Patriot Post September

Posted September 30, 2022

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A Note from Dr. Davis

Dear GWHS Community – 

What an exciting start to our 2022-2023 school year! First, I would like to personally thank our families and community for the warm welcome I’ve received. Getting to meet so many of you at games, Back to School Night, and other functions have made me realize why we are all proud to be Patriots.

Our students are at the heart of everything our community does. I have loved watching them enthusiastically choose clubs to fit their interests at our Activities Fair, compete with heart and skill on the athletic field, show up with pots and coolers for “Anything But a Water Bottle” spirt day, and engage in lively class discussions. Our students are definitely living our Patriot Principles:

  • Be Present
  • Be Prepared
  • Be Engaged
  • Be Positive
  • Be a Patriot 

The Patriot Post is our semi-annual newsletter that highlights our student and school accomplishments. We have some incredible things happening at GWHS. Enjoy! 

Dackri Davis, Ph.D.
Principal | George Washington High School

Learner Profile Trait: Inquirer

With each issue of the Patriot Post, we will be highlighting an attribute from the Learner Profile. The Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. Each characteristic implies a commitment to help all members of the GWHS community learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.

The Learner Profile trait for this issue is Inquirer. As students return to learning after a summer off, we encourage them to look to this new year with the mind of the Inquirer.  An essential skill for all learners is fostering their curiosity and discovering ways to engage with new academic challenges. Asking questions broadens perspectives, challenges long-held understandings, and helps to understand new concepts in a more detailed manner.

Take some time to think about how you are an inquirer in your everyday routine. What are you curious about? What makes you enjoy learning new things? How can we continue to build a culture of curiosity?

Fall Sports Highlights

We hope you’ve been following all the amazing accomplishments of our student-athletes on our Instagram (@gwhsdenver) or Twitter (@gwhs_denver), because our teams have been exceptional!

: 4-0
State Ranking: 12
State Playoff Date: November 11
Highlights: Two senior players, Marcellus Honeycutt, Jr. and Silas Evans, have both committed to Division 1 programs to play football. Honeycutt will play for Eastern Washington University, and Evans will be on the field for Colorado State University. The team is off to a great start, including a resounding 38-12 victory over Kennedy High School at homecoming on September 17. What a record, Patriots!
Girls Volleyball
Record: 7-7 overall; 3-1 in league play
Highlights: After losing to Littleton in a five-set thriller early in the season, GWHS came back to beat them in a close revenge match at the Lincoln tournament on September 17. Varsity is sitting at 2-1 in league play after a close four-set loss to Northfield. Junior Ciana Bryant is leading the team with 56 kills and a hitting percentage of .167%. Junior Lilah Quinlan and senior EmmaJo Locks are leading the team in digs with 69 and 68 total, respectively. Senior Kennedy Pinkney leads the team with 12 total blocks and 25 total aces. Junior Lilah Quinlan has 93 assists while senior Sadie Linkow has 73 assists.

Boys Soccer
: 9-0
State Ranking: 2
State Playoff Date: Postseason begins October 27
Highlights: The team is off to a great first half of the season with an undefeated record. The team has beat three top ten-ranked teams in the process and looks to continue with that momentum the second half of the season. Senior captains Henry Creighton, Nicholas Sorensen, and Nicholas Chadd have taken this team to a new level getting crucial clean sheets and goals to help us be where we are at today. 

Girls Softball
: 12-6 overall record; 8-0 in league play
State Ranking: 32
State Playoff Date: October 15
Highlights: Though a young team, girls softball has accomplished so much this season! Their goal is to win the league title, then make some noise in the playoffs. Girls softball is led by two seniors, Ana Federico and Claire Fontenot

Boys Tennis
Record: 9-4
State Ranking: 6
State Playoff Date: September 28 league tournament; October 6 to 7 regional tournament
Highlights: The season started off with a number one ranking and high expectations for a team coming off of a sixth place finish at state last year. The team started off strong with victories against Discovery Canyon, Air Academy, and Smoky Hill. They played a tough stretch against perennial powers Colorado Academy and Kent Denver, playing well but not getting the victories. The regular season is coming to a close, with tough losses to South (3-4) and East (2-5), but the boys rebounded with 7-0 play against Green Mountain to send them on to the quarterfinals of the state tournament! The team remains ranked in the top ten and looks forward to a great run at state. Thanks to seniors Owen Duffy, Ryan Hajek, Carter Holloman, Carlisle Wright, Gavin Foonberg, Eddie Strand, and Ezra Caplan for everything they have done to make GWHS tennis a tremendous success these last few years. 

