Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 7, February 2023

Principal's Corner

I am very happy with the process and final product for the "Mariner Way." The Mariner Way is similar to a school creed, but it really describes what Homer High is really about. You can read the full "Mariner Way" further down in the newsletter.

I have had a couple parents ask why we need a creed. As a staff we have been talking for a couple years about how to explain what is special about Homer High School and what we want our student to aspire towards. When I started at started HHS, we had a strong identity and upper classmen passed it on to lowerclassmen naturally. Then COIVD-19 happened and many traditions were disrupted. The staff felt we needed to be more direct in communicating what is meant to be a Mariner. The Mariner Way is our vision for students, and our desire to renew what we feel is special about Homer High.

In the article, "The Power of Vision," Bev Couzens explains why a vision can be important. She states, "To create a mental picture of what it is we want to achieve in the future. Without vision, it is easy to focus on the short-term profit and forget about the long-term goal." Read the full article at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/power-vision-bev-couzens.

After a couple years of talking about writing a school creed, the Language Arts Department wrote a working draft. Our office staff then converted it to a story format. The Site Council made suggestions and edits, and it went back to the Language Arts department to streamline and condense it. Our Student Council then made a version from the student perspective. Finally, our staff and Site Council provided feedback a final time.

We know that the "Mariner Way" by itself isn't going to work magic, but there is power when we when you put into words what we want to be as individuals or as an organization. If every student moves a little closer to living the Mariner Way, we have done our jobs and made Homer a better place to live.

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




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Parent Teacher Conference Extravaganza!

This year winter Parent Teacher Conferences will happen on February 16th and 17th. Parents will be able to schedule conference times on PickTime.com like we have done for the past 2 years. Go to the following link https://www.picktime.com/d7be4f55-0b91-4515-b288-a20c94e082b8 and follow the directions to schedule your times with teachers.

On Thursday evening we are going to have conferences in the commons with events, student work and music. We call this our Parent Teacher Conference Extravaganza. All teachers will be in the commons from 5 - 8 pm. If you need more time or privacy to talk to a teacher you can schedule a different time on Thursday during the day or Friday morning.

We will provide lemonade, cookies and the staff will be have their 4th annual chili cook-off. Come try the chili and vote for your favorite.

Students will provide music, there will be college information presentations hosted by our counseling department, and student work will be showcased.

It should be a good time and we hope you will show up and support our students.

Teacher meeting times:

Thursday, February 16th

9:00 – 11:00 am

12:00 – 3:00 pm

5:00 – 8:00 pm (In commons - No appointment necessary)

Friday, February 17th

9:00 – 12:00 pm

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HHS Student Earns Spot in the Arctic Winter Games

Jody Goodrich, Leah Evens and Zane Barth made Team Alaska for the 2023 Arctic Winter Games. Jody Goodrick will be on the U18 ski team. He qualified during the December Besh Cups, in Anchorage, and just got the invitation over Christmas break. He is on the young end of that bracket at 16. He will race against Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland and Iceland.

Leah Evens earned a spot on the NYO (Native Youth Olympics), Homer Halibuts Team, to join Team Alaska as an Arctic Sports athlete.

Zane Barth earned a spot in the Arctic Games in Junior Hockey.

The Arctic Winter Games are considered to be the Olympics of the Arctic. All three youth will be traveling to Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada. The Arctic Winter Games are the largest circumpolar multi-sport and cultural event. Leah will not only be representing Alaska, but also the United States!

(Information and video was taken from Ginny Evens' Facebook page and from Ms. Goodrich)

The links to both Team Alaska and the Arctic Winter Games is shown below.



Opening of the Artic Winter Games 2023

Log in or sign up to view
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HHS students to the rescue!

Emergency Trauma Technician

These 14 Mariners earned their ETT certifications and earned a semester’s credit towards graduation by taking an evening class taught by the Homer Volunteer Fire Department and Kachemak Emergency Services. They learned how to recognize and manage emergency medical situations and to bridge care gaps for patients waiting on ambulance arrival.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Candidate Forum


February 9, 2023 at 12:30-1:30 PM


Homer High School is working with the League of Women Voters on the Kenai and Kenai Peninsula Votes to host a candidate forum for the upcoming KPB mayoral election on February 9th from 12:30-1:30. The event will take place at the Mariner Theater at HHS and is open to the public.

Firefighter 1 Class

For any student (or parent/guardian/community member!) interested in fire and emergency services who’s at least 18 years old or turning 18 in 2023, the Homer Volunteer Fire Department and Kachemak Emergency Services are offering a free Firefighter 1 class.

