Around the district

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Aurora Borealis Charter

The fourth- through eighth-grade art classes have completed their original mosaic designs. Students created one quarter panels then rotated and flipped theme to finalize mosaic tiles.

The junior high class made its annual cultural trip to Anchorage. Students dined at Simon and Seaforts on Nov. 29, then attended the "Nutcracker" ballet at the Performing Arts Center. Thanks to Katherine Lindow, who came to the school and shared her experience as a past member of the "Nutcracker" cast.

The kindergarten through third grade held their annual Christmas program Dec. 9. It was a real treat to watch the children sing and perform. Thanks to Lori Uponen for all her hard work and dedication. Thanks also to the many parent volunteers, teachers and "behind the scenes elves."

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Mrs. Furlong's class is researching holiday traditions around the world to showcase today.

Mrs. Klaben's class is seeking donations of polar fleece 1/2 yard or larger. The students will cover pillows to give to a group of people in need during the holiday season. Drop off donations at the classroom.

The first-graders began a new unit last week about machines. Students discussed how machines make work easier and learned about levers. The students also have been practicing counting dimes and pennies, counting by 10s and 2s, drawing the time to the hour and identifying odd and even numbers.

The primary grade students and kindergarten classes will present a winter music program at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Soldotna High School Auditorium. The kindergartners will sing several seasonal carols, and first- through third-graders will present the musical "How the Penguins Saved Christmas." Cast members include: Aspen Love, Rylee Deivito, Riley Ellison, Kelsey Meyer, Naomi Chythlook, Quinn Ellington, Mystery Turnbull, Madeline Tice, Caitlin Jobe, Brittanie Woodgeard, Brianne Pearson, Jared Quigley, Allen Oskolkoff, Paris Silba, Shay Dilley, Taven Prescott, Carey Updike, Jordan Wik and Matt Landess. All kindergarten through third-grade students will participate in the program. K-Beach music teacher Tom Houglum will direct the program.

K-Beach thanks all the volunteers who helped with the Young Shoppers Club last week.

Montessori Charter

The kindergarten class has been studying the water cycle. Students looked at water in solid, liquid and gas forms. They also went to the library Wednesday and enjoyed story time.

Mountain View Elementary

Santa's Secret Shop is open this week. Thanks to the volunteers who are making the program possible.

The fourth-grade music program will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The Senior Line Dancers will be at the school Friday to perform Christmas dances. Thanks to the seniors for providing this entertainment.

Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Heath's classes had fun studying the Alaska gold rush and then going to Sal's Klondike Diner for a feast.

North Star Elementary

The North Star student council is encouraging all students to gather loose change and bring it to school to help sponsor an angel or two from the Nikiski community's angel tree. Collection jars will be placed in every classroom. The council members will collect the money each week and weigh it to see how much has been gathered. Members also will count and roll the money.

Redoubt Elementary

The deadline for donations for the Holiday Kindness program is Friday. The school is accepting donations of nonperishable food items, as well as monetary donations for the program and for the food bank. Families receiving holiday boxes will be contacted Monday to arrange for pick up of their items.

Thanks to the many parents and volunteers who helped with Santa's Secret Shot. A special thanks to Corbi Aaronson for coordinating the event. The PTA offers this service for Redoubt students every year. Students were able to do their Christmas shopping, and the PTA provides shopping money to children who might not otherwise be able to buy gifts for their families. Santa's Secret Shop is a nonprofit service.

The kindergarten through third-grade holiday musical, "Special Delivery," was a success. Thanks to all the students, parents and staff who helped with the production. A special thanks to Tom Anderson for his guest appearance and to Mrs. Emery, the music teacher. Order forms for video copies of the program are available at the school office and at the Music Box.

Thanks to Lisa Hansen and Erin Hibberd for supplying the school with 50 handmade polar fleece hats.

Redoubt students will participate in the National Geography Bee. Students in grades four through six will hold classroom competitions through Dec. 18. The schoolwide competition will be in January.

Yearbooks are available to preorder for $18 through Jan. 10. Copies of the 2001-02 yearbook are available for $20.

Fifth-grade band students will perform at 12:10 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Redoubt gym. Parents are invited to attend.

The Boys and Girls Club After the Bell program will be open several days during the holiday break for students in grades one through eight. For more information, call Tammy Hanley at 262-5412.

The lost and found is overflowing with coats, hats, gloves and other items. It will be emptied Friday, and all remaining items will be donated to area charities.

