Patriot Post December 2023

Posted December 4, 2023

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From the Desk of Dr. Davis

Dear Patriot Family – 

As we move ever closer to Winter Break, I want to acknowledge the challenges many have faced this semester. From global conflict to personal tragedy, this fall has not been easy. Through it all, we remain Patriot Strong. Our school will always strive to be a place of safety and support for all our students and families.

We also have much to celebrate. Once again, GWHS boasts a host of National Merit Semi-Finalists (more than all other DPS high schools combined!). Beyond academics, we have students excelling in athletics, in leadership and extracurricular activities, and in the visual and performing arts. Please take a moment to read about their accomplishments, and share in their moments of joy.

Be well, with family and friends, throughout Winter Break. We wish you a safe and restful holiday season, and look forward to welcoming our Patriots home in January 2024 for a successful spring.

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

IB Learner Profile Trait: Reflective


With each issue of the Patriot Post, we highlight an attribute from the International Baccalaureate (IB) 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.

To be reflective, we thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development. 

Fall Sports Overview

Our team finished with an overall record of 11-12, and a 4-3 standing in League play. Ciana Bryant and Lilah Quinlan earned First Team All-Conference honors, while Addison Philabaum secured Second Team All-Conference. Aashna Patel, Georgia Rudolph and Alanna Joyce received Honorable Mentions. (For a fun intro to our boys volleyball program, watch THIS!)

Boys Golf
With a significant twenty golfers on our team, our top players competed at the 2023 Regional Championships in Grand Junction, marking a successful season for the team.

Boys Soccer
Our Patriots achieved a 9-7 overall record, and a 3-2 standing in League play, securing a third place finish. Isaiah Flores closed his career with a remarkable 47 goals in 3-1/2 seasons. The team earned a first round playoff berth, with Noah Raabe and Isaiah Flores making First Team All-Conference. Benjamin Holland, Richard Heckler, Devin Morris, Ethan Jani and Manzin Elmahdi also earned conference recognitions.

Our football team concluded their season with a 4-6 overall record, and a 1-4 League record. Jared Runnels, Christopher Munoz and Fred Scott made First Team All-Conference, while Kaden Reed earned Second Team honors.

Boys Tennis
For the third consecutive year, every individual and doubles team qualified after an impressive performance at Regionals. Bryce Dilworth was named Tennis Player of the Year for the DPL League.

Our softball team secured an 18-7 overall record, and an incredible 11-1 standing in League play, finishing second overall. They earned a Regional playoff berth and were ranked twenty-eighth in 4A play. Victoria Arellano, Margaret Duffy, Halle Guber, Avia Marusich, Gracie Arellano, MaiLei Garcia, Leilani Martin and Amelia Nelson received various All-League recognitions.

Both our boys and girls teams excelled, with the girls placing third overall at Regionals and qualifying the entire team for the 4A State Championships. Tess Olsen earned Second Team All-Conference.

Five GWHS gymnasts competed this season, led by Selby Davenport and Caroline Wanebo. Caroline Wanebo qualified for Floor and Isabel Pexton for Beam at State.

Unified Bowling
Our GWHS bowlers participated for the first season as a CHSAA-sanctioned team, and finished fourth overall at Regionals.

Girls Flag Football
In its second season, the team under Coach Page achieved a winning record, participating in multiple tournaments in a strong bid for the sport to become a CHSAA-sanctioned activity.

Remember to follow us on Instagram (@gwhsdenver) or X (Twitter) (@gwhs_denver) for more athletic and academic content!
National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists and Commended Students

GWHS is thrilled to announce its eleven National Merit Scholarship Program Semi-Finalists from the Class of 2024! GWHS boasts the most National Merit Semi-Finalists of any school in Denver Public Schools (for the second year running), as well as the third most of any high school, public or private, in Colorado. Our National Merit Semi-Finalists are: Greta Batchelor, Cameron Delong, Katherine Duffy, Brandon Figueroa, Nava Goldstein, Benjamin Holland, Peter Jedlicka, August Salbenblatt, Leah Titkin, Ashok Vasan and Joel Watterson. In addition to our eleven Semi-Finalists, GWHS celebrates its National Merit Commended Students, including Katherine Hall-Shalvoy, Max Hopkins, Madeline Hosking, Devin Morris, Stuart Motes, Tessa Olsen and Tate Reeder-Holman

Students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT in October of their junior year. The 16,000 National Merit Semi-Finalists are the highest-scoring students in each state, representing less than one percent of each state’s high school seniors.  
Speech and Debate Off to a Strong Start

GWHS Speech and Debate kicked off its 2023-2024 season in October with novice competition. The new competitors had fun getting the hang of tournaments and winning lots of ribbons. All too quickly November ushered in Varsity competition with all of the team jumping back into the local circuit. Our debaters and speakers took top honors all three weekends and are eager to keep rolling through the month of December with out-of-state events in Salt Lake City, UT and Cheyenne, WY.

GWHS DECA Qualifies Seventeen for State Competition

On Thursday, November 30, thirty-six students competed in the District 3 DECA conference. There were close to seven hundred students competing in various business case study and role-play events. GWHS proudly qualified seventeen for the state competition in Colorado Springs at the end of February. Qualifiers included: Kelsey Simmons (Apparel and Accessories Marketing), Erika Englestad (Business Finance), Diego Holguin and Charlie Martin (Business Law and Ethics), Ethan Jani and Ben Holland (Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making), Devin Morris and Ashok Vasan (Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making), Connor Hosking and Sarita Patel (Financial Services Team Decision Making), Grace Farrell (Food Marketing Series), Henry Batchelder (Food Marketing Series), Sam Holland and John Sheehan (Marketing Management Team Decision Making), Sofia Weins (Restaurant and Food Service Management), Tessa Olsen (Retail Merchandising) and Ivy Manno (Retail Merchandising).

GWHS Hosts Annual JROTC Promotion Ceremony

The annual Denver JROTC promotion ceremony was hosted at the GWHS auditorium on Thursday, September 21. All eleven JROTC battalions throughout the Denver metro area were invited to attend. This ceremony recognizes the battalion staff members and key leaders from each school and serves as an important event to highlight JROTC to principals, administrators and students. Student leader from each battalion were presented with a promotion certificate by their school principal or representative. At this event, Captain John Myers, the new Senior Army Instructor at GWHS, was also promoted to the rank of Major. Congratulations, Major Myers, and all JROTC student leaders, on your promotions. Pictured from left to right (front row): Jordan Sawyer, Anthony Euceda, Gregory Knutson, William Chona-Aragon, Stellan Ursten-Hobbs, Jonathan Chevez. From left to right (back row): Major John Myers, Matthew Sprague, Cole Ledges, Roxy Thaw, Sonja Hammond-Smith, Zachary Lupo, Gavin Weber, Aiden Kuykendall and Mr. Linwood Washington.

JROTC Students Volunteer at Adapted Field Day

Members of the JROTC battalion staff provided a color guard and volunteered to help set up and manage a variety of games for the Denver Public Schools Adapted Field Day. The event took place at All-City Stadium on Thursday, September 28, 2023. The JROTC students spent the entire day with the student athletes as they competed for a variety of prizes and ribbons. The students pictured from left to right are Cole Ledges, Jordan Sawyer, Sam Datz, Aiden Kuykendall, Gregory Knutson, Sonja Hammond-Smith, Zachary Lupo, Anthony Euceda, Matthew Sprague, Gavin Weber and Roxy Thaw. Thank you for a job well done, Patriots!

JROTC Raider Team Places Third at Competition

The GWHS JROTC Raider Teams competed at a Raider Competition at West High School against thirty-one other schools on Saturday, September 30. The teams participated in a one mile run, sit-ups, pushups, standing power throw, standing broad jump, seated ball throw, sprint/drag/carry, and a CrossFit course. The JROTC students that participated in the competition were (from left to right back row) Kent Pelham, Stellan Ursten-Hobbs, Zachary Lupo, Gregory Knutson, Gavin Weber, Josmar Torres, (from left to right front row) Roxy Thaw and Jordan Sawyer. The mixed team (two male cadets and two female cadets) placed third in the competition and earned individual medallions for their accomplishments! Our award-winning team in the bottom photo (pictured from left to right) is Zachary Lupo, Roxy Thaw, Gavin Weber and Jordan Sawyer. Congratulations to our GWHS JROTC Raider Teams – we are very impressed!
JROTC Designs New School Flag

