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This Week at South

This Week at South - 5.27: Beyond Directions

Greetings South Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Past issues of this newsletter are available at the following link: TWaS Archive

TWaS is also sent via Canvas Messenger and linked to my Canvas Module for all students and families to access, and shared on South’s FB page.

Part I: The News

Content DisclaimerI am not omniscient. Don’t see your event or results in the newsletter below? I rely on parents, coaches, and others to send me information to include in the newsletter. Feel free to share positive news and results anytime via my email.

Academies of Anchorage Parent/Guardian Survey:  

In the fall of 2025, the Anchorage School District will launch the Academies of Anchorage at the eight comprehensive high schools. Each academy will have a college and career focus and offer students elective courses aligned to their academic and career interests, including the potential for job-site experience, internships, apprenticeships, early college and more. Although there are a significant number of details that need to be addressed before we reach that point, we would like your feedback on what college and career areas you believe are most important to students at South High School. 

Please give us your input by taking a brief survey that is linked here.

Climate and Connectedness Survey:

The Climate and Connectedness Survey opened yesterday and will remain open through March 8th. Please take a moment to fill the survey out to provide us with feedback that will help us better serve our students and our community. The Family Survey can be found at the following LINK.

Freshman Academy Career Exploration Course Overview:

Please find an overview of the Freshman Academy Career Exploration Course at the following LINK. It includes details about the content and focus of the course as well as contact information about where to get more information and ask questions. 

South Theater Presents:

South Theater Group presents the spring play, LOVE/SICK, a collection of eleven slightly twisted and completely hilarious short plays exploring the pain and joy that comes with being in love. Set to contemporary music covers and original music, LOVE/SICK is full of imperfect lovers and dreamers; it is an unromantic comedy for the romantic in everyone. Recommended for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults. Starting at 7pm this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

State Nordic Ski Results - Vebjorn Flagstad named State Skimeister
The South High School Nordic Ski team competed in the ASAA State Championship races at Kincaid Park during difficult weather and trail conditions. Overall, the South skiers had amazing individual and team performances over this three day race series.
A huge congratulations to Vebjorn Flagstad who not only took home the regional title of Skimesiter two weeks ago, but this amazing sophomore skier also took home the coveted title of Skimeister for the State Championship. This is an amazing accomplishment!

The Varsity teams competed in 4 person relays for the final day of the State Championships. The South Varsity boys came in 4th place, with strong performances by Grayson Stanek-Alward, Ethan Styvar, Cedar Ruckel, and Vebjorn Flagstad.

The South Varsity Girls skied to a 4th place finish in the relays. The skiers who earned this 4th place finish included Maya Tirpack, Lilian Coy, Mia Stiassny, and Alise Elliott. 

A special shout out to Alise Elliott who skied the anchor leg of the relay. Part way into her leg, her binding fell off. She borrowed an old ski from a spectator that was different in size and showed true grit, spirit and determination when she had to finish her race under these conditions. Way to persevere and not give up Alise!

Overall, both teams show significant talent and depth. Detailed results are available at the following LINK.

Fill Up the Jug for South Bowling!

During this SOBOSS week, help show your spirit by supporting the Bowling Team!  Do you have a random collection of loose change weighing down your car or counter?  Send it to school and let's all help "Fill Up the Jug" with your loose change.  Every day during lunch, a jug will be near the school elevator...let's see if the school can fill it up by the end of SOBOSS!  The bowling team thanks you for your support!  

South Girls JV Basketball takes CIC Title:

​​South girls JV won the CIC Regions championship this Saturday at South beating Bartlett for the title after wins against West and Dimond in earlier rounds!

The C Team advanced past Bartlett in the first round of Regions, but lost to West in the second. Varsity beat Eagle River on Friday and will play Service on Friday, March 1st at Service at 6 pm for our last conference match up! Regions start Monday on Monday, March 4th.

Come cheer on your Lady Wolverines!

Summer Intern Program for Recent High School Graduates - Washington, D.C

All Alaskan high school students in their senior year may apply for the opportunity to spend three to four weeks in Senator Murkowski's Washington, D.C. office. The Senator will select a total of sixteen students from all areas of Alaska to participate in two separate, three to four week sessions (8 students per session). Housing and transportation will be coordinated by the Senator's office, but interns will be responsible for the cost. Interns will be paid a small stipend.