The school receives supplies and funds for Big G box tops and Campbell's Soup labels brought in by students. The primary and intermediate classes collecting the most box tops will win a pizza party at the end of the semester. The current standings are: Primary grades -- Mrs. Lewis's first-grade class, first; Ms. Walker's second-grade class, second; and Ms. Delaney's kindergarten class, third; Intermediate grades -- Mrs. Harding's fourth-grade class, first; Mr. Mills' fourth-grade class, second; and Mrs. Cannava's fourth- and fifth-grade class, third.

Soldotna Elementary

Soldotna Elementary fourth- through sixth-graders will present "Early American Christmas," at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the school gym. The program celebrates America's holiday traditions from the beginning of the country's independence to modern times.

Congratulations to Fun Buck winners: Tristen Anderson, Bobby Kirsch, Taran Edmondson, Nicholas Daigle, Riley Harvey, Kyle Gray, Jared Ramm and Steven Steger.

Classroom door decorating will take place this week. The room with the best decorations will earn a candy cane for each class member. Judging will be Dec. 20.

Dec. 20 also is Pajama Day.

Copies of the 2002-03 yearbook are available by preorder for $18. The price will increase to $20 after Dec. 20. Order forms are available in the brown rack in the school foyer.

Families are encouraged to stop by the lost and found before Christmas break to pick up any lost items. Anything left in the lost and found will be donated to charity during the break.

Sterling Elementary

Thanks to Sue Biggs, who organized the student performance of "The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree." Students who performed made everyone proud of their hard work.

Love INC of the Kenai Peninsula started a free breakfast program Dec. 9. The program is available to all students. Students should go to the gym when they arrive for breakfast. Food service stops at 8:55 a.m.

The student council is sponsoring a contest to build the tallest tower from canned food. The school will collect nonperishable food items, new toys and cash through Dec. 19. All donations will go to people in Sterling. The tower contest will be Dec. 19 in the gym. Each classroom will have 20 minutes to construct a tower.

Outstanding bus students received certificates at the Student of the Month assembly Friday. They will have donuts with their bus drivers and Mr. Kubena this week. The students were: Tyler Nichols, route 24; Michael Reese, route 33; Tiffany Persinger, route 37; DJ Durst, route 34; Brittany Webb, route 30; and Austin Painter, route 38.

Tustumena Elementary

Tustumena will present its annual Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Soldotna High School Auditorium. This year's program will be directed by music instructor Elizabeth DeVolld. The program is titled, "Santa and the Star Search," and is a holiday musical for young voices. About 17 students in grades four through six will have special performing parts in the production, and Santa will arrive at the conclusion of the show with goodies for all children in attendance.

Tustumena also is conducting a food drive through Thursday. Nonperishable food items may be sent to school with children or delivered by parents during school hours. All items will go to The Salvation Army's Joy and Toy Center.

Drama and music students from Skyview High School will entertain Tustumena students Dec. 18 in the school gym. A program for primary students will be at 1 p.m., and one for intermediate students will be at 1:45 p.m. Parents are invited to attend.

Tustumena's PTO is managing a recycling center for box tops, Campbell's Soup labels and printer cartridges. Families are encouraged to send these items to school with their children.

Look for the winners of Tustumena's fourth annual PTO cash raffle in next week's Schools section.

Kenai Middle

Congratulations to this week's Character Counts students: Bryan Keen, Brad Fusaro, Michael Creighton, Tyler Loffer, Jerry Norton, Lex Kitchen, Brandon Alexander, Ryan Pharris, Kari Frates, Danny Popp, David Barnette, Cora Chidester, Logan Rosing, Freddie John, Kurt Rosenquist, Shelby Daly, Dustin Reid and this week's pizza winner, Sandy Steele.

The annual canned food drive is in full swing. Nonperishable food items can be brought to Mr. Hatch in the library. Prizes will be awarded to the grade level with the most canned goods.

Ms. Schweigert's class will collect money for the "Adopt a Family" program. Proceeds will go toward purchasing Christmas dinner and presents for the family.

Student council members will take orders for KMS shirts through Tuesday. T-shirts are $10; crewneck sweatshirts, $15; and hooded sweatshirts, $23. The shirts will be available after the holiday break. Order forms are in the office. Pay when ordering.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will sponsor a science project and poster contest districtwide. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are encouraged to participate. For more information, visit or, or call (907) 541-2136.

Yearbook order forms are available in the office. The cost is $25.

