April 15, 2016
Greetings Osprey Community,

Alma Wolf and Acacia Bryson's film, "The Organic Panic"
What beautiful work our 9th graders created for this week's Environmental Film Festival at the Animas City Theatre!  Seeing local experts up on the big screen speaking to important environmental issues that impact our community in the students' skillfully edited films was truly inspiring.  Perhaps the rainy weekend ahead will provide just the opportunity you need to catch up on any you didn't see at the exhibition?  All the films have been posted to the Animas High School Facebook page, which you can access here.  Enjoy!

Kaitlyn Dunn, Celia Hale and Hannah Starbuck transforming Hannah's room into a casino to showcase their understanding of precalculus at All School Exhibition
Preparation for All School Exhibition is underway, with students across grade level beginning to transform spaces on campus to showcase their learning across disciplines on Thursday, May 12 from 4:00 to 8:00.  Mark your calendars now, as this celebration of student work will be an event not to miss.  Not only will students creatively share their learning through interactive activities ranging from a faux casino to an escape room, we'll also have music, performances, food and more.  This year truly promises to be the best AHS All School Exhibition ever!

Kudos to AHS Student Council, who successfully led the process of responding to student advocacy for some updates to our dress code.  Through a collaborative process that included student-generated proposals and faculty input, we have refined the dress code in a way that continues to uphold our culture of excellence, student safety and professionalism. The new dress code is summarized in this letter to students that Sean and Student Council president Lyle Bryson sent out earlier this week.

"Healthy Homes," by Elijah Parker, Aidyn Hankins and Memo Verduzco
Next week, sophomores will take the PSAT and juniors with take the Colorado ACT and CMAS Science exam.  For more details about all the spring state assessments, visit our website here.  

Looking further ahead, this week at their meeting, the AHS Board of Directors approved the 2016-17 school year calendar.  View it here.

We hope that all Ospreys who are attending the AHS Prom at River Bend Ranch tomorrow evening have a wonderful time.  Many, many thanks to organizational powerhouse Sonya McGuire for spearheading the prom committee, and to Osprey parent Marla Stills for her tireless work creating a fun and safe way for the party to continue at After Prom.  Thanks, too, to all the parent volunteers who will chaperone After Prom!

Many thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!
Upcoming AHS Events
See the 2016-17 School Calendar here

Ospreys Soaring: Colorado Science and Engineering Fair

Congratulations to senior Trevor Jordon and sophomores Liam Foster and Isaac Jordan for their excellent work at the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair last week!

Trevor is one of four finalists traveling to Phoenix to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May, where he'll share his project, "A Wing of the Future, Part III."  
All three Ospreys were recognized with multiple awards at the state fair. Liam's project, "A Novel Early Warning and Monitoring System for Mine Blowouts" certainly has particular relevance and practical application for our region. Isaac's project, "A New Twist on Artificial Muscle: Using Supercoiled Polymer Fibers to Power Robotics and Prosthetics" presents an innovative design that could potentially improve quality of life for those with artificial limbs. We're very proud of the initiative, innovation and presentation skills all three Ospreys demonstrated!

Osprey Wish List: Sophomore Escape Room

Our sophomores are quite literally transforming Aliza Cruz's classroom for a joint Biology/Geometry project in which they are designing an escape room to demonstrate their understanding of anatomy, fractals, logic and geometry. Building and painting, changing a math classroom into a faux art gallery has required plenty of elbow grease and materials, and they are seeking financial support to offset the cost of materials. Please consider making a donation here to help this truly innovative, ambitious project come to fruition!

The AHS Escape Room will be open to the public May 2 through 6, with a 5:00 and a 6:30 start time. Stay tuned for more information about how to reserve your time slot!
Magic Nick Presents "The Magic Behind the Magic"

Hello amazing AHS community! My name is Nick Austin, also known as Magic Nick and/or Nick Tarasewicz, and I'm a senior here at the Animas nest. Over the past few months, I've been investigating how the scientific field of neuroscience (the study of the brain) relates to the art of magic for my senior project. To showcase my findings, I've put together a theatrical presentation for the Durango community that will take place on Sunday, May 1st @ 3:00 pm at the Animas City Theater. I'd like to officially invite the entire community to this event!

