School news around the district

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

If you have a chance, visit Jane Teller's class display of arctic animals scrimshaw. Kalifornsky Beach Elementary created these with Celia Anderson, the district art specialist. They are made to simulate ivory carvings that have been rubbed with black ink to enhance detail.

The school thanks everyone who attended and helped with the Christmas musical, "The Elves' Impersonator." It was a great show, and there was standing room only. If you missed it, you can still catch it on the Web at

The staff wishes everyone a safe and wonderful holiday.

Mountain View Elementary

Patti Berkhahn, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist, brought a watershed display model to Mountain View and gave an excellent presentation for Bill Vedders' and Dave Knudsen's students. Berkhahn is the biologist who led these students to the Russian River Falls in September, so she used their knowledge of that watershed in her demonstration. The school would like to thank her for sharing her expertise with the students.

Terry Cramer's class was the winner in the General Mills box tops for education competition contest. They won a root beer float party.

Remember the fourth-grade winter program will be Thursday at 6 p.m.

Nikiski Elementary

The school thanks the director and students in the Nikiski Middle-Senior High School Jazz Band and Choir for performing for Nikiski Elementary students Tuesday. It is always a pleasure to see former students who excel in the musical arts programs offered at the high school.

Celia Anderson, the school district art specialist, visited Nikiski during the last two weeks. She taught students and teachers great new techniques to use for upcoming art projects. The children had fun, and the projects came out well. The school thanks Mrs. Anderson for sharing.

Nikiski Elementary staff appreciate the parents, family and friends who came to the winter music concert. The school also appreciates the technical assistance from Josh Silba, Jim Steffy and the Nikiski high administration and staff for letting the elementary school use its auditorium.

Ann Holloway would like to thank Julie Williams for chairing the Young Shoppers Club this year and all the little elves who volunteered their time to help the children shop for their family and friends.

The staff members would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday break.

Redoubt Elementary

The school thanks everyone who contributed to Redoubt's Christmas Kindness program. Through your efforts, holiday gifts and meal boxes were provided to about 19 Redoubt families. Anne Bixby spent many hours coordinating this program.

The school cookbooks have arrived and are on sale in the office for $10 each. The school would prefer exact change only, and checks can be made payable to Redoubt PTA. This is a great collection of favorite recipes that can make great Christmas gifts.

Today is the last day to buy Christmas candy-grams for 50 cents each. A candy cane and your personal message will be delivered to that special someone Friday.

Students had a great time shopping at Santa's Secret Shop. Redoubt thanks the volunteers who made this possible and especially Carmen Stephl, who coordinated this event.

The staff and students of Redoubt Elementary wish everyone a safe, happy holiday.

Sears Elementary

Don't forget to make your donation to the Sears, Mountain View and Kenai Middle schools Christmas drive. Donations will go to families that need a little Christmas help.

Santa's Secret Shop was a big success again this year. The school thanks the volunteers who made students' shopping a fun experience.

M.K. Knudsen's and Nancy Lafferty's classes have been learning to count by ones, twos, fives and 10s. They also are learning to read and use the calendar.

Mary Jackson's class has been busy working on Christmas presents for parents.

Laraine Hanson's class is working on the metric system in math.

Sears staff wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Soldotna Elementary

The Soldotna elves have been busy getting together holiday presents and dinners for families experiencing financial difficulties this Christmas.

The school thanks everyone who donated toward these gifts and the PTA elves, along with school nurse Mrs. Dudley, for their work.

The primary Christmas program was a giant success with a standing- room-only crowd. Music teacher Erin Southwick and her students did an outstanding job in presenting the musical, "The Littlest Christmas Tree." The school thanks Teresa Brown, Kathy Turner, Michelle Gabriel, Lois Holliman, Patti Rich, Jerry Hanson, Lisa Juliussen, the Harrison family, Bob VanDerWege, Katrina Adamson and Holly Wiley for their help with the performance. The program can be seen on the Web at www.kpbsd.k12.ak,us/video/Y01_02/soelxmasprogram/.

The Soldotna Elementary staff wishes the community a joyous and safe holiday season.

Tustumena Elementary

This year's geography bee winner was Ellen Holt. Emily Culhane placed second, and Aaron Chase was third. Other classroom qualifiers were Jess Russell, Serena Marquis, Sarah Mallette, Dustin Barbour, Madison Abbott, Ashley Halverson, Jacob Lester, Calvin Williams and Keith Clancy.