  • Feb. 13 – Apr. 29, 2023
  • M/W 6-10pm; Sat 9am-5pm
  • Prepares students to pass state certification test
  • Successful course completion gives high school credit towards graduation
  • For more information and/or to register, contact:

Joseph Warren-Kahles, Deputy Fire Chief HVFD

Eric Schultz, Deputy Chief KESA


2/1 - Poetry Out Loud @ FOL

2/3- JV Girls Basketball vs Nikiski 3:00, JV Boys Basketball 4:30

2/3- Girls Varsity Basketball vs Nikiski 6:00, Varsity Boys Basketball 7:30pm

2/4- JV Girls Basketball vs Soldotna 12:00, JV Boys Basketball 1:30pm

2/4- Girls Varsity Basketball vs Soldotna 3:00, Varsity Boys Basketball 4:30pm

2/4- Homer Police Department Community Discussion on the digital age 6:00pm-Public welcome

2/10- Homer Winter Carnival Basketball tournament

2/7- Site Council meeting 4:10pm - library

2/11- Homer Winter Carnival Basketball tournament

2/14- KPBSD Budget Forum 6:00pm in the library

2/15- National Honor Society Induction Ceremony 6:00pm

2/16- PTC/No school for students

2/17- PTC/No school for students

2/17- Girls & Boys Basketball games vs TBA

2/18- Girls JV Basketball vs Redington 10:00am, Boys JV Basketball vs Redington 11:30am

2/18- Girls Varsity Basketball vs Redington 1:00pm, Boys Varsity Basketball vs Redington 2:30pm

2/18- Winter Ball Dance 8:30pm

2/20- Girls C-Team Basketball vs Ninilchik 4:30pm, Boys C Team BB 6:00pm

HHS Students Help in an Emergency

Three HHS students showed their poise, first aid skills and leadership by helping a person who needed emergency aid. Below is a letter sent to me by Chris Fontaine, a parent of a student from HHS.

I wanted to share how proud I am of Trent Fell, Thatcher Lowney, and Simon Gucer for how they handled a difficult situation and helped a community member this afternoon. A neighbor had a fall and was unresponsive. The boys noticed this person and saw someone who needed help. The boys immediately stopped, rendered aid, called 911, and ran and got help from an adult. They stayed on the phone with dispatch, stayed close to support our neighbor, and assisted EMS to help the person into the ambulance.

Really great job for all three boys! They handled it so well and really helped this person. I hope this person recovers and feels well soon.

Great job HHS students!

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Homer DDF Invitational Results


Zach Marley, 1st place, Lincoln Douglas Debate, with 2nd speaks

Spencer Co, 2nd place, Lincoln Douglas Debate, with 1st speaks

Lucas Renner, 3rd place, Lincoln Douglas Debate, with 3rd speaks

Seth Hammond, 1st place, Informative Speaking

Finn Stineff, 3rd place, Informative Speaking

Kayla Kalafut, 1st place, Dramatic Interpretation

Raiden Skorski-O’Donnell, 2nd place, Dramatic Interpretation

Poppy Smith, Logan Dias, Hayden Mullikin, and Brenna Cox - 1st place, Reader's Theater

Marina Co and Sierra Mullikin, 1st place, Pantomime

Mohamed “Bibo” Loukil, 1st place, Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

Ella Davis, 3rd place, Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

Thea Person, 1st place, Original Oration

Thea Person, 1st place, Extemporaneous Commentary

Kayla Kalafut, 2nd place, Extemporaneous Commentary

Tyler Brewer-Cote, 1st place, Humorous Interpretation

Finn Spitler, 1st place, Humorous Interpretation (tied)

Poppy Smith and Hayden Mullikin, 1st place, Duet Acting

Anna Springer and Ella Gustafson, 2nd place, Duet Acting

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Homer’s College & Career Fair at KPC

On March 3, 2023 from 10am- 2pm students have the chance to attend Homer’s College & Career Fair at KPC Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer. The College & Career Fair is open to the entire community but can be an especially helpful resource for our students. They will have the opportunity for resume and interview help, connection with summer or full-time employers and educational options (including technical schools), attending workshops, and more!

Parent permission forms will begin going home in mid-February, please watch for these! HHS staff will be walking groups of interested students to the KBC campus in conjunction with offered workshops. Session schedules and workshop sign-ups will be sent with permission slips. Some teachers may also choose to take their students to the fair during regular class time.

A few of the workshops being offered this year: Personal Finance, Paying for College, Life Skills, Careers in Education/Psychology/Real Estate, etc., What Employers Want, Jumpstart & Middle College, and many others!

We hope to see you there!

Poetry Out Loud

The English Department is proud to announce a poetry recitation contest in the Mariner Theater on Wednesday, February 1 during FOL, (3:05 - 3:50 pm). We will have approximately 20 students reciting poems of their choice with three judges from our community. Thank you Erin Hollowell, Mercedes Harness, and Cheryl Ilg.

