Sunday, May 6, 2018

Thank You, Homer!

Each month my husband writes the Homer High School newsletter. Usually it is mundane school news, but this month, as our youngest child prepares to graduate, he got a bit more personal. Judging by the outpouring response to it, many other Homer parents feel the same way about raising their kids here. Thought I would share it here.



Normally I would write about all the great things Homer High students are doing and the cool events that are coming up. Instead, I want to let you know how grateful I am to the Homer community. We moved to the Homer area eleven years ago and it was the best decision we ever made. I say this because not only am I a principal of Homer High School, I am a parent and my youngest child is a member of the class of 2018 and will graduate in less than a month.

My children are a product of the Homer community. We have had so many great experiences raising them here. Events ranged from Bruins Basketball and taking art classes at Homer Council on the Arts to taking kayaking classes, HOWL and Boy Scouts. Our kids were inspired by participating in Math Counts and even performed for Pier One Theatre.

We have great memories with Homer Community Recreation, especially with Fuzzy and rock climbing. All through Middle School our kids lived at the rock wall. We even spent time across the bay climbing Kachemak Crack. We have missed Fuzzy since he passed away.

In High School our kids were able to play varsity sports and be a part of National Honor Society and Ocean Bowl. Most importantly, they were inspired by a great staff. They were awoken to the world of science by Mr. Rife and were challenged to think critically by Mr. Campbell. Mrs. Borland pushed their limits studying history and Ms. Tetor helped them fall in love with ceramics. There are too many influential adults, teachers, coaches and community members who positively affected our children's lives to list here.

They were able to give back by helping teach kids to ski in remote villages as part of Skiku, encourage children to get excited about sea life through providing tide pool walks for elementary children at Peterson Bay and help present Native summer camps in the Aleutian Islands. I am totally envious that my daughter got to deckhand on the Tiglax for a couple weeks one summer with Youth Conservation Corp (YCC). It is crazy to me the number of opportunities there are in Homer for our youth. It is like we woke up one day and hit the parenting jackpot.

Both of my kids worked hard and are going to college to become engineers and I couldn't be prouder of them. They have both earned awards, excelled at school and enjoyed sports, but it wouldn't have played out the way it did anywhere else in the world but Homer. In fact, our kids are mad at us that we didn't move to Homer sooner. In their hearts they are Alaskans.

It truly does take a village to raise a child and my children are an example of that. I am truly grateful for what the Homer area has provided for my family and I hope I can give a piece of that back to future graduates as Principal of Homer High School.

Thank you, Homer!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Signs of Spring

"Did you hear the cranes?"

"Yes! I saw two of them in my yard last night!"

"A flock of them flew over earlier today."

"There's a momma moose and little one outside."

"I think that momma is pregnant and has been trying to run her young 'un away."

"Yeah, I've had one hanging out in my back yard this week."

"I've seen at least a couple moose every day this week!"

These are conversations of spring in Homer. There's some anticipation of the first cranes arriving and a buzz when they come in, advertising their presence with their echoing squanks overhead.  Only in Homer is there a video of sandhill cranes in the pre-movie show. 

The moose that have been hiding all winter have come out, munching on the fresh green grass that has been sprouting and sticking to the highly populated areas of town and protection from bear.  Now the waiting game becomes watching to see when last year's babies are run off as the momma's anticipate their newborns and the breathless hope of seeing the little moose freshly born tottering around on their little stilted legs.

The sound of cranes and the sight of moose around town are unique signs of spring in Homer.