District teachers earn accolades

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2007

A number of Kenai Peninsula educators recently were recognized for their work with students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Lori Manion, principal at Nikiski North Star Elementary School, was selected as the 2007 Alaska Distinguished Principal by the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals.

Bruce Rife, a teacher at Soldotna High School, was the recipient of a 2006-07 Siemens Award for Advanced Placement, one of 50 teachers recognized nationally for exemplary teaching and dedication to students at to the Advanced Placement program.

Kim Foley, a home economics and family and consumer science teacher at Kenai Central High School, was named the district’s outstanding career and technical education teacher of the year.

Bill Noomah, a fourth-grade teacher at McNeil Canyon Elementary, was named the district’s 2007 BP Teacher of the year. Noomah, along with Soldotna Montessori teacher Lisa Atchley, Kaleidoscope Schools of Arts and Science teacher Kelli Stroh, Soldotna High teacher Troy Minogue and Skyview High teacher Kent Peterson were recognized as BP Teachers of Excellence.

“It’s excellent when outside organizations recognize our outstanding teachers, staff members and principals,” said district Superintendent Donna Peterson. “Everybody works hard in this district. They don’t do it for the recognition, but it’s sure nice when they get it.”

Manion was principal at North Star Elementary from 2002 to 2004 and has been principal at Nikiski North Star since 2004. Manion’s leadership during the consolidation of Nikiski Elementary and North Star Elementary and her integration of the CHARACTER COUNTS! program into the culture of the school, was noted by Alaska Association of Elementary School Principal Vice President Erica Kludt-Painter. Manion also was the driving force behind the startup of a prekindergarten program at Nikiski North Star.

“Criteria for selection of the principals require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations,” Kludt-Painter said.

The Siemens Award is given by the Siemens Foundation. The College Board, which administers advance placement testing, compiles a report of schools with the strongest advanced placement programs in each state, and invites nominations from those schools. Rife’s award also includes $1,000. One teacher from each state is recognized with the award.

Foley was selected by the district career and technical education advisory committee. The culinary arts class at Kenai Central put on student of the month banquets with menus selected from class competitions. Foley has developed and hosted district culinary arts competitions, developed relationships with the business community and received advanced training in the nationally certified “Serve Safe” program.

BP Teachers of Excellence are recognized each year. Noomah was described by a nominator as “a teacher to the whole student; always taking the time to problem solve and provide positive feedback to the individual both academic and social.”

Will Morrow can be reached at will.morrow@peninsulaclarion.com.

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