The KMS newsletter is available online at The Web site also has forms for donations and applications for the annual Christmas drive.

Don't forget the following dates:

Today -- PTA meets at 6:30 p.m. in the library

Thursday -- Christmas choir concert

Friday -- Eighth-grade feast

Saturday -- Basketball borough tournament

Jan. 6 -- Sixth- through eighth-grade wrestling and seventh- and eighth-grade volleyball starts.

Soldotna Middle

SMS students participated in the Global Literacy Initiative Read For 2003: One World Reading Together. Read For 2003 is the fourth annual global reading celebration, created by Scholastic Book Clubs, that unites kids, teachers and parents worldwide through the joy of reading. At noon Friday, millions of students from around the world read for 2003 seconds.

Fifteen eighth-grade boys and girls are registered for the spring field trip to Washington, D.C. and New York. The registration deadline has been extended to Sunday. Any parents seeking information about the trip should contact Mr. Hagen as soon as possible.

SMS is seeking adult volunteer mentors to meet with students one hour per week on the school campus. Anyone interested in helping middle school kids succeed is asked to call Karen Ruebsamen at 262-4344, ext. 253 or at 398-0257.

Alex West is the November Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month. An eighth-grader at SMS, Alex is involved in many activities and has earned top grades. She was treated to lunch at the Riverside House on Dec. 3.

The annual canned food drive is happening now and the angel tree is set up. For more information on how to help make Christmas special for families in need, call Anne Bixby at 262-9473.

Interior Distance Education of Alaska

There will be a spelling bee at 2 p.m. today.

There will be a science fair workshop in Kenai from 1 to 3 p.m. today. Steve will introduce, model and allow students to practice the scientific method and experimentation. All are welcome. Participants should bring a warm hat and a pair of gloves or mittens.

The workshop is designed to help prepare students for area science fairs to be held Feb. 11 in Seward, Feb. 18 in Homer and Feb. 25 in Soldotna. To participate in these fairs, students must register by Jan. 10. Information packets are available at the Kenai IDEA office.

Students in grades four through eight are invited to participate in the National Geography Bee. For more information and to register, e-mail Jeff Wheaton at by Jan. 6.

Congratulations to Marta Todd, cello, and Heather Paxson, violin, who were selected to participate in this year's All State Honors Music Festival.

Congratulations to IDEA home-school students who entered prize-winning projects in the Ninilchik Fair and the state fair in Palmer. Those who received special recognition included: Morgan Hoxie, John Boatright, Robin and Wade Lawrence, Valerie and Rachel Mackie, Priscilla McCurdy, Kevin Rowe and David and Tinei Schwenke. Tinei Schwenke also won first prize for her drawing at the state fair in Palmer.

For more information on upcoming IDEA programs, call the office at 260-7555 or visit www.galenaalaska. org/home/default.htm.

Kenai Central High

Students in four sports, including basketball, cross-country skiing, ice hockey and wrestling will compete in various matches on and off the peninsula this week. More than 20 percent of the Kenai Central High School student population will compete in the combined sports.

November Students of the Month will be recognized Thursday.

Also Thursday, the site council will meet at 5 p.m.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High

There will be a choir concert at 7 p.m. Monday at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School. Admission is free.


Ninilchik High School has a new Wolverine cheerleading squad. The new squad was formed by Kristen Presley, a graduate of Ninilchik, after the school went three years without a squad. The eight-member team will perform at the high school basketball games throughout the winter.

The Boys and Girls Club fifth- and sixth-grade Ninilchik teams ended their basketball season with a jamboree last weekend. Keith Presley coached both the boys and girls teams.

Mrs. Wolf's literacy block class has established a school newspaper. The first edition was published two weeks ago, and the paper will continue to be published once every two weeks. The newspaper contains articles written by freshmen, sophomores and juniors in the class. Copies of the paper are distributed to Ninilchik students for free.

Native Youth Olympics practice has begun, and students in kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to attend at 1 p.m. Sundays. Bring parents to help with the practices. For more information, call (907) 567-3301.

Skyview High

Skyview will host a forensics meet Friday and Saturday, with teams from Nikiski and Service high schools competing in various debate and speech competitions.

The winter ball, originally scheduled for Friday, will be from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

The site council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The Skyview Christmas concert will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Soldotna High School Auditorium. Both the band and choir will perform.

