Homer High-Lights

Volume 6, Issue 7, March 2018

Principal's Message

I am always surprised and impressed with the accomplishments of our students at HHS, but I am especially proud of some of our students. I appreciated how Homer High student leaders planned a walkout Wednesday, February 21st. This was a tricky event to pull off. Was it going to be anti-gun or in honor of the people killed in the recent Florida school shooting? Were they going to disrupt classes? Would everyone be safe?

In the end, they planned the theme of the walkout to be as inclusive as possible. Our students wanted to promote school safety and change. They also scheduled this to happen during the lunch period so no one would miss any school. The actual walkout was peaceful and no problems were reported.

The thing that I am most proud of about this is that everyone's views were honored. There were students who want more gun control walking peacefully next to students who think there should be no limits on gun ownership. While not everyone agreed on how to fix the challenge of school safety, everyone agreed that something needs to change. As an educator, I appreciate our students' willingness to discuss this difficult subject and how they respected everyone's right to have an opinion.

There are rumors going around about this event that are posted on some local chat groups. Here's the inside scoop:

  1. This was a student-organized event. No member of the HHS staff helped with this event.
  2. No staff member provided pizza or incentives for students to participate.
  3. This was not an anti-gun rally. Some students advocated for that cause, while others advocated for the opposite.
  4. No school rules or policies were broken.
  5. Two staff members were present to help monitor student safety. Other staff members were present to support students.

This event wasn't perfect. There were minor issues that we had to deal with, but that is part of the learning process. The point is, our students went out of their way to make sure they followed the rules and made as many people as comfortable as possible, all while trying to get their voices heard. The thought, planning and respect shown by our students should be commended.

Don't just take my word for it. Both the Homer News and KBBI covered this story. You can read about or hear about it at the links below:

  1. http://kbbi.org/post/homer-high-school-students-walkout-solidarity-florida-shooting-victims
  2. http://homernews.com/local-news-news/2018-02-21/homer-students-stage-walkout-after-florida-school-shooting

As always, I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas or suggestions, please drop by. If you can't make it in you can call me at 907-235-4600 or e-mail me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.k12.ak.us.


Douglas Waclawski


Dates To Remember

March 1 - Basketball vs Houston 3:00, 4:45, 6:30 and 8:00

March 2 - Basketball vs Seward 3:30, 5:00, 6:30 and 8:00

March 6 - Site Council Meeting 4:00 HHS Library

March 6 - HHS Band Concert

March 9 - No School - Teacher Inservice Day - End of 3rd quarter

March 12 -16 - No School - Spring Break

March 21- Eligibility check

March 23 - HHS Musical, West Side Story 7:00

March 24 - HHS Musical, West Side Story 3:00 and 7:00

2017-18 HHS Bell Schedule

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KPBSD Safety and Emergency Actions

Parents and guardians, school safety is a top priority in the KPBSD. It's important for you to know what to do before, during, and after a school emergency, weather related delay start, or school closure. Kindly read KPBSD Emergency Guidelines for Parents and Guardians. KPBSD regularly practices safety drills in schools, and includes law enforcement in our ALICE trainings for school emergencies. School delays and closures protocol.

You can view these pages below.

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Iris Downey Qualifies for State Poetry Outloud

Homer High School's own Iris Downey has qualified to compete at the 2018 State Poetry Outloud competition. The state competition happens March 5th -7th in Juneau Alaska.

See the article in the Homer News at http://homernews.com/schools/2018-02-01/homer-crowns-poetry-out-loud-champion.

Below is the official announcement for Poetry Out Loud:

"JUNEAU, ALASKA - The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC) are pleased to announce the twelve state finalists for the 2018 Alaska Poetry Out Loud Competition. These students have progressed in competition at the classroom, school and regional levels, across Alaska. Each student will represent their schools and communities at the Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Competition on Tuesday, March 6th in Juneau, Alaska @360 North. The Alaska State Champion will then advance to the National Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, DC in April.

Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Finalists for 2018:

  • Jania Tumey - West Anchorage High School
  • Morgan Blackgoat - Thunder Mountain High School, Juneau
  • Claire Mueller - Barrow High School
  • Kiara Haist - Unalaska High School
  • Iris Downey - Homer High School
  • Moriah Jacobsen - Glennallen Schools
  • Danny Brady - Skagway School
  • Elisa Larson - Petersburg High School
  • Amanda Davison - Elim Aniguiin School
  • Honor Mealey - North Pole High School
  • Elena Padua - Redington Jr./Sr. High School, Wasilla
  • Jane Immingan - Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School, Savoonga

Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. In the 2017-2018 school year, Poetry Out Loud celebrates its twelfth anniversary, reaching millions of students from more than 7,300 schools nationwide.

