March 11, 2016
co-founder Gisele Pansze, speaking about the exciting growth she's seen at AHS over the past seven years in her introductory remarks for the film Most Likely to Succeed
Greetings Osprey Community,

It felt so good to read the following feedback on a recent Online Intent to Enroll Form from a new Animas family that we want to share it with you all: 

We recently moved to Durango and were asking coworkers and neighbors about local schools.  One person suggested we attend the Most Likely to Succeed screening and Information Session.  We did, and were very impressed!  We planned on homeschooling through high school, but after learning about Animas High's unique approach to education, especially in regards to the project-based learning and gaining "soft skills," we agreed that Animas would be the best fit for our children.

Many thanks to all who attended the screening of Most Likely to Succeed and the AHS Information Session for Prospective Students and Families this past week.  Shadow Days have been full every week for the past month, and we will continue to run them Thursdays through May 5 so we can accommodate the high volume of requests from prospective students who would like to come spend the day with us.  We are excited to connect with so many new families who are inspired by what we're doing at AHS!  Next Friday, March 18, we will be in contact with all who have completed an Intent to Enroll to share whether we are going to lottery.  New families and current families will receive Registration Packets the week of March 21.

junior TJ Rifkin with one of the worship leaders at Christ Church of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ, where TJ is writing and performing music for his LINK Internship
It's feeling a bit quieter than usual around the nest this week, with all of our juniors off on their LINK Internships.  Be sure to read the LINK Spotlight below to hear about some of their amazing experiences as they work alongside experts in a variety of career fields around the state, country and even globe!

We're looking forward to " Why Books?" this evening from 5:00 to 6:30 at the Powerhouse Science Center,  a student exhibition for Matt Dooely's 9th grade Humanities classes . View sculpture, videos, painting, drawings and performance exploring the meaning and relevance of literature in our ever-distracted world as the students respond to their study of Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 Learn more here, and join us for this special event.

The School Excellence Committee meets next Monday from 5:00 to 6:30 at AHS.  As always, all are welcome to attend.

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: Open Sky Wilderness Therapy and Illuminarts Photography

We're enjoying hearing from the juniors on the first week of their LINK internships where they are learning and doing so many fascinating things! Annie Wyrick is designing and engineering a thermoelectric temperature controller for Advanced Mobile Propulsion Test, Kody John is creating a promotional film for Four Corners Film Office, and Eli Cagan is creating a rough outline for a marketing plan for a book on quantitative medicine in California at the UC Berkeley Silicon Valley Product Group.
Garrett Hagen has long been interested in researching psychology and is loving the opportunity to intern at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy with their researcher, JJ Simms. He's working on reviewing admission and discharge surveys, compiling and graphing the data and ultimately sharing the information with insurance companies and higher institutions. In Garrett's own words, "Data and research is fascinating," and it's really interesting to see "how the teenage brain reacts to being in the woods for three months." He even has an office with a view! Austin Munroe's internship with Drew Semel from Illuminarts
has him honing his photography at a variety of businesses and events throughout the county. Janae caught Austin and Drew discussing how he needs to adjust to use his dominant eye while shooting Hair Fusion's barber, Brenden Vlass, in action. He's looking forward to the opportunity to photograph wolves at Wolfwood next week. Austin is enjoying learning the business of his passion in photography.
To hear more about this year's LINK Internships, pencil in the dates for the LINK Exhibitions! April 26: Business, Education and Human Services; April 27: STEM; April 28: Arts.

Senior Project Spotlight: Science and Religion
by Lia Henriksen

Senior Project is in full swing for our oldest Ospreys right now, and buzz about thesis papers and TED talks is in the air. With that in mind, let's turn the spotlight to Lacey Andersen, whose essential question is "What is the role of religion in the future?"
"I'm digging into how enlightenment specifically has affected religion and seeing how the roles of science and religion have been evolving over the years," she said. Lacey sent out a survey to AHS students that asked questions about the role of religion in the lives of people from 18 to 45.  Her senior project is going to be a visual art piece that represents her findings in her survey and other research. Lacey's is one of many senior projects that are beginning to look extremely exciting.

Don't forget to attend senior TED talks at the beginning of April to hear about more interesting topics like Lacey's, and encourage those seniors to keep up the hard work to accomplish some of their best work yet!

Ospreys in the Community: Eggs and Issues
by Bekah Kuster

On Thursday February 25, the Durango Chamber of Commerce hosted an "Eggs and Issues" event on what the energy revolution means for national security. "Eggs and Issues" are breakfast meetings to educate the community on local, state, and federal legislation and other current events.

These events are part of a program implemented by our Development Director, Ashley Hein, which allows student ambassadors to accompany her to various community events based on their interest levels and appropriateness. I chose to attend this talk because my senior project focuses on global energy initiatives to combat climate change and I was interested in learning more about national energy. It was really rewarding to talk to and hear from community members as well as gain contacts for my senior project.

I also had the opportunity to participate in the conversation and asked the question: "If we spend $9 billion more on defense than the top seven militaries in the world, why is your main concern national security?" Although the speaker didn't answer the question clearly, I felt comfortable standing up and respectively challenging viewpoints.

