Knightly News

The monthly newsletter of North Pole Middle School

May 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 10

Principal's Corner

Hello Parents and Families:

Finally spring has arrived with warm temps and sunny skies, a very welcome change here at the school as students are eager to get outside. This will be our final newsletter for the 2012-13 school year. Throughout this newsletter is a variety of information regarding transition dates and events happening in the coming weeks.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our incoming fifth grade students and their families. Please accept this as one of our invitations to our First Annual Fifth Grade Transition Night taking place on May 6th starting at 6:30 p.m. in our gym. This will give you the parents an opportunity to get preliminary information prior to your student starting in the fall. Be on the lookout this summer for an invitation for your student to attend our Jump Start Mini Camp prior to the first day of school, more details coming soon.

Speaking of transitions our eighth graders have begun working with high school counselors and have gone to their transition night at the high school. One final formality for them takes place on May 22nd at 6:30 p.m. here in our gym during our 8th Grade Celebration. Parents and families are welcome as we review three terrific years and recognize some outstanding students. Cake and punch will be served immediately following in the cafeteria.

Overall we have had a terrific school year. Next year is shaping up to be one of transition as we welcome new staff members in important positions, are facing new state standards, new curriculum and a new assessment tool for spring testing. If those were the only changes, that would be plenty but there are still more on the way. Your continue involvement in your students education is critical to their success now and in the future. We sincerely hope that you have an outstanding summer filled with adventure, relaxation and fun and we look forward to seeing you now and in the not so distant future.

Have a fantastic summer! We’ll see you in August.

Richard Smith, Principal

From the desk of Mr. Robb

This month I am announcing my retirement after 29 years here at NPMS. The greatest thing about being here so long has been to see so many of my former students doing parenting work for their own kids here at school. The time has come though, for a boy and his dog to ride off into the sunset. Or rain in Valdez. Either sounds pretty good! Fish On!

Thank you!

Your North Pole Middle School PTSA board would like to thank all the volunteers that helped to make the April social a huge success! Having a fun and successful social is only possible with the help of awesome volunteers…THANK YOU!

Heather MacLeod


Glen Stebbins

Mildred Knott

John Knott

Lori Weaver

Angel Scott

Kermit Scott

Kymberly Taylor

Emma Warren

Amanda Rodriguez

Nurse's Notes

This school year is quickly coming to a close. The last thing on parent's minds is what needs to be done before the next school year begins. However, I suggest that parents keep a couple of things in mind. Doing so will prevent a lot of headaches for you in the future.
  • Immunization compliance is the law. Your child must be up-to-date on all immunizations before he/she is allowed to attend school. If you have an 8th grade student this year, it is very likely that he/she will require a Tdap booster before the beginning of the next school year.
  • The law requires TB skin tests on all 7th grade students, within 90 days of enrollment. If you have this done during the summer and you bring the documentation to me I will not have to repeat it. Otherwise a time will be scheduled when I will complete them here at school. Your consent for this is also required and is on the Health History update.
  • Sports physicals are required when your child wishes to participate in any sport offered during the school year. Sports physicals are valid for one calendar year. Making arrangements to have them completed before the beginning of the school year will alleviate the possibility of disruption and urgency later on in the year when your adolescent comes home the day before try-outs needing a physical. Several health care providers offer physicals at reasonable rates before the beginning of the school year. You will see advertisements in the newspaper in July and August.
  • We strongly recommend you keep a copy of the physical for your records and ours for future reference.
  • In order for me to give your child an over-the-counter medication a Health History update must be completed each year which includes your permission to administer medications. I will be sending home the blank form at the beginning of next school year.

The summer break is an excellent time to make arrangements for immunizations and physicals. You can schedule appointments so that it is convenient for you.

Have a great summer!

SBA Thank Yous

A special thank you to Flint Hills Resources for providing testing snacks for this year’s SBA tests. Testing is exhausting to the students and having nutritional snacks for energy is critical to their success. Thank you Flint Hills!

ATTENTION PARENTS: From your friendly middle school counselors.

