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Celebrating Academic Excellence

Group photo of Academic Excellence Award Winners in January 2019


Congratulations to the semester one recipients of Kodiak High School’s Academic Excellence Award!


A total of 30 students received awards for their outstanding performance in the classroom. Here’s what their teachers had to say.


Nathaniel Cortez
9th Grade Science 
Ms. Allen
Nathaniel Cortez has consistently demonstrated self-motivation, determination and hard work in biology. He completes each and every assignment with effort and care, ensuring that he always turns in his best work. If he’s ever absent, he comes in outside of class to discuss ways to make up for missing class time. This type of motivation is rare. I have no doubt that Nathaniel will continue to excel throughout high school and beyond.


Autumn McCarthy
9th Grade Language Arts - Ms. Stewart
The 9th grade English award for academic excellence goes to Autumn McCarthy. Autumn is a motivated student who takes ownership of her education and makes the most of learning opportunities. She is frequently the first student to complete assignments, but not because she has rushed through them or given minimal effort. Rather, her work reflects the diligence and quality reflective of her solid work ethic and insight. She is a critical thinker and an articulate writer, a problem-solver and a strong collaborator, a positive presence and role model for her peers. One indicator of her hard work and success is her progress in our vocabulary-building program: not only is she one of four students who have progressed to the second level, but she also has mastered twice as many higher-level words as the average student in her honors class. In fact, she has more than 100 words more than the next student. Autumn is an excellent student, and I look forward to seeing where her initiative, skills, and positivity will take her.


Timothy Winegeart
Small Engines - Mr. Mcguire
Timothy has had an excellent semester in the Small Engines Course. His enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and his ability to help others has been a huge asset to those in the class. He has developed an excellent understanding of the mechanical concepts and has the work skills to be successful in many areas both in school and out of School. Timothy always goes the extra mile to ensure that his work is done properly and thoroughly. His work ethic and attention to detail goes a long way to ensure his success.


Erin Soliven
9th Grade English Language Acquisition Program 
Ms. Anderson/Ms. Blackwell
The ELAP (English Language Acquisition Program) award for academic excellence goes to Erin Soliven. Erin is very thoughtful in her work and ensures that it is the best quality that she can produce. She participated in two debates in English class and excelled in researching her topic and presenting arguments working with her team. She strives to learn more every day increasing her skills in English. Erin exhibits a positive attitude with her peers modeling hard work, diligence, and academic responsibility. We anticipate more quality performance and effort from Erin as she continues to improve her competency in English.


Ryan Merrill
9th Grade Math - Ms. Vergara
Ryan is a wonderful student in my Algebra 2 class. She brings with her a positive attitude, patience, and perseverance. As a freshman taking a higher-level math course, she managed to excel in class in getting all A’s in every unit tests and homework. She paid close attention to every detail in class and never hesitated to ask questions. She truly deserved to be recognized for Academic Excellence and I believe that she will continue to do extremely well in math throughout high school.


Francie Eufemio
9th Grade Social Studies - Mr. Hrnicek
There are many qualities for students who display excellence in the classroom. Those students work hard, always strive to be the best they can be, and set the bar high for themselves and those around them. For the Fall of 2018, the freshman who best demonstrates this was Francie Eufemio, who I am recommending for Academic Excellence in Social Studies. In Civics and Current Issues, Francie was the quiet leader of her class. She set the bar high, completed her work at the highest level, set the example for the rest of the class and constantly raised the efforts of those around her. Francie came to class every day with an open mind and was eager to learn, with a contagious enthusiasm that was a true inspiration. It was my distinct pleasure to work with such an amazing young woman this past semester, and I wish her the best of luck in the future.


Janny Eng
10th Grade Science - Ms. Meibers
Janny is taking a double-load of science classes this year, chemistry and AP Physics, and is excellent in both. She is the type of student who simply “gets it” almost all the time, and during the few times she struggles to master a concept, she works tirelessly until she succeeds. She treats every assignment with precision and care, no matter what. Despite her extracurriculars and obligations outside school, Janny completes all of her work on time, every time. Janny’s motivation and determination show what true dedication to education looks like.


Ronald Paguio
10th Grade English Language Acquisition Program 
Ms. Anderson/Ms. Blackwell
The ELAP award for academic excellence goes to Ronald Paguio. Ronald is relatively new to Kodiak High but in that short time, he has proven himself to be an exemplary student and an outstanding addition to the school. When it comes to academics, Ronald constantly goes above and beyond the minimum requirements of any task and strives to demonstrate his learning to the fullest extent. For example, in his ELAP class, Ronald took the opportunity to revise an essay in order to perfect his English grammar and usage. He demonstrates not only a drive to succeed in the classroom, but also an eagerness for the learning process. In and out of the classroom Ronald is an excellent role model to other students, especially those in the ELAP program and displays kindness and respect through his actions.


