Schools

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. 

WHES teacher noted for ‘excellence’

A West Homer Elementary School teacher is one of five Kenai Peninsula Borough School District educators who have been selected as 2014 BP Teachers of Excellence. 

Judy Gonsalves of WHES joins Jacob Doth of Nikiski Middle-High School, Shannon Dwyer of Skyview Middle School, James Harris of Soldotna High School and Matt Widaman of Kenai Central High School in receiving the award.

High school students join Paul Banks kids at recess

On April 14, six Homer High School students attended Paul Banks Elementary recess. The high school students, Sam Draves, Drew Brown, Ian Lowe, Patrick Rainwater, Sheldon Hutt and JJ Sonnen, were allowed to miss one period of class to visit the elementary school. They helped teach younger students new activities to play during recess. Along with teaching and organizing games, they also supported the students by helping them with conflict resolution strategies and turn taking.

Homer student places second in Caring for Kenai

A Homer High School student has won second place and $1,100 in the 25th annual Caring for the Kenai environmental competition for his volcano eruption preparedness kit.

“The road to development is always rough, but I plan to take my idea to the fullest level of implementation so when the next eruption occurs we’ll be better prepared,” said Daniel Wiest.

Kenai high school put on lockdown after student receives threatening text

A 15-year-old student was arrested at his home in Kenai after police said he sent a threatening text message that included the threat of a gun, to students at Kenai Central High School.

The school was on lockdown for less than an hour Tuesday, as were Kenai Middle School, Kenai Alternative School and Aurora Borealis charter school

Nobody was injured, and the police “removed the threat,” said Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones.

School Events

May 1: Early release day.

May 4: School board meeting, Seward.

June 1: School board meeting, Soldotna.

June 2: School board planning session, Soldotna.

Homer Flex School

April 20-24: Artist in Schools program, every afternoon. Ann Margaret Wimmerstedt teaches the students encaustic art.

April 27-May 1: Artist in Schools program continues with Ann Margaret Wimmerstedt.

Still no word from Legislature on school funding

The committee tasked with working out differences between the House and Senate budgets took up the Department of Education and Early Development budget Tuesday but didn’t make a decision on the line item that cuts about $48 million from K-12 education.

The Senate made the cut in K-12 funding after the House passed a fiscal year 2016 operating budget that kept it intact. The House did accept the governor’s cut of $32 million to one-time education funding for FY 2016 and $19.9 million for FY 2017.

Pre-kindergarten funding was also not decided.

Board votes to retain challenged history text

A textbook that has been criticized as having a biased view of history has been approved for continued use after Kenai Peninsula Board of Education members voted to retain it.

Some board members said they had issues with the book, but ultimately found that it would be cost-prohibitive to find replacement material. In addition, a review committee found that the book contained several biased statements that counteracted each other — effectively rendering it balanced in its slanted representation of historical events.

Making music

Paul Banks Elementary School parents and friends packed the Mariner Theatre last Thursday for  the school’s spring performance, “Drums Alive!” 

District plans no layoffs

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will not be handing out any pink slips this spring.

At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, all non-tenured contracts were approved for the 2016 school year. Roughly 70 contracts were signed off on and roughly 30 non-tenured teachers were moved to tenure.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District counselor and test coordinator LaDawn Druce thanked the school board for making the decision, which was made more difficult with looming statewide cuts to education.

School board signs off on budget

The Board of Education on Monday passed the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s $165.6 million fiscal year 2016 operating budget.

The board discussed the final revisions proposed by Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones during a worksession Monday. The process began in October 2014.

Included in the conversation was the recent amendment made to the state operating budget by the Senate on April 2 that would reduce the foundation formula, which is used to determine funding for school districts, by 4.1 percent.

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