It is hard to believe that I find myself writing to wish all members of the D’Evelyn community a Happy Thanksgiving and wonderful Thanksgiving Break. This semester has gone very quickly! While there are a few days of school remaining, please accept my very best wishes on a great holiday celebration with family, friends, and loved ones.
For D’Evelyn students, faculty, and staff, I am hopeful that the week off will be a great time to rest, relax, and recharge after a busy first 12 weeks of the 2018-2019 academic year. School breaks are an important time for all community members to change pace from the daily routine of school, but also a time for giving more undivided attention and energy to personal needs and interests. It is my
sincere hope that the week-long break will be a great time for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy time with loved ones, to travel, and to read and exercise for leisure.
It has been a great start to the year. D’Evelyn students have been doing outstanding work in the
classroom, athletes have achieved great success in competition, and our students in performing arts have turned in great performances and earned well-deserved accolades. Perhaps most importantly, I have observed an improved mindfulness of character amongst the student body over the course of
this semester, particularly since our Rachel’s Challenge assembly in October.
Once we return from Thanksgiving Break, we will have a busy and exciting four week until the conclusion of fall semester. I look forward to seeing the great work done in D’Evelyn classrooms to wrap up the semester, as well as the beginning of our winter sports season and the numerous winter musical performances from our vocal and instrumental musicians.
It is a privilege to serve as the principal of this great school. I am thankful for the hard work and
dedication of our students, teachers, and staff, and for the strong support of our parents and community members. I am also looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends over the Thanksgiving Break, and recharging for an outstanding finish to the semester.
In the first 24 years of the history of D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School, we have seen nearly 2,700 young adults walk across the stage of D’Evelyn graduations, dating back to the first class in 1998. In each ceremony I have attended, dating back to the Class of 2006 commencement ceremony, I always felt a sincere sense that these D’Evelyn graduates were well prepared for a happy, successful, and full life, regardless of the ultimate destination that each graduate seeks.
I had the good fortune last week of visiting with a member of the D’Evelyn Class of 2012, Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) Alec Comito of the United States Navy. Alec graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2016, but before that, he was an outstanding student-athlete at D’Evelyn. I was privileged to teach Alec in my American Government and Economics courses during his senior year. It was a real pleasure for Alec to visit D’Evelyn, catch up with his junior/senior high school teachers and coaches, and tour the school.
Alec was visiting Colorado during a relocation from Florida to southern California, where he will be stationed to continue his service to the US Navy. In a few weeks, he will be deployed to Singapore, where he will embark on the USS John C. Stennis, and serve as a pilot of the E2-C Hawkeye aircraft.
I am very proud of Alec, and the accomplishments he has met in his young life. At D’Evelyn, he was an
outstanding student, and an accomplished athlete in football, basketball, and track and field throughout his four years as a Jaguar. It gives me great confidence and satisfaction that young men and women of Alec’s character, intellect, and dedication serve this country and protect this great nation.
There are thousands of D’Evelyn graduates living throughout not only Jeffco, but Colorado, the nation, and world, doing great things in their communities, within their families, and in their professional careers. As principal of this great school, it gives me great confidence knowing that I have the privilege of leading a program that so thoroughly prepares students for a successful life.
During this 25th year, the D’Evelyn administration has taken new measures to build connections within and among our alumni community. Our first step in this process is to build a communication
infrastructure to reach our alumni community with important and exciting updates in our school community, as well as sharing opportunities that alums can support the future success of D’Evelyn.
I have one request for those reading this article - please share the following link with alumni with whom you are connected, whether it is your child/children, or the children of friends and family. We are working to build a contact list of D’Evelyn graduates, and the best way our graduates of all classes can stay engaged in this great school, is by completing this very short survey.
Thank you in advance for your support of engaging our alumni base. I am grateful for your continued and ongoing support for our great school. I look forward to seeing many families at the D’Evelyn Dinner Auction on Friday night.
I am encouraged and impressed by the positive impact that Rachel’s Challenge has already made in the D’Evelyn community, and I look forward to witnessing the short-term and long-term benefits of this powerful program.
As the leader of the school, I felt challenged along with the students, faculty, staff, and families that participated in the Rachel’s Challenge events over the course of the week. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on areas of my own life, both personal and professional, where I can pay additional attention and dedicate extra energy towards positive interactions with everyone in my life - family, friends, colleagues, and D’Evelyn students and families.
With that in mind, I accept the five components of Rachel’s Challenge, as follows:
There are many ways that I can incorporate these important actions into my daily life and work, and I look forward to the continued opportunities to do so. It is my sincere belief that with all individual community members focused on these positive daily actions, our community will continue to grow stronger, and more supportive and engaging for all.
One important distinction that our Rachel’s Challenge presenter made really struck me. He noted that while in the pursuit of Rachel’s Challenge, it is important to know that the challenge is not about being perfect all the time. Considering the essential function of our school - to support the development of the hearts and minds of D’Evelyn students - I found that statement to be particularly empowering and uplifting.