Girls Flag Football
District Playoff Date: October 8
Highlights: This is the first year of a three year trial period for flag football to be an officially sanctioned CHSAA sport. Eighteen players have joined this year’s team, and they are becoming more competitive every week!

Boys Golf
: Fifth in the league
Highlights: Ben Brunshwig had a 200 yard hole out to make eagle at Meadow Hills. After not having the entire varsity team for the first two matches, the team battled back to take fifth in the league throughout the season, holding off Rangeview in the final match to secure their ranking. Avi Cohn had a great showing at regionals, shooting an 86 at Eagle Ranch Golf Course. Jackson Grunelwald stepped up and played in three Varsity matches; this was his first time playing at this level. He was able to shave 14 shots off his average. Levi Engbar went from a 90’s golfer last year to shooting consistently in the 80’s this year, showing a lot of growth. Soren Goldberg-Butelr was the only freshman to play on Varsity. The Varsity team took his score in one of their matches. Next up is the regional tournament!

Highlights: With junior Selby Davenport and sophomore Caroline Wanebo representing GWHS on an incorporated DPS team, both our Patriots were the only two gymnasts to stick their beam routines in their first meet, with Wanebo finishing sixth in Varsity Beam. Davenport followed this with a fourth place Varsity Beam finish at their next meet, with their team placing third overall.

Cross Country
Highlights: The GWHS cross country team is off and running! Their season began at the Washington Park Invite with senior Peter Neid leading the charge with a win in the Varsity Boys 5k. Paige Reilly was the girls top finisher in sixth place. At the Liberty Bell Invite Patriots continued to run strong, with Peter Neid finishing second in the Division 1 Boys Division and Paige Reilly finishing third in the Division 1 Girls Division. The Girls Varsity had a great showing with a second place finish overall, and the Boy Varsity in ninth overall. Violet Eleson won the girls open race and our open girls won the meet. This is the largest, most competitive meet in the state, placing our teams in the top-ranking 4A cross country division. Our Junior Varsity team has also been doing well, led by outstanding performances from Luca McMurray and Madison Poch at the Denver West Invitational.
National Merit Semi-Finalists

GWHS is extremely proud to announce it has ten National Merit Semi-Finalists in the Class of 2023 – twice as many as any other DPS high school! Finn Hilty, Katharine Rigsby, Maxwell Rodgers, William Fontenot, Randolph Miller, Ezra Caplan, John Pflugh, Ryan Hajek, Rowan Eklund and Reece Christian (pictured from left to right; Dr. Davis in the middle) scored among the top 1%  of the roughly 1.5 million juniors nationwide who took the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2022. Our ten semi-finalists will now move on to the finalist round, in which about half of finalists are chosen as award recipients and honored as Merit Scholar designees.

Additionally, GWHS has eleven National Merit Commended Students, who represent among the 50,000 highest-scoring students in the nation. Jack Bernard, Sawyer Bernard, Westly Bouchard, Jameson Daly, Owen Duffy, Santiago Fiz, Sophia Gerrans, Darby Jones, Sofia Morfin, Daniel Palmer and Samuel Pflugh all received letters of commendation from National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Congratulations to these remarkable students! 
GWHS Achieves High Marks in School Performance Framework

GWHS achieved the highest preliminary rating of “Green/Performance Plan” in the 2021-2022 School Performance Framework rating system utilized by Denver Public Schools and Colorado Department of Education (“CDE”). Under the SPF, each public school in Colorado receives an annual rating based on factors including student growth (how much progress students make year-over-year based on assessment results), graduation and dropout rates. GWHS joins approximately 54% of Colorado schools in receiving the highest rating in 2022-2023, down from approximately 69% of schools in 2019 (the last year the SPF was applied, due to pandemic-related assessment reprieves in 2020 and 2021).

