Steller Band Students Won the Command Performance
Xavier L on bassoon and Griffin L on French horn won the Command Performance Awards for 2021 Alaska State Solo/Ensemble Festival. Earning the honor is one of the most difficult tasks for high school musicians in state.
” I can’t find a way to express my feeling now for Xavier and Griffin”, said Mr. Toba, the band director. “Despite the fact we are under the pandemic, these highly motivated students did much more than they were expected. I am very, very proud of the boys.”
Because of the COVID, there will be no actual Command Performance, but Xavier and Griffin will receive certificates and pins.
Well done to both of you Xavier and Griffin! And thank you to Mr Toba for your dedication to our students.
The UAA Wendy Williamson is empty in the hours leading up to the Model United Nations in 2018. The conference was held virtually this year (2021). (Photo by James Evans / UAA)
This month students from high schools and universities in Alaska and Washington participated in the 35th Model United Nations Conference hosted by the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Students from Steller represented four countries and participated in six committees.
A Model United Nations is a simulation of one or more of the bodies of the United Nations. High school students from around the world participate in MUN conferences at the local, national and international level. This year the topic selected at our local level was the COVID Pandemic.
Participating in MUN means representing a nation state and their positions on a specific topic on the world stage. Preparation often includes research about government, population, demographics, history and current policies in order to fairly represent your countries interests in the United Nations. This often culminates in the position paper, a brief essay describing your country’s history, policy and position on the theme of the conference. The decisions you make in MUN are based upon this paper. For me, one of the hardest things to do at MUN is adopting the mindset of your country’s government, and role playing as an official of that government – especially when I don’t personally agree with the policies of the country I am representing. My natural tendency is to want to give my own opinion about things. However, MUN is about fulfilling a role which isn’t your own, and working with others for the interest of your country and the global community.
I have learned a lot from participating in MUN conferences around the world – from learning about research skills, to crafting a resolution. But one of the most important things has been to see how all the rules and regulations in a big organization can be used effectively to get things done, and also how they can be misused and get in the way. I would recommend anyone should give MUN a try!
Eli P. Senior
Want to learn more about MUN? See here.
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Steller Band Sends Two Students to Prestigious Honor Groups
More great news for Steller Community came out last night!
Steller band students, Xavier Libbrecht on bassoon ,and Kamryn Lyons on flute, have been accepted to the 2021 All-Northwest Honor Ensembles. Kamryn made the Wind Symphony, which is an honor band for small schools in the Pacific Northwest Region. Xavier even earned a chair in two honor ensembles: The Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony. This is his second time being accepted. T
he Symphony Orchestra auditions are open to all schools in the Pacific Northwest Region. The audition process for all of the All-Northwest Honor Ensembles is rigorous and competitive. “I am super duper delighted that Xavier and Kamryn made the All-Northwest”, said Mr. Toba, the band director, “attaining a spot is a pinnacle for high school students in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. The hard work and dedication that Xavier and Kamryn have put paid a huge dividend. I just can not be more proud of these highly motivated students.” Because of the COVID pandemic, there will be no rehearsals or concerts for the All-Northwest Honor Ensembles. However, the students will still receive certificates.
Submitted by Mr Toba
Congratulations Kamryn and Xavier, the whole school is very proud of both of you!
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.
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.
You should be proud of what a difference you have made in the lives of all the children you work with Carly! Well done.
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!
Chair, Steller Parent Group