Category Archives: Student Accomplishments

Congratulations to Senior Lucca D for Your Passage Project!

Last January, Lucca Duke began a community service passage that incorporated her artistic abilities and interest in working with children. Lucca’s original passage goals were to paint a mural at Rogers Park Elementary with a map of the Iditarod trail that teachers could use to teach about the Iditarod, and to assist the art teacher in an after-school art program. Lucca was designing and painting her mural and coordinating with the art teacher for a spring after-school program when the pandemic hit and she lost all access to the school and her passage. Luckily, Lucca was eager to finish her passage this semester and created a beautiful mural for the Rogers Park Elementary community. Lucca had to work through many challenges from coordinating with different teachers at Rogers Park, finding a safe time to work at the school, and figuring out how to incorporate her artistic vision with the needs of the teachers, beyond the regular challenges of the pandemic. 

Lucca’s persistence paid off in the form of a beautiful mural and an appreciative staff at Rogers Park. Among many other compliments, Lucca received this praise from a Rogers Park teacher: “Just as wonderful is the fact that you, “one of our own” (ex-Rogers Park Elementary student), has given back to your neighborhood school/community! In addition to your excellent artistic talents, you have demonstrated responsibility, perseverance, and commitment to a real-life project.”

Thank you, Lucca, for representing Steller so well! Congratulations on a wonderful Passage.

Ashley Van Hemert

Students are welcome to share their Passage projects with the community.  You can submit images, text and short videos via email.  We encourage everyone to check the “Student Showcase” tab on the website regularly. 

#StellerGives: Sentha W.

 

The Anchorage #BLM March was intended to commemorate the March on Washington by Martin Luther King along with many others around the country. Unfortunately, covid created permitting issues and the march took place a little later in the month.

The organizers of the march reached out to local teens to speak about how the events going on around the country had affected them. We are a member of the Jack & Jill of America organization and they presented the opportunity to our teens. Jack & Jill is involved in community service all over the nation and they encouraged the teens to speak out and speak up for what they believe in.

The march organizers wanted the teens to write about their experience and perspectives. They created a space for a few local teens to speak to their community about how the racial injustices happening were impacting them. Sentha wrote a speech and shared it with the crowd. There were about three other teens and one elementary schooler who spoke. They all spoke of their pain and how they believe that we should see each other as fellow human beings. It was powerful to have the young people encourage the crowd to love and discourage the racial injustices happening. Sadly, not everyone came out of love and Sentha was heckled while giving her speech. The crowd began chanting to drown out the negative words and raised their first in solidarity with her. It was a powerful moment.  That is when the photo was taken.

Thank you Sentha for speaking up for what you believe and being a leader in our community.

Congratulations Xavier!

 
 
 
Congratulations, Xavier!
Steller Band student, Xavier L on bassoon, has been selected to participate in the 2020 Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) All-State Band.  Acceptance to the All-State Band is among highest honors that high school band students in Alaska may achieve.  He even earned the first chair in the bassoon section. 
“Xavier has been practicing regularly and very wisely, despite the fact that band does not have actual ensemble rehearsals, due to the COVID-19,” said Mr. Toba.  “I am super proud of his accomplishment.  The Steller Community has been long waiting for this wonderful news to arrive.” 
The All-State Band will not have in-person events this year, but Xavier will still receive the certificate of achievement from the ASAA.
Nobuo Toba
Band Teacher

Congratulations from all of us at Steller! Well done. 

#StellerGives: Carly F

My name is Carly F, I’m a senior, and I have volunteered in Mrs. Caldarera’s kindergarten classroom for the last 8 years. I have gone in almost every school day for 1-2 hours a day and this has resulted in over 900 volunteer hours in the classroom! I absolutely love volunteering there because I can see the direct impact I have on the children’s lives. It is very rewarding being able to see how I have helped over 140 children learn to read, write, and do math. Every year I learn more about the classroom so I am able to take more burdens off of Mrs. Caldarera which greatly benefits the class. I love playing with the kids and building a unique relationship with each of them. I know that a lot of the time as the kindergarteners grow older they no longer remember me, but I know they will remember the things I taught them and the fun things we did together. 

