FRIENDS OF THE HOMER LIBRARY
Our mission is to provide support for the Homer Public Library programs and services,
to raise funds that enrich the library experience, and to promote the use and enjoyment of the library.
Celebration of Lifelong Learning is an annual social event for
Friends of the Homer Library
that honors an adult and a student member of our community
who prioritize learning and have a passion for sharing their knowledge with others.
The 2021 Lifelong Learner Award goes to Deb Lowney, an enthusiast coach and teacher, talented wood carving artist, curator of local trails and more. Wendy Todd, one of two individuals who nominated her, writes “Deb is an incredible mentor to youth and adults in our community, is always willing to share her time to teach or help others, and never stops trying something new. She is truly and inspiration to me and others.”
As a physical education teacher at Homer Middle School, Lowney inspired her students and co-workers to get involved in their own physical fitness. She also coached several middle school sports and high school basketball, eventually mentoring others to become coaches of community sports. Lowney is an adaptable teacher, as demonstrated when she and staff took on a special Teaching Across the Curriculum program and taught Art While Exploring the Great Outdoors. Lowney’s love of her art led her to wood carving. Former teacher and community activist Dave Brann, who also nominated Lowney says, “She quickly out-paced the rest of us and went from carving hand held pieces to large sculptures of animals, quilts, and clothing.” Brann said, “Her desire to learn more took her to Scotland to take a class on off-center turning. Deb has shared her skill and artistry in local galleries and a variety of shows.”
Lowney also has a passion for local trails, which started with the design and build of a fitness trail behind Homer Middle School. She has been involved in developing the Woodard Creek Trail, maintains the snowshoe trails in the Lower Baycrest Ski Trail system, and is currently the chairperson on the Homer Parks, Recreation, Art and Culture Advisory Commission. Because of Deb Lowney, we have incredible art, trails and sports opportunities, and know that family and our youth are highly valued.
The 2021 Youth Learner Award goes to Larry Dunn, a senior at Homer High School. He comes highly recommended as an outstanding student, talented musician, and an exceptional Drama Debate and Forensics (DDF) participant, and he is not afraid of a challenge as he takes on the most difficult classes Homer High School has to offer. This year, Dunn is undertaking an independent study with his Advanced Placement Language and Composition teacher, Sean Campbell. Dunn designed the course, focusing on philosophy and politics, and receives only guidance from Campbell. Dunn is student council president, a National Honor Society officer, Homer High’s site council student delegate, DDF co-chair with several wining performances, skillfully plays the trumpet in Jazz Band and was 8th chair in the 2021 Alaska All-State Band, and will be the valedictorian at graduation this year. Campbell writes of Dunn: “Larry epitomizes the idea of lifelong learning. He is always searching, always curious, always discovering.” Dunn is also an active volunteer. He served the Kelly Cooper campaign for the Alaska House of Representatives, and shares his time and talents at the Homer Food Pantry and with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.
Celebration of Lifelong Learning was held on KBBI's Coffee Table radio show hosted by Kathleen Gustafson. The celebration was co-hosted by Lyn Maslow, Friends of the Homer Library board president, and David Berry, Homer Public Library Director. Claudia Haines, Youth Service Librarian, announced the 2021 National Center on Women In Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing winners: Olivia Glassman (Homer) - National Award, Honorable Mention; Delilah Harris (Homer) - National Award, Honorable Mention; and Hailee Wallace (Kodiak) - Affiliate Award.
You can listen to an audio recordings of Celebration of Lifelong Learning below: