Aspen Academy Alumni Support Mission-Driven Nonprofits Locally and Worldwide When you walk in the front door o...
Restoration scheduled to begin Spring of 2020 Denver Academy announced that the school has been awarded a gran...
Restoration Scheduled to Begin Spring 2020 Denver Academy announced that the school has been awarded a grant t...
Denver Academy (DA), hosted a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of its Campos EPC Smart Lab in the Elementary/6...
A trio of Otterbein University volleyball players from Westerville, Ohio garnered spots on the 2019 All-Ohio A...
At 56 schools across the country, students are creating one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 2019 National Christma...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER While state funding for K-12 education is the highest it has ever been at...
Denver Academy (DA) is a top school in the nation dedicated to teaching diverse learners, including those with...
The Rockies capped their annual weekend celebration honoring the team’s Latin players and loyal fans with a 3...
When you walk in the front door of Aspen Academy, located in Greenwood Village, the first thing you see are words on the wall: Be Kind. Do Good. Work Hard. Make the World Better. Four Aspen Academy recent alumni have been highlighted for their work and contributions that bring the words “make the world better” off the wall and into our community and beyond.
Tucker Shearn (Class of 2019) was recognized with the inaugural Friends of the Johnson Depression Center Award by the University of Colorado’s Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center. During his 8th Grade year at Aspen, Tucker and his classmates were charged with creating businesses that incorporate a social responsibility element. Tucker opted to create a non-profit, Team Up Athletes, which raises funds for depression awareness and suicide prevention and benefits the Johnson Depression Center at CU. The Center estimates the funds he’s raised to date will provide 15+ trainings for students in the community.
In the Awards Ceremony for the Center, they shared, “We are giving him this award because Tucker’s actions epitomize why we are dedicated to providing free community education programs. We believe that through community engagement we can change how people view mental health, and by changing how people view it, we can change how we as a society decide to prioritize mental wellness and work to prevent tragedies like what Tucker and the volleyball community went through when his friend died by suicide. Tucker is our friend because of his personal mission to improve the physical and mental health of our community.”
In addition, three Aspen Academy Class of 2018 alumni were recently profiled in Preserving the Good Life magazine. Andrew Simon, Ryan Goodspeed, and Connor Schultz (all current sophomores at Regis Jesuit), are featured in this month’s edition for their work promoting a nonprofit that provides clothing and shoes around the world to countries in need.
According to the organization, “Since Soles4Souls began in 2006, we’ve distributed over 35 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.” Soles4Souls accepts shoes in good shape for all sizes and genders.
“We were founded with one rule: Be Kind. What these students showcase is taking that one rule to the highest level by supporting our community and world through important social responsibility. We couldn’t be more thrilled to see them taking on these important causes and making an impact on the world.” said Kristina Scala, Founder & Head of School at Aspen Academy.
Denver Academy announced that the school has been awarded a grant totaling $118,591 by History Colorado’s State Historical Fund (SHF) for the continued preservation of Denver Academy’s historic Chapel Library.
“We are delighted to see Denver Academy and History Colorado’s State Historical Fund continue their partnership to preserve and rehabilitate the historic Bethesda Chapel,” said District 4 Councilwoman Kendra Black. “It’s the perfect setting for a library for Lower School students. Denver Academy’s historic campus stands out as a gem as one of the historically designated landmark structures in our diverse southeast Denver district.”
This is the second grant received from the SHF for restoration and rehabilitation of DA’s Chapel Library. The first grant received in 2017 helped to restore the building’s original stained-glass windows, copper cupola and front doors to their former splendor with work completed in early 2018. This next phase of work is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020 and will address additional areas of need including deteriorating concrete entry stairs and wrought iron railings, damaged bricks and mortar and outdated electrical systems.
DA is one of 31 recipients statewide to have been awarded a grant from the SHF as part of their April 2019 cycle. SHF grants are awarded through a competitive process. The 2019 grant is primarily for the exterior restoration of the building and covers 70% of the cost of the project with the remaining 30 percent being provided by Denver Academy. This grant and the continued support from the State Historical Fund signifies that DA values high-quality historic preservation and demonstrates strong public and community support.
