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Celebrating Academic Excellence

Group photo of Academic Excellence awards recipients holding their certificates.

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

A total of 28 students received awards for their outstanding performance in the classroom. Here’s what their teachers had to say.


Landen Choate

I have recommended Landen Choate for this award because of his strong work ethic and attention to detail. Landen is only a freshman and yet he shows maturity beyond his age when it comes to producing quality work. He is the only freshman trusted with completing projects without direct supervision. You can often see Landen exercising the old adage “measure twice and cut once”. Landen also passed industry certification a few weeks ago making him the only first semester freshman to accomplish this industry credential. Not many students in the country at his age can wear the title of Certified Welder. This is a direct result of his hard work and dedication to the welding process. I look forward to many more years with Landen as a student and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next. ~Mr. Cavan

Mary Grace Enriquez
Culinary Arts

It is with great pleasure I nominate Mary Grace for the Culinary Arts Academic Excellence. Mary Grace soars above the rest of the Culinary students with her grace, quietness, work ethic and leadership of encouraging others to do more and better. Mary Grace is a very quiet young lady, but she is an amazing student to get to work with both in the classroom and outside of the classroom in our FCCLA organization. She displays exemplary leadership qualities through her work ethics. She does not just sit an watch others work, she gets her tasks done, asks what the next task is and if she doesn’t have a specific task, she is working on sanitation or encouraging others to do well at their tasks at hand. She has an amazing amount of positive energy and it is so refreshing to work with her and that energy level. I believe Mary Grace will continue to shine and do very well throughout her high school years. She will continue to grow in her leadership abilities and lead the way for KHS. Thanks for being a part of Culinary and FCCLA Mary Grace. You are an amazing individual. ~Ms. Glagolich

Alexia Madrid 
Learning Café

The Learning Café would like to award Alexia Madrid the Semester 1 Academic Excellence Award. Alexia is a quiet and attentive student that is often over-looked in a traditional classroom setting; however, she is a leader and recognized hard worker in the small group learning environment. This school year, Alexia has taken on academic and social risks that have pushed her outside of her comfort zone. For example, she has improved her public speaking skills, and she can work at the dry erase board with a learning partner without a second thought. A few of Alexia’s most admirable traits are: her steadfastness, punctuality, and tenacity. She diligently works at a task until she gets it. We appreciate Alexia’s care to show her work in her math notebook, and her ‘all in’ learning attitude. It is with great joy that we take this time to applaud Alexia Madrid’s successful first semester at Kodiak High School’s- Learning Café Program. ~Ms. Thomas

Mya Porter 
9th Grade Science

I am nominating Mya Porter for the Academic Excellence Award in science because all year she has shown great ability and enthusiasm in my biology class. Mya has a great demeanor and a passion for learning. She asks many great questions and also is able to many questions when we have classroom discussions. She is always on task with her work and her work is always impeccable. She always strives to do her best and put her best foot forward when it comes to doing anything in my class. It is with great pleasure that I nominate Mya Porter for this Academic Excellence Award for Biology. ~Mr. Flerchinger

Christian Rockenbach

The academic excellence award in architecture for 1st semester goes to Christian Rockenbach. I have been very impressed with Christian’s ability to complete his assignments on time and with great detail. Christian has been consistently leading the class in the quality of work that he produces. Christian is a role model in my class. His peers look up to him for advice and I admire the fact that he is able to complete his work and balance helping out his classmates that sit by him. Christian has been able to work at a level that has out-paced instruction. This is what teachers strive to see in their students. I am extremely proud of Christian for his efforts and I look forward to being a part of the wonderful successes that Christian has in the future. ~Mr. Finley

Sara Scott
9th Grade Math

Each day, Sara Scott brings radiant positivity into the classroom. Her enthusiasm for mathematics is especially apparent when she learns a new concept. For her, seeing how the patterns of mathematics fit together brings wonder. She jumps in with both feet to master the new challenge. And master it, she does. Congratulations, Sara! ~Ms. Jackson


Kendall Arneson
10th Grade Social Studies

Kendall Arneson has been an exceptional student in Advanced Placement World History at Kodiak High School. Kendall has consistently applied herself toward mastery of the content, effectively preparing outside of class, including often during lunch time, to be prepared for the class learning to follow. This early preparation benefits her tremendously. Additionally, Kendall has improved her essay processes, successfully merging her historical knowledge, comprehension, to then fuse impressively into a coherent essay finely attuned to assertions, analysis and evidence. Lastly, Kendall is a leader of learning in our AP class. She is kind, generous, and well respected by her peers. I remain excited to learn with Kendall 2nd semester, and to have Kendall continue to lead her AP peers toward successful preparation for the AP exam, all the while savoring the journey of collective world history learning. ~Mr. Neagley

