Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 4, November 2022

Principal's Corner

We know that students today face challenges that they didn't have when we grew up. Technology is a powerful tool for learning and arranging our lives, but can also cause problems for many adolescents. Elsa Stringer in her article "5 Major Challenges Students Face in High School" states that anxiety and depression, bullying and sleep deprivation are three of the largest issues and they all revolve around smart phone use.

Smart phones and social media are large contributor to anxiety and depression. Elsa suggests that students ease off their phones if they are experiencing either of these conditions and that students should look for advice from professionals, not online feedback from strangers.

As much as we would like to think bullying is not as big a problem as it used to be, it may have gotten worse with online social networks. If you are being bullied, it is important to report it immediately to school officials, even it's not happening at school. Online bullying very often affects every aspect of a youth's life. Elsa suggests that if reporting online bullying doesn't work, ignoring them and blocking people online works.

Sleep deprivation is a major challenge for students today. Adolescents are super busy and naturally like to stay up late, which makes it have for them to get enough sleep. When you add video gaming and smart phones into the mix, sleep deprivation can become a daily issue. Sufficient sleep is essential for learning, and lack of sleep contributes to anxiety and depression. I suggest that students don't go to sleep with a phone in their room and and that you set a limit to video gaming each day.

You can read the entire article at https://demotix.com/major-challenges-students-face-in-high-school/.

If you have any suggestion or comments about these aspirations or have concerns about any other issues at HHS, please email me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.org, call at 907-235-4600 or set an appointment through Kristin Metz at that same number.

Positively yours,

Douglas Waclawski




Hockey Season Canceled

Mariner Families,

It is with sadness that Homer High School will have to cancel the 2022-23 hockey season. We currently do not have enough players to field a team. Our numbers from youth hockey are looking low for the next couple of years but we do plan on fielding a team next year.

We are sad to see the loss of a favorite Homer sport this season and hope the numbers and support are there next year to bring it back in full force.


Douglas Waclawski


11/1 - Halloween Costume Ball 6-10pm

11/2 - Picture retakes in commons

11/2 - Site Council meeting 4:10pm in library

11/5 - SAT Testing 8:00am in library

11/11 - Wrestling Round Robin Rumble 4:00pm

11/12 - Wrestling Round Robin Rumble 10:00am

11/18 - Lil Mariner Cheer Clinic 4:00pm in gym

11/19 - Neon Dance 8:00-11:00 pm in commons

11/24 - Thanksgiving Break / No school

11/25 - Thanksgiving Break / No school

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Homer High Students work on ETT I Training

Fourteen Homer High students are taking courses to get certified as a Emergency Technician I with Kachemak Emergency Services.
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Is your teen having a hard day or might this be depression?

It is normal to feel sad for anyone but the transition from childhood to adulthood can be a significant time of change. Taking on more responsibility, having more privileges, negotiating relationships, working, planning for life after high school—can be a wonderful time but also a sad time. If you are feeling low, how do you know if this is normal or more serious?

Signs and symptoms of depression in teens

  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits

What Can I Do to Feel Better?

When you are only having a hard day, you can probably jump start your mood: talk to a parent or friend, exercise, go outside, think of 3 things you are grateful for, sleep 7-9 hrs every night, do something you really enjoy–play or listen to music, cook a healthy meal you like, dance, plan a vacation, write down a happy memory, pet your dog–Do These Every Day.

However, when you are depressed, you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Maybe you can talk to a parent, another trusted adult–a teacher, school counselor, family member or school nurse. A counselor can help you discover ways to deal with depression in a healthy way. A doctor or nurse practitioner can discuss whether medication might help. Call your clinic and ask about seeing someone because you are concerned your child has depression. It is common for anxiety to also be part of depression.

Free 24 hr Alaskan Crisis Line: 988 or Free crisis text line: 839863 (Tues-Sat 3pm-11pm) and put in 4HELP as your first text—this is available to parents and students.

this information was taken from http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm

Nurse Gorman

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State Champions!

Homer High School just wont their first Football State Championship in school history 22-20 over Houston High School. The team shut down down Houston's powerful offense and our team's converted 2 point plays on two scores was the difference in the game. You can read about the victory in the Homer News link below.

Homer News

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Want To Know What is Going on At HHS? Follow Us On Facebook!

Lots is happening! Homer High School uses Facebook to communicate with students, parents and the community about events, emergencies, school closures, sporting events, and more. Go to facebook.com/HomerHS/ and follow us to stay up to date!

