Haines High School senior Jess Giddings traveled to Portland, Ore., to perform with the National Association for Music Education’s All Northwest mixed choir. The first alto was the only Haines performer among thousands of students who gathered for choral and instrumental concerts. There were 360 students in the mixed choir, and all students were required to memorize their music before the festival. They practiced for two days under the direction of a collegiate choir director. Jess said, “I really liked being exposed to so many different students. It was really cool to be with so many people who love music and take it seriously. It made me seriously consider pursuing music in college.”
Friends will gather this Friday, March 8, to celebrate Marge Ward’s 90th birthday. The open house is at the Senior Center starting at 2 p.m. Marge’s daughter, Wendy Hogins, is coming up for the party from Juneau.
Vince Hansen says church members and guests are invited to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Parishioners wore goofy hats and played games in the decorated church hall on Mardi Gras, Hansen said.
Bob and Mary Musseman have accepted a position to manage a 160-apartment senior independent care community in Sherman, Texas. They decided to stay south for the foreseeable future to be closer to Bob’s parents. Bob writes, “We do expect to return to Haines, we just don’t know when. It has been a very hard time for us because of our love for the people of Haines.” They hope to get up for a visit this summer. In the meantime, send them a note at their new address: 3702 Loy Lake Rd., Sherman, Texas 75090.
Don’t miss out on the Thai curry chicken take-out dinner prepared by Lilly Boron and the fourth grade class this Friday. Lilly is encouraging diners to email her their advance orders at firstname.lastname@example.org, but walk-ins are welcome. The dinner is $10 per plate and proceeds will go toward the class’ “Golden Circle” camping trip this spring. Fresh-baked desserts will also be available. Pick up your dinners at the home economics room at the school, 5-7 p.m.
Ramona Holmes visited with Marge Matthews and Marge’s daughter and son-in-law, Patti and Mike Day, while in Boise, Idaho. Ramona says Marge “seems to be doing very well and adjusting to life in Boise. She is looking forward to starting some tomato plants soon.” Ramona and husband Frank will ferry up to Haines in early April.
Darlene Bolick and Nancy Schnabel spent a month together in Phoenix, where the mother-daughter team spent time outfitting the Schnabel’s new vacation house, and enjoying the sunshine together. Nancy arrived in Phoenix in time to see son Payson before he headed back to Flagstaff for his final semester at Northern Arizona University. Rather than relax in the desert together, however, they spent most of their time in urgent care after Payson was diagnosed with appendicitis and scheduled for surgery. Payson recovered quickly, and was back at school three days after the operation. Nancy’s husband Roger and son Parker came down for 10 days to visit Roger’s family and make a trip up to Flagstaff to see Payson. Nancy said a January cold snap saw Phoenix residents pulling out their mukluks, hats and scarves. “It was hysterical!”
Michael Ford of Haines was chosen to speak on behalf of University of Alaska-Fairbanks students during a March 1 ceremony celebrating the donation of a Boeing 727 cargo jet to the school by Federal Express. More than 100 people attended the ceremony at Fairbanks International Airport. Ford, 18, is in the school’s air frame and power plant program, with a career goal of working as a commercial pilot. He earned his private pilot’s license about a year ago. FedEx has donated 66 planes to aviation schools, airports, museums and other organizations around the country. Zach Sheldon of Haines also is enrolled in the program at UAF.
Haines staff traveled to Anchorage to take part in the Alaska Society for Technology and Education (ASTE) conference last month. Superintendent Michael Byer was honored with the ASTE 2013 Technology and Leadership Award for Outstanding Technology Administrator. According to Byer, “This is a big honor and I appreciate all Sam (McPhetres)’s technology leadership and the teamwork that goes on in our district by all our staff, board and community to make our district a leader in many ways, including integrating technology to support learning.” McPhetres, the school’s computer teacher, nominated Byer. Also at the conference, McPhetres and Rene Martin co-presented on the experience of teaching for the Alaska Learning Network, an online class structure that allows Alaska students to access courses from across the state. Nevada Benton presented on the school’s Independent Learning Center, which provides students with additional course options through various Internet-based programs. Haines students also won awards from ASTE’s iDida contest, which awards creative work in video, audio and still photography.
Riley Erekson took first place in the Public Service Announcement category for her PSA on the Pacific Garbage Patch called “Say No to Litter.” She also took first place in the Make Me Laugh category for her photograph entitled “Alaska Breakfast Club.” Jamie Messerschmidt took first place in Enhanced Photos for her Technicolor creation “Beluga Whales Everywhere.” That photo also took the People’s Choice award for all photographs. Brennon Whitermore tied for first in the Tell Me a Story category for his video entitled “Cup O’ Joe,” which details his father’s morning coffee ritual.
Rylee Tonsgard won the $10 hand and Lyn Campbell took the $20 hand at Saturday’s snowmachine Poker Run sponsored by the Chilkat Snowburners.