Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 1, September 2018

Principal's Message

We have had another great start to the year. Sports have started and the data from last year looks awesome. I know that data can sometimes be boring, but I love it. At Homer High, the data continues to prove that HHS is one of the best schools in the state and country and I love to brag about it. We are a US News & World Report Silver Award Winner for the 9th year in a row which means we are in the top 5% of schools in the country. We continue to have high AP, PEAKS and SAT scores and our graduates continue to be accepted to some of the top colleges in the country. This year we have three past grads enrolled at MIT alone.

This year we will have another National Merit Scholar, (the official announcement will go out in September) and we have had 12 National Merit Semifinalists in the past 9 years. This is almost unheard of at a school our size. I haven't even mentioned sports accomplishments. Homer High had 14 individual state champions last year in a variety of sports. I don't know if that is a record, but it might be.

HHS had a very strong year in Career and Technical Education. We placed in four events at Skills USA including 1st place in public speaking. Our arts program continues to excel with a state champion in choir and a top three finish at the state art competition in sculpture.

I expect 2018-19 to be another great year. I can't wait to see what this year has to offer and see all the neat things our students will do. I hope everyone has a wonderful school year.

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


Douglas Waclawski


Dates To Remember

Sept 1 - Swim/Dive Triathalon 8:00 a.m.

Sept 4 - Site Council Meeting 4:00

Sept 7 - Cross Country Running Homer Invite 4:00

Sept 7 - Swim/Dive Homer Invite 5:00

Sept 8 - Swim/Dive Homer Invite 10:00

Sept 12 - Early Release Day--school gets out at 2:15

Sept 13 - Volleyball vs Kenai C-team 4:00, JV 5:00, Varsity 6:30


Sept 21 - Homecoming Bonfire 6:00

Sept 22 - Volleyball vs Seward C 11:00, JV 12:00, Varsity 1:30

Sept 22 - Homecoming Dance 8:00 p.m.

Sept 28 - Volleyball vs Redington C 4:00, JV 5:00, Varsity 6:30

Sept 29 - Volleyball vs Houston C 11:00, JV 12:00, Varsity 1:30

Results From Spring 2018 Parent Surveys

I want to thank everyone who filled out a parent survey last year. HHS staff and myself have been combing over the data looking for ways to improve. Our leadership team reviewed all of our data including parent survey information and created tentative school-wide goals. Our staff reviewed it and the Homer High Site Council will be reviewing it on September 4th. Below are some of the results.

The numbers show that parents feel their child is safe, their children are being challenged and most people like the 9:00 am start time. We need to work on reducing bullying and improving teacher-parent communication. This year we plan to emphasize the Green Dot program to reduce bullying and teachers will focus on keeping the grades up-to-date online in PowerSchool.

We received a lot of great information, but we don't have enough room to share it all here. Come to the the Site Council Meeting on September 4th at 4 pm in the high school library if you would like to hear more.

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Student Success Liaison

HHS now has a Student Success Liaison. Chad Felice was recently hired as our new SSL and will be in B-102. This room is open from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, (closed for lunch and 6th period). Students who have online classes, credit recovery or just have a free period can come into this room, work and get help. Chad will also be in charge of our Senior Service Program.

What can students do in B-102?

  • Use a computer
  • Work on an online class
  • Go there during a free period
  • Get their Senior Service project approved
  • Take a Polycom class
  • Make posters on large tables
  • Get help with a homework (tutoring)
  • Work on a credit recovery class

School Board Meeting In Homer

The KPBSD School Board Meeting will be in Homer on September 10, 2018 in the Mariner Theater starting at 6:00 pm. Homer High School hosts one meeting a year so the residents of Homer don't have to drive to Soldotna to attend all meetings. Please plan to attend, comment on policy or just support your School Board representatives. Our local school board members are Mike Illg and Zen Kelly.

Meet Our New Teachers

We have lots of new folks on our high school staff this year! We have 7 new teachers and we are excited to see what they bring to HHS. Here is a quick introduction of them.

Eric Simondsen

Eric is our new band teacher, but has been living in Anchor Point for several years now. He has taught at Chapman, Ninilchik and Tustumena.

Rachel Ciccarone

Rachel recently moved from Glendale, Arizona, and has been teaching for over 10 years. She will be a Language Arts Teacher.

Makenzie Moore

Makenzie was raised in Alaska and graduated from Palmer High School. She taught in Galena for the past two years. She will be teaching Social Studies.

Jan Spurkland

Jan taught Chemistry at HHS several years ago, but left for a career in fishing. He has been teaching at Kachemak Selo for a few years and is back and ready to teach Physics and Biology.

Chloe Nicols

Chloe has taught in Maryland and Hawaii and has finally settled in Alaska. She will be a Culinary Arts and PE teacher.

Catherine Taylor

Catherine started teaching in Florida, moved to Alaska to work at UAA, and just recently decided to come back and teach at the high school level. She will be teaching Spanish and Language Arts.