For 6th & 7th Grade Parents

Elective course request forms for the upcoming school year will be handed out to students during advisory the week of April 29th. The forms needs to be filled out, signed, and returned to their advisory teacher by May 3rd.

Please take some time to fill these out with your student. Extra forms can be located in the office or counseling office. There are specific forms for each grade level so please make sure your student is filling out the correct form!

For 8th Grade Parents

If you have any questions or concerns about your student's schedule for next year at the high school, please contact their high school counselor.

Congratulations to Website Banner Contest Winner

During April, the library hosted a website banner contest. The winner entry will be used during 2012-2013 as the new library website banner! Bookmarks will be made of the runner up entries. Out of more than 100 entries, our winner and runners up are:

1st PLACE: Kecrya Sam

Runners Up: Eddie Borneo, Brianna Hembree, Madison Knott, Erich Mattingly, Chelsea Siebels, Dale Slater, Amy Stefan, Hailey Szych, Reyna Vargason.



6th Grade English

Katie Mullins and Lee LaPointe

In the month of April, we started our reading/literature circles and our quarter 4 book report. We continued to complete the vocabulary book quizzes. In May, we will finish-up our reading/literature circles, and then students will begin their "Future Looking Ahead" Project in which the students will outline their assigned career/family life. They will be assigned a job and a family. From that, they will answer specific targeted questions by completing research on-line determining if it is a successful life that he/she would enjoy. The book report this quarter is about reading as many pages as possible and completing a reading log for these pages. The deadline is May 17th. As the school year ends, students are more distracted with the beautiful weather and thoughts of summer. We thank you for your continued support for your child's education. The North Pole Public Library offers their summer reading program. Please contact them for more information. Thank you for a wonderful 2012-2013 school year!

7th Grade English

Natalie Castro

This quarter students are enjoying our in-class novel, The Outsiders. As we read this novel in class, students will be completing written responses, comprehension quizzes, and a final exam. Vocabulary Unit tests will continue, as will the independent novel Book Report. A final writing assignment will conclude our school year. Please refer to for more details.

8th Grade English

Candy Bartos

April has been poem month! Students wrote original poems using formats given in class, and they created some awesome poem books. When your student brings home their books- do review. There are some poetics among us! Students have finished studying the holocaust and creating a newspaper with articles telling about that time period. Students will begin reading the novel, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas.

This book will take students into the past seeing the world through the eyes of a little boy growing up during this time period. All students should be reading a novel of their choice for this quarter. All classes will be working with the librarian on creating book talks for their projects. It should be exciting to hear what students create.

Don’t forget to check my web site for updates.

NonFiction Forum

Matthew McCormick

After a few months of story writing, Nonfiction Forum students are now working on the important skills of writing about what they are reading. Students are reading an in-class novel, Dogsong, and collecting evidence from the book to help answer the question, Are there more advantages or disadvantages to living a traditional life? Students will end the semester with an essay answering that question.


Rebecca Ford

For May, my classes will continue to read the novels started in April. Sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, and spelling via our daily journal entries will remain an important part of daily lessons. Students will work on reading comprehension by answering varying multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions about the material. As always, my classes will work on their independent reading by working through the Read Naturally and Earobics reading programs.

VERY Limited Number of Yearbooks For Sale

We are down to under 25 yearbooks available and not everyone who wants one will get one. Personalized covers and purchasing yearbooks online are no longer available. The available yearbooks will be sold for $50 on a first come first served basis. You can ONLY order them through by turning your order in to Mrs. Long. Feel free to check with Mrs. Long for availability before sending money in.

Social Studies

6th Grade Social Studies

Ben Kaiser & Hillary Midgley

Mr. Kaiser and Mrs. Midgley's 6th grade Social Studies is starting its big end of the year project. We are creating our own civilization. This has been a rousing success in the past and we can't wait to see how it turns out this year.

7th Grade Social Studies

Ben Kaiser

We are starting the Latin America project. The class will be broken into groups and each group must race from Texas to Terra del Fuego. The teams are completing assignments/projects/reports and earning points in order to get further on their trip. The project ends with a Fiesta!

