Summer 2018 Vol. 17 | No. 4
Five Star Proud:
POINTS OF PRIDE | PAGE 22
Vol. 17 | No. 4 | Summer 2018
to your Five Star Schools
Official Sponsor of
the Five Star Journal
1500 E. 128th Ave.
Thornton, CO 80241
Board of Education
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is a caring, inclusive and
engaging district which exists so the students it serves
can attain the knowledge and skills necessary to
pursue the future of their choosing and are equipped
to navigate and thrive in our rapidly changing world.
IN THIS ISSUE
4 Superintendent Message
6 District Calendar
8 Five Star Proud:
10 Elementary School Feature:
Teachers Become Students
14 High School Feature:
Up Close at Hamilton
16 ELEVATE Update
18 Five Star Snapshots
20 District Feature:
22 Points of Pride
24 2016 Bond Update
26 In the News
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 3
Safety Task Force
Team of parents, staff, students and law enforcement
to make recommendation on safety investments
For students to grow academically and thrive,
they must first feel safe and be safe.
Communities across the United States –
including Adams 12 Five Star Schools – are
considering ways to further enhance school
safety in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at
Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland,
Florida in which 17 students were killed.
While we regularly work with students,
staff, parents and law enforcement on safety
matters, I felt it was important to convene a
task force in which all of these partners could
come together at the same time to discuss
ways the district and our schools might
improve safety and security.
The Safety Task Force, made up of about
30 members, first met on April 25 and will
continue its work through June. The group
is charged with recommending to me both
short- and long-term investments in safety
Members aren’t starting from scratch. The
topic of safety and security has been a focus
area that’s been explored through ELEVATE,
our engagement process for developing the
district’s new five-year strategic plan.
The task force is further refining the work
that has come out of the ELEVATE process as it
relates to safe schools. This includes focusing
on three areas that support a safe and secure
learning environment for our students: capital
investments, staffing needs and partnerships,
and programs and curriculum.
Physical safety improvements to our buildings
fall under this category. Currently, all
of our elementary, middle and K-8 schools
have Aiphones, which allow front office staff
to make contact with visitors before they
are allowed to enter the building. Further
investments beyond those outlined in the
2016 Bond may include upgraded and
4 | Superintendent Message
By Chris Gdowski, Superintendent
Follow on twitter
additional cameras, limited and secured entry
points at all schools, and shatter-proof glass.
Staffing Needs and Partnerships
Currently all of our middle and high schools
in the district have a dedicated School Resource
Officer (SRO) who is a police officer
from the city in which the school is located.
The task force will consider whether we need
additional SROs, armed officers and/or more
staff within schools to provide supervision.
Additionally, the group will look at staffing
needs to support the social-emotional wellbeing
of our students. This may include
additional counselors, psychologists and
social workers. These individuals are also
often part of the school’s or district’s crisis
Programs and Curriculum
The task force will look at opportunities to
enhance current social-emotional programming
and curriculum, as well as boost support
for identifying and helping at-risk students.
The group will also explore the need for
resources to help families discuss safety
matters and the social-emotional wellbeing
of students. Other areas include
building upon our schools’ current work in
conflict resolution, bullying, and drug and
alcohol abuse education.
The common component across all three of
these focus areas is “training”. For any recommendation
the task force makes, it will also
identify the necessary training component.
We are thankful in the Five Star District for
the strong partnership we have between
students, staff, parents and law enforcement
in promoting a safe and secure learning
environment in our schools. This partnership
has strengthened our efforts in crisis prevention,
response and recovery. These efforts
include the emergency plans each of our
schools have, the safety procedures our
students and staff practice throughout the
year, and the communications protocol we
follow with our families in the event of a
The work of our Safety Task Force will allow
us to enhance our safety and security posture
in the Five Star District. I thank the members
of the task force for their commitment to
the safety and well-being of our students,
and I look forward to reviewing the team’s
recommendations this summer. •
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 5
November 19, 2018
Approved January 31, 2018
2018-2019 School Year
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
1500 East 128 th Avenue
Thornton, CO 80241
SCHOOL CALENDAR– 2018-2019*
JULY 2018 F First Day of School for Students
S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5
FS-August 15, 2018 6 th morning; 7 th -8 th afternoon; 9 th ONLY
FE-August 15, 2018 ALL Elementary K-5 and K-8 Report
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 6 B 8 9 10 11 12
Printable versions of the 2018-2019
Year at a Glance are available in both
English and Spanish.
