Patriot Post March 2024

Posted March 5, 2024

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From the Desk of Dr. Davis

Dear Patriot Family – 

We have weathered most of winter, and are looking forward to the warmer days and growth spring will bring. The idea of growth is something I am fortunate to witness every day, in classrooms, on the sports fields, on stage, and in our many student clubs and organizations.

What teenagers can accomplish truly amazes me. Please take a moment to read about what ours have done, and be sure to offer your congratulations or admiration when you see them, should you visit our school.

As we anticipate the arrival of a well-earned Spring Break, be sure to take a moment to connect with your own student about their accomplishments, dreams, and future plans. Our families are our greatest resource, and it is only through collaboration with you that we are able to help support these teens in their journeys toward adulthood.

Here’s to celebrating our students, fostering a thriving school culture and looking forward to what the next season brings.

In Partnership,

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

IB Learner Profile Trait: Communicator


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 a communicator, we express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.  

Winter Sports Overview

We are thrilled to share the exceptional accomplishments of our student-athletes, which reflect the dedication, talent and growth within our school’s diverse athletic programs:

Girls’ Swim Team Accomplishments
Amid the challenges still presented by the COVID pandemic, our girls’ swim team displayed remarkable resilience and determination, turning adversity into triumph. The season was marked by unwavering enthusiasm and commitment, with the team overcoming obstacles, including a week-long pool closure before the League.

Noteworthy achievements include a third place finish at the League, with podium finishes in an impressive ten out of the twelve events—a rarity in our team’s history. Five individual state qualifiers, Paige Reilly, Ellie Reimer, Olivia Gillard, Maya Stone, and Ema Perak, showcased their prowess by not only qualifying but also competing in the finals—a historic team first. Their collective efforts resulted in a commendable tenth place finish at the State level.

Paige Reilly‘s outstanding performance was highlighted by breaking multiple team records and setting a new DPS record in the 500 free, underscoring her dedication and skill.

Boys’ Basketball Accomplishments
Our boys’ basketball team concluded the season with a remarkable thirteen wins, almost tripling the win total from the previous season, and achieved a notable twenty-second overall ranking in Class 6A going into the 2024 CHSAA State Tournament. This significant improvement underscores the hard work, commitment, and growth of our talented players.

Individual recognitions further emphasize the excellence within our boys’ basketball team. Jeremiah Trimm earned the well-deserved distinction of First Team All-Conference, showcasing his exceptional skills and leadership on the court. Additionally, Tre Borne and Jordan Dotson secured Second Team All-Conference honors, while Buck Sorrells and Oscar Stecklein received Honorable Mentions for their valuable contributions to the team’s success.

Girls’ Basketball Accomplishments
Adding to our celebration of athletic prowess, our girls’ basketball team secured a Playoff Birth in the 2024 CHSAA State Championships, demonstrating their skill and determination on the court. Individual recognitions further highlight the excellence within the team, with Brittany Booker earning the prestigious title of First Team All-Conference. Madisyn Honeycutt secured Second Team All-Conference honors, and NaQua Barnett and Jordan LaGasse received well-deserved Honorable Mentions.

Boys’ Wrestling Accomplishments
The boys’ wrestling team showcased their tenacity with ten wrestlers competing at regionals, culminating in the qualification of Travis Kirk for the 2024 CHSAA State Championships. Our regional competitors, including Santana Lopez, Caden Huynh-Smith, Ryan Hoeft, Kristofor Bilano, Rafael Ramirez, Davis Brown, John Sheehan, Travis Kirk, Demetrius Wedgeworth, and Emilio Morfin, demonstrated their dedication and skill on the wrestling mat.

Girls’ Wrestling Accomplishments
The girls’ wrestling team started the season with a resounding team victory at the Les Mattocks tournament. Six girls from the team advanced to the 2024 Regional Championships, and we are proud to announce that Katie Hall, April Garayzar, and Mehrab Arabi earned well-deserved spots at the 2024 CHSAA State Championships. Regional competitors Bluma Oginsky, Ella Pomeranz, Mehrab Arabi, Katie Hall, April Garayzar, and Ash Horn showcased their talent, determination, and sportsmanship throughout the season.

Unified Basketball Accomplishments
In addition to these achievements, we extend our congratulations to GW’s Unified basketball team for a tremendous season under the great coaching of Coach Stahl and Coach Bates. The team showcased exceptional skills and sportsmanship, earning First place in the 2024 Special Olympics Basketball Tournament held at Denver East. This accomplishment adds to the pride and success of our school’s athletic programs.


Hockey Team Accomplishments
A special congratulations goes out to our Hockey Players from GW as their team made it back to State Playoffs, advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2023-24 season. The team’s overall record was an impressive 11-8-2, facing tough competition with a 4-6-2 record in the challenging 5A Metro league.

In celebrating these diverse accomplishments, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the entire school community for fostering an environment that supports and nurtures the growth of our student-athletes. As we eagerly anticipate future seasons, we remain confident that these achievements reflect the exceptional spirit of excellence that defines our school’s athletic programs.