Natalie Castro

Students completed a large Africa project at the beginning of fourth quarter. As we transition to the Middle East, students will receive continuing map tests and in-class assignments. Our unit covering Asia will be our final unit of the quarter, culminating in a comprehensive test. Please refer to for more information.

Ian Fraker

For the month of May we will be wrapping up the year looking at Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica. We will be looking at the history of Australia as a country and the wide variety of landscapes that can be found there. One of the big mysteries we will be addressing with Oceania is how so many Islands in such a vast ocean ended up populated by humans. Antarctica, though populated only by a few scientists seasonally, has much to offer in the area of physical geography and we will take a look at what our scientists are looking for down there.

Sarah Gillam

The month of May will see us continuing The Amazing Amigos Race! One more map of the month quiz on South America will be quizzes on Monday, May 20 with Fiestas on the last early out days. See our Calendar below.

8th Grade Social Studies

Ed Lesage & Michael Hollett
In 8th grade U.S. History we have finished The Great War, and our students have a much better understanding of the toll of modern warfare. Your students now understand why The Twenties Roared. Ask them about Flappers. Prohibition has come and gone. We are making connections between previous economic time periods of bust and boom and applying it to The Great Depression. We have laid the ground work for WWII.

The History, Science, and English departments are working thematically to enhance you students understanding of this pivotal period of U.S. History. Students have been reading both The Boy in The Stripped Pajamas as well as The Diary of Ann Frank. Science departments are gearing up for their Spring rocketry unit which coincides with WWII technology.

Both Mr. Hollett and I are very excited to explore with your students the last half of the 20th century.


7th Grade Math

Jeff Gryga

During the month of May students will continue to work on individualized and group assignments/activities. Prior concepts will continue to be reviewed. Substitution, graphing coordinates of linear equations, and probability will be covered during may. The last week of school students will create, discuss, and play probability games that they have created.

Larry Beebe

While we are awaiting the late arrival of spring so we may go outdoors and put to use patterns, graphing and the algebra of motion, we will be exploring one of the Career Technology Education strands that the school district offers in high school. Students will see and use the math they have already learned and where it is used in the Building Trades portion. We will also investigate career opportunities and give them a chance to think about what their interests may be. It is not too early to be thinking about their future. After all, a new chapter in their lives is just a few pages away.

8th Grade Math

Michael Hollett, Michelle Heminger, and Kim Smith

It has been a great year with our students. They have explored so many topics including the Pythagorean Theorem, Linear Algebra, and Data Analysis that they will continue to use and explore in more depth as they progress through their high school math courses. Together, we have worked to lay a solid foundation for success in high school mathematics. We wish our students the best in life and encourage them to continue to pursue the highest levels of math possible because it can open doors of opportunity for them in the future.


Kim Smith

The Algebra students have accomplished so much this year. They have learned how the relationships between variables can be expressed in tables, graphs, equations, and in real-life. They are becoming "Masters of Quadratics." I am so proud of the hard work and perseverance that my students have exhibited this year as they have challenged themselves by taking a high school level math course as 8th graders. Algebra students, thanks for a great year!

Math Tutorials

Mirjam Caster

The students are making their way through the multiplication facts. Just the other day, a student exclaimed happily: “Wow, I never thought I would ever know my 6’s!”. Amazing, how practice and perseverance lead to memorizing the multiplication facts. Do you remember all the multiples of 7 and 8? Ask your student to quiz you or even to challenge you in a multiplication war. We are also venturing into the different skills that require knowing the multiplication facts – like long division and multiplying multi-digit numbers… During the math tutorial classes, there is also time to complete some math homework, so see whether your student is taking advantage of that time!


District Science Fair

Elijah Hallen- 1st place
Skylar Poehls and Madison Ritter- 2nd place
Rania Girard and Karsyn Bennett- 2nd place
Leah Dustin- 2nd place
Sean Bailey- 2nd place
Jon Paulson- 2nd place
Brittany Narrow- 2nd place

6th Grade Science

Michelle Heminger

Your students have many outdoor activities to look forward to in the month of May as we continue our study of gravity and Newton's Third Law of Motion. We will also be spending time learning about the weather and making observations outside with various weather measurement instruments.

