Schools

Youth court students sworn in

New members of Kenai Peninsula Youth Court were sworn in at the Homer courthouse Feb. 13, in the presence of Judge Margaret Murphy, KPYC director Ginny Espinshade, parents and teachers.
Among those raising their right hand were 14 students from West Homer Elementary School, the only elementary school in Alaska to participate in the program. Also sworn in were two Homer Middle School students, two Homer High School students and two Homer Flex students.

Abraham to retire after 11 years at Paul Banks

After 11 years as principal of Paul Banks Elementary School, Benny Abraham is hanging up his hat. Abraham has announced his plans to retire at the end of this school year.
Interviews will be held Feb. 28 with candidates for the principal position of the pre-kindergarten through second-grade school with an enrollment of 191 students.
"This is such a special school. A wonderful community," said Abraham, 63. "I've been blessed to be here."
Abraham and his wife, Vicki, are leaving Alaska to be closer to family members, including two grandchildren in Arkansas.

State, KPBSD officials target cyber-bullying

State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would expand the rules of school-related bullying. House Bill 45 changes the wording of two existing state laws, the second of which adds "electronic communication" to the definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Rep. Kurt Olson of Soldotna is co-sponsoring the bipartisan bill, which is being reviewed by the Education and Judiciary committees. A handful of additional legislators also have signed on in support of the bill since its introduction.

Roberts appointed by governor to commission

Homer High School teacher Francie Roberts has been appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to the Professional Teaching Practices Commission, according to a Jan. 30 press release from the governor’s office. Roberts will serve a three-year term that expires March 1, 2016.

“(Roberts) consistently maintains a high level of professionalism and exemplifies personal integrity as a teacher,” said Dr. Allan Gee, principal of Homer High School. “(She is) a wise choice for appointment to the PTPC.”

Roberts and others appointed by the governor must now be confirmed by the Legislature.

School Events

BP TEACHerS OF EXCELLENCE NOMINATIONS

Feb. 14: Deadline to submit nominations of outstanding teachers who are making a difference for Alaska’s young people. The program is open to teachers statewide and nominations will be accepted online at www.bpteachers.com. Each year BP recognizes teachers of excellence with a $500 gift card for the teacher and a matching $500 for the teacher’s school. Last year, after expanding the program to school districts across Alaska, BP received more than 1,400 nominations.

DDF-ers gather at Homer High School

When it comes to the advice to think before you speak, the Homer High School students in the Drama, Debate and Forensics club have got it down. Judging by the Friday and Saturday DDF tournament at HHS, so do the 100 students representing Nikiski, Seward, Wasilla, South Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak and Bartlett high schools.

Readathon blasts off at Paul Banks


The excitement Paul Banks Elementary School students have for reading is too big to be contained on Earth. They’ve taken it to the universe and beyond.

On Tuesday, the school launched “Blast Off and Read,” an outer space-sized adventure that includes, of course, an alien visitation with a little help from the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai via the Internet. Incorporating the “space” theme into all areas of study, the Anchorage Museum’s StarLab, a portable planetarium, will pay a visit to the school on Feb. 12.

Students prove they know their planet


Think you know your geography? See how you stack up against the National Geographic’s daily quiz questions. 

On Monday, the question of the day was which of the following is true of snowflakes: 

(a) they all have six sides;

(b) they all have the same basic shape;

(c) all of the above.

If you chose (a), they all have six sides, you are correct. All snowflakes are six-sided, but do not all have the same basic shape. The shape is determined by temperature.

Ninilchik principal gets ‘pied’

When Ninilchik School students discovered one pie left from games at a 

Dec. 20 pep assembly, they wondered what to do with it. Their solution: throw it at Principal Jeff Ambrosier.

“I said OK, but not for free. Let’s raise some money for somebody,” said Ambrosier.

When the idea was announced in teacher Barbara Denboer’s class, Robert McGinnis was the first to empty his pockets and donate to the cause. His quick response made him the obvious choice as pie-thrower.

Students respond to shooting

It was about 5:40 a.m. in Soldotna on Friday when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and killed 26 people.

But information spreads fast and by midday several classes were paused so teachers could talk to students about what they had been texting, Facebooking and talking about all morning. By midday, several groups had come up with a plan to help students connect and support people affected by the shooting.

All I want for Christmas is...

All I want for Christmas is...

Santa doesn’t have to wonder what the first-grade students in Wendy Todd’s classroom at Paul Banks Elementary School want for Christmas. The youngsters’ letters make it clear what’s on their wish lists. And they aren’t just thinking of themselves. There are inquiries about Mrs. Claus, concerns expressed about Santa’s elves and even questions about Santa’s longevity.

DDF students win awards


Homer High DDF took 18 students to the Eagle River High School Drama, Debate and Forensics tournament last weekend and competed with 12 schools from the Anchorage area and Seward, and brought home the following awards:

Drew Turner,
Owen Duffy,
Neal Wimmerstedt -
3rd Place,
Readers’ Theatre

Carly McLean,
Iustina Kuznetsov,
Damon del Toro -
4th Place,
Readers’ Theatre

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough SChool District

Dec. 21: Inservice, no school.

Dec. 24-Jan. 6: Winter break; no school.

Jan. 14: School board meeting, Soldotna, 7 p.m. 

Chapman School

Students bring outside world to HHS



Not just one or two, but five foreign exchange students representing four different countries are enrolled at Homer High School this year. Their visits to Homer represent the efforts of three different exchange programs.

With thousands of miles separating them from home and family, these five students are busy taking advantage of opportunities they’ve been offered, learning from what they’re experiencing and settling in with their host families.

Middle, high students invited to register for science bowl

Middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) are invited to participate in the first annual Alaska Regional Science Bowl to be held in Anchorage in March. The registration deadline has been extended to Dec. 15.
Each team is composed of four students, one alternate, and a coach-adviser who is usually a science or math teacher. Teachers wanting to serve as coaches-advisers may register their teams by visiting the websites below, and using the registration link the first time and then logging back into their account at the Coach Login link after that.

Homer Middle Students raise funds for animal adoption

The holiday season is here, and we all love to give. Maggie Alston, a seventh-grade student at Homer Middle School, wanted to help the pets at Homer Animal Shelter find homes during the holidays. She developed an idea to sell candy canes to her fellow students and teachers to help with the cost of spaying and neutering adopted animals. The money raised from the candy cane sale will be donated to Homer Animal Friends, a nonprofit organization that gives coupons toward reducing the cost of spaying and neutering animals when they are adopted.

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