The Skyview basketball season starts with home games this weekend. The junior varsity and varsity teams will play against Nikiski at home. Game times are at 3, 4:30, 6:15 and 8 p.m. The teams, along with the C team, will play against Seward on Saturday. Game times are 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30, 2:45, 4:30 and 6:15 p.m. The C team plays again at 3 and 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Skyview wrestling team will face Soldotna High on Thursday, then travel to Homer for a meet Friday and Saturday.

The hockey team travels to Kenai on Friday, then plays Houston at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. The junior varsity hockey teams will face Soldotna at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.

The cross-country ski team is scheduled to compete Friday and Saturday in the Mat-Su valley.

Soldotna High

The following students have been selected as December Rotary Students of the Month: Scott Cornelius, Molly Eastham, Eric Fisher, Tally Lewis, Lorena Whitaker, Spencer Litzenberger, Trevor Kauffman, Chance Tallman and Randy Leach.

The PTSA will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the staff room.

The hockey team will host Wasilla at 7:30 p.m. Friday. There will be a full day of junior varsity and varsity boys and girls basketball Saturday with the Stars facing Kodiak. The junior varsity girls begin at 10 a.m., followed by the boys at 11:45 p.m. The varsity girls play at 1 p.m., followed by the boys varsity at 3:15 p.m.

Due to conflicting activities, the student government retro dance that had been scheduled this weekend will be rescheduled at a later date.

The SoHi yearbook class is participating in the Jostens Poster fund-raiser. Students may order a customized poster by logging on to and clicking on the poster fund-raiser icon. Poster prices will vary. Additional information may be obtained from yearbook staff members.

Cook Inlet Academy

Actors Thomas Minelga, Lindsay Bauder, Josh Byrd and Ramsey Arneson, along with Jenna Zufelt on the keyboards, will host a Christmas dessert theater at Peninsula Grace Brethren Church on Monday. The story is about four teen-agers who get together in an attic each year to reenact the Christmas story in their own humorous, yet meaningful way. Pie and a choice of drinks will be provided. Tickets can be purchased at the school office for $5 or for $6 at the door.

The National Honor Society student of the week was Bryan Powers for community service.

Parents who would like to share their talent with the school for the Christmas chapel service are invited to participate. Anything from singing or playing an instrument to reciting a poem or presenting a drama is welcome. The service will be from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Dec. 18. To sign up, call Mrs. Rehm.

Grace Lutheran

This week in the Christlight lesson at Grace Lutheran, the children will learn about a Canaanite woman who showed faith in Jesus. She brought her demon-possessed daughter to Jesus to be healed. Jesus tested her faith, and she continued to trust that he would help her.

The lower-grade class is busy decorating Christian Christmas trees and preparing for the Christmas Eve service.

The second-graders are studying prepositional phrases and working to identify them in sentences. The children also just finished studying vertebrae. They are now going to study the different systems of the body.

The children in fourth through sixth grades just finished their unit on the ancient African tribes such as Ghana, Mali and Sanghai. They are moving on to study the ancient American empires of the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs.

The seventh- and eighth-graders are finishing their study of the 13 colonies and moving on to the Revolutionary War.

Congratulations to the school finalists in the Readers Digest Word Power Challenge, a program that tests children's knowledge of words and their meanings. The finalists are Ryan Cole, Jessiah Steffy, Tom Werth, Aaron Ames and Josh Love.

Don't forget the Christmas for Kids program from 9:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church and School. The children will fill their time with a story about the true meaning of Christmas and will make decorations for the season. To preregister, call 283-7888.

Wings Christian Academy

The Christmas program, "Catch the Christmas Spirit," will be at 7 p.m. Friday. Bring a favorite holiday snack to share.

Jeremy Thompson and Jacob Bargar had the cleanest desks this week. Megan Ruffridge and Kelsey Jose made it to the 1000s club, and Mathew Grant made it to the 2000s club.

The Lower Learning Center students who completed their monthly Book It goals for November were Branden Fisher, Matanya Bush, Ashlynn Burger, Melissa Newton, Zachary Thompson, Kelsey Jose, Brandon Saunders, Jessica Saunders and Megan Ruffridge.

Students with December birthdays are Matanya Bush, Joel Consiel, Leah Howell and Marcia Dutton.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool

The children at Soldotna Co-op are preparing for Christmas by making all kinds of decorations, including Santas and beaded candy canes. They also are preparing for the Christmas program by learning new songs and learning about different musical instruments.

Thanks to all the parents who have helped out this year. The school's foundation is built on parent involvement.

The Co-op is accepting new enrollment. For more information, call Susan at 262-4102.

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