Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 8, March 2023

Principal's Corner

Homer High is known for academic excellence, but also excels in sports, leadership and other activities. Many HHS teachers, staff members, coaches and parents have worked very hard to improve our sports teams over the years and we have gotten results. HHS has earned 11 state championships in several sports over the past 10 years, including a football state championship this year. Of course, winning a state championship is not the goal or the standard for running a quality program, but it is one criteria for a good sports program.

That being said, Homer High School is about much more than sports programs. HHS students earn awards and excel in a wide variety of activities. For example, a team of four Homer High students earned second place (for small schools) in at the state-wide DDF tournament this past weekend. Our foreign exchange student, Bibo, earned second place in state in informational speeches and Zach Marley earned 3rd in debate. These students go to practices, prepare and perform in front of crowds. Incredible art is being created daily, and the choirs and bands often perform for the community and brighten the world with their music.

Many students are working hard, learning and excelling in a wide variety of sports, activities and competitions. I try to showcase as much as possible in our newsletter and also on Facebook. lf you have photos of activities your child participates in, please send them my way. I love to highlight what our students are doing (no guarantee everything will get in, but I still enjoy hearing about our students being active and successful!)

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




Big picture

Mariners On the Move

Each Homer High faculty member selects one outstanding student per year based on scholarship and character. Honorees, their families and the nominating teachers attended a March 1st celebration. Winter winners were (left to right):

  • Faith Latham – nominated by Sarah Boss
  • Coleman Stephens – nominated by Jan Spurkland
  • Luke Hanson – nominated by Justin Zank
  • Ethan Rodasti – nominated by Lucas Parsley
  • Tait Ostrom – nominated by Gia Baker
  • Autumn Jones – nominated by Mike Tozzo
  • Charles Van Meter – nominated by Kyle Schneider
  • Hannah Stonorov – nominated by Chad Felice
  • Marilyn Brewer-Cote – nominated by Annie Raatz

Big picture

Boys Nordic Ski Earn 1st Place - Girls Earn 2nd

The HHS Nordic Ski team finished another great season. The boys earned 1st place and the girls earned 2nd for small schools at the state meet. Skiers compete over 3 days and they combine each athletes' times to determine the winner. The first day the girls raced a 5K and the boys race a 7.5K classical race. The second day the girls skated 7.5K and the boys skated 10K. The third day consists of team relays.

Race Overall Results (state-wide, not small schools)


  • Garrett Briscoe - 27th
  • Jody Goodrich - 35th
  • Ethan Styvar - 36th
  • Seamus McDonough - 51st
  • Johannes Bynagle - 63rd
  • Leif Jaworski 76th


  • Daisy Walker - 42nd
  • Erin Fields - 47th
  • McKenna Black - 83rd
  • Beatrix McDonough - 86th
  • Leah Dunn - 89th

Boys Nordic Ski State Mass start

State Nordic Ski Mass Start 2023
Big picture
Big picture

Mayor Candidate Forum was a Success

Homer High School Students in the Elections and Civics Club hosted a mayoral candidate forum. Students asked pre-screened questions to each of the four candidates running. All social studies classes generated over 180 questions. Students were able to provide input and select the 20 questions for the forum. Each candidate got 1 minute to answer each question and were able to make opening and closing statements. Overall it was a great experience for the candidates, our students and the Civics club.

Thea Pearson, Spencer Co and Clark Milstead organized the forum with the help form Lucas Parsley, one of our social studies teachers.

You can read more about this event in the Homer News linked below.


