Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 8, ISSUE 6, March 2020

Principal's Message

We are only one quarter away from the end of the year and graduation. Many students already know what they want to do once they graduate, but some students are still figuring it out. It is not too late to start making plans for what is next.

Many students are planning on going to college, but there are many great opportunities and careers in the technical fields. In fact, there is training for technical programs through AVTEC, KBC and many other institutions in Alaska. Apprenticeships can be a great way to get training while getting paid. Many affordable training opportunities are out there that take from 6 months to 2 years to complete, and the starting pay is great. Careers range from electrician, plumbing, refrigeration and much more. While there is some cost for this training it is much cheaper than going to college and can be paid back quickly. Students can also find financial aid and scholarships to help pay for this training.

If you have any questions about any of these opportunities, please contact your child's counselor.

College can be expensive, but there are ways your child can get an affordable education at a quality school. If you are a family that earnings less than $75,000 a year, many private colleges will pay for most, if not all, tuition. The challenge is that the student has to have good grades (3.75 or higher) and get admitted to the institution. Besides great grades, they need to participate in a number of extracurricular activities, take part in community service and meet all the college's requirements. However, once they are in, most costs are paid for. Some of the universities that are supportive of lower income students include Swarthmore and Whitman, among others.

I would love to hear from you about any suggestions or areas that you would like to see improved at HHS. Give me a call at 907-235-4600 or email me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.org.


Douglas Waclawski


Prudential Spirit of Community Award

Congratulations to Sophie Morin on earning Honorable Mention for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for being in the top 10% of submissions. She has completed so many community service hours that she qualifies to apply for a scholarship. Great work, Sophie. We are proud of you!
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School Year 2020-21 Course Registration

Mrs. Hampson and Mr. Story have been presenting in classrooms to review graduation requirements and to collect course requests for next school year. This is an important step in building our school’s master schedule. If we have an accurate picture of what classes students want, we will do our best to match our offerings to those requests. Please review the following information, talk to your student, and as always, feel free to contact the counseling office with questions.

Our course offerings and linked descriptions are available on the right-hand menu of the Homer High web site: https://homerhighschool.blogs.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/

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Hockey Wins State for First Time in School History!

Hockey won the Division II Hockey Championship by beating SOHI 4-1 in the championship match in Fairbanks in February. This is the first State Hockey Championship in HHS history. Great work Mariners!

To read more about this historic event, follow the link below to the ADN's article on the State Championship.


AP Testing for 2020


The College Board dictates when we offer tests (date and time). They are very strict about sticking to the schedule. All tests are to be proctored at Kachemak Bay Campus and students must be in the testing room with the door shut by 8:00 am.

Week 1

  • Tuesday, May 5--Calculus AB
  • Wednesday, May 6—English Literature
  • Friday, May 8—US History

Week 2—

  • Monday, May 11—Biology
  • Thursday, May 14--World History
  • Friday, May 15—Computer Principles

Each AP test is $94. Some students have put a required $50 deposit and others have paid the fee in full. The total fee is due by April 27.

*Students who qualify for Migrant Ed. can be reimbursed. Call the school if you have questions.

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Mariners On the Move

Each Homer High School faculty member selects one outstanding student per year based on scholarship and character. Honorees, their families and the nominating teachers attended a February 20th celebration in the HHS Library. Third quarter recipients were (pictured left to right):

• Joel Manwiller – nominated by Mr. Simondsen
• Sameah McGhee – nominated by Ms. McCutcheon
• Zach Condon – nominated by Mr. Felice
• Olivia Etzwiler – nominated by Mrs. Hudson
• Chris Landess – nominated by Mr. Spurkland
• Mya Betts – nominated by Mrs. Nelson
• Skyler Rodriguez – nominated by Mrs. Lowe
• Lilly Smith (not pictured) – nominated by Mr. Waclawski