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 13 14 15 16 17 A 19
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
29 30 31 27 28 29 30 31 18
FS-August 16, 2018 ALL Students K-12 Report
L Last Day of School for All Students
May 23, 2019
A Elementary Assessment Days
September 4, 2018; January 18, 2019
May 3, 2019
AUGUST 2018 FEBRUARY 2019
S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 1 2
5 6 7 8 I D 11 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
12 I D FS/FE FS 17 18 10 11 12 W B I 16
W Elementary School Work Days (No School for K-5 Students)
October 11, 2018
February 13, 2019; May 10, 2019* (potential snow day make up)
D Teacher Duty Days (No School for All Students)
August 10, and 14, 2018
December 21, 2018
May 24, 2019
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
26 27 28 29 30 31 17 24 25 26 27 28 19
S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
SEPTEMBER 2018 MARCH 2019
C Teacher Comp Day – All Schools (No School for All Students)
1 1 2
I District In-service Days – All Schools (No School for All Students)
2 3 A 5 6 7 8 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
August 9, and 13, 2018; February 15, 2019
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 10 11 12 13 14 Q 16
*Dates may not apply to district
charter schools; please check each
school’s calendar for school-specific
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
30 19 31 16
B In-Common Release Days – K-8 (No School for K-8 Students)
October 12, 2018
January 7, February 14, and April 1, 2019
Q Quarters Days
Oct. 12, 2018 42 days
Dec. 20, 2018 43 days
Mar. 15, 2019 47 days
May 23, 2019 43 days
OCTOBER 2018 APRIL 2019
S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 B 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 W B/Q 13 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Pupil Count Window ............................ September 24 – October 8, 2018
Registration of New Students .............. Please Contact Your Local School
School Year Starts, K-9 ................................................... August 15 , 2018
School Year Starts, All Students Report ......................... August 16 , 2018
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 23 28 29 30 22
S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
NOVEMBER 2018 MAY 2019
Labor Day .................................................................. September 3, 2018
Elem. Assessment Days .................... Sept. 4, 2018; Jan. 18, May 3, 2019
1 2 3 1 2 A 4
Dist. In-Svc. No School-All Students ........ Aug. 9, 13, 2018; Feb. 15, 2019
Elementary Work Days ..... Oct. 11, 2018; Feb. 13, 2019; May 10* , 2019
In-Comm. Rel. Days, K-8 ....... Oct. 12, 2018; Jan. 7, Feb. 14, Apr. 1, 2019
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5 6 7 8 9 W* 11
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Veterans’ Day Observed .......................................... November 12 , 2018
Teacher Comp Day-No School ................................. November 19 , 2018
18 C 20 21 22 23 24 19 20 21 22 Q/L D 25
25 26 27 28 29 30 17 26 27 28 29 30 31 18
Thanksgiving Break .............................................. November 20-23, 2018
End of First Semester ............................................... December 20, 2018
Teacher Duty Day-No School-All Students ................ December 21, 2018
Winter Break ................................. December 24, 2018- January 4, 2019
S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
DECEMBER 2018 JUNE 2019
High School In-Common Release Day ..............................January 7, 2019
All Students Return from Winter Break ...........................January 8, 2019
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Martin Luther King Day..................................................January 21, 2019
Presidents’ Day ............................................................February 18, 2019
Spring Break .............................................................. March 25-29, 2019
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Last Day for Students......................................................... May 23 , 2019
16 17 18 19 Q D 22 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 15 30
Teacher Duty Day ............................................................... May 24, 2019
Memorial Day ..................................................................... May 27, 2019
BASE CLOSED ...................................................... August 6-10, 2018
SUMMER BASE OPEN ................................ May 31 – August 3, 2018
BASE OPEN ..................................... August 13, 2018 A.M. and P.M.