This is part of a national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Students who earn a top four spot at our school competition move on to a regional video contest, and winners from there go down to Juneau to compete in person. Alaska will send one student to Washington DC for the Poetry out Loud National Finals May 8 – 10.

We invite all who would like to view the recitation to arrive at the high school by 3PM on Wednesday.

Late Start Schedule

Winter storms are a reality in Alaska. Bad winter weather also means canceled or delayed school which can be confusing for many parents and students. To help with that we want to provide you with the schedule for classes if HHS has a delayed start. There are two schedules below, one for if we have a delayed start on a 6 period day and another if we have a delayed start on a block day. If you have a college class other prearranged obligation during these these altered schedule, students will be excused for the absences.

6 Period Day

(all classes shortened with 5 minutes breaks between classes):

•Period 1 – 11:00 am to 11:40 am (40 minutes)

•Period 2 – 11:45 am to 12:20 pm (35 minutes)

•Lunch – 12:20 pm to 12:55 pm (35 minutes)

•Period 3 – 1:00 pm to 1:40 pm (40 minutes)

•Period 4 – 1:45 pm to 2:20 pm (35 minutes)

•Period 5 – 2:25 pm to 3:05 pm (40 minutes)

•Period 6 – 3:10 pm to 3:50 pm (40 minutes)

Block Day

(all classes, breaks and lunch shortened, no FOL):

•Block 1 – 11:00 am to 12:00 pm (60 minutes)

•Block 2 – 12:05 pm to 1:05 pm (60 minutes)

•Lunch – 1:05 pm to 1:40 pm (35 minutes)

•Block 3 – 1:45 pm to 2:45 pm (60 minutes)

•Block 4 – 2:50 pm to 3:50 pm (60 minutes)

Are you interested in learning story-telling or in making videos?

The Lifewriters Film Project is a 10-week program where students learn the art of story-telling and documentary filmmaking. We will interview people and create videos. Students will work with people to tell their life stories through video projects. Students will work with senior citizens, community members, people experiencing grief, caregivers, and persons with dementia. This program is being offered in collaboration with Hospice of Homer, with filmmaker and bereavement consultant Morgan Laffert who has experience running programs like this.

This program is being offered on Tuesdays at 3 pm. Students can sign up as part of FOL under Mrs. Brege.

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

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!

2023 Horatio Alger Scholarship Program

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.


October PSAT results should be emailed to students December 5th- 6th. 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, contact the counseling office!

SAT & ACT Dates

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Watch the Little Cheer Team Perform

HHS Little Cheer
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HHS Art Corner

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HHS Art Showcase

Leah Dunn (Top Picture) in advanced art created an amalgamation creature. She researched different animals and their symbolic meanings. She selected 3 animals and practiced many versions of the creature. She then drew the creature large scale incorporating a meaningful background that relates to the transformations seen throughout the amalgamation. She finished the artwork with watercolors.

Annabelle Franciscone completed her 3D character portrait. She learned about portraits, backgrounds, the elements and principles of art, and cardboard sculpture. She then decided to focus on her cat. She made a sketch and a plan for cardboard layers. She drew and cut shapes out of cardboard and layered and glued them to create her portrait. She finished by painting colors and details, and gluing on fishing line whiskers.

Fentanyl and Counterfeit Pills

Recently a teen asked me about hydrocodone because an acquaintance wanted to sell it to them. The instruction was, “Don’t swallow this pill, it has fentanyl in it. You have to smoke it.” This teen was not interested in the least and this probably saved their life.

Fentanyl is a very useful opioid medicine for surgery and severe pain, especially in hospice care. It is 50 times more potent than morphine and heroine which means that it can suppress breathing with a very, very small amount.

Over the last 4 years, fentanyl has been illegally added to pills that look like medicine you might obtain from a pharmacy. DEA labs are finding that 6 out of 10 pills that look like a regular medicine but that are bought illegally on the street have fentanyl in them.

Teens take risks more than any age group; it is a normal part of adolescent development. Trying one illegal pill might feel harmless to a teen but the odds are it is very dangerous and can be life threatening. What this means for our teens is they may think they are taking a very official looking OxyContin, Adderall or Xanax pill they got from an acquaintance or friend but in fact they are taking an illegal pill that has fentanyl in it and they have no idea.

What kind of conversation might you have with your teen or tween?

  1. Ask them if they have every heard of fentanyl and let them know how dangerous it is and that it can look like a real medicine.
  2. Google “fake pills” and show your child how they look like real medicine from a pharmacy.
  3. YouTube a short video about a teen who died from taking a fake pill.
  4. Talk to them about peer pressure and help them come up with 3 excuses why they can’t or don’t want to try a random pill someone offers them. Something as simple as, “I have allergies,” is an excuse, whether it is true or not. “My parents will ground me forever” is another straightforward excuse.

Nurse Gorman

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