Seward High School, Class of 2018
Heleana Backus was a member of the Seward High School Debate, Drama, and Forensics Team, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. However, she wrote that, “The most pivotal points in my development as a thinker and human being have happened in the English classroom.” It was this passion for literature that prompted her to apply for and be elected as the Student Representative on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s English/Language Arts Curriculum Review Committee. Her work on this committee prompted teachers and leaders, from across the District to nominate her for the District’s Golden Apple award.
They wrote, “Heleana’s willingness to participate in creating a strong foundation for future students make her an excellent candidate for the Golden Apple award. Her work will leave a lasting impression in our district and help guide our district’s growth and improvement for many years to come.” Of her own experience with the process, she wrote, “I push myself towards [my] goals with this constantly in mind: conformity can no longer be taught under the guise of public education. I am actively helping to integrate this idea into the classroom with the ELA curriculum committee, but I want to take that further. I strive to bring the vision that the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has for personalizing education to every school.” The Golden Apple was awarded at the May 7, 2018 School Board Meeting in Seward.
When she is not reading, she is most likely working the pottery wheel in the Art Room. The quality of her work prompted Ms. Waggoner, her art teacher, to select Heleana for the Master Potter Award. She has also found commercial success participating in her own First Friday Art Show in Seward on June 1, 2018.
Heleana graduated with a 4.126 Grade Point Average and as Seward High’s Class of 2018 Valedictorian. She is planning to attend Whitman College in Washington, where she will pursue a Secondary Teaching Degree in English and Language Arts.
Seward High School website
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District www.KPBSD.org