Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Nenana Lead the Way School

Junior High students at Nenana School received a new banner to hang in the hallway last month. Kris Capps/News-Miner

Nenana teacher Mindy Jacobsen is pretty good at keeping a secret from her junior high students.

She waited until a special banner arrived to announce that Nenana School once again was recognized as a Project Lead the Way Distinguished School for the junior high program. The school is one of 426 schools nationwide to receive the honor. This is the second time the school has been recognized.

Project Lead the Way is a special curriculum that the school adopted in 2013. Jacobsen has undergone extensive training and certification for many of these courses, which she then shares with students. The curriculum is continually evolving.

According to Project Lead the Way, students who engage in these courses are “empowered to engage in problem solving and process thinking, develop technical knowledge and skills, build communication skills, and explore career opportunities.”

Lathrop High School was also recognized. For more information on the program, visit

Arbor Day

Celebrate Arbor Day from noon-1 p.m. today at the Carlson Center Rain Garden, 2010 Second Ave., along the Chena River.

Tanana Valley Watershed Association and partners Georgeson Botanical Garden, BreadLine, Fairbanks Metropolitan Area Transportation System (now FAST) received a grant from the Department of Natural Resources to demonstrate the importance of food forests for local food security to the community and to provide the BreadLine with locally grown food. Copies of the recent printed Green Infrastructure for Interior Alaska guide will also be distributed.

At 7:30 p.m. today, the Alaska Peace Center will plant a tree in memory of Chris White, at the Laborers Hall on Davis Road.

Many Arbor Day activities took place earlier this month when school was still in session.

North Pole music award

North Pole High School’s music program received the $5,500 Enterprise Award earlier this month from Ford Motor Company and GRAMMY Museum. The award recognizes quality music programs at economically underserved schools.

The funds will go toward new instruments, which are sorely needed. Some of the current instruments are held together with duct tape.

In addition, two special Career Day panels were held earlier this month. Experts provided insight to high school students about jobs in the music industry.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.