*Subject to Revision
Fishing Derby, Bike Rodeo & Healthy Activities
Sat. June 2 • 8 am-1 pm • northglenn.org/derbyday
E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park • I-25 & 120 th Avenue
CLASS OF 2018
2018 GRADUATION TIMES
Northglenn High School
2 p.m. at CU Events Center
Horizon High School
7 p.m. at CU Events Center
Thornton High School
3 p.m. at CU Events Center
BEST WISHES FROM
YOUR ADAMS 12
FIVE STAR SCHOOLS
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Mountain Range High School
2 p.m. at CU Events Center
Legacy High School
7 p.m. at CU Events Center
Prospect Ridge Academy
9:30 a.m. at Prospect Ridge Academy
Vantage Point High School
11 a.m. at Macky Auditorium at CU
6 p.m. at Macky Auditorium at CU
Westgate Community School
6 p.m. at Mountain Range Auditorium
FIVE STAR PROUD
Graduates from each comprehensive high school earn honors
As we near the end of another school year, we are reminded that getting to graduation is a true
testament of not only the student’s hard work, but that of the families, teachers and community
members who helped them gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a future of their
This educational teamwork, yet again, proved a success with graduates from each of the district’s
high schools earning prestigious scholarships and military appointments. Below represents
only a few honors from the Class of 2018 – congratulations to each and every graduate for their
accomplishments during their time at Five Star Schools.
Three Five Star students named 2018 Daniels Scholars
The Daniels Scholarship Program offers resources, encouragement and inspiration far beyond
the financial assistance needed to earn a college degree. The goal is not only to help Daniels
Scholars succeed, but to ensure that they thrive beyond their years in college. Daniels Scholars
are selected from the four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming for
demonstrating exceptional character, leadership and a commitment to serving their community.
For more information on the Daniels Scholarship, visit DanielsFund.org.
Congratulations to the 2018 Daniels Scholars:
• Tiffany Ann Marie Deeds, Northglenn High School
• Racheal Michelle Lampo, Pathways Future Center
• Camron Bailey Cardis, Thornton High School
Two students selected as 2018 Boettcher Scholarship recipients
The Boettcher Foundation recognizes Colorado’s top students by providing them with the funds
to attain an excellent in-state education and access to additional opportunities to enrich their time
in college and beyond. The selection process is competitive and rigorous. Two Five Star students
earned the scholarship. Only 42 students were named recipients out of nearly 1,500 applications.
For more information on the Boettcher Scholarship, visit BoettcherFoundation.org.
8 | Five Star Proud
Congratulations to the 2018 Boettcher Scholarship recipients:
• Sophia Rae Winker, Legacy High School (Junior graduating in three years)
• Jessica Hiatt, Mountain Range High School
*In addition to the two recipients, the Five Star District is also home to two alternates — one from
Thornton High School and one from Legacy High School.
The Power of One Charity awards scholarships to 10 Five Star students
This year, the Power of One Charity awarded $20,000 to students. Each student will receive $1,000
for their first year of college and an additional $1,000 for their second year of college. The Power
of One Charity was created in memory of Andrew James Dollaghan, son of Judi Madsen and Brian
Stanley, to provide college scholarships to high school seniors who have lost a parent or sibling, or
have substantial financial need. For more information, visit thepowerofonecharity.org.
Congratulations to the 2018 recipients:
Three students from Legacy earn military appointments
United States Military Academy West Point
• Tyler Harmon
• Dylan Nunn
United States Air Force Academy
• Samantha Kigin
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 9
On Mondays and Fridays after school Coronado Hills teachers take Spanish class, taught
by Mr. Tony, to help them communicate with their Spanish speaking families.
Teachers become students
Coronado Hills adds language lessons for teachers
Photo credit: Coronado Hills
For the past few months, teachers at Coronado Hills Elementary School have been sitting
down to take classes, too – in Spanish.
Coronado Hills has offered English-language classes to its parents for years, and that sparked
an idea from fifth-grade teacher Allison Andrews: Provide classes for teachers so they can
work to meet parents where they are linguistically. She connected with the school’s family
liaison Tony Velasquez, who got the classes started in the spring.
“It fit in perfectly with our goal to broaden and deepen our community here at the school,”
Velasquez said. “With better communication – a natural result of learning a new language –
our teachers will be able to build better relationships with parents, and the school will be a
more welcoming place for all.”
So far, 30 of the school’s teachers have taken the class, and some are already working to use
what they’ve learned with families.
“When our staff puts themselves out there, parents are very receptive and grateful that
people within the school are willing to meet them in their linguistic space,” Velasquez said.
10 | Elementary School Feature
In addition to creating stronger relationships,
it will also save the district money long-term,
Velasquez said. “Measured in dollars, down
the line, teachers will be able to communicate
with families in interactions where important
information is discussed, such as parentteacher
conferences, eliminating the need for
the school to pay interpreters,” he said.
Andrews hasn’t taken a formal foreign
language class since high school. Though
she’s tried self-guided language learning, it
hasn’t always stuck.
