March 18, 2016
AHS co-founder Dr. Jesse Hutt shares her professional knowledge of anatomy with Biology students Hailey Voss and Jason Caplin during dissection
Greetings Osprey Community,

With just one week of LINK Internships left for juniors, and seniors up against the final deadline for their college-level Senior Project research papers, the nest felt focused and productive this week.  After seniors submit their papers next week, their attention will turn to preparing their TED Talks , which will ask them to present what they've learned to a panel of peers, faculty and community members, defending their thesis by presenting their research and fielding questions.

Humanities teacher Ashley Carruth, loving junior Isabell Krull's creative response to the Happiness and Meaning project

TED Talks will take place on campus April 6 through 12, and they are open to the public.  Our seniors are exploring an amazing variety of research questions, including: What does it take to revolutionize airflow on the modern airplane wing? To what extent does meditation affect people psychologically? What are effective methods communities can use to increase bicycle commuter-ship amongst their citizens? How does competition between employees create tension in individuals' lives? What are the negative impacts of factory farming on the environment? What are the root causes of school shootings in the US, and how can we use this knowledge to prevent school shootings? View the complete Senior Project TED Talk schedule here, and attend as many as you can to see how far our seniors have come over the course of their high school careers.

Next Monday, students interested in exploring medicine as a career path are encouraged to attend a Power Lunch from 11:30-12:10 in Tina Hott's classroom with UC Medical School student Arcadia Paine, who is in Durango doing her rotations.  That evening on campus, we'll host an AHS Information Session for Prospective Students and Families, from 5:30 to 6:30; let your friends who are considering Animas for next year know!

9th graders Analise Gates and Ashley Carpenter present their advisory's concoction to the judges at Wednesday's Animas Iron Chef competition
Animas families are encouraged to join AHS school counselor Arava Geva and Spanish teacher Susy Raliegh for How to Talk about Drug and Alcohol Use As a Family Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 in Sara Price's classroom.  Arava and Susy will lead a conversation exploring tips for having productive and honest conversations with teens around substance use and abuse.  Please come if you would like to engage in the dialogue about how to best address teen drug and alcohol use in our community alongside Animas families and staff.

As our seniors continue to hear from colleges, they are now beginning the process of making choices for next year.  Wednesday of next week, AHS College Counselor Jess Adams will offer an opportunity for seniors and their families to learn more about how to review financial aid packages and student loan options.  Join her from 5:00 to 7:00 in Ashley Carruth's classroom.

educators from Community Prep School in Colorado Springs visited us this week to learn more about our approach to social-emotional learning after hearing Sean speak at the Colorado League of Charter Schools conference last month
Enrollment numbers for 2016-17 look strong and while we did not trigger a lottery, spaces for new 9th, 10th and 11th graders are limited.  Today, we sent out registration materials to all families with newly enrolling students and we will be sending Re-Registration Packets to current families next week.  We anticipate holding steady at approximately 300 students for the 2016-17 school year, and are pleased to share that we anticipate very little turnover in our faculty and staff.  Our school is financially healthy, stable in its leadership and staffing, and unified in its sense of purpose. It's a good time to be an Osprey!

Looking ahead, please be aware that Monday, April 4 is a Professional Development Day for our staff, which means students won't return to school until Tuesday from Spring Break.  

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

LINK Internship Spotlights: Honeyville,  Cardwell Aukerman Photography and Marketing Concepts Squared
Today wraps up the second week that our juniors are on their LINK Internships and they continue to shine out there in communities locally and further afield.  Students are enjoying the freedoms and responsibilities that come with participating in the professional world.  As they head into their final week of internships, their focus will shift to completing individual projects they will present at our LINK Exhibitions in late April.
Carrie Kuhns is exploring her interest in biology and botany at Honeyville with her mentor, Kevin Culhane. She is fascinated by the bees and loves working with the hives and also enjoys jarring honey and seeing all the different aspects of this local business. 
Cameron Flann is honing his photography skills at Cardwell Aukerman Photography with Carol Cardwell. He's also learning about business and Carol is sharing her passion for studying personality types and how they affect your business strategies with clients and in the office. 
Claire Larson is loving her internship at Marketing Concepts Squared with Jessika Buell. She's learning marketing concepts such how to write posts and blogs from the client's voice and how and when to use trending hashtags. #awesome!
To hear more about this year's LINK Internships, pencil in the dates for the LINK Exhibitions! 
April 26: Business, Education and Human Services Internships;  April 27: STEM Internships; April 28: Arts Internships

Senior Project Spotlight: Maximizing Skeletal Muscle Strength and Endurance
by Hayden Stills
This week's senior spotlight is focusing in on senior Charlie Malone and his question "How do you maximize skeletal muscle strength and endurance through biological development." Charlie is focusing his action project into adding an elite aspect to Durango's current climbing team where he will implement a training program that gives them routines that will improve their strength and endurance in climbing.