To keep its high SPF rating, GWHS asks that: (1) all freshmen, sophomores and juniors participate in April 2023 P/SAT School Day assessments, which are the state assessments CDE uses to calculate student growth and performance, and (2) all juniors participate in April 2023 CMAS Science, which is also utilized by CDE for SPF evaluation. More details about these assessments will come in spring 2023. 
Caren Press Patriot Pairs 2022 Scholarship Winner

The Caren Press Patriot Pairs Scholarship Fund is proud to announce that Elba Arenas (pictured with her mentor, Liz Birthright), a 2022 GWHS graduate who participated all four years in the Patriot Pairs Mentoring Program, was awarded the annual $1,500 scholarship. Each year, at least one graduating Patriot Pairs mentee who enrolls in a post-secondary program is selected to receive a $1,500 scholarship. The Scholarship Fund is so proud of Elba for her hard work and perseverance. Liz Birthright says about Elba, “She was diligent with her schoolwork, even while going through the coronavirus pandemic, family deaths, and personal struggles. She graduated in 2022 and is headed to college at Metro State starting this fall.” If you would like to donate to the Caren Press Patriot Pairs Scholarship Fund, please click HERE then select “Caren Press Patriot Pairs Scholarship” on the “Donate” page. To learn more about the Patriot Pairs Mentoring Program and becoming a mentor, contact Regina Jackson.    

JROTC Students Volunteer at Dove Valley Training Center 

JROTC students supported the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command partnership with USA Football/Denver Broncos on August 20 at Dove Valley Training Center. The students assisted U.S. Army recruiters on how to demonstrate the Army Combat Fitness Test while promoting the importance of youth fitness. Anna Johnson and Matthew Chufong-Sprague (second and third students from the left, in the green and white Raider t-shirts) from GWHS volunteered for this event.
JROTC Rifle Marksmanship Team Competes at JFK High School

The JROTC rifle marksmanship team competed at their first rifle match for the season at John F. Kennedy High School on Saturday, September 17. The team performed exceptionally well. Zachary Lupo, the rifle team commander, placed as one of the top ten shooters from within the district at the competition. Congratulations, team! Keep up the great work!
JROTC Color Guard Performs at Homecoming

The JROTC Color Guard presented the Colors at the opening ceremonies for the GWHS Homecoming Game on Saturday, September 17 at All City Stadium. Members of the team (from left to right) are Cole Ledges, Gavin Weber, Kevin Lopez-Tellez and Roxy Thaw. Well done!

Patriot E-Sports Team Wins First Match

The Patriot E-Sports team kicked off the fall season with a win against Cedar Ridge High School this week in Smash Bros. Our second Smash Bros. team lost to Lakewood High School, but they’re looking hungry and are ready for a win during week two of our season. Matches will be streamed live via our Twitch channel. Reach out to an E-Sports player or Mr. G for the link, or search Twitch for “GW Patriot Esports”.
AVID Class of 2023 Hikes a Fourteener

In June, our AVID Class of 2023 accomplished a longtime goal: hiking a fourteener. Students set a goal of “Closing the Adventure Gap,” meaning they wanted to highlight the experience of engaging in outdoor opportunities and activities to a more diverse population. The class trained beforehand, and received support with gear and motivation from multiple remarkable sources and companies. Please read more about their adventure HERE, with two student narratives describing their incredible hike.

GWHS School Store Slated for Grand Opening

GWHS’s very own School Store is hosting its grand opening on Monday, October 10! The store is operated by students in the ACE program, and will be open every school day. The School Store will serve as students’ one-stop-shop for their favorite snacks, drinks and GWHS merchandise. Help support our very own students as they gain job experience, and come stop by the GWHS School Store! We are in the newly renovated room 222A, right next to the Library. Check out the “sneak peek” photo of our cool retail space, all renovated and ready to be stocked and shopped!
Speech and Debate Enjoys Impressive Success at Nationals

On June 18, members of the GWHS Speech and Debate Team traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for the first in-person National Tournament in three years. As a whole, GWHS advanced enough competitors to elimination rounds to win the highly coveted “School of Outstanding Distinction” award. This trophy is given to the top ten schools at the tournament. Additionally, of individual note were Class of 2022 seniors Sammie Armatas, who placed fourth in Humorous Interpretation, Kailey Sieja, who placed sixth in Informative Speaking, and Sophie Azam, who placed third in World School Debate. Senior Will Ryan also placed third in World School Debate. 

The team is very excited to kick off the 2022-2023 season this Saturday, October 1 with a novice tournament at Cherry Creek High School.  
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