Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4, December/January 2019

Principal's Message

It is that wonderful time of year for holiday cheer. It is also the time of year for the flu and other illnesses. In Anchorage, Rogers Park Elementary had 269 of the 506 students absent last Wednesday, along with 13 staff members. (Here is the link to the story. https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Rogers-Park-illness-worsens--565545821.html )

Before Thanksgiving, HHS had a small spike in both students who stayed home sick and sick students who came into school. While I am happy that we have such dedicated students who want to be in school even when they are sick, staying home and getting better is a priority over school. Keeping all students and staff healthy is important.

It is a tough line for parents to walk when it comes to sick children. If a student has a mild cold or a mild upset stomach, it may be okay to come to school. If a student has a fever, is throwing up, has flu symptoms or other severe symptoms, your child needs to stay home. If your child has a fever or is throwing up, they will be sent home by our school nurse.

I know many of our students are worried about getting behind, missing tests or just don't want to miss anything. Our students' health is more important than a missed test. A test can be made up. Every one of our teachers will work with your child to make up work. Many assignments are listed online. In addition, this is one of the main reasons we created FOL (Focus on Learning). We have a system in place to help students get caught up on work when they return to school.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people, especially children, may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may also be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.


Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/prevention.htm

Also there is an antiviral prescription med if you test for the right kind of flu. This is a clinic visit within the first 48 hrs of onset and can decrease the length and severity of influenza.

Our teachers, nurses and administration are all monitoring this closely. We are having our custodians spend more time cleaning desks, door knobs and railings using Clorox every day. We also suggest that students use hand sanitizer during the day. Of course, we can't do this without your help. Please watch your children carefully and don't send them to school if they are sick.

Thanks for your help with this.

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


Douglas Waclawski


Big picture

Mariners on the Move

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 November 21st celebration in the HHS Library. Second quarter winners were (pictured left to right):

  • Karl Wickstrom – nominated by Mrs. Reiske
  • Eddie Robinett – nominated by Ms. Ciccarone
  • Daisy Kettle – nominated by Mr. Smith
  • Sam Cary – nominated by Mrs. Hampson
  • Maddox Berg – nominated by Mr. Newsted
  • Catherine Conner – nominated by Mrs. Felice
  • Kelli Bishop – nominated by Ms. Bishop (no relation!)
  • Skyler Rodriguez (not pictured) – nominated by Mrs. Lowe

Help realize your dream: Funding for a “beyond-the-ordinary” activity

A local organization has availed funds to help 9th-11th grade HHS (or Flex) students to “facilitate a beyond-the-ordinary activity, program, or experience that fosters success and well-being by helping a student live his/her own wild dream while discovering the magic of our fantastic world.” This open-ended scholarship of up to $2000 could help finance anything from a unique summer trip to a class/workshop to a camp or really any other endeavor that meets its broad goal of an enriching a young life. The application is easy to complete and is available via the following link or the KPBSD OneStop scholarship database and is due March 13, 2020.

LFS Interim Scholarship Fund information and application

Vaping is Not Safe!

Please talk to your children about the dangers of vaping. Thousands of people have been hospitalized and several have died from vaping in the last month. It is not just in the Lower 48; many people are being hospitalized in Alaska from the effects of vaping.
Big picture

Homer Gives Back To The Community

Big picture

Art To Help the Community

Students created and donated bowls for the Empty Bowls Fundraising Lunch in order to raise money for the Homer Food Pantry and feed those in need. Thank you Brita Restad, Austin Shafford, Catherine Conner, Charlie Tappan, Isabella Fisk, and Haylee Owen for your creativity and generosity.

Big picture

Madison Story Wins State Swim Championship!!

Madison Story won the Individual Swim State Championship in the 200 IM. This is 26 years after her mother won an Individual State championship for Homer High School. Madison has had a great year including earning Swimmer of the Year in Region 3, a high honor in swimming.

The Mariner swim team finished the strongest they have in years by placing 5th at State with 44 points. Homer also finished 2nd in the 200 Medley Relay and 3rd in the 200 Free Relay.

Read the full story in the Peninsula Clarion at: https://www.peninsulaclarion.com/sports/state-swimming-story-ends-26-year-title-drought-for-homer-girls/?fbclid=IwAR13OGLrUBxh1Xb3biEo-_7npPzPWOWjoqrae2gF2oSaxkqQ4rkHElUo9MI

The swim picture above came from the Peninsula Clarion.

Big picture

Dates To Remember

Dec 3: Parent Basketball meeting in HHS Library 6:00

Dec 4: Basketball Practice starts

Dec 6: Hockey vs Juneau 7:00

Dec 7: Hockey vs Juneau 12:00

Dec 13 and 14: Kachemak Conference Wrestling Tournament

Dec 16: Winter Concert 7:00

Dec 19: Candlelight, Carols and Dessert 7:00

Dec 21-Jan 7: Winter Break

Jan 6: No school for students - In-service Day for teachers

Jan 7: School Resumes (Tuesday)

Jan 8: Semester 1 Grade Check

Jan 9: Hockey vs Palmer 7:00

Jan 10: Hockey vs Colony 7:00

Jan 11: Hockey vs Houston 12:00

Jan 11: Basketball vs Seward: Girls JV 12:30, Boys JV 2:00, Girls V 3:30 Boys V 5:00

Jan 15: Early Release Day--school out at 2:15

Jan 16: Hockey vs Sohi 7:00

Jan 25: C-team Basketball Vs Sohi Girls at noon, Boys at 1:30

Jan 25: JV Basketball vs CIA Girls at 3:00, Boys at 4:30

Jan 30: Hockey vs Tri-Valley 7:00

Jan 31: Cross Country Ski--Homer Invite: 1:00

Swing Choir Holiday Schedule

It’s that time of year. Over the course of the next three weeks, Swing Choir members will be out and about performing in our community. Each year, these students take time out of the school day and after school to preform for the public. Please come out and support them while being entertained by their skill and dedication.