Laura Mueller

In May we will finish up our investigation of forces and begin our weather and climate unit. Students will learn the causes of weather patterns and climate change. We will also learn about how climate change affects communities.

Andrea Chin

In 6th grade science, students should continue working on their 'Expert Files' research project. They are to gather new information on their topic each week and submit it electronically on Powercourse. We will be finishing up our study of energy by making an iMovie trailer on alternative energy sources. After the movie premier we will continue our study of weather vs. climate while learning to take weather measurements, and experiment with convection. Our last unit for the year will be on gravity and Newton's Third Law of Motion. Students will be able to apply their scientific process skills while experimenting with forces.

7th Grade Science

Andrea Deutsch

Students are working on the Biome Poster project which is due Friday, May 3, 2013. Each student has selected a biome and is researching in class and at home. A green handout has an outline of the requirements. Each student has 'bubble sheets' (graphic organizers) to complete. Poster paper will be given out a week prior to the due date. All students should be working on this project at home.

Laura Mueller

We will spend the remainder of the year learning the anatomy and functions of the major vertebrate body systems. This will include dissection of a chicken wing, sheep heart, cow eye, and frog. We will also have several small quizzes on the body systems and a final human body exam.

8th Grade Science

Susan Monetti & Lori Werdin

8th grade science students are exploring the world of physics, from waves to forces to acceleration to rockets! Students will be working closely with Newton's Laws of Motion and Rocketry. The big project for the 4th quarter is building & launching a rocket (during the last full week of school).

In addition, there is a rocket packet (1 per student). There are 4 due dates for the packet: Tuesday, May 14th, Wednesday, May 15th, Thursday,May 16th, & Friday, May 17th. The rocket packet is worth about 200 points and is a large part of the 4th quarter grade. 8th grade students will also have final exams during the last week of school.

Physical Education & Health

Physical Education

Luke Balash

For Physical Education with Mr. Balash students will need to bring work out gear every day: t-shirt, shorts, and athletic shoes. We started the quarter with fitness and skills tests, learned a lot with a 3 week unit of Team Handball and water polo, Completed our mid-quarter fitness and skills tests, and are now in full swing on our 3 week basketball unit. We work on fitness every day and most students showed significant improvements in all of their fitness and skills tests. We will have our final tests May 12th to 17th on fitness and skills, as well as a written final test on fitness, skills, and tactics. For the last week of class we will be playing fun games outside, weather permitting.

Jeff Sagers

This quarter in PE we started with fitness testing, as always to assess where our kids are at and what direction we need to move to make them better. The first unit that the kids chose this quarter was cooperative games. This is always a popular unit because the kids get to play dodge ball games as well as games such as floor hockey, lacrosse, and ultimate Frisbee and Alaskan softball. Now we are into the most popular of my units, which is Archery. I love to teach this unit because the kids have so much fun! It is awesome to watch someone that has not shot a bow before hit his or her first bull’s-eye! The kids always have a good time with the games we play and the tournament in the end. If you are a bow hunter come on down and spend some time with your kid in class. They will enjoy the extra time with you and I’m sure the other students will too, especially if you bring your really cool bow! Students are allowed to bring in their own bows under the following guidelines:

  • 1) Guardian must bring the student’s bow to Mr. Sagers in the morning
  • 2) Guardian must pick up the student’s bow by 3PM the same day

Unfortunately I can’t keep a students bow for the entire unit.

Some of my students chose to do a basketball games unit. In this unit we learn all kinds of basketball games that students can play with their friends. Personally I was never a big fan of the game of basketball but I always enjoyed just shooting baskets and playing games with my friends. If your child is like that this unit will be great for them!

With any luck we will get some warmer weather to melt this snow so we can get outside before the end of the year. If that happens then we will get to go out and play Ultimate Frisbee! This is a great game to get your kid moving and have some fun with very minimal equipment requirements.

If you would like to come join our class or just come see what your child is doing please come on by!