This event was a very valuable experience for me and I would encourage other students to take advantage of these opportunities to get involved in the community.

Colorado House of Representatives Candidate Barbara McLachlan Visits AHS
by Hayden Stills

On Thursday, March 10, AHS staff got the pleasure of speaking with Colorado House District 59 candidate Barbara McLachlan about her campaign and changes in state legislature that they would like to see. As a past educator (and one of my favorite teachers from DHS!) McLachlan is running her campaign around improving education and helping schools and school districts get the funding
that they need to flourish.
One of McLachlan's focuses was the state refund program TABOR. She was adamant that the money that is refunded back to taxpayers of Colorado is desperately needed in places like roads and education.

After speaking about some of the things that she would like to see changed, McLachlan asked teachers what they would like to see changed. Freshman Humanities teacher and past student of McLachlan, Sara Price opened up the idea that once a charter school has established and proved itself, the state would fund the building expenses of that school. For Animas this could be huge considering our current buildings and need to expand to a permanent school space.

Another topic that came up was standardized testing. Senior math teacher Kyle Edmondson expressed his concerns about standardized testing possibly hurting schools more than helping them. As a long time teacher, McLachlan recognized the inaccuracy of the tests and asked how these tests could be improved for both the benefit of the schools and the benefit of the student.

McLachlan expressed her curiosity and willingness to learn about charter schools such as AHS and how she could help to improve our school as a whole along with the greater District 59 community.

Contact Us
Phone: (970) 247-2474
Fax: (970) 247-2483
Beyond the Nest: Alumnus Eli Kopp-DeVol
By Lyle Bryson

This week's featured alumni is Eli Kopp-DeVol, AHS Class of 2014. Eli is pursuing a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, along with a minor/option in either computer science or BioTech. How does Eli plan to change the world with this knowledge? "I plan on changing the way the world looks at technology... and maybe even the way technology looks at us," says Kopp-DeVol.
In addition to his studies, Eli is currently involved in outside clubs and organizations related to engineering. Kopp-Devol is currently doing volunteer work with BOLD (Building Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity) as a Scholar Participant, as well as being a member of the Student Alliance of GLBTQ Engineers. In the past he was involved with the Nepal team for CU's Engineers Without Borders. Additionally, Eli has distinguished himself amongst the Boulder Engineer community as part of the Engineer Honors Program.  Although he admits that Boulder is no Durango, Eli is happy about his life at CU Boulder. "Boulder (especially CU) is full of opportunities and the resources are endless," explains Kopp- DeVol, "We have three different machine shops on Campus, one of which is dedicated to personal projects and innovation and labs around every corner." 
Amongst the larger CU Boulder community, Eli has found a group of students that inspire him: "It's also super awesome to be surrounded by like-minded engineers, each of which has their own take on engineering and their own projects which helps to continue to drive me to succeed." So even if he has to drive an hour to get to the nearest hiking and everybody seems to be in a rush, Eli is finding success and connection in this community.
When asked about what advice he would give to graduating seniors, Eli responded, "Get out of your comfort zone and especially your dorm room your first year and get involved in as many activities as possible. You will learn so much from so many unique people and quickly make many new friends." 
We are very excited to hear from Eli, and wish him continued success in his studies at CU Boulder and beyond!
Osprey After Prom Celebration: Help Us Create Memories!

Planning Meeting
Tuesday, March 15, 8:45am
Smiley Building Cafe
Parents are invited to a planning meeting for the Osprey After Prom Celebration.  Now in it's third year, Osprey After Prom provides Juniors and Seniors attending the wonderful student organized prom with a place to gather, eat, hang out and have fun after the formal prom festivities have ended.  Osprey After Prom will be held Saturday, April 16, 11:30pm to 2:00am at the Durango Community Rec Center. Let's meet to brainstorm ideas for activities and create our "to do" list for the next few weeks.  This list will include:
Soliciting businesses for food & beverage donations
Soliciting businesses for prize donations
Organizing activities
Set up and clean up
Chaperones/floaters at the event to help with activities and food
Wanted:  parent of a sophomore or junior to co-chair and learn the ropes for next year

In addition to attending the planning meeting, here are ways to help right now:
Please consider making a donation to offset expenses via the online payment tab of the AHS website.  Please be sure to indicate "Osprey After Prom."  Prefer to pay by check? Drop it off at the Main Office (with "Osprey After Prom" in the memo) or email Marla Stills for pick up!  Prefer to purchase gift cards, prizes or party goods? Email 

Thank you in advance for your help in creating a fun, special night our students will always remember!  
Raising Money Ready Kids

One of our Osprey parents, Mac Thomson, teaches parents how to raise their kids to be smart with money. With so many college students falling deep into debt, this kind of training is more important than ever.
Mac is now offering a FREE Two Week Allowance Makeover. The allowance plan helps kids spend smarter, save more and stop nagging you for money. Click here to learn more and to sign up. Registration closes Saturday, March 12.

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