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

GWHS is deeply proud to announce its eleven National Merit Scholarship Program Semi-Finalists from the Class of 2024 have all gone on to become Finalists! GWHS boasts the most National Merit 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 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

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. National Merit Semi-Finalists then complete an application process to move on to the Finalist round, where they become eligible for awards and scholarships.  
GWHS Boasts Three U.S. Presidential Scholar Nominees

GWHS is delighted to announce three Class of 2024 students have been nominated as U.S. Presidential Scholars, the most nominees of any Denver Public Schools high school! The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order to recognize our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school students. Nominees are chosen by their State Department of Education, based on being among the highest-scoring ACT and SAT test-takers in their state. Nominees whose applications make it through to the final round are named U.S. Presidential Scholars, an elite honor for up to 161 high school seniors who are awarded the Presidential Scholar Medallion. Our nominees are Greta Batchelor, Benjamin Holland and Leah Titkin.
Speech and Debate Competes at UC Berkeley High School Tournament

GWHS Speech and Debate sent 64 competitors to the Bay area over President’s Day weekend to compete in the large high school tournament held on the UC Berkeley campus. Arriving a day early, GWHS Speech and Debate competitors enjoyed a day touring San Fransisco. (The photo below was taken at the Powell Street BART station before the rains set in for the weekend!) At the tournament, the following GWHS competitors advanced to elimination rounds: Liliana Feeny and Sabrina Fox in Public Forum Debate, Erika Englestad and Grace Farrell in Public Forum Debate, Greta Batchelor and Maddie Hosking in Varsity Policy Debate, Claire Van Remortel and Gabi Sanchez-Heller in JV Policy Debate, Cade Ramirez and Eli Englert in JV Policy Debate, Ivan Levitt and Sam Holland in Duo Interpretation, Mari Valore-Caplan and Sarita Patel in Duo Interpretation, Mari Valore-Caplan in Dramatic Interpretation, Sam Holland in Humorous Interpretation, Matt Abrams in Extemporaneous Speaking and Logan Genova in Extemporaneous Speaking.

GWHS DECA Qualifies Nineteen for State Competition

GWHS brought nineteen students to the DECA State Competition at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs February 25 through 27! Students completed various role play events to showcase their skills. Out of our nineteen competitors, eleven made finals! Congrats to all our DECA competitors for their hard work – it really paid off at State!
GWHS National Honor Society Does the Amazing!

GWHS’s chapter of National Honor Society (NHS) ran a Blood Drive on February 14 to motivate students to donate blood, to increase awareness of the importance of donating blood, and to encourage students to create new, regular donation habits. Every two seconds, someone in our country needs blood for surgeries, treatments, serious injuries, and blood disorders. For many people, receiving a blood transfusion is lifesaving. During Blood Drive week, over sixty NHS members participated in various ways. In addition to donating blood, members gave their time though running the free coffee, hot cocoa, cookies and brownies tables, the information table during the blood drive, and working set-up and take-down of the blood drawing equipment in the Library. This year, NHS went above and beyond: forty-two students and faculty volunteered to donate, which more than doubled last year’s drive and greatly exceeded their goal of twenty-eight units! Next year, NHS is planning two drives, the first will be in October (Halloween) and the second in February (Valentine’s Day). To all GWHS students and faculty, thank you for taking an active part in the blood donation drive. Your selfless act has created a significant difference in someone’s life!

GWHS JROTC Presents the Colors

The JROTC Color Guard has been busy at school events! On Tuesday, February 6, they presented the Colors for the Unified Basketball game. Color Guard members, from left to right, are Cole Ledges, Rainy Woodard, Ben Kestyn and Roxy Thaw. Congratulations team for such an amazing basketball game and color guard for your excellent performance! Members of the JROTC Color Guard also presented the Colors at the Academic Awards Night on Thursday, February 8 in the GWHS Auditorium. This special event was in recognition for all GWHS students achieving academic success; students received an Honor Roll certificate and other symbols of recognition from the school’s principal and administrative staff. Members of the Color Guard included, from left to right, Liamh Horn, Rainy Woodard, Ben Kestyn, Jordan Sawyer and Taliha Moulayianis. Congratulations to our remarkable Color Guard, our Unified Basketball players, and our Honor Roll honorees!

JROTC Students Volunteer for Service Learning Project

Eighteen JROTC students and five adult volunteers helped the City of Denver with a service learning project on Saturday, January 27. Students served food and distributed clothing, shoes, personal hygiene products and other miscellaneous essentials for a large Venezuelan immigrant population located in northeast Denver. The students learned a great deal about the families, and about the importance of helping those that need help. It was a wonderful learning experience and the students enjoyed providing support for so many in need. Thank you, Patriots, for your willingness to help – your work was greatly appreciated!