The grand prize winner of $5,000 in the Tustumena PTO cash raffle was Patti Walker. Other winners included: Joe Perlett, $250; Tustumena School, $175 (thanks to John and Susie Cook); LaRae Bartolowits, $150; Jacqueline Kennedy, $125; and Gordon Griffen, $100. Ticket holders winning $75 were Kathy Murphy, Laurie Ely, Vanessa Meade, Geri Ransom, Mark Brees, Jason Hobart, Randy Renner, Mike Sweeney, Marion Hostetter, Dorothy Gray, Susan Brown, Jim Harris, Betty Page, Betty Porter, Julie Lahndt and Diana Marsh. The Tustumena Lodge catered this year's meal for the raffle drawing, and the Skyview High School Swing Choir performed midway through the evening. Christmas wreath winners were Liz Chase, for selling the most raffle tickets, and Shellie Worsfold, who sold the winning ticket. This year's raffle raised $8,400 for Tustumena's PTO. The school thanks all who purchased tickets supporting their fund-raiser.

The Salvation Army food drive was completed Thursday. Tustumena thanks families that donated to this worthy cause.

The school staff wish you and yours a merry Christmas and happy and healthy New Year.

Kenai Middle School

Practice for volleyball, wrestling and cross-country skiing begins right after Christmas break. Paperwork needs to be filled out and turned in to the coach before a student may practice.

Seventh-graders will have their annual Knowledge Bowl Thursday during eighth and ninth periods.

Beginning Feb. 1, the Kenai Middle School newsletter will be posted on the Web. A hard copy will be sent only to those who request it. Either call the office at 283-4896 or fill out the request form in the December newsletter if you wish to receive yours in the mail.

Be sure to check the school Web site for information about what is happening at the school at

Yearbooks are still $22 until Christmas break. The cost will rise to $25 after the break.

Soldotna Middle School

Rob Carson's outdoor education class has been learning about avalanche awareness and safety. The class will move into snowmachine safety before Christmas break, in the hopes the knowledge gained will be used over break.

The Soldotna Middle School yearbook covers have been selected and sent to the printers. The students in Terry McBee's art class got the drawing assignment. Congratulations to this year's winners for the front and back covers, Becky Kilfoyle and Liz Denna.

The SMS canned food drive was once again a great success. The school thanks everyone who brought in cans. They collected enough cans to support several families in need at this time. The Ladies Auxiliary at the Veterans of Foreign Wars gave SMS a generous donation used to purchase things for the families. The school also would like to acknowledge Lisa Franzman and the SMS PTSA for helping coordinate the angel tree this year. Principal Lee Young also made a contribution on behalf of SMS. This annual event is a schoolwide project, which includes the student body, the PTSA and the community.


Home-school families are invited to a free sledding party today from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Karen Street Recreation Area at the end of the new Marydale extension. One adult chaperone per family is encouraged. Bring warm clothes, sleds, snowboards, downhill skis, your home-school friends and families and a snack to share. Suggested snacks include cookies, fruit, cheese, crackers, nuts and anything chocolate. If the temperature is below zero, the party will be canceled and rescheduled. Connections will provide hot drinks. For more information, contact Tanya at 262-6315.

Connections needs one more student for the Math Counts competition. For information, contact Tanya at 262-6315. Parent volunteers are also welcomed. Each team includes four to eight students and practices are once or twice each week.

Home-school students are welcome to join the cross-country ski club. It will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Nikiski Ski Trails. Loretta Eaton has organized a ski club through 4-H. Dale Bock will coach skiers at all ability levels. A spring ski meet is being planned to test newly learned skills while competing with others from around the peninsula. The cost is only $11 for the season, and 4-H membership is required. For more information, call Loretta at 776-8688.

Interior Distance Education of Alaska

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution contest closes Jan. 15.

The speech contest for the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District for Central Peninsula students competition closes in February.

Shirley Johnsrud, a teacher-counselor, will offer a workshop on planning. She will talk about post high school options, financial planning and the application processes. A question-and-answer session is included. The workshop is in Homer Jan. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Alaska Department of Fish and Game Headquarters at 202 W. Pioneer Ave. In the Kenai-Soldotna area, the workshop will be Jan. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the IDEA office at 43335 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite 31.

Science fair packets are available at the IDEA office. Stop by or call to get one. Registration forms are due in the office by Feb. 1. The science fairs will be in Seward Feb. 7, in Homer Feb. 13 and in the central peninsula Feb. 20.

IDEA is looking for student assistant editors for a student newsletter tentatively scheduled for its first issue in January. If you are interested, review your e-mail for an application and job description. Forms are available in the office.

