Category Archives: Student Showcase

Fall 2023 In Review

A message from our Principal:

I hope that you are all staying safe, healthy, and warm these days.  As you are all aware the end of 1st semester is very near – December 21st.  This is my favorite letter to write every year because I get to talk about and reflect on all the amazing things that your children have accomplished this semester.   

  • A successful, student-run Activity Day – bringing back traditions 
  • 10 students opened and are operating the Temple of the Bean – TOB has been growing every year. 
  • 30 students took the PSAT this year – the largest number of participants in a while. 
  • 1 student participated in the World Tetris Tournament in Portland, OR. 
  • 1 student was Region Champion in the 500 Freestyle race. 
  • 37 students worked on Passages this semester, many included volunteer hours in our community. 
  • 2 successful student-run dances this semester. 
  • 2 Band and Orchestra concerts this semester. 
  • 1 JV Volleyball student was asked to play Varsity, placed 4th in the state and traveled to Florida to represent ASD. 
  • 5 alumni students came back to teach our students about Band, Outdoor Survival, and Financial Independence.
  • 5 students attended the Women in Education Leading & Learning conference.
  • 1 student got 15th finisher at Boys Varsity X-Country Regions IV that qualified him to run at the State meet. 
  • All 15 seniors are on track to graduate. 
  • 2 students participating in Alaska Youth Court. 
  • 1 student received a bronze medal for the President’s Volunteer Service Award by AmeriCorps. 
  • 1 student got accepted into the Anchorage Fire Explorers. 
  • 1 student was asked to be the MC for the Indigenous Fashion Show. 
  • 1 student was a dancer in the Nutcracker at the PAC. 
  • 3 students made it to state swimming competitions. 
  • 1 student earned the King Tech Student of the Semester for AK Farm and Food. 
  • Students in collaboration with SPG ran a successful fundraiser “Steller Cups for Kids”. 
  • 1 High School and 1 Middle School Battle of the Books teams going strong.
  • First successful International Travel Intensive in years – 21 students and 3 chaperones have made it to Vietnam.

Please keep in mind this is by no means an exhaustive list.  I am also so impressed by the amount of talent we have in our community.  Our students have worked very hard to make this semester spectacular.  So, please don’t forget to congratulate our young people, they are truly amazing.    


Our Steller staff has also been working hard at ensuring your children are getting the support they need.  Our staff has been busy, doing professional development around the major ASD initiatives:  6th grade to Middle School, Professional Learning Communities, and College & Career, Life Ready; Scheduling for a robust academic experience, Math & Reading assessments, intensives, etc. all while ensuring that we hold high academic standards for all our students.   


We thank our community for all your support, as you have also participated in helping us make decisions and move our school forward this semester and next school year.  As a community, we have come together to finish our first semester strong and support your children’s learning.  I hope this holiday season allows you time to gather with your friends and families.  Those that don’t celebrate the holidays I hope you also find time to share with your community and celebrate our wonderful winter months.  Please remember to be safe while you celebrate and gather and be ready to start our second semester strong with all our students healthy, safe, and ready to learn.  Wishing everyone a wonderful start to the winter holiday season.  Thank you for all your support. 



Maria Hernandez 
Proud Principal of Steller Secondary  

“The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet”

Join us for the “Seussification of Romeo and Juliet” on November 18 at 6:30 pm on Zoom.  Directed by peer teacher Taylor S, you’ll enjoy talented students, constant costume changes, and lots of laughs.  

Join the Zoom link at 6:15 to make sure to appreciate the full performance at 6:30 pm. 

See you there!  

Submitted by Taylor and Becky

Steller Band Sends  ***Five*** Players to The All-State

The audition results for 2021 All-State Band are released.  The All-State Band participation is one of the highest honors for high school band students in Alaksa.  Steller will very well be represented by these highly accomplished musicians:

Bjorn V, sophomore, bass clarinet

Johnathen J, senior, tuba

Griffin L, senior, French horn

Xavier L, senior, bassoon

Kamyrn Ls, sophomore, flute

Furthermore, Griffin and Xavier are also accepted to play for the All-State Orchestra.  

“This is by far the best year for Steller Band program, as far as the student achievements are concerned, ” said Mr. Toba, the band director.  “Kamryn and Johnathen are alternates, which is still great because of the level of competitions for the auditions.  Bjorn, Griffin, and Xavier earned the regular chairs.  I just don’t know how to express my feeling now.  These students did an exceptional job not only for themselves but also for the entire Steller Community,” said Mr Toba, Steller Band Teacher.

The All-State ensembles will rehearse from Thursday, November 18 through Saturday, the 20th, at Chugiak High School.  The gala concert will be held on Saturday, November 20, at West High School.  The admissions will be 10 dollars for adults, 5 dollars for students.  Public is invited.

Submitted by Mr Toba

Well done to all the the Steller Students. We are all very proud of you. Thank you Mr Toba for your dedication to our student’s success and sharing this wonderful news with us.

Steller Parent Group

Congratulations, Ishmael and Marley!

Congratulations, Ishmael and Marley!

Steller band students, Ishamel B. on alto saxophone and Marley M. on flute have been accepted to the ASD Middle School Honor Band (formerly known as JYSBO).  Ismael and Marley attained the membership through competitive live auditions.  “Ishmael and Marley put extra effort in to the audition etudes, and I am so proud of their achievement, ” said Mr. Toba, the band director.  “I am positive that these students will enjoy and learn a lot from the honor band.”  The Middle School Honor Band will meet on Mondays from October through March at Bartlett High School. The honor band will have three public concerts as well.

Well done Marley and Ishamel! The whole Steller Community is proud of you!

From Mr. Toba


Steller Band Students Win at the Command Performance


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. 


Steller Band Students Bring Fantastic Results for Solo/Ensemble Competitions

Five high school students and four middle school students entered solo/ensemble adjudications.  The results are utterly amazing:

High School

  • Arnan Anthony, trumpet – excellent
  • Johnathen Jencks, tuba – superior
  • Xavier Libbrecht, bassoon – superior
  • Griffin Lindsday, French horn – superior
  • Bjorn Van der Goore, bass clarinet – superior

Middle School

  • Shepherd Brown, alto saxophone, superior
  • Zane Hopewell, baritone – superior
  • Marley McDonagh, flute – superior
  • Riley Strodtbeck, clarinet – excellent

The high school students who earned the superior ratings will advance to the ASAA State Solo/Ensemble Festival.  It will be virtual.

This school year has been challenging for band, but I am so proud of these students who spent extra time preparing,” said Mr. Toba, the band director.  “I would like to congratulate all of the students for their accomplishment.  I wish the best of luck for state for state-bound students as well.

Nobuo Toba

Band Teacher

Steller Students at Model United Nations


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.

Middle School Students Perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This quarter two middle school language arts drama classes performed plays from the Mechanicals and Fairies in Midsummer Night’s Dream. They developed a variety of techniques to make the work come to life on Zoom. They’re adorable, hard-working, and talented, and we’re proud of their successes! Becky





Well done to everyone involved! 


Student Showcase – Jainy D.


In Senior Spanish we read the magical realism story Chac Mool by Carlos Fuentes. Jainy interpreted the transformation of Chac Mool from statue to human using detailed drawings as described in the story and direct quotations that set the scene for the transformation.

Submitted by Ashley 

English/Spanish teacher

Beautiful work Jainy!