December 9, 2022

Greetings Ospreys,

The Nest is abuzz with focus and energy as students and staff dig into the rigorous reflective work of Presenations of Learning. Through POLs, seniors are pitching their Senior Project ideas, juniors are putting finishing touches on resumés and cover letters in preparation for mock job interviews and sophomores and freshpeople are preparing notecards and slides that tell the story of their semester's learning and growth. It's always exciting to witness Ospreys working to create powerful presentations and we deeply appreciate the way that POLs provide unique opportunities for us to learn more about students' goals, talents and passions.

Student schedules will vary next week depending on when they are presenting and paneling:

Presentations of Learning require professional dress, which means that students must wear:

  • a button-­down shirt and tie, shirt with finished neck, sweater or blouse;
  • a nice pair of slacks (no jeans), skirt or dress;
  • dark socks to match trousers and dress shoes (no sneakers, no excessively high heels). 

If a student arrives for POL without professional dress, it will mean automatically rescheduling the POL for a different time. We have professional dress clothing to lend, as evidenced by Illyria and Porter's transformations, above! Just ask an adult at school and we will connect you with what you need.

Exhibitions this Weekend

We hope you'll find time this weekend to support our Osprey thespians and musicians, who will be exhibiting their learning through a theater production at the Durango Art Center and a concert at Animas City Theater. Read more about the Osprey Theatre Company's production of The Scarlet Heart below.

The AHS bands, made up of students in our Music Performance electives, will go on around 5:30pm Sunday during the iAM Music Student Showcase, with some individual students playing earlier in the day as well. Swing by to hear our talented student musicians in action!

Project Osprey Deadline Extended

Seniors organizing Project Osprey, the holiday gift drive, have extended the deadline for donations. Please visit the tree in the main office to select an ornament, purchase a gift for a family in need and deliver your donated unwrapped gifts to the main office by next Wednesday.

Lunch and Bus Service for Final Week of School

We will offer catered lunch next week through Wednesday and Hub Bus service through next Thursday.

2nd Semester Student Schedules

Now is the time for students to sign up for 3rd quarter XBlock classes and make course requests for any elective changes they would like to make for 2nd semester.

View 3rd quarter XBlock class options here

Students: complete XBlock Request Form here

View updated Elective Schedule

View updated 22/23 Course Catalog

Request elective changes via Add/Drop Form

Student Parking Permits

Please refer to the letter about parking and transportation that we sent out earlier this week. Students wishing to park on the AHS campus will be required to fill out an AHS Parking Registration Form and display a parking sticker on their windshield. Be sure to complete the Parking Registration Form before returning for next semester on Tuesday, January 3.

Osprey Theater Company Steals Our Hearts Again

Jillian Jackson '25, Animas Quill

After nearly three months of rehearsing, designing, and working with fellow theatre artists from across our community, the Osprey Theatre Company is again ready to perform! You can catch their newest play, The Scarlet Heart, this weekend at the Durango Arts Center

The Scarlet Heart is a one-act play, roughly 40 minutes in length, written by Allison Williams. It is written in the tradition of “Commedia Dell'Arte, a style of theatre originating in Italy in the 14th century that became popular throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The plot centers on three thieves who are bent on stealing a valuable gem, and along the way, they encounter many comical characters, playful situations, and shenanigans of love and adventure. 

This genre of theatre is known for its "stock characters;" some of which can be seen modernized in sitcoms and comedies. For example, the “Zanni” character is exemplified in Homer Simpson, and we see elements of the “Arlecchino” archetype in goofy characters such Steve Urkel and Screech from Saved by the Bell. In traditional Commedia Dell’Arte, the actors wear specific masks for each character (except for the Lovers), and the Osprey actors will do the same.

AHS Theatre teacher Joy Kilpatrick speaks excitedly about the changes and growth she has experienced this semester in her Voice, Acting, and Movement classes since last year. She mentioned her excitement about the fresh faces that have joined, as well as having more students show a passion for working behind the scenes as stage hands and assistant directors. She is also expanding the community connections that support the class, sharing that “our AHS theatre department is in its growing stages and therefore relies heavily on community support.”

This includes bringing in outside experts to add layers of expertise to the learning. To expose the students to the nuts and bolts of Commedia Dell’Arte, Joy invited professional theatre artist Zachary Chiero to engage our theatrical Ospreys in learning more about the genre from a new perspective. Joy shared, “Zachary Chiero has experience with mask work and the stock characters of Commedia Dell'Arte, so it was a wonderful opportunity for the students to get to work with a professional actor/director from our community.” Some members of the Osprey community may be familiar with Zachary’s comedic genius, having seen him as Touchstone the Clown in Merely Players’ As You Like It, where he married the giddy shepherdess Audrey, played by our very own JMac!