For more information, visit the school Web site at

Kenai Central High School

Kenai Central High School appreciates everyone who helped with the state wrestling tournament last weekend. The school and community were well represented and made it tremendously successful.

The annual canned food drive brought in more than 1,000 cans for The Salvation Army. Organizers thank everyone who brought in canned or boxed goods to help those in need.

The KCHS choir is selling fruit. If you are interested in buying this quality produce, contact a choir member. Apples, grapefruit, oranges, tangelos and pears are up for grabs.

The video of the KCHS choir Christmas concert, which was Dec. 9, is now posted on the district Web site. It will remain available throughout the year at Concert/.

National Honor Society members offer tutoring in the counseling center after school Tuesdays and Thursdays. Encourage your student to take advantage of their time.

It isn't too early to look at colleges and apply for scholarships. For more information, check your school newsletter and visit with the counselors.

You can still buy yearbooks for the advanced sales price of $50. Call toll free (800) 846-4686. Parents interested in sponsoring a section of the yearbook to congratulate their child can get a price list by calling teacher Dave Larson at 283-7524.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School

Stop by the M & M Supermarket in the Nikiski Mall and check out the Noel Tree, the Nikiski Neighbors program for needy families. All proceeds will help provide gifts to children of less fortunate families in the Nikiski area. For more information, call Pastor John Henry at 776-8732.

The wrestling banquet will be at the Nikiski Senior Center Thursday at 6 p.m.

There will be a community prayer in the library at 7 p.m., also Thursday.

The staff will hold a faculty Christmas assembly at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the auditorium.

The office reminds students who will be missing school due to vacation to get their homework assignments done in advance.

Ninilchik School

On behalf of Ninilchik Native Descendants, bazaar coordinators Jamie Leman and Sheri Liebenthal would like to thank the following students for helping decorate and set up for the Christmas bazaar Dec. 8: Debra Henderson, Terry Spencer, Amy Klapak, Kjersti Poindexter, Mala Presley, Missy Inga, Coda Russell, Kelsey Deiman, Martha Roderick, Lauren Baker, Whitney Leman,and Krista Leman. They also appreciate John McCombs, the school janitor, for helping, principal Mike Wetherbee for use of the school and all those who attended.

Ninilchik's domestic engineers would like to thank everyone who donated baked goods to their table at the bazaar and everyone who purchased those items. They raised $125 for the science department.

The science fair can be seen at the school through 7 p.m. Thursday. Science teacher Chris Hanson has asked individuals with science expertise to judge the entries and give awards.

The annual alumni game begins at 6 p.m. Saturday. Note the time, and don't forget to attend one of the year's more amusing community events.

Skyview High School

Congratulations to the Skyview wrestling team for placing first at the region tournament. The team qualified 24 wrestlers for the state tournament.

The canned food drive went well this year. Skyview thanks the students and parents who donated.

Skyview has added a new organization called the Interact Club. Rotary sponsors this club that will focus on community service activities.

The Christmas concert was wonderful. Skyview appreciates the individuals who put the time into making another successful program.

The staff at Skyview wishes everyone a great holiday season.

Soldotna High School

Students requiring a second hepatitis B shot must have it done by Jan. 7. Second semester schedules will be withheld for students who do not provide proof of immunization or exemption by that date. About 40 Soldotna High School students need to comply. For more information, call Nurse Nancy at 260-7033.

The holiday assembly will be Thursday at 2 p.m. in the auditorium. SoHi will be on regular assembly schedule.

The canned food drive went well. SoHi students brought canned goods and candy treats in support of the Sharing the Spirit program sponsored by Bridges and The Salvation Army. The school thanks all the students, staff and community members who helped support this worthwhile event.

Cook Inlet Academy

Students of the Week are: Adam O'Guinn, Tanner Fowler, McCarthy Wynkoop, James Libert and Alex McDonald. Alex just joined the class.

The junior high basketball teams had a successful season. The championship games at Nikolaevsk showed what winners look like. The girls played some close games and did well. The boys finished the season with a final round win. Volunteers Tina Knutson and Max Vavilov coached. Both played on the Cook Inlet Academy teams as students.

With tournaments coming up, the concession stand welcomes help in the form of food donations and volunteers. Profits defray team travel costs. For more information, call 262-5101.

