School Briefs – Feb. 20

Christianson earns Coach of the Year Homer High School Drama, Debate and Forensics coach Amy Christianson was named Coach of the Year at the DDF State Tournament at Eagle River High School over the weekend. Her team took fourth in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, third and fifth in Dramatic Interpretation, sixth in Duo Interpretation, fourth in Duet […]

Student art show, geography bee and BP awards

Student art: ‘Colors of Homer‘ reflects town Homer High School students will exhibit artwork at K-Bay Caffe for the month of February. An opening reception is planned to celebrate “Colors of Homer” from 7-9 p.m. Saturday at K-Bay, now located on Pioneer Avenue next to the Refuge Chapel. Colors of Homer is an all-inclusive program, […]

Six teens to attend International Peace Forum in Hawaii

Peace comes in small and big stages each time a problem gets solved, like the polio vaccine program that the Rotary developed which saved millions of lives and continues into the present day in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Each year the Rotarians focus on peace forums, a conference that includes teens in workshops and discussions to help the next generation learn and think about strategies toward peace. The Downtown Rotary meeting from 6-7 p.m. tonight at the Bidarka Inn features scholarship winners who will talk about the coming conference.
Six teens were selected for travel scholarships to attend the Rotary International Peace Forum in Honolulu Jan. 25-27. The teens are Taylor Ellison from Anchor Point, Amelia Tyrer from Homer, Ivana Ash, from Nanwalek, Traven Apiki, McKenzy Haber and Katherine Dolma, all from Homer.
Three of these scholarships came from Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club, and two from Homer Downtown Club (from donations from Steve and Noko Yoshida and from the Club), and one personally was donated by Jane Little, a member of the Homer Downtown Club.

Homer teens favor Obama in mock election

Homer High School was one only two schools in Alaska to take part in My Voice National Student Mock Election and the resulting ballot counts might surprise the students’ parents.
In much larger percentages, they rejected the Alaska adult majority’s favored candidate in Mitt Romney and backed President Barack Obama for a second term. Ballot results from the Homer High VOTES Program showed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden won187 votes, or 51 percent to Romney and Paul Ryan’s 136 votes, or 37 percent. Of the other presidential candidates,
Green Party Candidate Jill Stein took 17 votes, or 5 percent. Constitutional Party Candidate Virgil Goode won 17 votes, or 5 percent and Libertarian Gary Johnson took 11 votes, or 3 percent.
Homer and Haines High Schools joined with 101 other schools in the VOTES program and gave Obama the majority vote.

Midtown Cafe move to offer Homer’s youth more options

The Midtown Cafe for young people moved this week from its lease on Pioneer Avenue by the Refuge Chapel to the Kachemak Bay Center, downstairs by the former Division of Motor Vehicles office.
The public is invited to a grand opening from 6-8 p.m. Friday where they can tour the new space.
Midtown Cafe director Rob Way said the Refuge Chapel Building space was no longer available, and there were definite advantages to moving.
“Having our own location gives us the ability to hold more events,” Way said. “It’s a little smaller, but there is actually more useable space. It has an open floor plan, so it’s easy to monitor what’s going on.”
Way said it also puts the cafe that much closer to Homer High School, so it offers a community place for teens to go for healthy activities.

Middle school students conduct mock elections

Homer Middle School students cast their ballots in eighth grade U.S. History class as part of an “Electing the President” simulation.
“We borrowed several voting booths from City Hall and students were able to cast votes for their candidates,” said history teacher Holly Alston. “It was a great experience for all students.”
History teachers Suzanne Haines and Darcy Mueller also had students participating.
Students were placed into two separate parties, the “Do Right” party and the “Fair and Square party.” Each party had a candidate for president (primary election) and the presidential candidates chose their vice presidential candidates.
All candidates prepared speeches based on general platforms of main political issues. At this point, the rest of the students in the class represented individual voters. Candidates gave speeches and students were able to ask questions.

McNeil students perform with pros

The Kenai Peninsula Orchestra performed for Homer audiences on Sunday and gave a rare opportunity to the budding musical talents of McNeil Canyon Elementary School. McNeil Canyon teacher Debbie Piper wrote a grant last year to bring the Weill Music Institute’s Carnigie Hall Education Program to Homer. “Seven years ago, McNeil Canyon did a link-up […]

Homer Huskies get into ‘Calling all Polar Bears’

Homer Middle School students were treated this week to a rap performance by Allison Atkootchkook Warden, titled “Calling All Polar Bears.” Allison is an Inupiaq artist who was sponsored by The Bunnell Street Arts Center to perform for our school. Dressed in a purple kuspuk and green cap, Allison began with rap songs she had written based on her experiences from her village. (See photo on page 7)
Allison’s first song talked about the changes her mother had to face growing up in Kaktovik, and being sent to the Lower 48 states to be treated for tuberculosis. In her next song, she rapped about the challenges of being a polar bear. Allison, wearing her polar bear fur mittens and paper mache polar bear head, got all the middle schoolers to sing along and wonder “where did all the ice go?”
Allison even got some of the Homer Middle School students dancing with her next song about caribou herds. Spencer Warren and Kenny Cortez put on some antlers and showed off their moves, prancing and bopping alongside of Allison.

MAPPing a safe path through alcohol abuse

The Homer Prevention Project recently completed a needs assessment report evaluating underage drinking and adult heavy and binge drinking in the community. The report was the first step required by the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant that funds HPP.
Homer is one of six communities in the state to receive funding from the State of Alaska to address Alaska’s two priority areas: reducing underage drinking, ages 12-20, and reducing adult heavy and binge drinking, ages 21-44.
Homer’s successful grant application was based on a community-wide needs assessment by MAPP of the Southern Kenai Peninsula in 2008-2009, which identified substance abuse as a top health concern for the community.
As part of the needs assessment process all six grantees in Alaska were required to follow, communities were asked to select a consequence of adult heavy and binge drinking for focus of their prevention efforts.

Seldovia graduates three in Class of 2012

The town of Seldovia celebrated the accomplishments of a graduating class this year of three students. The 2012 class consisted of Sarah O’Leary, Amanda Gain and Cameren Blodgett.
The Susan B. English School had a total of 42 students this year, said school principal Sherry Hingley. None of them were juniors, however, so next year there will not be a graduating class.

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