I have done two separate passages in the kindergarten classroom. In the spring of my 9th-grade year, I did a passage based on providing upper-level kids with challenging math. I worked with 6 different kids and met with all of them in small groups twice a week. In the spring of my 11th-grade year, I did a passage helping the lower level kids get caught up with their reading and writing. I worked with 6 kids individually and met with them once a week. I worked with 3 children where English was not spoken at home, which was a learning experience for me. I even met with this one boy 3+ times a week because he needed extra help. Once I started working one-on-one with him there were many improvements in his behavior and his academics. From winter break to spring break, he went from knowing 13 letters and 12 sounds to knowing 22 letters and 20 sounds. I absolutely love volunteering with Mrs. Caldarera and I am grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity every year. 

Carly F

Senior

You should be proud of what a difference you have made in the lives of all the children you work with Carly! Well done.

 

 

#StellerGives: Naomi H

Naomi H. is a 7th grader at Steller.  This past month, she has helped out at the mobile food bank and regularly walked Maya, the service dog, to help out an ill friend.  She has also been working on assembling care packages to donate to the Pet Stop for dogs and cats with cancer.  This summer, she raised over $600 by selling items at the downtown weekend market and will use the funds to complete the baskets for her homegrown charity, Sincerely, Little Su.

It is great to see all the creative ways you are contributing to your community Naomi!

Kirsten Tschofen

Chair, Steller Parent Group

#StellerGives: Michael H.

Michael with Bill Ross, chairman of the 4th of July parade council, celebrating a successful broadcast of the special presentation.

Michael at the Food Bank.

Michael H. is a junior at Steller.  He has been involved in OP Group, TPC, NHS this year at Steller.  He has been volunteering monthly at the mobile good bank in Fairview and helped out with the Thanksgiving Blessing, as well.  This summer, Michael worked for many hours as the  video production and media specialist to create “The Special Presentation of the Veterans 4th of July Parade” which was broadcast on PBS on July 4th at 11am in lieu of the annual in person parade.  He is also serving as a current committee member of the Veterans 4th of July Parade Council. 

Michael H.

Steller Senior

Michael, it is good to see you developing you skills for so many good causes. Well done! 

StellerGives: Logan D.

 

My name is Logan Davis, and I am a senior from Ken’s advisory. Ever since I first came to Steller in 7th grade I have been at every Op. Group meeting as a representative for my advisory. In that first year I fell in love with the sense of community and leadership I felt during every meeting as we discussed current events within Steller and proposals for the future. In my final year at Steller, I feel a strong nostalgia seeing younger students engage in Op. Group and realize the value they contribute towards their community much like I did long ago. I was beyond excited to be elected as this year’s Vice President of the group and join some of my close friends as student leaders. Although certain dynamics of Op. Group have changed within the last year, I am proud to be a part of a community that has persevered and adapted in the face of turbulence.

I am also happy that I was able to become a seminar coach again for Leigh Anne’s second quarter 8th grade seminar. Like all eighth graders at Steller, I took seminar and I simply loved the class. I enjoyed being able to engage in academic discussions with my classmates within a relaxed peer-to-peer environment. I knew from the moment I finished the class that I wanted to go through it all again as a coach when the time was right. In my junior year, I coached for the first time in Danielle’s first semester seminar, and I was unsure if I would ever be able to coach again. Nowadays, seminar has changed much like Op. Group and the differences in my coaching experience from last year compared to now has been a great learning experience. Regardless of those changes, I have enjoyed watching another wave of underclassmen begin to find their voice and develop the critical thinking skills that remain with them in the future.

Logan D.

Steller Senior

Thanks for all your contributions to the Steller Community Logan!

Kirsten Tschofen

Chair, Steller Parent Group

#StellerGives: Update

During the typical holiday season, there is a drumbeat for gift giving – to friends, family, colleagues, and clients (to name a few!). This year, however, global and local circumstances may put a damper on excessive shopping. Indeed, as people seek ways to cut down on gift giving, they may instead focus on how to make a difference.

On December 1, hundreds of thousands of civic-minded individuals around the world will celebrate #GivingTuesday by donating to their favorite nonprofit organization or cause, and spreading the word to encourage more giving. According to “Giving Tuesday and Beyond”, 38 percent of those who donate to charity said that they are more likely to do so during the holiday season.