Counselor Corner

Career Aptitude Test coming to HHS

The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is designed for 10th -12th graders to help identify the kinds of jobs in which they show promise. While primarily used by and for the military, students without interest in the armed services sometimes take the test because it’s one of the few career assessments that tests aptitude, rather than just interest. Some of the subtests focus on non-academic areas like electronics, automotive, “shop info”, and mechanical comprehension.

The test will be administered in the HHS library Tue., Nov. 8 at 9am. Students who test will be responsible for making up work they missed in their 1st and 2nd period classes. To sign up, simply email pstory@kpbsd.k12.ak.us .

Seniors and their families

Please look back and read an Oct. 25 email from Desiree Smude about important graduation items. Senior parents/guardians, please consider volunteering to help make the graduation festivities special. See that email for more details.

OneStop for scholarships and contests

Remember that the first pots of financial aid money are the FAFSA and “institutional aid” (See October’s HHS newsletter for more info.), but don’t forget about the KPBSD OneStop Scholarship Database. It is the place to go for regional- and state-wide scholarships, essay contests with cash prizes, and more. Check back often as many more will be listed in the coming weeks and months! Here’s a small sample of what’s available now:

  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship – highly competitive national awards of up to $55,000 per year for high-achieving seniors with financial need – due Nov. 17
  • Webstaurant Scholarship – Two $5,000 awards for students pursuing culinary education or hospitality – due Dec. 1
  • Dell Scholars – 300 national awards of $20,000 for Pell Grant eligible (financial need) students – due Dec. 1
  • Barbara Lotze Scholarship for Future Teachers – 6 awards of $3,000 for seniors planning to teach high school physics – due Dec. 1
  • Hagan Scholarship - $12,000 per year scholarship for students from designated rural schools (including HHS) who are high achieving and demonstrate financial need – due Dec. 1
  • Alaska Community Foundation Scholarships – 46 awards due broadly between Jan. 20 and Mar. 17. - https://alaskacf.org/scholarships/
  • Sons of the American Revolution Essay Contest – Grades 9-12 can enter for state awards between $100 and $300 and national awards of up to $5,000

If you’re looking towards college, read this:

An acknowledged problem with college applications and admissions in our country is that there is an overemphasis on a relatively small number of elite, highly selective universities (think Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, etc.). This can cause high school students and their families undue stress and angst thinking that their “success” is somehow linked to gaining entrance to these schools. I think the following provides some important perspective.

· From Challenge Success:

  • The top-ranked 5% of colleges — according to rankings that are, as we have discussed, problematic — include over 200 institutions. Most college applicants and their families cannot name 200 colleges, and yet the differences between the top of the list and the 200th on the list — in terms of all the outcomes discussed in this paper — are minimal.

  • Rather than choosing a school based primarily on a flawed scoring system, students should ask whether they will be engaged at the college in ways that will allow them to form strong relationships with professors and mentors, apply their learning via internships and long-term projects, and find a sense of community.

  • Takeaways: Rankings are problematic. College selectivity is not a reliable predictor of student learning, job satisfaction or well-being. Engagement in college is more important than where you attend.

· Article “Find colleges that want you more than you want them”

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HHS Students Meet the Candidates

We want to thank our local candidates who participated in our Civics 101 Focus on Learning (FOL) presentations in October. Many students chose to attend open forums to meet the candidates and ask them questions. This was a great opportunity for HHS students to witness firsthand how our political process works. Students were able to meet Lisa Murkowski, Kelly Tshibaka, Ginger Bryant, Louis Flora and Sarah Vance.

Senior Yearbook Requests

Seniors! Always open emails from the yearbook class. These e-mails will include requests and deadlines. They will include requests for memories, quotes, and wills. In April, we will ask for five photos to be included in the graduation slide show.

HHS Yearbook Class

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SAT & ACT Dates

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Emotional Landscapes

The emotional landscapes completed by upper level art students combines representational places with emotional use of colors. Students learned about color psychology and made their own emotional color wheels. They brainstormed places they have been to and the emotions they felt in those places. After sketching various places, they chose one to paint in a larger scale. They sketched, blocked out main colors, and added tints, shades, tones, and textures to complete their finished landscapes.

Fruity in the Forest

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12 am by Olivia Etzweiler

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Intensity - Leah Dunn

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Restful Waves - Leah Dunn

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