Nicholas Carver
Woods Technology

It is with great pleasure that I recognize sophomore, Nick Carver for academic excellence. I have Nick for Woods 1 this year and he has been a star all semester long. Nick has picked levels of complexity for his projects that show that he is actually trying to challenge himself and that he has the confidence to pull it off. He has done a nice job in design as well as craftsmanship. I have also appreciated Nick's ability to help other Woods I students in planning and building their projects. He has already shown his hand for the next project that he has planned and it is a beauty. It really shows that Nick takes the instruction to heart and then adds to it his own attention to detail and desire to show his creative taste. Good luck second semester, Nick and thank you for all of your hard work. ~Mr. Raisley

Nathaniel Cortez
10th Grade Language Arts

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, I chose Nathaniel Cortez for this honor. Nathaniel distinguishes himself everyday in class with a positive attitude and energy. He exemplifies what it means to be a Kodiak student by giving his best efforts for each assignment and by making his academics a priority. Nathaniel demonstrates leadership abilities within the classroom by asking questions for clarification and by bravely participating in discussions, a skill that is sometimes rare to be found in classrooms. In doing so, he regularly gets the highest scores on assignments. He is a pleasure to have in class and he always has a ready smile, although I am sure some days are not easy for him. Nathaniel is worthy and deserving of this recognition. It is students like him that make Kodiak High School a wonderful place to be for all of us. ~Ms. Cooke

Jo Francisco 
10th Grade Math

Jo has proven himself a highly astute mathematician. He sees a problem and creatively uses all of his tools from past math classes and life experiences to solve it. He is readily willing to help his classmates and volunteers in class. On exams, he shows his rich understanding through accurate and comprehensive explanations. Keep up the great work, Jo! ~Ms. Jackson

Shaun Gibson
10th Grade Language Arts

Shaun Gibson has shown incredible growth and maturity in and out of the classroom. Shaun began his sophomore school year with a determination to try his absolute hardest. I have seen Shaun working diligently on homework assignments and studying for tests. His desire to learn and try new things is quite exciting to observe. Shaun’s passion for learning is even influencing his friends to try their best as well. The change this year has been night and day in regards to Shaun’s confidence. I have witnessed Shaun become a leader of his peers in the classroom during group assignments. Shaun finished middle school with a reading rate of 77 words per minute when the majority of his peers were reading at 140-160 words per minute. Shaun spent 9th grade working on his reading skills and his rate at the end of freshman year was 109 words per minute. This year, after months of direct instruction in phonemic awareness and hard work, Shaun scored a 140 word per minute score on his recent reading fluency assessment placing him on par with his grade level peers. Shaun’s hard work and leadership make him a prime candidate for the academic excellence award in English. ~Mr. Boley

Shula Matchian
10th Grade Language Arts

Shula Matchian is a true candidate for the academic excellence award. Shula’s academic growth and maturity have truly been outstanding. Shula began high school with a quiet and shy disposition. She would perhaps say three words the entire class period. Students in my class often must give presentations in front of the classroom. I remember her 9th grade year the first presentation Shula flat out refused to do. The second presentation she allowed the teacher to read it out loud for her. The third presentation Shula read it out loud from her chair with nobody allowed to make eye contact with her. The next presentation she stood up at her desk. This was followed by Shula finally standing in front of the classroom and presenting her own project by herself. With each presentation Shula gained confidence in herself and her abilities. This year as a sophomore, Shula has shown even more confidence in public speaking. Not only that but she is also reaching out and befriending the younger classmen offering them encouragement. Her reading scores have improved consistently and when given the choice of acting out a drama or writing paper, Shula willingly chose to act a drama out in front of her peers over the paper. On account of her exceptional growth, Shula is a well-deserved candidate for the academic excellence award. ~Mr. Boley

Madisyn Sickafoose Mr. Bieber
Media Design

For this year’s nomination for Excellence in Media Design and Photography, I am pleased to nominate Madisyn Sickafoose. Madisyn joins me this year in two classes- Multimedia and Photography. Not one to back away from a challenge, she’s been able to attack both classes with gusto. In Multimedia, she quickly grasps challenging skills and techniques- and finds new an interesting ways to apply them. I’ve observed her on many occasions help others in class who are struggling with a process, applying her knowledge in an abstraction of how it was learned. She’s proven, time and time again, that she understands and can apply the lessons…and help others along the way. In her photography pursuits, Madisysn constantly pushes herself to create unique works- finding inspiration in a myriad of places, and incorporating the themes into her own creations. Full of good questions and observations, she is always a welcome face and an inspiration to have around. Madisyn’s good attitude, determination, and drive is one that I absolutely enjoy, and I look forward to future opportunities for her to shine. ~Mr. Bieber


