Howlin’ at boroughs

The Homer Middle School Huskies boys basketball team took fourth place in the six-team borough middle school basketball tournament over the weekend. They began the competition with a win against the Skyview Middle School team, but then lost to Nikiski, who went on to win the tournament, and lost to Kenai. Pictured, front row from left, are Daniel Reutov, Cole Bernier, Johnny Rummery, Jake Nelson and Anthony Westlake; back row from left, are Coach Weston Carrol, Seth Adkins, Ethan Anderson, Henry Russell, Stanley Swoboda, Jadin Mann and Dominic Pittman.  

Geo smart

Homer Middle School recently held their school-wide geography bee. Eighth-grader Levi Dabney, left, was the champion and fellow eighth-grader Dexter Lowe, right, finished as runner-up. Nearly 70 students from grades 7-8 chose to participate in the bee, which included a preliminary round paper and pencil test. The top 34 finishers from the preliminary round moved on to the final rounds, which were held in the HMS library Dec. 11.

Homer DDF team performs well at Eagle River

Eighteen members of the Homer High School debate, drama and forensics team are back from a multi-school meet at Eagle River High School last weekend. Participating schools included East, South, Service, West, Eagle River and Chugiak high schools, as well as Homer. 

“Homer did very well,” said Head Coach Amy Johnson. “I was very impressed with their performance, despite it being near the end of the semester with lots of other stress.”

BP Alaska accepting nominations for Teachers of Excellence

BP announced this week that it has begun accepting nominations for the 20th annual BP Teachers of Excellence program, recognizing Alaska teachers’ exceptional work.

Last year, Barbara Ann Veeck of West Homer Elementary School was awarded “Teacher of the Year” distinction for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Katie Bynagle, another WHES teacher, was among the district’s five “Teachers of Excellence.”

Family Thankful Tea

Getting a head start on Thanksgiving, students in Mindy Hunter’s structured preschool class at Paul Banks Elementary School held a “Family Thankful Tea” on Nov. 25. Students helped make pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting for the event. They also dressed up and used their very best teatime manners, according to Hunter. Enjoying a snack of fresh oranges as they prepare for the tea party are, from left, Trygg Flyum, Hayden Walters, Zoe Black and McKenna Connelly.


Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Dec. 22-Jan. 2: WInter break, no school.

Chapman School

Dec. 10: Child Find.

Dec. 15-19: Information Services Week.

Dec. 16: Winter concert.

Dec. 17: Cookie making, grade 2, 1:30 p.m.

Dec. 18: Caroling, grade 2, 10 a.m.

Nov. 24 fire damages Seldovia school shop

An early morning fire on Nov. 24, in the Susan B. English School shop in Seldovia appears to have been caused by spontaneous combustion due to rags in a garbage can, according to a Nov. 26 press release issued by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. 

There were no injuries; the fire was an accident.

The shop is in a building separate from the school. Classes remained in session.

Reminder: Nov. 26 early release day; no school Nov. 27-28

Reminder: Nov. 26 early release day; no school Nov. 27-28

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will be closed Thursday and Friday. In addition, today, Nov. 26, is the third of six early release days scheduled in the district for the 2014-2015 school year. 

“Early release” means the school day will end 90 minutes earlier than the regular release time. Bus transportation will be adjusted by 90 minutes to accommodate the release time.

BBB offers $10,000 scholarship

The Better Business Bureau, serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington, has officially launched its 2015 “Students of Integrity Scholarship.” High school seniors in the Northwest will have an opportunity to win a $10,000 scholarship by creating a 90-second video demonstrating how BBB helps people become better consumers.

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Nov. 26: Early release day. School ends 90 minutes early.

Dec. 1: School board meeting, Soldotna, 7 p.m.

Chapman School

Nov. 26: Movie morning: Frozen-PG (tentative).

Nov. 26: Family Thanksgiving feast (grades 2-4).

Nov. 26: Early release day.

Nov. 27-28: No school, Thanksgiving.

HHS musicians chosen for performance group

Outstanding musicians from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming have been selected to participate in a 2015 NAfME, the National Association for Music Educators, All-Northwest performing group. The high school bands, orchestras and choirs will meet in Spokane, Wash., Feb. 12-15.

Among those chosen are six Homer High School students:

Miles Catlin, French horn, wind symphony;

Zak Holschen, bass clarinet, wind symphony;

Kindergarteners: ‘Let’s cook a turkey!’

The students in teacher Wendy Todd’s kindergarten class at Paul Banks Elementary School have, as in years past, generously donated their tips for making the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.

Todd sparked the youngsters’ creativity with the lead sentence, “Let’s cook a turkey!” Details provided by the youngsters reflect a sense of food preparation order, valued family traditions and delight in the holiday.

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Chapman School

Nov. 20-22: Small school’s basketball tournament, location TBA.

Nov. 20: Western Day.

Nov. 21: Blue and White Day.

Nov. 26: Movie morning: Frozen-PG (tentative).

Nov. 26: Family Thanksgiving feast (grades 2-4).

Nov. 26: Early release day.

DDF tournaments ahead, judges needed

With two tournaments under their belt, the Homer High School DDF — drama, debate and forensics — team is readying for more to come.

“They’re looking really strong. There’s a lot of new kids on the team, but they’re stepping up to the challenges, digging in and going forth,” said Head Coach Amy Johnson. “The returning students on the team are welcoming them in and saying ‘Let’s go do this thing.’”

Hockema takes debate first

Staff report

At Drama, Debate and Forensics competition at West Anchorage High School last week, Homer High’s Robert Hockema took first place in the Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Other results included:

Pantomime, second place, Landon Bunting;

Solo acting, first place, August Kilcher; second place, Lindsey Schneider;

Duet acting, second place, Eryn Gillam and Robert Hockema; sixth place, Zane Boyer and Lauren Jones;

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District


Chapman School

Nov. 13: Basketball at CIA.

Nov. 17: Basketball at Homer.

Nov. 18: Basketball at ABC.

Nov. 20-22: Small school’s basketball tournament.


Fireweed Academy (grades 2-6)

Homer Middle School in a word: awesome

By McKibben Jackinsky

Staff writer

In her second year as principal of Homer Middle School, Kari Dendurent considers herself “so lucky” to be where she is.

“This school’s awesome,” said Dendurent, who was assistant principal at Houston High school, Palmer High School and at a high school and middle school in Florida before coming to Homer at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.


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