D’Evelyn students are the future leaders of our communities - they are future parents, spouses, partners, workers, business owners, church members, and politicians. As a school community, and as outlined in the D’Evelyn Founding Document, it is our shared responsibility to help our students grow up to contribute positively to their communities in the future, no matter what that future holds.
Please join me and the D’Evelyn faculty, staff, and administration, and discuss Rachel’s Challenge as a family, taking the opportunity to start your own chain reaction. We are all working to encourage, support, celebrate, and at times, correct, our students in their pursuit of an excellent education that will prepare them for a happy, full, and enriching life. I am confident that the message of Rachel’s Challenge provides our students the proper foundation to consider the power and magnitude of their individual daily words and actions.
I am honored to share with you that we will be hosting Rachel’s Challenge on Wednesday, October 24th and Thursday, October 25th at D’Evelyn. Rachel’s Challenge is an organization started in memory of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the tragic Columbine shooting in 1999. In honor of Rachel’s life, Rachel’s Challenge was organized with a mission of “awakening individual transformation and promoting safer, more connected schools”, and the vision of seeing “a school free from harassment, bullying, and violence where teachers are free to teach, and students are awakened to learn.”
Each year, Rachel’s Challenge visits more than 1,200 schools and reaches 1.5 million people. The program is designed to encourage all community members to engage in random acts of kindness and compassion. We are fortunate to have this great resource available to all D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, and families on October 24th and October 25th.
On October 24th, all D’Evelyn students & faculty will engage in the Rachel’s Challenge assembly in our Main Gymnasium. The assembly will replace the time generally allocated for 7th hour, and we will follow a modified bell schedule throughout the day. On October 25th, during 7th hour, student leaders and faculty/staff members will have a chance to receive additional leadership training.
Additionally, on October 25th, D’Evelyn students, staff, and families are invited to attend the Rachel’s Challenge Community Event presentation at D’Evelyn at 6:30 pm, so that they can learn more about this important message and begin to act throughout our school community. We encourage interested families to attend this community event to learn more about the program.
To learn more about Rachel’s Challenge, I encourage you to visit their website.
The D’Evelyn Founding Document states, “All students, staff and parents will be expected to maintain a behavior standard that demonstrates respect for authority, others, and self. Responsibility, honesty, self-control, kindness and fairness will be encouraged and expected.” There is an important message within this statement - D’Evelyn was designed to help prepare students for life, to be good people, hard workers, and contributing members in their respective communities. It is my sincere belief that the message and actionable elements of Rachel’s Challenge will very much help both students and adults in the D’Evelyn community embrace the importance of kindness and compassion in their life.
Thank you for your support of this important event. I appreciate you talking with your children about this program and emphasizing your support that our students attend this event with attention and an open mind. As an administration, we are confident that this training can be a great starting point in building an even stronger, more supportive community at D’Evelyn.
I hope that you and your family have enjoyed the three-day weekend. It has been a busy few weeks at D’Evelyn for students, families, faculty, and staff. Students and teachers are working hard each day in the classroom, D’Evelyn fall athletes are competing in their league schedules and state postseason competitions, and D’Evelyn performing artists have been entertaining and competing regularly. It is an exciting time at D’Evelyn - I am proud of the many achievements already met this year by our wonderful students, faculty, and staff. It is a privilege to serve as principal of this great school.
It is also the approximate midpoint of the first semester, and I know that D’Evelyn students have been busy, and at times even stressed and overwhelmed. I am confident that our students have struggled with academics and persevered through challenges in the first eight weeks of the school year. I am also confident that the struggles and perseverance that students encounter in their junior and senior high school years will ultimately prepare them for the challenges of life. The D’Evelyn program is ultimately liberating and empowering for students, but there are certainly challenges faced by students during their D’Evelyn journey.
The faculty, staff, and administration want to recognize the great achievements of our students, while
also working to support students as they face challenges, academically, personally, or socially during their time at D’Evelyn. As the adults in the building, we share an important partnership with parents and families of D’Evelyn students. It is our shared responsibility to support and look out for the children in our care.
I am sure that the remaining eight weeks of the first semester will be equally challenging, busy, and exhaustive as the first eight weeks were. As we proceed through the middle of the semester, I ask parents and families to continue to provide support and encouragement for their students. There
will be difficult days, and even weeks, during the semester. However, if we all work towards supporting and encouraging our students, I know that our shared sense of the empowering, uplifting nature of the D’Evelyn liberal arts program will guide us through those struggles.
I hope that the three-day weekend has been restful, relaxing, and restorative for you and your family. I offer my very best wishes to a successful second half of the semester for all D’Evelyn students - in classes, athletics, performances, and other extracurricular endeavors.
D’Evelyn juniors will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 10th. There are many benefits for students taking the PSAT, but in this instance, the national PSAT 11 testing day serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. D’Evelyn is one of a handful of schools in the county that offers this examination for all students. We wish the Class of 2020 the very best for this test!
