School news around the district

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Aurora Borealis Charter School

Aurora Borealis Charter School graduated its fourth class of eighth-graders since the school opened in 1997. Brianna Bruxvoort, Natalie Carmichael, Chris Fuller, Michelle Gutsch, James Hilbish, Aaron Lampman-Reid, Kendra Lucas, Danielle Severson and Alison Simpson were honored in a graduation program May 18.

Mr. Nauta welcomed everyone; Jackie Palm sang the national anthem accompanied by Whitney Rysdyk. Mr. Semmens, Academic Policy Committee president, addressed the students, encouraging them to build on the solid educational foundation laid out at ABCS. Mr. Nauta presented diplomas, and Mrs. Phillips, Mr. Semmens and other APC board members, including Mike Dunn and Doug McAuliffe, congratulated the students.

Mrs. Phillips presented her students with candy bar awards, selected to fit the students' personality and character traits. Bonnie Brown read a poem. Aaron Lampman-Reid and Chris Fuller played "Good Riddance" on guitar, as classmates joined them in song. Danielle Severson led the class in a special song, and Mr. Nauta closed the program. It ended with the students presenting roses to the teacher. The school thanks Karena Udelhoven, Debbie Palm, Anita LeDoux and Robin Lampman for the time and effort in making graduation successful.

Parent Teacher Council and APC elections were May 22.

One seventh-grader and nine eighth-graders received a "high" rank on the algebra achievement level tests given by the district. No student scored below the 92 percentile.

ABCS also would like to thank Larry Nauta, Bill Severson, Suzi Phillips, Gene Palm, Michelle Hinkle, Anita LeDoux, Debbie Palm, Lori Uponen and Julie Ball for a great year. The staff also thanks the Soldotna Bible Chapel for the use of its facility for graduation.

Teachers encourage students to set a goal for the summer and continue to read each day.

K-Beach students lobby borough

Students from Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School in Soldotna are getting an extracurricular education in public process.

They successfully lobbied the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission about a land classification issue. Tuesday they will take their message to the borough assembly.

Last fall, Connie Tobin's fourth-grade class and parent volunteer Shannon West began a project studying a wetlands area behind Murwood Estates subdivision. Students made field trips to the area, conducted interviews and researched the topic.

Zoning a parcel there for development or preservation is at issue. This parcel came before the planning commission last spring, and a decision was delayed due to public and borough concerns for the wetland and Kalifornsky Creek, West said.

The commission met May 14 to decide if the parcel should be classified for preservation or for a mix of commercial, residential and preservation.

The students made a PowerPoint presentation of their findings and sang a song they wrote based on Joni Mitchell's song "Big Yellow Taxi." They urged the commission to zone the parcel for preservation.

The planning commission took out the borough staff recommendations of commercial and residential sections and voted for the preservation designation, West said. Now the students and the commission will make their case to the borough assembly, which has the final say in the matter.

North Star Elementary

The class lists for the new school year will be posted on front door Aug. 20. The North Star staff wishes everyone a safe and fun-filled summer.

Redoubt Elementary

The deadline for the school cookbook has been extended to the fall. The school wants all students represented. Remember to order your copy or copies for $10 each. The school has a list of tutors who will be available over the summer. The staff at Redoubt wishes to thank all parents for their support this school year.

Sears Elementary

Nurse Bekkie and all of Sears Elementary would like to thank Love INC, the Women's Resource and Crisis Center, the Kenai Ministerial Association and private donors for their help and contributions made to the breakfast pilot program that took place in May at Sears.

Remember to visit the PTA booth and get your face painted at the Kenai River Festival June 9 and 10. If you would like to help paint faces, call Ann at 283-5956.

Registration for the 2001-02 school year will be Aug. 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register a new child at Sears, a birth certificate, proof of current immunizations and a school physical are needed. School supply lists will be available at the school during registration.

Class lists will be posted at the school around Aug. 18. School for first- and second-grade students will begin Aug. 22 and for kindergartners on Aug. 28.

Sterling Elementary

The final student awards assembly recognized everyone who helped make the school a great place to learn this year.

Sterling would like to thank the Laidlaw bus drivers Sherica, Janet, Sabra, Karen, Jerry, Patty, Colleen and Jo Ann. Sterling also thanks Kathleen Quellan and Dianne Garske for volunteering this year. Kathleen made sure the school newspapers were organized and delivered them to each classroom twice a month. Dianne showed all her leadership qualities as the site-based chair this year.

Vicki Freese has worked in the district for 18 years, and Paul Kubena, Vidya Offtedal and Suzanne Martin for 11 years.