Avery Kreischer
10th Grade Math - Ms. Vergara
Avery is a sophomore taking Algebra 2. She works diligently and digs deep when tasks are difficult. Avery asks questions that help her understand more clearly. She will try to push and do things her own way but is willing to accept other alternatives to find solutions. She is in different extra-curricular activities but yet managed to excel in class and getting all A’s in every single assignment that we completed. She will undoubtedly continue to do well in and outside the classroom, and is proven to be able to excel at extracurricular and academic pursuits.


Angel Mangrobang
10th Grade Language Arts - Ms. Cooke
I have the pleasure of recognizing an outstanding Sophomore student for the English Department’s 10th grade recipient of the Academic Excellence Award. Of the many brilliant, kind, and considerate students we encounter each day, we chose Angel Mangrobang for this honor. She is a pleasure to have in class and she always has a ready smile. She is worthy and deserving of this recognition. It is students like her that make Kodiak High School a better place for all of us.


Keith Bruce
10th Grade Social Studies - Mr. Neagley
Keith Bruce, a student in Advanced Placement World History, has been exceedingly impressive and exemplary. Keith has risen to the challenges of this course, embracing the learning with an un-satiated thirst for knowledge, possessing adept curiosity, and a lasting commitment to put in the necessary efforts. Throughout, Keith’s contagious positive attitude inspires his peers to improve, and on many occasions, our history conversations outside of class have been personally beneficial. Additionally, Keith’s consistent kindness is a most appreciated asset. Congratulations Keith Bruce, for earning this heralded achievement.


Fatima Monge
Health - Ms. Gandel
I am happy to nominate Fatima for academic excellence in Health I. Throughout the semester, Fatima was engaged and thoughtful as we tackled a range of difficult and sometimes sensitive topics. Fatima listened respectfully to diverse perspectives, asked meaningful questions, and encouraged others to share their ideas and opinions. Additionally, her upbeat attitude and enthusiasm helped create a positive atmosphere in the classroom that benefitted everyone around her. Thank you, Fatima!


Esther Flerchinger
Culinary - Ms. Glagolich
Esther Flerchinger is receiving the Academic Excellence Award for Culinary arts for the following reasons. First, she earned a solid A for her 1st semester. Most importantly, she has consistently maintained a positive, upbeat attitude. From the 1st day Esther walked into the classroom, she was positive and cheerful. She said she was happy to be in the class. She approached all assignments with an attitude of getting it done versus questioning why a written assignment was beneficial in a cooking class. She is a great notetaker and never once questioned the relevance of the assignment. She understood that as a teacher with experience, I had valuable information to offer her in terms of knowledge and skills. Another reason she was nominated is that she has a wicked sense of humor and is especially enjoyable to have in Culinary class. Congratulations Esther.


Seth Merrill
11th Grade Social Studies - Ms. Parnell
It’s a pleasure to recognize Seth Merrill as an outstanding junior in Social Studies. Seth has distinguished himself in the AP U.S. History class with his strong work ethic, his quiet confidence as a student, and outstanding academic performance. He is driven, organized, inquisitive, and focused with each new period in American history. He tackles complex historical issues with aplomb. Although Seth is at the top of the class, he still strives to improve his performance with each test, essay, and debate. Seth is a great student because he pushes himself with each new layer of depth and expectation. It has been a privilege to watch his quiet and unassuming rise to the top of a high-performing class. I have no doubt this is the first of many awards for academic excellence for this outstanding student.


Hallee Blair
11th Grade Language Arts - Mr. Jackson
Hallee maintains a dogged discipline, erudite exactitude, and academic acumen to earn her this award. Initially, Hallee’s percentile mark serves to codify her position among this course’s academic elite. However, what separates Hallee is her cognitive mettle; never does academic apathy or ennui overtake her, whether undeterredly reading seemingly jejune expository material or fastidiously unpacking literary text. Most impressively, her altruistic compulsion to encourage others marks Hallee as a leader and a guide. During composition, she regularly assists struggling writers with content and clarity without sacrificing the perspicuity of her own argument or the refinement of her own work. And, it is with humor, creativity, and the courage to challenge herself that Hallie engages each new class and each new concept.


Elizabeth Luther
Automotive Technology - Mr. Mcguire
Elizabeth has done an exemplary job this semester in Automotive 1. She possesses an excellent work ethic and strives to do her best in all given situations. She has shown highly developed leadership skills and the willingness to put in extra time to be successful. Her problem solving and critical thinking skills are developing at a rapid rate. This trait will undoubtedly ensure her success in any professional areas that she chooses.