Janny Eng 
11th Grade Social Studies

It is a privilege to recognize Janny Eng for academic excellence in social studies. I have known Janny since elementary school and this year it’s been my pleasure to have her in AP US History. She’s one of the most remarkable students I’ve encountered in my career. With each quiz I try to distribute a copy of exemplary work so others can see what’s expected. I easily could have only copied Janny’s work all year. Janny is not content to simply memorize historical facts; she engulfs higher-order concepts, dissects issues, and eagerly dives into the depths of history. She streams by the adscititous, driven by an unfailing intellectual curiosity. Just this week, she stayed after class to discuss the constitutional ramifications of Lincoln’s presidency and later the intricacies of emerging labor unions in the Gilded Age. She leads not by speaking over other students, but by listening and then presenting thoughtfully crafted arguments. The more challenging the reading for AP US History, the more she is engaged. I find myself searching for college-level history and political science interpretations that will facilitate growth rather than mire her in banality. She’s always searching for the next level of complexity and analysis because it is what drives her; Janny personifies excellence. It is my priviledge to recognize Janny for excellence in Social Studies. ~Ms. Parnell

Kim Fortaliza
11th Grade Social Studies

I nominated Kim Fortaliza as my student in Social Studies to be recognized for Academic Excellence. I have been fortunate to not only have Kim in my U.S. History class, but also in my Health II class this semester. Kim is a pleasure to have in class with her positive-attitude and hard-working mentality! She has become a leader in the classroom as she willingly helps her peers and is always trying her best. Kim holds herself to high academic standards which can be seen in every assignment, essay and project that she completes in either of my classes. Thank you! ~Ms. Horn

Jordene Garcia
11th Grade Math

Jordene exemplifies the characteristics of an academic. She pours over her mathematics assignments, using them as an avenue for understanding and mastery. She is very humble in her abilities and is quick to seek conversation about mathematics with her peers. In this way, she boosts others to achieve along with her. Fantastic job, Jordene! ~Ms. Jackson

Chris Glade 
11th Grade Science

Chris is one of those people who just “gets” science. He sees how things work almost instantly, and when he doesn’t, he works intensely until he does. He excels in unstructured labs, where just the end objective is given, which is a major stumbling block for many students in AP Science classes. He is an exceptional student, and his academic focus and success deserve recognition. ~Ms. Meibers

Dalton Horn
Metal Arts

Dalton has earned Academic Excellence for Metal Arts for the Fall 2019-20 semester. Metal Arts is a new class to KHS in which both welding techniques and artistic design are combined. Dalton’s strong focus and work ethic has allowed him to create unique and well-crafted sculptures. He always meets the design problem presented to the class with enthusiasm. Dalton takes the time to add in the extra touches to his pieces showing the amount of pride he takes in his creations. ~Ms. Gill/Mr. Cavan

Julianna Jones 

Julianna earned recognition for the quality of her work in Art III during the first semester of the 2019/20 academic year. Julianna comes into class with a positive creative energy. She routinely pushes boundaries through experimentation with techniques and subject matter producing intriguing and creative pieces. I appreciate Julianna’s giving spirit as she encourages those around her. I am looking forward to having Julianna in my art class for her senior year as she continues her artistic journey. ~Ms. Gill

River Limchantha 

I am happy to recognize River Limchantha for excellence in Health I. River is motivated and engaged in our health classroom. Her positive attitude and sense of humor helped create a robust and connected classroom community. Her willingness to grapple with what are sometimes difficult topics encouraged others to feel comfortable as well. If you know River, you know she is a people person. In class, she often works to lift others up – passing them an encouraging note, offering a positive word, or simply smiling at her classmates. Thank you, River, for being a bright and energetic light in health. ~Ms. Gandel

Ronald Paguio 
11th Grade Language Arts

In English Language Arts, Ronald Paguio is as close to perfect as it gets. Literary analysis demands an exactitude and attention to detail that is rarely achieved. But, Ron is certainly rare. Ron achieves high marks in many classes, but English, Ron’s second language, offers obstacles of idiom, figuration, euphemism, and nuance daunting to any native speaker of the language. Ron leaps, unfettered, over these barriers and attacks his reading and writing with a tireless effort. In composition Ron reveals a pen quickly expanding for college readiness, one that demonstrates courage in composition and reliability in rationale. As a peer Ron is unphased by any question and ready to offer support or council to his peers. Ron Pagiuo exceeds expectation again and again, expanding his vocabulary, challenging his linguistic capacity, and preparing himself for a future of his own making. ~Mr. Jackson