3/2: Homer High & Homer Middle combined Band Concert 7:00pm

3/3: Homer College, Career and Job Fair at UAA KBC

3/3: Basketball games vs Houston; Cteam girls 2:00, JV girls 3:00, JV boys 4:30, Varsity girls 6:00, Varsity boys 7:30pm

3/9: Spring Sports Practice starts

3/9: Early Release Day @ 2:20pm

3/10: Teacher in-service day/no school for students

3/13-17: Spring Break-no school

3/24: HHS School Musical Performance “Newsies” 3:00pm

3/24: HHS School Musical Performance “Newsies” 7:00pm

3/25: HHS School Musical Performance “Newsies” 7:00pm

3/30: Lil Mariners Cheer Show 6:30pm

3/31: Boys soccer Jamboree vs Kenai High 4:00pm

Big picture

DDF Earns 3rd Place at State

Our DDF team has excelled this year. Even though we are a small school, we earned 3rd place in the state against schools 4 times the size of HHS. (DDF stands for Drama, Debate and Forensics). Events include pantomime, speech, debate, duet acting, readers theater and much more. This year we had 15 students compete at the state tournament held at East High School.


  • 2nd place - Bbo (Mohamed Loukil) - Informative Speaking
  • 3rd Place - Marina Co and Logan Dias - Pantomime
  • 3rd Place - Raiden Skorski-O'Donnell - Dramatic Interpretation
  • 3rd Place - Zachary Marley - Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • 5th Place - Thomas Finn Spitler - Humorous Interpretation
  • 7th Place - Bibo (Mohamed Loukil) - Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

Anna and Ella Perfom the Duo Interpretation at State DDF

Big picture

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!

Big picture

Battle of the Books Places 2nd at State

Battle of the Books is a competition where students read and study 10 books and then are quizzed on the details of the books in a series of competitions against other schools. The Homer Battle of the Books team won their district competition and then went to the state competition. Ainsley Boss-Harmon, Katie Hallam, Sameah McGhee, and Taylor Stepp competed against 20 other teams at state representing 20 different school districts.

After answering 80 questions and getting very few wrong, the Homer team came in second in state, missing first place by only one or two questions. The team worked together and proudly represented Homer High School and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Japan Sister City Club at HHS

Big picture
Big picture

Japan Sister City Club

In the past two years our school has become more involved in the Japan-Alaska Sister City Program. Mrs. Brege has been the coordinator of connecting the youth with our sister city, Teshio Town, and meeting with a local Japanese teacher, Megumi Beams. Recently, the high school students in Teshio conducted two live zoom English classes with Homer Students.

Teshio and Homer were paired as Sister Cities because of their similar climates and cultures. We have several students that have been participating in this program and hope to involve more students and have interactions with our Japanese counterparts and sharing of information. Through the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage there have been International Conferences and Online Youth Forums where students and people of all ages can share cultures and ideas in order to connect with each other.

The program has also offered competitions where students can create informative video or photo-essay presentations to share information on their town. They offer prizes for the presentations that range from gaming chairs, drones, VR headsets, and high quality cameras. We would be excited to have more students participate in the next few years.

Written by Alexandria Sweeney

Big picture
Big picture

Mainer Boot Award

Every month an employee of HHS is awarded the Mariner Boot Award from the previous month winner. This month we are honoring our most awesome lunch lady BROOKE!
Big picture
Big picture

Counselor Corner

Induction Ceremony

Congratulations to Ainsley Boss-Harmon, Bibo Loukil, and Brightly Thoning for being inducted into the HHS chapter of National Honor Society. NHS is a nation-wide organization for high school students dedicated to service, scholarship, leadership, and character. The HHS chapter started in 1978. 10th-12th grade students with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher will be invited to apply in Fall, 2023.

Peer Tutoring

Whether to get a grade up to passing, or to improve one’s understanding in order to get a B to an A, the members of the HHS National Honor Society want to help their fellow Mariners. Interested students simply fill out this Google Form and indicate if they’d prefer meeting up during FOL on Tuesdays or on Wednesdays. We’ll reply to to set up a meeting time. https://forms.gle/XQHQfcsxHb29ozLLA

Scholarship for JUNIORS

The vast majority of scholarship opportunities are geared towards graduating seniors (See past newsletters and the Jan. 13, 2023 email from Paul Story.). However, this scholarship is designated for high school juniors!