This year, more than 3790 Alaska students grades 9-12 participated in Poetry Out Loud in their home communities. ASCA and JAHC congratulate all these students for their work in memorization and recitation of poetry from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology. We thank all of the teachers, librarians, school administrators, parents and community partners who support and encourage their students to participate. Each of these supports helps students master public speaking skills, build self confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Alaska Poetry Out Loud is presented in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and schools and communities across the state of Alaska."

HHS Communicates Using Facebook

Want to know what is going on at HHS?

Sometimes things change at the last moment and we can't call everyone. If you want the most up-to-date event schedules, start times, scores and last minute changes, like us on Facebook. Go to https://www.facebook.com/HomerHS/ and be sure to follow us. This is the most efficient way for HHS to post last minute details, school closures and more. We also post lots of the cool things our students are doing.

See you on Facebook!

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HHS Students Visit AVTEC

several HHS students recently visited AVTEC. Please read the article in the Homer News at:

http://homernews.com/schools/2018-02-22/cte-students-visit-avtec .

Homer Excels at the Regional Skills USA Competition

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, Homer High hosted the Skills USA regions. We had 15 students competing, which was the largest number for any school in the district. Our students performed amazingly well! We had the following winners:

  • 1st place for Metal Sculpture - Sean Blaine
  • 2nd place Quiz Bowl - Kalen Molodih
  • 3rd place Job Interview - Samantha Martin
  • 3rd place Construction - Cole Socha
  • 2nd place Culinary Arts - Jonathan Bice
  • 3rd place Culinary Arts - Samantha Martin
  • 1st place Welding - Troy Lane
  • 2nd place Job Skills Demonstration, - Samantha Martin
  • 1st place Photography - Ellie Syth

These students have qualified for the state competition in Anchorage next month. If you see them, congratulate them on their well-earned accomplishments

Hockey Helps With Special Olympics

Just a quick note and a big thank you to Spencer Warren and Hunter Warren who came out and represented the HHS Hockey team at the Special Olympics Event on a recent Saturday morning.

This year, due to funding issues, the Homer Special Olympics Hockey team was unable to travel to the state tournament in Anchorage. In lieu of that trip, the S.O. Hockey team scheduled a year-end party/hockey game. They invited the HHS team and the Divas to join in. Hunter Warren and Spencer Warren came and played with the team and had a great time…and learned that competitive hockey can take on many forms.

SPBHS and the Special Olympics team would like to thank and acknowledge the boys for setting aside the time. It was very meaningful to our athletes and our staff to see the community involved in this way.

We would also like to give a big thanks to Coach Rocket.

Thanks again from South Peninsula Behavioral Health and Special Olympics!

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Homer College and Career Fair

“Meet, Explore, Discover” is the theme of the Homer College, Career and Job Fair being held at Kachemak Bay Campus's Pioneer Hall on Pioneer Ave., Friday, March 30, from 10am to 2pm. People of all ages are invited to attend. Looking for a career or job change? Wanting to find out about a variety of college degrees or training opportunities to get a better job? Or maybe returning to the workforce after a break of some kind? This is the place to be.

Advisors from education and training programs from KPC and around the state will be on hand to offer degree and certification program information and a series of presentations on a variety of training programs (nursing, education, maritime technology, welding, health services, biology, process technology) and career pathways. Local and regional industry employers will be there looking for motivated applicants to fill current and future year-round vacancies and summer openings. Job seekers should come with resume in hand, dressed for an interview!

High School students starting to think about college will be able to listen to industry representatives talk about their fields and what it takes to get there. Financial Aid experts will be on hand to answer questions about how to fund these educational and training opportunities. There really is a little something for everyone! This event is co-sponsored by: UAA's Kachemak Bay Campus- Kenai Peninsula College, The Homer Job Center, Project Grad Kenai Peninsula and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Counselors.

This event is free and open to the public.

Provided by Kim Frost, KBC-KPC

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DFF Rocks At State!

Homer High School took 9 students to the State DDF Tournament. The students there competed against over 150 competitors from around the State. We brought home the following awards:

  • Landon Bunting – 2nd Place, Pantomime
  • Theo Castellani and Chloe Pleznac – 5th Place, Duet Acting
  • Homer High School – Division 2 Sportsmanship Award

Landon also received a Command Performance, which represents being one of the best in his entire event. Command Performances are nominated by the judges who have seen many different rounds of the event, and are performed right before the awards ceremony so that all of the competitors were able to see his Pantomime, “Babysitter Needed”.