Dates To Remember

Mar 2 - Freshman Basketball vs Kenai: Girls 4:00, Boys 5:30

Mar 6 - No School Inservice Day/End of Quarter 3

Mar 3 - HHS Site Council Meeting 4:00 pm in the HHS Library

Mar 9-13 - No School Spring Break

Mar 17 - Boys Soccer Parent Meeting 5:30

Mar 18 - Early Release School Dismissed at 2:15

Mar 20 - College/Career Fair at Kenai Peninsula College

Mar 20 - School Musical: Back to the 80's in HHS theater 7:00

Mar 21 - School Musical: Back to the 80's in HHS theater 3:00 and 7:00

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DDF Rocks at State

Join us in celebrating our students' AWESOME 2020 DDF State Tournament results in Juneau. Not only did they perform well, but they represented HHS well at the tournament and during their visit to the State Legislature! Here are the official individual and team awards:

Individual Awards

  • 3rd place Dramatic Interpretation - Seneca Roach
  • 4th place Duo - Asa Panarelli and Anthony Melkomukov
  • 5th place Duet - Larry Dunn and Asa Panarelli
  • Quarterfinalist in Lincoln Douglas Debate – Larry Dunn (and 3rd place speaker points)

Homer High School Team Awards

  • 2nd place in Forensics for Division II schools
  • 3rd place in Debate for Division II schools

A big shout out to our coaches Marjorie Dunn and Steve Panarelli for their commitment to our students!

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Food Sharing at HHS

HHS is starting a food sharing program. It is really a simple concept. Students sometimes have good food that they don't want, don't like and won't eat, so why not share it with someone would gladly eat it? If students don't want or won't eat food that is in closed, clean packaging, they can donate it to a Food Share box. This keeps good food out of the trash and hopefully in a hungry belly. Any student who is hungry or wants a snack can go to that same box and take what they want.

This is totally voluntary and open to our entire school. Hopefully, this will both help our students and reduce waste.


Scholarship and admission deadlines are coming and going every week. It's time to get out your calendars, make a spreadsheet, or otherwise get organized so you can set your priorities and avoid missing a school deadline or a scholarship of interest.

Scholarship searches abound on the internet to the point where it can be overwhelming. The two best resources for financial aid are the FAFSA and the KPBSD OneStop scholarship database (https://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/OneStop/Scholarships.aspx). This site lists scholarships that have been vetted by KPBSD counselors in an attempt to highlight those regularly won by our district’s students, including state and local awards. The vast majority of scholarship money comes directly from the school to which a student matriculates.

Some schools integrate their scholarship application with their admissions application. Others have a separate scholarship application. If you’re not sure or if you just want to verify if a college is considering you for all institutional scholarships for which you are eligible, visit the school’s web site, or better yet, call their financial aid office.

Caps and Gowns: Remember that graduates do not need to order their own commencement regalia. We have ordered everything needed for the graduation ceremony. Seniors can now pay $51 to pick up their caps, gowns, stoles and tassels at the Counseling Office

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SAT & ACT Dates

College-bound students are recommended to take both the ACT and SAT if possible because some students perform better on one than the other and most universities take students’ best score. Students whose family income qualifies them for free or reduced lunch can get a fee waiver from the counseling office.

Juniors who need to take these tests should consider these dates and put them on their calendars now. Otherwise, busy lives tend to roll along and they may finish the eleventh grade without having tested, which is not good for a college-bound student.

Seniors should generally finish testing by December.

Remaining 2019-2020 Test Dates at HHS (all Saturdays beginning at 8 am)

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HHS Student Aspires To Compete at International Level

Angelica Haakenson participated in the first race of the 2020 US Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Championships this year. She raced one lap of the two-lap 5k races to gain experience in a big venue, and she was super strong, racing side by side with Oksana Masters.

She obtained her official IPC classification which will allow her to compete on an international level. She was also able to race in a sprint championship before returning home.

Thank you for Chantrelle who was able to take the time to accompany Angelica on this trip and coach her during her first big competition.