“This class is great,” she said. “It is
informational, interactive and Tony adjusts
to the group’s needs. He definitely approaches
it from a linguistics lens so there’s a great
understanding of the why behind certain
forms and functions of the language,” she said.
While she’s not ready to start testing her
Spanish with parents, Andrews says she’s
practicing with her bilingual students.
Velasquez is planning to continue classes
over the summer – part online, part inperson.
He also hopes to add a second-level
course for those who started learning this
semester, and to add a conversation group
that connects teachers learning Spanish
with parents learning English so that they
can work on their speaking together.
In learning another language, people walk
away with more than understanding the
right words and phrases to get a message
across – it’s about pushing their perspective
beyond what they know through language,
“When you learn a new language, you
don’t just say things differently, you see
things differently,” he said. “That may be the
biggest gift that language learning can give.”
“With better communication
– a natural result of
learning a new language –
our teachers will be able to
build better relationships
with parents, and the school
will be a more welcoming
place for all.”
- Tony Velasquez, Family Liaison
It also creates empathy, Andrews said,
because as teachers learn, try and struggle
in these classes, they understand what their
students’ parents are experiencing.
“What we forget as native speakers is that
there are so many rules of language that we
just already know,” she said. “By stepping out
of our comfort bubble and starting to learn
the rules of a new language, I think it helps
us realize the perseverance that non-native
English speakers have each day.”
Velasquez encourages any who want to
learn more about the classes to visit his
website, thelinguistsnotebook.com. •
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 11
for Five Star
While supplies last
& school supplies donated
by A Precious Child
BACK TO SCHOOL
Saturday, August 4, 2018
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Five Star Stadium
9351 WASHINGTON ST, THORNTON, CO 80229
• Apply for Free and
Reduced Meal Benefits
• Transportation info
RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES:
• Online registration
for all students
• Check / update contact info
• Access to community
• Giveaways and more!
FREE BREAKFAST & LUNCH
2018 Summer Program
All children, ages 1-18, eat for free! No Free & Reduced applications required.
Free breakfast and lunch is available this summer at the following schools:
SCHOOLS BREAKFAST LUNCH DAYS DATES OPEN
Coronado Hills Elementary 8:30-9:30 10:45-12:30 M-Th June 4 - July 12
8300 Downing Drive, Denver, CO 80229
Hillcrest Elementary 8:00-9:00 10:30-12:15 M-Th June 4 - June 28
10335 Croke Drive, Northglenn, CO 80260
Malley Drive Elementary 8:30-9:30 10:45-12:30 M-Th June 4 - July 12
1300 Malley Drive, Northglenn, CO 80233
STEM Launch K-8 8:30-9:30 10:45-12:30 M-F June 4 - June 15
9450 N Pecos Street, Thornton, CO 80260
8:30-9:30 10:45-12:30 M-Th June 18 - July 12
The Studio School 8:30-9:30 10:45-12:30 M-F June 4 - July 13
10604 Grant Drive, Northglenn, CO 80233
Westlake Middle 8:30-9:30 10:45-12:30 M-F June 4 - July 13
2800 W 135th Avenue, Broomfield, CO 80020
All locations closed on July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
Adults can purchase breakfast for $2.50 and $3.75 for lunch.
For questions about the program, please contact Nutrition Services at (720) 972-4123.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Grace Padilla, Vantage Point High School, performed on stage at The Buell Theatre.
Up Close at Hamilton
Program puts students center stage for
hit Broadway musical
History and musical theater came together in March to
give more than 100 high school students in Adams 12
Five Star Schools the chance to take part in a once-in-alifetime
Sixty-two Northglenn High School students and 55
Vantage Point High School students attended a matinée
showing of “Hamilton” as the hit Broadway musical
traveled through Denver this spring.
Students dressed up for this once in a lifetime
experience; the first time for many to
attend a show.
The opportunity for the students to see the play live was the result of the Hamilton Education
Program, a partnership between the musical producers, the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the
Rockefeller Foundation. The nationwide program not only provides the opportunity for
students at selected Title I high schools to see the musical, but also integrates the story of
Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Era (1774-1797) into classroom studies.
Students at both schools went through a detailed application process to be considered for the
program. Kasey Nunn, a social studies teacher at Northglenn High School, said her American
History students were tasked with creating a hypothetical primary source document that could
be performed and recorded. Students took part in after-school workshops to create perfor-
14 | High School Feature
mance pieces (poems, scenes and songs) for
submission to the Gilder Lehrman Institute.