Like most seniors, Charlie has struggled at times with "motivating [himself] and putting all of [his] research and ideas together in a constructive way." One thing that he really has enjoyed is that he gets to learn new things about something he is so passionate about.  A piece of advice that he has for next year's seniors is to "choose something to research that you are really passionate about and that you really love."

Why Books?: Fahrenheit 451 Exhibition
by Kate Hallin

On March 11, the Powerhouse Science Center came to life in an Animas High School event tinged with serious societal commentary. Interior and exterior crammed with student-created art exhibits, this venue gave visitors a hands-on gallery walk through the analysis of dystopia, inspired by the students' reading of Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 451.  This book chronicles the age of the mid-twentieth century by questioning concepts such as human meaning and free thought as they are counterbalanced by hedonism and absolute governmental control, while the students in turn learned about events such as Nazism and Communism in this same approximate era.  An endeavor into totalitarian governments permitted the students to study the chronology of governmental ideals, and the resulting strategies used in quieting the masses.
From here, the students were required to discuss their findings in socratic seminars and further present their takeaways in either a literary or historical analysis or a fiction piece based off of the book.  The students also made an art piece in response to the book.  These tasks strengthened the students' skills in analyzing abstract writing in relation to historical events and using these same skills to deliver a point.  

"It's definitely the most engaging project we've done all year," says humanities teacher Matt Dooley, the mastermind behind this project. "The art was really high quality."  Talking to students during the exhibition, it was clear that they had internalized the lessons of this unit and taken its deeper meaning to heart.
Beyond the Nest: Alumna Kaylee Kempinski
By Hannah Langford

This week we caught up with alumna Kaylee Kempinski, graduate of Animas High School's class of 2014. Kaylee spends her days working at the Durango Herald and spending time with loved ones. After recent engagement to her best friend Jacob, Kaylee now enjoys planning for
her wedding and relishes in every moment, good or bad.
Kaylee loves how Animas taught her to voice her opinion and rely on God, saying, "I did my best to include Him in everything I did at Animas and my peers respected my beliefs and always supported me. Because of that, my relationship with Him grew stronger with all the ups and downs throughout the four years of high school. I was constantly being pushed to be the best I can be and make a difference." 

Kaylee voices that one of the things she misses most about AHS are the teachers: "They pushed me to do things I really did NOT want to do. Jessica was my number one supporter, always telling me I could do what I didn't think I could. Lori made me mad, but a good mad! I hated writing, I really hated it...I saw improvement in every paper I wrote and because of her I grew to love it." Kaylee expressed her enjoyment of being pushed out of her comfort zone.

Kaylee advises to "enjoy every moment. Life goes by a lot quicker than you think. There were times high school seemed to drag on and on, but enjoy it. It doesn't last forever and a part of you will miss it, miss being a kid and not having so many responsibilities. Growing up is an absolutely amazing thing, but enjoy being a kid! Don't rush things."
Become a Homework Hero!
by Oli Sakadinsky
Do you have a passion for learning and want to share it with an elementary school student? Opsrey parent Sarah Tescher's Homework Heroes program is the perfect outlet to do just that. Operating out of the newly-founded Durango Academic Coaching Center, the Homework Heroes program matches high school students with elementary schoolers in need of extra homework help.
As a Homework Hero, you meet with your elementary schooler once a week and tutor them in whichever subjects they need help with, utilizing games and activities to strengthen their understanding of concepts they're working on in class.

If you are a student and are interested in becoming a Homework Hero, contact Sarah Tescher at (970) 779-8480.
Thank You, Dom!

We are so grateful for all that Dominic Armato did for our school in his two years as our Facilities Manager. Dom took good care of our physical plant, and he was an important member of our community, quick to help out in any way that anyone needed at any time.  He has moved on from Animas High School and we will miss him!

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