JROTC Student Shines in Speech Competition

Cadet Sergeant Nathan Lupo was selected to represent all JROTC freshmen students for the Windsor Gardens Optimist Club speech competition. This is an annual competition that recognizes cadets from the Denver JROTC Regiment for outstanding public speaking. The speech was videotaped and submitted for judging. The topic for the speech this year was “Which Freedom in the Bill of Rights is Most Important to Me and Why?” The speech must be within three to five minutes, and is judged on poise/personality, content, delivery/presentation, and overall effect. Congratulations, Nathan!
AVID Students Take Over Ball Arena

AVID students attended a leadership conference at Ball Arena to learn about financial literacy, talk to college reps at a college fair, and hear from a panel of their peers from across the state. After a day of multiple learning opportunities, the students were able to attend a Nuggets game and enjoy celebrating time with each other as well as a fantastic Nuggets win! The AVID students would like to thank Dr. Davis for her support in getting them to the conference, and Ms. Reaves, Mrs. Stahl, and Coach Taryn for supporting the students during each phase of their learning adventure.

AVID Students Get Green(er!)

AVID students were given the opportunity to work with Denver Green School students through helping as part of literacy and math tutoring in the second grade classrooms. They have been working with the students after school every day, building relationships and helping the teachers where they can.

Patriots Excel at DPS District Chess Championship

On Saturday, January 27, chess teams from four DPS high schools relaunched a decades-old tradition: the DPS District Championship had not been held since 2000! Players from DSST Conservatory Green, East High School, and Denver Online joined our GWHS Patriots to compete in a five-round Swiss-Style tournament. The tournament was organized by Chad Edwards from DSST Conservatory Green, Chris Hubble from GWHS, and Ken Cowin, the district chess coordinator. “Chess is back in DPS, and we’re excited to continue this tradition,” said Edwards. 

GWHS won the traveling first place trophy with 11-1/2 points, with Conservatory Green finishing a close second (only one game behind) with 10-1/2 points, and East High School placed third. The top five individual players were Joel Watterson (GWHS) in first place, Jared Runnels (CG) in second place, Eduardo Garibay (CG) finishing third, Brandon Figueroa (GWHS) in fourth, and Suria Menon (GWHS) finishing fifth. Congratulations to our competitors!  
GWHS Model UN Success

The GWHS Model UN team has one event left in the 2023-2024 season on Saturday, April 13 in Erie, Colorado. Our Model UN team consists mostly of seniors and juniors who have a passion for international relations. Throughout the year, the GW MUN (Model United Nations) has competed in several competitions throughout Colorado. Issues ranging from guns and drugs in the Caribbean, to possible solutions to the ongoing Ukrainian and Russian conflicts, have been mediated by GWHS MUN students with their fellow MUN constituents from around the state. Our team has showcased their ability to delegate, compromise, and take charge during these competitions. Students, if you are interested in how the UN works or are curious as to what a weekend MUN event looks like, please don’t hesitate to email Mr. Parker, or stop by room 133 to discuss!
Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented’s Legislative Day

Two GWHS students, Katherine Walsh (grade 10) and Ilsa Manno (grade 9), joined other students from across Colorado to attend the 2024 Legislative Day, where they had the opportunity to shadow Senator Julie Gonzales and Representative Anthony Hartsook of Douglas County. They were treated to a day of being on the House Floor for hearings, legislature, and votes. Katherine and Ilsa were also able to join their representatives in their respective committees and learned about many of the topics affecting voters today. We are proud of our future legislators!
GWHS Students Show Their Patriot Pride at Bill Roberts Middle School

On Friday, January 19, GWHS students from our JROTC Program and our Elite Patriot Dancers showed their Patriot pride at Bill Roberts Middle School. Elite Patriot Dance students performed, then engaged in a dance battle with a few Bill Roberts eighth grade boys. Our JROTC students talked to students, parents and teachers about the many wonderful opportunities available at GWHS, and the benefits of the JROTC program in particular.

Middle school students and their parents asked numerous questions, and we were invited to return for future assemblies! Pictured from JROTC, from left to right, are Cole Ledges, Zachary Lupo, Jordan Sawyer and Roxy Thaw; our Elite Patriot Dancers are featured in the second photo. Thank you, Patriots, for being such great ambassadors for our school and our programs!

Ethnic Studies Concurrent Enrollment Awareness Projects

Concurrent Enrollment Ethnic Studies classes have been working on their Awareness Projects over the past few weeks. The goal of this project is for students to highlight a current issue in a specific culture, research it, find a way to engage others in learning more about it, and provide a way for their peers and community to help, support and/or change things (depending on the issue). These projects are available for viewing starting March 1, which is Zero Discrimination Day. You can check out one of our posters HERE, or see the students, work in the hallways at GWHS.
Winter Break Basket Thank You

On December 15, 2023 GWHS Food Pantry distributed 37 Winter Break food baskets to GWHS students, their families, and staff. Thank you to all who supported by giving donations or volunteering their time to make this possible!

The “Patriot Glow”

We are excited to announce our school newspaper is back! You can always find the most current issue of the “Patriot Glow” on our website, under the “Student Journalism” section of the “Students and Families” tab.
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