School year begins with new principals, new students

Principal Eric Pederson and his family — daughter Ingrid, 1; wife Sherry; son Einar, 6; and daughter Addy, 4 — are a new Paul Banks Elementary School family.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

At Paul Banks Elementary School’s meet-the-teacher event Monday afternoon, the parking lot was crowded and hallways were filled with excited students and their parents, grandparents and siblings.

For some, like Aiden Clark, there was excitement over being a first-grader, but he still took time to pay a visit to his old kindergarten classroom and say hello to his former teacher, Jeri McLean.

Incoming kindergartner Synnove Neese, accompanied by her brother Troy, a second-grader, waved a folder in the air, proudly showing off that she already had “homework.” Grandmother Heidi Spencer clarified, however, that it was the bus schedule for the family to review before classes began Tuesday morning.

Among the excited crowd were the school’s new principal, Eric Pederson and his family, wife Sherry, son Einar and daughters Abby and Ingrid. Einar, 6, will be in the first grade and Addy, 4, will be in the school’s pre-kindergarten.

As buses pulled into Homer Middle School Tuesday morning, that school’s new principal, Kari Dendurent, greeted the incoming seventh-graders and the “upper classmen” eighth-graders. Once the students had an opportunity to find their lockers, they were directed to an assembly where they met HMS faculty and staff, were given a review by Dendurent of the student handbook and were then led in a school-spirit chant by teacher Tim Daugherty.

A shout of “Husky, Husky, Husky, Husky, Husky” — the school’s mascot — was followed by a loud howl that Daugharty said he wanted to be heard all the way to Fat Olives.

At Homer High School, Doug Waclawski, formerly the school’s assistant principal, said the first day of classes was much quieter. And that, Waclawski added with a smile, was a good thing.

And with that the 2013-2014 school year is underway. Schools close May 21 district wide, with May 22 the end date for Nanwalek, Nikolaevsk and Port Graham, and May 30 for Kachemak Selo, Razdolna and Voznesenka.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Aug. 27: School board candidate orientation, District Office, Soldotna, 1:30-2:30 p.m. For information, call Debbie Tressler, 907-714-8836.

Sept. 2: Holiday, district-wide. 

Sept. 9: School board meeting, Homer High School auditorium, 7 p.m.

NOTE: Six times during the school year, KPBSD school days will end 90 minutes early in order for teachers and instructional support staff to collaborate. This additional time supports the district’s five-year strategic goals in the areas of academic success and organizational excellence. Bus transportation will be adjusted by 90 minutes. Those dates are: Sept. 18, Oct. 30, Nov. 20, Jan. 22, Feb. 26 and April 16.


Chapman School

Sept. 4: HEA community barbecue held at Chapman.

Sept. 13: School pictures.


Fireweed Academy

Aug. 23: Fireweed Academly Back-to-School Family Picnic, bring a dish to share, Karen Hornaday Park, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sept. 11: Academic Policy Committee meeting, West Homer Elementary building room 104, 4:30-6 p.m.


Homer High School

Aug. 24: Mariner football vs. Kodiak; jv noon, varsity 3 p.m.

Aug. 31: Mariner football vs. Kenai; jv noon, varsity 3 p.m.


Homer Middle School

Aug. 30: Cross-country Running Homer Invitational, 3-5:30 p.m.

Sept. 6: Cross-country Running Soldotna Invitational, 3-5:30 p.m.

Sept. 6: Soccer, Homer vs Kenai at Homer, 3-4 p.m.

Sept. 13: Cross-country Running Seward Invitational, 3-5:30 p.m.

Sept. 13: Soccer, Homer vs Seward at Seward, 3-4 p.m.


Kachemak Selo School

Aug. 24: Saturday school.

Aug. 28-29: Vacation days.


Nikolaevsk School

Aug. 28: Vacation day.


Paul Banks Elementary School

Aug. 29: Open house beginning at 6:30 p.m. This is a time for parents to hear what will be happening in classrooms; best to attend without children.

Sept. 3: Introductory PTA meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 6: Flag salute red-white-blue day.

Sept. 10: Regular PTA meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 19: School pictures. Picture packet will be sent home with students closer to picture day, Re-takes will be Oct. 29. 


Razdolna School

Aug. 24: Saturday school.

Aug. 28-29: Vacation days.


Voznesenka School

Aug. 24: Saturday school.

Aug. 24: Cougar football vs. Barrow in Barrow, 1 p.m.

Aug. 28-29: Vacation days.

Aug. 30: Cougar football vs. Valdez in Homer, 5:30 p.m.


West Homer Elementary School

Sept. 20: Student pictures; a packet will be sent home with each student before this date; families can sign up and pay on line at; music room, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

New Homer Middle School Principal Kari Dendurent welcomes arriving students. -Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

New Homer High School Principal Doug Waclawski and Secretary Cindy Koplin get the school year off with smiles on Tuesday.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Homer Middle School faculty and staff, led by Tim Daugharty, show students how to do the Husky howl at a first-day assembly on Tuesday.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Now in the first grade, Aiden Clark, center, pays a visit to his kindergarten teacher, Jeri McLean, during Paul Banks Elementary School’s meet-your-teacher event on Monday. With Aiden is his mother, Andrea, and 2-month-old brother, Jace, held by McLean.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Accompanied by their grandmother, Heidi Spencer, second-grader Troy Neese and his sister Synnove, in kindergarten, are ready to begin classes at Paul Banks Elementary School. -Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News