Mass Band puts on grand scale concert

When the Kenai Peninsula Borough Middle School Mass Band Concert is in the practicing stages, band teachers have a challenge at hand to teach an ambitious slate of music to their many students, beginning in February.
Then comes the big concert, the massive undertaking of bringing all bands in the district together as one powerful sound made up of 240 instruments. Each spring, all seven middle schools come together. This year, Homer Middle School was joined by Chapman, Ninilchik, Nikiski, Kenai, Soldotna and Seward in practice and performance May 1 at Homer High School.
“It’s a big effort, one of the highlights of the year,” said Homer Middle School Principal David Larson.

Math minds converge at Homer Middle School

If the math team ordered seven, eight-slice pizzas, what is left over after 41 slices are eaten?
To get there, multiply seven and eight to get 56, and then subtract 41, to get 15. Easy enough, as far as questions go at the Middle School Math Meet.
Yet, contenders from Seward to Nanwalek who participated in the annual math competition answered many such questions before teacher Derek Bynagle was even finished reading them aloud.
How about this one: If you have 24 Democrats, 32 Republicans, four independents and only one senator is selected, what is the random probability that the senator is a Republican? Express your answer in a common fraction.
Did you come up with 8/15th of a chance? You may be a Math Whiz too.

Foreign exchange students share meal, stories

The Salzetti family sat down to a dinner experience March 25 that, for them, has become somewhat typical in the past eight months, but for most Americans would be far from the norm.
Instead of a casserole or Hamburger Helper, the menu included “fak tong gaeng” — a Thai pumpkin soup made creamy with coconut milk and lemon grass — and “yum naier” — a cold beef flank steak salad flavored with lime juice, fish sauce, mint leaves and fresh cilantro. Discussion was wide-ranging, from art and history in Europe to cultural festivities in Latin America, reconstruction efforts in Japan and differences in educational systems the world over.
Musical performances, dance and artwork enlivened the meal, but did not come via the TV or Internet. The multicultural experience was much closer to home — in fact, staying in their home — in the form of an international exchange student through the AFS program.

The towering wonders of imaginative minds

In case the Taipei 101 Financial Center in Taiwan isn’t a structure you’ve visited, it was ranked as the world’s tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. It looks like upside down green planter boxes heaped to towering heights.
Aiden Pullman, a fourth grader at Homer Fireweed Academy, created a model of the Taipei from the shiny boxes, using an ascending order to convey the narrowness and height as it towers up to a narrow spire.
Next door, Nina Ellington gives a rendition of wonder that beat out the Taipei, the Burj Khalifa in Iran. Its piping soars 2,717 feet, enough space to house 900 apartments, Ellington wrote.

Waclawski wins Geography Bee

The Homer Middle School Geography Bee was a lot of fun for all of the 53 students who participated. Students started by meeting in the library for the first round on Wednesday, Nov. 16.  The 27 participants who passed the preliminary round went on to compete in the final round on Thursday, which was followed […]

Gustafson nominated for Spirit of Youth Award

A 2011 Homer High School graduate, James Gustafson, was nominated for a Spirit of Youth Award for his volunteer work with Homer Wilderness Leaders. He was nominated for a 2011 Spirit of Youth Service to Community award. Winners will be announced in January.
Gustafson was the founding board president of the nonprofit when it first formed. He is a driving force in their mission to provide outdoor experiential education to young people in Alaska.
“The reason I enrolled for the first trip they ever went on was when Libby Bushell invited me to volunteer helping with the outdoor trips. We did back backing and camping, and a little bit of climbing,” Gustafson said. It was familiar territory on trails and hikes across Kachemak Bay at places such as Red Mountan. “We did a lot of camping with my family when I was younger, and I had been climbing a lot.”

HoWL program promises evening of adventure

Homer’s HoWLers are howling more loudly than ever, summoning an “Evening of Adventure” that will take Homer on a virtual expedition into the wild.
Homer Wilderness Leaders, known as HoWL, just completed its third season of bringing kids into the mountains and woods of Alaska on two-to-seven-day expeditions including hiking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, surfing and mountaineering.

Homer takes first at Eagle River DDF tourney

Nineteen students from Homer High School competed in the Eagle River Drama, Debate and Forensics tournament this weekend. Homer students did very well as a team, finishing in first place overall. They also earned several individual-student awards. Homer finishers are as follows:   Lincoln-Douglas Debate Adi Davis – 5th place in Speaker Points, Quarter-Finalist Public […]

Local students gain recognition

Homer High students win AP awards Five of the 10 students who earned a 2010 Advanced Placement Scholar Awards were Homer High School Students, a release from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District announced Tuesday morning. Jason Baird, son of Steve and Marie Baird, won a AP Scholar with Distinction Award for earning an average […]

DDF: Not just for thespians and overachievers

For many students, starting something new can be both exciting, and frightening. But when that something new is Drama, Debate and Forensics, the outlet through which students can work through those feelings of anxiety, nervousness and fear is automatically built in.

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