Northglenn High School (NGHS) was originally
not accepted for the program but
found out, six days before the performance,
that a space had become available after
another school dropped out.
“I almost jumped out of my chair,” Nunn said
when she heard the news. “We had six days to
get permission slips and money from students
who were interested in going.”
Vantage Point High School (VPHS), likewise
dealt with an initial rejection partly because
the school didn’t meet the official criteria of
a Title I high school. VPHS English teacher
Jonathan Rethinger wrote an impassioned
plea to the Gilder Lehrman Institute for the
school to be reconsidered.
“Students deserve to encounter great literature
and compelling characters in their most
authentic and immediate form,” Rethinger
said. “Many of our students have never had
a genuine, up close and personal encounter
with literature. More than any other setting,
theater provides a human being directly in
front of you who will force you to deal with
powerful subject matter.”
Vantage Point students, similar to NGHS
students, created their own performance
pieces and submitted them to the Gilder
Lehrman Institute for consideration to be
performed on stage at The Buell Theatre for
audience and cast members prior to the show.
Vantage Point student Grace Padilla earned
the opportunity with a memorized, original
3-minute piece of spoken word poetry.
“Getting Grace on the set of Hamilton at
The Buell Theatre, well, that was simply
surreal. We love Grace,” Rethinger said. “We’ve
always believed in her talent, her authenticity,
and her character. Onstage, she simply
demonstrated to the world a sliver of what
many of us at Vantage Point have been
privileged to witness for years. The credit for
that performance goes entirely to her. ”
For the students from both schools able to
take part in the program, the benefits have
extended well past seeing the incredible
“Students are now walking in the hallways
singing the soundtrack, they are referring to
the Founding Fathers with more confidence
in their essays,” Nunn said. “They aren’t
afraid to tackle topics in class, they forged
friendships with other classmates and educators
they might not have otherwise done;
and they will leave my class knowing they
experienced something that others didn’t
have the chance to do.”
“By getting the kids to an event like The
Hamilton Education Program,” Rethinger
added, “we reinforce a message that there
are joyful and interactive ways to engage
intellectually with the world around you, to
become a consumer of arts and culture, and
form strong relationships.” •
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 15
ELEVATE is our engagement process for developing the district’s new five-year strategic plan
to elevate student success in the Five Star District. A five-year strategic plan reflecting the
community’s priorities will be unveiled August 2018.
Over 3,600 people
participated in an
Six priority areas emerge:
• 21st Century Learners
• Diverse Learning
• Outside-the-Classroom Learning
• Safe Schools
• Social/Emotional Learning
• World-Class Staff
Fall 2017 April 2018
More than 3,000 people and
49 schools participated in
engagement sessions to
discover district strengths,
who we are and want to be.
ELEVATE Capstone event — The Summit.
Over 230 parents, staff, students and
community members prioritized action
items within the six priority areas and
determined next steps.
Board of Education
will review draft
plan and outline
At Adams 12 Five Star Schools, we
• Focus on Students
16 | ELEVATE Update
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 17
A collection of photos from events
happening around the district.
Photo credit: Eagleview
18 | Five Star Snapshots
Photo credit: Mrs. Stovall
Photo credit: Horizon
Left page top Five Star 5K runners / Left page bottom left Eagleview Elementary 20th anniversary rocks /
Left page right Northglenn Middle Mariachi Band performs on Cinco de Mayo at lunch for peers /
Right page top left & center Century Middle Civil War reenactment /
Right page top right Horizon High Admin team with R2D2 that was made by Horizon student Geoffrey Simpson and his dad /
Right page bottom left & bottom right Legacy High Marching Band performed in Dublin, Ireland
and was named best overall band at the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Tag us in your images on social media using #FiveStarProud.
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 19
Sharee Blunt receives the 2018 High School Principal of the Year Award at a school assembly on May 9, 2018.
Sharee Blunt named 2018 Colorado
High School Principal of the Year
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is proud to announce
that Northglenn High School Principal Sharee
Blunt earned the 2018 High School Principal of
the Year award for the state of Colorado. The
district celebrates Blunt and her dedicated
staff for receiving this prestigious honor from
the Colorado Association of School Executives
District leadership celebrates Principal Blunt’s
(CASE), in conjunction with the Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals.
