January 29, 2016
Greetings Osprey Community,

Dylan Williamson, Shane Ellis and Veronica Heinrich in all their neon glory
It's feeling, like, totally tubular on campus today, as several Ospreys have donned their best 80s gear for Snowdown.  Amidst the silliness, we've had a full week, with 9th graders participating in Model UN, the debut of the FORTitude student award, a visit from Congressman Scott Tipton and an AHS faculty team competing in the Snowdown Spellebration.  Read on to learn more about all!

Next week, the School Excellence Committee (SEC) meets Monday from 5:00 to 6:30 on campus.   Parent Advisory Committee  (PAC) will meet Tuesday, from 8:30 to 10:00am at Durango Joe's on College Drive, and the AHS Board of Directors meets Wednesday, 5:30-7:30pm on campus.  All meetings are open to the public.

like mother, like daughter: Sara Price and Mikayla Wright rocking their legwarmers
Tuesday evening, we'll offer an AHS Information Session for prospective students and families from 5:30-6:30 at the Powerhouse Science Center.  That same evening, 11th grade Humanities Honors students will exhibit their research and projects on a variety of topics related to US History from 5:30 to 7:00 at the Steaming Bean.  Have you ever wondered how music has influenced social justice movements? Or how fashion can be an effective tool for social change by creating a positive image for women?  How about what moral obligation humans have to animals?  Do you want to learn more about the history of Native American-US government relations?  Well, then come on down to the Steaming Bean and hear what our Honors students have to say!

Did you happen to see alumni Eric Setka's letter to the editor in yesterday's Durango Herald?  Eric reflects on how his AHS education prepared him for the success he's finding at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, writing "Learning is more substantial when a person sees, hears, builds, creates and delves deeply."  Read Eric's full letter here.

Finally, we are seeking one more parent volunteer who is available on Wednesdays from about 11:15 to 12:15 to serve lunch from   Grassburger.  Please contact Bridget in the main office at (970) 247-2474 or [email protected]  if you can help.

Thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!
Upcoming AHS Events  
  • View the 2015-16 AHS School Calendar here  

The FORTitude Award
by Kate Hallin

AHS junior Ethan Sullivan receives the FORTitude Award from President Thomas and Skylar the Skyhawk for his embodiment of perseverance
Animas students recently got a refresher in the values of our school during the Wednesday, January 27, 2016 NEST meeting, in which junior Ethan Sullivan received what is called the FORTitude Award. This newly-conceived award is based upon the cultural values of Animas High School, and its winner is ultimately decided by votes provided by Animas faculty.

According to Dene Kay Thomas, Fort Lewis College's president, "Fort Lewis College is very proud of its connections with Animas High School... We value experiential learning, we value personal connections... We share the same values." Thomas was instrumental in the creation of this award, and mentions its criteria as "the components , the core values, of Animas High... They are the P.A.P.E.R. [values],"--perseverance, advocacy, perspective, evidence and refinement.

In accordance with Animas philosophy, encouraging these values amongst students will better prepare our generation for a life in the modern world through the instillment of passion in learning and the mindfulness required to make a difference. The award's embodiment of these values points to the fact that its recipient might have something to teach all of us.

Model U.N.
by Hayden Stills

freshman Jimmy Yeagar presents at Model UN
Sara Price's freshman Humanities class deserves a huge round of applause for their amazing Model United Nations exhibition on Wednesday, January 27. The level of maturity was apparent as they tackled a challenging topic; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Each student acted as a representative from their respective countries, all differing in opinion on the resolutions that Sara's class had previously written. The students presented speeches and worked together to amend their resolutions in hopes of passing one.

Senior Lyle Bryson, impressed with the exhibition stated, "The model UN exhibition was well thought out, and the way the students interacted was very professional." After elaborate caucusing and many impressive speeches, the students were able to pass one of their resolutions. The AHS community looks forward to seeing some of these students bringing their professionalism and ideas to the real world in the near future.

Congressman Scott Tipton Visits Animas High School
by Lyle Bryson

In an effort to gain a holistic view of Colorado Charter Schools during the state's Charter School Week, Congressman Scott Tipton visited Animas High School on January 28. Since AHS is near Tipton's hometown of Cortez, and because the Congressman attended Fort Lewis College, he claims that he's "always been curious about the school and what the offerings were."

field representative Darlene Marcus, Congressman Scott Tipton and AHS senior Lyle Bryson
As a high-ranking politician and Congress representative, Tipton is clear about his intentions when it comes to legislation regarding education in Colorado. "Education is a critical component, obviously, for the success of this country. And I want our children to be able to grow up with the same opportunity that I grew up with [...] the opportunity to live the American dream," explains Tipton.

When it comes to approaching funding for education, Tipton believes that we need to think "out of the box" and prioritize a "no strings attached" strategy when it comes to funding sources and legislation for education.

But Tipton also believes in allowing teachers and the community, much like those at AHS, freedom when it comes to their curriculum and reaching students: "It's my personal belief that nobody knows [the students] better than local teachers, local administrators, our moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas."

