Archive for the ‘Student Accomplishments’ Category

The Silverfish Dish Student Newsletter

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Danielle’s Journalism Class created their first student Newsletter on December 3, 2010.  Now you can read it online.  Click here:  Silverfish Dish

Banned Books 2010

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

As was reported in last month’s Ole Steller Yeller, Steller Secondary School and Barnes and Noble hosted its fourth annual “Banned Books Read-Out-Loud” at Barnes and Noble on Saturday, October 2, 2010. In conjunction with this year’s Banned Books Read-Out, Barnes and Noble also hosted a Book Fair for Steller at their flagship Northern Lights store on the same day. Many Steller students and staff helped encourage shoppers to mention “Steller,” at the check out through sharing their particular talents.  In fact, Steller raised over $750.00 thanks to all the support and hard work from our community.   Thanks to everyone for supporting this successful event!  The money will be used to expand our English department library,  and some memorable photos from both events that day follow.  (Click image to enlarge.)


Linda Samorajski, MSCP
School Counselor and
School Business Partnership Coordinator

Great Job!

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Steller’s Battle of the Books team,  Lauren W., Maya H. and Arthur B., took 4th place in the ASD Battle of the Books on Thursday, Feb 4.  The winner, Polaris, will go on to Statewide Battle later in the month. Way to go Steller.  Good Job.

Two of Steller’s Own

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

In case you didn’t know, our choir teacher Mary Schallert is the aunt of two very brave young people that attended Steller.  Her niece and nephew, both of whom were Steller students, were in Haiti when the earthquake hit. Julian Brelsford was in a small village south of Port Au Prince doing relief work, and he brought Christa Brelsford who is currently working on her PhD in engineering to have a look at the infrastructure.  The village and the country gets pummeled every time a hurricane blows through.   Christa left Steller at the age of 16 to go straight in to college, and Julian did the same.  She sort of jokes about being a high school drop out with a PhD. Julian is still in Haiti right now with broken toes.  Christa’s leg was crushed under one of those buildings she was looking at, she will lose her foot but she is alive and was medi-vaced to Miami.  T’is handy to be American.  These are kids to be proud of, and they are connected to the our school.

There is a big story on Christa in A.D.N and a video link to an interview Christa did on  CBS. The story begins at the link below.

The story continues on the link below and you can view the video on this link as well.


Steller Students Compete on West High Swim Team

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Swimming is Great Exercise!!!  If you don’t believe me Just ask:

Matt————– Tucker

ElizaBeing on a sports team and making new friends is one of the best things you can do, and the West High Swim/Dive Team has been perfect for that. A number of Steller students spend over 9 hours a week participating on the West Swim/Dive Team and we all loved it. Maya H., Eliza M., Tucker M., Olivia A. and Matt C.were these Steller students. Unfortunately, the swim season is now over but we all loved it and encourage anyone who can, to come and join us next year.
~ Eliza M.

MayaIf anyone reading this wants to join the West High Swim/Dive Team, which I do suggest, let me tell you one thing: take a study hall! Or be prepared to stay up late doing homework every night. Swimming is two hours a day, 5 days a week. It leaves you hungry and tired with a load of homework still to do. But the benefits outnumber the bad things. Swimming helps you stay healthy and exercised, and plus you get to meet nice people you would never have met before. The swim meets seem scary at first but you get used to them after a couple of weeks. After a while they get to be fun, as long as you are cheering for your team. And don’t forget the parties! They’re great. Also, West colors are orange and black so we get to wear Halloween colors for 2 months! West may not be the fastest or the best team in the school district, but we have the most spirit and respect for each other. We Stellerites know how important that is.
~ Maya H.Olivia

Being on the West Swim/Dive team is pretty awesome! As far as swim teams go we are pretty close-knit. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, everyone still cheers for you! Swim season is by far my favorite 2.5 months out of the year!
~ Olivia A.

Partnership Press Features Steller Students

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

the many hands of steller

Steller was featured on the first two pages of the Fall Partnership Press, which is distributed to all the schools in the ASD as well as the school board and others. As School Business Partnership Coordinator, I am very involved harvest for the Food Bankwith these projects and it was a privilege to write the article on the rain gardens and take photos. Click here to read the articles and see how hard our students are working, learning, and contributing both at school and in the broader community!