Michael Hahn

Micheal has had an exciting career working for Delta Airlines as a plant engineer. He has helped build mega structures and is also a Millwright. Michael will be teaching Welding and Construction.

counselor's Corner

Things are going smoothly at HHS this year. Our enrollment is good and we have several new teachers working with our students. In addition, approximately 35 HHS students are attending college classes at KBC. These students are receiving financial help from the Kenai Borough through the Jump Start Program and are earning high school credit as well—quite a good deal. Any qualified Junior or Senior who thinks they might like to take advantage of this program in the future should see their counselor.

PSAT/National Merit

HHS has been notified that one of our students has been identified as National Merit Semifinalists (the name will be released on Oct. 12). Last October approximately 1.6 million students across the country took the PSAT. For a small school it is astounding that we should be the home of one of the 16,000 students nation-wide who made the cut.

This being said, it’s time to have our current juniors take the PSAT and hopefully find a new crop of semifinalists for 2020. This year’s test will be given on October 13 with provisions for traveling junior athletes to test on October 10. Only juniors can qualify for the competition, but younger students can take the test on the 13th as an important practice (almost all of our high scoring students took tests as sophomores). The counseling office will be glad to take the $20 test fee and sign up students any time (students who get free or reduced lunch will qualify for assistance). Everyone will receive a practice bulletin with more information and helpful sample tests.

AP Courses

Taking one or more AP classes is not unusual at HHS. This year we are offering 6 separate AP classes. Those students who complete a course will receive a grade “bump” upon completing the course and taking the corresponding AP exam. AP exams have a fee of $94 which may seem costly but considering that most colleges will waive required classes or award credit, the fee is very little by comparison to the price of a college credit. AP tests are not given until May so there is a lot of time to ask any questions you may have about the whole AP process.

On-Line Classes

Because of scheduling difficulties or personal preference, some students prefer to have a class or two on-line. While we believe the preferred method is face to face with a teacher in a classroom, sometimes on-line is acceptable. If you check Power School you may find that your student has an on-line class. These classes are not offered at a particular time and can be accessed at home, etc. Students are held to the same expectations (timing and passing grades, etc.) for eligibility. Students who are not successful during a semester will not be allowed to continue and must return to a traditional classroom setting.

Free Periods

Any student who has accumulated 12 or more credits may be considered for a free period. Juniors and seniors use these times to study, complete assignments, prepare for AP assignments, take on-line classes, attend college classes and have jobs in the community. The great majority of upperclassmen have a free period and most use their time wisely. Students who are found wandering the halls or failing classes my find that their free period are filled by school personnel. You can tell if your student has a free period by going to Power School and finding the words Home Release listed for a particular period. Please get in touch with the counseling department if you have any questions.

College Visits

Starting later this month, HHS will have visits from in-state and out of state colleges. These presentations and meetings are great opportunities for students to meet reps from colleges and learn more about the programs and classes they represent. Please urge your student to make use of these unique opportunities.

College Fair

October 16 will be the KPBSD College and Career Fair. Many colleges, vocational training center and armed forces branches will be represented. This is a great opportunity for HHS students. There will be more info. to come.

It is no wonder that students and their parents become confused about what is expected of them in the course of completing high school. There are borough, state and APS (the Alaska Performance Scholarship) rules and criteria—some overlap and others are individual to that particular entity. The following is a brief summary of each category—do feel free to call the counseling office with any questions:

Homer High School (KPBSD) graduation requirements

4 years Language Arts

3 years Math

3 years Science (must include a year each of life and physical sciences)

3 years Social Studies (including a semester each of AK History and US Government)

3 credits (six classes) Arts (must include a minimum of one semester of each creative and practical arts)

4.5 credits of electives. Note that once a category is completed, any additional classes taken in that subject area go to elective credit.

22 credit total

Starting this semester each senior was required to complete a graduation plan form which reflects these requirements. Hopefully all seniors have an understanding of what credits each much complete this year in order to graduate in May.


There are two paths to this scholarship. One is more math and science based and the other leans to humanities. Go to AK.alaska.gov for more info and a handy chart of the requirements. Both pathways require test scores to qualify and the amounts of the scholarship are based on test scores* and grades. It’s important for everyone to remember that dropping a class can eliminate a student from qualifying. Keep in mind this is a scholarship and not a guarantee of money. It cannot be used for out of state colleges.

College Acceptance Requirements

Each college or university has qualifications and requirements that are specific to that institution. The only way to be sure is to check out each college’s website but some general rules usually apply. Four years of math and science, four years of English/Language arts, and some combination of social sciences are standard. One thing to begin considering early in high school involves international or “foreign” language. Many colleges require two consecutive years of the same language, some hope for three years. Not having this required background may limit the choice of colleges a student might apply for, in order to keep all options open it is best to be safe and take another language.