So while our schools and teachers may "need the resources" as Tipton claims, we also "need to be able to have the freedom to be able to use those resources to meet those individualized needs."

Giving his final thoughts on his visit to Animas High School, Tipton shared, "What I see here through innovation, and actually being able to talk to some of the students, you included, I'm seeing people that are enthused about their prospects, and have an actual thirst for learning, and that's something that a person needs to be able to continue through their life."

Animas High School thanks Congressman Scott Tipton for his interest in our school and his service to the educational institutions of Colorado.

AHS Welcomes Ukulele Club
by Ellis McNichol

Want to know something wonderful that exists every Friday in our very own high school? The Ukulele club! Hosted by the darling Susy Raleigh, a collective group of students gather together to strum on a baby guitar. While snacking on Zia's during Friday lunch, every student is invited to join the warm atmosphere of Susy's room, encased by the beautiful sounds of the instruments.

One student with ringlets of curly hair, sophomore Sterling Gates, is an avid member of the club. He claims, "All the instruments come together that makes a sound pleasing to my soul. We uke it out." Susy leads the team of sound lovers to play classic songs, such as Sterling's favorite, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Susy enjoys the pastime because, "No one takes me seriously, it's fun!!" She laughed because it's quite true, playing the uke has absolutely no pressure. The instrument is a small, beautiful one that holds only three strings, thus is quite easy to master. However, this club takes their hobby to heart, and enjoy spending quality time together strumming away.

Every Friday these students play into bliss and invite YOU, yes YOU, lucky reader, to join their passion. We will all face inevitable deaths, so why not join this experience? Sorry, death is  morbid, the club is not. "If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place" says Jake  Shimabukuro. Play the ukulele, and you will be a good person.
College Corner

Upcoming Events
Senior Workshop: Creating/Finalizing Resumes for Scholarships, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2:15-3:15

Western State University Admissions visit: Wednesday, Feb. 10 at lunch

FAFSA Night: Thursday, Feb. 11, 5:00-8:00 in the AHS Commons

Scholarship Deadlines
Jan. 29: CCHS Scholarship and Elks Legacy Awards

Jan. 31: Colorado State Scholarship Fund

Feb. 1: Fort Lewis College Foundation Scholarship
Tragedy at the Snowdown Spellabration
by Domi Frideger

On Wednesday, January 27, an intellectual competition the likes of which Durango seldom sees was raging at the Henry Strater Theatre. It was a snowdown event called the "Snowdown Spellebration" and it's basically a souped-up spelling bee. There was an Animas High School team comprised of the loquacious Lori Fisher, the talented Torrey Baldwin and the superlative Susy Raleigh. Our team of intrepid spellers made it to within the last five teams standing, but unfortunately tripped themselves up on the the immensely uncommon word "aeonian" which means, "of or relating to a geological eon." The three took their defeat with all the grace and sportsmanship their 80's costumes would allow and have already begun training for next year's competition.

Beyond the Nest: Alumna Martina Pansze
by Oli Sakadinsky

Martina Pansze, a member of Animas' graduating class of 2014, has settled into college life at Whitman College in beautiful Walla Walla, Washington. While she hasn't yet decided exactly what she'll be studying, she has an interest in English and Rhetoric.   In line with these interests, Martina is the Arts and Entertainment editor for the Whitman school paper, which she thoroughly enjoys. She endearingly addresses her fellow journalists as "kind of a nerdy group of people," adding that she really gets along with everyone on the paper. 

She has taken the quirks and adventures of living in a new place in stride; according to Martina, the "thing to do" in Walla Walla is to go get burritos with some friends and eat them in a wheat field together, which has become a favorite activity of hers.
Martina winter kayaking

Despite how well she's taken to both Whitman and Walla Walla, Martina still misses a few things about Animas, namely the people and "the great teachers... winky face." She also added that everyone should try to keep an eye on her siblings, Derek and Grace, while she's away, mainly to keep Derek out of trouble.

Martina has certainly adjusted well to her new home at Whitman. We can't wait to see where h er studies take her in the future!
Osprey Week Payment Due Today!
by Lyle Bryson

While the thrilling adventures of Osprey Week linger far off in the distance, the first  fee payment deadline does not. The first 50% of the total fee for Osprey Week is due  TODAY, January 29.

Although families are welcome to submit the full Osprey Week fee amount at this time, at least the first 50% of the fee must be paid by the end of today.

The easiest way to pay is to search "Online Payments" on the Animas High School website, or visit Scroll to the bottom of this page until you find the "Osprey Week Fee" section. Fill in the required credentials, click "Add to Cart" then scroll to the bottom of the page and click "View Cart". Checkout from here is very simple, and you'll have submitted your Osprey Week fee in no time!

If you would like to make a physical payment, checks addressed to Animas High  School with a memo including the student's name and Osprey Week title can be   given to Bridget at the front desk.  Cash payments will also be accepted, but again, the organizers of Osprey Week ask  that the student's name and Osprey Week title is clearly displayed on a letter/sticky  note attached to the money. 

The second half of the fee is not due until February 26.

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Phone: (970) 247-2474
Fax: (970) 247-2483