Denver Academy’s Historic Chapel Library
The Chapel Library was built in 1926 and served as the chapel for the Bethesda Sanatorium, which was known worldwide for its treatment of tuberculosis patients, until the late 1990s when the hospital closed its doors. The property was purchased in 2000 by DA and converted into the school’s library becoming known among the DA community as the Chapel Library. That same year, the Chapel Library was designated a historical landmark by the Denver Landmark Commission. The 90-year-old building was designed by award-winning Denver architect Harry James Manning as an expression of the property owners’ Dutch heritage. The building showcases a traditional stepped gable, a common application of Dutch Renaissance Architecture found mostly in Amsterdam.
The Chapel Library’s main entrance is marked by a tower with an elaborately detailed copper cupola cap, an iconic structure that DA has incorporated into its school logo. Other character-defining features include the solid brick masonry walls, tall, narrow windows with multi-pane diagonal and uncommon zinc-camed glazing and the heavy, tongue-and-groove wood plank entry door in the shape of a pointed arch. It is DA’s goal to preserve the historic architectural features of the former chapel while allowing it to continue to function as a 21st century library.
“The Chapel has always been a building of reverence and reflection, and as a library, it continues to be that,” DA Historic Chapel Library Preservation Committee member and DA Librarian Jolene Gutierrez said. “Through these grants from the State Historical Fund, we are able to conserve our past through the preservation of the historic building while also preparing our students for the future. By repairing the entry to our library, updating our cooling and electrical systems, and refinishing the interior doors, we will be maintaining the beauty of this building and increasing safety and comfort.”
Denver Academy (DA), hosted a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of its Campos EPC Smart Lab in the Elementary/6th Grade Building for students, faculty/staff, friends and family of the school on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. The event was by invitation only and celebrated the installation of the new lab which took place in the summer of 2019. The Campos EPC Smart Lab has been in use by DA students in Grades 5 and 6 since the 2019-20 school year kicked off in August.
At the ceremony remarks were given on the project and its importance by Denver Academy Headmaster Mark Twarogowski, as well as by Denver Academy Dean of Elementary School Jennifer Perry and Campos EPC Founder/Denver Academy parent Marco Campos.
Following the ceremony, DA students provided demonstrations of projects they have completed to date this school year using the Campos EPC Smart Lab. Teachers were also available to answer questions.
Denver Academy’s Elementary/6th Grade Building
DA reopened the school’s newly renovated Elementary/6th grade building, serving students in grades 1-6, in February 2019. The building was renovated in the summer and fall of 2018 as part of Phase One of DA’s two-phased Building on Excellence 50th Anniversary construction project and capital campaign currently underway. The building now provides right-sized classrooms, flexible learning spaces and state-of-the-art technology to help DA Faculty teach students in the way each student learns best, which is Denver Academy’s specialty. Find out more about the Elementary/6th Grade Building renovation and additional projects of DA’s Building on Excellence campaign.
A trio of Otterbein University volleyball players from Westerville, Ohio garnered spots on the 2019 All-Ohio Athletic Conference team for the first time in their careers Monday morning, including a pair of special-award winners, as announced by the league office.
Headlining the entire list was junior middle hitter Tate Eppard from Greenwood Village who emerged to claim OAC Player of the Year honors following a vote from the league coaches. Her selection makes Otterbein the first school in volleyball league history to claim three-straight Player of the Year honors, as Eppard now joins a list that includes former All-Americans Morgan Lowenkamp (2017) and Hadley Sterett (2018). They are the only three Cardinals to ever receive the highest honor.
Eppard is from Greenwood Village and attended Cherry Creek High School. She led the OAC in total kills (383) and kills per set (3.61) this season while also ranking fourth in hitting percentage (.333), fifth in total blocking (80) and seventh in blocks per set, compiling 15 solo and 65 assisted for a 0.75 average. She erupted for a career-high 27 kills and .571 hitting percentage against Heidelberg, blasted 19 in the recent OAC Tournament Championship, and also delivered 15 in a win over nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon.
“We are so happy for Tate,” head coach Monica Wright said. “She has been our rock offensively and I can’t think of one bad match she’s had all year. I haven’t seen a more motivated player in terms of their approach to practice and each offseason, getting from where she was to where she is now. She barely saw the floor as a freshman because she was sitting behind Morgan, but always continued to learn and improve. This is a testament to her work ethic and focus.”