Sterling sixth-graders Nicole VanRyzin, Brianne Bias, Kelly Seggerman, James Bisgard, Jordan Ikerd and Justin Oleson will be part of the Soldotna Middle Schools Symphonic Band next year.

The school recognized 74 students as outstanding citizens this year.

Angel Spicer is this year's recipient of the Rachel Ray Holt Memorial Scholarship.

Ms. Biggs honored members of the Soaring Falcon Choir.

The PTA bound and distributed 178 copies of the Sterling Falcons anthology of original writings, the "Young Authors' Celebration 2001."

Justin Orth and Alyssa Ellison received recognition for their work as student library aides. Chad Simons, Trevor Slater, Marshall Thompson, Mitchell Davisson, Terrance Albertson and Alex Jicha received certificates for being hard workers. Kasey Ferganchick and Shonnie Larrow were recognized for helpfulness. Garrett Coreson and Halie Holdt were recognized for good attitudes. Brooke Jaskey-Zuber and Becky Warton were recognized for having their writing published in the district Analytic Writing Assessment anthology.

Rita Geller, the physical education teacher, recognized Shannon Lindley as the Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year and Buck Kunz and Kelly Seggerman for being Outstanding Male Athletes of the Year.

The Presidential Academic Awards Program recognized students in two categories. Outstanding Achievement for students maintaining a 3.0 to 3.5 grade point average during their elementary school years and Outstanding Excellence for those maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Outstanding Achievement certificates went to Brittany West, Ariel Mercier, Rachel Adams, Alecia Smith, Ariel Barker, Vanessa Cleveland, Kyle Cowan, Samantha Engler, Chandra Jicha, Ciarra McKenzie, Nichol Searfus and Lucas Thein.

Recipients of the prestigious Outstanding Excellence certificate were Brianne Bias, Kelly Eshelman, Buck Kunz, Shannon Lindley, Kendra Merkes, Patrick Parker, Nichole VanRyzin and Kelly Seggerman.

Tustumena Elementary

The following students received year-end awards at Tustumena Elementary School in Kasilof.

Alex Cox, Taylor Karnikis, Sam Kilfoyle, Chelsea Martin, Rusty Singleton, Kjersten Skjold, Brad Mallette, Luke Morse and Jennifer VanRaden received the President's Educational Awards.

David Blossom, Hannah Chase, Taylor Karnikis, Gavin Marsh, Chelsea Martin, Luke Morse and Jennifer VanRaden were the Masonic Outstanding Student Award nominees. Kjersten Skjold was the winner.

Aaron Chase, Brianna Kitchen, Ross Skjold, Michelle Klaben, Cassie Sheridan, Kaitlyn VanMeter, Daniel Rozak, Wesley Matthews, Hannah Chase, Samantha Ducker, Christina Strange, Jacob Fowler, Jessica Hatten, Devon Cowans, Kadie Hansen, Jess Russell, Paris Cooper, Kris Klunder, Calvin Baxter, Phoebe Napolitano, Zach Klunder and Calvin Williams participated in Jump Rope for Heart.

Mark Youngren, Hunter Link, Morgen Fowler, Emily Culhane, Jesse Carlson, Sam Kilfoyle, Kjersten Skjold, Heidi Skjold, Ellen Holt and Taylor Karnikis were participants in the Battle of the Books.

Michelle Martin, Tammy Gist, Shyan Ely, Melissa Blake, Ellen Holt, Scott Begins, Anthony Silva, Jacob Lester, Olympia Chambers, Christina Strange and Taylor Karnikis took part in the forensics competition.

Alex Cox won the geography bee, and Ellen Holt won the spelling bee.

Cameron Harvey, Brad Blossom, David Blossom, Shelby Dykstra, Naomi Quintana and Jennifer Powell were in the Hoop Shoot.

Phoebe Napolitano, Nathan Penrod, Cassie Sheridan, Kaitlyn VanMeter, Wyatt Kenyon, Candace Penrod, Bradley Mallette, Alan Moiles, Gregory Bosick, Hannah Chase and Chelsea Martin won the Presidential Fitness Award.

Ellen Holt, Jacob Lester, Patrick Sheridan and Kelsey Shields were members of the Future Problem Solving Team.

Judy Johnson was the Site-Based Council Volunteer of the Year.

Cub Scout Pack 454 wants you to join summer events. You must be going into first through fifth grade. It will have a rummage sale June 24 and a horse trail riding family fun day Aug. 4. For more information, contact Tammy Clancy at 262-6410 or Nan Misner at 262-8310.

Aug. 13 and 14 will be registration for the 2001-02 school year.