Linda Samorajski

ASD Press Release

Friday, September 4th, 2009

School Business Partnership Whistles and Whirls at Steller and Town Square

Students at Steller Secondary School have spent the last two weeks in motion, whistling and whirling, all under the watchful eyes of two local artists.  The school year at Steller began with Intensives, a two-week period where students are given the opportunity to study a subject of their choice in-depth without other classes getting in the way.  Spanish teacher Nina Bonito-Romine and math teacher Natalie Foley’s Sculpture in the Park Intensive, has proven to be a truly collaborative project.

The genesis of this intensive, according to School Business Partnership Coordinator Linda Samorajski, was the result of a grant written for Steller by one of Steller’s school business partners, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership.  Cheri Spink of ADP wrote the grant to fund the intensive for Steller in conjunction with the Alaska Council on the Arts.  As a result, local artist and UAA Adjunct Art professor and curator Jannah Sexton Atkins and Ron Naanes, multi media solo artist collaborated with students on building free-standing sculptures which were displayed during the Town Square Renovation Celebration held this Friday, September 4, 2009.

The intensive featured both an individual and a group component, as students worked alone and together to build a wooden, copper, and wire sculpture that “moves and whistles in the wind.”  Youth members of Covenant House also worked with Ron and Jannah at another location and these two group projects will later be combined.  Steller students simultaneously created their own individual mixed media sculptures.

Artists Atkins and Naanes thoroughly enjoyed working with Steller students. Atkins commented, “It’s been fabulous–the Steller students are so talented, especially in conceptual stuff, and they are passionately dedicated to their ideas and follow-through.”

On Friday, September 4, 2009 from 12-6 p.m. students assembled their projects in the Downtown Square Park and participated in a city-wide public celebration as Mayor Dan Sullivan rededicated the newly redesigned park.  Steller’s band played, area vendors set up a street fair, and a farmer’s market was in full swing.

In addition to teaching classes at both UAA and Blaine’s Art Supply and running two art galleries, Jannah Sexton Atkins finds time to work on her own mixed media, sculpture, relief, and 3D and 2D projects.  Ron Naanes has worked as an artist, coppersmith, and carpenter for over 30 years, and has a solo exhibit coming up in Jan, 2010 on the APU campus.

Former Student Honored

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Former Steller student Bryan Arnold submitted an essay to VSA arts in Washington, DC that was published on their online journal (one of nine out of 147 entries worldwide).  Two weeks ago they notified Bryan that they wanted to pay to bring him (and his parents) to Washington, DC to read his writing at their “Playwright Discovery Evening” at the Kennedy Center on September 29. He’s the only one of the nine they are bringing.

Here is the link to  his piece! Click on 2009 and then “My Ocean’s Sweet Song” by Bryan Arnold.
Bryan was also featured on Channel 2 News on August 31.  Go to: and to to see his award winning video mentioned by Channel 2.

Anchorage Youth Court Welcomes New Members

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Fifty Anchorage teens recently passed the Anchorage Youth Court bar exams and were sworn in by Superior Court Judge Joannides.  They included Steller students Mackenzie C., Lindsay L., Matthew P., and Brennan R.  Congratulations.

Steller Students Recognized

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

It has been my practice to always pass on compliments to persons in my school that deserve it. I intend to continue that practice with the Steller family of staff, students and parents.

Recently the National Merit Scholarship Corporation [NMSC] made me aware of three of Steller’s students are receiving a letter of commendation from NMSC .
The students are Christopher R., Logan D. and Justin W.
These students and their families should be justly proud of this accomplishment. We at Steller are extremely proud of these three students and the efforts they have exerted towards securing their own futures. We recognize that for those who are committed to greatness and that those who exhibit a personal dedication to their own futures will always make a positive difference.

We at Steller thank you for your conscientiousness and we thank those who have influenced you most- your parents, extended family members and your teachers.

Keep up the good work!