Dates of high school internships are:

  • session one, June 2-29, 2024 or
  • session two, July 27 – August 3, 2024

Shout Out to Grant Chythlook for National Youth Orchestra Selection:

Congratulations to Grant who has been accepted to the National Youth Orchestra, a national program through Carnegie Hall. Grant and his peers will fly to New York City where they will be in residence for a couple weeks, then perform in Carnegie Hall. After that they’ll tour to Dallas Texas before returning home.

Last Chance to Sign up for E-Sports!

Sign up for E-sports today! The deadline to get your golden ticket in for E-sports is Thursday, February 29th! Put your Smash Brothers skills to the test and compete for the Alaska State Championship and scholarships! See Kara Cravens in the activity office to get your Golden Ticket.

Register to Vote Today!:

The SAHS spring voter registration drive will be on Monday, February 26th in Ms. Seward’s room, H111. The registrar will be here periods 1-6. Students can register to vote if they will be 18 years of age by May 26th. They will be able to vote in the local election if they will be 18 by April 2nd. Please remind them to bring a form of ID. Students can stop by Ms. Seward’s room anytime that day to register to vote. 

South Peer Mentorship Now Accepting Applications:

Want to make a difference at South? Peer Mentorship is the place for you! Applications are open until March 8th, and we are looking for driven students who want to make a difference at South. This class will improve your public speaking skills, make it easier to get a job, and it looks great on college applications! Look for the QR codes around the school, or head over to our instagram (@sahspeermentors) and click on the application link.

South PTSO Looking for School Store Volunteers:

The PTSO School Store is looking for volunteers. There are also training opportunities available in order to get comfortable with running the store at lunch. Sign up for either or both at the link below: 

Store Signup:

Cap and Gown Orders:

Jostens will be in the commons from 10-11:30 am every Friday until Spring Break for cap and gown pickup. If you haven’t ordered, please do so soon at the following link:

Yearbook Details - March 1st Deadline Approaching!

In order to receive a yearbook by Senior Fun Day, it is vital that students get their orders and ads in early. Please remember, after you have submitted your ad, the Yearbook Staff still has to place and edit each one. The FINAL deadline, no exceptions is: March 1st.

As of Wednesday, January 10th, only 44 Seniors have purchased a Senior Ad. 

If you just haven't gotten around to ordering yours, yet, now is the time to act!

Here is the link to use to order ads:

Spring Sports Registration and Participation:

We are gearing up for spring sports! Up first is eSports (2/26), followed by Soccer, Track & Field, Baseball & Softball (3/4). 

All athletes need to complete Planet HS, pay the fee through ParentConnection, and then see Mrs. Cravens in the Activities Office for eligibility processing and a golden ticket. All athletes are required to have a golden ticket to start practice. 

Contact Kara Cravens at with any questions.

Seal of Biliteracy:

If you are a student who is fluent in a second language and you are not enrolled in a French, German or Spanish class at South High School, and you wish to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy, please reach out Elizabeth Dick, our World Language Department Chair, at

This would include any student who speaks an Alaska Native language or a language we don’t specifically offer as a class. 

Part II: What I’ve Learned

In the last few weeks I have found myself returning to Nassim Taleb’s books: The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and Antifragile. I find him to be one of the most original thinkers and a true polymath. He is as well grounded in ancient philosophy as he is in advanced mathematics, and he is wealthy beyond want so he also tends to tell the truth as he sees it. 

I have recently opened his book of aphorisms entitled: The Bed of Procrustes, a not so subtle reference to the figure from Greek Mythology who appeared generous, but was actually cruel. Hence, Taleb’s aphorisms are attempts at sharing short statements that illuminate misleading circumstances, which are meant to encourage his readers to exercise humility and question their reality. 

In his section on Chance, Success, Happiness, Stoicism he writes: “Never hire an A student unless it is to take exams” (p. 42). 

Although this claim may seem aggressive on its face, there is some degree of truth to it. Students who earn high grades are likely to be able to follow directions, but when a messy situation presents itself, there are no directions to follow. As a result, their ability to succeed outside of an ordered environment may become less valuable. Unless they adapt quickly, frustration is likely to follow. 

This, in some sense, is why we hear more and more about what non-academic abilities underlie success in life beyond high school. More emphasis is placed on affective skills. 

Ultimately, we have reached a point where information is cheap and easy to share. That means most information is also less reliable. So, being an A student is still good. But being an A student who is a critical thinker, can see beyond the surface, ask essential questions, envision an issue from all sides, and then communicate clearly is probably a better goal than objective achievement alone. 

This kind of ability also transcends any one specific job or life task and allows the individual to prepare for situations which are currently unforeseen. 

As Always, Onward!

Luke Almon, Principal