Blunt regularly demonstrates her love and passion for serving Northglenn students, both
in and out of the classroom. She rarely misses an opportunity to cheer on athletes, attend
performances or even celebrate one of her student’s birthdays. Through this passion and
support for all Northglenn students, Blunt has created an environment centered on the
academic, social and emotional success of students at Northglenn.
“What Sharee has accomplished at Northglenn is remarkable,” said CASE Executive Director,
Lisa Escárcega. “Her ability to effectively engage and connect with students is a model
for creating positive school climate in which every child feels like a valued member of the
Northglenn High School community.”
When Blunt first arrived at Northglenn, she decided the best way to turn things around was
20 | District Feature
to face the student achievement data head
on. She encouraged her staff to take time to
reflect on what they did in the past, take note
of what worked and what didn’t, identify
root causes, and then work collaboratively
to create a plan for moving forward. Under
Blunt’s leadership, Northglenn has achieved
significant academic success, reaching a
graduation rate of 89.8 percent for the Class
of 2017, up more than 20 percentage points
The excitement in the classroom from both
teachers and students is further evidence
of Blunt’s influence as a school leader. Her
ability to build relationships combined with
her willingness to empower teachers has
created an incredibly supportive, enthusiastic
and contagious energy among staff.
Principal Blunt is not one to seek out the
spotlight. In fact, she made it clear that the
award was not for her, but for the entire
staff. When Lee Peters, Executive Director
of Secondary Schools, announced that
Blunt was named the 2018 Colorado High
School Principal of the Year, staff erupted in
applause and gave her a standing ovation.
“Getting really good people to pursue
recognition for their work is hard,” Peters
noted when speaking to staff. “Sharee is very
humble in her work, and I know for her, this is
very much a Northglenn High School award
not a Sharee Blunt award, and because of
that I am honored to be able to recognize
The Colorado Association of Secondary
School Principals, an affiliate of the National
Association of Secondary School Principals
(NASSP) and a department of the Colorado
Association of School Executives (CASE),
selected Blunt based on a rigorous process.
“What Sharee has accomplished
at Northglenn is remarkable. Her
ability to effectively engage and
connect with students is a model
for creating positive school climate
in which every child feels like a
valued member of the Northglenn
High School community.”
- Lisa Escárcega
CASE Executive Director
The NASSP sponsors the National
Principal of the Year program. The award
recognizes outstanding middle and high
school principals who provide high-quality
learning opportunities for students as well
as demonstrate exemplary contributions
to the profession. Selection criteria include
personal excellence, collaborative leadership,
curriculum, instruction, assessment and
personalization of learning opportunities for
As Colorado High School Principal of
the Year, Blunt will compete for National
Principal of the Year recognition, which
will be announced later this year. She will
represent Colorado and be honored along
with other state winners in Washington, D.C.
in early fall. •
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 21
POINTS OF PRIDE
Recipient of the Playworks Golden Ball for its
excellent implementation of structures and
routines outlined by the Playworks Recess
Celebrated students’ reading growth in their
OSCAR themed literacy night. Over 400
members of the community joined in the
Celebrated the 20th year of performing
the National Anthem at Coors Field – a
recurring invitation from the Colorado
Rockies organization due to the high-quality
performance and student participation.
Raised over $29,000 at the Coyote Ridge
Boosterthon Fun Run this spring, and was able
to make a large technology purchase resulting
in Chromebooks in every classroom 2nd
through 5th grade.
Home to the Hispanic Advisory Council
Classified Employee of the Year, Silvia Solis.
Additionally, Becky Cuevas, was nominated
for Certified Employee of the Year.
Fourth- and fifth-grade choir performed the
play, “Pirates,” for the Sunny Acres Nursing
Home, as well as the Ashley Manor Memory
Principal Justina Carney was recognized by
the Hispanic Advisory Council (HAC) as
Principal of the Year, while the school’s family
liaison, Carolina Bautista, received an award for
Community Liaison of the Year.
Awarded the Governor’s Distinguished
Improvement Award and John Irwin School of
Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) raised over
$17,000 on the annual Miles for Mountain View
Fun Run event. This money is used to fund PTO
educational grants for classrooms.
Hosted a Making Fitness Fun Family Night
on April 26, 2018 with over 120 students and
Received the Governor’s Distinguished
Improvement award for The Partnership
for Assessment of Readiness for College
and Careers (PARCC) test data and reached
a ‘Performance’ rating by the Colorado
Department of Education for the second year
in a row.
