Voice of Democracy winners announced
Heather McIntyre, a sophomore at Kenai Central High School, is the local first-place winner of this year's Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary. She will receive $100 for being the winner from her school and an additional $1,000 for placing first overall for the central Kenai Peninsula.
Melissa Vasilie, also a sophomore at KCHS, placed second overall and will receive $500 in addition to $75 for being the secondplace winner from her school.
This year a record-breaking total of 501 students in the area high schools, plus one home-school student, participated in the program. The theme is "Reaching Out to America's Future." The audio essays of 23 students were submitted for local judging, held Nov. 28. Lee Dotson, Commander of the VFW Jerry V. Horn Memorial Post No. 10046, and Ruby Taylor, Ladies Auxiliary president, congratulate all the winners in the program and thank the 10 members of the community who volunteered their time to serve as judges.
The following students placed in the local competition:
Cook Inlet Academy: Miranda Zindel, first; Jacob Peterson, second; and Jenna Zufelt, third.
Kenai Central High School: Heather McIntyre, first; Melissa Vasilie, second; and Tiffany Simpson, third.
Nikiski Middle-Senior High School: Megan Thye, first; Stacey Groeneveld, second; and Lynzie Ellis, third.
Skyview High School: Amanda McKinley, first; Summer Engler, second; and Carrie Collins, third.
Soldotna High School: Riley Kent, first; Ben Histand, second; and Ella Ames, third.
Wings Christian Academy: Brandon Ruffridge, first; and Eben Spilman, second.
Home school: Andrea Martin, first.
First-place winners received $100, second place received $75, and third-place winners received $50. The district winners will advance to statewide competition and may earn more awards.
KCHS club seeks used toys
The Kenai Central High School chapter of the Skills USA VICA club is sponsoring a used toy drive. Bring old, outgrown, retired or out-of-the-toy-box treasures to the club, and they will recondition them. They will redistribute toys to needy children at Christmas through The Salvation Army and Woman's Resource and Crisis Center. All age level toys are being accepted for cleaning and reconditioning. For details and drop off instructions, contact Rocky Ward at 283-4796.
Note also that area schools are collecting canned food for charity and have information about helping needy families in our communies for the holidays. For more information, contact your neighborhood school.
Challenger Center offers December workshops
The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai is offering an afternoon workshop on light and energy. The date for ages 5 through 7 is Monday, and for ages 8 through 11 is Dec. 12 and for ages 12 through 15 is Dec. 14. All classes are from 1 to 4 p.m. and cost is $20 per student. The exception is the Dec. 12 class, which will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $40. For more information or to register, call the center at 283-2000.
SMS announces Students of the Month
Soldotna Middle School has announced its Students of the Month and Citizens of the Month for November.
The Students of the Month are: Liz Denna, art; Trafford Evanoff, family and consumer science; Michael Hawkins, Trafford Evanoff, Katie Mills, Adam Kunz and Kelsey Shields, language arts; Alyssa Emery, Chelsea Martin, Paul Campbell, John Demallie, Sara Jensen and Jose Gomez, math; Aleks Pfaffe, music; Logan Wilson and Onya Schouweiler, physical education; Liana Purugganan, Quest; Alyssa Emery, Janeil Mann, Kacia Dimick, Jesse Kloot and Liz Denna, science; Ashley Brandon, Anthony Kline, Chantal Schefers and Keegan Birchfield, social studies; Brandon Baer, keyboarding; Melissa Downs and Jacob Howarth, business and info systems; Tim Sturm, reading; Allison Fay, outdoor education; Archie Thompson, study skills; Kelcy Burford, drama; Allyssa Roach, principal's choice; Kevnea Cain and Deana Glick, aide; Samantha Peterson, nurse's choice; Danielle Little, counselor's choice; Ashley Brandon, yearbook; and Kevin Fettle, science exploratory.