Jacob Dunlop
11th Grade Science - Ms. Meibers
Watching Jacob learn is fascinating. He takes his time to absorb information and really think about it to learn it, rather than just rely on memorizing facts, and you can see the knowledge click. What makes him amazing is that, although he might not learn instantly, he learns well and he excels at helping other students understand. He doesn’t give other students answers; rather, he walks them through the process of understanding until they know it as well as he does. His level-headedness and sense of humor help other students approach him with problems, and he speaks to and helps everyone in the class with the same level of patience and diligence. Jacob is a truly excellent student.


Cole Scott
11th Grade Math - Mr. Fish
Cole is currently taking AP Calculus, a challenging topic by any criteria. The characteristic that I most appreciate about Cole is his boldness. He persistently and eloquently communicates and defends his mathematical thinking. He does not hesitate to share his thoughts. He is confident without being boastful. He listens to others and responds thoughtfully and respectfully. All of these habits make him a joy to have as a student. Excellent work Cole.


Orren Hilsinger
11th Grade English - Ms. Bruce

Orren works very diligently to complete his work timely and with precision. Orren turns his work in on time or earlier than the due date. Orren is able to communicate positively with others in a group setting and leads discussion and work time effectively and with a consistently positive attitude. Orren always offers assistance and positive encouragement to others when he recognizes the need in peers and friends. His positive attitude never waivers and he carries a warmth and happiness with him that is infectious for students and staff alike.


Felix Lewis
Art - Ms. Gill
Felix earned recognition for the quality of his work in AP Studio Art during the first semester of the 2018/19 academic year. AP Studio Art is a challenging class where students are expected to complete a high volume of artwork that displays advanced craftsmanship, unique perspectives, confidence to experiment with media and techniques, while demonstrating artistic growth. Displaying a commitment to his work with an investment in time, experimentation and research, Felix has grown and performed well beyond expectation. All of the work and dedication to his art has produced pieces that not only show growth in craftsmanship, but also in the ability of an artist to tell a story and make the viewer think about important issues.


Dylan Zurflueh
Welding - Mr. Cavan
I would like to recommend Dylan Zurflueh for the academic excellence award in the area of welding. Dylan is a student who demonstrates both a strong work ethic and desire to master the craft of welding. This has translated into an ability to fabricate any tough welding project that comes through the door as well as to completing two industry certifications. This is a quite the accomplishment for a professional in the industry, let alone a junior in high school. Dylan plans to add to his certification tally prior to graduation which I am sure he we complete with ease. This will be done because of Dylan’s strong work ethic. Dylan is often not only seen completing fabrication tasks thrown his way, but also mentoring younger students in the classroom. Dylan’s commitment to seeing a project from start to finish is manifested in his sacrifice of his own time. Dylan uses his time during 7th period and can often be seen staying long after his class has ended to ensure a project he is doing is not only completed but finished correctly and with quality. I look forward to both this semester and next year as Dylan masters his craft prior to heading into industry.


Carlyn Mangampo
Physical Education - Ms. Gandel
I am pleased to nominate Carlyn for excellence in physical education for weight training. Carlyn came to class everyday ready to put in work. She did not hesitate to ask questions about proper form and pushed outside of her comfort zone in order to try new things. Her dedication inspired several other class members to follow her lead. I appreciate all of her effort in the first semester and already miss her presence this semester. Thank you for your hard work, Carlyn!


Nia Pristas
Choir -Ms. Blackwood
I have taught Nia for five years as a choral student in Kodiak Middle and High Schools. She is an absolute joy to work with and one of the best and brightest young musicians we have in Kodiak.
Nia has enthusiastically participated in every vocal music opportunity possible throughout her middle school and high school years. She has performed in Kodiak school choral groups, in community groups, and has had lead roles in school and community musicals. She has competed in local and state competitions with great success. 
Nia has taken leadership roles in our high school choir council as well as working beside me this year as a teacher’s aide with our middle school choirs. She is eager to take on new challenges and to assist with absolutely anything. She is an astute and conscientious learner, asking questions and always seeking to understand and learn strategies she can use in the future should she become a music teacher. She has developed a wonderful understanding of and rapport with the middle school students, and I can most certainly envision a bright future for her as a potential middle school choral director.
Nia has been often involved in community leadership and other volunteer activities. She has organized and given presentations at state seminars in other academic disciplines. She serves with a smile, consistently gives her best, and is an encouragement and inspiration to everyone she encounters. 
Nia is a young woman of high integrity, she’s trustworthy, dependable, organized, and a very diligent worker. 
She seeks counsel when needed and makes decisions thoughtfully. She is a strong friend to her colleagues and a role model for younger students. I would rank her in the top 5% of our high school students in terms of her character and commitment.
Because of her talent, dedication, social skills, and work ethic, I believe she will be a highly successful professional in any area she chooses, whether performing, conducting, teaching, working in the music business, or working in any other field. She will be a priceless asset to the university program which is most fortunate to have her and a blessing to any future students she teaches.
It is with highest enthusiasm that I award the Fall 2018 Choral Academic Excellence award to Antonia Pristas.