OneStop Scholarship Database

The KPBSD OneStop Scholarship page lists many local scholarships for seniors, as well as other contests and programs open to 9th-11th graders. December and January are the months when the listing of such opportunities starts to really take off. Check back often, as new opportunities will continue to appear through March and even April!

The Homer Foundation is the organization that administers the most local scholarships, and it recently listed the 14 scholarships they administer on the OneStop site. Most are due March 24, 2023, but applying soon presents a great opportunity for seniors to get their scholarship materials in order for other applications, too. Most have similar requirements: personal and financial statements, letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, etc.

Big picture

HHS Art Corner

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

HHS Art Showcase

Students in 3D art recently completed their wire movement sculptures. They prepared for the project by gesture drawing, interpreting art, learning about wire, and practicing wire joining techniques. Students then chose a subject that they thought would capture movement in a still pose. To create the sculptures they started with a simple armature, then added form and structure with wire supports, and finally they added details including any mixed media of their choosing.

Winter | Facebook

HHS Lil Cheer Squad

The Winter Carnival parade was absolutely fabulous!!! What an awesome display of community talent and the ability to come together as a community. Homer’s LiL Mariners came and showed out! They did fabulous in their performance of Roar.

We had 16 Littles join the Homer High School Mariner Cheer squad in the parade to celebrate, coming out of hibernation as we look towards spring.

Cheer Coach Winter Allen

Big picture

10,000 Joys and 10,000 Sorrows

Mental Health Wellness

Parents do so much for their kids –provide a warm house, food, love, transportation to activities and then the teen years start. They need us more than ever in this last stage of childhood. When you think about the amazing emotional, brain and physical development that happen with teens, I think of the phrase, “ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows.” For teens, this can happen in a day.

It is normal for teens to have emotions all over the board. There are several things that can help a teen reset and anchor themselves. One or more solid adults in a teen’s life are of the upmost importance to help reset: parents, guardians, teachers and other school staff, youth leaders, coaches. We are all the rocks that teens can rely on to see that hard things happen, hard emotions happen, but you make it through them.

Let’s start with the basics by taking care of your body. Anyone can start feeling better by getting a good night sleep, taking a shower, eating whole foods that include fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins, and moving your body.

Another layer of mental wellness is connecting to other people. There are a lot of ways for your teen to connect to others: being the stage manager for the spring musical, being a manager of a spring sports team, being on a team, volunteering at the animal shelter, getting a job, joining a youth group at your church, stopping by the Rec Room. We know taking a voluntary break from social media decreases feelings of worry and anxiety and gives you time to do something you really enjoy or time to hang out in person with someone.

Another aspect of wellness is helping your teen learn to recognize emotions and stressors before they are overwhelmed by them. Maybe your teen is trying to figure out how to break up with someone, improve their grades, or ask someone to a dance and they are having hard emotions about it. By stopping and recognizing what you are feeling (worried/sad/angry), you begin to see that you are human and just experiencing an emotion. You can be aware of the emotion, accept it and see where you are feeling it in your body. With a few minutes of stopping and breathing into the place in your body you feel it, it eases. In a few hours, a day, or week, there is a good chance this feeling will have completely eased.

The last thing that a parent or guardian might do is to find a way to play with your teen. Maybe you snow machine together, play ping pong, pick out toys for your dog, make pizza together, play card games or board games with them, plan a vacation together, do a puzzle. When we play with people we love, it builds strong attachments and lets a teen know they are important to you.

Teens are in an amazing life stage an mental health wellness is essential. Helping them keep their bodies healthy, staying connected to them, and helping them identify and show up for hard emotions can help them thrive, survive, and ease this time.

Nurse Gorman

Big picture

HHS Earns AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award


Your school, Homer High School, has earned the College Board's AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to AP Computer Science Principles (CSP). This award acknowledges 1,105 schools for their work toward equal gender representation during the 2021-22 school year. Yours is one of only 832 schools to be recognized for achieving this important result in AP CSP.

You can read more about this in the Homer News at: