Patriot Post/February 2023

Posted February 24, 2023

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From the Desk of Dr. Davis

Dear GWHS Community – 

One of the best parts of being a Patriot is belonging to a diverse and vibrant community. This month has been especially busy with activities and events celebrating Black history and culture, including an all-school assembly featuring dancers, speakers and much more, a North African culture and foods festival, and an HBCU College Fair and Panel. 

We also celebrated one of our own recently, naming our gym in honor of GWHS alum and NBA superstar Chauncey Billups. Our January 17 dedication ceremony was attended by Mr. Billups, his wife (also a GWHS alum and Patriot cheerleader!) and daughter. We invite you to attend a game at Chauncey Billups Court, as our girls basketball team advances to the playoffs!

February is also our “Choice of Studies” month, in which students select their classes for the 2023-2024 school year. Though we are still deep in learning this school year, we are always planning ahead. We are excited to be offering some new course selections next year, including Introduction to Ethnic Studies for incoming ninth graders, as well as Zoology Honors, Coding IIA/B and The Borderland Experience (a Concurrent Enrollment course) for juniors and seniors.  

Soon, we’ll be in our spring assessment window. Please be sure your student is at school on these important days. The PSAT 9 (for freshmen on Thursday, April 13), PSAT 10 (for sophomores on Friday, April 14) and SAT (for juniors on Wednesday, April 12) are required state assessments, and we use the data to drive important instructional shifts. We want our students to be excited for these important days – check the Weekly Roundup for information about the truly incredible giveaways and events we’ll be doing. 

We also love having your support! Have you ever wondered what actually goes on during a testing day? Keep an eye on our Weekly Roundup and our website for opportunities to proctor an AP or IB exam, as well as details on donating to our testing day enthusiasm!

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

Learner Profile Trait: Open-Minded


With each issue of the Patriot Post, we highlight 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.

Being open-minded means we critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. As learners, we seek and evaluate a broad range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

Winter Sports Highlights

Our Winter Sports season was filled with impressive highlights and GWHS firsts! 

In wrestling, one of our wrestlers became our first-ever female qualifier for the state finals. Congratulations to Katherine Hall-Shalvoy, who took to the mats to represent GWHS!

Several girls from GWHS swim and dive also qualified for state finals:

Ellie Reimer:  200 Free; 100 Back
Paige Reilly:  200 Free; 500 Free
Olivia Gillard:  50 Free; 100 Free
Jenna Kelly:  50 Free
Greta Bellamy: 100 Back
Nikki Fain:  Dive

200 Medley Relay:  Greta Bellamy, Aimee Harling, Ellie Reimer, Olivia Gillard
200 Free Relay:  Olivia Gillard, Sophie Graham, Jenna Kelly, Paige Reilly
400 Free Relay:  Greta Bellamy, Lucy Strawbridge, Ellie Reimer, Paige Reilly

Finally, our girls basketball team is currently the top-ranked 5A team in the state! They defeated Longmont High School 63-42 during the first state tournament game on Tuesday, February 21, and will face Falcon High School next. Follow their progress throughout the playoffs with this BRACKET, and come join us in cheering them on (hint: they’re playing in the Sweet Sixteen tonight – buy tickets HERE)! 

Remember to follow us on Instagram (@gwhsdenver) or Twitter (@gwhs_denver) for more athletic and academic content!
GWHS v. East Unified Basketball Game

On Wednesday, February 8, our GWHS Patriots competed against the East High Angels in a unified basketball game. Our JROTC Color Guard started the game by presenting the Colors, our cheerleaders and dance team kept the enthusiastic crowd hyped, and our band added flavor and fun. Congratulate these athletes on their outstanding play!    
National Merit Scholar Finalists

GWHS is thrilled to announce all ten of our National Merit Semi-Finalists have advanced to the the Finalist round! Finn HiltyKatharine RigsbyMaxwell RodgersWilliam FontenotRandolph MillerEzra CaplanJohn PflughRyan HajekRowan 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 2021. After a rigorous application process, they all qualified to be named as Finalists, where they will be now be evaluated to win a National Merit Scholarship and the title of Merit Scholar.

Join us in celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of these students!