Luke Balash

For Pool Activities with Mr. Balash students need to bring swim gear every day: a swim suit, a towel, toiletries, goggles, and a mesh bag or grocery sack to carry them in. This month we will spend a week on advance diving techniques and a week on the butterfly stroke. May 14thwill be our diving competition for each class and May 15th will be our swim meet day for each class. Parents are encouraged to attend and watch their students strut their stuff! The final week we will have open swims and a pool party to celebrate the end of the school year.


Mr. Sagers

This quarter the students have been at work learning about Nutrition, Fitness, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs. They have learned how to use skills to resist peer pressure and say “No!” to alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Currently they are learning how the body works and what they can do now and throughout their lives to maintain overall wellness. They are learning what the body needs to keep itself going on a daily basis and what kind of fuel they need to put into their bodies to get the most out of it. They will learn about food labels and what they mean and how to read them. They will accomplish this through websites, fitness plans, literature, videos, class discussions and different models.

Towards the end of the quarter the students will move into the human reproduction unit to learn how the human body works and the unique process that we have all gone through. Although this can be a scary topic to discuss sometimes, students usually have a lot of interest in this subject and a million questions! LOL! This makes the unit fun and exciting for me as a teacher because those moments that the kids are glued to every word you say are the moments we live for!

6th Grade Health

Ian Fraker

During the month of May the 6th grade class will be taking a closer look at Nutrition and the benefits of regular physical activity. We will also be discussing what is happening to the human body during puberty. The students will discover what they can expect to experience both physically and emotionally during puberty.

7th Grade Health

Ian Fraker

During the month of May the 7th grade class will be going more in depth with the science behind puberty, reproduction and why abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to avoid pregnancy and STDs. We will also be looking at the topic of drug use and abuse. We will discuss the different categories of drugs and what drugs 7th graders are most likely to come across. We will then cover the physical and psychological effects of these drugs on the human body.

8th Grade Health

Ian Fraker

During the month of May, the 8th grade health classes will be looking at ways to deal with peer pressure as they get into high school along with healthy decision making skills as they grow older and spend more time socializing without adult supervision. Much of this will be done in discussion format and scenario analysis.

Presidential Physical Fitness Testing

Mr. McHenry's PE classes recently completed their Presidential Physical Fitness Testing.

National Level Award Winners were:
Kyle Kokrine
Alexis Garcia
Jakobe Boyd
Adara Wyman
Tristan Montini
Briana Kurzenberger
Matthew Brown
Samantha Short
Jeremiah Howe
Michaela Wilson
Andrew Gaines
Madison Sutton
Myiah Meade
Raven Doak
Shaie Kisgen
Amanda Norton
Clover Knottnerus
Marissa Thomas
Josh Carassco
Sadie Johnson

Presidential Award Winners were:
Logan James
Kaylynn Heineken
Don Whisel
Zach Baxter
Heath Jackson
Kayla Miller
Juan Olson
Jared Peterson

Not Sure if You Ordered a Yearbook?

If you sent an order form in with your child for a yearbook that doesn’t mean that it made it to Mrs. Long. Mystical forces are at work in the middle school years that make things disappear before they arrive at their final destination…especially where school is concerned. Before it’s too late and all of the yearbooks have been sold, contact Mrs. Long to see if your order was placed. Please call before or after school, or better yet, send an email to Mrs. Long to verify your order. 488-2271 ext. 9176 or email:


Choir & Hand Bell Choir

Barbara Nore

The North Pole Middle School Choir and Hand Bell Choir will present its final concert on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the North Pole High School Oehring Auditorium. Numerous choir awards will be presented at the conclusion of this concert. Students will be recognized as Outstanding, Most Improved, Most Inspirational, Special Helpers, and Adult Volunteers will be recognized at this final concert. Please plan to stay until 8:30 p.m. and support our hardworking choir students.

All choir students should plan to arrive by 6:30 pm on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 and wear their black and white concert attire.

The NPMS choir will be performing the following music: “Feel Good,” “Fields of Gold,” “I See the Light,” “We Are the World,” “Count On Me,” “Hallelujah,” “Touch the Sky,” and “A Tribute to Queen.” Our Hand Bell choir will be performing 3 pieces at this final concert, too. We look forward to seeing you at our final concert. Thank you for your continued support of our choral music education program at North Pole Middle School this year.