Hispanic Advisory Council (HAC) awarded Steve
Frank the Certified Employee of the Year award
and Lourdes Walker the Classified Employee of
the Year award.
Earned the Governor’s Distinguished
Improvement Award for the second year
in a row!
Received the Governor’s Distinguished
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
22 | Points of Pride
Recognized as a 2018 Healthy School
Champion and was awarded the Excellence
Award for the school’s health efforts.
Reading Counts Program was a huge success
where students passed over 11,000 online
reading quizzes, totaling almost 42 million
Continues to offer 22 after school clubs at no
cost for students.
Selected as the featured school for the
month of April from Green Up Our Schools.
Read full article >
Collected and donated 2,018 socks to A Precious
Child during Dr. Seuss Read Across America
Winner of the 2018 ReNew our Schools Energy
Challenge, that has awarded the school $8,000.
Students were partnered with Broomfield
Crescent Grange to write a local landmark
nomination for the historic building which
is over 100 years old.
7th Annual Grizzlies Give Back. Goal to raise
$25,000 to provide support to families, with half
the proceeds going to Rocky Top student Kailee
Gibson. Check out the slideshow >
Two students were chosen for the City of
Westminster’s Mayor’s Award: Oliver Elliott
and Nik Jenks.
Bollman Technical Education Center
Megan Madden, welding student and Emily
Patino-Fariasa, medical science II - EMT
students each earned a $1,000 scholarship from
the National Technical Honor Society.
Doug Dietel awarded Outstanding
Educator from CU Boulder.
Amber Gustason, senior, won Wendy’s High
School Heisman award. She is currently ranked
#1 in the state for 5A discus and throws 12 feet
further than the #2 mark in the state.
An estimated 300 students will graduate
Prospect Ridge Academy
The first class of seniors will graduate in May.
Read the full list of school points of pride.
List is compiled by schools that submit Points of Pride before publication date.
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 23
Thunder Vista P-8 is wrapping up construction this summer and is set to open to students this fall.
District-wide bond work to take place in Summer 2018
As students and teachers head out for summer break later this month, construction crews will
move in at nearly a dozen district schools and facilities receiving significant renovation work
as part of the 2016 Bond Program.
Summer 2018 will mark the first summer of district-wide bond work as part of $350 million
in planned bond improvements approved by district voters in 2016. Many of the projects
scheduled to take place this summer have been planned for much of the past year and, in
most cases, address critical building repair needs identified as part of the original bond plan.
With an average age of 30 years, the district identified a variety of deferred maintenance
issues as the bond plan was developed. District facilities and planning teams use a composite
Facility Condition Index score to determine when building components, such as furnaces,
roofs, sewers, etc. are past their service life and in need of repair. Bond money can only be
used for building-related expenses such as new construction and repair, and not operational
expenses such as employee salaries and instructional materials.
“The bond plan prioritized improvements to building systems and infrastructure, especially
at some of our oldest district schools and facilities,” said Adams 12 Five Star Schools Chief
Operations Officer Pat Hamilton. “We’re excited about the improvements that our community
will see this summer because the planned work balances the need for critical, but sometimes
unnoticed, building system repairs, with giving schools and facilities a fresh, updated look
with upgrades such as new carpet, paint and tile.”
24 | 2016 Bond Update
Construction is expected to wrap up this
summer on the new Thunder Vista P-8 in
the Anthem community of Broomfield. The
three floor, 142,000-square-foot school was
built to serve the growing northwest portion
of the district and alleviate enrollment
pressure on surrounding elementary and
middle schools. The school will open to
students in August.
Phase 1 of construction on STEM Lab, a
magnet school in Northglenn for STEMfocused
learning, is expected to wrap up in
May 2018. The building is in the midst of a
two-year renovation and reconstruction that
will give the nearly 50-year-old building a
21st-century look that matches the school’s
unique curriculum. Phase 2 of the project will
begin in June 2018 with the entire project
expected to be complete for the start of the
2019-2020 school year.
Arapahoe Ridge and Cotton Creek elementary
schools in Westminster are receiving
expansion projects in 2018. The projects,
which began in December 2017, will add 12
classrooms to Arapahoe Ridge and eight
classrooms to Cotton Creek. This will allow
both schools to remove mobile classrooms
and Arapahoe Ridge to launch a pilot tuitionbased
preschool program. Both existing
buildings will also see renovation work over
Summer 2018 Renovations
A number of schools and facilities will have
building renovation projects start and, in
some cases, be completed in Summer 2018.