I know what some of you who are not familiar with my work must be thinking: "Isn't magic just some silly hobby to trick children?" The answer to this thought is NO! In order to understand why one must first understand what magic is. Below you'll find an excerpt from my Senior Thesis Paper.

What is magic? Simply put, magic is the gift of a new and impossible moment. Magicians take normal objects and make them do something extraordinary.  And yes, magic is real. It isn't the traditional form of wand-casting or potion-brewing popular in fiction novels; nor is it a puzzle to test your logic or a cheesy birthday party trick that embarrasses your kid. Real magic occurs without warning or hesitation in a single moment when your mind opens to possibilities.  

People NEED mystery in their lives. Because the explanation to every question is a google search away, we're never really surprised by anything. Nothing really catches us off guard. My mission in magic is to bring some mystery back into people's lives and remind them that it's okay not to know everything but to just sit back and appreciate new and impossible moments

Before I present to the entire Durango public, I'd like to host a couple of smaller shows exclusively for our Animas students in case you can't make the May 1 date. These shows will be on Friday, April 22nd, and Monday, April 25th. Both will take place during 7th hour, 2:15-3:15, and will require students to be excused by their 7th hour teacher. Seating is limited on these smaller shows so please fill out this survey confirming your attendance. Seating is limited to 35 per performance. (When the survey is closed, that means there's no more seating.) Again, this is specifically for students and faculty that CAN'T attend the May 1 date.

Back to those of you who are attending the May 1 performance: Seating at the Animas City Theater is LIMITED so please purchase your tickets as soon as possible.

But Nick, where and when can I purchase tickets?

That's a great question! You will be able to purchase tickets off of the ACT website once everything is uploaded. So for the time being, you can like and follow me on Facebook at and on Instagram @nickaustinmagic to receive notifications as soon as tickets become available. There will not be an email to let you know when tickets are available. So follow me! (You might be able to get some behind the scenes updates as well.)

Thank you for your time and have a magical weekend! (Sorry, but I'm obligated to say that.)
College Corner

Congrats to Rebecca Schaldach for receiving the Monfort Scholarship, a  full ride scholarship to Colorado State University!
All Seniors should please update Naviance Accounts with information about college acceptances.

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines
NNMSMGA Scholarship-4/12
Cibrowski Family Scholarship-4/20

Upcoming Summer Program Application Deadlines
The Naval Academy Summer STEM Program (9th & 10th grade): 4/15
Weminuche Audubon Society (ages 13-18): 4/15
2016 Colorado Preserve America Youth Summit: 4/15
Senior Supper: Call for Parent Volunteers and Donations
The Senior Supper on May 26 from 6:30 to 8:00pm is a wonderful time for our graduating seniors to dine with teachers, share memories, laughter, and a few special tears before they fly from the nest. Typically, parents of juniors create the Senior Supper by helping with food, setup, and clean-up. More on that below.
This year, we also need parents of seniors to help us with monetary contributions so that we can obtain dinnerware and decorations to make a special evening!  You may donate through the AHS website here ; please indicate that your donation is for "Senior Supper."  Prefer to pay by check?  Write "Senior Supper" on the memo line and deliver to the office. Have more questions, please email Monika Glen (, Tracy Toner (, or Kay Tarasewicz (
For parents of juniors, we need help with food, setup, and clean-up. We're using Volunteer Spot to organize our activity. Here's how it works in 4 easy steps:
1. Click on this link or copy and paste it to your web browser:
2. Enter your email address. (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot.)
3. Confirm your email address by typing it in again. Once you proceed, it takes a few minutes for VolunteerSpot to load our information but once it does, you see all of the items listed on the page.
3. Sign up! Choose your spots - VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!
Thank you for your help!

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