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This Week at South

This Week at South - 5.6: The Why to Our Whats

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

This Week is Homecoming Week:

It is Homecoming Week at South. We will have three games on Saturday, September 23rd: JV football at 9 am, Varsity Flag Football at noon, and Varsity Football at 2 pm. The Homecoming Dance will be hosted in the South High School Commons and be held from 8-11 pm. The doors will close at 9:30 pm and no one will be admitted thereafter. Once students enter the dance they cannot leave and come back. All students should enter the dance through the gym entrance. 

The Spirit Days are as follows:

  • Monday: Moonlight Monday - wear white
  • Tuesday: Toon Squad - wear your favorite jersey
  • Wednesday: Back to the Future - wear neon
  • Thursday: Space Rodeo - wear western attire
  • Friday: Cosmic Color - wear your class color

Homecoming Ticket Sales:

Homecoming dance ticket sales will be held at lunch in the commons everyday this week until the 10 minute bell.  Tickets may also be purchased online using the parent/student connect portal in Q.  You may bring your online receipt to exchange for a ticket during lunch.  Pre-event tickets are $15.  Tickets will be $20 at the door.

Student Shout Out for Volunteerism/Community Service: Morgan Mariscal

South High School would like to recognize Morgan Mariscal, one of our Air Force ROTC Cadets, for her support of the 21st Century Summer Learning Program at Lake Otis Elementary. She volunteered 360 hours of her time to help support elementary students, teachers, and staff who were involved in the program through June and July. 

Her Letter of Commendation from Principal Kim Baustista is available HERE

Student Shout Out for Academic Achievement: Deanara Castro:

South High School would like to recognize Deanara Castro who was given the National Hispanic Recognition Award by the College Board for her outstanding academic achievement. 

ALICE Drill Bell Schedule for Monday, September 25th:

South will hold an ALICE drill to practice evacuation to our rally point on Monday, September 25th on a modified bell schedule. The schedule follows:

  • 1st: 8:30 - 9:55 am
  • 2nd: 10:01 - 10:37 am
  • 3rd: 10:43 - 11:19 am
  • Lunch: 11:19 - 11:59 am
  • 4th: 11:59 - 12:36 pm
  • 5th: 12:42 - 1:18 pm
  • 6th: 1:24 - 2 pm

PTSO is Looking for School Store Volunteers:

South PTSO is looking for more parent volunteers to staff the school store during lunch. If you are interested, please sign up at the link below:

College Admissions Webinar for 11th & 12th Grade Parents and Students

The South Anchorage High School counseling department has partnered with Frontier Tutoring to deliver a college admissions webinar for 11th and 12th grade parents and students. Parents must register for the webinar in advance – see instructions below. The webinar will cover SAT/ACT testing strategy (including test-optional policy updates), the college list building process, application/essay strategy, and financial aid/scholarship information relevant to juniors and seniors. ASD counselors will be online to answer questions.

South Swim/Dive v. Dimond Meet Results:

South took on Dimond in last week’s meet. The Lady Wolverines are still holding strong with four first place finishes.  The team had their first diving competition last week with Josh Christian taking first place.  The team’s next meet will be this Friday, the 22nd at Service High pool - we are competing against Dimond, Bartlett and East.

Notable results from the Dimond meet are available here.

South Volleyball v. Dimond and East

The South Volleyball Team had an intense week of play last week, taking on the highly competitive Dimond and East teams. Varsity fell in three sets to Dimond and 4 nail-bitingly close sets to undefeated East. Despite the losses, energy levels and expectations for the second half of the season are high.

This week, the team has two away games–Tuesday night at Bartlett and a Friday night rematch at Service. We are hoping for a strong South student section at Service on Friday night so come out, get loud and support your South Wolverines Volleyball team!

Full match results for both games are available at the following link.

Shout out to Marija Wunnicke and Meadow Carr for being named Max Preps Players of the Matches, respectively.

Be a SOUTH Volleyball Supporter

Order delicious SteamDot Coffee Today! Place an order online or share this link with friends and family to help us fundraise for the volleyball program!

100% of the sales of SteamDot Coffee goes to support our athletes and program this season thanks to a generous donation from our premier team sponsor, SteamDot Coffee Company! $15 per 12 oz bag, whole bean or ground. Options include Caldera Blend, Lux French Roast, Lux French Roast Decaf or Red Shed Blend.

