Schools

Students applaud Pink Martini’s eclectic, upbeat, moving music

Grade schoolers are not Pink Martini’s usual audience demographic, and pianist Thomas Lauderdale had to correct himself when he accidentally opened Monday’s pre-concert noon performance for all the area schools with, “Good night, everyone!” 

But the 10 musicians representing the jazzy, Latin-influenced, genre-defying orchestra adjusted easily in Homer High School’s Mariner Theater.

Between songs in English, French and Spanish, the band members took turns introducing themselves and their musical backgrounds.

Flex School holds open house on Wednesday

Homer Flex School will open its doors to the public from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, for its annual Open House. Produce from the school garden will be served, and school officials will be giving tours of both the garden and the school. The school’s new Mental Health Counselor, Agusta Lind, will also be giving a short presentation on her new community group, Topics for Parents. The group is open to any parent or guardian. More information will be available at the Open House.

District restructures departments to save

Revisions to targeted operations are cutting costs for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

The pools, warehouse, transportation and Student Nutritional Service departments have been reorganized, including the elimination of one position, to reduce spending.

The changes, most of which took effect on July 1, were approved by the Board of Education through the 2016 Fiscal Year budget in April, said school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff.

Nanwalek students get their new iPads

Nanwalek School’s 80 students finally received their iPads on Tuesday. The long-awaited celebration was not a quiet one. 

Staff and students clustered into the village school’s gymnasium to receive the various Apple gadgets granted in 2014 through the ConnectED initiative’s partnership with the White House. Cheering, singing and vibrant tales filled the ceremony.

Board updates district’s infectious disease policy

In the case of an outbreak, the Kenai Peninsula Borough schools will call on the superintendent to work with health organizations to develop a plan of attack.

The Board of Education approved a policy change to clarify who would be responsible for the organization and response to an epidemic within the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, at its July 6 meeting.

“It is not a huge change, but more to clarify and make sure the policy is up to date,” said Health Services Coordinator Carmen Magee.

Back to School

Superintendent’s Welcome

Welcome back to the 2015-2016 school year! Our district is very excited to have all our students, staff and parents back in school. We have had a busy summer at the district office in preparation for this year, and are now able to implement many blended learning opportunities across the district while leveraging our existing technology for even greater student learning. As you know, we are fully committed to prepare all of our students for their future.

Connections principal leaves with 2015 graduates

Connections Home School Program Principal Lee Young left the school along with the 2015 graduating class.

At the commencement ceremony held at Soldotna High School, Young sent off his last group of students before heading into retirement from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

“It was a wonderful class full of hard workers and dedicated students,” Young said. “They have bright futures and goals and I am extremely proud of them.”

Eight Ninilchik grads ready for new adventures

 Eight graduates turned their tassels the evening of May 18 in the Ninilchik School gymnasium.

The group of friends, who have studied, shared classrooms and participated in extracurriculars together for more than a decade, huddled with arms around each other’s shoulders after their principal Jeff Ambrosier announced their graduation to an audience of family and friends.

“The feeling is bittersweet definitely,” said graduate Melissa Clark. “It’s hard to let go of so many friendships but I am excited for the future.”

Homer High seniors graduate with style - and resiliency

They wore XtraTuf boots, high heel shoes, sneakers and slippers. They decorated their mortarboards with stuffed animals, religious symbols and greetings. One senior wrote, “Four years for a piece of paper and a handshake.” As they walked out, they strode to John Williams’ “Imperial March,” passing by a stage with the slogan, “May the Force be with you” — all part of the Star Wars theme the class of 2015 chose.

Flex students graduatewith joy, gratitude

There was an air of hope and thanksgiving as family and friends gathered to watch nine students from Homer Flex High School graduate Tuesday. Christopher Bice, Kaylynn Bunnell, Crystal Campbell, Anton Kuzmin, Michael Peltier, Tyler Post, Samantha Tangman, Sage Van Hooser and Alexia Wrenn all received the honor of moving their tassels from right to left as they became high school graduates during the early evening ceremony at Land’s End.

Kachemak Bay Campus 2015 graduates

Occupational Endorsement Certificate, medical office coding

Colleen M. Behen

Kenai Peninsula College Associate of Arts Degree

Conner Barger

Adam Diaz

Alexander Konev

Dennis Martushoff

Michael Tupper

Michael Steen

Associate of Applied Science, Radiologic Technology

Nina Ellen Gunnell

Associate of Applied Science, Early Childhood Development

Cora Trowbridge

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

Corrie Haigh

Melody Martin

Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education

Efimia Basargin

KBC grads start new stories in life

Dream big. Persevere in your dreams. Make mistakes. Stay involved in your community. Be the new storytellers.

That was some of the advice keynote speaker Francie Roberts gave last week in her address to the 41 graduates of the 2015 class of Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College.

“My story is built on other stories. Your story may be, too,” Roberts, a University of Alaska Anchorage alumna, said.

West Homer writers speak

At West Homer Elementary School last Friday for its Writers’ Fair, parents were invited to listen to students read during the fair, with judges also listening

and commenting. The writings and associated art also were displayed at a First Friday reception that night. 

School Events

Kenai Peninsula

Borough school

District

May 20: Last day of school for most students.

June 1: School board meeting, Soldotna.

June 2: School board planning session, Soldotna.

Connections

May 20: Graduation, 4 p.m., Soldotna High School Auditorium.

Fireweed Academy (all grades)

Authorities investiage threatening phone calls to schools around Alaska

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating threaten- ing phone calls to at least eight schools in Alaska in the past 10 days that prompt- ed brief campus lockdowns

and students being kept in classes.

However, none of the calls resulted in attacks or violence.

The calls began on April 27 and targeted schools

KBC Commencement planned for May 6

The 2015 Commencment of the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College 2015 Commencement will be at 7 p.m. May 6 at Homer High School’s Mariner Theater.

The keynote speaker will be KBC-UAA Alumna Francie Roberts, a teacher and Homer City Council member.

The KBC 2015 Commencement Student Speaker will be Michael Tupper.

University of Alaska Board of Regent Lisa Parker and UAA Vice Chancellor of Administration William Spindle will confer degrees. Students receiving degrees include:

Kenai Peninsula College Associate of Arts Degree

WHES student places 11th in state Geo Bee

On March 27, Parker Lowney, a student in Brandon Young’s sixth-grade class at West Homer Elementary School, earned 11th place in the state-level competition of the National Geographic Bee. The first step in qualifying for the state competition was winning at the school level, something Parker did earlier this school year. National Geographic Society prepares materials to help the thousands of students in grades four through eight who participate each year. 

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