Akio Viray
Physical Education

It is a privilege to recognize Akio Viray for excellence in weight training. This is our second year training together. Akio always comes to class ready to work. No matter what we are doing – from lifting to HIIT training to outdoor runs, he tackles it fully and without complaint. Akio is truly humble and never brings attention to himself, but his outstanding work ethic makes him a role model in class. I expect that Akio’s focus and determination will continue to bring him success both inside and outside of the high school environment. Thank you, Akio, for always doing your best and setting a high bar for the rest of the class. ~Ms. Gandel


Tayla Eaton

Tayla has earned recognition for the quality of her work in AP Studio Art during the first semester of the 2019/20 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 her work with an investment in time, Tayla has created a series of unique and expressive characters which illustrate her own creative stories. It has been my honor to have been a part of her artistic journey. I wish her all the best for her post high school adventures. ~Ms. Gill

Jovanny Eugenio
English Language Acquisition Program

The ELAP Department has nominated senior Jovanny Eugenio for his Academic Excellence during the Fall semester of 2019. In class, Jovanny strives to exceed expectations. The high standards that he holds himself to are evident in his work. Jovanny especially shines when working on creative projects—when given a group assignment to present a rap demonstrating his grammar skills, he not only helped write a fantastic rap, but he also came up with a dance choreography to match! Jovanny’s friendly disposition, humor, and upbeat attitude brighten the classroom daily. When his classmates face struggles, he is eager to share advice or a kind word. Jovanny’s positive outlook when interacting with others is contagious, and his ability to influence and unite his peers in the classroom speak to his role as a natural leader. ~Ms. Adams/Ms. Anderson

Leif King
12th Grade Science

Leif is an excellent student in all subject areas, but I feel that he truly shines brightest in science. He works diligently to understand every aspect of the material, and then works harder to help others around him understand it as well. He excels at inquiry labs, seeing connections and relationships easily and relating them to other topics. His enthusiasm for learning is always apparent and will lead him to success in the future! ~Ms. Meibers

Ericka Sarmiento
English Language Acquisition Program

The ELAP Department has nominated senior Ericka Sarmiento for her Academic Excellence during the Fall semester of 2019. Ericka is highly self-motivated, consistently using her class time productively to complete assignments. Ericka’s quiet, calm, and poised presence exhibits a maturity and understanding that is well beyond her years. Ericka has an outstanding memory and creative mind, which she uses to guide her classmates should they need assistance. She is an attentive listener and helps the class maintain a respectful environment during group discussions. Ericka demonstrates her strong sense of responsibility and diligent work ethic both in the classroom and at her place of employment after school. Whether you’re her teacher, classmate, or coworker, Ericka’s grace and conscientious approach to everything she does truly makes her a joy to be around. ~Ms. Adams/Ms. Anderson

Cole Scott 
12th Grade Math

I am currently guiding Cole through his second year of calculus as well as a statistics class. Cole is like a blood hound with his math. He quickly picks up on the scent and is relentless in his pursuit of understanding. I am frequently amazed at his comprehension and tenacity. The moments that I enjoy the most are our interactions as we both pursue something new and challenging. He is excited about the discovery and rarely surprised upon discovering the solution. As if there was always an expectation that, of course, the solution was going to present itself. Combining his competence and his confidence, he is simply a joy to have in class. I look forward to continuing our work. ~Mr. Fish

Maxx Wiersum 
Metal Arts

Maxx has earned Academic Excellence for Metal Arts for the Fall 2019-10 semester. Metal Arts is a new class to KHS in which both welding techniques and artistic design are combined. Maxx brings to this class a great amount of energy and enthusiasm. He goes above and beyond in each of his assignments displaying creativity and exceptional craftsmanship. We also appreciate that Maxx will step in and help his classmates with setting up equipment and giving good advice on how to create their own vision. We look forward to seeing what he creates next semester as he meets the design challenges presented to him. ~Ms. Gill/Mr. Cavan

Dylan Wynn 
12th Grade Language Arts

Dylan Wynn is an excellent student of literature; it’s clear he uses literature in the best way: as a vehicle for understanding life and the world around him. He reads eagerly, with curiosity and perception, while showing compassion and generosity in both his character analysis and treatment of fellow classmates. His original writing displays fresh insight on classic works. All the while, his classroom demeanor is scholarly and friendly, witty and humble. It’s a pleasure having Mr. Wynn in class. ~Ms. Heitman