Families packed the assembly chamber for Monday's school board meeting.
A controversial decision on school wrestling brought out the crowds.
Families questioned Superin-tendent Donna Peterson's choice to move the high school wrestling season from spring to fall. The change drew criticism from the district's 4A conference wrestlers, who will miss competing with the largest schools from Anchorage and Fairbanks (See related story, Sports, page A-8).
But the stars of the evening were educators and students honored at the meeting.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District celebrated the new decor in the room: art work by central peninsula elementary school students. The school board took time to recognize the young artists in attendance and give them certificates of appreciation.
The students' work had been exhibited in Juneau in state offices. Twenty pieces from that display were selected to hang in the borough meeting room, school board member Susan Larned said.
The Frontier Frame Gallery donated professional framing, and Gary Freeburg, art instructor from Kenai Peninsula College, and Kathy Schwartz, the district's art specialist, hung the show, she said.
The school board singled out six people for special awards:
n Wanema Arndt, a Laidlaw bus driver, received the 1999 Bluebird Heroism Award from the National Association for Pupil Transporta-tion. Her response to a fatal accident in October 1998 was cited. Arndt was driving her route on Funny River Road and came upon the recent wreck. She had a student summon help via radio while she used the bus to pull the car off the victim, who turned out to be a student she knew. Arndt administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until emergency workers arrived.
Chuck Boll, the Laidlaw Transit branch manager, and Steve Kalmes, the transportation supervisor for the Anchorage School District, presented her with a plaque.
n Lynn Dusek, first-grade teacher at Redoubt Elementary School in Soldotna, was cited for her leadership in school projects such as ongoing training, peer mediation and committees.
n Patricia Glaze, Title I tutor at North Star Elementary School in Nikiski, was honored for her teamwork with staff, students and families.
n Brad Nyquist, eighth-grade math teacher at Kenai Middle School, was honored for his innovation, teamwork and extra work on after-school programs.
n Sylvia Reynolds, principal at Soldotna High School, was congratulated for winning the Alaska 2000 Secondary Principal of the Year title.
n Wayne Young, principal teacher at Port Graham School, was honored for his commitment to education, his community work and serving as an exemplary role model for his students.
The board also gave citations to two students, Haleena Hanson and Norton Dablemont, from Skyview High School. Melinda Haring, the school board's student representative, praised the two for their positive contributions to school spirit.
The next meeting of the school board will be May 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Seward High School auditorium.
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