12/2 – Noon Lunch – Homer Senior Center/Friendship Terrace #1

12/4 - FOL - South Peninsula Hospital/Long Term Care #1

12/5 - 5PM - Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting

12/7 - 1:00PM - Nutcracker Faire Performance #1

12/8 - 1:00PM - Nutcracker Faire Performance #2

12/10 - Noon and 5PM - Share the Spirit (Elks Downstairs)

12/11 - FOL - South Peninsula Hospital/Long Term Care #2

12/12 - Noon Lunch - Rotary Lunch Meeting (Best Western Bidarka Inn)

12/13 - 5PM - Bear Creek Garden Lights

12/14 –1:00PM – Procrastinator’s Fair (West Homer)

12/15 - 4PM - K-Bay Caffe Performance

12/16 - 7PM - HHS Winter Concert

12/17 - FOL - Safeway Performance

12/17 – 5:30PM - Rotary Dinner Meeting (Homer Public Library)

12/18 – 12:15 Lunch - HMS Lunch Performance

12/19 - 7PM - Candlelight, Carols, and Desserts


For Seniors, holiday time is also application time.

If you’re a 12th grader or a parent/guardian of one, Winter Break isn’t just for eating, recreating, and binge watching. It's also for applying to post-secondary schools (college and trade schools) and for applying for financial aid by filing the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov).

Scholarship and admission deadlines are coming and going every week. So get out your calendars, make a spreadsheet, or otherwise get organized so you can set your priorities and avoid missing a deadline for a school or for 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 apart from the aforementioned FAFSA are:

  • 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 within their admissions application. Others have a separate scholarship application. If you’re not sure or if you just want to verify 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 will order everything needed for the graduation ceremony. Seniors will then pay $51 to pick up their caps, gowns, stoles and tassels when they arrive for the second semester.

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)

Big picture
Big picture

DDF Excels at First Competition

Homer High Drama, Debate, and Forensics (DDF) rocked their November tournament at West High School in Anchorage!!!

Here are the results:

  • 2nd place Duet - Thea Person and Clara Stading (The Cheese Shop)
  • 3rd place Pantomime - Ben and Judah Rainwater (The Chair)
  • 2nd place Dramatic Interpretation - Iris Downey (Monet Refuses the Operation)
  • 3rd place Dramatic Interpretation - Eleanor Sweeney (The Ghost Ship)
  • 2nd place Reader’s Theater - Ben Rainwater, Judah Rainwater, Thea Person (War of the Worlds)
  • Command Performance in Reader’s Theater - Clara Stading, Indigo Sonneborn, Seneca Roach, and Iris Downey (The Stinky Cheese Man)
  • 3rd place Original Oration – Emma Flodin
  • Semifinalist Lincoln Douglas Debate – Larry Dunn (and 2nd place speaker points)

Hats off as well to our first time debaters - Emma Sulczynski, Jerry Bartel, and Ian Cambridge, and to our first time drama competitors Seth Hammond and Seneca Roach.

Greetings from the Counseling Department!

October PSAT results should be emailed to students December 10th. The email should also contain information on how to link your results with Khan Academy for personalized SAT practice. If you’d like help interpreting your scores and understanding what they mean, come visit the counseling office!

College-bound juniors, please remember to sign up for an SAT and/or ACT before the end of this school year. Registration deadlines are typically 4-5 weeks prior to the test date.

Big picture

Homer Volleyball Wins State!

Picture above from the Anchorage Daily News.


After 30 years the Mariner Volleyball team have won the State Championship again. The team had to play a lot of volleyball because they had to make it to the championship game through the losers bracket. They finished the championship by beating Kenai 3-2 in the championship game and then by beating them in a final 30 point set.

Many Mariners earned awards at the tournament.

Players of the Game:

  • Tonda Smude
  • Kelli Bishop
  • Marina Carroll

All Tournament Team:

  • Kelli Bishop
  • Laura Inama
  • Marina Carroll

Best Striker of Tournament:

  • Marina Carroll

Final Push to the End of the Semester!

Now through Christmas break is a very important academic period for students. Semester grades are part of their permanent records and only one of two opportunities during the year for HHS students to receive formal recognition for their hard work and diligence through their report card. We know that colleges and scholarship committees look seriously at GPA when making decisions. The important message here is for students to use these next few weeks to get themselves in the best academic situation possible.

Younger students sometimes have a difficult time seeing why grades are important when graduation is years down the road. We’re counting on the adults in their lives to help them see the importance of good grades for the kind of future you all picture, be it college, trade school or other training. For students who would benefit from additional help to improve their grades, there are several opportunities at HHS:

  • Before school study hall 8:00-9:00 am B102
  • FOL study hall in B102
  • Specific teachers offer help for their subject during FOL. Students need to sign up with teachers.


When students return in January, some will have new classes to attend. Academic classes are usually year-long but many electives end mid-semester. Most students have already selected their second semester schedule. If your student has not done so yet, he/she needs to come into the counseling office as soon as possible. Schedules will be viewable on Power School. Because the majority of academic classes are year-long, the changes should be few, and mostly limited to electives*.

*Psychology and CADCAM were not offered first semester but will happen in Spring Semester.

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 and staff are doing.

See you on Facebook!