Otterbein currently boasts a 25-6 overall record, including a 7-2 mark within the OAC, to finish third in the regular-season standings. The Cards then narrowly fell in the tournament final at ONU, seeing four match-point opportunities in one of the most competitive battles all season. Five of Otterbein’s losses were to nationally-ranked teams.
At 56 schools across the country, students are creating one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 2019 National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse in President’s Park. These handcrafted ornaments will adorn 56 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree. The 56 trees represent each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia as part of the America Celebrates display.
“From state flowers to notable landmarks, students across the country are creating ornaments that celebrate their state, district or territory.
Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education worked with state art and education agencies to identify elementary, middle and high schools whose students would create the ornaments for the America Celebrates display. Over 1,500 students will participate in this year’s project. The project is funded by the National Park Foundation.
The America Celebrates display is one of the highlights of the National Christmas Tree experience, which will begin on Thursday, Dec. 5 with the 97th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Colorado will be represented by Grand Mountain school.
The National Christmas Tree Lighting has strong ties to education. In 1923, a letter arrived at the White House from the District of Columbia Public Schools proposing that a decorated Christmas tree be placed on the South Lawn of the White House. On Christmas Eve that year, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the Oval Office to the Ellipse and pushed a button that lit the first National Christmas Tree. It was a 48-foot fir donated by Middlebury College in Vermont.
Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree which can be viewed year-round in President’s Park – one of America’s 419 national parks! The National Park Service recently planted a new Colorado blue spruce to serve as the National Christmas Tree.
The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will kick off the holiday season with live musical performances, special guests and the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The festivities continue with a daily lighting of the National Christmas Tree, free evening musical performances and a chance to see the 56 state, district and territory trees and their ornaments up close from Dec. 9, 2019 through Jan. 1, 2020.
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
While state funding for K-12 education is the highest it has ever been at $8,480 per student, 104 out of 178 school districts in Colorado are now operating on a four-day school week, according to a just-released report from the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a 501(c)(3) centered on public policy to benefit children in three areas, one of which is K-12 education.
A large part of the problem lies in the outdated formula used to fund K-12 public school education in Colorado that depends on local property values to determine how much the state contributes to K-12 funding in each school district. It will be very complicated to change, but unless and until that is done, the large disparities will continue.
Dr. Brenda Bautsch Dickhoner and Chris Brown undertook a recent study called “Dollars and Data: A Look at K-12 Education Funding in Colorado” for the Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR), a non-profit free-
enterprise think tank dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy. Dickhoner holds a PH.D. in public policy from the University of Colorado at Denver and has spent the last decade working in education policy at the national and state level.
The study found that “There is significant variation in the proportional amount taxpayers are contributing to public education through property taxes. Colorado’s education funding system sets a specific amount of total program funding for individual districts. Then it calculates how much each district will contribute through local revenues, and finally, backfills with state funding to get districts to their prescribed funding levels. The amount that local districts contribute to total program funding—which determines the amount of state subsidy to each district—is not based on an intentional policy design and varies dramatically throughout the state.”
The result is, “A taxpayer with a median value home in Pueblo, for example, pays $673.55 in property taxes for total program education funding, while a taxpayer in Kit Carson also living in a median value home pays $194.83. Given these flaws in how local dollars are contributed by districts to K-12 funding, the system does not raise revenue in the most effective, or even logical, manner.”
While there is general agreement that teacher salaries are too low in Colorado, they “vary dramatically around the state and within the Metro Denver region,” according to the CSPR study. It found that the average teacher salary in metro Denver was $56,621 in 2017. The state average was $51,810, which is 31st in the United States, but well above the average salary in the southeast region of our state, which was $38,157. “Teacher salaries in 95 percent of the state’s rural district are below the cost of living for their area,” according to the CSPR study, which concluded that the current method for school funding for K-12 education “collects revenues from taxpayers in an inequitable way and then fails to fully address the disparate local funding levels when allocating total program funding to school districts,” thus “careful thought should be given to any policies or ballot initiatives focused on K-12 education funding.”
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