May 21, 2021
Annika Nelson describes the process and goal of her painting, created as part of her Senior Project exploring art therapy
Rosie Gurnee argues that a nationwide network of community gardens would improve the welfare state in the US
Greetings Ospreys,

Senior Project TED Talks are underway and open to the public, both virtually and in-person. View the class of 2021 Senior Project Research Questions and TED Talk Schedule here, which includes Google Meet links if you would like to watch any presentation virtually.

If you would like to attend TED Talks in person, please contact Please visit the 2021 AHS Senior Project Website to view thesis papers, action projects and video recordings of TED Talks for the entire senior class!

TPOL Prep Week Next Week (see special schedule here)
Next week, as seniors finish up TED Talks and celebrate at Senior Supper and Graduation, 9th through 11th graders will turn their attention to preparing for Transitional Presentations of Learning. For details about TPOL format and schedule for each grade, please refer to this letter.

  • Mon. 5/24
  • 9th grade: field trip with early release (meet at DHS), 8:25-12:25
  • 10th grade: on campus 8:25-3:25
  • 11th grade: on campus 8:25-12:25

  • Tues. 5/25
  • 9th grade: on campus 8:25-3:25
  • 10th grade: on campus 8:25-3:25
  • 11th grade: online

  • Wed. 5/26--there will be NO HUB BUS this day
  • 9th grade: on campus 8:25-3:25
  • 10th grade: online
  • 11th grade: on campus 8:25-12:25

Graduation and Post-Graduation Parade
The AHS Class of 2021 graduation ceremony will be tailgate-style at a private ranch in Hesperus, Friday May 28 at 4pm. Live audience for the ceremony will be limited to one vehicle per graduate's family--seniors should NOT drive separately from families as there is not room for additional vehicles.

We know that many Animas community members wish they could attend graduation, and while it's not possible to open the ceremony up to the public, there are two ways to be part of the festivities. Local radio station 92.9 The Point KPTE-FM will exclusively broadcast the AHS graduation ceremony both live on their airwaves on 92.9 FM in Durango and via live video broadcast streamed on the 929thepoint Facebook Page. Those who are out of town can tune in to the audio broadcast online at 

We encourage our community to line the post-graduation parade route to cheer for the graduates! Graduates and their families will take the following route to downtown Durango after the ceremony concludes at around 5:15 or 5:30. It is about a 25 minute drive through Wildcat Canyon to AHS, so please plan your timing accordingly. The parade route is as follows:

  • turn right at the end of the driveway onto CR 120 heading east
  • turn right onto CR 140
  • after 0.6 miles, turn left onto CR 141
  • after 11.4 miles, turn right onto Highway 160 east--wave at AHS as you drive by!
  • turn left onto Camino del Rio
  • turn right onto College Drive
  • right on Main Avenue and disperse!
AHS Community Meeting Rescheduled
Our Denver-based team from Anderson Mason Dale Architects will host the rescheduled AHS Community Meeting: Presentation of Schematic Design of our New Campus at FLC Monday May 24, 5:30pm via this Zoom link, due to technical issues on the originally scheduled date. The presentation will include renderings of the exterior and interior of the new building (currently displayed in our Main Office alongside three-dimensional models) as well as a virtual fly through that gives a strong sense of what our permanent home will feel like. All are welcome to attend!
Order your 2020-21 AHS Yearbook by May 31 HERE

The 2020-21 AHS Yearbook is  available for purchase for $30 on the Jostens website and will be released at an AHS event this summer date TBA.

XBlock Credit
Students will receive a semester of XBlock credit if they can demonstrate they have completed 40 hours of wellness-supporting activities between January 1 and June 4, when the spring semester ends. 

To receive XBlock credit, students must submit these 2 forms:

As a reminder, students must have 3 years of XBlock credit to graduate from AHS.
Finally, we want to share the bittersweet news that Jess Morrison, our stellar director of Career and College Counseling, will be leaving AHS at the end of this school year. Jess has been offered an outstanding professional opportunity and she will be stepping in as executive director of a new regional organization called the Southwest Colorado Education Collaborative, which seeks to level the playing field for students in our rural districts so they have access to the same high-quality college and career opportunities available in urban areas. We know that she will continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young adults in this position, leveraging her firm commitment to equity alongside her well-honed talents as a professional educator. Jess wanted to share the following with our community:

"Our intention with our students is to support them to cultivate their strengths and then fly out of the Nest to impact their community. Animas has also extended this belief to staff. After 6 years of learning, growing and building upon my strengths at AHS, it is time for me to leave the Nest and step into the next role that will allow me to positively impact my community. I would not have been prepared for this move if it had not been for the years of support and guidance I received here at Animas. I will miss our Osprey community and look forward to serving Ospreys in a new capacity in the future through SWCEC. Thank you all for the understanding and support. Love to all of you from my Osprey heart!"

While this is a loss for the AHS community, we recognize that it is an amazing opportunity for Jess and we are thrilled for her. Of course, this means that we are currently hiring for the Director of Career and College Counseling, a key role at our school. Know someone who might be a perfect fit? Please pass along the job posting to help us fill these very big shoe so we can continue to provide outstanding postsecondary preparation for AHS students.

Have a good weekend and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!
9th grader Cash Lettieri's color glazing project from Britt Blaisdell's Painting elective
Upcoming AHS Events

Senior Project TED Talks: through Wed. 5/26 (TED Talk Schedule here)

9th Grade Field Trip: Mon. 5/24 8:25-12:25

AHS Community Meeting: Presentation of Schematic Design of New Campus at FLC (rescheduled): via Zoom link

School Excellence Committee Meeting: Wed. 5/26 5pm via

Senior Supper: Thurs. 5/27 6-8pm at AHS--junior and senior parents please sign up here to help!

Final NEST Meeting: Fri. 5/28, 12pm via

AHS Graduation: Fri. 5/28, 4pm, 10778 CR 120, Hesperus (1 vehicle-full of guests per graduate)

AHS Graduation Parade: Fri. 5/28, 5:30pm (community members encouraged to cheer graduates along parade route)

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

Deadline to Order Yearbook: Mon. 5/31

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

Marketing Committee Meeting: Wed. 6/2, 1pm via

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 6/3, 5:30pm at AHS

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