Joy elaborated on the community support she receives in her work with the AHS troupe: “We are extremely grateful for our ongoing relationship with the Durango Arts Center. They are very supportive of educational theatre and know that we don't currently have our own stage to perform on. Like last year, they are welcoming us to their theatre so that we can present our play to a live audience.” Additionally, Durango High School Troupe 1096 has lent costumes for the play. Joy continued, “This is such a tremendous help as we currently do not have any costumes, props or set pieces of our own to pull from.” 

Our own Osprey players are also working hard to build upon the program’s foundation. Currently, Maddie Tharp is helping to create a website for our AHS Osprey Theatre Company, and next year, the company plans to start a fundraising campaign to help with production planning and costs. Maddie reflected, “I am really excited to see our theatre program grow from something small and under resourced to a more robust program where we have our own props and costumes, and we can work with community members to make our own productions. We will never have a huge program like DHS, but I hope that the Animas theatre program will be a place where people who are serious about theatre can learn and push themselves in different theatrical directions.”

Despite all the new excitement, Joy reassures us that her teaching style and way of directing will remain rooted in her inspiring, theatrical teaching beliefs, “It is my intention as a theatre educator to offer students an opportunity to explore, discover, and create not only good theatre but also build a cohesive and supportive community where they feel safe to create and play.”

Stage Manager sophomore Alyssa Dempsie reflected on the major change she watched occur in the actors over their rehearsal time: “A ton of our actors have really improved in taking on different voices or different personalities with their body language. They were tasked with bringing an entirely different personality to themselves and they really took on the challenge: changing their voices and the way their body moved. They have worked really really hard on everything from the props to learning how to change so much about themselves and I am really excited to see their performance!” 

The Osprey Theater Company will perform their show at the Durango Arts Center on: Friday, Dec. 9th at 8:30pm; Saturday, Dec. 10th at 8:30pm; and Sunday, Dec 11th at 3:30pm. Before their performance the Durango Arts Center Youth Theatre Company will be performing the youth production of “We Will Rock You” at 7pm for the evening shows and 2pm for the matinee. The ticket prices cover both shows, with a discount for AHS students. Or audience members can choose to just attend the AHS play for $5. We hope to see everyone there!

Congrats to our hard working thespians on an excellent semester and soaring higher than our theatre department ever has before! We look forward to seeing more beautiful work in the performing arts as we transition to the new building!

Our New Nest at Fort Lewis College

The furniture has arrived at our new Nest, and our team is putting the finishing touches on the building. Sign up here if you're available next Friday, December 16 to help with the move to our new campus.

On Tuesday, January 3 we will open our doors to Osprey students and families for a Welcome to the New Nest gathering, with a special schedule for the day with shortened classes. Sign up here to contribute food for our community breakfast on our first day back.

Save the date for our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, January 20 at 5:30pm!

We're hoping for a strong finish to the fall semester. It's a high stakes time of the academic year, and finding balance among the stress is an important skill to build. You've got this, Ospreys!

Enjoy the weekend and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!

Upcoming Events

Osprey Theatre Company presents The Scarlet Heart: Fri. 12/9 through Sun. 12/11 at Durango Arts Center

iAM Music Student Showcase: Sun. 12/11 at Animas City Theater, 6pm

Presentations of Learning (student schedules will vary): Mon. 12/12 through Thurs. 12/15

Project Osprey Gift Drive Deadline: Wed. 12/14

Staff Appreciation Lunch: Thurs. 12/15, 12:30pm at AHS Twin Buttes--view sign up here (all slots are filled--thank you Osprey parents!)

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 12/15, 5:30pm via

Last Day of Fall Semester (and move-in date for new AHS campus!): Fri. 12/16--sign up here to help with the move

Winter Break: Mon. 12/19 through Fri. 12/30

Professional Development Day: Mon. 1/2

Fall 2023 Enrollment Opens: Mon. 1/2

2nd Semester Begins: Tues. 1/3 sign up here to bring food for our Welcome to the New Nest Community Breakfast

AHS Events Calendar
AHS 2022/23 School Calendar
TWIGS Website
Donate Now to Our New Building Campaign!
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

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