The GWHS JROTC battalion staff created and designed the first-ever school flag and had it proudly displayed at an event that took place at the school’s flagpole on Tuesday, October 24. The Battalion Commander delivered a brief speech welcoming all the guests attending the event and described the meaning of the design of the new school flag. The old flag was lowered from the flagpole and replaced with the new school flag. The event concluded with two members of the battalion staff leading the audience singing the school’s spirit song. Students pictured from left to right are members of the GWHS battalion staff: Cole Ledges, Sonja Hammond-Smith, Aiden Kuykendall, Zachary Lupo, Sam Datz, Gavin Weber, Anthony Euceda, Matthew Sprague, Jordan Sawyer and Roxy Thaw.

JROTC Marches in Annual Veterans Day Parade

Members of JROTC participated in full dress in the annual Veterans Day parade on Saturday, November 11 starting at Denver’s City Park. After the event, the students and their families had the opportunity to observe the military vehicle displays provided by the Colorado National Guard and attend the Veterans Day Festival in the City Park Meadow. Thank you for honoring our nation’s veterans, Patriots!

Fall Play – “She Kills Monsters”

The Patriot Players successfully put up the fall play “She Kills Monsters,” with a highly acclaimed matinee and evening runs Wednesday, November 8 through Saturday, November 11. Both actors and technical crew did an amazing job working hard and contributing. We are now looking forward to the upcoming spring musical, “The Addams Family.” Thanks to all those who were able to attend our fall play, and be sure to return for our spring musical!

GWHS Pep Band Performs at CU Boulder Basketball Game

On Friday, November 10, the GWHS Pep Band was invited to be the featured band at the CU Boulder basketball game against Grambling State. The band was cheered on by the CU student section, the University was very gracious to our band members, and we’d like to think that it was the rousing music that inspired the CU basketball team to a victory!

AVID’s Fifteenth Annual Dinner Night

AVID celebrated their fifteenth annual dinner night on Thursday, October 26. We welcomed our AVID student’s families, honored students’ success in the program, and recognized our AVID seniors for their hard work and dedication. Thank you to Dr. Davis, Shawn Jackson, Jen Harkness, Narissa Stahl, Tyla Wilder, Lisa Hellmann, Reed Wellman, Alea Crawford and Michelle Rosen for helping to make this annual dinner night a huge success!

AVID Gardening at the Green

AVID students practiced mindfulness and community service while helping at the farm located at the Denver Green school. The farm helps to support seventy families with fresh fruit and veggies, as well as the school’s cafeteria! The students got to tour the farm, learn about the crops and composting program, and help with weeding for the next season. The farmers were impressed with their work and willingness to try some VERY fresh new foods.
Geometry in Construction Builds Bright Futures

Geometry in Construction is a sophomore-level math class connected with an elective construction class. Students learn a standards-based math curriculum with a focus on applications, as well as workplace and construction safety, receiving an OSHA10 card at the end of first semester. Students also complete the HBI PACT Core certification through HBI, and have opportunities for internships with construction partners from around the Metro area. GIC projects have included outdoor benches, playhouses, cornhole boards, and, most recently, 10×10 sheds for the soccer and track teams. Watch for upcoming GIC fundraisers: we’ll be selling unused tools, as well as some amazing finished products!

Thanksgiving Basket Thank You

GWHS would like to extend its deepest thanks to everyone who volunteered time or provided donations for our Food Pantry’s annual Thanksgiving Baskets. Because of you, our Food Pantry was able to provide baskets to 30 families, with sizes ranging from 4 to 10 members! 

GWHS Alum Brings Wellness to Staff

Be Well Personnel COO and GWHS alum Hayden Vogel returned this fall to during a Professional Development Day with a “Paw-iffce Visit” for staff. Paw-iffce Visits involve the Be Well Personnel team bringing adorable, adoptable puppies and kittens onsite to a workplace for a true immersive well-being experience. Thank you, Hayden, for creating a restorative, inspiring workday for all GWHS staff – we loved it!
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