April #Golden Apple awards

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Golden Apple Award | April 4, 2016
Amy Hankins, Community Member

Ms. Amy Hankins consistently demonstrates deep support for the students of Seward schools. She has served on the Seward School Site Based Council and is currently serving as the Arts Chair on the board of the Seward Parent-Teacher-Association (PTA). In addition to serving on the PTA board, Amy generously offers her time and talents as the chair of the PTA’s Arts committee. This committee is charged with making the arts available to Seward area students. Last year, Amy spearheaded an 18 month effort to bring Jabali, an African dance troop, from Mombasa, Kenya, to Seward. She coordinated all aspects for this production, including fundraising, PR, ticket printing and sales, transportation and lodging, so that this cultural extravaganza could be enjoyed by the community of Seward and all three Seward schools, along with students from Connections Homeschool and Moose Pass School. This year she spearheaded Scrap Arts music to come to Seward in April 2016.

Amy also has a passion for technology. In 2013, Amy joined with two other staff members to lead a community-based computer programming club for youth aged nine to 18. The Seward Community Library and Museum generously hosts club meetings and activities. Amy’s work with this group eventually evolved into her work with Lego Robotics in the schools.  Amy works with two Lego Robotics groups in Seward: one meets after-school and one meets during school.

The after-school Lego Robotics team, comprised of Seward Elementary and Seward Middle School students, and a homeschool student, met last year to learn to build and program Lego vehicles to perform specific tasks. Co-coach Leigh Ray said, “Amy leads the club by exuding enthusiasm for coding and robotics, which helps the kids get unstuck when the programming gets tough! She is becoming a very accomplished robotics programmer herself!” In 2015, the team competed in the first Lego League regional competition in Anchorage. They were then invited to return and compete in the state championship. At the end of the regional competition in Anchorage, Amy received the Coach Award for her excellence in coaching.

At Seward Elementary, Amy introduced Lego Robotics during the 2013-2014 school year. She worked with approximately 55 second grade students, teaching building and programming skills. This year, she has continued the program with the same students, who are now in third grade, as well as teaching it to all of the current second graders. Students enjoy the challenge of building and coding. Second grader Van Shank says, “It was fun programming the computers. Mrs. Hankins did a really good job.” In addition, Amy began training a teacher to continue the program as the current third graders move up a grade. “We value the way Amy looks for opportunities to enhance the education of all students in Seward through her ongoing dedication to the arts and technology,” said Principal David Kingsland.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Ms. Amy Hankins for her dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Golden Apple Award | April 4, 2016
Magpye’s Pizzeria, Business

In the Sterling community, there are many businesses that are strong supporters of Sterling Elementary School. For more than a decade Magpye’s Pizzeria has been supporting Sterling Elementary. A multi-generation, family-owned business, “Margaret “Maggie” Lupton and Jeffrey Clonts of Magpye’s Pizzeria offer constant, unquestioning generosity to our school,” said Principal Denise Kelly.

Many years ago, Sterling Elementary School established a Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) system which continued to cultivate and focus on the students who demonstrate school wide expectations of being respectful, responsible, and safe. Sterling Elementary celebrates students’ prosocial school behaviors with pompoms. Last year, Sterling Elementary started giving students a golden pompom for going above and beyond the school’s expectations, or showing an extraordinary random act of kindness. Students who earn the golden pompom have the opportunity to win a pizza party, and Magpye’s Pizzeria has been donating pizzas for golden pompom parties all year. Principal Kelly said, “There is never a question of why, rather questions of how many, and when do you need them? Magpye’s has donated pizzas to our Students of the Month prior to the golden pompom celebrations. Additionally, at the end of every school year, Magpye’s Pizzeria donates a free personal pizza to every student at Sterling Elementary to enjoy a meal with their family.”

Not only does Magpye’s Pizzeria provide for all 230 Sterling Elementary students, every so often, during lunch, a student will have a Magpye’s personal pizza box. When asked about it, students excitedly say, “It’s from Magpye’s!” James Graybeal says, “It makes me feel good when Mr. Jeffrey brings me a pizza. He’s my friend!” Mariah Carrasco received a pizza for her birthday and she said, “I like that they remembered me!” In talking with Ms. Lupton and Mr. Clonts about it, they will often say that they needed to do it for the kids. Even when no one asks, they just give!

Magpye’s Pizzeria has been in the Sterling community for many years. Sterling Elementary School is grateful for the support that Magpye’s Pizzeria shows to the school, and the love and dedication they show to the children of the Sterling community.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Magpye’s Pizzeria for dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Peninsula Borough School District
Golden Apple Award | April 4, 2016
Mr. David Thomas, Community Member

“In 2012, David Thomas, a parent of a Kenai Middle School student, approached administration and suggested that we add a MathCounts team to our school,” explained Vaughn Dosko, principal. “Not only did he suggest adding the team to our afterschool program but offered to head it up. From that day forward our program has grown in size and KMS students have been very successful in the state and national competitions. MathCounts began with a handful of kids and now we have a classroom full of kids and also fifth grade students from Mountain View Elementary arriving at KMS for math enrichment. The program meets weekly afterschool and sometimes more often when they are getting ready for a competition. Mr. Thomas has also met with kids during the summer months at the Kenai Public Library.”
Through countless hours of educating students to think differently about math, the Kenai Middle School MathCounts team has been very successful. Students who have a talent and passion for math are challenged, and meet other motivated students. Finishing first place in state competitions, the KMS team and individual competitors have also scored with numerous second place finishes. Accolades can be seen in the front display case at Kenai Middle School.

Coach David Thomas has dedicated his time to taking kids to levels of math that they would not have gotten to on their own. He has driven the KMS team all over the state to compete, including at competitions from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Additionally, he has taken students to national MathCounts competitions outside of Alaska.

KMS is a better place for the time and dedication that Mr. Thomas has invested in math students at Kenai Middle School.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Mr. David Thomas for his dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Link: Golden Apple recipients

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