The Christmas program Dec. 11 renewed the joy of the Christmas season. Students made an extraordinary effort on the music and drama because they believe in the message. Mike Lyons and Lindsey Bauder gave special instrumental performances. The cookie table was a donation affair with proceeds going to a local family sponsored by the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Mrs. O'Dell who experienced how to serve and meet the needs of the less fortunate in the community. At the end of the program, the school honored music director Tatiana Khmelyova for sharing her gift of music at the school for 10 years. Her patience, encouragement and challenging style have changed many students' attitude about music.

Grace Lutheran School

Merry Christmas from the students and staff of Grace Lutheran School. They wish everyone a blessed and Christ-centered holiday season. Classes will resume Jan. 3.

In science, the seventh- and eighth-graders are investigating water. The fifth- and sixth-graders are studying matter. In Shurley Grammar, the seventh- and eighth-graders are writing persuasive essays, while the fifth- and sixth-graders are writing descriptive paragraphs.

The first- through fourth-grade students have completed their tour of Russia, India, China and Japan. They are delving into the science of forces and work. The first- and second-graders are enjoying geometric figures in math.

Last week, the primary students participated in a simple Christian Passover meal. This week in Christ-Light, the students are learning how God provided daily for the Israelites in the desert through the miracle of manna and quail. They apply this truth as they see God using parents and others to provide for their daily needs. Psalm 118:11 says, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."

Grace Lutheran invites the public to worship Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. The Grace Lutheran children will present a Christmas candlelight service entitled, "The Cross in the Christmas Tree."

Grace Lutheran is on Ciechanski just off Kalifornsky Beach Road. For more information, call 283-6297.

Wings Christian Academy

The Wings junior high girls' team's season ended on a triumphant note. The Wings girls won first place at the recent ACSAA junior high tournament.

Students at Wings are working hard and trying to get all their work done before the Christmas break.

The upper learning center is having junk yard wars Friday. Several teams will compete with each other to see who can make the best vehicle. The upper learning center is having a pizza party Friday.

The lower learning center will make ornaments and also have pizza.

Wings will have its monthly skate night at Alaska Great Skate Jan. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Caleb Burger and Jacob Sutton have earned the cleanest desk of the week award.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

The Little Moose class sang at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center earlier this week. They presented seniors with glittery stars and sang "Jingle Bells" and "Denet Denet Singguya," known as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

The Head Start children had special visits by elders this month. Chuda Sasha Lindgren told the children "The Mouse Story," a traditional Dena'ina story. Julia Alexie, a grandmother of a student in the Little Bears class, showed the children how to weave baskets from beach grass. She lives in the village of Eek, near Bethel. The class says, "chiqinik" to these people.

Children will have a Christmas Craft Day Thursday and Friday.

Head Starts wishes everyone a peaceful holiday with their families.

The next Family Night will be at 6 Jan. 7 at the Kenai Recreation Center. The dinner will be a potluck.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

This week's helpers are Andrew, Alex, Jacob and Hannah. The Good Choice Award went to Zachary for saying "please" and "thank you."

Tuesday, students made gingerbread houses. Everyone had a great time decorating. Each house was uniquely decorated.

Students made and wrapped gifts for their parents today.

Thursday will be the Christmas performance, gift exchange and refreshments. The school thanks the parents for contributing goodies for the gingerbread houses and the party.

Christmas vacation begins Friday, and school begins again Jan. 7.

Happy holidays from Peninsula Grace Preschool. For more information, call 262-1284.

Sterling Head Start

Books make good Christmas gifts. If you wonder what Santa can get your child, a book would make a special lifelong memory for your child.

This week's class theme is the sharing spirit with respect to food. The children are learning about food drives and their purpose. The children are asked to bring a can of food to donate to the Neighbor to Neighbor program. It provides food boxes to families in need of a Christmas dinner.

Last week's theme was snow. The children colored snowflakes and made a snowman.

A child's warm hands can be the result of someone's warm heart. Sterling Head Start is continuing its mitten drive. If you have gloves or mittens to donate, you can drop them off at Sterling Head Start from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Sterling Head Start School office will reopen Jan. 7, and the children will return to school Jan. 8.

The Head Start physical exam can be used for the mandatory physical exam to enter kindergarten, according to Rosemary Bushon, family advocate. The Kenai Peninsula School Borough District will accept a physical exam completed not more than one year prior to entering kindergarten.

To have information published in Schools, send a description of the event or accomplishment to Shana Loshbaugh at P.O. Box 3009, Kenai, AK 99611. Information will be accepted by e-mail at or by fax at 283-3299.

The deadline for submission is Thursday at 5 p.m. for publication in the following Wednesday's paper. For information, contact Shana Loshbaugh at 283-7551.

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