Greetings from the Counseling Department!

Spring Break Opportunity

Check out the following link to learn more about 3-day underwater R.O.V. workshop March 9-11, 2020 sponsored by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. Students who complete the project earn a $200 stipend! Spring Break R.O.V. Workshop

Want to host an exchange student?

Shawna Busey of the Council on International Educational Exchange is looking for interested Kenai Peninsula families to host students for a full year or a few months beginning in August. You can visit www.ciee.org/host or contact Shawna for more information (sbusey@ciee.org or (253) 273-8453).

Financial Aid for college, trade school, and more

We belong to a very generous community which digs to deep to financially support our graduates moving on to post-secondary opportunities. Application deadlines for these awards generally run between now and early April. Here are some good resources for the process:

· KPBSD OneStop Scholarship Database – Listed by due date, this resource advertises the local and state-wide (sometimes national) awards that HHS and KPBSD students have received relatively routinely over the years. Most listings are for seniors attending college or trade school next year, some being general and some specifically for students in a particular field or coming from a specific background. However, there are also awards for other grade levels and situations, like 9th though 12th grade essay contests and 9th through 11th graders seeking to fund “a beyond-the-ordinary” experience.

· Homer Foundation Scholarships and Alaska Community Foundation Scholarships – The former is also listed on OneStop. Both foundations have excellent opportunities to fund post-secondary education. HF scholarships are all due April 9, 2020. ACF scholarship due dates vary.

· Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – Every student considering post-secondary education next year should file the FAFSA with their parents/guardians. It is the only way to qualify for the Alaska Performance Scholarship, and for federal and state aid.

More and more scholarships are posted each week, and hard copies are available in the counseling office.


While it may seem a little early to be thinking about classes for next year, planning requires considerable time so that students and their families have ample time to discuss options and make graduation plans. The choices that students make will shape the schedule and determine which classes are offered so it is very important that students take their decisions seriously. If students don’t indicate interest in a class, it may not be offered so that deciding later to take it may not be an option.

In order to create a workable schedule, counselors will be visiting classes at the end of February to present students with possible choices of classes. If parents and guardians would like to meet with their student’s counselor to discuss plans and get a long-range idea of how to reach graduation, please feel free to call and set up an appointment. Counselors welcome the opportunity to sit down with families who may not be clear about the possible pathways open to their students.

Lin Hampson, Counselor for 9th and 10th lhampson@kpbsd.k12.ak.us

Paul Story, Counselor for incoming freshmen and current juniors pstory@kpbsd.k12.ak.us


Those college bound sophomores who want a chance to prepare for next year’s PSAT should sign up for this test. It will be given on April 15 at HHS. Due to limited space, this test will be given only to 10th graders. Freshmen will have the opportunity to test next year.

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Homer College Career Job Fair

Wondering about your future career choices, need a job, want information for training and education? Mark your calendar for Friday, March 20th for the Homer College Career Job Fair, 10 am – 2 pm at the University of Alaska – Kachemak Bay Campus. It is free and open to the public!

  • Bring copies of your resume and dress for potential interviews.
  • Meet a variety of employers, training providers, and college advisors.
  • Learn about financing college, building credit, and establishing good banking habits.
  • Explore training opportunities including scholarship review, mock interviews, and soft skill techniques.
  • Discover Alaska’s high growth jobs and other career information.

The following specific career paths will be represented at this unique event: Job Corp, Marine Industries, Welding, Science, Technology, Human Services, Healthcare, Engineering, Education, Corrections, and more.

Students will be excused from class to attend the fair. They will walk to and from the campus with classes that day.

If you have questions contact the high school counseling office staff (907) 235-4639 or the Homer Job Center at (907) 226-3040 option 1.

Gia Baker, Counseling Assistant and Career Guidance Liaison

Homer High School

600 East Fairview Avenue

Homer, AK 99603


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 that our students and staff are doing.

See you on Facebook!