Federal Heights, Mountain View, North
Mor, North Star, Stukey, Riverdale, Westview
and Woodglen elementary schools will
receive improvements to the interior and
exterior of their buildings. This will include
improvements to building systems such
as plumbing and HVAC, safety and security
improvements such as updated digital
security cameras and security improvements
to building entrances, as well as aesthetic
improvements such as new paint, tile and
carpet. This work is expected to be completed
for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
A number of schools will see first phases
of bond work completed this summer. This
includes work at Northglenn, Thornton and
Horizon high schools, Northglenn Middle
School, Cherry Drive and Centennial
New classroom and building technology
components will also be added to schools
and facilities during the summer. A new
district-wide phone system – identified as
part of the bond program – is expected to be
installed at all schools and facilities.
Many school leaders have also chosen to use
school-specific Instructional Upgrades bond
money to bolster classroom technology. More
than 300 technology classroom packages
featuring the latest in projectors, magnetic,
reflective whiteboards and classroom audio
systems will be installed at schools for the
start of the 2018-2019 school year. •
To learn more about the 2016 Bond
Program and specific improvements
planned for your child’s school, visit
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 25
IN THE NEWS
Three school leaders earn prestigious awards
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is home to some of the most well-respected and influential school
leaders in Colorado. This year, two Principals in the Five Star District received nationallyrecognized
awards sponsored by the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE).
• Kristen Golden, Principal of Riverdale Elementary, received the Distinguished
Elementary Principal of the Year award. Read More >
• Sharee Blunt, Principal of Northglenn High School, received the Distinguished
High School Principal of the Year award. Read More >
Another school leader in the Five Star District who was honored is Sharon Collins, executive
director of Westgate Community School. She received the Charter School Leadership Award,
sponsored by the Colorado League of Charter Schools.
Five Star District celebrates Employees of the Year
For the 2017-2018 school year, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, in partnership with the District
Twelve Educators Association (DTEA) and the Classified School Employees’ Association (CSEA),
celebrates amazing employees by honoring staff from three groups: administrative
(principals and district leaders), classified (office support, custodians, etc.) and certified
(teachers and counselors).
This spring, employees from across the district nominated their colleagues. With over 130
nominations, committees for each employee group determined finalists and an overall
employee of the year.
See who was nominated, who was a finalist, and who was named overall employee of the
year for the 2017-2018 school year: www.adams12.org/employeesofyear.
Legislative Update: Legislature restores some funding for
Colorado school districts are on track for their most significant funding increase in years as
the Legislature finished work on education finance bills for 2018-19.
Total program funding, the amount of state and local revenues allocated for basic school
operating costs, is projected to be $7.08 billion in 2018-19, a $460.9 million increase over the
$6.62 billion figure for the current, 2017-18 budget. Read More >
26 | In the News
Online check-in available
districtwide for the 2018-2019
For summer 2018, Adams 12 Five Star Schools will expand the online check-in process to
include all K-12 students. Families with returning students enrolled in any K-12 district
school (non-charter) for the 2018-2019 school year can use the online check-in process. The
online process can be accessed through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and will be open
from June 11 through August 12. Online check-in replaces the standard check-in process
at schools, allowing parents to verify and update primary household and demographic
information for returning students. In order to receive class schedules before school starts,
all parents/guardians of returning students must complete the online process. For more
information, visit www.adams12.org/onlinecheckin.
Record number of parents participate in districtwide
In spring 2018, a record number of Five Star District parents responded to the 2017-2018
Parent Engagement and Satisfaction Survey. Nearly 6,200 parents across the district
participated in the online survey, representing more than 10 ethnicities.
As a diverse district, the Board of Education and Five Star staff strive to develop and support
school communities in effective school and family partnerships that create welcoming and
inclusive environments. Feedback provided to the district and schools is invaluable as staff
strives to create the best learning environment for all students.
View the data results and district overview for the 2017-2018 Parent Engagement and
Results for each school available May 14.
SHARE YOUR NEWS
Help Adams 12 Five Star Schools spread the word about the great things happening across
the district. With nearly 39,000 students across five cities in 54 schools, we need your help
in sharing the exciting events, initiatives and success stories happening at your child’s
school. Submit your good news story: www.adams12.org/share-your-news.
Five Star Journal, Summer 2018 | 27
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1500 E. 128th Ave., Thornton, CO 80241 | (720) 972-4000