Kenai Middle School

Results of the vote on changing the school mascot are in. As determined at the site-based council prior to elections, the adults in the community (staff, parents and community members) were given 50 percent of the vote and the students the other 50 percent. Unfortunately, the turnout from adults was lower than the site council expected. Due to the weighted averages, the adults really pulled the vote.

The current mascots, the Kossacks, won by a narrow margin. The vote totals were: Kossacks -- 37 percent; Kougars -- 25 percent; Koyotes -- 22 percent; Kings -- 13 percent; and other -- 3 percent.

Assistant Principal Lori Manion reported that the change may come up again to the site council next year.

Soldotna Middle School

Soldotna Middle School has set aside the following dates for seventh- and eighth-grade registration in August.

Seventh-grade students whose last names begin with the letters "A" through "L" will register from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8; seventh-grade students whose last name begin with letters "M" through "Z" will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 9, and all eighth-grade students will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 10.

If you cannot register your student on these days, late registration will be Aug. 20 at 10 a.m.

Kenai Central High School

Test results from the spring Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam will be sent to parents in mid-June.

Students in Mrs. Nabholz's Foundations I math class created three handmade baby quilts second semester. The quilts are a four-patch design with bright colors and various themes. They will be donated to local families through Central Peninsula General Hospital.

Congratulations to KCHS Music Student of the Year, Steven Campanella, and choir music students Brad Burck, Micah Houtz and Quinn Brown. They were dubbed "The Fabulous Four" for their outstanding work this year.

Four staff members are leaving KCHS. Mark Burgener, the art teacher extraordinaire, will retire. He has given everyone at KCHS memories for the past 15 years. Olga Timofeeva and Stephanie Kind, two English teachers, are moving onward to new and exciting adventures. Sam Stewart, the KCHS principal, will move into a new position at central office.

The school is going through renovations this summer. As a result, the building will close down after the first week of June for the duration of the summer. No swimming lessons will take place at the KCHS pool this year.

Soldotna High School

The Kenai Peninsula Football Camp will be at Soldotna High School from July 16 through 20 for fourth- through ninth-grade students and July 23 through 27 for freshmen through seniors. For more information, e-mail

Regular season football and cross country running practice begins July 30. Volleyball practice will begin Aug. 6.

The Soldotna High School calendar for the 2001-02 school year is posted on the Web at

SoHi's swimming pool will be open this summer for lessons, swim team, lap and open swim. The new schedule will begin Monday and run through Aug. 10. Monday through Friday early bird lap swim will be from 6:30 to 8 a.m. Soldotna Silver Salmon Swim Team will be from 8 to 10 a.m., open swim will run from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Swim lessons will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Evening lap swim will be from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information, call Cindy Aldridge at 262-7411.

Cook Inlet Academy

The Nikiski Dance Troupe teacher honored Cameron O'Connell at the awards banquet May 18 for her leadership and dedication.

Students of the Year announced at the banquet were Miranda Zindel and Justin Franchino. Thomas Adams and Cameron O'Connell were inducted into the National Honor Society.

Student council for 2001-02 will be Justin Franchino, Miranda Zindel, Catrina Brandon, Charlotte Hillyer, Sarah McLeod and Vanessa Taylor.

Mike Nugent of Agrium presented a $1,000 scholarship to Eric Minelga. Eric received two four-year scholarships, one from University of Alaska Anchorage and one from LeTourneau. Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and DeVry also honored Eric with scholarships. Brittany Leiter received two scholarships from Trinity College. Chet Nettles won a scholarship to UAA and a place on the men's basketball team. He also was named Alaska Player of the Year.

Cameron O'Connell received two scholarships and scored a perfect 800 in the language portion of college entrance exams, the first such score at CIA. The senior class presented an eagle banner to the school to display in the gym.

At awards chapel May 23, it was announced that the fourth- and fifth-grade class won the library award 16 times this year. In the same class, Garyn Munn, Brook Forsi and James Ray were spelling bee winners.

The sixth grade had three students with perfect attendance: Jake Zufelt, Shane Ashley and Cory Vierck. In their survival games, the teamwork, encouragement and leadership awards went to Claire Rowley and Cory Vierck. Arlen Query received a trophy for placing second in the state Elks Hoop Shoot. Mrs. O'Dell thanked Carmen Magee and Robin Michel for volunteering this year.

There will be a Summer School Volleyball Camp July 9 through 13, coached by Amy O'Dell.

Students will be able to earn credit in Europe for Global Classroom, including world history, art, French, physical education, world culture and international relations. Secondary accredited enrichment electives will be offered through the Internet next year, including arts, sciences, languages, graphics and test prep classes.

A classroom addition will be built this summer.

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