The Citizens of the Month are: Tanya Almarez, art; Aidan Penttila, family and consumer science; Jimmy Gorup, Andy Whipple and Angela Tomson, language arts; Justin Oleson, Kelly Eshleman, Alyssa Giles, Dallas Christopher, Maggie Ulen and Harley Maxson, math; Danielle Caswell, music; Zach Walgenbach and Rachel Osterman, physical education; Allie Schoessler, Quest; Aundria Cummings, Ariel Barker, Anton Vaissenberg and Jackie Bates, science; Seth Payfer, Rose Bezilla, Danielle Stafford and Michelle Lawrence, social studies; Julia Torwick, keyboarding; Jake Wilkinson and Jacob Hagedorn, business and info systems; Perla Ruiz, reading; Lanny Perrill, outdoor education; Brooke Bailey, study skills; Jackie Bates, aide; Shauan Lipps, nurse's choice; Tyne Buning, Rose Rowe and Tina Hamlin, counselor's choice; and Matt Klumb, science exploratory.
Congratulations also to Alex West, the November Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month. She was recognized at the chamber luncheon Nov. 27.
SoHi announces Students of the Month
The National Honor Society at Soldotna High School has announced its Students of the Month for November.
They are: Derek Medina, math; Sarah Todd, music and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce; Molly Eastham, language arts; Charlie Rehrig, math-algebra; Kyle Bushon, vocational education; Lepa Marinkovski, tri-science; Jaquelyn Cowan, Spanish; Lindsay Goggia, health; Lindsay Dudley, physical education; and Jennifer McCard, art.
Conference taps board members
The Association of Alaska School Boards held its annual conference in Anchorage Nov. 8-11.
Deborah Germano of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education was elected to the AASB statewide board. Debra Mullins, another member of the KPBSD board, already serves on the AASB board.
The AASB, which trains board members, advises the Legislature and advocates for education statewide, also selected its priority issues for the coming year. They are:
Support for the A+ Study on Education Funding, which advocated increased school funding;
Support for changing the compulsory age to start school from 7 to 6;
Support for revising parental permission form requirements for questionnaires and surveys;
Support for school facilities' construction and major maintenance; and
Addressing the teacher, specialist and administrator shortages.
Fine arts camp in Fairbanks closes
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is canceling its summer fine arts camp for the next two years, the Associated Press reported Saturday.
The university cited financial constraints and concerns about providing a quality program during renovations to the campus Fine Arts Complex. It will the first summer since 1964 that UAF has not hosted some form of the camp.
''This is not something we wanted to do,'' said David Stech, managing director. ''It was something we were forced to consider.''
The camp has been losing money since 1996.
The four-week camp last summer attracted about 350 middle and high school students. The students major in music, theater, dance, visual art or creative writing.
Students pay about $800 in tuition and an additional $950 to live in campus dorms.
Ted DeCorso, the camp's former artistic director and a 26-year camp veteran, was dismayed at the university's decision.
''It is very difficult to restart something of that magnitude and that caliber,'' he said. ''I think a lot gets lost.''
State board tackles major school issues
The State Board of Education and Early Development met in Anchorage Nov. 26-28 and passed regulations making important changes in rules for Alaska's public schools.
More charter schools will be allowed and geographic restrictions on them will be lifted.
Workers in licensed day-care facilities now must pass the same tuberculosis screening tests as school teachers.
Starting next year, each student will have a unique identification number that will follow them if they move from school to school. The goal is to prevent students from being counted more than once.
A new law requires that sophomores must take the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam, and if they do not pass sections, they must take it at least once a year thereafter until passed.
The correspondence program came under scrutiny. The board clarified rules about the role of advisory teachers, reaffirmed the need for state mandated testing and set penalties for families that do not comply.
The board also updated regulations on special education and teacher certification.
In other action, the state board passed a resolution asking the Legislature to postpone the school designator process, now scheduled to go into effect in 2002, until 2004.
Action on another topic, holding public hearings on changing funding rules for out-of-area enrollments, was postponed.
Web site offers lessons in citizenship
The White House has added a new feature to its Web site for children: the Freedom Timeline, the National Education Goals Panel reported.
The Web site, www.whitehousekids.gov, was launched in August, and the new feature is related to the Lessons of Liberty effort kicked off by President George W. Bush, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi to promote learning about the American ideals of liberty, democracy and freedom.
The Freedom Timeline is a five-part series on topics such as diplomacy and liberty. It includes five stories, a vocabulary list, a quiz and a teacher's guide. The timeline spans the years 1777 to 1948.
The National Education Goals Panel is a unique bipartisan body of state and federal officials created in 1990 to report state and national progress and encourage education improvements.
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