general sessions to present the resolutions. Students also will attend a variety of clinics helping them build school spirit, learn parliamentary procedure and conduct meetings and assemblies.

Executive board elections will be today at noon.

Cook Inlet Academy

The spring program, "I Witness News," was performed April 3. The musical, directed by Miss Tatiana, assisted by Deanna Cashman and Kathy Zufelt, featured elementary students singing and reciting for the audience. After preschool and kindergarten opened the program, first- through fourth-grade students sang the chorus while grade six performed the drama, a news broadcast "live" from Jericho.

Students of the Week are Lauren Bauder, Colton Vann, Aaron Glaves, Shane Ashley, Hannah Kjeldson, Caleb Lyons, Madison Orth and Stephen Webb. They were honored for spelling, art, computing, friendship, self-control and obedience.

The kindergarten held a science fair April 11 to highlight their space unit. Projects included stars, planets and God's control of it all.

The second- and third-grade artwork posted in the hall features great work from Jessie, Mariah, Kelsey, Ivy, Amie, Kiana, Hilary, Adam, Sadie Marie and Robbie.

Fifth-grade spelling lessons include studies of values based on verses from Scripture, currently Psalm 25:14, Psalm 37:3, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 121:5-7 and Psalm 47:1-2.

The school board announced that Max Vavilov will be a new secondary teacher next year. Mr. Vavilov is an alumnus of Cook Inlet Academy. He will have a degree from Western Baptist College in math education and Bible.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

The Head Start preschool students took a field trip to the Kenaitze Tribe's greenhouse this week to see what was growing. They planted flowers and vegetable seeds in school and have been observing how their own plants are growing.

The children will learn about the letter "K" this week and make kites and do related activities. Next week the children will take a field trip to the Kenai River flats and observe the geese.

A representative from the WIC office will do a hemoglobin screening this week as well.

The next parent meeting will be Tuesday at 5 p.m. Kindergarten teachers will talk about the transition Head Start children make to kindergarten and answer questions about school and classrooms. Graduation plans also will be discussed. Dinner will be served after the discussion.

Head Start is accepting enrollment applications for next year. Income eligible families, Native and non-Native, are welcome to apply. For more information, call 283-0707.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

Happy birthday to Dani, who turns 4 this week.

This week's helpers are Morgan, Shelby, Dezmond and Jonah.

Students will study insects and butterflies this week. They will learn the definition of an insect, make masks and learn the parts of insects. Students also will make a book about the life cycle of a butterfly. They will use butterflies to learn about symmetry.

The older class is learning how to write numbers as words as well as write them in numerical form.

Applications for fall enrollment are being accepted. Visitation for new students will be April 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

For more information, call Peninsula Grace Brethren Church at 262-6442 or Chris at 262-1284.

Ridgeway Montessori School

Ridgeway Montessori students have been learning about the continent of Africa and enjoyed the stories told by a parent who spent time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali. His goat skin backpack, camel skin jewelry box and beautiful glass beads prompted a lot of questions from the children.

There will be an open house today from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friends and families of students and anyone interested in or curious about Ridgeway Montessori are invited. The school is enrolling students for the summer and fall terms. For information, call 262-2699 or evenings 262-6389.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool

This week the children are learning about reptiles. Next week's study will be about pets, and students will be able to bring a pet to school Friday.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool will have a visitation for next year's preschoolers. If your child will be 3- to 5-years-old during the school year, stop by and see what is happening. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon are the class times this year.

The open house for parents will be Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. This will be a chance to talk with this year's and next year's board members and some of the parents.

For more information, call Susan at 262-4102 or Evelyn at 262-1298.

Sterling Head Start

Sunshine kids for last week were Dylan Simons and Jason Alto. The staff star, Rosemary Bushon, family advocate, is honored for her honest, loving and caring ways toward students, parents, families and staff.

The school staff also thanks the parent volunteers Cindy Boyer, Latricia Yancy and Kim Lithicum. Parent and community volunteers always are welcome and appreciated. To contact Mary, parent coordinator, call 260-3251. Don't forget to help out at the fishing pond at the Sportsman Show April 27 between 3 and 8 p.m.

Students will take a field trip to the Sterling fire station today and a nature walk Friday.

Remember to wear gym clothes Wednesday mornings and appropriate clothes Wednesday afternoons.

Applicants are now being accepted for the 2001-02 school year. The program is available for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds. Children must be 3 years old by Aug. 15.

The parent committee will meet April 26 at 6 p.m.

For more information call Janyne at 260-7446.

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