Barbara Nore

The North Pole Middle School Orchestras will be presenting their final concert on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the North Pole High School Oehring Auditorium combined with the North Pole Middle School Bands.

All orchestra students should plan to arrive by 6:30 p.m. for tuning in the orchestra room. Concert attire is black pants or skirt and white shirt or blouse. Attendance at this final concert, like all of the others, is mandatory and expected. Orchestra awards will be presented to the Most Outstanding, Most Inspirational, and Most Improved players.

The 6th grade orchestra will be performing the following pieces: “Bows on the Bus,” “The Charming Snake,” “Rhythm and Blues,” and “Mari’s Wedding.” The Advanced 7th & 8th grade orchestra will be performing “Plink, Plank, Plunk,” “Ashokan Farewell,” and “The Young Prince and Princess.” The combined 6th/7th/8th grade Orchestra will play “Fiddlin’ With the Classics.” We will perform the full orchestra piece, “The Barber of Seville” with the brass, woodwinds, and percussion from the band with our 7th/8th grade Advanced Orchestra at this final concert.

We have had a wonderful year of string playing this year and we look forward to seeing all family and friends of orchestra students at this final concert.

Related Arts

What's Cookin' in Home Ec?

Lacy Street

This month in Home Ec the students will be learning about nutrition, advertisements and careers.

All this learning will make them hungry; so every Friday there will be a cooking lab! The students will learn to make different food items that range from pancakes to ramen noodle stir- fry. They will also learn how to wash dishes and how to cleanup the cooking lab properly.

There is a one time cooking lab fee for this class: $10.00 for students who are in 6th and 7th Grade and $15.00 for students in 8th Grade.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lacey Street at

Speech & Drama

Matthew McCormick

After spending a few weeks practicing the art of pantomime, Speech and Drama students turned their attention to their voices. They recited nursery rhymes as macho men, rock stars, and three-year-olds, created characters for a daytime talk show, and wrote and performed a radio play podcast. This month, students will combine their voices and their bodies to write and act out scenes. We'll finish our class by filming iMovie trailers for movies that come from students' imaginations.

Shop Talk

John Schumaker

Here’s what’s been going in Wood Shop in the past month…..

6th Graders finished their skills project and are beginning to build their napkin holders.

7th graders completed their Triangle-Golf Tee game and are starting to construct tool boxes.

8th graders built Cedar boxes and began framing up Jewelry holders.

I hope everybody has enjoyed wood shop this year, have a great summer and see you next fall.

- Mr. Shoe


Scott Hansen

The latest collection of student art from around the district just went up at the Borough Office Building. North Pole Middle School will be represented by the work of eight 7th graders and two 6th graders so if you are in the Borough Building look for work from NPMS artists. There was also a display of Expressive Color Portraits up at the School District Administrative Office Building and visitors made lots of positive comments.

Fourth Quarter Art Classes all submitted designs for the Library Web Page Banner Design and I will display all entries in the display cases sometime this month.

7th Grade Computers

Jenny Long

This month we will continue with building our keyboarding skills, which will be practiced daily in class. We will spend a few days on Internet Safety, Cyberbullying and Digital Citizenship. Then we will finish the year working with both Microsoft Excel and Word.

8th Grade Computers

Jenny Long

This month we will continue with building our keyboarding skills, which will be practiced daily in class. We are going to finish the year with a multi application project where the students will showcase skills they have learned over the quarter, and through previous computer classes if taken at NPM.

World Languages

Mirjam Caster

After successfully learning to discuss sports, animals and numbers in French, the students are now learning to converse in Spanish. They are learning greetings, colors and are finding out where Spanish is spoken. We will conclude the quarter with a story project. The students will write a short Spanish story, which they will then illustrate. This will give them a beautiful picture book to share with family and friends. ¡Hasta luego!

Library Snapshot

Library Activities Report

Check out what the library has to offer by reading our monthly activities report at

Yearbook Distribution

The yearbooks will be distributed to 8th graders after the 8th Grade Celebration on May 22nd. The 6th and 7th Graders will get their yearbooks at the Social on the last day of school. This year pens will be sold for students to sign each other’s yearbooks. If your child will be leaving school early please contact Mrs. Long about getting their yearbook before they leave.