Coffee orders must be placed online by September 30th and can be picked up from the South High Gym on Thursday, Oct 5th from 6-8 pm. Contact Heather Birch at (907) 317-0015 if you have any questions or need to arrange for an alternate date to pick up.

South Cross Country Run at Class Race

Runners got to play in the mud last Friday during the Class Race at Bartlett HS. Style points were handed out for the muddiest hay bale stunts.  Sophomore Izzy Mendoza and seniors Karolina Rzeszut, Bella Anderson and Rhiley Larson took home the top honors for South.  

Regions is in two weeks!  Come see over 100 South runners compete on Saturday, September 30th at Kincaid @ from 10-1:30. They are sure to bring home quite a bit of hardware!

Kevin Cassidy, Director & Rep. to the International Labor Office for the U.S. Visits with Civic Leadership Program Students:

Kevin Cassidy, who was in Anchorage for the Alaska World Affairs Council, took time to visit with our Civic Leadership Program students and staff at South to talk about leadership and citizenship. He emphasized the importance of curiosity, empathy, tolerance, and encouraged all students to read widely, explore their strengths, and figure out how their unique talents can be used to improve their local community, and the larger world community. 

Spring Break 2024 France and Spain: 

September is a great time to sign up for the Spring break trip, The Art (and heart) of France and Spain. Visit to get details & sign up before September 27th to take advantage of the promotional discount. Merci & Gracias!

Spring Break 2024 Adriatic Odyssey Tour:

It is not too late to join us on a trip to Italy and Greece during Spring Break 2024. 

  • Day 1-5: Arrival and Italy 
  • Day 6: Transfer to Ancona then night ferry 
  • Day 7-10: Greece and Departure

For detailed information visit Contact Ms. Frankenburger,, for more information.

Fall Sports and Activities Information: Next up are Bowling (9/25), and Wrestling (9/27). 

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.

Alaska Safe Children’s Act:

In October, South High School students will receive lessons associated with the Alaska Safe Children’s Act in their Social Studies classes. Please see the following letter for more information. 

Part II: What I’ve Learned

In the course of what I have been reading over last few months, which includes Let the Trumpet SoundA New EarthAnatomy of a Breakthrough, and most recently The Second Mountain, the question below frequently arises: 

What is the value of knowing one’s purpose and how might we involve our students in finding theirs?

All of us tend to be good at knowing what we want. Many of our students strive for a perfect GPA, a State Championship, attending a competitive college, or getting a lucrative job. These are all viable goals, but their value tends to diminish over time. 

What happens once any of us reaches a material goal? Often we get a rush of fulfillment, but that is a passing phase as the next goal presents itself. If we don’t find some structure in which to fit what we want, we may find ourselves on an unsatisfying journey to an unidentifiable destination. 

The more complex question, and one that aligns more directly with the one above is: why do we want those things? The answer to this is likely to take us deeper into our own personal motivations. If we find it difficult to answer why we want those resumé builders and accolades, we might be chasing the wrong goals. David Brooks defines those who chase goals without purpose as vulnerable narcissists or insecure overachievers.

Countless authors and thinkers have pondered how people find their larger purpose, or how they figure out why what they are doing matters at a deeper level. 

Viktor Frankl, Frederich Nietsche, Leo Tolstoy as well as many others have discovered that only commitment to a cause or a group larger than oneself, or by undergoing great suffering, do individuals find their foundational motivation. Although we all face some degree of adversity, perhaps the easier path is to find our cause or commitment.

Commitment tends to encourage long-term motivation, to enable adaptation to changing life circumstances and to establish a filter for what is important and what should be left aside. 

So, if we readily know what we want, we can all ask: Why do we want it? To what end? 

For example, if you ask me what I do in a literal sense, I’ll tell you I’m a high school principal. 

If you ask why, I’d tell you I’m in pursuit of giving young people opportunities to fulfill their individual potentials and to figure out how they can use their talents and abilities to improve the communities of which they are a part. Ultimately, the aim of learning and education is to get beyond ourselves.

That’s why I do it. And it’s what makes the hardest days easier.

As Always, Onward!

Luke Almon, Principal