Harlod Green
Principal of Steller Secondary

Proud Steller Parents

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

It has taken a while to write this but we had to wait for Tonei to slow down enough to make sure we had it right. Tonei G. recently graduated from Steller. Over six years as a student at Steller, Tonei fully embraced the Steller Philosopy and participated in a wide variety of activities. Besides being a strong student voice in Op Group, Ad Board (as co-chair for two years), and as Steller’s representative on the Anchorage School District’s Student Advisory Board, Tonei was editor of the yearbook for four years and leader of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Steller. Tonei was also very active outside of school volunteering for many organizations: a lawyer, judge, and board of directors member for Anchorage Youth Court, president of the United Youth Courts of Alaska, a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters at North Star Elementary School, and one of twelve Student Coordinators on the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) National Jump-Start Leadership Team. Additionally, Tonei was invited to join the GLSEN National Advisory Council earlier this year.

Tonei has been a member of the Alaska Teen Media Institute (ATMI) for over two years. A regular soundboard operator and host on their monthly radio show, Tonei was also featured as a commentator on National Public Radio in February 2008 and received an Alaska Press Club Award – competing against adult professionals – for a radio piece regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in Anchorage schools. Tonei has had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States to participate in conferences including several GLSEN summits and trainings, statewide and regional youth court summits, the National Association of Student Councils conference, the Third Coast International Audio Festival, and was one of only two seniors in Alaska chosen to participate in the 2008 U.S. Senate Youth Program.

Tonei is an American Civil Liberties Union Youth Activist Scholar, and will be an honors student at American University in Washington D.C. studying Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. He received an American University Presidental Merit Scholarship of $27,000 per year in addition to scholarships from the Anchorage Education Association, the TOTEM Association of Educational Support Personnel, Pride Foundation, PFLAG, and many other organizations – in all, over $50,000 in scholarships. We are very proud of Tonei’s accomplishments and grateful to the Steller teachers and staff for all they have done to help create such a wonderful young person.

Ed and Karen
Tonei’s Parents

You can find details of Tonei’s accomplishments in the “press” section of

Message from father of graduating senior

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Sam H-K is a stellar example of what Steller does best: allowing kids to find their own best interests and then facilitating the kids’ achievement. As his proud dad, I can report that Sam was President of Anchorage Youth Court this year and accumulated more than 1000 volunteer hours with AYC. In his college application process, he was offered a total of about $400,000.00 in scholarships and support, including the highest merit scholarships at several schools (including Whittier College, Millsaps University, Centre College, and DePauw University) and was asked to join the Honors Programs at all the schools who had them. Looking for a small liberal arts college education, he ultimately chose DePauw University (#31 in the 2008 USNews & WR listing), who offered $33,500.00/year of a $40,000.00 sticker price. No doubt, Sam has worked very hard, but I commend the Steller faculty and staff in their work to help a shy “sevy” become a confident, competent, well-balanced young man.

Daniel K.

Brag A Little

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

As Karin Parker stated at graduation, we have some amazing students that have accomplished some amazing things. If your student has received athletic or academic awards, scholarships, recognition, or other honor, we would like to know. Please click the link under “Contact Us” in the right hand column and tell us about your amazing Steller student (especially the graduating seniors before they are gone). This will allow the Steller community share in their success and let parents of prospective students know just how wonderful our kids are. It is a website policy that for internet privacy we will publish the information you provide using only the first name and first initial of the last name of your student. Please share their accomplishments.

Congratulations Steller Graduates

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

New location for the Graduation Ceremony is the Discovery Theater in the PAC, downtown. Have a parking plan and a pocketful of quarters! Meter parking is not free until after 6pm.
Best wishes for our 40 Graduates and our 2 departing Exchange students!

Battle Of The Books

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS to Steller’s Battle of the Books team. Lorryn W. and Arthur B. represented Steller at the District-wide Junior High Battle of the Books at Romig Middle School.  They tied for 4th out of 16, and they battled against teams of 3 people.  Great reading!  You, too, can be part of a competitive reading team.  The titles for the 08-09 Battle of the Books will be out soon.  Watch for the posting in the library.