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HHS Ocean Bowl Takes 11th at State

The weekend of February 9th and 10th was Alaska’s Tsunami Bowl, which is the regional competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. We had a team of Landon Bunting, Timberlee Davis, Ethen Groves, and Marina Greear.

The students earned 11th place, out of 22 teams competing this year. Most of the other teams have a dedicated oceanography or marine science class, which makes our 11th place even more impressive with the team who does not have such opportunities.

They had to produce a 15-page paper and then give a 15-minute presentation on “Ocean Climatic Effects on Forest Fires on the Kenai Peninsula.” It was a crowd favorite and the students did very well. In the “quiz bowl” portion of the event, they did exceptionally well, winning more than half of their rounds, and if they did lose, they only lost by 1 question. If you see the team, congratulate them on their exhaustive efforts this weekend!

Our highlight is that Landon Bunting was awarded MVP of the entire tournament, which is done by ballot to all of the teams. This is a great honor and if you see Landon, give him a high five!

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MOM Award Winners

Mariners On the Move

Each Homer High faculty member selects one outstanding student per year based on scholarship and citizenship. Honorees, their families and the nominating teachers attended a February 28th celebration catered by the HHS Culinary Arts class. Third quarter winners were (pictured left to right, Trevor in separate photo):

  • Jessica Sonnen– nominated by Mrs. Hudson
  • Katelyn Engebretsen – nominated by Mrs. Brege
  • Koby Etzwiler – nominated by Mrs. Nelson
  • Fawna Johnson – nominated by Mrs. Johnson (no relation)
  • Desmond Vanliere – nominated by Mr. Tozzo
  • Briea Gregory – nominated by Mr. Rife
  • Sammy Walker – nominated by Mrs. Hampson
  • Trevor Bond – nominated by Mrs. Allen

Counselor Corner

Sophomore Counseling

2nd semester of 10th grade is an excellent time to review high school progress and begin post-secondary planning in earnest. Sophomores and their parents are invited to make 20-minute appointments with Paul Story in January or February to discuss how to start preparing for graduation and for their career pathway. Call 235-4685 or email pstory@kpbsd.org to schedule a time.

The FAFSA is open for the 2018-19 school year. Some money is first come, first serve. www.fafsa.ed.gov

2019 Scheduling

We have visited 9th, 10th and 11th grade classrooms to check graduation progress and to collect students’ course requests for next year. This is your chance at home to see what is available next year, to review your student’s choices, and to have a discussion with counselors and teachers should there be any questions or concerns.

To review graduation requirements and HHS 2018-19 offerings with hyperlinked course descriptions, use these links (also available on HHS web site under “Counselor’s Corner” on the right-side menu)

To review what your student requested, log in to your parent PowerSchool account and select “Class Registration” under the “Scheduling” drop down menu on the left side. Each request corresponds to one semester, and Alternates are listed in case a first choice is unavailable. If you would like to make any changes, contact your student’s counselor by March 23.

New HHS offerings (See course request form above for descriptions.):

  • Broadcasting (officially called “Audio/Visual Communication”)
  • More choice in 11th and 12th grade Language Arts:
  • Year-long only – AP English Language and Composition
  • Year-long or semester – Journalism, Lang. Arts 11 (American Lit.), Lang. Arts 12 (British Lit.)
  • Semester-long only – Applied Communication, Creative Writing, Film as Literature, Technical Writing


Paul Story

School Counseling

All Northwest Choir

Theodore Handley was chosen from among thousands of singers from all over the Northwest region of American Choral Directors Association (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho) to represent the state of Alaska. This 4 day honor festival and conference brings students from the region together with preeminent choral directors from all over the world to prepare for a culminating festival performance held the final day of the conference.

While student musicians prepare for festival performances, their directors and other choristers from all over the world will attend rehearsals, performances, and interest sessions to gain a better understanding of the choral arts in our world and greater society.

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Mariners Excel at XCS State Championships

The XCS ski team had a solid performance at State. The Girls brought home the State GPA Award with a perfect 4.0. Katia Holmes and Autumn Daigle were top 3 for individuals in the Div. II. The Team was #1, beating out Grace Christian School. Libby Fabich and Jacob Davis were recognized for Good Sportsmanship and Davis and Waclawski also placed top 3 for Div. II boys.