JROTC Presents the Colors for Academic Achievement Night 

On February 2, 2023, the Patriot community gathered to celebrate our students’ academic achievements. Prior to the awards presentation, the JROTC Color Guard presented the Colors. Members of the Color Guard from left to right are Randi Young, Jordan Sawyer, Roxy Thaw and Josmar Torres.
JROTC Competes in Army JROTC Leadership Bowl

Four JROTC students competed in the Army JROTC Leadership Bowl and have advanced to the Level II competition. The students are tested on their knowledge of the JROTC curriculum and the JROTC leadership theories. The top 40 leadership teams from across the nation of the Level II competition will advance to the Academic Championship JLAB in Washington, D.C. Good luck, JLAB Team! Pictured from left to right are Zachary Lupo, Roxy Thaw, Jordan Sawyer and Randi Young.
JROTC Students Participate in Service Learning Project

Our GWHS JROTC students planned and organized a service learning project with Denver Parks and Recreation. The JROTC students met staff members from Denver Parks and Recreation and created a plan to help beautify Garland Park in Denver by picking up trash and removing debris from the roadside ditches. The hard work and efforts of our JROTC students were greatly appreciated by the park staff, and helped to improve the appearance of the park and local neighborhood. Thank you, Patriot JROTC students, for a job well done!

Citywide Choir Performance

Congratulations to the seven Patriot vocalists who proudly represented GWHS at the DPS Citywide Choir Concert and Festival this year. The concert was Tuesday, February 14 at 6:00pm at the Newman Center at University of Denver. Jacqueline Douglas, Sydney West, Nikhil Poddar, Blu Novak, Montserrat Gonzalez, Grace Kenda, and Harmony Fadeyeva sang in both the Mixed and Treble Choirs. Congratulations on your amazing performances!

Patriots Compete in Colorado Student-Led High School Chess League State Tournament

On Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19, George Washington High School hosted the annual state league championship of the Colorado Student-Led High School Chess League. Team Captains Ezra Caplan and Henry Dole both competed at Varsity level for GWHS; they were joined by senior Jackson Withers and freshmen Christian Kiros competing in the Junior Varsity category. In total, over 100 players from high schools around the state participated across both Varsity and Junior Varsity levels in a five-round, Swiss-style tournament. Ezra and Henry finished with 4.5 points each (4 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss each)!
Kraken Update (GWHS Robotics): All Charged Up

GWHS’s Robotics team, the Kraken, is nearing the end of their six-week build season for this year’s competition, “Charged Up.” This year, the team constructed a two-stage elevator to score cones and cubes in addition to working on autonomous and programming projects. 2023’s dinosaur-themed robot weighs in at just under one hundred pounds and stands a little over three feet tall! The Kraken’s robot will be competing in Shawnee, Oklahoma March 9 through March 11, and at the Magness Arena at University of Denver from March 23 to March 25. We would love to see you come out and support the team, and if you’re ever curious feel free to stop by room 25 any day after school to check out our program!
Evans Scholarship Winner

Let us all celebrate GWHS senior Julia Schiff who received the nationally competitive Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholarship! Awarding full tuition and housing for college, the Evans Scholarship is awarded on the basis of a strong caddie record, academic excellence, and outstanding character. Julia, GWHS is incredibly proud of you – congratulations!
Speech and Debate Shines at UC Berkeley Tournament

For the first time in three years, speech and debate returned in-person to the large national tournament scene with a strong showing at the University of California Berkeley Invitational over the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend. Forty-four Patriots traveled to the event, with the following breaking into the elimination rounds: Halle Guber and Ben Holland in Public Forum Debate, Cade Ramirez and Eli Englert, and Mina Doebele and Kate Newsome in JV Policy Debate, Jenna Bryant, Kate Parsons and Lindsay Sieja in Original Oratory, and Lindsay Sieja in Informative Speaking. Making the final round and placing in the top six were: Ivan Levitt, fourth place in Original Oratory, Sophia Gerrans, fourth place in Extemporaneous Speaking, Teah Stern and Ellie Perak, fifth place in Duo Interpretation, Jenna Bryant and Kate Parsons, second place in Duo Interpretation, and Flynn Good and Caroline Mabey, third place in JV Policy Debate.

Impressive oratorical skills, Patriots!
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