School Safety

Would you know what to do in case there was an emergency at HHS? Where would you go to find out if school was closed because of snow? What happens if you want to get your child out of school and they are sheltering in place?

If you can't answer all of these questions you should follow the links and read the attachments. Parents trying to pick up their children in an emergency situation could slow down ambulances and police response times. Please make sure you are helping and not hurting the situation. Please go to the link below and read the "Emergency Guidelines for Parents and Guardians."


What do you do if there is a snow storm? Should you send your kids out to the bus stop, drive them in, or keep them home? Please review "School Delays and Closure Protocol" in the link below.


What is A.L.I.C.E.? What is the school doing to make sure your child is safe in case of an armed intruder? For the answers to these questions, follow the link below.


Site Council

Congratulations to our new Site Council Members. They are:

  • Michael Raymond - Father of 2 HHS students
  • Janet Middleton - Mother of an 11th grader
  • Christopher Landess - Father of a 9th grader
  • Robert Green - Father of a 10th grader

Our first Site Council meeting is on September 4, 2018 in the library at 4:00 pm. All parents are welcome and everyone is allowed to comment on policies and events during the public comment period. We hope to see you there.

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 are doing.

See you on Facebook!

Local Scholarship Awards for 2018

  • UA Scholars - Tim Blakely,Landon Bunting,Douglas Dean,Ben Kettle, Charles Menke, Andie Sonnen, Denver Waclawski, Joshua Wisner
  • National Merit Scholars..........Benjamin Kettle, Denver Waclawski
  • National Merit Scholarship.................................Denver Waclawski
  • AEEF Scholarship.................................................. Landon Bunting
  • AK CASE Scholarship.........................................Gabrielle Gregory
  • Alain and Daniel Rieser Scholarship...........................Cole Roberts
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #16........................Falcom Greear
  • ASEA Kachemak Bay Scholarship.........................Landon Bunting
  • Beluga Tale/Tail Writing Scholarship.........................Andie Sonnen
  • Bill and Liz Johnson Teacher Ed. Scholarship..............Elan Carroll
  • Black Hat Award.....................................................Landon Bunting
  • CIRCAC/James Carter Memorial...........................Landon Bunting
  • Diane Wambach “Shoot for the Stars”.................Gabrielle Gregory
  • Drew Scalzi Maritime Scholarship....Charles Rohr, Mystique Ross
  • Homer Community Science....................Simon Dye, Andie Sonnen
  • Homer Electric Association...........Landon Bunting Charles Menke
  • Homer Elks Lodge.......Landon Bunting, Alissa Cole, Jacob Davis, Dawson Felde, Isaac Jump, Andie Sonnen
  • Homer Emblem Club Scholarship.........Falcom Greear, Isaac Jump
  • Homer High School Student Council Scholarship......Joseph Ravin
  • Horatio Alger Scholarship..............................................Alissa Cole
  • Hornaday Music Award................................................Jaron Morris
  • June Nelson Memorial Scholarship........................Landon Bunting
  • Kachemak Bay Lions Club Scholarship.................Landon Bunting
  • Kachemak Board of Realtors................Falcom Greear, Alissa Cole
  • Kachemak Rotary Club..................Alissa Cole, Gabrielle Gregory, Andie Sonnen
  • Ken Fisher Memorial Scholarship.............................Jordan Beachy
  • Kenai Masonic Scholarship.....................................Landon Bunting
  • KPAA Scholarship...................................................Landon Bunting
  • McNeil Canyon Scholarship......................................Jordan Beachy
  • Mike Cline Memorial Scholarship.............................Andie Sonnen
  • Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial..............................Andie Sonnen
  • Oilers Baseball Booster Club Scholarship..............Landon Bunting
  • Pier One Award.................,,...Landon Bunting, Drew Wimmerstedt
  • Ptarmigan Arts Visual Arts............Margaret Alston, Koby Etzwiler
  • Story RealEstate Scholarship...............................Samantha Moonin
  • Vicki Hodnick Award..........................Libby Fabich, Andie Sonnen

State Champions!

Last year was another banner year for athletics at HHS. We had 14 individual state champions to go along with 5 team Runner-Up trophies. Individual state champions are listed below. We are proud of their hard work and dedication.

Anna Brock - Track - Discus & Shot Put

Teddy Croft - Football (State Offensive Player of the Year)

Luciano Fasulo - 800 M run (School Record) & Wrestling (132)

Bill Rich, Luca Fasulo, Denver Waclawski & Jacob Davis - Track 4 X 800

Seth Inama - Wrestling (120)

Alex Moseley - Wrestling (120)

Mose Hayes - Wrestling (138)

Levi King - Wrestling (195)

McKenzie Cook - Wrestling (145)

Johnathon Vanek - Choir (Bass)

Samantha Martin - Skills USA - Public Speaking

Autumn Daigle - Cross Country Running