May 7, 2021
Greetings Ospreys,

With graduation and Transitional Presentations of Learning just three week away, excitement is building on campus around end-of-year traditions and transitions--just witness Billie Brand and Luke Davis' giddy cap and gown modeling session from yesterday! This time of year also brings college graduation announcements our way, like the one we received today from Bryce Ward, AHS class of 2016, thanking her "Animas family" for giving her the "wings to soar as a successful fledgling." We love celebrating with our alumni--congrats to all those graduating from college this month!

Senior Project exhibitions are underway, with Ospreys showcasing the ways they've turned research into practice, in service to others. Check out the article "Durango student launches women's skateboarding group" on today's front page of the Durango Herald, profiling Alyssa Nicoly's work organizing Women on Wheels, and stop by the skate park Saturday between noon and 3pm for the kick-off celebration. Thanks to the Hive for partnering with Alyssa to promote the event!

Save the date for two multi-student Senior Project exhibitions and look for more info coming your way next week:

  • AHS Senior Project Virtual Film Festival, Tuesday May 11, 5pm on this YouTube channel, complete with short films on a variety of topics including wolf reintroduction, political strife in the US, Native American education, poetic therapy, the history of the Durango Smelter and student-teacher collaboration. Film makers include Garrett Middleton, Nick Austin, Amelia O'Toole, Sarah O'Kane, Sam Atchison and Cole House. The film festival will include a live Q&A.
  • AHS Senior Project Maker Fair at the Powerhouse Science Center, Friday May 14, 12-2pm where seniors whose projects have a STEM focus will share robotics, automation, flying machines, alternative lighting solutions and more. Seniors presenting include Mason James, Trevor Harms, Darby Voorhees, Chris Piel, Vinny Lopez and Kian Edmondson.

Parent Survey
Please be sure to complete one Annual Parent Survey per family by Monday May 17. We value your input and it helps shape important decisions that guide our work in being the best school we can be!
LINK Internship Updates
Juniors are wrapping up week two of their three-week LINK internships. Christine Howe checked in from Costa Rica, where she is engaged in research protecting biodiversity through the Monteverde Institute. She writes she's "having a lot of fun wading through the cloud forest! I have lost count of how many trees I have measured and how many bug bites I have acquired." We're so glad she was able to travel safely for her internship--and know the bug bites are a small price to pay for this once-in-a-lifetime field experience!

Meanwhile, August Gates is interning locally with WeFill, Durango's refilling station for household products, including bath and body, kitchen and cleaning supplies, as well as alternatives to single use plastic products. As reported in the Durango Telegraph and the Durango Herald this week, for his internship project, August is working with WeFill's owner Crit Salaz to auction off artwork created last fall by Britt Blasdell's students from upcycled trash to raise money for the Hive. Listen to August speak eloquently about the project in this week's Be Local Radio program on KDUR and view the AHS Student Trash Art Auction and make your bid before May 12 here!
Beautiful Work
Ninth graders are closing the year in Humanities with the 20% Project, inspired by a similar practice at Google, where employees are allocated 20% of their paid work time to pursue personal projects to inspire innovation and increase productivity. For her project, Maddie Tharp is taking a deep dive into the harmful impact of single-use plastic. Check out her informative website and sign her petition to ban single-use plastic grocery bags in Durango if you agree with her stance.

College Counseling
All 9th grade students and their parents are encouraged to attend the rescheduled online 9th Grade Career and College Information Night next Wednesday at 5:30. Look for an email from Jess Morrison to find the meeting link.
AHS Marketing Committee Seeking New Members
We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Osprey Parent and graphic designer extraordinaire Cindy Atchison, who has donated countless hours over many years in support of our school. Cindy has played a critical role in helping us develop a strong marketing presence, while volunteering in plenty of other ways as well. We will mss her on the Marketing Committee, and hope to find a parent--or two or three--to take her place!

DO YOU LOVE YOUR SCHOOL? Help shout it from the mountaintops! I’ve been actively involved in the marketing of our remarkable school for over a decade. Now that my twin boys, Sam and Chris, are graduating, it’s time to pass the marketing torch onto another Animas parent. Enter Kyle Tharp — a new AHS parent and board member who is just as passionate about spreading the word about all Animas has to offer. We’d love to have other parents join the AHS marketing committee--in fact we NEED this to continue to promote Animas online and over the airwaves, ensuring our community's perception matches the quality of the Animas experience through its print material, radio advertising, community calendars and social media marketing. No marketing experience is necessary to join the committee (although Adobe Illustrator software knowledge would be a plus). We’re entering SUCH an exciting phase of Animas’s journey with the new building on the FLC campus— if you have a desire to gather with fun, motivated people to better your school’s awareness, then please contact Libby Cowles at
Cindy Atchison

COVID Updates
Please remember to complete one (very brief!) COVID vaccination survey per student by next Monday May 10!

With news that COVID vaccines are likely to be available locally for 12-15 year olds as soon as next week, we encourage families to sign up for vaccine notifications through San Juan Basin Public Health. As we get close to in-person TED talks, Graduation events and TPOLs, we want to remind our community of the importance of adhering to social distancing and mask wearing protocols. Please continue to do your part to play it safe so that we can celebrate these important milestones together without anyone needing to miss them due to quarantines or isolation!

Have a good weekend and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!
Upcoming AHS Events

LINK Internships (11th grade): Mon. 4/26 through Fri. 5/14

Senior Project Virtual Film Festival: Tues. 5/11, 5pm on YouTube

9th Grade Career and College Night: Wed. 5/14, 5:30pm

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 5/13, 5:30pm

Senior Project Maker Fair: Fri. 5/14, 12-2pm, Powerhouse Science Center

LINK Welcome Back (11th grade): Mon. 5/17 9-11am at AHS

AHS Online Community Meeting: Presentation of Schematic Design for New Campus at FLC: Mon. 5/17, 5:30pm via Zoom link

TED Talk Prep (12th grade): Tues. 5/18, 8:25-12:00 at AHS

Final Day of Elective Classes: Wed. 5/19

Marketing Committee Meeting: Wed. 5/19, 1pm via

Senior Project TED Talks: Thurs. 5/20 through Wed. 5/26

Senior Supper: Thurs. 5/27 6-8pm at AH

Graduation: Fri. 5/28, 4pm, location TBA

Memorial Day Holiday (no classes): Mon. 5/31

Transitional Presentations of Learning: Tues. 6/1 through Fri. 6/4

Last Day of School: Fri. 6/4
Animas High School prepares all students for college and postsecondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum. We accomplish this through:
Rigorous academics, where all students are prepared for college success
Culture of excellence, where students are held to high expectations
Strong student-faculty relationships, where students are well known.
Engaging learning, where students see the relevance in their education