Yearbook Club

Jenny Long

The Yearbooks will arrive at school in early May. Special meetings will be called for Yearbook Club members who helped with the final building of the pages. These students will get a sneak peak at the yearbook and will help organize the distribution of the yearbooks. Last month we had a party to celebrate all of the hard work and dedication that went into putting the yearbook together.

The following students showed the greatest commitment to the Yearbook Club by attending more than 12 meetings and/or taking pictures for the yearbook. Thanks for the dedication and great work!

Halee Howe, Sierra Shurr, Katherine Spencer, Victoria McGovern, Anna Configliacco, Katie Gearhart, Lilli Miller, Yvonne Bishop, Isabelle Blake, Katlyn Henson, Kira Graham, Austin Stewart and Shaelee Wharton

Washington D.C. Close Up Program

Barbara Nore

The students and adults that participated in the Washington, D.C. Close Up Program from April 12-21, 2013 had a wonderful time. They visited numerous national monuments and historical museums which included Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mt. Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, as well as Washington, D.C. It was an exciting and educational experience for all attendees. The students that participated this year were the following: Briana Kurzenberger, Brittany Narow, and Eryn Tanner. Many thanks to Mr. Justin Earl who also participated and chaperoned with Mrs. Barbara Nore.

Even though we are still visiting in Washington, D.C., our participating students would like to share their experiences with all of you:

Brittany Narow

My trip to Washington, DC with Briana, Eryn, Justin Earl, and Mrs. Nore was amazing! We saw so many places. The White House for example was a lot smaller than portrayed in movies. We saw the Liberty Bell, Mt. Vernon, which is George Washington’s House, Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, to name just a few. We also saw where John Adams became President. I had the greatest time going and seeing all of the monuments and sights. The weather, though, was SO HOT and HUMID. Everyone was surprised that Alaskans still had snow. I had a great time and hope to back again some day.

Eryn Tanner

Washington, DC was a lot of fun! We visited many monuments. There was a lot of scafolding on the Washington Monument because of the earthquake that happened in August of 2011. My favorite thing that we saw was the Washington National Cathedral. The tour was so amazing, because you learned a lot about the architecture and how the stained glass windows each meant something different. Even if you weren’t religious it was still fun to learn about the history of the national cathedral and who is buried there. The weather was extremely hot; when we went to Philadelphia we had nice weather, but when we went to Willaimsburg and Jamestown the weather was sooooooooooo HOT! I thought I was going to die. The temperature got to be 85 degrees Farenheit with a limited amount of shade. We also visited the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. We got to ride the Metro, Amtrak, and a subway in Philadelphia. It was awesome. The food was very different from what we eat, and the culture and architecture was different, too. The city is so large and people are always walking along the streets. We were really close to the White House during the White House Garden Tour. There was a lot of security and they got really “antsy” when people got too close to the grass. Mrs. Nore likes to walk really fast! We met kids from different parts of the United States. The only thing that was hard was that we were going nonstop from morning until night. We literally woke up at 7:00 a.m., ate breakfast, traveled to the monuments, returned to the hotel for workshop until 10:00 p.m. and then finally returned to our rooms for sleep at that time. I wish I could do this trip again, but I cannot wait to cool off where I belong in Alaska.

Briana Kurzenberger

My trip to Washington, D.C. was one of the best trips I have ever taken to learn about our nation’s history. My Close Up group toured many of the historic sites such as: the WWII Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and so many more.

On the trip we met many people from all over the states. Along with Alaska, the other states on our Close Up program were Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Oregon. No matter where you come from, everyone just seems to be very welcoming and you become instant friends.

At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I found the name of my Great Uncle and I took many pictures, sent them to family, and did a rubbing of his name on the wall. It is a really emotional experience to have a family member up on the Vietnam Wall, even if you have never met them in person.

We visited one of the Senate Office buildings and visited some of the senators from our group members states. We will visit Senator Murkowski’s office, too. During an evening workshop we all put on a “Mock Congress” and got our first taste of what government is like in the real world.