Based on last year’s exam, 17 current members of the D’Evelyn Class of 2019 were recognized as Commended Scholars (top 3% in the nation) or National Merit Semifinalists. Please join me in congratulating our Commended Scholars - Sebastian Coco, Andrew Cohen, Jonathan Kowalski, Cecilia Leoni, Claire Madonna, Alexander Miceli, Benjamin Reynolds, Emma Ryckman, Emily Smith, Brady Sullivan, and Alexandra Watson - and our semifinalists - Samantha Bakes, Rory Devin, Emma Dukesherer, Cadence Fisher, Alan Li, and Ian Widmann.
We are proud of the effort and accomplishments of all D’Evelyn students in their academic endeavors and believe the high-quality performance on these exams is a clear reflection of the hard work of students, teachers, and families during their time at D’Evelyn. The October PSAT/NMSQT administration is the one opportunity annually that D’Evelyn juniors must qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
The administration of the PSAT 11 is aligned well with the new Colorado framework for standardized testing. In the spring, Colorado 9th, 10th, and 11th graders will all take either the PSAT or SAT for their annual state assessment. These tests will be administered at D’Evelyn in April 2019. We believe that the PSAT/NMSQT, along with the PSAT 9 and 10, offer one more quality opportunity for students to prepare for the upcoming SAT exam for college admissions.
In the D’Evelyn program, we do not modify curriculum or instruction to align with standardized testing expectations. However, our students have a strong history of great achievement on both the ACT and SAT, two important tests in the college admission process. While our first priority will always be the success of students in the D’Evelyn liberal arts program, we do hope that by students completing PSAT 9, PSAT 10, PSAT 11, and SAT 11 in succession over roughly two years, students and families will have more information about and exposure to the SAT testing format and expectations.
I also encourage families and students to consider creating a College Board account, where many more additional resources are available to understand the tests and how your student performs. Khan Academy offers free SAT prep coursework for students that aligns with data that, with permission, their program gathers from College Board.
Please join me in encouraging your junior student to give their best effort this Wednesday on the PSAT. I look forward to seeing their great results and performance.
After the completion of the PSAT on Wednesday, juniors are dismissed for the rest of the school day. The remainder of D’Evelyn students will have classes as regularly scheduled, 7:35 AM - 2:30 PM.
Our annual fall Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd and Thursday, October 4th in the D’Evelyn gymnasium. The D’Evelyn Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences are held in an arena format, so families may meet with teachers on a first come, first served basis. We do encourage students to attend conferences to engage in the thoughtful conversations with teachers.
The schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, October 4th 5:00 - 7:30 pm
Thursday, October 5th 3:00 - 5:30 pm
The purpose of the Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences is to allow parents and students the opportunity to connect individually with their teachers. There are a variety of opportunities for conversation points presented by the conferences, including but not limited to:
We hope that you and your student(s) will capitalize on this valuable opportunity to meet with teachers.
There are no appointments or set schedules for meetings; rather, parents and students will have an opportunity to meet with teachers on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the evening. Please bring a copy of your child’s schedule for use during the conferences. We will not be distributing copies of schedules during conferences. Additionally, your student’s progress report for the first six weeks of the semester will be available in Parent Portal by Wednesday, October 3rd; please bring a copy of that those grades if you wish to use it in the conferences. We will send an update via School Messenger email to let families know when the 6-week grades are all posted in Parent Portal.
To allow all families an opportunity to meet with teachers, we ask that conferences are kept to a maximum of five minutes per teacher. If you need more than five minutes of meeting time with the teacher, please set up an appointment for a future date and time. During conferences, counselors and administrators will also be available to meet with parents and students. Prior to conferences, students 6-week grades will be submitted and posted in Infinite Campus.
Thank you for your continued support of your child in their educational experience at D’Evelyn. We appreciate and rely upon your support to maintain high academic and behavioral expectations for our students. Parents and families play an important role in the success of D’Evelyn students - I am grateful for your commitment to supporting your student’s success in our liberal arts program. I hope that Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences are an effective way by which you can support your student’s success.
Parents can support our Teacher Dinners for Parent-Teacher Conferences: If you are interested in contributing to the potluck meals for teachers on Wednesday 10/3, Thursday 10/4, or both, please sign up here!
The D’Evelyn Fall Play - Our Town - October 4, 5, and 6 - 7 PM, D’Evelyn Auditorium
We hope to see many students and families in attendance at this year’s D’Evelyn High School Fall Play - Our Town. The student actors and crew have been working diligently alongside their directors to put together an outstanding performance.
Shows will be on October 4th, 5th, and 6th in the D’Evelyn Auditorium, starting at 7 pm. Tickets are on sale at school during both lunch periods, can be purchased in the Financial Office, and will be available at the door.
All proceeds from the Friday, October 5th show will be donated to the Jamin Fund, a fund established in honor of Jamin Buchanan Wilson, D’Evelyn Class of 1999. The Jamin Fund supports an array of philanthropic endeavors, including the D’Evelyn Excellence in Education Awards granted annually to D’Evelyn faculty members. To learn more about the Jamin Fund, please visit the website.