Here at Steller Secondary our community is known to be extremely generous — we have started highlighting all the ways our students and families give back to our school and the community at large with their time, talents and donations through the #StellerGives campaign.  Please continue to share your stories by emailing them to chairstellerparentgroup@gmail.com and we will highlight them through Flash and the Student Showcase on the website.

We also humbly ask that you consider donating to Steller Parent Group as part of your giving plan this year, if you feel you are in a position to do so.  This year, the Steller Parent Group has decided to introduce a direct donation appeal for families that would like to offer support since we can’t hold any in person fund-raising events. All donations go directly toward supporting Steller students and projects. There is a Donate button at the top right of the Steller Secondary website page for quick and easy payments (scroll down to the bottom if you are reading this on your phone).

This year Steller Parent Group has funded:

  1. $1100 to purchase Art Supplies while students are learning at home. 
  2. $125 for a Banner in the school entrance. 
  3. $700 for Staff Appreciation gifts.
  4. $640 for Hand Sanitiser Stands
  5. $1600 for Student Nutrition support on school re-entry.

When you shop using Amazon Smile with Steller Parent Group as your designated charity or using this link,  SPG receives money back to support student programs at Steller Secondary.  Want to know more about how we use the funds we raise? Visit here. 

Kirsten Tschofen

Chair, Steller Parent Group

 

 

 

#StellerGives: Eli & Ezra

 

I did a lot of shovelling!

My name is Ezra and I am in 8th grade at Steller. This summer I volunteered at the Seeds of Change Steller garden. I did a few various tasks, such as weeding, watering, and spreading wood chips. I went once a week for an hour to leave the house and socialize with other humans. It was a good experience because it was fun and I learned some basic gardening skills. I also liked that I got to bring home fresh vegetables like lettuce and cauliflower. 

We made wood signs for the gardens.

Hi, my name is Eli and I am a current Senior at Steller Secondary. I’ve been to a lot of different schools over my high school journey, and I have always tried to connect with the community as much as I could. When the pandemic began, most community events were canceled. Over the summer I saw Seeds of Change was re-starting the Steller garden, something I had never seen during my limited time at the school (I had joined Junior year). Volunteering at the garden every Wednesday over the summer gave me something to do during the monotony of quarantine life. In addition, not only did it provide me new skills in gardening I had never learned before, but it taught me soft skills such as long term planning and cooperation with others. 

Thank you Eli and Ezra for your work in Steller Garden this summer.  We are glad you enjoyed yourselves and learned something new! 

Steller Parent Group

To learn more about #StellerGives and how you can share how you give back to the community please see here. 

 

 

#StellerGives: Seeds of Change

 

Seeds of Change volunteers on the far left and right, with Steller students Ezra, Eli and Logan.

This summer Alaska Seeds of Change  and Steller partnered to reclaim the Steller Peace Garden.

Alaska Seeds of Change works with young people ages 16-24 to help them develop the vocational and personal skills needed to become successful adults. Most staff initially start at Seeds as apprentices, by volunteering for school credit or through an apprenticeship program with one of our partner agencies.

The first step was building lasagna beds on top of the old weed filled beds, and from there we planted the garden and maintained it all summer. 

In addition we were able to plant about 10 apple trees that were donated from a community member (he’s also interested in adding lots more trees if the Steller community is interested). 

We harvested lots of good veggies over the summer that were taken home by Steller students and staff/apprentices at Seeds of Change.  We even had a neighborhood veggie “pirate” that would harvest things periodically.  They seemed to know what they were doing and we figured that they needed the food so we decided it was a way to feed our local community. 

One of the highlights for me was being able to support the youth in making the garden their own and helping them take on projects.

We didn’t realize that we would be running the garden in a pandemic but it turned out to be a great way for Steller students to connect in person while following CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of Covid.  Many students said that this was one of the few ways that they were able to get out of the house and see people.   

Last year we were able to acquire funding through a grant from the Whole Kids Foundation.  We are yet to determine our funding for next year’s program.  If anybody has any ideas we have estimated that about $2,000 would cover the basics of running the garden next year.     

Kelly Ballantyne

Seeds of Change 

Thank you to Seeds of Change for the important role you play supporting the youth of our community, and to all the volunteers from Steller that helped out through the summer.  

If you would like to learn more about Seeds of Change, find out how to volunteer, or donate to support their work visit their website here.

To learn more about #StellerGives and how you can share how you give back to the community please see here.