Along with Oregon, and Louisiana, we visited Jamestown and Williamsburg. Both places we visited were what you would call a “living” museum. It was a very amazing experience to see people reenacting how life would have been back then and just going all out with their roles as people from that time period.

By the time we returned to our hotel, we were all pretty exhausted, but one feeling that was mutual between every Close Up student on program was the feeling of sadness. Over the past 4 days, we have made friends with so many people from every state and nobody is ready to part with these new found bonds of friendship.

Washington, D.C. Close Up is a great experience that I believe should be taking way more students than just three. This is definitely not an opportunity all you soon to be 7th and 8th graders should miss out on. Mrs. Nore is a great teacher to travel with, so don’t worry, she doesn’t bite. J I hope to one day return to D.C. and do another tour like this one.

Now is the time to plan for next year’s CLOSE UP PROGRAM.

The Close Up programs next year (depending on funding and permission for out-of-state and out-of-district travel) will probably be one week in April 2014 to Washington, D.C. and one week in late January 2014 or the first week in February 2014 to Juneau, Alaska. Program cost are usually $2500.00 for airfare and all accommodations for the Washington, D.C. program. The Program costs for the Juneau program will be about $1300.00. Next year 8th graders will be permitted to attend one or both of the Close Up programs and 7th graders will be invited to attend the Juneau Close Up program. If you would like more information, please contact Mrs. Barbara Nore at NPMS 488-2271, ext. 9125. We have fund raising ideas that you can start on now and continue through the summer to help pay for your trip to our state or nation’s capital cities.


8th Grade Celebration

Wednesday, May 22nd 2013 at 6:30pm

300 East 8th Avenue

North Pole, AK

In the Gymnasium

7th Grade Varsity Volleyball

Tuesday, April 30th 2013 at 12am to Thursday, May 2nd 2013 at 12am

951 Airport Way

Fairbanks, AK

8th Grade Varsity Volleyball

Tuesday, April 30th 2013 at 12am to Thursday, May 2nd 2013 at 12am

600 Trainor Gate Road

Fairbanks, AK

Boys Volleyball

Tuesday, April 30th 2013 at 12am to Thursday, May 2nd 2013 at 12am

1401 Bainbridge Boulevard

Fairbanks, AK

Junior Varsity Volleyball Tournament

Tuesday, April 30th 2013 at 12am to Thursday, May 2nd 2013 at 12am

300 East 8th Avenue

North Pole, AK

Orchestra Concert

Thursday, May 9th 2013 at 7pm

601 North Pole High School Boulevard

North Pole, AK

In NPHS Oehring Auditorium

Early Dismissal

Tuesday, May 21st 2013 at 1pm to Thursday, May 23rd 2013 at 1pm

300 East 8th Avenue

North Pole, AK

8th Grade Celebration

Wednesday, May 22nd 2013 at 6:30pm

300 East 8th Avenue

North Pole, AK

@ NPMS in Gym

8th Grade Celebration Video For Sale:

Every year a video is produced for the 8th Grade Celebration. There are always requests from families to be able to purchase the video. In the past this has not been possible because the video is made with songs the students request and recommend, and it becomes a copyright issue. This year we will have two versions. The one that will be played during the ceremony will have songs the students request and recommend, and the version for sale will be made with the same pictures and video, but with copyright free music.

The video can be preordered for $10 by contacting Mrs. Long via email at or can be purchased the night of the 8th Grade Celebration for $15. Funds raised will be used to support the Computer Classes at NPM.


Thursday, May 23rd 2013 at 1pm

300 East 8th Avenue

North Pole, AK


  • NPMS 5th Grade Transition Night May 6 at 6:30
  • Staff Appreciation Week
    • Coffee for all staff
    • Taco bar lunch May 8th (we will need specific items to be brought in by parents)
    • End of week deserts May 10th (we would like up to 10 volunteers to bring in a desert item)
  • 8th grade Celebration May 22nd at 6:30
  • Final PTA meeting of the year May 20th at 6:30

We could use help with any of the above events, please look for email communications from the school regarding specifics. If you would like more info please email me at ,or call or text me on my cell at 347-8266.

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