Samantha Burnside
Automotive Technology - Mr. Mcguire
Samantha has put forth a great body of work this semester in Automotive 1. Her work ethic, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills have brought her to the top of her class. She is willing to listen and work through problems that arise and the students around her have noticed this. Samantha has been an instrumental piece in the class with her willingness to help those around her. I have seen her put in the extra effort to be successful and put her own needs aside to help others. She has been an excellent student and peer model this semester.


Shandee Montes
Psychology - Ms. Horn
Shandee Montes worked hard at her academics all semester in General Psychology. I appreciate her attentiveness to detail and the drive she has to complete all of her assignments, projects and essays at the top of her ability. Shandee is quiet in class, but she knows her material very well. As a senior she is still motivated, hard-working and a pleasure to have in class.


Heidi Alonzo
12th Grade Math - Ms. Jackson
Heidi Alonzo models every quality you would hope to see in a student. During the first semester, Heidi completed every assignment on time, with great accuracy, detail, and conscientiousness. Her meticulousness propels her to a rich mathematical understanding, which she elucidates on exams. I appreciate her kindness and patience as she works beside her peers, quietly encouraging and helping them, boosting their mathematical knowledge.


Heidi Alonzo
12th Grade Science - Ms. Allen
This is my second opportunity to have the wonderful Heidi Alonzo in class. She blows me away with her motivation, determination, sense of responsibility and her integrity. Each and every assignment that she turns in to me is on time or turned in even before the due date. Her work always confirms that she puts forth 100% of effort to complete it. I’ve always been impressed with Heidi, even when I had the opportunity to have her in class 3 years ago. Even then she was a hard worker and successful student. She has continued to demonstrate that she will, without a doubt, continue to be successful well beyond her high school years.


Abraham Fields
Art - Ms. Gill
Abraham earned recognition for the quality of his work in AP Studio Art during the first semester of the 2018/19 academic year. Abraham comes into class with a positive creative energy, that not only helps him with his own pieces but inspires those around him. Abraham routinely pushes boundaries through experimentation with techniques and subject matter producing truly inspired works. Not only did Abraham choose to challenge himself by taking an AP studio art class, but he is also taking Advanced Art as well. He has risen to this challenge and has been able to create 3 to 4 pieces each month that are creative and thought provoking at a high-level of craftsmanship.


Solomon Himelbloom
Digital Arts - Mr. Bieber
It is with pleasure that I nominate Solomon Himelbloom for Excellence in Digital Arts-Media Design for Semester One. This is my first year having Solomon in class, and it has been a joy from the start. Solomon came in having a strong technology foundation working with complex computer applications and was able to pick up our professional design tools with a running start. Quick to pick up and apply skills, he humbly continues to be a helpful spirit in the class; I frequently see him helping others with enthusiasm. When given an individual design task, Solomon attacks it from many different angles, not satisfied with the first idea that comes to mind, and continues experimenting to find the best result. It’s that determination and drive that helps him stand out from others within the class, and will prove to be beneficial to him long into the future. It has been a great pleasure working with Solomon this year, and I am excited to see where his skills take him next.


Cameron Bolen
Woods Technology - Mr. Raisley
2018 Fall Semester Woods III student Cameron Bolen is the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award. Cameron started Woods I at mid-year and within a half semester was not only caught up with her classmates but passed many of their accomplishments and abilities. She works hard every day not only on her own projects but also to make sure that if there is someone that needs help with a tool or a concept that she is there for them. She has chosen to make projects that push the bar of creativity as well as style and function. Cameron was a competitor last year at the state level at the Skills USA Cabinetmaking competition and did very well. I believe that she got a taste for the competition and could prove to be a top finisher at this year's competition. A big thank you to Cameron for all of her dedication to the program and the best of luck to her.


Fisher Gandel
Architectural Drafting - Mr. Finley
This year’s Academic Excellence in Architecture Award goes to Fisher Gandel. This is Fisher’s first year as a student in Architectural Drafting. He has an amazing ability to design and create valid solutions to Architectural problems. Fisher asks very insightful questions about his projects and has shown great commitment to producing high quality work. He goes the extra mile to see to it that his work is of great quality and that he meets the deadlines set for him. One specific characteristic that makes Fisher stand out from his peers is his ability to work at a rate that out paces instruction. Fisher is a fantastic student with great talent and abilities. It has been a pleasure having him in my 5th period class. Keep up the great work Fisher!